Saying goodbye to an old friend

29 Jun

RIP Oscar 2007 – 2012

This is a post that I didn’t want to write for a while, it hurt to acknowledge – to take the time to think about.

Over the past month I have been thinking about this a lot and have decided that I need to take a moment to honour our friend Oscar and let you all know of his passing.

Oscar was Stephen and I’s first baby, we adopted him about a month after our wedding, he was so small and cute, only five and a half weeks old (reflecting back -way to young to have been separated from his mommy). We heard about him through friends at work who had known someone who knew someone else who had a little of cute lab/collie puppies (In actuality we think he was mixed with wolfhound, he was very tall, handsome and weighed over 120lb). We had made arrangements to adopt a girl puppy, but when we got there we noticed a very special puppy, one who was actually staring at us – Oscar.

Oscar the day we brought him home

Oscar was our baby – he loved spending time with us, we took him on all sorts of road trips and he always loved visiting with his grandma and grandpa.

As a baby pup he got up to all sorts of trouble, he loved to dine on our shoes and at times even snack on our walls. We had a great time with him, he got us outside playing, he brought a lot of joy and fun into our lives.

Oscar Snoozing

When he was six months old disaster struck, Oscar ingested a pair of my fanciest underwear after having gotten into our laundry. Later that day they did pass but not without doing deadly damage – Oscar began deteriorating fast and it quickly became shockingly apparent that he was dying. Stephen and I rushed him to an animal hospital on the other side of town where they were able to admit him into surgery for his intussesception. Leaving him there broke my heart, I had desperately wanted to stay by his side but we could only go home and wait. The next day we received news that everything had gone well and that he was recovering. Stephen and I were so happy we couldn’t wait to take him home again.

Days later we returned to the animal hospital expecting to pick up a tired and weak dog, but like a bullet from hell Oscar pulled the veterinary assistant towards us and Oscar promptly told us off for leaving him there.

As Oscar aged he began to develop allergies, by age one we had already visited the vet for paw infections, eye infections, ear infections and various skin issues. It was a constant cycle, once one reaction was under control another one would pop up. We changed his diet, we gave him antihistamine injections, pills, special baths and skin oils but nothing really helped.

As the years rolled by the allergies increased in intensity so much that the only relief was felt during the coldest winter months, buying him some happiness from November through to February, not to say that he wasn’t still suffering but at least it was more manageable and he could walk without being plagued with itching fits.

When I was pregnant, Oscar was always by my side. As I changed, so did he, the bigger I got the gentler he treated me. This was huge since he was so HUGE and pranced around like a 10 pound terrier. It wasn’t unusual for him to step on your toes to get somewhere he wanted to go. But like I said, when I was pregnant he treated me differently. He would lie with his head near my stomach, listening to his sister dance in my belly.

Hanging out with his newborn sister

Oscar was a great big brother to Lauren, he loved her so much. Only she could get a morning kiss from him, and we didn’t have to worry too much about him with her, he seemed almost scared of hurting her and would always keep a great distance. Obviously he knew that there was a new Alpha in town.

Lauren was thrilled that her brother decided to sit with her

As time passed and Lauren got sicker, Oscar seemed to as well. His allergies plagued him worse than ever over the past year. Nothing we did seemed to help him or relieve him or his suffering. The more he suffered the more aggressive he became – he wasn’t horribly aggressive towards us but he began going after strangers on walks or anyone who dared visit from outside of our family.

The past year we had a very mild winter, this was great news for most of us. For Oscar, the mild weather was a sentence to pain and suffering. by May he had chewed his skin raw and his beautiful coat was bald with gaping wounds. He couldn’t walk four feet without trying to itch himself, and he began crying through the night. We tried to think of way that would help him, but we had exhausted our options. We had dog insurance that had allowed us to afford many different treatments but they had all failed, poor Oscar was suffering. It broke my heart, but we couldn’t let him continue like this.

Making the decision to let Oscar go peacefully was so hard, with one child already dying it seemed so wrong to decide to end another ones life. Sure he’s a doggie, but he was our son, our first baby and all I wanted in my life was to comfort him and to love him. Love – that is how I decided, I truly loved him, I couldn’t let him suffer anymore – it was horribly unfair.

