How did Dublin Bay get started? Well, Oliver, Hardy, and Henry, of course!
Hardy (more commonly referred to as Pandy) showed up on my doorstep in 1995. A bruiser with bad legs, he turned to mush whenever his name was called. He was known to hug me when I picked him up, and would run as fast as his little legs would take him when it was “tuny time.”
Oliver (Ollie Bunny, Ollie Otter Pop, Ollie B, Ollie o’ Bunny, Couga Bunny and the list goes on and on) found me at the University of Virginia in the summer of 1991. He was starving and all on his own, scrounging for scraps in the apartment complex dumpsters. My housemates and I tried to get him to come to us for weeks that summer, but to no avail. Finally, one day in August, as I walked home from another boring class, I spied Ollie sitting on his rock. I bent down and called to him, expecting him to walk or run off as he usually did. That day he chose me by running over and jumping into my lap, nearly knocking me over. He’s been my true love since that day, traveling with me from one apartment to the next, from Charlottesville, Virginia to Portland, Oregon. I am still convinced that he is the only gentleman to ever come out of the University of Virginia, though that’s just one Seattleite’s opinion. Ollie has been forever immortalized in my first novel, Oliver Astray in the Emerald City. Though it has gone through two name changes since it was first shopped around to agents and publishers, it will always be that to me, and hopefully, one day it will be published.
One September day in 2002, Hardy was diagnosed with a salivary gland carcinoma — cancer. We spent months in the waiting room of Portland Veterinary Oncology Clinic pursuing radiation treatments and chemotherapy. I’d tried knitting before, but it didn’t stick until he got sick. I taught myself on little things like baby booties, just to keep my mind occupied. Hardy would curl up next to me on the couch while I knitted and he healed. We had lots of quiet, quality time there on the sofa that winter.
Sadly, Hardy passed away a year later on December 3, 2003. That same day, Ollie underwent surgery to remove his spleen. He was diagnosed with mast cells — more cancer, and so back to the cancer clinic we went. This time it was chemotherapy and lots more hanging around the waiting room and lots more anxious knitting. Ollie went on to fight off the cancer for the next 4 1/2 YEARS (and counting), and is still with me, for now. His treatments have concluded, and he can have all the tuna he wants. He spends most of his days following sunny patches around our townhouse, but spends every night on the corner of my bed. Lately he’s been sleeping on my lap too — Tricia
Ollie Bunny passed away on November 8, 2008 in Tricia’s arms. He put up the bravest of fights against an enemy we couldn’t see. He was just 11 days shy of marking 5 years as a cancer survivor. He will be forever loved and sorely missed by all he touched in his 18 years of life. Rest in peace in a lovely sunny patch, Ollie B, you’re the love of my life and will always be my Honey Bunny — Tricia
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