The life and times of an English Airedale Terrier puppy

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Oscar's Stone and Mini Oscar

Hello, thank you all for keep stopping by and checking up on us. It means a lot. We thought you might like to see the pebble we had made for Oscar. We are really pleased with it. We didn't want anything with dates or anything like that on, just something positive to remind us of him in as happy and simple a way as possible.

Once we knew how big it was, we were able to finish planting. Hopefully before too long the planter will now be a mass of colour.

A very lovely lady in America who used to read Oscar's blog contacted us after he died to send us her condolences and support. We have kept in touch since. She makes mini Airedales from felt and wanted to send us one. He is absolutely beautiful and has been going everywhere with me.

The photos don't really mini Oscar justice, but he even has teeny tiny Airedale eyebrows and a big juicy Airedale nose.

He will be treasured forever along with all your tributes, kind words, cards, thoughts and prayers.

We are doing OK. As some of you mentioned, it had now been just over a month since we lost Oscar. In some ways it doesn't feel that long, but in another way it seems like ages since we last stroked or cuddled him or had him bumbling around the house.

We are still finding that there are people to tell - people that I used to see out walking who have seen me and asked where he is, people at our local pub who have asked about him. Yesterday was the first grooming at our Airedale club class since Oscar died. Ralf & Molly's mum and dad went along and told people there for me, so we have had emails and messages from people there in the last couple of days. I am sure there are other people who still don't know. Oscar certainly was a very popular puppy.

We still have days when we feel very teary and emotional. I suppose we just have to be easy on ourselves and try not worry to much if we feel sad or if other people don't understand that we are still mourning. We were sent a very good little booklet called "When an animal friend dies" which has been very helpful to read.

As I have said before, I suppose only time will heal the pain of losing Oscar, but I'm not sure we will ever fully get over the shock and sadness, just learn to live with it and move forward and try to remember as many of the happy times as possible. Hopefully that doesn't sound negative, it's not meant to.

Katy and Martin xxx

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Oscar's Fields

I think you all know by now how much Oscar loved his almost daily visits to his beloved Seven Fields. No matter how many times we went, rain, wind, snow or shine, he never seemed to tire of running around there either on his own or with friends old and new, with or without a ball or tasty stickie. Here are some of our favourite photos of Oscar doing his thing there. It is nice to think that a little bit of him still lives on in the fields he loved so much.

I have also tried to add some videos of Oscar playing at Seven Fields here which were saved in Video Egg, but they are appearing as black boxes and won't play. Maybe there's a blip with the site. I'll try again later.

Katy and Martin x

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Goodbyes & Hellos

Firstly, thank you so much for continuing to visit Oscar's blog and for all the lovely messages you have left. It has been nice to feel you are all still there for us.

Thank you also for the many beautiful cards we have received. Amber-Mae, we have received the beautiful drawing & it is being framed. We will post a photo once it's done. Thank you so much for sending it to us, we will treasure it.

On Saturday we went to collect Oscar's ashes. It was a very emotional thing to do & definitely made it hit home that he was really gone. Before that it had almost seemed unreal or as if we were stuck in a bad dream. I am glad we chose to have him cremated and get his ashes back though. They came in a beautiful casket.

When we got the ashes, we almost couldn't bear to not have them in the house with us. We kept them with us over the weekend, and decided it was better to do what we originally intended. We went & bought a planter to put his casket in. Although it is rather plain, we both really liked this one. We placed his casket in the bottom and planted the rose bush from Poppy's mum. We have ordered a memorial pebble like the top one here which we will place in the front of the planter, then we can add more plants around it. We want his pot to be as colourful and full of life as possible. You all know how Oscar loved his gardening, but at least these plants will survive his pruning attempts. We can see the planter from the house, so will always be able to keep an eye on him, and if we were ever to move we can take him with us. I will post a collection of photos from Seven Fields soon.
We are still looking for a nice trophy, plate or statue for the training club award. We have a couple of ideas, and will let you know when we have chosen something. I am going to go along on Wednesday next week and take his new training dumb bell and a few of his tennis balls for their "toy box". I know I'll probably find it really hard, but I still feel like I want to go and see everyone and take something of Oscar's along.

Moving on to happier events, we went to see baby Leo on Monday. He's really teeny tiny still. We had lots of cuddles, I fed him and Martin even did a very smelly nappy change. He's a really good boy and barely made a whimper all day.

You can see how small he is on this photo. He was 5lbs 10oz when he was born, so I imagine he's only put on a little bit of weight since then. I'm not that used to handling babies, especially tiny ones so it took me a while to feel confident. With his 2 girls, Martin is a pro already as you can see.

Hopefully we'll be able to go over and see him regularly. They live about 1 1/2 hours drive away, so we should make the effort to go over every 6 - 8 weeks and see Leo grow up.

One thing we found quite hard about going to visit was that they have a 2 year old Border Collie. He's called Samwise (from Lord Of The Rings) and although he's a lovely boy, it was just hard being around a lively puppy for a whole day.

