Puppy: Oskar



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Member Since: May 20, 2008

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monkEE's Puppy


14 yr. old AKC red Siberian Husky. "I have driven dogs a time or two, enough to know what a driver means when he says the dogs' exuberance can get up inside you, that you can take on their abandonment and their great generosity of spirit, that you have to discipline that in them, and in yourself. I stand on the sidelines and watch in simple awe the unhesitating charge through a long turn of a team that wants to run, being driven by someone who knows that desire in them and cares for it, who communicates empathy and respect. What dogs give in these circumstances is enough to humble a human being for the memory of any niggardliness in his life. A person would have to be a fool to abuse such heart. Any one would have to be callous, nearly finished as a human being not to want to raise his arms in salute as such animals roared past, a fury of hot breathing gone like a shot down the trail."--- Barry Lopez, author of Arctic Dreams. "What dogs give in these circumstances is enough to humble a human being..." How well my husband and I know the spirit of a sled dog. In our case, it's a husky named Oskar. He was a rescue... minutes from being shipped to the dog pound. The family who owned him as a pup had forgotten that a pup requires more than they were equipped to give as their dogs were older and much less demanding. Yes, they named him "OSCAR" but once we had him we knew he was more regal that some hot dog! July 4th, 1995ish I woke to our "baby" starring intently into my face, then my "nursing/Mother" hearing came into focus. He had a collapsed lung and I knew we had to get him to an animal emergency center pronto! I woke my husband and off we went several miles from our home. I told the emergency room staff that I was a nurse and that he had a spontaneous pneumothorax, to which they responded, "and how do you know that?" It took all that was kind in me to remember, if I was in their place, it is an apt question. After they listened to me and his chest, they concurred with my diagnosis and admitted him to their facility. We found out the next day that he had a bleb on his lung (it's like a bubble) and it had burst collapsing the lung. Through a hellish week, we hoped his lung would re-inflate; but it didn't. We were given the option, surgery at about $3000 and hope for the best or surgery at about $3000 and he may not make it. I took the afternoon off and went to the facility to see him, I thought for the last time. He was so excited to see me and had not eaten much that week and was thin as a rail! He smiled and huffed and puffed so short of breathe and with a purple tongue licking (lack of oxygenated blood) my face wanting me to take him home. I talked to him like he as a child who understood me and told him all the stuff all "good" mothers tell their children before surgery. We had told the doctor that if it didn't look good, not to bring him out of the anesthesia. He was so angry with me when they took him back into the facility and I believe to this day, that is what got him through his surgery. I heard him scream when they put in the IV. Then I tried to read. The surgery seem to take forever. Then the doctor came out and said he made it but that they could not guarantee that it would not happen again. They did not know the cause and could not figure out why his lungs looked like a smoker's lung as none of us smoked. There was not anything in the literature about this syndrome (which I might add with PRIDE that my husband tracked down the info. for the Vets), and now it is known that this syndrome is common among huskies. His surgeon is amazed that he has lived to his current age of 13 yrs. old as he had a Dobbie that had the same condition and died within 2 yrs. after his initial incident. With a Victorian collar and his chest wired together, he got into our car and immediately "punched" it like he was saying, "Where the heck have you've been??? HMMMM???" Frightened that he would break his ribs (cut from neck to abdomen) we had to take him to our kennel daily, like a child to daycare, as he had to rest and have his activity monitored. He weighed 35 lbs and we thought we were going to lose him because he didn't have an appetite (part of the syndrome). But being a "good" mother, I "chunka monka" him (like the train of food coming into the mouthes of babies) until he survived. Of course there were many of nights of hand feeding that I cried, prayed for divine intervention and begged him to eat. I even stimulated him with cheddar cheese bites. "Hey, Lorene Green says it good for dogs!" says, Oskar. He has shown us over the yrs. that he IS a survivor and he will adapt. He survived Parvo, he is currently fighting doggie Alzheimer's (Canine Dysfunction Syndrome), losing his hearing, sense of smell, and now his back legs are less strong. But he demands his walks, digs into the snow to pull us as he would a sled, and NEVER takes "no" for an answer. He's adapted to the hearing loss, feeling the percussion of my clapping hands. He watches our face and lips for the familiar words he wants to "hear." When he falls, he gets back up and finds that "bunny hopping" is just as effective way to run up those steps two at a time. That's our sled dog with a leader's heart. That's OSKAR! On May 28, 2008 Oskar went to the Rainbow Bridge. His love and legendary optimism about life, love, and living with an indomitable spirit lives on. He'd want you to enjoy his pictures, laugh and eat cookies!! I will upload more as I can. We love you Oskar. m~

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