Name: Oli

Date of Passing: 06/05/2024

Message to Oli: Thank you for the warm email detailing your thoughts with respect to Oli and his family. Your observations were quite accurate in that for nearly 13 years Oli was a big part of our lives, and was always spoiled and loved. How could you not? He was one the most handsome German Shepherds I'd ever seen with a huge heart. Thank you again for the followup email. It was been very rough for me. Today is the first day since his passing that I haven't broken down in tears.. I miss him SO much... even in his diminished state he tried his best to smile and comfort me in my grief knowing of the impending end. Oli was, and always will be my boy.

Tell us about Oli: I adopted Oli from Wilma Johnson who was retiring from 30+ years of breeding GSDs under the name of Shewana Shepherds. I saw a picture of Oli on her website, and just sent an email complimenting her on him, and how he reminded me of a GSD I had purchased from her many years prior. She got back to me promptly, and told me he was up for adoption, and invited me to meet him. I did just that. It was Super Bowl Sunday, and I had just a bit of time before having to go to a friends Super Bowl party. I remember it was a warm, Sunny day...for February. I greeted Wilma, and she brought Oli up from the kennel. He was AWESOME! He was a big, 110lb. golden sable with beautiful markings and HUGE teeth! I guessed his age to be right under two years old as he was fully grown. He took to us immediately... I was completely blown away by how cool he was. Oli must of sensed it as he nearly jumped into our car right away, but I had to determine the details of the transaction. At this time the recession was in full swing, and my seasonal job was not providing many hours so money was tight. I told Wilma this, and as the absolute sweetheart she was, whispered in my ear to just take him, and not to worry about the adoption fee. It was a gift from God and Wilma with Shewana Shepherds. I was so blessed.

Oli was a show dog, and a sire that had produced several litters. So he needed to be house broken as he was primarily housed in a kennel. This took some time due to his age, but within a couple months he had settled down, and was by then quite house broken. He also liked to roam. My yard is not fenced, and since I didn't get him as a puppy, I had to show him the boundaries. This took some time too. He got away several times, and I had to go looking for him. One time on Independence Day we were out in the yard and some fireworks scared him away. He was gone. I searched and searched, I couldn't find him. I went to bed that night absolutely HEART BROKEN knowing in my more rural area it would be very difficult to find him. The next morning as the Sun came up I went to a local gas station. I was getting coffee, and saw a County Sheriff. I gave him a description of the dog. A guy at the checkout counter overheard our conversation and said he saw a Shepherd on the north side of the lake eating roadkill! I jumped in my truck right away and hurried over to the area. I was driving slowly with my flashers on calling his name out the window. Some woman came up behind me in her car and was flashing her lights at me. I stopped and she asked me if I was looking for a German Shepherd...I told her yes, and she pointed to a driveway about a quarter mile up the road. I thanked her and drove over to this large farm, drove up the driveway, and the farmer was at the top of the hill asking me if I was looking for a dog. I told him yes, got out of my truck, got to the top the hill, and he pointed him out to me. At the bottom of the hill was a corn field with a tree line on it's west side. Sitting right on that line I saw a dog, perhaps a thousand yards or more away. I yelled out his name, and instantly his ears perked, and came running at me at full speed! It was my boy Oli!! He was happy to see me as I was to see him. I picked up the big dog with ease and vigor put him right into the back of my covered pickup truck hugging him and telling him to NEVER do that again. I was completely elated... I hadn't lost my boy after all. That was Oli's big adventure and his last. He never ran away again.

Oli and I went for walks often, and one time we got lost hiking near Marengo Ridge, we must have walked for easily 5 miles... all through the forest. He also loved car rides, and would often accompany me on long trips to dark skies in where I could use my telescope for astronomy... Always a gentlemen around people...I never worried about him biting anyone. I would take my camper up north to where the skies are very dark, and would spend a week up there, me up all night looking at the stars and Oli just either sitting near my scope, or sleeping in the camper. It would just be him and I in the camper... It was so cool. I'm really going to miss these days... Oli went with me on many camping trips, and for many walks. He loved the forest, and was so well trained I never needed a leash. He also many nick names because of his sometimes odd behavior. Names like Bandit, Spidey Feet (his feet looked like desert tarantulas...lol) and my favorite; Wigric...which is an acronym for the phrase from a very old Motown song. 'Will it go round' in circles' He earned this by how he loved running in circles... At dinner time while his food was being prepared, he'd be running around the dinner table, and at the end of every revolution he'd lift his head smile. It was absolutely charming... I could go on and on with many, many stories about Oli, but I will stop here. Oli took a part of me to the grave, this was very difficult for me as Oli, despite his compromised condition at the end, still wanted to live. He ate with extreme intensity as he ALWAYS did right to his last day here on Earth. Godspeed Oli...and I sincerely hope that I will see you again... I miss you boy!