Oliver’s Chance Encounter


Oliver is a confident soul for such a small  fellow without much experience in the Wild Wood.  Nevertheless, he set out one day to see what there is to see in the wide wide world. He probably left home, trotting off with much enthusiasm  for what the trek would hold for him. He probably never glanced back, because he was so excited by what lay ahead of him. With his eyes on the horizon, he just followed his nose and began a new story.

In our story, The Wind in the Willows, Mole took just such a trip for himself. “It all seemed too good to be true. Hither and Thither through the meadows he rambled busily, along the hedgerows, across the copses, finding everywhere birds building, flowers budding, leaves thrusting- everything happy, and progressive, and occupied. He could only feel how jolly it was to be the only idle dog among all those busy citizens.”

I can picture Oliver, wandering and prancing on his way to nowhere in particular. What a fun first day he must have had with all of the new sights and sounds! But, as the day came to a close and the sun began to rest for the evening, his tummy must have begun to speak to him and the shadows must have begun to creep closer. Car sounds, a lawn mower, golf carts whizzing by him……everything took on new proportions and Oliver must have begun to realize that he had been bewitched, entranced and fascinated with his trek that day, but as night drew near, it was no longer spell binding to be small, lost and alone. Tired at last, he curled up under a bush, wishing for supper.

The next day and the next and the next unfolded into a worrisome situation for a Oliver. Clearly, many days passed and things were getting grave. He had become pitifully thin and his hair had matted completely over his eyes, blocking his sight. The world, which originally seemed so welcoming and safe had become a maze of fields, fences and people shooing him away. His trusting nature was now more guarded and his anxiety was running high. Then, just in the nick of time, he had a Chance Encounter.

Chris is a friend of ours who always has a eye out for an animal in need. Her cohort, Judi and she rescue small dogs through VIP Rescue. One right after another they comfort them, clean them up, provide veterinary care and place them in loving forever homes. So, how coincidental was it that day when Oliver went skittering by Chris’s house looking lost and scared? Chris convinced him that she was one of the good guys and he came cautiously walking into her arms. After weeks of TLC to put some much needed flesh back onto his bones, Oliver now has the twinkle back in his eye. He’s healthy and happy again. He appears to be very grateful for his Chance Encounter with Chris!

What have I learned from Oliver? Well, Mole’s friend Ratty said it best, “Nothing seems really to matter, that’s the charm of it. Whether you get away, or whether you don’t; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all. ”  I think Oliver’s lesson for us might be that we do not know yet where we will find happiness tomorrow. We seek and sometimes happiness is illusive. But when your instinct tells you that the Chance Encounter before you is one that will make you happy; walk into those symbolic open arms and be happy. We all deserve that, especially little Oliver.

Just for today, Oliver is safe, sound and happy where he is. If you would like to be a part of his continuing journey contact Chris at coopersmithchristie@gmail.com for the details on how to adopt this rollicking fun filled little grey beard who makes everyone he encounters smile.


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