Cue Olivia stage left.
Following the preparation by Simon "You are My Human" Geilman, a Maltese dog who ruled his domain and trained me to love being his human (LOL), all Olivia had to do was look at me with those yittle puppy dog eyes and it was over. And after seeing her "kickstand" leg and hearing about her previous life PM (pre-Maddy) where she was abused (one of her owners kicked her in the face and broke her jaw, so now her snout it crooked) and then abandoned with 31 other dogs in a house where she had to fend for herself... yeah, I didn't stand a chance!
It's been an adventure (which I love) having Olivia live with me. She's training me well. Wish I could say the same thing about training her!
Over the last 10 months, her health has declined dramatically, thanks to an autoimmune disease that attacks her joints, the arthritis in her hips, and the cancer growing in her stomach (which is a side effect to the strong pain meds I give her every morning). "Going for a walk" means I pick her up in my arms and carry her outside to a grassy area in my townhome area so she can "do her job" something she does with much difficulty and pain. I worry everyday about her--how much pain she's enduring and whether I'll come home from my office or wake up in the morning to find her expired. And there is much anxiety I feel as I try to make her life as comfortable and as happy as possible.
But there is much joy. I love Miss Olivia.
I love her little waggy tail greeting me when I get home in the evenings.
I love that she will scurry behind my leg during a fireworks display or a thunderstorm--that she knows I will protect her.
I love that even though she will lick my hand (or face...or foot...or ankle...or arm...or face...or...) and wag her tail at me when we get up in the morning.
I love the way she sounds like Wilbur the pig when she's sniffing around on the floor for extra bits of food.
I love that she follows me around the house and that she just wants to be near me (not too close, mind you, but within a few feet--just to make sure that I'm not going anywhere.)
I love that she rolls over onto her back so I can "do MY job," i.e. rub her belly.
I love her gumption: even now, when she's in excruciating pain, she still tries sometimes to get up or down a few stairs, something that is extremely painful and difficult for The Kickstand Queen.
I love how when she "runs," it looks like she's doing the bunny hop.
I love that I can always tell when she's asleep because she snores. Loudly. (grin)
I love that she allowed (imperfect) me to bring her home and attempt to take care of her.
I love that she's taught me what it's like to love something/someone sooooo much that all I want to do is do what's best for her--what will bring her happiness (if dogs feel that...?) and will help her feel safe and comfortable.
Yeah...I'd say I'm whooped! LOL.