The death of a dog is never a time to celebrate. Not ever. But, what if that dog's death can sweep through the hearts of enough people that a major change comes about, which means no dog will ever have to suffer in a puppy mill again? While we wouldn't celebrate the dog's passing, we would be all out fandangling over-the-moon-and-back happy over their legacy of awakening change. Especially if the dog in question had suffered most of their years on earth in the crazy world of human cruelty that is the puppy mill industry. It would be a tall order for any dog to leave this kind of legacy, but if there's a dog who might just impact sufficient numbers of hearts and mind, it's Lil Olive who died this weekend in Colorado.
Lil Olive, a fragile, tiny, Italian greyhound, was rescued in 2011 from a Missouri puppy mill after spending twelve years in a small wire cage, being bred successively and forced to churn out her puppies for sale in the puppy trade. For twelve years her world was contained within the wire mesh of the mill where she suffered physical pain, neglect, trauma and emotional agony. All this, as her life as the companion she should have been, for all those years was kept from her. But her stunted, scarred, abused body hid an enormous, strong spirit which kept her alive, and just about well enough to get out to freedom when her rescuers came.
When she was first adopted by Pam, it wasn't at all certain that Lil Olive would have long to enjoy her freedom before death would steal her away. She'd suffered dreadfully in her years in the puppy breeding industry, and the grim toll it took on her body was hard. She had lumps, scars, bad hips, tumors, a mouthful of rotten teeth and a large mammary tumor. But, Lil Olive decided that she was going nowhere fast once she settled into her first and only home and came to enjoy a handful of years of untold love and perfect care with Pam and her family.