Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Thundercloud's Ironman "Oscar"

As pet owners, we all realize that eventually we are going to lose our animals. Unfortunately, that doesn't stop us from spending years getting attached to them and when we do lose them, it is one of the greatest pains we can suffer.

For those of you who don't know, Marlo is a professional dog trainer. We have always had dogs. In fact, dogs are the reason we met and started dating. Our dogs play a pretty major role in our lives. They are our constant companions. Our confidants. They love us unconditionally, no matter our standing in life.

Almost twleve years ago, we went to look at a 7-week-old Boxer puppy. He was a cute little guy, brindle and white and shaped a little like a barrel with legs. I knew that he was going to be my best buddy the moment I saw him, and we took him home an hour later. That's when Thundercloud's Ironman, or "Oscar" as we called him, became part of our family. And I was right... He quickly became my best buddy.

For most of his life Oscar had issues with his health. He was allergic to almost everything. Food allergies and seasonal allergies plagued the poor guy and the allergies led to ear infections which in-turn led to a lot of head shaking and, eventually, three surgeries for ear hematomas. Oscar was also prone, as a lot of Boxers are, to tumors and lumps. He went under the knife multiple times to have things removed, and we often joked that it was a good thing we bought him and not some other family. I mean, who else would invest the time, money and love into such a veterinary cash-cow?

We did, and we never thought twice about it. In return we were rewarded with 12 years with a great dog. Maybe the best dog we'll ever have.

Early this morning, at about 1:30am, Oscar woke us up with his restless panting. Something was obviously wrong, so I carried (all 86lbs of him) to the car and rushed him to the 24-hour emergency vet. Apparently a tumor on his liver had ruptured and was causing some massive internal bleeding. We really only had one choice.

At 2:30am, we gave our old guy a peaceful, dignified and loving end to a life that has been filled, and that has filled us with love for almost twelve years.

Rest in peace, old-timer. We'll miss you.

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