I know that I dropped the big news that I started riding again and then disappeared. This has been the hardest month of my life (and for those who know me know I have lived through some very difficult things). It has taken me a week to even post this.
I made the decision to put Oscar down on April 23rd. He had been battling various symptoms of sickness for 3 weeks prior and on Friday he woke up with a huge swollen hind leg. I took him to the vet and they x-rayed it. It was an infection causing edema and he was given antibiotics. Oscar was pretty good that day and even walked around the yard a bit. The night though was bad. He as in a lot of pain and stress. By morning he would not eat or drink and he was very dehydrated. I took him in again and they did blood work. His red blood cells were off the chart low and his white blood cells were high. He was having some autoimmune reaction and the swelling in his leg was caused by him bleeding into it. The vet at my office (not my vet she was gone this whole weekend) sent me to the animal hospital where she wanted him to spend the weekend getting iv doses of antibiotics and steroids as well as have a blood transfusion.
The vets there did not have a positive outlook on this and neither did my friend’s friend who is a vet tech at an animal hospital. She said that most dogs who have to get transfusions are gone within 2 weeks after the transfusion anyhow. The vet we saw was very kind and told me that with the 2 issues of the autoimmune and the leg infection/bleeding that it was not a great chance of survival. It was the hardest decision I have ever had to make but I decided it would be more selfish of me to put him through all the pain and stress especially since I had to leave for DC the following Wednesday-Sunday. Once I told the vet that I made the decision to put him to sleep she agreed that it was the choice she would have made because she really felt that the other course of action was just a bandaid and that he would be back in the hospital while I was gone. I would never ever forgive myself if I was not there for him in his last moments.
I asked the vet if she could give him some pain meds to help make him comfortable for a few hours so he could have a good last day.
We went to see his bestie, Zoey, where the meds finally kicked in and he played with her. They ran the fence line like they always did. He sun bathed on the deck, had a ribeye for dinner (luckily he got his appetite back since the pain was gone), I took him to our favorite ice cream place we used to go to all the time especially after my nephews’ baseball games and got his pup cup, we then went home.
He walked around the yard a little but at this point his head was low and his tail was down. We went back in the house and he just laid in the bed. My mom and I loved on him for a while and then my sister came with the boys and when he saw them he lifted his head for the first time since he had been in bed. They used to play every day with each other. With my whole family there I told my mom that I could not make the decision to leave and asked her to say it.
He was back to panting when my mom said it was time. He actually perked up a bit and went to the car. He laid in the back seat with me and smiled the whole way. When we got to the office he did not act scared like he normally did. He climbed up on their couch and my mom and I loved on him. When they did it I knelt next to him and just held on to him as hard as I could. The vet tech held his head so it would go down easy. He went very peacefully. I held him a bit longer and apologized to him that I could not fix him.
I want to thank my family for being there for him (and me). I also want to thank Nettie for being there with me and helping me give him a great last day. And also for letting me bring Zoey home with me as my “loaner” dog to help comfort me. He loved her so much even though a Catahoula and Pitbull looked like such an odd couple. Lol
Oscar was the most amazing dog. He was the mascot for my nephews’ baseball teams, all time tackle when they played football, he went everywhere with me (camping, the lake, horse shows, hiking) and everywhere I took him he brought joy to people. While his eyes were unique it was his smile that people most commented on. My 2-lap dog (he thought he was a lap dog but it took 2 laps to hold him). As hard as this is I still thank God that 9 and a half years ago Oscar found me and jumped on to my lap at Quarter Horse Congress. It really was one of those life changing moments. Before I even saw him he knew that I was his. I say it that way because I don’t kid myself, I did not own him because the reality was he owned me. He was my soulmate, my best friend, my baby bear….
Oscar was always such a talker. My house was not a quite one. Every day I came home he would meet me at the door then after a hug would run to the bed where I had to come and give him more love and attention. This was when he talked the most and would tell me all about his day. The video below is a day when I took too long getting to him so this was his bitch session. Lol! Notice how it all goes away when he hears a certain word.