Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Remembering Oscar -my always enthusiastic running buddy

Here comes a post that has been really hard to write.  Oscar died in the early hours of Monday June 20, 2016.  He was Greg and my first dog.  We adopted him from an animal shelter in Lunenberg, Nova Scotia while we were on our honeymoon and have shared the last 12 years with him.  Here's my goodbye letter.

   Dear Oscar,
   To my running buddy and faithful furry friend, Oscar.  12 years ago, I was so excited to get a dog.  Greg and I researched dog breeds, and had narrowed down a few that we thought would be a good fit for us.  Then, while driving past the Lunenberg SPCA building on one of our last days of our honeymoon, we stopped in for a look.  Um, well everything we read was completely ignored, as our hearts melted when we spotted you.  In the litter of extremely cute balls-of-fur at the Lunenberg SPCA, you are the one who ran right to me and jumped into my lap.  From that moment, I knew you were a special dog.  We weren't sure what breed you were, but from the markings - German Sheppard, and from the shape of your ears and head, and long legs we suspected Golden Retriever.  It didn't matter what breed you were, we fell in love and drove you home the next day.

   We shared so many runs together.  I would bring you to running practice with the Cambridge Harriers, and you were so excited to run with the group, that you would whine in the car as we approached the parking lot, then as the group gathered outside the cars, you had this amazing vertical leap that you would do whenever a new runner joined the waiting bunch.  It was hilarious.



   My running friends look back at your antics with huge smiles on their faces.  You really were a special dog.  We went on too many runs to count.  You were a very enthusiastic running buddy and loved leading the way.   Our last run together was on the snow-covered trails close to home during that April snowstorm this year.  You bounded through the snow with puppy-like enthusiasm.  It was a wonderful last run that we shared.
 My first student - I taught you to sit, stay, come, lay down, high five, speak, gently take food or treats, and to wait until I said "OK take it" to run for food.  You knew what "run" ment, and loved car rides because it ment we were going to go explore some trails together.














   You were there for the tough times.  You laid by the bed when I was on bedrest during my challenging pregnancy.  Putting your head on the bed trying to comfort me while I was terrified of losing the baby.  You were always there.  You welcomed each of my babies home, and were so gentle and protective of them.  On two occasions, while out for a run together, you bravely stood in between me and a charging, snarling dog.  You took a few bites for me, and luckily scared the other dogs off. It has always been very clear that you would do anything to protect me.  

   You were horrible to take to the beach - no one from our family could be in the water without you FREAKING out and wanting to rescue us.  You would bark non-stop from the shore, and if I let you loose you would sprint for whoever was in the water, and grab their wrist (or swimsuit) and attempt to pull Greg or the kids to shore.  Once while at a friends cottage, Greg got up early and took a canoe out on the lake.  He heard splashing a few minutes later, and there you were swimming behind the canoe, trying to rescue Greg....always making sure we were ok.  Thanks for that Oscar.

   Your exuberant love of life (and other dogs) became embarrassing at times.  Taking you to a dog park was problematic because of your need to show your doggie love to others.  You showed great endurance when you would hump other dogs, male, female it didn't matter.  You humped and humped and when the dogs left, you continued with a phantom air hump action that was just as embarrassing as the fiasco that preceded it.  I was advised on many occasions by frustrated dog owners who were watching their dog on the receiving end of a good hump, that I should neuter my dog.  I kindly explained that it's not advisable to neuter dogs more than once, and then apologized on my extra-feisty dog's behalf.  A month ago, I watched as you attempted to hump the cat.  Herman would have no part of that, so he swatted at you and ran away.  You were left to air-hump once again (which you happily continued). Oh my weird and wonderful Oscar.

   Thank you for the 12 amazing years.   You warmed our home and gave us endless love and laughs.  There is an unsettling quietness and empty feeling in our house without you there.  I miss seeing you at the door when I come home, with your clumsy full-body wag greeting.  You were such a good boy and I know you loved us so much.  When the time comes to welcome another wonderful dog into our lives, I know you will give her your, "hump of approval".  Love ya Osc.

   Sincerely,
The one who sneaks you all the table scraps when she cooks, talks to you like a human, and brings in lots of awesome smells on her running shoes.

9 comments:

  1. What a wonderful tribute to Oscar. Sounds like you have so many wonderiful memories! He was a very special and loved dog!

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    1. Thanks Derrick,
      We're so grateful for the time we had with him. It's not the same around here without him. We miss him a lot.

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  2. So sorry for your loss, Lisa. Oscar sounded like one heck of a great dog, and super adorable. Cherish all those memories.

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    1. Thanks for your comment Sara,
      Oh my gosh, cute is right. He was the most adorable puppy (who turned into one cute dog). My parents aren't dog people, but when we first brought him over to show them, my Dad fell in love with him, and considered Oscar his dog (that lived at our house). He enjoyed looking after Oscar whenever we went away. Oscar was very charismatic :)

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  3. Such a nice post, Lisa. Oscar was an amazing dog and he will absolutely be missed. Xo

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  4. Thanks Holly. I'm missing him a lot - especially in the summer when I'm home all day. I don't know how people function in a house without a dog around :)

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  6. I'm so glad you wrote this letter to your crazy, wonderful Oscar! Thanks for sharing this post. Now, I have to run for a Kleenex.

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    1. Hey Fran, Oh my wonderful jumping and humping Oscar! Glad you enjoyed my tribute. Thanks for reading.

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