I first met you on August 20th, 2007. You were one day old.
And I never imagined just how much you would mean to me.
I got to watch you grow up, until the day you would come home with me.
That day was October 13, 2007. And we were together ever since.
I called you my Little Black Dog because you didn’t have a name yet. And you were a little black dog!
You were cute as a button. The softest ears, the cutest face. And your eyes. Your eyes looked just like Cheyenne and I knew then that puppies can be reincarnated.
I can’t believe how small you were. You used to come to work with me every day and everyone knew it. At first, I would go outside every hour, alone, to check on you. And then before I knew it, there was always a crowd of people who just had to see how cute you were.
You were the only constant in my life when things felt unsteady. As long as you were with me, we were both complete.
You met Koda, the Big Brown Dog.
You met your sister Nova!
You became an outdoor adventure dog. So many adventures. I loved hiking more because you were there.
Every now and then, you’d stop and pose like you owned the woods. And even less times, I ‘d actually get a picture of the elusive wilderness dog.
One night when I was driving back home after work, I heard that dogs were welcome on a 12k race and it was meant to be. It was Christmas themed, and you were destined to be Olive the Other Reindeer.
One year, Josh even helped dress us up, and we won a costume contest!
You were now the Award Winning Olive the Little Black Dog.
There were of course other races we ran. The Furry 5k, the 12ks of Christmas, and the Tacoma Santa Run.
We continued to hike and run. I promise that you fell off that log into the lake. I would have never pushed you.
I used to joke that I had a defective Lab. You simply didn’t like the water. Yes, you’d walk through every stream, or mud puddle you’d find, but you wouldn’t swim.
Do you remember the longest run you ever did with me? It was 13.05 miles on April 18, 2009.
I still tell the story of this day. It was right after we left Vassault Park in Tacoma. Maybe five minutes into our run, and we crossed paths with a blonde runner who says “Hi Olive” as we passed her. I asked you “Who was that?” Always the lady, you just smiled, not saying a word, and we continued our run.
You loved the snow. Rolling around in it, running in it. If there was snow, you were in heaven.
It was during a snowy November when I got what is one of my favorite pictures of you.
Another one of my favorites pictures of you was from one of our many snowshoeing trips. You loved to go snowshoeing with us. Snow! Hiking! You were made for this.
You were such a happy dog. You never complained about anything. The kindest heart, and most loving eyes.
And the craziest tongue.
It’s almost like your tongue was a gauge to how much fun you were having. The longer your tongue, the more fun you were having.
I’ve always said I lucked out and got the best dog in the whole world. You were always patient with me.
Maybe it was because you were always such a lady.
You loved your pillows! We always made it a point to give you at least one pillow in your crate.
You’d share your bed with Watson. Even when he would take up more room that he’d give you.
Every year on your birthday, I’d give you filet mignon (even though every butcher judged me for doing this.) And you always shared with Ninkasi. (I’m pretty sure that Ninkasi thought he was sharing with you.)
I was so happy when you finally moved out to Colorado. I missed you so much. We were going to have so much fun together here!
But you were getting older. You couldn’t go on runs with me anymore and we couldn’t hike. But we still played as much as we could until you couldn’t play anymore.
Colorado gets so much snow! I couldn’t wait for all of the times we could go for walks and play in the snow. But the snow was cold, and you put up with me making you wear a coat.
And now comes the hardest part. The part where I have to say goodbye.
You passed away on Sunday, the 22nd of March. You were 12 and a half years old.
We sat together under a tree on the grass It was sunny. Katie was there with us. So many belly rubs. Your ears were still so soft.
You started to snore, and then you were gone.
A friend called you my Soul Animal. And you were. You were my little black dog.
And I miss you.