I need an outlet other than my tears. And as has been my way since I was a little girl, I turn to writing.
We (my now 19 year old son and I) adopted "Randy" from a pure breed rescue about 8 years ago (give or take). He was a sad little guy. A red Dachshund that was estimated to be between 6-7 years old. We immediately renamed him Oscar Meyer.
For the first several months after we adopted him, he was a sad little guy. He was mistrustful. His ears were always down, his tail down or between his legs, with no personality at all. He'd eat (scarf more like), wander around smelling and checking things out, and find a place to plop down and sleep. Really, he was just sad.
The rescue felt he'd been neglected. Maybe a little abused, but other than a scar on his muzzle, he had no injuries or obvious prior injuries. He was in pretty good health other than being a bit underweight (which we promptly remedied).
After some time, we were able to draw him out. Slowly, he began to trust us. He started to come out of his shell and, slowly, began to get some personality.
He also found his mischievousness. Let me tell you - never let 1" legs fool you. Dachshunds can get into just about anything.
Like the time I came home and found that he'd gotten into one of the pantry's and taken an unopened box of brown sugar, tore into it, ate what he wanted, and stored the rest of the uneaten brick of brown sugar behind one of the sofa cushions.
Or the time he ate olive pits. And chicken bones (didn't phase him in the least). Dog had a cast iron stomach.
I learned NEVER to leave a closet door open or a garbage accessible. He went into a friend's purse and ate all her Orbit gum (so she started calling him Orbit).
He understood English. I'm telling you, Oscar understood. Sometimes I had to spell words (like treat, or dinner, or walk, or outside) because if I said them, he'd know what I was talking about.
He was a cuddle bug. Nothing made him happier than when I lay on the couch so he could nestle into my body and sleep. He was like my own little heating pad.
He had a tongue like an anteater. I used to warn people - don't let him too close to your face, or he WILL get you. And he LOVED to kiss.
He also thought very highly of himself. In fact, I think he believed himself to be a Doberman. He was fearless and quite protective. Truly an alpha male.
A few years ago, we found some rotten teeth in his mouth (his breath could have killed the dead), so he lost about 8 teeth (none of his chewing teeth, just some small teeth and one canine). As he aged, and got grey hair, and he'd give you a partially toofless grin, we began calling him Little Ol'man.
A few years ago, he was diagnosed with congestive heart issues. We put him on meds for a while, but last year discontinued them. They weren't really helping anymore (they made him sluggish and sleep even more) so we decided to just let nature take it's course. He already exceeded his life expectancy and was still doing relatively well, but for the coughing.
And the coughing had gotten worse the last few months.
And then this morning, nature took its course.
I got out of bed to get ready for work. He and his girlfriend (Latte, also a Doxie we adopted 2 years ago who is now about 8 or 9) sleep in a huge bed next to my bed. The 3 of us sleepily made our way downstairs for part one of the morning ritual (I get coffee, they eat and walk). Part 2 is when I go back upstairs and get back into bed, drink coffee, watch tv, catch up on news, read - whatever, until the time I have to really get ready.
Most mornings they both follow me back up. This morning, only Oscar did.
When I got out of bed for the 2nd time, I knelt next to the dog bed and gave Oscar some kisses and pet him for a moment before I went about my business. He granted me full access to his belly, reveled in the affection, and seemed fine.
10 minutes later, when I came out of my bathroom, he was on the floor of my room, next to his bed, taking his last breaths. I knew this time was coming and I had warned my son that Oscar's time was coming. But there is something about seeing it happen, when you think "couldn't we have had just a little more time?" I ran to get my son who was still sleeping (late class today).
My son and I pet Oscar as his body shut down. My BFF's husband is a vet and I called them this morning for guidance. Todd (the vet) said that Oscar was probably dead before I ever came out of the bathroom, but his body was still shutting down. What we saw was actually reflex, not life. Oscar never regained consciousness. His eyes were sort of open, but he didn't focus, or blink. His ears didn't twitch. He didn't respond to us at all, although we kept petting him and kept saying his name. Todd said he'd left his body several minutes before his body ultimately gave out.
And now the tears are flowing again.
I know many Kossacks know the pain of loss of a pet. They truly are family, our pets. They love without asking for anything in return, unconditionally. I'm grateful for the time we had with Oscar. He had a good life. Spoiled, loved, happy. He even had a girlfriend for a few years to annoy him with her constant licking and need to be touching him all the time. I hope she'll be okay. I don't think she realizes yet that he's gone.
I'd post a picture, but after all these years on Kos, I still don't have a photobucket account (and really don't know how to do it even if I did). He was my spoiled, fat, little old man that brought great joy to my son and I for about 8 years. He lived longer than expected, and went quickly, mercifully. We were there with him, and I got to give him some kisses and affection just moments before whatever happened happened.
I hope I didn't bum anyone out too much. It's difficult today - this shift in reality. It will be worse later when I have to go home to no Oscar Meyer. But writing this diary helped. Thank you for reading.
12:38 PM PT: Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts. It really does help ease the pain. And thanks for the wreck list. Wasn't expecting it, but I thank you for honoring Oscar that way :-)
6:18 PM PT: I left work early and am just getting home (it's 9:15p EST). I decided to end the day on a much more positive note, and took my son to lease him a new car (something I was in the process of doing, but decided to take delivery today). He's had my old Mazda (as 2001) with 130K miles now on it for 3 years. It was going to be an xmas gift (with him helping to make payments) but I took delivery today instead. He had no idea. We're both very sad about Oscar, but I didn't want this day to be a total suck and I knew it would cheer him up. So I'm just getting to read and comment on the new comments. To all of my Kossack friends, thank you so much for your support. It's truly meant a lot to me today.