The other day I was making an evening trek down the side of Runyon Canyon, and I found myself thinking “I would really like something great to write an article about” hmmm I pondered, what will it be? Upon the completion of this thought, I met Oliver.
Rounding the base of the Canyon, heading out the gates, there was little Oliver James. Proudly and happily wagging his tail and greeting new friends with his owner, Laura Kody. I saw a table loaded with fresh and yummy snacks, and a donation bucket that stated “Help Save Oliver James.” I had to know more about it, so I approached Laura who informed me of his story.
In an interview with Laura, I found out that Oliver was a pup that was mothered by a dog Laura herself had rescued while pregnant. She came across the dog via an add on craigslist and when she found her, she was in rough shape to say the least. With lack of food, water, care, and pregnant on top of it, Laura had reservations about the rescue based on the dogs condition. However, she knew that if she didn’t do it, there was a good chance no one else would.
Laura, a dog trainer by trade, had the hope in mind of rehabilitating the dog and training the puppies from birth. A sort of “loving service” that would also hopefully prove that much about a puppies mannerism and behavior skills come from the environment in which they were raised and cared for. What Laura wasn’t expecting, was a sick little Oliver.
“Oliver has two life threatening diseases (hypertrophic Osteo-dystrophy and Craniomandibular Osteopathy) that he has been suffering from all of his life. The last 9 months of his life have been a constant fight to keep him out of pain and sickness, but he is not improving. His conditions are supposed to stabilize between 8-11 months and he is now 11 months old, which is not good news. He suffers from painful joint deformities, a jaw that is calcified shut, dwarfism, and severe emaciation, despite all of our best efforts. I am lucky to have a vet that cares and is trying his best to make things affordable for me, but we have agreed that if he does not improve we might have to make some terrible decisions. Our best hope is to get him strong enough for us to attempt surgery on his jaw so he can use it, for without it I am solely responsible to bottle feed him every ounce of food and water he consumes. The surgery would be thousands of dollars so that is a bit of a barrier as well.
The good news is that he has spirit. He is a brilliant and sweet dog who wants to live, and I love him so much. He thumps his tail on the ground every time I look at him, even though I know it is taking all of his strength.” says Laura.
Some would say, he is “just an animal”, or he is suffering “put him down” … but luckily for Oliver, he found Laura, who sees his heart, and believes in him. Many humans, and animals have faced pain, obstacles to overcome, and struggles. I am not sure about you, but I don’t think that anyone has the right to define the value of a life, be it large, human, animal, or small.
So, if Oliver is a happy, healthy pup, who could in fact live a normal and wonderful life with this surgery and continued love and care, then I say lets rally to support him! If money is our only obstacle between the potential for Oliver to experience a long and full life of companionship with Laura, then why wouldn’t we go there is more of the question in my mind, then why we would.
Most people would have stopped fighting for Oliver long ago, and so I find myself marvelling at Laura’s strength, courage, and dedication to save and love Oliver. We could appreciate more of that passion in this wonderous world!
Here is how you can help!
Oliver is having a benefit concert tomorrow night!
“Puppies, Art, & Music”
October 6th at 7pm
1436 S. Main St.
with performances by:
& Green Horse
It is FREE – but Donations are obviously TOTALLY appreciated!
You can also donate funds and find out more by visiting:
or food/care products etc. by contacting Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org
Live Holistic Los Angeles, Help Save Oliver!
by Ashley Davene