"My Buddy & Me" is a 10 question interview series providing an inside look into the special relationships between pet parents and their four legged family members. If you are interested in having us interview you and tell the story of you and your pet, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
John H and Oliver, his 6 y/o Terrier from he rescued from Bitches and Barks on Melrose and Fairfax in Los Angeles have bravely stepped in to the hot seat to be the second interview for “My Buddy & Me”. Watch their story and/or read the entire interview below.
Who do we have here with you?
Hey guys, my name is John and this is Oliver…He’s about to turn six years old, his birthday is next week. I got him when he was three months old, so we’ve been together pretty much his whole life. He’s the best dog in the world, I call it winning dog lottery and he’s a real sweet little guy. He gets in to trouble, he looks cute and he’s smart, so he knows how to play you but he’s a real sweetheart….just like his dad!
What made you decide to get pet?
So, I was living in New York City at the time, uh with a long term girlfriend and I love New York and she didn’t love it at all. She wanted to move to Los Angeles. I said, I will be happy to move to Los Angeles with you as long as we get a dog when we get there. because I had been pestering her for years because I had never grown up with one, I always wanted one…she agreed and we got to Los Angeles and within the first three weeks, I was like okay, it’s time for you to hold up your end of the bargain. She said, well you have to get a job first. So I went out, I had a list of 10 different jobs, interviews and went to the first one and it was super easy….I thought they hired me; which later turned out they didn’t hire me and they never called me back. I immediately went to this place Barks and Bitches on off of Melrose near Fairfax. They would do adoptions there and I saw Oliver in the back. Way back in the cage. He was the only one that wasn’t playing and I said that’s him. So it was really, I had premeditated the decision to get a dog, but it was the best decision, I’ve made.
What made you decide on your dog’s name?
What made me decide on Oliver ‘s name is, I uhhhh, I’m an actor. I do a lot of musical theatre, especially as a kid and I do now as an adult. And he was an orphan, he was left tied to an abandon house when he was 3 months old, that’s what they told me when I adopted him. So I thought, well he’s an orphan, he looks like a scruffy little guy….So I named him after Oliver Twist.
What’s your favorite thing about having a dog?
I have a lot of favorite things about having Oliver. I think the first one is, I guess its cliché, but when I come home every day, he bolts to the door he’s just so excited to see me. I don’t think anyone in my entire life has been that excited to see me. When I walk into a room at all, and he always is he’s constantly making me laugh. Just with his facial expressions. You know I kind of raised him, I talk to him like I talk to human, you know like things like “Now why are you doing that? C’mon you know better then that. I think you should reevaluate.” He seems to understand because we’ve been talking to him like that since we’ve had him. He like cocks his head to the side, he just makes me laugh, he’s great company….and he’s just my best friend.
The scariest thing that Oliver has ever done, which maybe now I can laugh about it, a little bit more but at the time I saw no humor in it at all. Umm… I recently broken up with my girlfriend I had gotten Oliver with and I moved in with a friend. A friend of mine Lindsay…big stoner…big stoner…and we were both out of the house and we both came home at the same time time and she had a whole bag of pot cookies (I want to say there were like four of them in there) And Oliver is notorious for eating almost anything. He loves to get in to trouble and eat. ANYTHING. We came home and saw that the bag was torn apart, like his usual trail of evidence and all the pot cookies were gone. And he was loopy, out of his mind just kind of walking around. He didn’t get sick or anything but it scared the crap out of me because I didn’t know what to think about it at that time. She thought was hilarious. I didn’t. I think he still might actually be stoned from it and that was like three years ago.
What is your favorite memory with Oliver?
My favorite memory with Oliver and there are a lot of them, but this, this is my favorite for many reasons. You know they say dogs just know things…without, they just have sense, they know things… when the woman I got him with and I split after six years…umm I was really sad and I got custody of him. I wasn’t about to let that go. I was a real mess just kind of laying around, just droopy, depressed and …he would always come up to me. I remember this one specific instance. This will sounds crazy…I’m admitting this I don’t know why…I was sitting on the ground, kind of with my head on the couch, just like a mess and he would just come up on to the couch and put his head on the back of my neck and he would lay there with me for what seemed like an hour (although I’m sure it wasn’t that long)…but that, I think, albeit depressing was and is my favorite memory.
What is the most challenging thing for you being a pet parent?
The most challenging thing for me, I think, is dividing my time equally with working and social life and being out and dividing that with him spending time with him, making sure he gets,,, fed on time, making sure he goes out for his walks, keeping him healthy and it’s hard and make surehe gets there. I’m sure he goes out for his walks and keeping him healthy. It was hard when I was living by myself. It was hard to balance that. To make sure I’m home at the right times, race home to go back somewhere else. just to make sure he was happy and not feel guilty about leaving him home all day. And now that I have two roommates, it’s a lot easier because they love him, just as much, so he gets attention from everybody and they are really good about being there to help me, let him out or feed him whenever I need them to. So I guess the most challenging thing is readjusting lifestyle.
They say pets and their owners start to look alike. When you look at Oliver, does anything resemble you or vice versa?
I love this question because people talk about it a lot, I’ve heard. And you can see it. If you go up to Runyon Canyon, just walking up Runyon you can see people with their dogs, they look so much a like. It’s actually quite funny and they act like them too. I think when I look at Oliver, I just got my haircut but it used to be real long and shaggy and we looked a lot alike… same kind of bone structure, same kind of coloring, and while I let my beard get real shaggy it’s a lot like his. So I think when I look at his face and his long legs, he’s kind of lanky… we look, a lot alike. I always used to say, Oliver resembles his father, he must get that from me. [Laughs} And sometimes when he looks confused about something, if he doesn’t understand what I’m saying… I will give the same expression people have told me. Or in the mornings, he sleeps in bed with me and when we wake up, I’ll find that we are sleeping in the same position…it’s pretty funny.
How has Having a Pet Changed you?
Well it’s definitely given me a sense of responsibility that I think I was severely lacking. Before I got him I was kinda fly by the seat of my pants. Moment to moment, like didn’t really care much about….many things other than myself. In fairness I was young then. It’s changed me the most because it’s given me a real sense of responsibility and nurturing and love and……………that to me, is invaluable. Because I think those are lessons, if I ever have children one day. those are lessons I’m glad I learned now so I at least know that a dog and a baby are not the same thing, but in essence the same sort of nurturing, care and love is there. So what I’ve learned with him, especially being my first dog, my first pet, I can take that and apply it, when and if I ever do have children. As to, how to care for them, make sure they’re fed [Laughs] ..you know make sure they have gone to the bathroom. Make sure that they are happy and feeling loved. So I think for me, that’s what I call “A thank me for that later”, so if I ever have children down the line, I’ll thank myself later for the fact that I had Oliver to teach me.
Paws Up to John and Oliver for joining us and sharing their stories for our My Buddy & Me vlog series. If you’re friends with John and you love Oliver, connect with them on DoggyBnB and become part of their pet family. You’ll be able to help John out when he needs a pet sitter, dog walker or someone to feed Oliver when he can’t. DoggyBnB is available for download on the iTunes store.