The last six weeks or so have been a rough time at Rancho Los Dos Terriers. In short, we lost our Little Oscar Boy. When we lost Lucy, he went into a deep decline, both mentally and physically. If a dog can said to be in clinical depression, he was. He also suddenly stopped being the energetic terrier we knew, the dog that two six year old boys dubbed “The Fastest Dog in the Universe”. He perked up a bit when we got Little Sally Yates, but her puppy energy, which seemed at times to border on hysteria, just plum wore him out. Then he started another decline, again, both mental and physical. He greyed rapidly, he wasn’t as energetic, and, more disturbingly, he began to get grumpy and snappy. Numerous trips to the vet, with X-rays and scans, couldn’t find anything physically wrong with him in terms of painful spots. But he continued to decline. Finally, the last six weeks were shockingly bad. He became aggressive to the point of attacking Andy and others. He was surprisingly tolerant of Sally, and he knew with me on which side his kibbles were buttered. Until he started to have what, in a human, would have been diagnosed as “sundowning”. At about 7PM every night, he would get increasingly confused, then aggressive and guardy, but guary for things that typically have no “dog value” like pencils, notebooks, the corners of rooms. It progressed so rapidly, I started dosing him with Lucy’s left-over opioids to keep him calm through the night. Finally one evening, he came in with his eyes unfocussed, shaking his head and appearing confused and agitated. I called him over to me and he attacked me so fiercely, I had to repeatedly hit him with a hardcover book to get him to let go of my arm. By this point, I no longer recognized, either mentally or physically, my beloved little dog.
With a sense that there was going to be no way back from this, I went to the vet. He heard the story, took one look at Oscar’s eyes and said he could see there was pressure from inside Oscar’s skull. He declared it a virtual certainty that Oscar had a brain tumor that was in a late critical stage. The decision was made to say goodbye to him. Although, I realized I’d been saying goodbye for this past year as I watched him slip away. I took some final pictures, but I don’t want to remember him that way. The dog on those final days was not any dog I knew and certainly not my Oscie.
So I want to remember him as the goofy, energetic little ranch dog who loved ATV rides, swimming in Lake Charles (named for our departed Founding Terrier), snuggling up close, and watching AM Joy with me on Sunday mornings.
Vale, sweet terrier. Sir Oscar Doglington-Smyth, Baronet. Oh little dog with a big name. Now you will join our Founding Terriers, Bonnie Prince Charlie and Lady Lucinda Davinia Doglington-Smyth. We will be laying you to rest in the pet cemetery overlooking Lake Charles on the Rancho. Where you can keep a sharp terrier spirit eye out for varmints, critters and other interlopers.