Adopted Dog Helps College Student Get Her Start

Olivia was a college student when she gave Ollie a loving home. From graduation to engagement and the start of Olivia’s career, Ollie has been by her side.

Olivia + Ollie

When Olivia moved into her first college apartment, she longed for a dog to keep her company. A dog named Ollie quickly became her best study buddy, offering love, support, and constant companionship.

"I can’t imagine how we lived without him. I also could not imagine a future without him because I know that no matter what my life holds for me, Ollie will be by my side."

In my sophomore year of college, at the age of 19, I moved into my first apartment. As someone who had lived with dogs ever since I could remember, I found my apartment far too quiet and lonely without one. I knew my parents would never allow my childhood dog Junior, a scrappy red-haired dachshund, to come live with me. So, I started looking for a new friend to be by my side while I navigated the ups and downs of college life.

I knew I wanted to adopt a dog at my local shelter and the first place I looked was the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. As I was scrolling through pictures of the dogs at the shelter, I saw a picture of a long-nosed dog with the curliest ears I had ever seen. Instantly I knew he was the dog for me, and I couldn’t wait to go meet him in person.

After my class the next day, I raced to the Humane Society and got there just minutes after they opened. The bond I felt with this dog was instant. Ever since I took him home that day, we have been inseparable. I named him Ollie, also known as “bubby,” “Mr. mans,” and “Oliver” when he is in trouble.

Throughout college, Ollie slept in my lap as I studied for exams, greeted me in the window as I came back from class, and was my buddy on road trips back home. He was there to make me laugh when I was sad and always had a way to comfort me when I was feeling stressed out. Ollie was next to me when I graduated from college this past December, was there when my now-fiancé proposed and has become an integral part of our small family.

To anyone who knows Ollie, he is quite the character, and I’m pretty sure he thinks he is human. He goes through phases of likes and dislikes, energetic bursts, and restful naps; one thing that is always true, though, is that he is the most loyal dog full of unconditional love.

It is amazing how much joy Ollie has brought to me and my fiancé over the past three years. It is to the point where we joke that there was no time before Ollie because we simply can’t imagine how we lived without him. I also could not imagine a future without him because I know that no matter what my life holds for me, Ollie will be by my side.

As I am writing this, it is noon and I’m at my desk where I work from home. Where is Ollie now? He’s still sleeping in our bed with his head on my pillow. Like a teenager, he sleeps in late like this every day. Even fast asleep and snoring, he keeps me company and makes our house truly feel like a home.

Each year, Petco Love Stories invites adopters to share how their pets have changed their lives to give the organizations that they’ve adopted from the chance to receive grant awards. This story by Olivia won Humane Society of Tampa Bay in Tampa, Florida a 2021 Love Stories award.