Worst Weekend Ever

by Jen on March 17, 2008

in What would Scooby Do?

My dog died this weekend. Oscar, the boxer that’s in my profile picture with me.

He had turned nine in January, which isn’t exactly old for a boxer, but isn’t all that young either. Life expectancy is about 10-12 years for a healthy Boxer. However, Boxers are very prone to health problems, and Oscar had his share of them, which began just after his first birthday. Google canine idiopathic histiocytic ulcerative colitis for a start. But even though he had some chronic issues, he’d been holding his own for the last several years. Even our vet, who saw us through a great deal with Oscar (including meeting us at his office on a Sunday to treat Oscar and give his IV fluids one terrible weekend a few years ago), said that in the last few years, Oz was, ironically, the “picture of health.” Looking at him, you didn’t see anything other than a big, strong healthy Boxer.

He was our youngest dog, the last one we got. And so, I babied him; I spoiled him and broke all the rules for him. Like allowing him to sleep on the bed with me (which at one point cascaded into all three dogs sleeping on the bed — that’s almost 300 pounds of dog).

Oscar was a dog that never met another animal he didn’t like. People, other dogs, cats, even rabbits, he was only interested in meeting them and being their friends — he never acted aggressively once in his life. He was just a very sweet, simple dog. If you are an aficionado of Boxers, you’ll know what I mean when I say, he was also a talented singer of the “Woo Woo” Song and dancer of the “Bee Dance” (also called jelly-beaning or kidney-beaning).

I’m heartbroken. Hollow. But, I also feel guilty. I don’t feel we’ve “done right” by our dogs the last few years. Although they have a dog door and free reign of a very large, fenced, wooded yard, they spent more and more time “away” from us, no longer allowed to sleep in the bedroom (due, to some degree, to Oscar’s colitis and his frequent accidents) or even roam the house freely while we’re away at work. And over the last four years, dealing with primary infertility, depression, pregnancy, a pre-term baby, secondary infertility and now this pregnancy — which has been kicking my ass — I feel like I’ve neglected them even more. I’m very glad that a couple of months ago I sewed them new dog beds, larger than crib mattresses, with soft fleece on one side and full of soft stuffing. It makes me feel at least I did something right.

We were gone for the weekend, and when we came home, the Hubster found Oscar in the backyard where he had apparently collapsed and died. Our best guess is that after all these years of health-stress on his system, he suffered a heart attack or stroke. I wish I could change a lot of things, but most of all I wish we had been here.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Valerie March 17, 2008 at 10:28 am

I am so sorry that Oscar is gone. I will keep you in my thoughts. Non animal lovers have a hard time understanding just how much animals become part of our families.

2 Courtney March 25, 2008 at 2:25 pm

I am so terribly sorry to hear about the passing of your pup. He looks like an adorable companion, and it sounds like you provided a wonderful home for him. May the happy memories outweigh the grief and sadness…

3 soapchick March 25, 2008 at 4:06 pm

I am so sorry for your loss. Animals give us so much love and devotion, it’s so hard when they leave us.

4 mkv March 25, 2008 at 4:48 pm

I’m just so, so sorry. I have a 13 year old dog that I’ve had since she was 6 weeks old. I’m dreading the day. It truly is a devastating loss.

5 Searching March 25, 2008 at 5:23 pm

I’m so very sorry for the loss of your beloved Oscar. My “old boy” died last year and the name the foster lady gave him was Oscar B. :) So he’ll have another Oscar up there in doggy heaven to romp around with. Sending you hugs.

6 scarredbellybutton March 26, 2008 at 7:01 am

I am so very sorry. That is just so so sad.

7 Mands April 8, 2008 at 2:44 pm

I just wanted to thank you personally for commenting on my post about Amber. I have been so upset, and it really touched my heart that so many people hold their pets so dear. I am truly sorry about your Oscar, him and Amber sounded very similar. (Besides the fact that she was tiny)Congratulations on your pregnancy, I know it’s late but I hope everything goes well and that you are holding your little one when the time is right.

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