“And Lord, if you do not want to give me a husband, then please give me a dog.”
That’s how it all started. A simple prayer of a single girl wanting companionship. Six months later, this prayer was answered with a dark-haired tweener dachshund she came to call her dark and handsome–Oscar by name.
Oscar had been a rescue dog. One family found him on the side of the road, abandoned, and way OVER nourished, to the point that his belly drug along the floor (a really bad things for dachshunds with long bodies). For a year this family regulated his diet, striving to bring him back to good health before handing him onto another family to love and care for him.
While Oscar was a great dog, the family soon discovered two things: 1) Oscar behaved as an abused dog, shuttering at even the slightest raising of the hand, and 2) Oscar did not play well with children. The result–he had to go.
That’s where I came in. A friend of a friend shared with me the situation which in turn led me to meeting Oscar and having him come home with me the day after Christmas 2002. Knowing they were soon moving, the family ended up giving me not only a dog, but all the supplies, cages, collars, beds, and such that I might need for an inside dog–for free. I had truly gotten my prayer’s answer.
Oscar became my family in those early days of single life, a companion to come home to and a friend to snuggle up with on the couch. Oscar went everywhere with me–the parent’s house, a friend’s house, the tornado shelter (when necessary), and even occasionally to school. If Oscar couldn’t come, I would definitely think twice before leaving him. He was just that much a part of my life.
I’ll never forget the time he jumped out of his cage, pushed through the screen of an open window, jumped out of my second story apartment window, and ran down the stairs within the first few months of having him. When we later found him, we discovered he had followed my path. He was on his way to find me.
When he got very sick to the point I thought I was going to have to put him down, my principal insisted I take the afternoon off to go take care of my dog because she knew he was the only family I had to come home too. The result–a thankful full recovery.
Oscar continued to grow older and remained with me through 3 moves, a hubby, and 2 children. With changing environments and family situations, came a changing roll. Oscar no longer slept in bed with me, as my hubby did, and he often was asked to stay in one room, instead of the whole house, as a safety precaution for the little ones, but he always remained my ever-loyal companion.
This weekend I had to say goodbye to my precious 15 year old friend as it was time for him to move on. It was definitely not an easy decision to make, but I hope and pray it was for the best. All that to say, I will always remember him as he was a vital part of my life. Thus, today I give my post in memory of one who stuck closer than a brother–I give it to Oscar, my dark and handsome. I’m going to miss you ol’ boy. You were the best.