Oliver’s remarkable twist

If you’re looking for an urban miracle, it doesn’t get any better than the story about Oliver. Let me tell it to you.

Seeing him for the first time, it was difficult to believe that an animal in this condition could remain alive. He was first spotted in the outskirts of Athens, Greece. His rescuers knew it was going to be next to impossible to get close to him and they waited for the right opportunity (if one ever was to come). Months later, it was only because Oliver had given up on life that they were able to catch him.

The video footage of Oliver at the moment of his rescue in September 2014 is heartbreaking. His entire body is the texture of cracked stone. He’s lifeless. He has surrendered to death. There’s little hope that this dog would survive even the car trip to hospital.

The image that hit the internet was of a little creature, wrapped up in a blue blanket, at the back of a car. No one expected the story to have a happy ending.

At hospital, it was touch and go. His list of ailments was, as you would expect, long and dire. You name it he had it. But his vital signs were good, so that gave some hope. As it turns out, Oliver was less than a year old – so much misery for a dozen months on this planet.

Then, one day, he stopped eating. By this stage, Oliver had developed quite a following on social media. When news broke out that Oliver had refused food, a collective wave of support ensued. “You’re a fighter, Oliver!” was the clear message.

And he was. He began to eat again. In fact, as it turned out, he couldn’t stop eating! And then he did something for the first time. His tail started to wag. For those around him at that time, seeing this – the ultimate sign of happiness and gratitude – was overwhelming. You could see him battling his demons. He wanted to trust the humans in front of him. He would take a cautious step forward, then retreat back.

Oliver grew from strength to strength. He spent a lot of time in hospital under the proper care. His tail definitely worked! It was the first part of his body to show confidence. Bang, bang, bang it would hit whatever was in its way.

He was released from hospital and went to live with a foster carer. Not just any carer, this lady was among the best. In her capable hands, Oliver has turned into a handsome, affectionate and happy little creature. He loves cuddles and hanging out with people. And has other dog friends. Above all, he is healthy and safe.

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