Little did I know that when I went abroad to Taiwan, I’d add an eventual permanent member to my family from the very same island.
I didn’t exactly bring Ollie home with me. He joined our family via the efforts of Project Taiwan Golden Retreiver Rescue in Taiwan, who partnered with the Golden Retriever Club of Greater Los Angeles Rescue – an organization that funds the recovery and transport of this large and often abandoned breed. (You can read all about the organization’s efforts in Taiwan through this interview).
Ollie was born in Taipei, and given his apparent training, was once part of a loving home. Somewhere along the way though, poor Ollie ended up on the streets. He was found stabbed in the leg, which required 27 stitches and several months of recovery. When he finally came to us after a long and difficult journey, he was a thin, timid, little ghost of a dog. Over time, though, he gained some weight and some confidence in his new people.
Though he lives with my mom, sometimes, when she’s out of town, Ollie comes and stays with me. This past weekend was one of those times. This is great news for Ollie, because every day, we visit his favorite place in the world:
Why is it Ollie’s favorite? Well, because Ollie loves nothing more than to dig:
Which results in one sandy nose and mouth!
But he doesn’t seem bothered, does he?
And, may I say, he does bear an uncanny resemblence to Dug from the movie Up, both in personality and portliness. Wouldn’t you say?
The funny thing about this rescue dog is, in actuality, it’s he who end up rescuing us (his family) in the end. He gets me out walking, always takes the high road (he never barks at other dogs, even when they’re barking at him), is friendly to everyone he sees, and teaches me on a daily basis what unconditional love is.
Besides, now, I have a great Mandarin language training partner. Though he’s not great at retorting, he’s one excellent listener.
Have you met a pup abroad who warmed your soul? Do you have an Ollie in your life?
*GRCGLA Rescue is a non-profit organization that runs on the donations of individuals like you and me. If you’re looking for somewhere to donate buckets of cash, might I suggest this worthy cause? (In the spirit of full disclosure, I was not asked to post this. I just love this organization)