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 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.
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.
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.
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