A Friend for Oliver


A few months after we moved into our new home in Monkton in the fall of 2011, I got a call from a neighbor who I had not yet met. He tracked me down through my office and the receptionist had given me his message. I had taken the day off and was just driving home from a romp in the woods with Oliver so I was a little confused by her message.

“Your neighbor, Frank, called. He has your dog.”

Huh, I thought, looking over at Ollie, curled up in the passenger seat.

I gave Frank a call.

“Your dog must have gotten loose,” he said with concern. “I tried to keep him in my yard but he slipped away. You might want to come home and get him.”

“I think you have the wrong dog. My dog is right here in the car with me.” Ollie tilted his head at the mention of his name.

“Oh good, you found him.” Frank sounded relieved.

“Actually, he’s been with me all morning. We’re just coming home from a long walk.”

Silence at the other end of the line. “But…but…” Frank sputtered. “But I JUST saw him. He’s running all over the neighborhood!”

I assured Frank one more time that Ollie was safe and accounted for and thanked him for looking out for us all the same.

Recounting the story for Adrian later that day I remarked upon how certain Frank had been that Ollie was in his yard. Strange neighbor, we thought.

A few weeks later it happened to us. There Ollie was on the couch and there he was running up our driveway. We did a double take.

Close inspection revealed that the laws of the known universe had not been suspended. It was, in fact, a blue tick hound running up our drive. He had some tan on his face and a full tail (lucky him) but was in all other respects the spitting image of Oliver.

Since then, Ollie and the blue tick have been ruining each other’s reputation. I don’t think our neighbors can tell them apart so they’re tarred with the same brush.

I like to call the blue tick the ghost dog because he’s absolutely silent. He’ll sneak up behind you and you won’t notice until you turn around and he’s a foot away. He’s there and then he’s not.

Well, today the apparition has appeared and he’s not going away. Normally quite skittish, the blue tick has decided he wants to befriend Oliver. I was downstairs making coffee this morning when I heard a sharp howl and saw the dog rounding the corner of our porch. Next thing I knew, he was at the door, whimpering for Ollie to come out and play.

I put Ollie on the leash and the two dogs got to know each other a bit, circling and peeing all over the yard. But I didn’t dare let Ollie off the leash. They do enough damage individually; who knows what fun they’d get up to together! (Ollie mostly steals other dogs toys and bones out of their yards. We hear the blue tick likes to howl at people in their own gardens, scaring them silly as he sneaks up behind them.)

Adrian took Ollie out for a trip to the store and a run in the woods and this is the scene at our house now:


He’s been sitting there for the better part of an hour, just waiting. Looks like Ollie’s got a new friend, whether he wants one or not!

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3 Responses to A Friend for Oliver

  1. Tammy says:

    Great story!

  2. Absolutely love stories like that. Wondering what goes on in this mysterious pup’s mind. Does he recognize something of himself in your Oliver and so feels “at home?” Hoping it is the beginning of a long friendship.

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