If Oscar were one of the seven deadly sins, he’d definitely be gluttony.
Oscar woke me up three times last night.
I don’t recall the exact time the following events transpired, but I distinctly remember waking up to the sound of Oscar’s nails tap tap tapping on the floor, which just grew louder and louder until the noise came from directly beside my bed. I peer over to make sure I wasn’t dreaming the entire thing, to make sure Oscar isn’t standing expectedly at my side.
Sure enough, there is he.
When Oscar gets out of bed and makes his way to my room in the middle of the night, he usually wants two things:
- He wants to graze because my dad probably snuck him something he
wasn’t supposed to eat when I wasn’t looking.
- He’s scared and wants to sleep with me.
I decide to go with option two because I have no desire to wait outside while my little cow nibbles on foliage. I partially remember placing his bed in my room, tucking him in and mumbling a groggy good night.
The second offense occurred shortly after his relocation. I remember waking up to Oscar’s low, rumbling woof in response to the neighborhood dogs. (Isn’t it amazing what one cat can do to a neighborhood of dogs?) At one point he emitted two short warning barks before my mom hushed him back to bed.
Oscar drifted right to sleep directly after his early morning shenanigans. I wish I could say we both slept peacefully, but only one of us got beauty sleep last night.
Two guesses who that might be. I’ll give you a hint: One of us snored and it wasn’t me.
Despite my lack of sleep, I’m neither irritated nor infuriated with Oscar. I rolled out of bed this morning in a sleepy daze to find Oscar waiting, tail a-wagging. Drowsiness is nothing a cup of coffee and a bright-eyed doggie can’t fix.
Before Oscar there was Sammy and Lucky.
I strain my mind trying to remember Sammy. No matter how finely I sift through my memories, I can’t recall the sound of his bark or the texture of his coat. The only evidence I have of his existence is an old family photograph. Yes, a single photograph.
In the photograph I recognize my young self standing timidly alongside what looks to be an Akita mix, judging by the shape of his head and ears. Admittedly, this picture doesn’t stir that crushing feeling of loss because I don’t recognize the dog standing next to me. Whenever I look at his picture, however, I do smile and just briefly wonder what he was like.
That photograph was taken years ago; I was probably 2 or 3 years old. My parents attempted to fill in the incredibly huge blank that was Sammy’s history by telling me stories about him, but all I know for certain was Sammy had new owners and a new place to call home. I could only hope that he was safe and loved.
Photographs of Lucky, however, arouse heartache and remorse.
I’ll probably never meet another dog like Lucky; he had the strangest habits. Lucky steered clear of grass. Grass! He didn’t walk on it, didn’t stand close to the edge of the lawn. He was a carpet/tile/hardwood floor/(dry) cement kind of dog. Maybe the front yard looked like an uncharted forest to that 3-pound Chihuahua.
Despite Lucky’s odd vendetta with grass, he was still your typical lapdog: He’d spend hours on my lap. One of his favorite pastimes was swaddling; I’d bundle him up tightly like a newborn and cradle him while he’d relax with the tip of his tongue poking from his mouth.
The age-old adage that you never really appreciate something until it’s taken away from you is uncomfortably true. I still love Lucky, but I never fully appreciated the time I had with him. I just never thought he’d be taken away so young. That’s the extraordinary thing about pets, I suppose: You have so much fun when they’re around you forget they’re living creatures with their own mystery lifespan.
Not a day goes by when I don’t think about Lucky, when I don’t miss him. Despite our limited time together, Lucky’s presence taught me priceless lessons about dog ownership and has, in a way, transformed me into the dog owner Oscar deserves.
I’m hopeful that someday I’ll be able to meet Sammy and Lucky again in their reincarnated forms. If they decide to give this dog owner a second chance, I’d be incredibly lucky.
I confess. My dog didn’t tell me he wanted a blog, nor did he communicate his desire to become the next blogging sensation via doggie body language.
This is completely my idea. He’s just my inspiration.
I love how he doesn’t bother getting out of bed until he can hear me sliding my feet into my slippers in the morning. I love how furiously he wags his tail when he sees me preparing his meals. I love how he rolls onto his back when he wants his belly rubbed.
Blogging would be the perfect way to document the life of this exuberant Chihuahua/Jack Russell mix and the nuances that make him Oscar.
So this blog is for Oscar and is dedicated to all things dog.