In Memoriam — My gentleman boy, Oscar (Jan. 2005 – Sept. 2021)

Sep 28, 2021

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My heart is broken with Oscar’s passing, even though I know he lived a full life, lived it well and was loved each day of his life entirely.

The house is quieter, a special energy is missing from our home, and the tears flow unexpectedly and fully.

However, my heart, while in mourning, is bigger than before Mr. Oscar came into my life in 2005 and now capable of loving more deeply, of this I know for sure because Oscar shared his long life with us. 

Oscar came into my life unplanned, as I had just moved into my first purchased home in Portland and my mother heard from her local radio station about a litter of English black cocker spaniels, many still needing a home, and I, a companion.

Oscar and I met in March and his quiet demeanor, walking near me away from his litter mates as they romped drew me to him immediately. I would protect him. I would be his buddy. If anyone knew how to enjoy quiet, peaceful alone time, it would be us.

For four years, the two of us navigated it all together and at the time living in Portland, eventually moving to Pendleton, it wasn’t until late 2009 that Norman would enter our lives, and he would share his kind, patient disposition with Oscar to keep him company while I was at work teaching. Knowing Oscar had a four-legged buddy while I couldn’t be present eased my mind tremendously, even though Oscar would make it known from time to time, he preferred me. 

A more loyal pup, as my mom pointed out, our family has not known and we have had wonderful, devoted dogs. Oscar rarely appears in photographs on the blog or Instagram because he always preferred to be by my side, knowing where I was, to ensure awareness and protection. He was protective not only of me, but of Norman as well, and for that I am grateful.

We walked everywhere together, even trained to walk two marathons and not once do I remember carrying him, even if Norman needed a break in mom’s arms. Fit, with an elegant gate carrying his svelte frame as though gliding on water, his trot always brings me to a smile and now to tears.

Cooking in the kitchen has been difficult as he was my sous chef, and my parents’ too if we were visiting them in Wallowa County, as he loved being underfoot to ensure any nibbles and taste tests were to be enjoyed. My first time back in the kitchen on the evening of his passing which was chosen as doing so is often the best therapy was incredibly hard and continues to be so. I will often be in the kitchen or going about daily activities singing the couple of songs I have made up which include both of my boys’ names, and upon realizing one of my beloved audience members (who kindly put up with my noise) wasn’t there, the tears fall in a deluge. I continue to sing these songs as a way to hold on to his memory. 

I am grateful to our family vet for giving Oscar and our household of him, Norman and myself 15 more months together as last June (2020), Oscar underwent surgery to remove a couple of growths that likely were cancerous. Upon doing so, his health improved immediately. For that extra year+, a year in which I was home nearly all day due to remote work, I am beyond appreciative as not only was I able to be with him, have him by my side while I worked and pottered in the garden (although he preferred mostly to stand guard on the front porch), I was also able to be with him when he most needed me when his health and body began to fail him to help him live with dignity. 

My boys are my children, as I know long-time TSLL readers understand. They give me the gift of companionship coupled with the freedom to be in my own company to live a life I am humbled to be able to live suited to my temperament. Oscar has been with me just as I turned 26. I don’t know what life is supposed to be without him in it, and while I know I will figure it out, thinking about the necessity to do so is not preferred. Oscar gave me the peace, as I share in my first book’s introduction, to discover my true temperament and honor my introversion and celebrate those gifts without shame. Norman continues to further this gift, and to both I am eternally grateful. But it was Oscar who began the healing. 

Our last week together was the most loving, peaceful, celebratory time together I hoped it could be. I knew I could not do what I needed to do for Oscar’s best interest without my parents as they, only second to me, know Oscar and love him deeply. Oscar’s second home is my parents’ place in the country as whenever I would go on a trip to Europe, often my pre-trip was to ensure my boys were well situated and cared for, and that place was my parents’. He knew their house well, my mother’s garden, and the beauty of the fall days amongst the jewel-toned leaves provided a priceless comfort during the most difficult time in my immediate family’s life (the family being Oscar, Norman and myself).

