Man's best friend.

Less than a year after we were married, my wife and I were talking about getting a dog.  We had a house, big backyard, and wanted to practice on a dog before having kids.  So we landed on getting a dachshund and named him Oscar, as in Oscar Meyer Wiener Dog, which we frequently called him.  He was tiny and for several months, was fine with some supervision to stay in the backyard as he did his business.  During the winter the snow was typically higher than him so no worries about escape.  In the spring, we fenced in the backyard and double-checked Oscar's shoulder width to make sure he couldn't wiggle through the wood pickets.

The day we brought Oscar home
On occasion he would escape.  Typically we had to convince a neighbor or guest to call him since he never responded to us.  And he was pretty limber and a jumper-on two occasions we found that he had jumped up onto a dining room chair, then onto the dining room table, to feast on Christmas cookies that had just been frosted or to finish what remained in the bottom of everyone's soup bowls.  He understood the word "DQ" meant a trip in the car to get ice cream.  He also understood squirrel, bath (which he ran from), kids, grandma, bye bye, and snickerdoodle.  And church, he hated church since that meant we'd be gone.

The Easter egg massacre

Hunting eggs
 Our windows in town were tall and nearly reached the floor, which was good for Oscar to run from window to window to bark at pedestrians.  And when the sirens sounded, he ran to the windows in anticipation of seeing flashy red firetrucks speed past the house.  One time when we were in the middle of a remodel project that removed a sinking back concrete porch, he went missing until we heard the whimper of a pup wedged way back under the concrete.  You could barely see him from the hole he squeezed through.  We worked and worked and hours later, after one of our youth group boys was bit trying to get him out, we decided to call in heavy equipment in form a a backhoe.  But, a few more swings of a sledgehammer scared him enough to squeeze back out.  We canceled the backhoe which was en-route.  He loved those youth group boys and showed it best by dribbling just a little on their open-sandled feet when they'd reach down to pet him.

DQ for Oscar's last birthday
Oscar hunted Easter eggs.  No kidding.  We packed plastic eggs with dog treats and jelly beans, and he went on a hunt and rarely needed guidance to find them.  A few years ago he found the stash of empty eggs post-Easter in a bag.  While I was in the shower he had emptied the bag and popped open every one of the eggs.  He had his own Christmas stocking and would sit on his hind legs whining below when we put it up.  We would take him on long walks in town and he pulled us onward.  Once he found a dead frog flattened on the road, which he then proceeded to get flattened in the roof of his mouth.  I had to dig it out.

He and his bear
After we moved to the country I felt a little bad for him.  The windows were too high to see out of and since our yard was so large, we never fenced in a section for him to spend much time outside except while on a leash.  When I quit my job and started working for myself, I put his bed in my office and most of the time that's where he stayed.  He was my only employee.  Since he was older than both of our kids, we told them that Oscar was in charge when my wife and I left them home alone.
Waiting for his Christmas stocking
He stayed in good shape and we kept his weight in check.  When he hurt his back a few years ago and quit walking, he rebounded with a shot but never went up the stairs or jumped onto the couch after that.  We'd take him on walks on the property.  He loved going up the hill to the barn and down the path to the creek.  We pulled off many-a-ticks.  Late last fall he hurt his back again, and had slowed down considerably; we debated, but thought he might rebound well with a shot again.  He did, somewhat, but by February he was struggling to walk and we found him trapped beneath chair rungs or in corners.  It was tough, but we didn't want to see him in pain.  He had a good, long 16 1/2 years.  It is quiet now in my office-no longer the clop clop of his paws walking across the wood floors while I type away.  I do miss him.


Marianne Peters said…
Gulp. This brought tears to my eyes. When I worked from home, my cats kept me company. Thanks for sharing.
Jim Grey said…
Sorry you lost your little buddy, my friend.
Aunt Pat said…
You all gave Oscar a wonderful life, and he left you with fun memories. Sweet memorial to Oscar!!!

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