My Dog Oscar

A Blog Post

Dogs are the best companions any one can have. They give you unconditional love, boost your ego and self-esteem by hanging around you and making your feel wanted and important. In the very early stages of their evolution, they learned to live near humans, the most powerful species upon earth, and form a strong and mutually beneficial relationship with them. If they had our intelligence and awareness, perhaps they would have exemplified and excelled in bhakti yoga

They make the best pets because they mirror human behavior so much that they are always in sync with their masters. If you are happy, they are happy. If you are depressed, they become depressed. I also noticed that if you are disturbed, angry or talking to someone loudly or animatedly, they just walk away because they do not want to be a part of that noise, agitation or negativity.

They usually hang around you when you are in a positive mood, and withdraw if you are emotionally unstable. Since they mirror your behavior as a part of their survival strategy, you can also teach them gentle behavior by your own example. I also believe mindfulness comes to them naturally because their gaze never leaves you even if they are in a faraway corner. It is not that all dogs are alike, but most dogs are friendly and gentle when they are around humans, especially those who take care of them.

I am writing about dogs, because I had a dog named Oscar for 17 full years. He had to be euthanized few weeks ago due to old age and deteriorating health. His death left me with a lot of grief as well as guilt because I did not know and I am still unsure whether I took the right decision or should I have waited for some more months and let him live. His death cleared any illusions I had about my ability to deal with emotional and ambiguous situations or death itself.

When he died before my eyes, I realized in an instant how unprepared I was to face his death or his loss. It did not occur to me until then how unknowingly I led myself into a decision which was going to torment me for a long time. The more I thought of him, the sadder and guilty I became, guilty because the thought that I was in someway responsible for his death due to euthanization kept gnawing at me. Even now, although a few weeks passed away, my heart becomes heavy at the thought that he passed away or he had gone forever and I would never see him again alive.

For the last 17 years Oscar was always with me by my side when I was writing, speaking, recording a podcast or discussing an important topic with friends and family. He was my silent companion and witness to all my conversations and actions. I never ignored him either. I knew when he was hungry, when he had a problem or discomfort or when he wanted to go outside or when he needed me. And I never felt it was a burden to serve him, feed him or help him.

I am sure he must have imbibed many good things from me in all the years he was with us. Although in the last few months of his life he had many old age ailments and yet was struggling to be active and normal, I am happy that he lived a pampered and comfortable life. Within my means I provided him with the best of things a dog could have. I am sure he earned a lot of good karma too with his gentle and amiable nature. I hope he is somewhere in the universe waiting for his rebirth and someday I will again meet him in some form.