Home » dog adoption » Goodbye, Oskie Boy!

Here’s one of many heartwarming stories from our family archive of rescues…

Robin & Oscar as a Puppy

Animals have an amazing way of touching our soul. Anyone who has had an animal friend can understand the warmth, joy, humor and unconditional love these special family members bring with them.

Currently, we have 2 dogs, 2 cats, 2 hamsters, 1 hermit crab and aquarium, and a bearded dragon. Each one has a place in our family. Libby, our sweet white poodle, has become my grandmother’s favorite buddy. Buckley, our black domestic shorthair cat, tries not to openly play favorites, but he tends to be drawn to more my 10-year-old son, Alex, and my boyfriend (now husband), Mike.

Estie, our black domestic longhair cat, is very shy, but enjoys our company when the house is settled for the day. Fireball and Barley, our 2 hamsters, along with Bob, our hermit crab, are mostly cared for by my 12-year-old daughter, Christina, who much like my grandmother, is also a close companion of Libby’s. And Thorns, our bearded dragon, is my buddy.

Then there is Oscar. Oscar has a story worth telling. Seventeen years ago, on Christmas Eve, I opened a large package that had a crate, collar, leash, food bowls and other puppy care items inside. I had wanted a puppy for some time, researched breeds and was set on raising a shih tzu. My wish came true and 3 days after Christmas, I brought Oscar home. Oscar was 3 months old. He was a little ball of fur, in shades of gold, brown, black and white. At the breeder’s house, I had the choice of Oscar or his brother.

I sat quietly watching them, to see what their personalities were like and waited for one to seek me out. Oscar’s brother was very sweet and cuddly, but didn’t really want to interact with me. Oscar, on the other hand, had a spark to his personality. He was playful, confident, and the second we made eye contact, he ran to me and I knew he was the one. He became my best friend and I brought him with me everywhere that welcomed him. Five years later my daughter was born. Oscar loved her and we had many adventures together. But two years later when I was again expecting, Oscar wasn’t very happy.

I believe he sensed it was a boy. He started marking around the house and showing other signs of simply not being happy. The day before my son was born I made the decision to give Oscar to my mom. Oscar loved my mom and was familiar with her home, and I had hoped this change would make him happy while allowing us to still visit and be in his life. The arrangement didn’t last very long, and I learned that my mom had placed Oscar in another home. Words cannot express the emotions that resulted from this action. Waves of shock, anger, and overwhelming sadness washed over me. I felt broken.

As time passed, it hurt less, but there was always a feeling of something missing for me. About a year and a half ago, I started to see Oscar in various places throughout my home. This would happen as I would pass a room, or while I was focusing on different tasks. I would sense his presence and see him in my peripheral vision. I would think to myself that perhaps he had passed on and it was his spirit coming to visit me. This went on for some time. Then, in August of 2010, I received an email that changed my life.

My ex-husband was searching for a dog to adopt and had been referred to Fur Keeps Animal Rescue. As he was online viewing the dogs available for adoption, he came across a senior Shih Tzu named Oscar, and forwarded the profile to me. A few phone calls later, it was confirmed: it indeed was my Oscar. I’m not sure exactly how he ended up with Fur Keeps, but it was time for Oscar to come home.

Oscar wasn’t as agile as he once was, and his hearing and vision were compromised. When we first brought him home, we had to make some adjustments to our house. Our floors were too slippery for him, so we covered them with rubber backed throw rugs, made a custom food stand so he wouldn’t have to put added pressure on his arthritic joints, and we adjusted our sleep cycles to include his two nightly wake up calls to go outside and eat. But mostly, we gave him our love.

This last year has brought about a major healing and shown me the true meaning of forgiveness, unconditional love and miracles. Oscar coming home has inspired all of us to do better in everything we set out to do. Watching him live in the present moment, his strength, and his spark shining through has been amazing. However, Oscar’s body is declining, and everyday tasks are becoming more and more difficult for him. His spark, though still present, is quickly fading.

Now, here comes the hard part – saying goodbye – again. It’s time to release him from the physical world to a place where he is free to run and play without the restrictions his aging body has placed on him.

Thank you, Oscar, for your love, your example, and for coming home. We love you, Oskie boy.

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