Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Remembering Oscar

Recently I had to say goodbye to my oldest dog, Oscar. He was my valentine's baby, born February 14, 2000, so we had just celebrated his 12th birthday. He had been in great health... although he was starting to get a little deaf and his vision wasn’t as good as it had been. But he didn’t seem to have any aches and pains and was his usual affectionate and loving self.

When I went to bed that night, he was restless... couldn’t seem to settle. That had been happening to him more and more anyway, so it didn’t seem unusual. Something awakened me about 12:30. He was still restless and so I opened the door from the bedroom to the rest of house hoping he’d get comfortable on the couch... his favorite perch.

Just after I opened the door, he started to act like he needed to vomit... except nothing came up. Suddenly I was on full alert. BLOAT! I felt his stomach and it was tight like a drum. I lost another Standard Poodle, Clifford, about seven years ago to bloat, so I was familiar with the symptoms. But I was in my condo in Door County ... miles from the closest vet and particularly in the winter, no one would be open at night. I called all the vets in the yellow pages and finally found one that gave me a number for an emergency vet in Green Bay, eighty miles to the south.

I called them, described his symptoms and got directions to their storefront Emergency Vet Clinic about 90 minutes away. Fortunately I had a fairly full tank of gas for my 160 mile round trip because I saw absolutely no open gas stations. I have now learned that I must always keep half a tank of gas in my car in case of emergencies.

(This was the second time I’d had to drive a dog to an emergency vet... although the previous time it was an emergency hospital because Winston, my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, had consumed an entire package of Trident gum which is toxic to dogs. I had to drive to  Appleton, which was a two+ hour drive and leave him for 24 hours for observations. Fortunately he seemed to have no ill effects.)

With Oscar, the vet confirmed my diagnosis and after a consultation, I elected to have him put to sleep. They had a nice area where I could be with him while he died.

He was such a great dog. Very even tempered and affectionate and we are all missing him. I remember driving to Pennsylvania with my Dad in his RV to pick up Oscar. I'd had my previous puppy flown out from Arizona and the dog had been traumatized by the flight, so I felt it was worth while to make the trip to pick this puppy up. He was always a sweet and kind dog and the trip with my Dad is a special memory.

Now it's just two dogs no cat.

With a sad heart, goodbye, Oscar. I loved you, K

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