Oscar’s gone. The 2nd of September 2017. A Saturday. It was sunny, not too hot. He was sick. His kidneys were failing, the situation had been diagnosed the day before. He had really only struggled (that we noticed) the last week of his life. And the week before that, he had a good appetite, was playful around the house, and generally cheery.
He had been off and on poorly all summer. He’d had three or four health crisis with a herniated disc; he’d always bounced back to health, but each time with a bit less capacity and interest in walks and typical doggy things, like playing ball.
He was 13 1/2 years old. I love him and feel grateful he was still in relatively good shape, and happy until his end. I knew at his age, he might just “go” one day, or that each day might be another of a long, slow, painful decline of health. And then he went. He had to. He was too weak to move, eat, drink. Our vet Carlos came to the house. He explained the whole procedure and we were together throughout it. Then Carlos took Oscar’s body away. We got an urn with his ashes a few weeks later.
In December, we’ll put them in a lovely poinsettia tree on our terrace. It was a small plant last year, a Christmas gift from the nieghbours. The poinsettia is native to Mexico, like Oscar. It feels comforting to put his ashes in the pot holding that tree.
a good life
If you know me, and you knew Oscar, (or if you have lost a pet) you can imagine I am vey sad, and the grieving process has its intense moments, and too, everything is fine. It’s that odd mixture of the pain of loss, the joy and celebration of life, the heart break of change, of death, and a certainty about the normality of it all. That’s life.
Oscar had a great life. In terms of his general health he never suffered many illnesses; love and attention from his humans and friends were abundant. He went on lots of adventures, traveled and moved around the world. He always had enough to eat and water to drink, a soft, warm bed. While I am sad, I am happy the health crisis that led to his end of life was relatively short and the vet assures us kidney failure is larely painless.
more to say
I have more to say about Oscar and the things he taught me, and continues to teach me still today. But I don’t have the heart for it now. I’ll write more about my companion and friend Oscar another day.
Today, the Day of the Dead (2 November) is a Mexican holiday to remember and celebrated our beloved departed. I put up a day of dead altar (“ofrenda” as they’d say in Mexico) at Cabanyal Horta. Oscar and other canine friends were remembered.