It Was a Long, Wonderful First Year for Ollie.

We’ve come to the end of my first year. Both James and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about me. I know I’ve enjoyed reporting about this impressionable time. Sure, James and I have had our differences in what to report and say, but because of those differences, we’ve grown closer, if that was even possible.

(Ollie and James – best friends forever.)

It happens that today is also my birthday – May 26th. It’s kind of cool that we finished this blog and sharing James’ poems on the day of the year when I was born. Of course, we didn’t plan it that way.

Come to think of it, making plans are nice, but that’s all they are. Life has a way of getting in-between the things we propose. I’m here to tell you that my life so far has been one super gift. I have two daddies who love me and who I love. What could be better than that? Okay, so food and snacks and toys and friends to play with are rather wonderful, too.

Oh, yeah. There’s something else almost as nice – James’ poems. Here’s one he wrote. It sums up our time together during my first year:


this is a happy tale that’s
not a tail that wags
since Ollie has a knob
that twitches and bobs

this is a first-year tale
beginning in the rust belt
carried onto the AKC website
where at a week he was found

asleep on a red blanket
China-blue eyes unopened
a black and white bundle of love
unlocked the gates into our hearts

an excursion to Ohio
when Ollie was five weeks
bashful and fearful
sealed his love within our souls

four weeks later he arrived and
over the next ten months
tentacles of love
intertwined within our chis

in the beginning
     – impressions of minute emotions and memories embossed upon our
psyche for a
     – fearful responses to innocuous items lead us to consider special treatment
     – leash walking with our dearly beloved Dalmatian Trek we morphed into

     – Ollie’s water bowl would empty as soon as it was replenished
     – his noticing shadows was when we discovered his extraordinary curiosity
     – high stakes investment in-house training necessitated diligent attention
to his moods

     – we discovered an unfortunate place known as puppy purgatory which to
Dante was
     – all the while we were learning patience is a virtue

as time progressed
     – sweet sleep evaded us for we remained diligent in our training and love
     – the crowning of Ollie’s teeth necessitated an abundance of chew toys
     – nighttime became the sweet time when he greeted us with kisses as we
       took care so he could take care
     – the despicable morning dew forced a drying off of his feet regardless of
rain or shine

     – shoelaces were a fascination
     – butterflies flitting around the yard created a game of chase
     – dandelions caught his eye with their brilliant yellow flowers and star-burst

     – the rain like the dew caused aggravation by dampening Ollie’s beautiful
Old English
 Sheepdog puppy coat

when autumns colors reigned supreme
     – he desired pebbles and dirt for which we were unsure since dirt is dirt and
 should never be swallowed
     – the rustling of leaves and brush by the invisible wind nibbled at Ollie’s

     – he chewed pieces of wood graduating in size from twigs to sticks to limbs
     – the time approached for a full mouth of teeth

suddenly it wasn’t summer
     – the proof was in the profusion of snowfall and abundance of joy from
frolicking in
 the white powder
     – while inside soft stiff colored crinkly paper enticed Ollie’s mouthing

     – the heat within the bathroom called to him to luxuriate within its radiance
     – the leaves no longer offered chase except an occasional skeletal version
 across the icy snow
     – strategically placed tin cans kept him from food trash and curtains
     – airplanes provided noise and full moons offered light in the night sky for
him to

appreciating the passing of time for a year was upon us
     – while luxuriating within our newly found tolerance we painfully observed
 catching a flying animal
     – his having learned to fetch as a youngster was no longer an attribute an
Old English
 Sheepdog cared to retain
     – Ollie’s alarming attention to ants proved to be harmless and distracting
     – his interest in gnawing on slate was not something we cared for him to

     – we were pleased that his love of the crate developed into his feeling safe
and secure

     – it was a pleasure to know that he took to grooming like a red-spotted newt
to a
 vernal pool

and that my friends
is what it’s all about

the love between best friends
be they

love is love
it makes the world go round
may the earth keep spinning on its axis

it will with Ollie in our lives
and so

this is a happy tale that’s
not a tail that wags
since Ollie has a knob
that twitches and bobs

it began in a rust belt town
and ends on a hill in Vermont
at the home of Ollie James and Ron
known as Skygate Farm

Wow! What a year it was. It sure wasn’t easy in the beginning, but some of the best things in life aren’t necessarily stress-free when originally encountered.


(Ollie and James in the ATV enjoying a ride together – forever.)

I must admit that the bond between James and me, as well as between Ron and me, is super strong. One of the nicest things is that since the end of my first year neither of them puts a leash on me when they walk me around Skygate Farm. With multiple acres on which to romp, you’d think I’d run off and explore. Well, I do, somewhat. Still, I never have either of them out of my sight. Okay, there are times they keep walking in one direction and I go in another, but sooner or later I catch up to them.

Speaking of walking, it’s now time to decide what to report in my next post. I haven’t the foggiest (Yes, I am an English sheepdog.) idea. I’ll give it some thought over the next two weeks. Come back at that time and find out.

Between now and then, feel free to scroll down and make a comment, letting me know what you think of my blog and James’ poems. I always like to hear from you, so please leave me a note about this or anything else that’s on your mind.

Until next time,
Sir Oliver of Skygate Farm (you can call me Ollie)



Paw Prints courtesy of
All photos © James Stack 2018 unless otherwise indicated

3 thoughts on “It Was a Long, Wonderful First Year for Ollie.

  1. Happy Birthday, Ollie, from Dragon and me! We have enjoyed reading about your first year very much. Dragon says she is envious that you have such clear memories of your first year. She can not remember back to her first year. We have also enjoyed the poems James has written about you. We look forward to reading more in the future!

    Liked by 1 person

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