Our sweet Kerry, Olive, is now 16 years+ 1 month — she is fading a bit, but she has been the most wonderful dog. Pictured below with our son Wes in 2017 and in 2001.Our wonderful Olive was born on April Fool’s Day 2001, and she has been bringing us joy ever since. Officially Ardara Wild Blue Olive, she is the offspring of Ch Torum’s Scarf Michael and Ch Andover Ravishing Ruby. Olive’s destiny with us was always to be a family dog, despite her high-achieving lineage, but she had a few early forays into the show ring, where her loveliness was noted, as well as her love of being a carefree goofball.It’s hard to pinpoint the key to Olive’s longevity, but she has had a happy, stress-free life. For many of her years she took long daily walks, often 3 miles a day, and she has always been lean and agile. Now, however, she has slowed down considerably, and she dictates whether a walk will be down the block or just down the path to the street and back. Always a picky eater, she maintained a diet of changing varieties of high-quality kibble for much of her life — in her later years she (we!) lapsed a bit, allowing more treats and and a bit more people-food (she is crazy about pizza crusts!). Now, in her advanced age, she often chooses not to eat, so we are getting more creative with specially cooked meat and other things she will like, just to keep the calories coming.We would never describe Olive as laid back — she is fierce, fun-loving, and always watching out for the family (if we’re all in different rooms, she parks herself at the mid-point of the house in an attempt to keep tabs on everyone at once).Her only health issues during most of her life were pesky sebaceous cysts, which were generally removed by her vet or by us, when possible. As she neared 15 years, other age-related issues started to arise — weight loss and boniness, excessive thirst that indicated kidney issues (managed fairly well by a diet of kidney-friendly dry and wet food), a few eye infections, and declining hearing and eyesight. She still manages well, but since turning 16 she has slowed down, more wobbly on her feet and saggy in her back legs. Despite all this, she has not required many visits to the vet — we did try three sessions of acupuncture, which helped all of her issues to some extent and provided some good advice from a skilled practitioner. Though it is hard to watch her slow down and struggle with old age, we wouldn’t trade a minute that we’ve had with our darling Olive — hope you have the same long and wonderful experience with your Kerry!
Karen, Robert, and Wesley Holtermann