I want to tell you a story of my dog Oscar and show you pictures but I've done such a good job of cleaning up and putting things away I can't find his pictures. Oscar had to be put to sleep about three years ago and I now know what people mean when they say they are heart broken - I definitely was. Oscar was a rescue dog. The man down the road was going to shoot him because all the people that lived in the house ignored Oscar when he wanted to go outside. Every time I went to visit he'd be sitting at the door and I'd take him out - at first on a leash and then we'd just go outside and when he was finished he'd come back in. The lady called me up one day and said if I wanted him to come and get him. So I did.
I was never a dog person. I was a cat person. I had Haida a rescue cat that my sister left me to take care of when she moved away and who'd been hit by a car a few years before. Haida was used to roaming outside but always came home until that one night she didn't. I buried her beside my house with her food dish and blanket that she always slept on. When I moved home from British Columbia in 1996 I brought Willow the white Persian who seemed to think that I was just around to be her slave and then Oscar came. Willow wouldn't talk to me for weeks. Oscar and Willow got along because they lived in different parts of the house.
We had trouble at first. Oscar was so used to going to the bathroom on newspaper or anywhere he felt like it. I had to train him all over. Apparently the poor little guy was owned by someone else before the neighbour lady and that person never took him outside at all. I saw her one day and asked her about him and she said when she had him they didn't go for walks because the pavement hurt his little paws. I'm going to be a judgmental person here and say that the dog didn't have a problem walking, I think she did.
He and I went for walks with him on a leash even though we lived in the country. My brother lived next door and every morning he'd phone and say "coffee's ready" and when Oscar and I got there he'd have breakfast cooked as well. Oscar would come in and sit by me and when we were finished eating he'd get on my lap and I'd move the chair back far enough from the table so that I'd be able to reach the coffee cup but Oscar couldn't get the idea that he'd been invited to eat.
One day my brother's dog attacked Oscar and scared the heck out of me. We went home through the field with me carrying him. I noticed that after that my brother tied up the dog but I was still afraid and that took a long time to get over. Oscar also liked to be carried when his feet got covered with snow - I'd have to stop and wipe his paws off and then put him down. A time or two I'd be walking and turn around to see if he was with me and have to go back and pick him up because his little face would be looking up searchingly saying "did you forget me?"
I can smile now but boy did I grieve. One day six months later I was driving by the Vet's place I thought of him and when I got to my friend's place I was crying. She seemed so nonchalant and started telling me about putting her dog to sleep as well.
Like I said before Oscar has been gone for over three years now. People in the apartment building ask if I'm going to get another dog. Nope!!!! One lady got a dog the very next day after her dog was put to sleep. I can't do that. That's like going out and getting a husband the day after the funeral. Can't do it.
Oscar taught me a lot. I believe I saved his life but Oscar said he saved mine. I guess we are both right. I was really sick from the two chronic illnesses and depressed from being sick which was causing me to be more sick. Getting up every day and walking Oscar in all kinds of weather was good for me. When we moved to town and into our apartment it was better because we had side walks to walk on. The first night we moved in we went out for our walk just before bed time. The owl was hooting in the pine trees and it was snowing big fluffy flakes. We went out around the drive and he sat down and looked. I turned to see what he saw and there in front of us were three deer. They were about fifteen feet away and they were standing there looking back at us. Oscar and I watched a few minutes and then we turned and came back as they turned and kept on walking towards the pines in back of the apartment building. It was a beautiful welcome to the neighbourhood and a wonderful ending to a tiring day of moving.