My Very Good Dog Oscar

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal 55 Comments

My very first picture of Oscar in 2009

I told you all last summer that my dog, Oscar, had been diagnosed with bone cancer. The vet said it was an aggressive cancer and Oscar maybe had two months. It turned out he had about twice that much time, but not nearly as much time as I wished for him and for me. He passed over the Rainbow Bridge on Thursday afternoon. I don’t know exactly what happened. I had checked on him a couple of hours earlier, but when I went back to check on him again, he was gone. Still warm, but no longer with me. It looked like his passing was easy. Earlier that day, my granddaughter had come to visit and Oscar had wagged his tail and been happy to have her pet him. He loved the grandkids and they loved him.

But he had stopped eating on Wednesday and I knew then he was nearing the end. I told him Thursday morning he could go on if he wanted to and I had already decided I’d have to call the vet to let him go next week. Oscar saved me having to do that, but I was still very sad. Tears fell. I had hoped to have Oscar around for a few more years. He was one of those very special dogs that just seemed to know what I was thinking and feeling.

Oscar in my office

I wrote a blog in June, My Dog Oscar, sharing about how we got Oscar and then about some of his quirks last year, Odd Dog Oscar. While he may have had some unusual ways for a dog, he was a great writing companion for me, spending a lot of time sleeping on his bed beside my desk while I tried to come up with new stories. He never wanted to roll in anything yucky here at the farm as if he knew that might keep him at arm’s length from those he wanted to be near. No other dog I’ve ever had was that sensible. He never got skunked. Another wonderful thing for an inside dog. He liked the snow. He didn’t like the heat. So he enjoyed the air-conditioning in the summertime.

A carpenter building a room on the back of our house accidentally ran over him and broke his back leg. So while I had planned the room as extra space to set up a table when all the family was home for holiday meals, the room instead became Oscar’s room while he healed from the surgery to repair his leg. He liked being in the room. I liked him there.

They say all good things come to an end. My time with Oscar ended a while before I wanted it to. I was hoping he would make it to ten or eleven years old at least. Instead bone cancer intruded and stole him away too early. But we had eight very good years. He was definitely part of the family. I do wish I’d gotten a picture of us when he would sit right in front of me and lean on my legs while I stood out in the yard talking to someone. I will remember him leaning against me, enjoying me rubbing his head. I will remember him. He was my dog.

He was part of my Facebook family too with quite the fan following from those who enjoyed hearing about him and seeing the pictures I posted as we discovered all sorts of interesting things on our treks around the farm. They loved hearing about our Sunday morning walks together. I’ll still be taking walks, but I will miss Oscar being with me. Eventually, I’ll get another dog. Not to replace Oscar. No way can I ever do that. No, it will just be a new dog with perhaps its own odd quirks and love of walking in the fields. Oscar will always go with me too – riding along tight forever in my heart.

Goodbye, Oscar. You were a very, very good dog.

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Comments 55

    1. Post
      Author
      Ann H Gabhart

      Thank you, Helen. Right now I’m taking a wait and see what turns up approach to getting a new dog. Oscar was so dear to me that I’m hesitating a bit on getting a new pet. Need to let my heart heal a bit first, but I do know there are many very good dogs out there. I’ll probably try a Humane Shelter or a rescue site when I decide I’m ready.

  1. Robbie Pink

    Oh, Ann! I am so sorry. It is so difficult when you lose a pet; they are so very much a part of your life and family. Oscar was a sweet, unique pet.

    I pray your next dog, though never able to replace Oscar, will be sweet and unique in a different but beautiful way.

    Hugs and prayers.

    Blessings!

    1. Post
      Author
      Ann H Gabhart

      Such sweet thoughts, Robbie. I appreciate them. And I will get a new dog eventually. I have a grandson who is allergic to dogs and I promised him I’d see if I could find one that was less allergenic. Not sure I’ll be able to do that, but maybe. I do love those Labradors. Right now I’m in a holding pattern, just waiting to see what might show up in the way of a new dog. But I do miss Oscar.

      Thank you for the hugs and prayers.

  2. Faye Simer

    I ‘m so sorry about Oscar ! I just found out about his passing . I will miss his morning walks with you ,but not near as much as you will .

    1. Post
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      Ann H Gabhart

      I have been missing him walking with me, Faye. I’ll have to eventually get another walking dog, but right now I’m just remembering Oscar and wishing he was still walking along with me.

  3. Kathy Huff

    I too came to love Oscar as he took his Sunday morning walks with you. When he had to stay behind I wanted to be there and pet him. You see, we have a Lab granddog who looks a lot like Oscar. We always know when a storm or rain shower is coming because we hear Barkley at the front door wanting in. She comes in and goes straight to her spot and plops down and is out like a light. She live just across the road from us with our son and his family.

    1. Post
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      Ann H Gabhart

      That is so sweet of you, Kathy, to wish you could be there to pet Oscar when he was no longer able to walk with me. He would have loved that. Sounds as if your Barkley dog knows where safety can be found during a storm – with you. That’s a fun story.

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  4. Carol Cole

    My brother is going through something like this today. His dog,Bruno, is between 19 and 20 years. Awhile back, Bruno started having seizures. After each episode, it was taking longer for him to bounce back. He had a really bad one this morning.He is still showing signs of it as I write this. He is the last of a litter of one of our late father’s dog. I put on my timeline asking for prayers. I feel that our pets are members of our family.

    1. Post
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      Ann H Gabhart

      That Bruno is the last of the litter of one of your late father’s dog makes it harder for you and your brother. But 20 years is a very long life for a dog. May you and Bruno have some good dogs before he has to go on ahead. A dog does have a cherished place in our families.

  5. Sarah Thomas

    I had a dog who was a “leaner.” He was also black and shaggy, though not quite so big as Oscar. When I picture heaven, I see a big grassy meadow where all the dogs I’ve ever loved romp and play. I’m looking forward to that . . .

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  6. peggy clayton

    Oh Ann I am sitting here bawling so I can only imagine what your family is going thru. We had a black lab that was so loving and caring I had just got back home and he passed in my lap a few years ago. I can;t tell you how many times I prayed for Oscar that something would make him better and wow so so sorry and the biggest hug for you.

    1. Post
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      Ann H Gabhart

      Oh, Peggy, you are so sweet. I had hoped the cancer would just suddenly disappear and I suppose it did, but not exactly as I’d hoped. Labs are really great dog companions. I’m sure in time I’ll hunt out a new buddy. I’ll try not to be like Graham in my Rosey Corner books who kept saying his new dog was no Poe, the dog he loved so much in the first books.

      Thank you for the big hug.

    1. Post
      Author
      Ann H Gabhart

      It’s just a special kind of accepting love, especially from dogs. They make such great listeners and seem to hang on our every word. And they’re always glad to see us. I’ve been fortunate to have some really good dogs in my time.

  7. Robin

    Oh Ann, I am so sorry to hear about Oscar! We went the same path with hubby’s bassett, Max, in January. The pain has eased by remembering the goodness of Max. May you be comforted by the great Comforter Himself! Hugs hugs and more hugs.

    1. Post
      Author
      Ann H Gabhart

      Thank you, Robin. I know many of us who have loved dogs or cats or some other pet has had to say these sad goodbyes. We do want to outlive our pets, but that doesn’t make us any less sad.

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