The Story of Oscar

The time change has traumatized me. Well, maybe less traumatized and more makes-me-stay-up-late-so-getting-up-early-is-hard. What this means is that house project stuff is stalled. Which will disappoint no one reading this. Because I’ve discovered a secret about my readership. I suspect that you, like myself, are not DIY over-achievers.

You think I didn’t notice how much more you liked (and read) the goofy posts? You think I wasn’t seeing the yawns when I discussed the painting of my fireplace. OK, I admit that bored me too but when I manage to slog through something, I’m pretty amazed.

So rather than share my joy of caulking (but don’t worry, I’m writing that up too. Oh yes I am.) I thought I would write up a little about Oscar. My Oscar-doodle-doo. The good boy.

A few years ago, I was driving to Arizona for Christmas. I had a car jam-packed full of luggage and Christmas gifts. The car also was full of animals. I had three dogs at the time and my cat along for the ride. All of the dogs were greyhounds so they were big and filling up the back of the car.

We stopped for gas along the way. This was one of those truck stops where there is nothing else around for miles. I was walking into the building and noticed a dog standing in the Wendy’s drive thru. He was sniffing the air (hamburgers) but there was no one around that he might belong to. This truck stop was absolutely packed with cars (holiday traffic). There were lines waiting for the gas pumps so people were a little impatient and not paying a lot of attention. This little guy was going to get hit by a car any minute.

Fortunately, he let me pick him up. He was absolutely petrified right from the beginning. I looked around for anyone that might be unaware that their dog walked away from the car. Nothing. I went inside the truck stop and asked around. I asked the clerks to make an announcement over the loud speaker. After almost an hour, I just had to admit that this little guy was on his own.

Because there is nothing around the truck stop, someone had to have brought him and left him there.

So I squeezed him in the front seat with the cat. I bought him a couple of hamburgers (since he had seemed so interested in them before) but he was too scared to eat them. We continued on our way to Arizona. The first chance I got, I stopped at a Petsmart to get a collar and leash so we could safely do potty walks along the drive. He was so petrified when we got out of the car he just flattened himself out and didn’t move. I had to carry him in and carry him through the store.

Oscar, hours after finding him at the truck stop. Classic fear submissive body language.

At some point when I was holding him, I cuddled him and talked softly and something just clicked for him. He LOVED that. It was like he was starving. He kept crawling up against my chest for more. At one point, while I was driving on the freeway in LA, he was up in my lap (I know how unsafe the whole thing was, it was a tough situation) with his head resting on my left shoulder, kind of turned to the side. A car full of, what can only be described as “toughs” (if you’re 100 like me) was in the lane next to ours. These guys looked like they were right out of central casting for gang members. They saw Oscar cuddled up against my shoulder like that and even they smiled warmly.

I promise, he wasn’t in my lap most of the time. When he wasn’t, he was starting to do this. So the only danger here is me taking pictures while driving. Now you know what a dangerous rebel I am!

When we got to Arizona and he had a chance to be loved on by everyone and play with all the other dogs, he started to relax. I kept up trying to find his owners and then even started to investigate finding him a new home. One day, there was a moment, when I realized he had bonded with us and I just couldn’t make him feel abandoned again. I’ve fostered dogs before. It’s hard to see them leave for their new home but I can do it because it is the best thing for them. A lot of dogs even seem to understand they are being fostered and are cool going to the new home. Oscar was not going to be one of those though. He needed to be home.

The vet said he was young. Probably not quite a year old and he was quite under-weight. He has no enamel on his teeth which could be from early malnutrition.

So he was. And he still gets lots of cuddles.


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2 Responses to The Story of Oscar

  1. Sue says:

    Pookies are very interesting, and “ooh” inspiring!

  2. Pingback: Uh Oh, Coco - Love This Space

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