I’m Coming With…

Oscar gets to go to a lot of places over the summer, including – but not limited to – Movies in the Park on Thursday nights, Concerts in the Park on Friday nights, random beer gardens and sidewalk patios on Saturdays, numerous walks, and ice cream runs on Sundays. He loves it.

Somehow, he instinctively knows when we’re going somewhere and gets super excited – jumping up and down, running in circles, he’s ready to party.

The other night Robinson and I were getting ready to leave. We were going to meet friends and Oscar wasn’t invited. Oscar, on the other hand, picked up on the cues and knew we were getting ready to go somewhere. He was so determined to come with us that when I opened the door, he ran out into the hallway and stood there, unmoving. He stayed in the hallway for a good ten minutes, coaxed back only through multiple treats.

With his ego battered and bruised, he showed his feelings for not being invited by peeing on our bedpost.

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Oscar will not be left behind. Here he is standing in protest in our hallway.

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KFC

This little painting has been with me for about 10 years. It followed me from place to place and has always been visible in my home. It’s a couple of Boston Terriers eating chicken and was a gift from my friend Pam.

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Here’s the back story….

Robinson brought home some KFC one evening after work. He set the KFC box on the kitchen counter before he jumped in the shower. Post shower, he returns to the kitchen and asks me, “Did you have a piece of my KFC?”

I say no. Then we look at each other and knew. Oscar!!!

IMG_0317.JPGThe counter was too high for little Oscar to reach. We think he must’ve hopped up onto a kitchen chair, then onto the kitchen table and from there jumped onto the kitchen counter. He was somehow able to get his little flat face into the KFC box and took a piece of chicken. He also must’ve knew it was wrong, because when we found him, he was hiding under a blanket on the couch eating the piece of KFC.

Moving Day: Part II

When we moved back to the States, at first it was just Oscar and me. We lived in a hotel room for a few days and I remember Oscar really liked the carpet there. It was that short, rough, gross carpet that usually comes along with hotel rooms, but Oscar loved to roll around on it and scratch his back. I would wake up in the middle of the night and hear him rolling around on it. Then he’d try to jump back up on the bed. It was a high bed and he made it up about 75% of the time. I moved a chair in front of the window so he could look out during the day.

From there we moved into a pretty depressing unfurnished apartment for a few months. I honestly don’t know if the apartment was that depressing or that it was such an isolating and hard time that I remember it as depressing. The only outlet I had was walking Oscar around the block – a block that took 20 minutes to walk around since it was developed in the urban sprawl of Tyson’s Corner. There was a little swamp where a flock of geese hung out. The geese would hiss at us and chase us when we walked by. It sucked, but I had my little friend with me.

After a few months, Robinson moved back and we lived in another apartment temporarily. This apartment was furnished and the owner left a dog kennel in it. Oscar didn’t like the place. I could just tell. I remember him walking by the dog kennel and then lowering his head a little and looking at me really sad. That kennel was stressing him out. I think he thought it was for him. I got rid of the kennel immediately.

After a few months there, we moved again into the place we have now. I don’t remember Oscar being stressed out that time around. Maybe it was because we didn’t have a lot of stuff at that point so it didn’t feel like a move, maybe because he was used to it, or maybe he just knew it would be okay. At any rate, the place we’ve been at the last almost three years has treated all three of us well and I hope it continues too.

Oscar Se Fui

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.

Always making a good first impression…

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.

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Her mom recently found this diary entry when cleaning. Lauren is now 22 years old.

Living Out of and in a Suitcase

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.

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