Oscar
2/25/2005 - 6/27/2019Oscar the brave and loyal! He selected me when I visited the breeder he jumped from the cage leaving his mom and frolicking siblings as he sunk into my lap. There was an instant bond that stayed between us for his 14+yrs as my defender and devoted companion. Oscar’s older brother, Ralph , passed in 2017 and he and I grieved for months as we both fought the sorrow of losing our beloved family member. For 12 years it had been the three of us as a pack. We traveled often to NY and other places where we visited family. We took wine tours in upstate NY, hikes and frequent strolls through the streets of NYC and upstate. We walked Worth Avenue here in Florida and we did daily walks along the intracoastal. The intracoastal is where all of us were happiest. So as the time of Ralph’s passing Oscar and I would enjoy the serenity of the breezes as Ralph sat in a stroller and Oscar led us down the walk on the intracoastal. Oscar was always on guard to protect us and no other dog would dare come near his family. When Ralph passed we grieved together and our love even grew stronger as we knew our time together was finite. My little protector never let me from his sight. He followed closely and when he rested he would position himself on the back of a chair high enough to be able to follow me with his eyes. Oscar and I had 2 yrs and 4 mos of time together after Ralph passed. I had hoped those years would be full of happiness. The first year was special as we got to exercise, travel and even dine alfresco together. We were inseparable. In March 2018, just one year after Ralph’s passing, Oscar was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma. He underwent surgical excision of the tumor and it was recommended he start chemo. The oncologist gave him 3 mos without treatment or 8 months if treated. We opted to try chemo but it was a huge mistake. Oscar became wretchedly ill, extreme “toxic poisoning” was the diagnosis. After days in intensive care the doctors said there was nothing further they could do. His white blood cell count was zero. They discharged him to be sent home to die. I put him in my car and sped up hundreds of miles north to Gainsville to University of Florida oncology for small animals. There they treated him in more intensive care protocols and miraculously Oscar survived. They called me to take him home from the hospital to get him away from germs since his white cell count was still low. While driving home my little man began coughing with heavy respiration. Once more we headed to intensive care. Oscar had aspirated his vomit and now his lungs were inflamed and full of pneumonia. IVs antibiotics and constant attention helped him heal. He laid in my bed with air purifiers and humidifiers blasting around him. My brave little man pulled through because he wanted to be able to continue to protect me. Oscar survived the tumor surgery, the toxic chemo and pneumonia. We focused on building his immunity with mega immune boasters and special organic diet. We began traveling to UofFL for oncology staging every three months. Our trips were centered around visits to friends and family along the way. We made every minute count and initially the stagings showed no cancer reoccurrence. Oscar had resumed his role as my protector chief. He happily took long walks and enjoyed our neighborhood pets along the way. Afternoon naps were always on the back of the sofa ie chair so that one eye remained open and focused on me to ward off squirrels or birds that would be in our yard! My little guardian fell off the back if the couch.and tore his hind leg ligaments and so we started therapy to strengthen his leg muscles. After several weeks of aquatic treadmill I noticed Oscar began to cough when he drank too much water from his bowl. An X-ray led to an Echo cardiogram which revealed a large. BENIGN tumor compressing his heart. How could this be? We had been 9 months cancer free and now we had a huge benign tumor threatening his life. The cardiologist considered him grave. We began prednisone and Oscar’s coughing stopped. Miraculously he showed no signs of respiratory distress and we continued to enjoy life together. As months went on I became convinced the cardiologist had erred in her diagnosis. Then Oscar grew weak with muscle atrophy from months of steroid use. As we weaned the steroids from his body the cardiac tumor grew and suddenly Oscar’s respiration became troublesome. I held and massaged my boy constantly. I put cold packs on his chest and at all times his big beautiful eyes started into mine. He refused to succumb to another illness. Oscar fought to stay with me. I syringed his puréed food into his weak jaw. I syringed his water. He wanted at all times to be held and loved and just to be able to touch me. This brave little soldier fought a hard battle to stay alive. When it was time to ease his suffering he starred deeply into my eyes, calmly trusting that I would do what was best. I will never get over his courage, strength and will to survive for me. You are my hero little man. My brave protector and you have left me with a hole in my heart that shall ever hurt. Rest In Peace until I am with you again. i wish I could witness the joy of your reunion with Ralph. I love both if you so much and forever. Momkaren estabrookWest Palm Beach, FloridaJune 30, 2019
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