The tears fall without warning and constantly, but I know he is at peace and knew love until the final moment – in my arms, my heart next to his, outdoors at a place he loved to explore surrounded by loving people, and I am forever grateful to my family’s vet and my parents for ensuring I could have this moment with him.

To you, TSLL readers, thank you for your kindness and celebration over the many years regarding my boys, and today, especially Oscar. Oscar often, by his own preference as I initially tried to include him in more images, but realized that would not be his way and I wanted him to live as he felt most comfortable, took the back seat right next to mom while Norman received most of the attention. So many of you always inquired about both of my boys which meant more than you know. All of this is to say, I knew, while this moment is incredibly personal and private and painful, I knew you would want to know. He deserves to be celebrated and the love needs to flow as that is often the best way to heal.

Now I am going to go snuggle with Norman, let the tears flow when they come and be grateful for my sweet, sweet, gentleman boy Oscar’s time (16 years and 8 months) in my and all of our family’s lives.

Always closest to Mom wherever we found ourselves while walking or skiing, I knew right where Oscar was and I am grateful he enjoyed my company.



165 thoughts on “In Memoriam — My gentleman boy, Oscar (Jan. 2005 – Sept. 2021)

  1. Oh Shannon, I am so sorry! Having just lost two of my own fur babies, my tears flow beside yours.

    Oscar, thank you for the years of love and companionship! We will meet you at the Rainbow Bridge sweet boy, run free.

  2. Shannon, I am so sorry for your loss, my tears began flowing as soon as I saw the post. Dear dear Oscar, what a wonderful teacher and companion. Thank you so very much for sharing him with us through the years and for sharing this post. I truly understand how very difficult this was and will continue to be. My heart goes out to you and Norman. Sending much love. Oscar was such a good boy. XOXO Rona

    1. Dear Shannon, I’m so sorry to read this post and am teary-eyed knowing somewhat how you and Norman are feeling. My husband and I have lost several kitties due to cancer and we currently have a 15 year old girl with health issues…they are first and foremost family and losing them is no different than a beloved human family member. It gets a little easier with time, but there is always a scarred-over spot on our hearts with their names on it. ❤️❤️❤️

  3. Shannon, I am so, so sorry for your loss. One of the first things that drew me to TSLL and you was your love for your dogs. Any posts about your pups have always been my favorites, and Oscar had long been in my thoughts when I realized he was getting to be a senior citizen. I’m glad he was able to have a peaceful end to his beautiful life.

    When my pup died a couple years ago, I found peace in looking through old photos and putting together an album that I could look at whenever I was missing her. I’m not sure if it would be helpful to you, but I thought I’d pass the idea along.

    Sending you, Norman, and your parents lots of love <3

  4. Our animals give us such love and then break our hearts with their passing. I’m so sorry. Take good care of your self😢

  5. Oh Shannon, my heart goes out to you and Norman. This is always the hardest part of owning a pet. They stay in our hearts forever. Vannessa xx

  6. So very very sorry for your loss. WE pet lovers share your heartbreak even though we know he lived his best life… it’s never long enough for us.

  7. Dear Shannon,
    This is a beautiful tribute to your Oscar. I’m so sorry for your loss, our fur children leave a big hole in our hearts when they must leave. Treasure your memories and keep him close in your heart. Tears allowed for as long as it takes. Thank you for sharing Oscar with us, it always warms my heart to see their pictures. Much love to you and Norman Debi

  8. So sorry for your loss. I lost my Old English Sheepdog Boris in August this year and I still smell his doggie shoes every night. It broke my heart. The loss is immense.

  9. My condolences, Shannon. I am truly sorry for your loss. 🙁

    Today I have been writing some comments on past posts, trying to catch up, and in one of them I included a word about Oscar. I hope it will not be too painful for you to read it now, but it was done from the heart, and I could not have imagined the current situation. I know from my own experience how painful it is to loose a long time pet companion.

    Allow me to give you a hug, virtual but sincere, and to send much love to you, to Norman, and to your parents.

