For nearly 800 days, Olympia has called APA! home. As one of our dearest long stays, Olympia has become the heart and soul of our Town Lake Animal Center. From her beaming smile to how she radiates love when she sees her favorite people, Olympia shows us that there is always joy to be found even in our most trying times.
This precious girl first came to us in March of 2017 as a transport from Austin Animal Center when it became clear to their staff that Olympia would need some extra support before finding a home that fits her needs. Easily overwhelmed, Olympia deals with something that many of us humans deal with as well: anxiety. Thankfully, the Austin Pets Alive! Dog Behavior team is more than equipped to help dogs like Olympia find ways to work through, and cope with, their behavioral quirks.
After some time was spent getting to know her, our team created a TOP Dog training plan for Olympia. A lover of treats and affection, Olympia became a TOP Dog star. And while fame is always lovely, this status meant that Olympia was on her way to becoming the best companion we all knew she could be. In December of 2017, Olympia's first family saw that in her as well and brought her home.
Things for Olympia were not easy at first. Like most humans, adjustment periods can bring about additional stressors. Olympia was no longer in her “normal” environment. She was now in the comfort of a home, and as amazing as that is, that doesn’t replace the feelings of confusion or a wavering sense of security, like any individual may feel.
By the time February rolled around, though, things had begun to fall into place. Her pawrents shared with us that she loved car rides and “was very affectionate and snuggly once she was comfortable.” Although prone to stranger danger (moms everywhere would be proud to know that Olympia was adamant about not taking treats from strangers!) she quickly warmed up to anyone after a few sniffs and welcomed scritches. In particular, Olympia was a guardian angel to the couple’s child, who she became close with.
Unfortunately, those ties were broken in August of that same year when the couple learned that the wife would be stationed in Germany. With the husband’s work schedule needing him to travel often, causing Olympia to be boarded nearly every other week, they made the tough decision to bring Olympia back to APA! to give her a chance to find a family who would give her the time she needed to flourish.
At APA!, we recognize that this decision is never easy, especially once a pet becomes an integral part of one’s family. When this decision is made, though, and a pet has to be returned to us, we will always take that pet in with open arms. So Olympia was integrated back into her life at the shelter. Since we knew this would be another stress-provoking change, Olympia went through numerous behavior consults to help with her anxiety and resulting behavioral quirks. It was during this time that our team began noticing cysts all over Olympia’s body.
When you give to APA!, you are supporting lifesaving programs such as our Medical Triage and Wellness Center. Because of our clinic, Olympia was able to receive the biopsy needed to alleviate our fears that this was not cancer. Instead, Olympia, like many Austinites, suffers from severe allergies. In order to keep Olympia as comfortable as possible, our medical team has continued to monitor Olympia’s condition to ensure she is receiving the treatment plan that works best for her. Despite her allergies, Olympia still continues to be the happy, go-lucky girl our staff knows her as!
In April of 2019, Olympia’s APA! team once again said their goodbyes when Olympia went to her second adoptive home. Unfortunately,Olympia’s anxiety intensified, and she began exhibiting symptoms of severe storm anxiety. Since this wasn’t something her adopter felt he was equipped to manage, he brought Olympia back home to APA!. This is a pattern that many of our long-stays endure; and while our teams do their best to prepare every adopter with the knowledge they need to care for these special pups, we recognize that it takes a very special person to be able to understand them and see them for who they are, past the behaviors that have kept them at the shelter. And we also recognize that this takes a certain amount of time that not everyone has available to them.
If your APA! Pup is experiencing behavioral challenges, please consult our dog behavior team for free, 1:1 lessons with one of our canine trainers. We also provide a list here of trusted local dog trainers in the area.
Today, Olympia is being fostered by Dianne Baker as APA! navigates through the current pandemic facing our community. An all-star APA! Volunteer, Dianne has known Olympia for years and the two have become close friends.
As someone who knows her best, Dianne has a pretty solid idea of the perfect home set up for Olympia:
In conclusion, Dianne has nothing but love in her heart for Olympia, and knows that Olympia feels the same about her and her people: “I love how animated and affectionate she is. There is nothing better than waking up to doggie kisses first thing in the morning! She snuggles all night with me and she doesn't snore. You know she loves you by the look in her eyes. Her deep stare melts your heart. She melts my heart everyday!”
If you think that you, or someone you know, has the perfect home setup for Olympia, then please click here to contact us. Every APA! staff member and volunteer who has had the pleasure of getting to know Olympia has absolutely fallen for her sweet eyes and joyous smile – and we’re certain that given the chance, you will too.