03 February, 2016
It was 2011 and a night like most nights in Warwick, Australia. Glenys Norton and her 2 Bichons, Pepe and Louie, were out for a walk when they witnessed a scruffy small dog almost get hit by a car. What started out as a routine walk quickly turned into a rescue mission. Scared for this little dog's life, Glenys decided to try and help him and after multiple attempts was finally able to grab a hold of him - he was safe. She now had to make a very important decision, she could either bring him home or she could take him to the nearest shelter, but when a friend told her that after hours at the shelter meant placing the dog in a shoot where he would presumably slide down into a pen, Glenys decided to bring him home with her.
First order of business was to try and clean him up since he was covered in dirt and showed signs of being on his own for quite some time. Once presentable Glenys and her husband Bill began the search for his original home. They posted his photo around the town, they advertised, had him mentioned on the radio etc but no one even recognized him. No home or family could be found.
After weeks had passed without success, the Norton's accepted this lost dog as their own and called him Ollie who was believed to be 18 months old at the time. Such a young dog to be out on his own, but at least it led him to a new life and family where he would never be alone or scared again.
Once Ollie realized that he was staying and everyone became comfortable together, his true personality started to shine through and Ollie quickly took on the role as watchdog over the family. Glenys describes him as being a big dog in a little dog's body, a characteristic common in terriers, and has a fearlessness even towards much larger dogs. So much so that the Norton's had to help Ollie become more socialized to ensure no confrontations would happen that could potentially put him in danger. After a bit of work their watch dog had learned to get along with everyone big and small.
He loves attention and of course laps, so Glenys began taking him for hospital visits at a local nursing home where he helped to lift spirits and bring smiles to so many faces by sitting on their laps and cuddling up with them. Life was great for Ollie. He was not only loved, but he was able to share his endless capacity for love with others.
Then one day, 3 years ago, everything changed. Ollie began limping, just a little, but Glenys to be safe brought him to the vet to have an x ray done. And thank goodness she did because Ollie had bone cancer and it was so severe that had she not brought him in that leg would have broken within the week. While Ollie must have been experiencing tremendous pain as a result of this, he was such a trooper that all he showed was a tiny limp. Never wanting to complain, never wanting to stop doing all that he loved to do. Even the veterinarian was reluctant to have the Norton's incur the costs of an x ray for what appeared to be a simple leg injury, but they insisted and the diagnosis shocked everyone involved. Due to the aggressive nature of his cancer, Ollie's leg had to be amputated immediately, but even that didn't slow him down. He rebounded and is now cancer free.
Ollie, now 6 1/2 yrs old, is everybody's little darling. His zest for life is contagious. With his watchdog nature as strong as ever, Ollie takes it upon himself to alert the house and everyone within earshot when the postman arrives and has taught his Bichon brothers to do the same. He loves to run and one of his favorite activities is to chase lizards, some bigger than Ollie, along the nearby banks and when he runs you would never know that he is operating on only 3 legs. It is only when he walks that he shows discomfort which is why the Norton's decided to look into getting a dog stroller.
Unfortunately due to minimal selection in Australia, the Norton's first dog stroller was disappointing. The wheels were problematic and the handlebar made using it uncomfortable so they began looking online for a higher quality dog stroller. Glenys soon found the Dogger and despite having to order it from Canada knew she had to have one.
"When we take Pepe and Louie for a walk, leaving Ollie at home is unthinkable, so the Dogger has been marvelous. He rides inside until we reach the park and then he gets out and has a run around. He loves it."
The Dogger helps the Nortons get out and exercise more as a family (two-legged and four-legged). It has also allowed Ollie to participate in a local Christmas Parade as well as serving as a means of helping Louie to cool off in the hot weather. Fortunately Ollie doesn't mind sharing his new ride with his brothers.
The adventure is just starting for Ollie and his family as they explore new ways to use the Dogger to improve the quality of their lives.
"Thank you so much. The Dogger has made such a huge difference helping us to get out and about. Ollie can now ride in style and comfort and as you can see is King of the Road!"
Ollie's days of being scared and alone are behind him thanks to the Nortons and that fortunate walk Glenys took many years ago that brought them together. They have helped him recover from cancer and not only regain his health, but his spirit as well and now they are focused on making sure he continues to enjoy life the way Ollie has always done, despite the challenges thrown his way.
Through every adversity can come something magical and from the moment Ollie entered their lives this became clear. First by rescuing him, adopting him and then by caring for him, Glenys found that her bond with all of her dogs became even stronger and more special. They are her children and the journey the Norton's have been through, thanks to Ollie, has forever changed them for the better.