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The Best Present Ever

By Sheila Emery


When I was engaged to my now husband, I used to march around the house saying “I want a puppy, I want a puppy!” I took an online test that was supposed to tell you what kind of dog would be good for you.

The first answer was a St. Bernard and second was a Havanese. I had never heard of a Havanese and was intrigued. I looked them up and learned they were from Cuba (hence Havanese — from Havana).

They used to be companion dogs for the Cuban nobility, but after the revolution, they became the dog of the people and were used to herd chickens!

They are super smart and are referred to as the Labrador of small dogs. So after lots of research, we found Ollie. Ollie is my best friend. I have had the pleasure of his faithful company for 16 years. He is blind and deaf now and sleeps most of the time, but he still can find me and will ask for a snuggle.

I remember him as a young dog running in the park with his tail up like a rudder.

He especially loves our family and elderly people. I taught Ollie a million tricks; he could do everything with hand signals. He was very motivated by treats and would learn a new trick in a flash. Ollie always looked you right in the eyes. He liked it when I sang to him.

Havanese are hypoallergenic — they have hair, not fur, and do not shed. Ollie slept on our bed his whole life. He used to spring up on the bed and now I have to lift him. He’s not too warm in the summer (like my husband) and he keeps me warm in the winter. Lots of times he’ll stretch out all the way down my back. It’s like having the most comfortable and perfect private heating pad.

Ollie’s job is to be my companion and he has done his job every day for 16 years. No matter where I am in the house, he will find me and curl up at my feet. He is loyal, smart, gentle and adorable. Even today as an old doggy, he gives me pure unconditional love. I can’t imagine life without him. I still take him to the park where he enjoys walking around smelling everything.

Ollie, you are and always will be the best present I ever received. Thank you for loving me and letting me love you. You are my precious Ollie dog.

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