I have been listening to you talk about Sprite and wanted to tell you about my baby ‘Oscar’.

We got Oscar, a cocker spaniel puppy, about 5 months before the birth of my daughter. When he was about a year old, he began to have seizures. After many months and thousands of dollars worth of tests, we were told that not only was he epileptic but that he also had congeniatal heart and liver problems. The vet told us that, while he was having no pain or discomfort and he could be managed with medication, we should not count on him living to be much older than 3-4 years. In addition to those problems, he was diagnosed with Cushing’s Disease about a year before he died requiring yet another medication.

We decided that even though his time with us may be short, we would do whatever we could to make it happy. We made sure that he got the best of medical care including giving him medications that ran close to $350.00 a month.

Throughout his life, he proved to be a constant source of joy for our entire family. He was such a happy dog and was constantly doing things to make us laugh. He and my daughter grew up together and he was her best protector. When she would go down for a nap, he would lay right outside her bedroom door. As soon as he could hear her start to wake, he would run to get me and let me know that she was up. He also loved her socks. He would never chew on them, he would just hold them around in his mouth! His favorite place at mealtime was right beneath her chair. She loved dropping bits of food down to him and he was only too glad to have her do it! At night, he would sleep beside me beneath the covers with his head on my pillow.

We had to have Oscar put down this past July at the age of 16 years. It was the hardest decision I have ever had to make. Like you, I kept praying to God that he could go peacefully in his sleep. But ,sadly, that was not to be. He was always so afraid of the vet. The hardest part of having to take him in to be put down was thinking that his last moments would be spent in fear. But he was so calm and peaceful. He never even flinched when they put the IV in to administer the medication that would take him from us forever. He just lay his head down on my hand and never took his eyes off from mine until he closed them for the last time. I believe in my heart he knew that it was time for him to leave us and his peaceful demeanor was his way of letting us know that we were doing the right thing.

The vet told us several times that he was suprised how long Oscar lived considering all of his health problems. Dr. said that Oscar was lucky to have people who cared enough about him to take such good care of him. I think we were lucky to have Oscar take care of us. He not only made us laugh and gave us unconditional love, but also taught us that there are some things so much larger and important than ourselves and our own selfish needs. He showed us that sacrifice is not always a bad thing. That financial priorities have to be re-examined when the health of a loved one is at stake. And most importantly, no matter how much love you have in your heart, there is always room to give just a little bit more.

Oscar’s ashes sit in an urn on the top of my desk beside a picture of the two of us together. He will stay there as a reminder to me of just how deeply another soul can touch our lives. And also to remind me to never take for granted the power of loving and being loved.

I wish that everyone could know the love a pet brings if only we allow them to give it. We now have 2 shih tzu puppies and they are truely a joy. But I know that Oscar will always hold a unique place in my heart. Maybe because I needed him so much more than he needed me.

Thank you, Mr. Levin, for allowing me to tell you about my extra-special boy Oscar. God Bless and have a wonderful holiday season.

Roni from NM