It's been three weeks since I lost Oscar. It was one of the most difficult times in my entire life. He had been diagnosed with Cushings Disease, and unfortunately, fairly advanced. At 13, I'd thought he was simply aging -- slowing down, some hair loss, etc -- but when he began to drink water continuously, I thought his kidneys were failing. At the vet, tests were done and the diagnosis made.
I did a lot of research, and learned extensively about the disease in dogs. It's truly a cruel disease, in that it gradually takes away their ability to walk, increases thirst and hunger and continues muscle wasting. There's treatment, but it's very expensive and does not reverse the disease. In fact, from my research, I learned the main benefit of medication alleviates the thirst and hunger -- but usually does nothing for hair loss, body changes. And after long consideration, I just decided to make his life as happy as possible for the time he had left. If he'd been younger, or not as advanced when it was discovered, I would have opted for treatment.
At any rate, he lived nearly another month and it's safe to say, he had his every heart's desire. I even took him to the park a couple times, though we had to walk very slowly since he stumbled easily. He got all his favorite treats, and I put no limit on how much he ate. I'd always watched his weight, since doxie's can have spinal issues if too heavy.
But alas, the day came when I realized his quality of life was slipping away. He was the sweetest dog I've ever known: never met a stranger, loved everyone, especially children. He was never a biter, and most of all, he loved his long walks in the park or neighborhood. Unfortunately, I'd not been able to take him as often in the past year due to my own knee and back issues. However, for most of the years I had him (9), we went on two mile walks through the neighborhood and he looked forward to that every day. When walking on pavement became troublesome for me, I switched to a nearby wooded park and we went at least three times a week.
My other two dogs do miss him. Rambo walked through the house whining for a week, and even now, if I mention Oscar's name, the other two will start searching for him. It's been an adjustment after his loss, but things are settling down now. I don't plan on getting another dog; two seems easier for me to manage than three. The only reason I had three was that Muffin was not being taken care of by the neighbors. She was, like all my pets, a rescue.
I guess I'd always thought dachshunds were snippy and mean, but Oscar changed all that. He, without a doubt, was one-of-a-kind and I know my step-dad would be happy that I took Oscar after he died. And that Oscar had a happy, loving home with me and my other dogs.
R.I.P Oscar Meyer Wiener, February 2015