Thursday, February 19, 2009

Oscar Worf 7/20/93-2/18/09

I lost my best friend yesterday. My best friend with four legs.

Oscar had some kind of event this past weekend. The vet, our wonderful Dr. Weaver, thinks he either had a severe stroke or had a blood clot that went to the brain. Either way, the result was the same: he kept falling, couldn't walk straight, couldn't drink a lot, and really didn't recognize or interact with us. Our last interaction with him was Sunday night, when he licked our faces at bedtime as what I think was his goodbye to us. Dr. Weaver told us it was time, and we couldn't be selfish and keep him here only for us. We sent him to the Rainbow Bridge, and he passed peacefully in my arms. I know he's there with my dad, who always pretended not to like him but who would get him chicken biscuits when we'd visit. I know Dad will take good care of him till we get there.Oscar was one of a kind. He never caught on that he was actually a dog, and he educated these rookie dog owners in his ways. He instead considered himself more of a small person in a fur coat. He was mightily offended by any other dog who greeted him with the traditional "butt sniff" and preferred the company of people to canines any day.

And he always had to be in the middle of the action. If something was going on, he wanted to be in on it. Gathered around a table? You'd better have a chair for His Royal Lowness, as we came to call him. He was an experienced traveler and a shopper extraordinaire. He even had his own stroller (or royal carriage, as his dear Aunt Jill called it) in which he rode through the streets of Pigeon Forge, TN, Highlands, NC, Calhoun, GA, Roanoke, VA, and Man, WV, among other places. He visited the beach at Hilton Head, but he wasn't fond of the water. The waves kept chasing him.Oscar was a clown, and a constant source of laughter and entertainment for us. But most of all, he was a source of comfort and my confidante. He greeted me each day when I came in with a wag and a kiss. If I was upset, he licked the tears away... and he did that quite a bit in those dark days after my dad passed away. It didn't matter what kind of a day I'd had... he always wanted to play his version of fetch (three tosses and I'm through because I'm not a retriever, thankyouverymuch) or beg for a treat (Beggin Strips, please!) or bury a dog biscuit somewhere in the house to plan for the upcoming Dog Cookie Famine. I know we're going to be finding dog cookies around the house for months, if not years. And when he chose to "unearth" a cookie, he would stand and bark for you to get it for him, even though it was right in front of him. Yes, we were well trained humans.Oscar was simply the best dog on earth. We never intended to have a dog, but evidently God had other plans, and we needed Oscar as much as he needed us.

We miss him terribly. Last night it was hard to get to sleep, because I had become accustomed to his little rear snuggled up against my leg. And if you moved, he would slam his butt back up against you as if to say "perhaps you didn't understand... I'm sleeping here, up next to you." I had an entire half of a king-sized bed to myself whereas I'd become accustomed to only having a small area because the dachshund had to stretch out horizontally across the bed. I didn't like having that much room.

When the pain subsides, and I hear from others that it will, we'll begin to look for a puppy. Not, you understand, to replace Oscar, but to take this giant amount of love that he generated in us and give it to another. Oscar's legacy is that I cannot imagine not having a dachshund. We will love one again, but we will never, ever forget our little man, his place in our lives and our heart and what he meant to us.Goodbye, my little man. I love you so very much, and I miss you so much it hurts. I'll never forget you, and I'll be there to get you at the Rainbow Bridge one day. Enjoy those chicken biscuits you're getting from Dad till I get there.

Lend Me A Puppy

“I will lend to you for awhile a puppy,” God said,
“For you to love when she lives and to mourn when she’s dead.
Maybe for twelve or thirteen years, maybe for two or three,
However, will you, till I call her back, take care of her for me?
She’ll bring her charms to gladden you and should her stay be brief,
You’ll always have her memories as solace for your grief.
I cannot promise she will stay, since all from earth return.
But there are lessons taught below I want this pup to learn.
I’ve looked the whole world over in search for teachers true
And from the folk that crowd life’s land, I have chosen you.
Now will you give her all your love, nor think the labor vain?
Nor hate me when I come to take my dog back home again?”

He fancied that he heard us say “Dear Lord, Thy will be done,
For all the joys this dog will bring, the risk of grief we’ll run.
We’ll shelter her with tenderness; we’ll love her while we may
And for the happiness we’ve known, forever-grateful stay.
But should You call her back to You much sooner than we’ve planned,
We’ll brave the bitter grief that comes, and try to understand.
If by our love we’ve managed Your wishes to achieve
In memory of her we loved, please help us while we grieve.
When our faithful bundle departs this world of strife,
We’ll get yet another dog and love her all her life.”

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Can you help my friend Jen?

Jen is one of my dear friends from Ravelry, and she's doing something very big here...

See, Jen suffers from MS, which thank goodness, seems to be in remission right now. I have another dear, dear friend with MS, so this cause is particularly close to me.

Jen's doing a walk to raise funds for MS research, and I'd appreciate it if you could support her if at all possible. The link to her personal fundraising page can be found here.

She's got two of the cutest kids on earth, and they need their mommy healthy and strong to play with them as they grow up...

Jen's retired Navy, and her husband's currently on active duty, so they've given a lot to our country. I'm proud to be able to give something to them.

Even if you can't make a donation, please leave her some words of encouragement on her blog! And tell her Jean & Oscar sent ya. :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I'm going on a rant

So the new administration has taken over, and so far, two Cabinet level nominees have had tax problems. One was a senator; one previously worked for the Federal Reserve and is going to be the Secretary of the Treasury, in charge of tax collections and the IRS.

Seriously, is it too much to ask that people who make the tax laws for the rest of us to follow pay their tax liability? I don't care what your party affiliation is... Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Devil Worshipper... Pay your freakin' taxes if you want to be in charge!

I mean, I'm not buying this "honest mistake" crap. I haven't met an IRS auditor yet who is gonna let that excuse fly. And there's a word for that much unreported income. It's called "evasion". Or at least it used to be.

I spend a significant portion of my time every year doing tax returns for honest, hard-working people who pay their fair share. They grumble. They complain. They ask me to do the best I can within the law to minimize the amount they have to pay. But they pay it.

I believe anyone who governs us should do the same. And if you fail to do so, don't blame it on Turbo Tax or your accountant. Seriously, dude. Write the check. When you're supposed to. The rest of us have to.

Or maybe our new Secretary of the Treasury will give us a new "honest mistake" box on the 1040. Yeah, right.