“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” — Ecclesiastes 3:1
This is not the post I wanted to write tonight. But here we are and I’m writing it.
Yesterday, we had to make the unspeakably difficult decision to let our Oscar go. He was 13 (going to turn 14 in January) and he had fought the good fight.
I have had Oscar since he was about 12 weeks old. He was my first pug, my first baby, and quite frankly, perhaps one of the best dogs in the world. He was always just a little bit goofy (as you can see by the tongue that never quite fit all the way in his mouth), and so full of love it would break your heart.
He always had some issues with arthritis and hip displaysia, but with the guidance and care of some excellent vets, we were able to keep him comfortable as he got older. He was mostly blind due to scarring from ingrown eyelashes (we had them surgically corrected to minimize the damage). It didn’t slow him down one bit, though. He could find his food and water, roam around in our backyard, and snuggle us like a champ.
Last October, he had a bad episode. Panting, yelping and inconsolable. We took him to his vet and learned that he had disintegrating vertebrae in his spinal column. I’m sure there is a technical name for it, but I can’t remember it right now. While it could be managed with medications, there was no cure and the condition would only continue to worsen over time. Between the vet, Mr PugRunner and I, we decided that we would take a wait-and-see approach.
Everything went beautifully. Sometimes, we had to adjust his meds. Often, we had to get up at four in the morning so that he could go to the bathroom and, in true senior citizen fashion, eat breakfast. We didn’t mind. He was our sweet boy.
Recently, things got harder. He would lose his footing and fall a lot. He had more accidents. He would get lost in corners. He still wasn’t in pain but he was starting to struggle. And then Sunday night, he couldn’t settle. He was hurting. And even though it broke us to admit, it was time.
We are so thankful to our vet and his staff. They have always provided our pugs with the best of care, and we are grateful for their kindness and compassion. Dr. R stayed with us til the very end, and we appreciated that more than we can express in words.
I’m trying to focus on the memories.
I remember when I took him to puppy training, he was supposed to sit and stay, and then I was supposed to walk in a circle around him, while he remained, staring straight ahead. He couldn’t bear to have me out of his sight, so he would use his front paws to spin himself around on his bottom. Even the trainer thought it was hilarious and we never corrected him.
He would sleep with his tongue sticking just slightly out of his mouth, and it would always get so dry and crispy, like a little potato chip. Incidentally, his favorite place to sleep was curled on my chest. And in the end, that’s where he was when he passed.
Popcorn was his favorite. We have an air popper and he would go nuts when he heard me pour in the kernels. If I walked away for a minute, he would start whining because popcorn must be monitored at all times.
He loved his little boy so much. Little man was always very gentle and careful with him, and Oscar repaid him with eternal devotion. I’m so grateful that they shared such a special bond.
I hope he knows how much we loved him. I know he’s not hurting anymore, and I hope that in his dog heaven, beyond the rainbow bridge, he is nomming on bacon and running and jumping and playing with new friends. I am a selfish person, because I want him here with us, rather than there, but it wouldn’t be fair to him and he deserves so much better.
We are all devastated. We miss that sweet face so much. He was always so happy.
But we are trying to find peace in the knowledge that he is whole and free of pain, with his puggy sister, Annabelle, who was taken from us way too soon.
We miss you, sweet boy. The hole in our hearts will never be filled.