  10. Shannon, what a wonderful tribute to dear Oscar. He did have a full and happy life with unconditional love and many adventures. This passage of life with our fur children is never easy and so painful.
    Sending you and Norman much love and hugs. ❤🐾

  11. Aah Shannon 💗 there are no words which will comfort just yet , but know that you are all in my thoughts ,sending love and hugs x Anne x

  12. Shannon, I am so sorry for your loss. Sending love and comfort to you and Norman. Oscar was a beautiful boy and you were a great momma to him. We will miss hearing him tap in the kitchen with you.

  13. You have all my sympathy. I too am a pet lover and know the sadness you’re experiencing. As I write this I’m crying. There are many who will strongly disagree with me BUT I believe we will have our dogs in eternity with us if we so desire.
    God bless you, Shannon.
    Teresa

  14. Shannon – there are no words. Just know we are all thinking about you and feel your pain. I lost my King Charles in July – but oh the memories. I laugh and cry at the same time. Thank you for sharing Oscar with us. Sending you big hugs!

  15. Dear Shannon,
    Sending love and care to both you and Norman. It’s true, with deep love comes deep grief, and there is nothing like a dog’s love and devotion. How wonderful you and this dear creature were able to share your lives.
    Sending a virtual hug from Ohio, Deborah

  16. Dear Shannon, your heart is in your words. Your words honoring Oscar, and the photos of this adorable boy, have turned on the floodgates. What a special, loyal boy. Your stories which include Oscar and Norman have been so enchanting to read. And like others, I always wondered why Oscar didn’t often appear in photos. So endearing that he preferred to be by your side. Dogs make the very best companions. I honestly don’t know how some can live without one (or more). Saying good by to a beloved dog is probably one of the hardest thing one faces in life. They are our comforters and our best friends. I’m sitting here in my living room, with Lil’ Leaping Loulou on one side of me, and old Diego on the other, and feeling your pain. My most sincere and deepest sympathy for the loss of dear Oscar. The many wonderful memories of your times together will be with you, forever. XXAnna

  17. Awww, Shannon, I am so very sorry. I know that pain and grief all too well. Hugs to you and sweet Norman. I will be thinking of you both.

  18. I’m very sorry, Shannon. My heart breaks for you. Keep singing Oscar’s songs. (I do the same for my dear Lola.).

  19. Shannon,
    I am so sorry for your loss. Reading this beautiful tribute to Oscar’s life and the bond that the two of you shared brought tears to my eyes. I just lost my dog of almost 17 years in August and I know that there is nothing quite like the love that we share with our four legged friends. Sending all my best to you and I hope with each day your heart begins to heal and be filled with the beautiful memories of him.

  20. Shannon,
    I wept as I read your post. I lost my four legged baby in July and continue to have difficulty adjusting to life without him. I understand your tears and sadness. Oscar was loved and he loved in return.

  21. My dear Shannon, I cried when I read your post. Still am. I’ve loved many an animal in my life. And they loved me back. I KNOW they are capable of love, not just blind loyalty. They choose us just as we choose them and our lives are richer for that special two-way bond. My very deepest condolences.

  22. I’m so sorry Shannon. The loss of these wonderful, loving companions are almost unbearable. Wishing you peace and comfort in the grand memories of Oscar.

  23. I need to add my comment of sadness as well. Only those of us who know the gift of having the love from dogs can understand the pain you are experiencing now. My thoughts are with you.
    With Respect,
    Christine

  24. Dear Shannon, what difficult news to bear and move through. My heart is with you … it feels like all of us here are surrounding you with our thoughts and love. Thank you for sharing this moment with so much grace and care for your family of sweet furry children and everyone. Hugs to you, thinking of you, Liz

  25. Dear Shannon, I am so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute you wrote and the pictures are so sweet. Thank you for being vulnerable and real about the emotions. All of your readers feel close to you and care for you because of your honesty. Praying that you feel the compassion we have for you.
    With deep sympathy,
    Debbie

  26. Oh, Shannon…I am so sorry for your loss. What a difficult time this is, but what a beautiful tribute to him. He was much loved and you in return. May that bring you peace.

