As a child, there was nothing quite as exciting as being handed a wrapped present.  Christmas or Birthday, it didn’t matter.  The gift was for you and there was something special inside.  You couldn’t open that box fast enough.

Adopting a doodle has been a similarly exciting experience but I have learned that you have to be patient to get to the wonderful gift that is inside.

In June 2011, we adopted Ollie from DRC.  He was a rehome and while he was a nice dog, he came with his fair share of issues.  To stick with the gift analogy, he appeared to be a nicely wrapped package, but when we got him home and took that wrapping off, we found that the box had some bent corners and a lot of tape holding it tightly closed.   And while we were very anxious to be able to open that box and see the wonderful personality that was hidden inside, we had to stay patient and wait.

We had to deal with the issues between Cubbie and Ollie and with the fact that Ollie was afraid of my husband for at least the first 2 weeks.  He couldn’t really walk on a leash, was very nervous in the car, and was pretty much afraid of everyone and everything.  We weren’t able to get too close to him and he would quickly snatch a treat and run away.  Ollie eventually warmed up to my husband and while still timid and unsure, we could tell that Ollie realized that this is his home.  We wondered whether this was his true personality or if there was something even more special yet to come.

Love, patience, and training have helped immensely and the terrified dog that we brought home with us almost a year ago is mostly just a distant memory.   There are still some issues that need to be addressed and some new issues that have appeared (like the fact that he always runs up into Cubbie’s face and grabs one of Cubbie’s ears when he gets excited about going for a walk or a ride which tends not to make Cubbie too happy, but we are working on it).  Ollie is still very frightened of my brother (we are guessing that he somehow reminds him of something negative about his past) but has begun to allow strangers approach him while out in public which was something that we never really thought he would do.

Somehow without us even realizing it, the tape that had been holding that present tightly inside that banged up box had slowly begun to fall away until all that was left was the present that had been trapped inside: a happy, crazy, loving doodle named Ollie.  He can now be found charging across the floor like a tank while chasing after a ball, gazing out the window at the world as it goes by, following us around the house with a toy hanging gently from his mouth, wrestling with Cubbie, or climbing up on your lap to shower you with Ollie Kisses.  So thank you DRC for giving us the wonderful gift that is Ollie and for trusting that we had the patience to slowly unwrap that present to discover the treasure that was inside.

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Comment by Amy, Cubbie, & Ollie on May 16, 2012 at 1:26pm

wow, Diane.  2 years is a long time.  I am sure she is glad that you stuck with it!

Comment by Diane Marra on May 15, 2012 at 2:49pm

Thanks for sharing this wonderful testimony to love, time and patience and discipline!  We can provide a safe home for a doodle, and lots of love, and lots of time to uncover their true personality!  I found that out with m Bella, it took me almost 2 years of loving her and dealing with her intense fears of doors ( she wouldn't come back in once she went  out the door to the outside), all men and small children. At first most people didn't  even know I had a 2nd doodle, she hid all the time. Now she actually will come up to visitors and if they are petting my other 2 she want's in on the action.   Ollie is one blessed doodle!

Comment by Jacquie Yorke - DRC Director on May 15, 2012 at 2:39pm

This is so beautiful Amy. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and for being Ollie's family.

Comment by Karen and Jackdoodle on May 15, 2012 at 11:43am

Stories like this one are what keep rescue people doing what they do. Thank you for having the heart and the patience to get through Ollie's wrappings and discover the real doodle underneath. I am so glad he found you!

Comment by Amy, Cubbie, & Ollie on May 15, 2012 at 8:21am

thanks Nancy.  It has been great seeing Ollie's true personality come out.  I would say that it took him about 6 months to get to this point, but it was worth the wait. 

Comment by Ned, Clancy, Charlie, Jinkxy on May 15, 2012 at 2:39am

What a wonderful tribute to Ollie and to you.  One of the neatest things about rescuing a dog is that there are secrets to discover about them over time. Sometimes these secret things are profound - like suddenly realizing that they truly know they are home or that they really trust you deep down.  Sometimes they are a fun delight - like they fetch or swim. 

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