Margie Oliff – A tale of puppy love

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 30, 2001

Features Editor

Margie Oliff grew up in rural Pike County and she remembers always having "yard dogs," running around waiting for a pat on their heads or scraps thrown to them from the supper table.

"We’d never heard of a dog living in the house," she said, laughing. "Dogs were supposed to live outside and people were supposed to live inside. We loved our dogs, but they weren’t a big part of our lives."

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Mrs. Oliff had an affection for animals, but she never really thought about them loving her.

When she was married with a family of her own, her three sons had dogs at different times, most of them yard dogs, but she did allow one house dog – a Pekingese.

"He was a funny little dog," she said. "He was a house dog, and I kind of got used to that. He would get in the bed with the boys and scoot down under the covers – all the way to the bottom of the bed. After a while, he would sneak back up and sleep the rest of the night with his little head on the pillow – just like the boys."

When there came a time in Mrs. Oliff’s life that she was living alone, the house often seemed very quiet, "too quiet."

"I needed something to make noise," she said.

By chance, a little noise-maker came her way.

"A neighbor was in need of $90 and he had a little puppy he put up for sale," Mrs. Oliff said. "I gave him $100 for it – because he was in need of money. The puppy was about a month old and she fit right in my hands if I cupped them together."

Mrs. Oliff took the little Pomeranian home – and in the house – and fell in love with the prissy little pup overnight.

A couple of days later, when the man was no longer in need, he approached Mrs. Oliff and asked for the dog back.

But, she had bought the pup, fair and square, and she was "attached to her and not about to let go."

"She was the prissiest little puppy I had ever seen, so I named her ‘Prissy’ and it just fits her," Mrs. Oliff said.

Prissy grew into a mature Pomie, with a couple of litters to her credit, and grew even closer to her mistress.

"When my doctor told me that I couldn’t live by myself anymore because of my health, I thought, ‘What about Prissy? She can’t go to a nursing home with me,’" Mrs. Oliff said. "Prissy and I had been best friends for four years and I just didn’t think I could live without her. Leaving Prissy worried me more than leaving home."

Mrs. Oliff turned Prissy over to a friend, whom she trusted to love and care for her.

"Honey, child, I bawled my eyes out when I had to leave Prissy," she said. "I just didn’t think I could stand it."

Fortunately, the administrators and staff at Pike Manor Health Care Center allowed Mrs. Oliff to have Prissy come live with her.

"They called my friend, Cleo Thompson, and told her that I could have Prissy with me and she brought her right out here," Mrs. Oliff said. "I was the happiest thing in the world. I love Prissy and she loves me back. Puppy love is wonderful."

Prissy is right at home at Pike Manor. She is a constant companion for Mrs. Oliff and she has made a lot of friends among the residents.

Mrs. Oliff said it may be true that dogs are man’s best friend and diamonds are a girls’ best friend, but she wouldn’t trade one prissy little pup for all the diamonds in the world.