In a little neighborhood in Northfield, Illinois, a free-spirited wanderer in the form of a lovely 15-year-old English Cream Golden Retriever named Oliver, a senior dog considered to be a best friend to many.
Back in 2020, his mom created an Instagram account for him to share his little adventures and day-to-day life with other dog lovers on the internet. People instantly fell in love with him and have been following him since. But, before strangers on the internet started to love Oliver, he had already captured the hearts of his neighbors.
“He’s a very determined dog with a very strict schedule,” says Melissa, Oliver’s neighbor and dog mom of Pudge the Pit (Oliver’s best friend). Every day, he comes and visits each neighbor according to his schedule. “He expects everyone to be very excited that he’s here. He wants the dogs jumping and then they all go inside the house. He immediately goes in front of my refrigerator and lays down.” Melissa adds. What’s amazing is no one ever put him up to it, he just started doing it and the neighbors just welcomed ol’ Oli into their households and families. Many call him a wandering grandpa and that could not be any truer.
When the clock strikes 7 in the morning, you can expect Oliver already waiting for you to let him in. At least, that was the schedule he had for visiting Melissa. She says that he would always act as if it’s a big surprise as he waits by her gate. Oliver has been visiting Melissa and her family for over nine (9) years, ever since she moved to the neighborhood. She eventually became good friends with Oliver’s mom as well.
They made sure that Oliver is in a community and environment that allows him to be safe and able to do what he wants, which is to wander around and visit neighbors during their breakfasts or wine hours.
Ever since he was a puppy, he has had this spirit of wanting to wander and they’ve figured that letting him do his thing would be the best. At the end of each day, he comes home to his mom, Sue, and then the cycle repeats.
You’re probably wondering how all of this is safe for a senior dog? Well, not only does Oliver live in a friendly neighborhood, but his mom has also attached a GPS tracker for them to be able to see where he is. At the age of 15, not being able to completely hear or see – he still knows the neighborhood by heart. He has it all mapped out in his brain.
Over the years, Oliver has become some kind of little institution over at the part of the lake where they live. He just has the desire to go out and touch other people’s lives. Without a fail, he did — up until he passed. Oliver was diagnosed with spleen masses in December of 2020. So, every day after that was a gift, and the days leading up to it can be considered a miracle.
Senior dogs like Oliver, or dogs in general, will never fully die. Their memory and the way they made people feel will forever live on.
(Photo credits to the Dodo and Sue)
Before you go, we have another story about senior dogs waiting for you!
A lovely couple in the U.S has been saving over 500 senior dogs all over the country. They started a non-profit called The Mr. Mo Project that helps to save and to adopt senior dogs, or ones with special needs, and pay medical expenses for life.
This project started because of their adopted dog, Moses. He came into their lives when his time at the shelter had to come to an end, he had overstayed his welcome there and needed to find a home. He was with them for a short while until they found out that he had a spinal tumor and he eventually passed. They saw how living in the shelter affected senior dogs and how many of them were there, some even being put down because of the lack of finances. This sparked a fire in them – this started their mission to save senior dogs and provided a better life for them.
At first, it was a small project with their local pound, where they gave care packages to the senior dogs there. Eventually, it grew and it grew until it became something that reached all over the country, from NYC to California, even Canada. They started taking senior dogs under their care at home and paying for their medical expenses for life.
This couple kept on rescuing senior dogs when everyone else gave up on them. Most especially the ones that people didn’t want to take due to various reasons, like a $10,000 spine surgery among other reasons. They said that, to them, it didn’t matter how much it cost as long as it was the best thing for the dog. Almost all of the expenses were from their own pocket until people started to take notice of their efforts and supported them. However, there were times when they wouldn’t be able to reach their goal for their fundraisers and they’d have to spend their own money.
Their supporters really believe in what they stand for and it’s what they call “The best for the rest” which means the best life for the rest of the time they have here with people before crossing the rainbow bridge.
With the time they’ve spent saving dogs and being around the senior dogs, they said that the best thing is seeing the transformation from being in the shelter to fully recovering and having life in their eyes again. Not everyone is able to do something like this, they said it’s a blessing that they get to do this project.
For more information about their project and if you want to contribute to the saving of more dogs, check out their page The Mr. Mo Project.
The adoption of senior dogs isn’t something a lot of people want to consider, since it requires a lot of patience, but it is possible. Adopting an older dog will bring much joy to you and your family and with the right care and loving home, you will have the privilege of their companionship throughout their senior years.
If adopting isn’t a possibility for you at the moment, feel free to share this with your friends and they might be able to save a life or two.
We have more heartwarming stories about dogs and how they’ve been able to change lives, you can find them here on our website.