  27. Dear Shannon – I am so sorry to learn of Oscar’s passing and your loss. As I read your post, I sit here with my 14 year old pup, Jelly, and relish my time with her. Your post reminds me how precious each day is and that we should always savor every moment with loved ones. You can rest assured that Oscar felt your love and caring each day and was a fortunate pup to have shared all those years with you. You both were blessed with one another. Take comfort in knowing all that you gave him, and that his is at peace. Hugs, Adel

  28. Dear Shannon, I too am sorry for your loss. May your heart be filled with peace and with your wonderful memories of such a lovely companion.
    Warm and caring thoughts to you,
    Libby

  29. Shannon, I’m so sorry to hear about Oscar’s passing. Grieving the loss of a loved one never truly ends. It just becomes a part of who we are and adds depths to our soul. You have many beautiful memories to cherish of your time with Oscar.

  30. I am so sorry for your loss! Oscar had the most soulful expressions I have seen on a dog. He enjoyed a well lived life and was deeply loved, and that is what matters most. I love the picture of him on the porch the most, his eyes! Hugs to you and Norman.

  31. So sorry Shannon. I know this to be incredibly painful and my heart is with you. Thanks for sharing, you are an amazing woman.

    Trish

  32. What a wonderful gift you and Oscar have been to each other. He obviously knew (dogs do) how you valued his presence and essence for 16+ years. He looks up in those photos in such a loving way. Tears will come, and you will continue to know his life and yours were enhanced mutually. Hugs to you.

  33. I am so very sorry to hear of your loss, Shannon. I know too how difficult it is to lose a fur baby. Oscar seemed like such a sweet gentleman and I thank you for sharing him and Norman with us. Sending loving energy to you and Norman as you navigate the grief path.

  34. Shannon,
    My heart is so heavy this morning… I have found myself breaking down with sobs and tears while reading your respectful and loving tribute to “Gentleman Oscar.” I’ve been a follower from the beginning of your TSLL journey, and feel as if I knew Oscar personally and, in that way, I share your pain. We “dog people” will always look at our canine companions as our children, an exceptional gift from the divine, and treasures to hold in our hearts forever. Sending you, Norman, and your parents hugs, comfort, and lots of love now and whenever you feel low.
    I loved how you closed with those precious photos of sweet Oscar – they took my tears away and made me smile. Hopefully, as time passes and your heart begins to heal a bit by embracing those shared, cherished memories, you will smile, too. xx

  35. Our sincere condolences, Shannon. What a precious little life that brought sweetness into this world. Take care.

  36. Shannon, thank you for sharing this lovely tribute to Oscar. I wish you peace comfort and solace with Norman as you are surrounded by the fall leaves, the tranquility of your new life and your wonderful home, and surrounded by the mountains and trees that Oscar and you loved together. As a my lab pup is always by my side I understand your sadness at your missing shadow. Sending you a virtual hug. Diane

  37. Tears falling as I read your tribute to your dear boy, I know and understand. I have had many dogs throughout my life but there is one who was more special. Each with their own personality and habits, endearing and loving. Bless you, for being such a good pet parent.

  38. I am so sorry for your loss. It is so hard to lose our beloveds. What a wonderful tribute and what a wonderful life Oscar has had. Much love to you and Norman.

  39. Shannon I am so sorry for your (and Norman’s) loss. As a dog owner myself I can somewhat understand the void and heartbreak you may be experiencing at this time. Taking the time to grieve and as you say, let the tears flow, when you need to is part of the healing process.
    I hope you take some comfort from knowing Oscar must have had an absolutely wonderful 16 (!) years with you and later with Norman. He was clearly a very much loved pup and will be fondly remembered and loved for as long as you are around to remember him.
    Having you near in his last days and hours whilst he needed you must have been a great comfort. As well as being at your mothers home (his grandparents!)
    I’m certain Oscar will be patiently waiting for both you and Norman on the Rainbow bridge. This poem does have religious connotations (of which I don’t particularly subscribe) but it gave me great comfort to think that we might meet our beloved furry family members again one day, if only in our hearts.

    When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
    There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
    There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

    All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
    The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

    They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

    You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart. Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

    My Thoughts are with you
    Sarah x

  40. Pets come into our lives and just take such a huge place in our lives. My dog is my baby too and as he gets older, I keep worrying about his passing. I am so glad you were able to spend so much time with Oscar at the end. You will always have his memory in your heart. Hugs to you.

