Ollie was a true rescue pup. In 1998 his biological Mother, a red headed Golden Retriever and eight babies were, intentionally, left to die in a garage on a 100 degree day in August. Ladue Rabies Control kindly picked them up and rescue took them in. The pups were only 5 weeks old and they all came into foster care with seizures and high temperatures. God saw fit to only take one of the babies and all were adopted, except one. He was the last pick. His foster Mom even thought he was sort of a “dufus” and that he might be better off staying with her. Over time his Mother began to realize that Ollie had special talents. He had a tremendous drive for chasing tennis balls which wasn’t unusual for a Retriever. However, even at a very young age he would go out in the woods and find the exact ball that had been thrown – even if there were ten others out there. And, if it took him 30 minutes to find “that” specific ball, he wouldn’t give up.
Ollie’s Mom tried to get him involved in search and rescue, but it wasn’t until after 911 that some civilian groups popped up. In 2003 the two of them became members of Gateway Search Dogs, Inc., and, in 2005 Ollie became one of four nationally certified, wilderness search and rescue dogs in the State of Missouri. This certification had been achieved by less than 200 canines in the nation.
Ollie had to go to the Rainbow Bridge on July 19, 2006, but not without leaving his mark. He was called out several times to search for lost and missing persons. Although he never had an actual “find”, on his very first search he gave a perfect indication that the subject had recently been in the area. After the subject was located safe and sound, the police relayed that Ollie had been right on target. His zest for life will be missed by all who knew him. And, his Mom wants to thank “Jolly Ollie” for all the hours of training and the joy, love and friendship he gave her – to be surpassed by none.