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!
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