Steve and I were with him at the end, i lay on the vet floor with him, holding him until the end. When he was gone, I broke down into storm of tears, apologizing to him over and over. I pressed my head into his fur and held him close, I never wanted to let go.

Oscar was a great dog, I wish that we could have done something to save him.

Stephen said something to me that I think of all of the time and wanted to share, he said that “Oscar came into our lives and he prepared us for having a baby, now he was helping us to prepare to lose Lauren.”

I’m sure that he will take great care of Lauren when she meets him in Heaven.

I love and miss you everyday Oscar xoxo

Oscar with Steve at 10 weeks old

Mommy’s Turn! Oscar and I at 10 weeks old

Oscar’s favorite place (Angel Woods) with his favourite Gal

And another shot with his daddy

We will always love you Oscaroo!


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8 Responses to “Saying goodbye to an old friend”

  1. Tina Plate June 29, 2012 at 6:03 PM #

    RIP Oscar. He was a fantastic dog the one time I met him.

  2. Lillian June 29, 2012 at 6:12 PM #

    So Sorry Amanda, Stephen, its so tragic, Love Lillian xx

  3. Michelle June 29, 2012 at 6:33 PM #

    So sorry for your loss. Animals are truly members of our families and loosing them hurts so much. He’s looking over your family now.

  4. Ben June 29, 2012 at 7:03 PM #

    So sorry. We faced a similar experience last year with our dog, Ernie, and I thought the same thing when Lily was diagnosed – he was sent to prepare us for children, and to prepare us for loss. Sending prayers your way, We know how hard it is to lose a dearly loved doggie.

  5. Mary June 29, 2012 at 7:18 PM #

    RIP Oscar…..Looks like you had a short, but wonderful life with a family that really loved you….. and loved you enough to let you go. My condolences to your family.

    • ann morfitt July 1, 2012 at 12:33 AM #

      I knew you would both be excellent parents when you, Amanda, stayed home to care for Oscar and Stephen went alone that weekend to visit his grandfather for his 80th? birthday party. Your mom and dad were going to care for Oscar but you didn’t think it was fair to leave a sick dog with them. Stephen took it all in stride as he loved Oscar in the same way and knew this was the responsible and loving thing to do. You both know how to balance the seesaw of practicality and love. With that kind of strategy with your first son, Oscar, it’s no wonder you and Stephen are able to problem solve re all Lauren’s medical needs and each take full responsibility for her love and care. God has certainly thrown challenges your way and you neither run nor cave in, your love just matures at every turn. Yes, unfortunately, Oscar had a short life, but I’m sure, if given the choice, he’d relive every loving moment with both of you rather than have a long life with an owner who just took him for granted. That’s something both of you know not as when you make the choice to have a dog, a child, you jump hurdles to fulfill their emotional and physical needs. This stable love you have for each other makes all who come under your roof receive the same. What a breathtakingly beautiful dog Oscar was, so proud and would make any parent proud. I’m sure he’s still looking out for Lauren in his own way. Thank you for sharing again, another pain of life you have had to endure at such a tender age, and for using it as a lesson to love even more deeply. If this was paper, it would be tearstained, but, as usual, you demonstrate an unusal power to uplift and enlighten no matter what God sends your way. All the joy Oscar brought to Lauren, WoW! My sympathies, in this, your hour of grief and adios, to Oscar, the physical form. Love, Ann xo

  6. Vanessa Propetto July 2, 2012 at 2:40 PM #

    RIP Oscar, I am so sorry for your loss.

  7. Diane Sauvé July 27, 2012 at 1:12 PM #

    I’m sorry that I’m only reading this now even though it was posted at the end of June. I have a goldendoodle named Niko and before I returned to work, I used to meet your mom with Oscar, Annika with Hubbell and Kathy with Mia every morning in Alouette park. The dogs and moms had a great time. Oscar just loved being with the other dogs. They were a little younger so they ran around more but Oscar was right in there having fun. I also really enjoyed getting to know your mom, Phyllis. She is a wonderful person. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Rest assured that Oscar had some great times at the park last year. My condolences to you and your family.

    Diane Sauvé

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