Olive’s Christmas Gift


The first time I met her, she was only four months old. The Denver Dumb Friend’s League counselor brought her into the room where I was sitting on the floor waiting. It was time. My loving golden retriever, Bailey, had died from a stroke several months before. There was an emptiness in my family that I was hoping to fill.

The counselor told me the puppy was very shy. She set her down on the floor and I picked up the little shaking dog, holding her closely on my lap. I stroked her soft fur, quietly cooing to her. I set the puppy down, concerned that a shy dog might not adjust well to my yellow lab, Courtney. As my questions were answered, the puppy eased her way back to my side and leaned against me. It was meant to be.

It’s been more than five years since Olive came home. As I cleaned house, prepared food and wrapped presents for our Christmas gathering, Olive followed me around. She looked out the window with my cat, Bubba, waiting for the guests to arrive. As soon as the first car pulled up, she ran upstairs to hide in the bedroom until the last guest left for the evening. Despite all the training, Olive is still painfully shy.


She never needs much; food, a walk and someone to throw her favorite ball. In exchange, Olive brings joy to my home. She is always happy to see me. If I’m sick, she hovers within reach just in case I need a hug. She sleeps at the bottom of my bed, keeping my feet warm. So, today I’m giving Olive her favorite gift, play time with her favorite ball, just the two of us. 

Wishing you, your family members and furry friends a Merry Christmas and your favorite gift, whatever that may be!!



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