We gave him Oscar's harness as he's a puller when walking and it definitely helps, especially if Michelle is going to be pushing a pram and trying to walk him too. He is so good around the baby. We went out for a meal at the local pub and he lay by the pram lots as if to guard it and keep an eye on the baby, and in the house he does the same. He doesn't touch any of the baby's soft toys, he seems to know already that they're not his. I know Border Collies are very clever dogs, and Sam definitely seems to be true to type.

We are printing out all the pages of Oscar's blog & memorials. There certainly are a lot, and there are probably some we haven't found yet! Thank you again to everyone who has cared about us and Oscar so much.

Now we are feeling a little bit stronger, we will make our way around your blogs and see what you've all been up too. I'm sure there's lots to make us smile.

Katy & Martin xxx

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Our Oscar

Before we say anything else we just want to say thank you so much for the unbelievable number of messages, emails, cards, prayers and tributes to our darling Oscar. We are completely overwhelmed by how many people loved and cared about our boy, and how many of you are there to support us. It has been a great comfort to us to know that we have such a great network of people out there from our next door neighbours to the furthest corners of the globe. We will reply to all your emails and tributes, but it's going to take us some time so bear with uis and know that we are very grateful for all your support.

When we set up Oscar's website, we wanted to share the joy and laughter brought into our lives by our fuzzy little clown. We are feeling upset now that so many people have been saddened by the death of our darling boy. When we started his blog, the thought of losing him was not in our mind - we just assumed he would be a part of our lives for 10 or more years rather than 10 months.

On the one hand we feel quite guilty at feeling so devastated by his death after him only being a part of our family for such a short time when lots of people have to deal with the loss of their beloved pet after many years together, but then we think that to lose a seemingly healthy puppy so quickly and unexpectedly is just as much of a shock.

We have spent the last 5 days doing lots of crying, talking about Oscar, looking at his blog, photos and videos, reading your emails, messages and tributes and realising that we had many, many people to tell the awful news about Oscar. He certainly was a popular puppy and had definitely packed a lot into his 13 months.

It is clear that Oscar was a one-off and touched the lives of people with his sweet looks and nature, clownish personality and eagerness to do anything asked of him. We were so blessed that David and Martin his breeders trusted us into our care after he had already had one home, and we will be forever grateful to them.

I hope Oscar enjoyed every second of his time with us. We always tried to make sure he had the best of everything - care, attention, what we thought was the best food for his poor delicate little tum, visits to lots of different places, training, having fun at agility, lots of toys, friends to play with every day, good walks and most of all more love than you can imagine.

At the moment it is hard to imagine life without him. The house is desperately quiet. It's so strange to come downstairs in the morning and not see him still snoozing on the sofa or his bed not wanting to get up (he was never a morning dog), or to hear his claws tapping around on the wooden floor and his tags jingling. When we came home from work we used to be able to hear his tail bashing against the radiator in the hallway as it wagged like mad in anticipation of us coming through the door. Not hearing that is very strange. So much of our daily routine revolved around him - meals, walks, training, agility, grooming, visits to meet up with new friends we had made since getting him - it's as if we have lost a huge chunk of our day to day structure. I suppose in time we will work out what we used to do before, but at the moment it feels very strange.

We do know that Oscar was such a little ray of sunshine that he would not want us to be sad for a long time, so we have tried to look to doing some nice things to remember him in a happy way.

We have arranged for Oscar to be cremated, and we have decided to scatter some of his ashes over at Seven Fields which must surely have been his favourite place as he played there every day with his pals. We will keep the rest and are going to get a nice garden planter to bury them in. His pal Poppy's mum bought us a lovely rose bush which you can see in the photo, and we will plant that in there too. We are going to have a boulder memorial made to put in the garden.

We have spoken to Tracey who ran his obedience and agility class and asked her if we can create an award in his memory to be given out at their annual prize night. She thought it was an excellent idea, so we will start looking for a nice trophy and think up a fitting award title. Any suggestions are welcome.

On the day that Oscar died, Martin's sister-in-law gave birth to a premature baby boy. They have named him Leo after Martin's middle name. Though small, Leo is perfectly healthy and is at home already. We are going to visit them all on Monday. We thought maybe Oscar gave Leo his place here and made sure he was safe and healthy.

Since Oscar died, all the awful rain we have had for months has disappeared overnight and we are left with glorious summer days. Perhaps Oscar is sending that sunshine down for us to tell us not to be sad.

We are going to print out all the pages of Oscar's blog along with all the beautiful tributes and create a special book which we can look at always and remember the very happy times we spent with our precious boy. I hope everyone who reads his website will be able to do the same.

We will continue to visit the other blogs and look forward to seeing all the adventures Oscar's pals get up to.

We will update Oscar's blog again when we take his ashes to Seven Fields.

Well, we could talk forever about our precious Oscar, but I want to leave you happy not sad. Here are a selection of our favourite photos of our fuzzy little clown that we hope will make you smile.

Katy and Martin xxx

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