I started reading the book, “A Dog’s Purpose”. I haven’t read a dog novel for a long time. I always end up in tears and Robinson tells me I shouldn’t read them anymore. I likely won’t read a dog book again for a really long time.
As much as I hate how the book makes me sad, I am happy that it is making me reflect. Oscar’s 12 years with us has had many purposes. Here are ten:
1.) He brings me balance.
2.) He makes me happy.
3.) He brings me home, which – for a seeker like me – is essential.
4.) He helped Robinson and me define what a family could look like for us.
5.) He’s makes me less afraid.
6.) He makes me stop and smell the roses.
7.) He makes me stop and talk to strangers
8.) He makes me more curious.
9.) He helps me make excuses and say no to obligations I don’t want to take on, as in, “Gee, I would love to, but I have to go home and let Oscar out.”
10.) He makes me feel like the most important person in the entire world. And I know I am, to him.
When Oscar was around two years old, he competed in a local “Pet Olympics” event. He won a gold medal in the peanut butter lick off contest, beating out other dogs 20 times his size. Take that, Michael Phelps
Most days, early in the morning, Oscar will go from being on top of the covers at the foot of the bed to snuggling next to me under the covers. It starts with him gentling tapping on my shoulder with his paw, me opening the covers, and him crawling under the covers and cuddling close to me – snuggled into a little ball under my arm.
This morning we went through the usual routine, but after about a minute of snuggling, he crawled out to give me kisses for a good 30 seconds before going back under the covers.
I hate being woken up, but I will always make an exception for this.
It’s officially “hot dog” season in DC. Last Friday we took Oscar to Concerts in the Park and he was sure eyeing my ice cold beer.
I don’t know if you can see it in this photo, but right about where the sign is on the left of the photo is a small landing in the steps. So what, right?
Right, in some ways, but that’s the magic of photos. We never really know the depth behind them.
That small landing in the steps in this photo is magical to me. This is a walk I used to take almost daily with Oscar. We’d walk through the streets in our Chapinero Alto neighborhood until we hit the park with the little stream, walk up the Andes following the stream, stop and take in the breathtaking scenery of the Andes looking over the city of Bogota, continue to another park… and another park, and then continue on our way home.
I was able to walk this walk today, almost two years since we left Bogota and all these memories came flooding back to me. They are my most powerful memories of Bogota and whenever I’m able to revisit this city, I will do this walk. It’s a time I experienced immense peace within a period of personal doubt and uncertainty and it’s a moment I experienced with my little buddy.
That little landing in the stairs is where Oscar, walking without a leash, would stop and wait for me. It’s where I’d put his leash back on and we’d continue on our journey, navigating Bogota traffic and my personal demons until we found our way back home.
Almost two years later, I’m still finding my way, but with more peace and perspective and with my two loves by my side – my Big Guy and my Little Guy.
The Nationals recently hosted “Pups in the Park.” This is one of the best days of the year, not because I like baseball or sports, but because you can bring your dog and everything is better when you can bring your dog.
The Nationals played the Minnesota Twins, which is where we’re from, so we put Oscar in his Twins jersey. After all, you can take the dog out of Minnesota, but you can’t take the Minnesota out of the dog!
Here’s some pictures from our big day out, including a couple of Oscar trying to get at the hot dogs!
Yesterday was National Pet Day according to my Facebook feed. We were also blessed with an absolutely beautiful spring evening. Oscar and I walked about six miles… not bad for a 12 year old dog, I’d say.
Here’s a picture from our walk.