Eulogy For a Friend

oscar
Loss is inevitable. We all know that. That knowledge, however, does not take away the sting. I have lost all but one of my grand parents, my mother, my best friend. I have also lost countless pets, and I think it is easy to underestimate how much that loss hurts. We are accustomed to, when it is not our own pet, to be kind but ultimately not weigh that loss as great as losing a human in our life. I think that is a mistake, which is why I refuse to dismiss the most recent loss in my family.

Oscar was not my dog, he was my sisters. My sister, who loves animals as completely as she does any human. I know we all love our pets but I feel confident in boasting that no one loves their pets more than Liz does hers. Most of us pay lip service to the notion that our dogs, cats, birds and others are family, and many of us even mean it, a little. My sister, however, goes all in. Her pets are her children in a very real way. We all give, and get back, love from our animals, but I don’t think anyone gives, or gets back, more than her. I know no pet has ever given or got back more than that adorable pug did.

He was always a momma’s boy, but he always had enough affection for everyone. There was a certain honesty around the dinner table and whoever had the scraps for him got the most attention (so, you know, the toddlers) but away from the dining room he’d snort away as he you scratched his head and petted him between his shoulders. One almost got the impression that he knew how ridiculous he seemed with his piggy noises and his big eyes, and that he could not care less.

I met him the first time I went out to visit Liz when she was still living in Kansas City. We had our fun with the little guy, putting a small piece of Thanksgiving turkey on top of a shelf door to entice him into posing for a silly picture that made it look like he was going after the entire bird. He loved his humans, and we loved him right back. He was around to see my two younger nieces born, and had never not been part of their lives.

Last weekend we lost him. He had been suffering this ailment or that for some time, and it was suspected the poor little guy had a tumor. He hung on though, for one last Thanksgiving, one last chance to wait for those scraps. We all knew he did not have long, and I could tell it was bothering my sister, we just did not realize how short his time really was. The next day, it was time for him to say goodbye.

I will miss the little guy. Obviously not as much as Liz. He was her baby: Oscar the Golden Pug. He was my buddy though, and as much a joy to visit as my sister, brother-in-law, my nephew, or my nieces. That home will not quite be the same without him. That is the way of it though, eventually we all have to leave, whether we have two legs or four. As with everyone who leaves, the little Pugsley has left a little something behind for us: great memories and  all of his love, which the quirky, snorting, scrap hunting hound had plenty to spare. Good bye my friend, you were the best.

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