  41. Oh Shannon,
    Your beautiful tribute to Oscar was so meaningful, detailed, and respectful. My throat started to choke up in pain for you. I have followed you and your boys since the beginning, and I will miss seeing Oscar. That said, keep talking about him. He will be in our hearts forever. My heart is with yours.

  42. Oh, Shannon…the tears are flowing as I read about your beloved Oscar. We lost our “best dog in the whole world” Shiloh to cancer last October. I still miss him every day as I know you will with Oscar. Thank you for sharing him with us.

  43. Oh, no. Shannon, I am SO sorry. The loss feels unbearable. These wonderful creatures come into our lives & shower us with that special unconditional love only they know how to share, then leave all too soon. You — & all who knew him, including sweet Norman — have my sincerest sympathy & thoughts.

  44. This post brought me to tears. So sorry to hear that your buddy Oscar has died. But he had a wonderful life with you and Norman and you must remember that.

  45. Shannon,
    I am so sorry.
    Thank you for sharing Oscar with all of us over the years.
    Keeping you and Norman in my thoughts.
    ~Concetta

  46. Thank you Shannon for sharing this lovely tribute to Oscar, what a special boy and what a lucky boy to have been chosen by you to spend his life at your side. I am saddened to learn about your loss.

  47. Shannon, a beautiful tribute to Oscar and words that resonate in so many ways. I trust you will find peace in knowing that he had a fantastic life with you and Norman. We’ll miss his presence. X

  48. Shannon, my heart goes out to you. I have lost two of my own and it took a long time to heal. My grief is still present but I strive to transform it into love. We finally had the courage to bring another dog into our lives, who has helped with the healing quite a bit. I send You so many positive thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing such a private grief. Your post was absolutely beautiful and is making me cry as I write this. What a loving way to honor your boy.

  49. Tears are falling.Dear Shanon have courage and remember all the precious moments…Time heals…they say.
    Efi.

  50. Dear Shannon,
    What beautiful memories you have shared. My heartfelt sympathy to you and your family. I have had furry children my whole life, each one brings so much love.
    Wishing you comfort and peace.

  51. I cried as I could feel your pain of losing your little loved one, Oscar. My deepest condolences. You and Norman will be in my prayers. Hugs to you both.

  52. I am so sorry … thank you for sharing a little of Oscar’s life with us. He was such a sweet boy and he will be missed. Dogs are such special creatures … I honestly don’t know how one goes through life without a fury friend! Take care … and give Norman some extra cuddles.

    1. Dear Shannon, it is with much sadness that I write to say I’m sorry that Oscar has departed from this world but I know those black spaniel personality gifts he gave you daily. My blue roan English cocker Katie brought much joy in to my daughter’s and my lives over the 9 years she was with us. She was a rescue dog aged 4 when we got her, so there were challenges, which we worked through with a vet and groomer’s help. So much love they bring us and we always miss them when they go. I feel your loss keenly.
      Alaine

  53. Oh Shannon! My heart is breaking for you and I am weeping as I read this blog post. Oscar was one of a kind and the most dignified of gentlemen. Sending so much love to you and Norman ❤️

  54. So sorry for you loss Shannon! I cried too, I know it was probably hard and therapeutic to write at the same time. You have touched all of our hearts with this post. Thanks for showing your heart. ❤️ Praying for your pain, most of us can relate. The good memories are forever.

    1. Oscar was certainly loved and adored. He had a wonderful life and I know he had to be one of the most content and happiest of dogs to have graced this planet.
      How fortunate we all were to have his sweet presence through the years.
      May your mind rest in knowing that he brought joy and comfort to you and many others. My deepest sympathy to you and Norman.

  55. Heartfelt sorrow washed over me as I read your lovely legacy post. May all the wonderful memories of days and years your shared with Oscar bring you peace.

  56. I’m so very sorry for your loss, Shannon. I hope you find great comfort in what a wonderful life you shared with Oscar. Ever the “merry cockers”, Engies love their people so! May you & Norman comfort each other. I lost my 15 yr. old Engie, Belle, 2 years ago and my 14 yr. old, Abby, 5 years ago. My heart still misses them both. I will miss Oscar’s sweet presence in your posts.💕

  57. I am very sorry to hear of your loss. Oscar seemed such a special gift in your life. I am glad he could bless you. I can understand the tears you must shed —let them flow as they come. My heartfelt condolences to you.

