“We’re ‘if we can’t take our dog, we aren’t coming’ kinda family,” say Ollie the rescued beagle’s humans Marta and Ian.
Before narrating their story, here’s Ollie’s backstory. Ollie was brought to the UAE with his siblings as a young puppy, probably even way too early to be separated from their mom to be sold in one of the pet stores. The stress and poor conditions affected his health. He had cherry eyes, developed a skin infection that led to losing most of his hair. His condition kept getting worse at the pet store due to lack of any care. Unable to sell Ollie the owners of the pet store kept him in a crate at the back of the store with no sunlight nor proper puppy care.
Eventually after some negotiations by the local rescue organisation Ollie was handed over to one of the local rescuers. The first time he went outside, he didn’t even know how to react to sunlight. He started his treatments and quickly went on a trial adoption. However, the family who took him underestimated the energy level of a beagle puppy. And that’s where Ollie’s journey with his forever humans began. He was in urgent need of a place where he could continue to recover, arrived at his then foster now forever home. “The day we picked him up from his vet, we knew he was our boy. He wasn’t in the best condition and needed some TLC to fully recover and blossom into the doggy he is today,” his human said.
Read more ‘Humans of Paws’ story here
How has your life changed since you brought Ollie home?
Marta: Our lives have changed completely since we welcomed Ollie home. He gives us a purpose, motivation and energy to do more and to be better. Our day-to-day activities are now completely adjusted to his needs. We really have become the ‘if we can’t take our dog, we aren’t coming’ kinda family. As a family we are more active as opposed to watching Netflix on the sofa on our days off. We go to the beach, plan hiking adventures or road trips to fully discover the beauty of the place we live in. With Ollie we’ve learned a completely different form of love and dependency on both sides. We feel responsible for Ollie’s happiness and well-being, therefore we want him to have the best life possible. And he brings us tremendous joy every single day.
Is Ollie your first dog? Or have you had pets before?
Marta: Although I was brought up in a house full of animals, Ollie is the first dog who joined our little family as a married couple. My husband, a first-time dog parent, has never experienced what it means to have a dog before. So, to see him having a special bond with Ollie is indescribable. Having that said my husband had his doubts at first. Whenever I brought up the subject of expanding our family with a fur baby, he was unsure. After spending a little time with Ollie, the same person now says he would never have thought one can love a dog that much. What can I say, it truly was a love at first sight with Ollie. Its almost magical.
What are some of your favourite things to do with Ollie?
Marta: Our favourite thing to do with Ollie are our adventures. We love discovering the UAE and it is so much more exciting to do that with Ollie around. It’s always fun to see him react to different places, people and animals we meet along the way. Often its very amusing the way he furrows his brows showing all the wrinkles on his forehead when he meets a camel or a goat. We love our hiking trips, days out at the beach or exploring the desert. we are always on a lookout for new and exciting places where dogs are welcome. Nothing can beat the feeling of fulfilment after a day full of adventures, even if we are super tired afterwards. Lastly, there is nothing better than a completely tired doggy to snuggle with on the couch after all the running and sniffing.
What are some important lessons that Ollie has taught you?
Marta: The most important lesson Ollie has taught us so far is that trust takes time, but the reward after gaining it is priceless. We are proud to see him overcome his fears, everyday a little bit more, showing us that everything can be achieved with patience and time.
Finally, one message that you’d like to send out to our readers, especially those who are considering adopting a pet.
Marta: Adopting a pet is truly rewarding. They fulfil the emptiness you didn’t even know existed before they walked into your life. If you cannot adopt, offer a foster home. If that is not possible, become a volunteer or donate to help dogs who are still waiting for their families. And if you decide to adopt a pet, please give them time to open up and feel at home. It will take time, patience and sometimes a lot of training (in our case a lot of flip flops too). But in the end, you will get a best friend, family member and the most amazing companion. Someone who will be there for you for better and worse, who will teach you the real meaning of unconditional love. And that’s worth all the effort.