What can one say about Ollie? He is a big, black, fuzzy dog. He is half-lab and half-chow. He has a lot to say. He is good at showing his teeth and scaring any workmen who come on our property. He would most like to be a lap dog. Sometimes we call him Mr. Woof.
Ollie was found as a small, rolly-polly ball of fur under a friend’s deck. Seeing how the friend had a Doberman who hated other dogs, especially puppies, we took Ollie in as a supposed interim family. That same weekend was an ice storm and Ollie spent two days in the house with us. That sealed Ollie’s fate. How could we possibly send away that lovable mass of fur?
I wrote that Ollie is half-lab and half-chow. When he was a young puppy, we thought he was going to grow up to look like a chow but have lab personality. But over Christmas that first year, Ollie grew six inches, lost his baby fat, and half of his his hair ended up on the floor. Instead of a dog that looked like a chow, we got sort of a fuzzy lab.
To tell the truth, Ollie has some serious mental issues. The lab and chow personalities have always been at war in his brain, neither one ever gaining the upper hand. Ollie has always had issues with these voices in his head. It can be unnerving to be sitting on the couch and have a full set of teeth come at you, but in the end it’s not a dog bite you receive but kisses on the face.
For us, Ollie has been a good dog, but I can see how he could be a challenge for others. He barks a lot and is quick to show his teeth. He will snap if he doesn’t like what you are doing, like trimming his nails, but the lab part of his brain prevents him from ever making a bite. He still has quite a bit of the chow coat, and it is a bad combination with the lab propensity to shed. When we get lazy and do not groom him regularly we end up with Ollie hair rolling around in the house.
On the other hand, Ollie is a very loving dog. He will sit for hours next to you as long as you scratch his head. He loves to be played like a drum. Ollie is also a perfect watch dog. He is quick to bark and looks extemely fierce with his hair standing on end and his teeth bared, but he would never bite anyone. We know this but an intruder would not.
Terri trained Ollie through a companion dog title, the first level of dog obedience. That was as much as an Ollie brain could take. He would show his teeth the entire time he was in the ring. Some people said it was a smile, some said it looked like he wanted to bite Terri’s arm off, probably it was just a reaction to being nervous in the ring.
Ollie is Norma’s favorite dog. Norma’s usual spot was in the corner of the couch watching South Park, and Ollie’s place was next to her where she could rub his belly. The two of them could stay there for hours. I don’t know why those two have such a bond. Muslims generally do not know dogs, do not keep dogs as pets, and consider them unclean, so the big black fuzzy dog with the all the teeth seems like an odd choice for a Muslim girl. I guess they have something in common, though I have no idea what that something might be. Maybe it’s all that black hair.