  58. Dear Shannon, my deepest condolences for your loss. The words you have written here are a beautiful tribute to a wonderful gentleman. I hope you find comfort, both in the happy memories of the love and life you shared, and in the many loving comments from your readers xx

  59. Dear Shannon, I am in tears reading about your handsome, sweet boy Oscar. You wrote a beautiful, loving and respectful tribute to him. Our four-legged family members are children indeed for some of us, and I know how your heart must be aching. But I also know that it is filled with Oscar himself and with all the love that he showered upon you. Your heart was changed by him and will grow even fuller with all that he gave you. xoxo

  60. Shannon,

    I am so deeply sorry for the passing of your beloved Oscar. Your words of powerful and heartfelt tribute and beautiful photos touched me very much. The loss of your beautiful boy will be felt by all your loyal readers who know implicitly through your wonderful posts just what Oscar and Norman mean to you. How very much you love them!

    The unconditional love and loyalty of our animal companions is a true and pure gift of love, joy, friendship and family. Their devotion is offered simply and completely. It is uncomplicated and true. That love lives on and the searing loss felt when they pass is a reflection of that powerful love.

    I am so very sorry. May you find Peace and Grace as you move through your grief. 💔

  61. My heart goes out to you and I am so sorry for your loss. When my Yorkie, Tucker passed away I received a card with this beautiful poem.

    “ Grieve not nor speak of me with tears, but laugh and talk of me as if I were beside you. I loved you so ‘twas heaven here with you.”
    Isla Paschal Ricardson

    I hope you feel comfort in knowing you gave Oscar a wonderful life.

  62. What a beautiful tribute for your beautiful boy! You love him greatly and shared such a beautiful life together. I have dogs and have had dogs and the end times are so hard even when you know they are ready to go. He will always hold a place in your heart although that’s not comfort for now.
    There is a beautiful place called Angel’s Rest at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Knabe, Utah (a giant and amazing non profit for homeless animals) and they have a monthly blessing for pets that have passed. It’s really quite beautiful — here’s the link if you are interested https://bestfriends.org/sanctuary/about-sanctuary/angels-rest-and-memorials.
    I will miss your mentions of sweet Oscar and now Norman will get All the Hugs!

  63. Words cannot express the depth of my compassion for you at this time. I lost my boy last April after 15 wonderful years. Our pets enrich our lives and our souls. Take care of yourself

  64. Words fail with a loss so great. May you find joy in your memories of Oscar. I imagine you will catch yourself looking for him often out of habit. May you and Norman continue to share a loving home and sanctuary. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  65. Dear Shannon,

    My heart is broken for you, as I know this pain as well. Your sweet Oscar will always be a part of you and that is the gift.

    Sending love to you and your family, including Norman . . . as I am sure this is not easy for him either.

  66. Shannon, as many of your readers have stated, losing a beloved family member is shattering, no matter if we are prepared or not. Though your grief will be with you for a long time, I hope that happy memories of Oscar will make you smile again. Thank you for sharing your “gentleman boy” with us. Sending you love.

  67. All animals should be as loved. Having let 3 beloved horses and 3 treasured dogs go to heaven over the years it breaks you. The 4th dog was a rescue who we knew was at the end of her days, but my husband said “all our animals have lived like kings, so maybe this neglected abused one should have a chance at that” and so she lived with us less than a year but it sure made her smile. It’s always painful but so many years later we laugh at their remembered antics and smile having been loved by them.

  68. Dear Shannon I m devastated to read that Oscar is no longer with you and the TSLL community. My heart truly goes out to you. The tears will flow but with them will be snapshots of his presence and all the precious moments you shared .Having grieved for my beloved Lab who was taken far too young and I still call out his name in a lapsed moment .Oscar was always so dignified. He was there and at the same time he wasn’t. So comforting that you enjoyed those moments post surgery had that final peaceful moment with him. All of this will sustain you with your grief.
    “Though we need to weep your loss,
    You dwell in that safe place in our hearts,
    Where no storm or night or pain can reach you” (John O’ Donohue)
    Norman will be feeling grief too and hope you can find comfort in each other .Take time together. xx

  69. I am so sorry, Shannon. They really do steal our hearts. Please know I’m thinking of you and I know you’ll see Oscar again. Much peace to you.

