During the holiday season, I've asked my rescue friends and contacts to share their heartwarming stories involving pets that they've rescued or adopted. Today's post was submitted by Pam Horton, mom to Lil Olive, a rescued mill dog with her own social media fan base. The post Pam submitted last year about Lil Olive's adoption - Was this puppy mill rescue too damaged to love - was popular with my readers and I asked Pam for an update this year.
By Pam Horton
It will be two years this January that Lil Olive has been here with us and what a blessing she is! She will be 17 years old this year and she is every bit the sassy lil girl that a young pup would be. Having been a Mill Dog for 12.5 years she has learned to love and forgive the abuse she suffered. She loves her life and wags her tail all day long!
Since we were blessed with Olive we have adopted two other Iggy’s from National Mill Dog Rescue. They are Agnes, who is 10 years old now, was a Mill Dog for 9 years and is so very timid. Our sweet Agnes’ years of abuse are seen in her emotional state. She is scared of human touch and new people. But she has begun to enjoy a sweet pet from me and allows me to pick her up now!
Our other lil blessing is Hazel. Hazel is 10-years-old and was a Mill Dog for 10 years. She is a beautiful tiny girl who is just beginning to know that human hands can be loving and kind. She is a real Daddy’s girl!
These three tiny girls are each others strength and they adore stacking on each other. It’s an Iggy thing! Olive has been such a wonderful teacher to both Agnes and Hazel and they follow her around and trust her. When she comes to me for pets, they follow now.
This last year has been amazing thanks for all of the girls Facebook Friends. We have had friends come from Canada and the UK to meet them girls! And we have had many many people come here to the house to meet the girls! Amazing new friends!
Olive even got a very special boyfriend this year. His name was Leo…he was a Mill Dog as well. Oddly, when they met, they both just loved being near each other. They would snuggle and were at ease with each other. Leo was a huge Boxer and Olive is a tiny Iggy so they were an adorable odd couple. Sadly in September, Leo lost his brave battle with cancer. He crossed The Rainbow Bridge surrounded by his loving family. He is still doing great work saving dogs in great need through his Facebook page, Leo, Puppy Mill Survivor.
Olive also sold T-shirts this year and was able to make a lot of money to donate to Rescue Groups! And, in November and December, the girls sold 2015 Calendars to benefit rescued dogs!
Whoever would have thought that when I saw Olive’s picture on the National Mill Dog Rescue site and knew I needed to just give her a family, that she would become, to thousands, the face behind those puppies in Pet stores. Olive and her sisters now “Speak for those who have no voice.”
Olive has touched so many lives and when people meet her and hold her, they look at her and cry. They all look at me and ask why they are crying? I tell them that they have been “Olived”.
Her beautiful forgiving soul touches people’s hearts. I wish I could explain why she has this effect on so many people. I never would have dreamed this tiny, scarred, timid, old lady would teach us all so much about living. But she has.
My girls are sweet and beautiful and loving angels that God has blessed my life with! Hazel has taught us that a good back scratch is the best way to start the day. Agnes has taught us that playing with a good squeaky toy should never be replaced with worry.
And, Olive has taught us that life can be hard and even unfair, but to move beyond the hurt and pain and live for today….to be tough….to love one another….what real beauty is….and most importantly, to forgive those who hurt you and to accept the love of others. If Olive can forgive and love, after all she has been through, then surely we can.
They are all perfect souls.
If you'd like to read last year's posts, check out -
- Lil Olive: Was this puppy mill rescue too damaged to love?
- Leo's story: Every dog deserves their own bowl
- From puppy mill to home: The new life of Riley
- More than a little Moxie: Puppy mill rescue discovers freedom at 12
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