Today is the one month anniversary of having to say goodbye to the old man of our pack. Although, we’ve finally settled into a new routine, and the other dogs have quit looking for him, we’re still feeling his loss something terrible.
Ozzy 8-18-12 to 1-24-19
Ozzy came to us in August of 2012. We had recently adopted a young Min Pin from a rescue, and I followed their Facebook page. I saw this older guy come up for adoption, but I already had four dogs, and didn’t need another one. He came into the rescue due to divorce, and was almost 8 years old, and he liked to do everything fast, his adoption profile said. Then he sat in the kennel for six weeks. And although lots of people commented that they would love to have him, no one ever went and adopted him. I felt so bad for the poor guy just sitting in a kennel waiting for someone to adopt him. Obviously, this was before I got into dog rescue.
The rescue was having an adoption event that weekend, so I told myself I would just go meet him. If he was still there.
He was. And he was twice the size of a normal Min Pin, and had a personality like no other. Ozzy Loved attention, but didn’t want to be picked up. He walked great on the leash, as we walked him around the Tractor SUpply parking lot, and through the store. We brought him home with us that day. He did fine with the our other dogs, Jackyl, Chewy Lewy, Woobie (The Big Boys) and Rico (Our little angel pup), in that he ignored them completely. And after the initial meeting, they left him alone.
Ozzy had 3 goals
My old boy had three goals in life: to be near me, to move fast, and to eat everything he could. His last few days I carried him, from room to room with me, putting him on whatever comfy furniture was there, much to his dismay as he always hated being picked up. In 2015, he lost the ability to get into the truck, or up on the furniture by himself. He didn’t want lifted onto the furniture, so he stayed in beds on the floor. He quit going for rides in the truck, by his choice. Screaming when I had to load him into the truck for vet visits and (forced and short) adventures. He screamed again when he was unloaded, sometimes bringing people running, thinking he was injured, or being abused.
Ozzy had two speeds. Stopped and fast. He never walked much, not even towards the end when he started struggling, he had to run. Although, As he came to us as a senior, his run wasn’t too fast to begin with.He also had very little stamina. Had he slowed down some towards the end, he might have made it to spring, to feel the grass, not crunchy and frozen, under his feet again. But that wasn’t his way. If Ozzy couldn’t run, he didn’t want to do it.
Some people thought Oz was a bit scary, he had a deep bark and a desire to keep strangers from getting too close to me. But he was a big baby. He ran off once while I was out of town on an ATV ride. The kids left him out by himself, and he wandered away. We immediately loaded up the quads and headed for home. It took us 3 hours. The whole extended family had been helping the kids look for him for hours. I found him less than 1/4 mile away, on a trail he and I often walked. I suspect he had been right in the area around the house the whole time, he just wouldn’t come out of hiding for anyone but me. He was my boy. He’d let others pet and love up on him, but he was my boy.
Not the Way I had Planned
It wasn’t the way I had planned for any of the dogs to leave this world. And I feel terrible about it. I know now, not to wait. Not to make them suffer trying to hold out to make myself feel better.
His last ride in the truck was in a laundry basket on the front seat. It was the best way to carry him without him screaming too much. I had failed him, I waited too long to make the call. I should have let him go earlier in the week when he was still walking, struggling, but walking on his own and not in much pain. He should have been allowed the dignity of walking in on his own. I was selfishly waiting for MOH to get home from his latest trip to help, and we didn’t even make it.
Ozzy lost the ability to walk at all the day before. He had been struggling for 2 weeks with the steps, and the slippy floors, and I knew he was getting close. Arthritis had been a problem for him from the time we got him. He had scrawny little legs and a big barrel body. He also had old neck injuries from prior to his adoption that flared up from time to time. We had almost put him down in 2015 when he lost the ability to walk for nearly a month, despite his medications, but he still had so much life in him. So we took him to a different vet and they changed his medications. He totally rebounded and was off and running once again. It bought us nearly 4 more years with him. But medications and supplements can only do so much.
I took him alone to his last vet visit, to a clinic he had never been to before, because I couldn’t get a hold of our normal one, crying the whole way. I stayed with him until the end, and my dad helped with his burial.
Rest in Peace Old Boy, and I’ll see you at the bridge someday. Play with your former buddies, Rico and Grammy. And keep an eye on Baby Emi-lee for us too. Until we see you again.