Literary Pet of January: Oliver

This is Catapult’s literary pet of the month column. Stay tuned each month for new bookish animal friends!

I thought getting a dog would be a lot like getting a really reliable alarm clock. I expected to be woken up early for walks! I thought I’d finally be on time to work! I had this whole idea of what my morning routine with a dog would look like: me, suddenly athletic, jogging through Prospect Park and around Union Square with my favorite workout buddy. (When Alicia was the editorial fellow at Lit Hub and Grizz was our office dog, they made it look so easy!) Of course the way it actually happened is that I adopted a dog in December, when the weather is miserable and therefore not suitable for jogging. And although Oliver doesn’t look anything like me (he is bony, lithe, foxlike; possibly some sort of terrier/chihuaua/shiba inu/corgi mix), he is like me in one way: he’s a little lazy. A homebody. Seriously, I have to haul him out of bed in the morning and most days, he’s content with sleeping in and resting in my lap while I read or while we watch Younger and eat peanut butter straight out of the jar.

The good thing about this, though, is that it means Oliver (loosely named after Oliver Twist) is an excellent Lit Hub office dog. He fits conveniently into a Joan Didion tote and is silent on the subway. He passes most of the day snoozing in his bed next to my desk. Except for when the mailman comes. Then he participates in the age-old tradition of canine versus mail-carrier. Around lunchtime, you can find him in the kitchen, surrounded by his doting fans, trying desperately to snag the food left on their plates. (I can’t tell you how much Christmas ham he ate at the Grove Atlantic holiday party.)

Before becoming a New Yorker, Oliver was found in Texas, malnourished and with burn marks on his back. Although he is skittish around tall men with glasses (welcome to Brooklyn, buddy), he is warming up handsomely to his life here, teaching us all a little something about learning to trust and love again, and helping to bolster the Book Marks Instagram with his good looks. (More like Book Barks, amirite?) 

Oliver has an instagram! You can see more adorable pictures and follow him here.