Oliver lived his life fully and always in love. From his start in San Diego where we picked him up in a helicopter, coming to San Francisco where at 10 weeks old and little more than a pound had his well attended puppy shower (be careful where you sit!).
After his first year, he had the music videos DVD, followed by what became, for 15 years, the anticipated Oliver Birthday Party. He met everyone with love and affection, snuggling under a blanket or someone's arm, he was a natural fit for later in life, his years of therapy work with Alzheimer patients with TDI (Therapy Dog International). The annual Animal Holiday Calendars, made him a famous dog including the local businesses that had his calendar displayed, it was more than often that people would here strangers talk about him by name, "Look, that's Oliver!", and surely in the running for the most photographed dog in history.
He loved to jump! For several years, he and I enjoyed, very much, the team work required in Dog Agility competitions. He easily won the highest jumper on command at the annual Duboce Dog Festival, and a few years earlier won Cutest Dog in the Neighborhood (Valencia Corridor, at Faye's Video), wining a basket of toy and treats many times his size, and a year of his picture in the video store window. Entering other competitions & events, in addition to his many training classes, he has a dedicated area "Oliver's Wall of Fame" in our house holding the too many to list, numerous awards.
Oliver was also a very experienced traveler too. Flying frequently between San Francisco & Ohio, maybe 25 trips in his life, he easily has flown over 100,000 miles, including private jets (from tiny local airports), coach & first class (his preference). Such a good traveler, we got many frequent amazed, impressed, compliments going through security with his rock solid sit-stay, even if it required him leaning out of the way. He once had a pilot take him down the steps where he pee'd on the 737 front tire before take-off. He had to go! :) Arizona; Portland; all of California; Chicago; DC; Boston and prancing across the Brooklyn Bridge, Oliver has been reported to be seen in many places.
Additional Oliver activities included his Like Oliver, his fashion label, (and web site: likeoliver.com) he modeled & helped design many fashions for the discerning Italian Greyhound. Never sold, but donated to charity auctions, or Italian Greyhound Rescue (many IG's went to their new home with a "LikeOliver" fashion, jacket, coat or pajamas. Oliver also contributed to the annual news letter, with his often hard to read, column. We forgive his lack of grammar or spelling skills given he is a dog, albeit tiny paws on the keyboard, impressive for a dog, and he is cute.
There is so much to say about his live, and the number of people he knew, and had an impact on, including myself deeply, he will be missed, and the world feels just a little smaller without him.
His greatest passion, above all else, was snuggling. This is what I'll miss most. From the time as a tiny puppy, having to move pillows or blankets before sitting down, to his last day, pushing his nose under the edge of a blanket, when he couldn't move any part of his body below the neck, still snuggling.
Oliver will be missed by many, as his spirit remains among us, reminding us of the moment, engaging and enjoying life, loving always and always loved, forever.