Memorial for Olivia the Lhasa Apso

June 6, 2017

A challenging part my job as a veterinarian is guiding my clients through the process of saying goodbye to a beloved pet. Recently, I had to send a sweet, senior pooch named Olivia across the rainbow bridge.  

Olivia looking bright and alert with her one good eye

Olivia had many adventures under her collar and she lived life quite well with her human mother, Jane Lynch.  In my time knowing Olivia as her veterinarian, she had the opportunity to travel from California to New York City to spend time with her mom while Jane performed in the Broadway production of Annie.  Olivia was a paparazzi favorite and often had her photo taken many times while accompanying Jane on walks around the Big Apple.  I always enjoyed seeing my patient on such outings and hope that the “paps” weren’t too intrusive into Olivia’s habits on her walks.

Jane has a passion for animal rescue and Olivia joined us at events like Race for The Rescues, where Jane walked with other dog aficionados and Olivia hung out with me in the On Site Vet booth.

Olivia and me at the Race for the Rescues

We did some “vet sitting” for Olivia and she was instrumental in providing emotional support for Cardiff when he recovered from his first surgery to remove a tumor (lymphoma) from his intestines.  Olivia even visited Cardiff in hospital. 

Cardiff and his emotional support dog, Olivia

I’ll turn the telling of Olivia’s tale over to Jane and to Olivia’s other mother and devoted caretaker Jennifer.

Jane:
She came by on a cloudy blue day
Dressed in fur, all ready to play.
On my call, she was at my beck,
Her nose found a home snugglin’ into my neck…

I wrote this little ditty back in 1999, after my initial encounter with a little Lhasa Apso puppy that I had just “rescued” from a pet store on Venice Boulevard. I went in for kitty litter and left with this little furry creature I would name Olivia de Puppiland. Olivia inspired art.

Olivia and I have been the constant in each other’s lives for the past 17 years. Lovers would come and go. Fortunes would rise and fall. Other cats and dogs would come and pass on. But we were always there for each other.

And then, wonder of wonders, miracles of miracles, one of those lovers who’d gone actually returned to become a best friend and Olivia’s second mom! Jennifer, take it form here.

Jennifer:
I knew Olivia well from years 2-4, and again from 14-17 (the years between are just the Dark Ages). She was such a bright little light that the first dream I had after she passed was of her poking her head around the corner of the kitchen island, smile wide and tongue on full display. I scooped her into my arms and held her, so happy she was back. She isn’t, of course, but that smile will never leave me.

As her co-Mommy, I could not have loved her more. We had so many experiences together, especially as she was getting older and required more care. She could be so feisty and yet so vulnerable. When I took her to pet clinic visits for eye care (just the one), she’d tremble in my arms, petrified, and I would hug her tight until she calmed. After that, it was mere moments before she shrugged me off to take charge of greeting each newcomer. That’s just how she was. She could cling like a barnacle, and she could venture forth like the extrovert she was. How I loved that little snowball!

Both Jane and Jennifer:
Her favorite place on the planet was the airport because of all the people.
Olivia cuddled so close that she’d push you to the edge of the bed.
Olivia growled at you if you stopped petting her.
We can still feel the weight of her in our arms.
Oh, and Olivia had the cutest little black nose.

Olivia and Jane in one of their favorite places, on the beach in Santa Barbara

Although Olivia is no longer with us, she made quite an impression during the years I knew her as my patient. Olivia will be remembered in perpetuity and missed everyday.

Have you lost a pet who was near and dear to your heart? Feel free to share your perspective in the Comments section.

Dr. Patrick Mahaney

Thank you for reading this article. Your questions and comments are completely welcome.
Please feel free to communicate with me through Twitter (@PatrickMahaney) and follow my adventures in veterinary medicine by liking Patrick Mahaney: Veterinarian Acupuncture Pain Management for Your Pets on Facebook.
Copyright of this article (2017) is owned by Dr Patrick Mahaney, Veterinarian and Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist. Republishing any portion of this article must first be authorized by Dr Patrick Mahaney. Requests for republishing must be approved by Dr Patrick Mahaney and received in written format.

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