As Life Rolls On

As a friend of mine always says, "We plan, God laughs." You never know what life will bring, but the ride can be a blast!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Farewell to a Much Loved Nephew

This is Oreo. He is my 12 year old fur-nephew. He is the dog of my sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Wanda and Kevin. Although I had seen pictures of Oreo many times, I met him for the first time when I moved to Calgary in July 2005. We formed an immediate bond.

Oreo was an amazingly intelligent dog with an incredible amount of personality. I don't think I have every met a dog as intelligent as him. He had a way of being able to let you know exactly what he wanted. He knew exactly what cupboard the dog treats were in and what shelf they were on. If he wanted one, he would take his nose and continuously nudge your arm until you got out of your seat, followed him to the cupboard, then he would sit and point his paw until you opened the cupboard and gave him exactly what he wanted. Every night at exactly 9:30, he would begin walking between Kevin and the stairs leading to the bedrooms until Kevin would say "time for bed", at which point Oreo would would run up the stairs to the bedroom. He loved his "toys" and had favorite ones that no one else was allowed to touch. Those were the ones he hid. I lived with Kevin and Wanda for 3 months when I moved to Calgary. Oreo became my friend and my protector. When my own brother Stephen arrived at the house for a visit, Oreo barked, positioned himself between Stephen and I and refused to move until I assured him it was OK, I was safe.

When Bruce and I moved into our house, Oreo became a regular visitor with Wanda and Kevin. Bruce became the "treat man" and Oreo knew exactly where to go and how to let Bruce know he wanted a treat. On December 22, Kevin, Wanda, Robyn, Danielle (the girls were home from Nfld for Christmas) and Oreo came over for Christmas dinner. Oreo seemed restless after he arrived. He kept wandering the house and going back and forth between the garage door and the deck door. After a few minutes we realized what he was looking for..........BRUCE. Bruce was out on a bus run. When Bruce arrived home later, Oreo was right there at the door waiting for him, excited, with his whole back end moving back and forth his tail was wagging so hard. A little while later, I said it was time to open presents. Oreo went running straight to the tree and positioned himself so that he could get his. When he opened his new toy, he immediately took it and wouldn't let anyone else near it. He was hilarious!

Oreo has been sick off and on for several months now. Tonight I stopped by the house on my way home from work to say goodbye to the girls, as they are flying back to Nfld tonight. Oreo as usual met me at the door, excited to see me. He did not appear to be himself however. Wanda very quickly explained that he had been very ill again, that they had been up all night with him as he was having trouble breathing. They had taken him to the vet today, and the x-rays showed a mass pressing up against his heart somehow, and his lung had filled with fluid. It was difficult to tell exactly what was up, however it was critical. After some discussion with the vet, they had brought Oreo home and the decision was made that it was time to let him go. Although it was a difficult and emotional decision, it was also a compassionate and courageous decision that the family made. We spent the next hour just "hanging" with Oreo and saying goodbye. Kevin and Wanda's friends from next door also came to say goodbye. At 7:00, I said my final farewell, and Kevin, Wanda, Robyn, Danielle and Oreo climbed into the truck together.

Although I will not see Oreo again, I will cherish his memory. Goodbye Oreo, you were greatly loved. You will be missed.

5 Comments:

  • At 9:31 AM, Blogger Barbara said…

    That's tough. Pets really do become a members of the family and when we lose them we go through the same emotions and grieving period. Sounds like Oreo was an amazing dog and that he will be missed terribly.

     
  • At 9:34 AM, Blogger Evie Sears said…

    Pets have a way of becoming integral, intimate companions. It's been almost 11 years since we had to give Fred (our dog) away and I still miss him. I'm looking forward to the time, within a couple of years, I hope, when our lifestyle and living accomodations will allow us to have another dog.

     
  • At 6:57 PM, Blogger Jenn said…

    that is beyond heartbreaking! i'm stunned. maybe oreo will meet up with london in doggie heaven

     
  • At 10:11 PM, Blogger Wanda said…

    Thanks so much Joanne for that beautiful memorial of one of the most special creatures God ever created. He is so missed and we are heart broken beyond words. We loved him so much...

     
  • At 6:11 PM, Blogger PharmacyChick said…

    Thank you for that Aunt Joanne. Oreo will be severely missed. There will never be another dog like him...

     

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