I never understood why people grieved so deeply for their pets until I had to let go of one this week. Here at The Inn On First we have had the privilege of sharing our 3 furry friends, Oscar de la Renta, Hugo Boss, and Calvin Klein, with all of our guests. Oscar, the oldest, came into our lives when he was six years old. A “champion” we were told, but once we got him home he didn’t know any commands: sit, down, come. He would just stare at you. So we called the breeder and asked her about his champion status. “Oh,” she said, “he is a champion for his looks, not for obedience.” Great, a pretty boy.
Eight years later he did come to understand “sit” but only if a treat was in hand, and generally would answer to “come” when breakfast or dinner was ready, and he never really took to “down” no matter how many treats were in hand. A pretty boy he remained.
To all of our guests who visited here: if you ever held one of our dogs in your lap like a baby, on his back, belly up, and rubbed his tummy- that was Oscar. If you stopped rubbing he gave you that piteous stare, until the hand moved over the belly once more. He favored ladies over gentlemen, and often would just curl up on a female guest’s lap and rest his head on her breast. Even to the point where he was unwilling to come back with us into the house. We’d practically have to pry him off her lap. If you were lucky, before he left your lap, he’d give you kisses to thank you for the attention. We called him Munchkin, Oscaruni, Lover Boy, and in the last year Little Old Man.
He had Cushing’s Disease, a form of cancer, that worked on his liver and his brain, slowing things down for him daily. The vet had told us: “No more than two days of not eating. That’s when you call me.” When Jamie went to an East Coast wedding last week and Oscar stopped eating during that week, I begged him to wait until Tuesday, when Jamie would return. Sure enough, he went back to eating until Monday. On Tuesday Jamie returned home and by Wednesday he was gone. Can’t thank him enough for holding on a few extra days for Jamie’s return. Can’t say enough how much we will miss him.
Thank you, to all of you, who ever made him feel welcome, comfortable, taking the time to say hello to him, and caring for him this past year through his aging process. Thanks, too, for all the love, support, and compassion given to us via messages and hugs here at the inn.
Oscar leaves behind his nephew, Calvin, who has many of his pretty boy looks (black/white), but none of that pretty boy charm. Oh, you all know Calvin, our seven year old, the one who wants to announce to the world that there are people in the yard. Yes, the one we tell you to ignore and keep walking as he will immediately stop talking. And don’t forget Hugo, who turned ten today, who loves to chase the tennis ball, and knows if you’ve been here before when he makes this low sounding funny begging sound in his effort to see you and reconnect with you once more. He is distinctive in his single color (black) and his friendly demeanor. Our Welcoming Ambassador for all guests, both new and old alike. Even amid our sadness at Oscar’s loss, we are happy knowing that it is still a dog’s life here at The Inn On First where you can enjoy the company of our little family of furry friends.