Oscar had a great vet when we lived in Bogota. She would come to our apartment to pick him up, and even though she had a truck with kennels in the back for the dogs, she let Oscar ride in the front with her. We boarded Oscar with her when we were traveling and, although I never asked, I’m pretty sure they took him home with them every night instead of leaving him in the kennel with the other dogs.
I recommended her to a friend who was also living in Bogota at the time and she began to board her dog there too. My friend moved back to the States, then we moved back to the States, then my friend moved back to Bogota. When she returned to the vet with her dog, our vet told her, “Oscar se fui.” Oscar left.
I was so touched she remembered Oscar and that Oscar left an impression on her, as I believe, he does with everyone he meets.
On the second day that Oscar became my dog, I brought him to see my dear friends, Lauren and Cathy. I had been babysitting Lauren since she was nine months old. She was 9 years old when she wrote this entry in her diary, commentating the first time she met Oscar. It’s clear he made a strong first impression.
Her mom recently found this diary entry when cleaning. Lauren is now 22 years old.
It’s late July in Washington, D.C., meaning it’s hot. Really hot. There is no way around that. Oscar has taken to either sleeping on the couch or at the very bottom of the bed, away from any and all body heat. I get it, but I really miss snuggling with him at night.
I remember the winter we were moving to Bogota. Robinson had already left and I was living in Bob’s basement. It was a very cold Minnesota winter and there was one small baseboard heater in the basement. Oscar was cold and would snuggle so close to me at night.
One night I was sleeping on my back and Oscar was snuggled under my arm right next to me. I rolled onto my side, leaving a space between us. He wasn’t having that and scooted over closer, snuggling alongside my back. I don’t know why I remember that – of all things – but I do. I think I always will.
Oscar last weekend. It looks like he’s smiling, but he’s panting in the heat.
If Oscar could talk, the burning questions I think he would ask me are:
1.) Why do you do that to the bed everyday?
2.) What is that little square you carry around and look at all the time? And why do you sometimes point it at me?
Poor Oscar. Every morning he’s nested into our bedding and every morning I pull the bedding from under him and make the bed, only to have him un-make it and build another next for himself. He must wonder why I make the bed and probably sees absolutely no point to that ritual.
I also think he wonders about my iPhone. It’s almost always with me. I look at it, touch it, talk into it, and when I want to take a picture or video of him, I point it at him, say his name and try to get his attention (like I did to get the photo below of him last night). Then I look at the phone, smile and make comments about the picture I took in a baby voice. I think he wonders why.
I was trying to get Oscar’s attention. The Big Guy looks absolutely thrilled.
I try not to complain about how much I travel for work because 1.) the ability to travel freely is a privilege denied to many and 2.) less than three years ago I was jobless, burning through my savings and living in a roach infested apartment to save money while we got our feet back under us.
During this time, Oscar was a constant. A constant source of happiness, love, support, stability and non-judgement.
Going back to trying not to complain about work travel… I missed my connection tonight – the last one out – due to the airline’s mechanical error with check-ins and am spending the night at a Detroit airport hotel. One more night away from home and my Big Guy and my Little Guy.
Robinson and I leave for vacation tomorrow. We’ll be gone five days and this was going to my one night to snuggle Oscar before leaving again. I’m sitting in my hotel room feeling lonely, sad and guilty. Somehow, Oscar is able to feel this too. Robinson sent me this picture just minutes ago of Oscar. He climbed into our partially packed suitcase to snuggle. I feel you, Little Buddy. See you in the morning.
I want to believe that in Oscar’s alternative world this means “I love you, I missed you, I’m so glad you’re home, you’re my best friend ever!!!”
Somehow, though, I don’t think that’s what he’s meaning to tell me. Look at him looking at it, as if to say, “Take that, jack*ss. Just wait ’till next time.”
Every year I ask a friend of mine to photoshop Oscar into a current events photo for New Year. Here’s our 2017 new years card… wishing you and yours a royally awesome new year!