  70. I’m so very sorry for your loss Shannon. I hope you find comfort in the many happy memories and time you have had with Oscar.

  71. Toutes mes pensées sont avec vous. Grâce à vous Oscar a vécu une belle vie de chien, remplie d’affectation et d’amour. Je compatis sincèrement en ces moments difficiles

  72. Shannon, I understand your tears & heart. We had to put our sweet dog down last month & I can still well up with tears today. They are family & the best of friends. You gave Oscar a beautiful life & loved him well.❤️ Amy

  73. I’m so sorry for your loss. We lost our beloved cat Nancy last year and still miss her so much. Sometimes we think we see her in different spots around the house and we like to think that she is still with us.

  74. I am so sorry Shannon. Losing a pet is one of the worst things to endure. I am crying too. You have wonderful memories of Oscar.

  75. Oh Shannon!

    I am so terribly sorry for the loss of your beloved Oscar. It was evident early on how much he and Norman means to you. How blessed you were to have one another as you navigated through this crazy world. I know you and Norman will miss him every day.

    Farewell to thee! but not farewell
    To all my fondest thoughts of thee:
    Within my heart they still shall dwell;
    And they shall cheer and comfort me. ~Anne Bronte

  76. What a beautiful account of an incredible love story. I know your heart is completely shattered but please know you have been graced with an unwavering love that many only hope for…. I will hold my sweet fur baby closer tonight as I watch sweet Oscar race among the stars to his new home over that rainbow bridge
    ❤️

  77. Shannon, what a wonderful post celebrating Oscar and his life with you and Norman. Let those tears flow with each special memory. Having pets is such a pleasure and privilege but their loss is immense. You and Norman will be in my thoughts as you both navigate this time. Hugs

  78. I am so terribly sorry for your loss, Shannon. I cannot stop my tears as I read your heartbreaking memorial of your sweet Oscar. I have experienced that grief and it goes so deep. One cannot feel that grief until you have loved a pet. I pray for that all your wonderful memories will somehow ease your immense grief and offer you some comfort. You were blessed to have such love and devotion from your sweet Oscar.

  79. Shannon what a beautiful post and tribute to your beloved Oscar. Like so many of us I have been following you and reading your books and blogs for years and Oscar and Norman are such a huge part of them and of your life. I am so very very sorry for your loss and am so very happy that you had him as a part of your life for so long. Take good care of yourself.

  80. So sorry to hear of your loss Shannon. What a beautiful tribute you have written. My heart goes out to you and Norman – sending big hugs, xx.

  81. Dear Shannon, I am so sorry for your loss. Sweet Oscar! What a beautiful tribute and pictures. Thinking of you and your family.

  82. Shannon my heart goes out to you so much! My husband and I went through this years ago with our dog Ozzy, and we had him for 15 years. It is seriously one of the most painful things in life, to lose a dog. It is such a pure love and they truly must all go to heaven. I wish you peace and healing. I have a lump in my throat just knowing what you are going through. With sincere sympathy.

  83. Dear Shannon,

    I am so very sorry for the loss of your sweet boy. Our pets are our family. Hugs to you. 🙏🏻❤️🐶

  84. I’m so very sorry to hear that your dear Oscar has gone over the rainbow bridge. It was always such a treat to see pictures of him (and Norman too) on your blog. Your tribute to Oscar is so beautiful. Know in your heart that he had a wonderful, amazing, and very long life. You gave him a home where he could live his absolute best life. He loved you so much, as you loved him.

  85. Shannon, my tears are also flowing as I read your love story with Oscar. He was a dapper gentleman and precious companion. A good dog is truly one of life’s greatest blessings, and I am so glad you had Oscar in yours (and visa versa). Sending lots of hugs.

  86. Oh I’m sorry Shannon. You had such a wonderful relationship. It brings tears to my eyes. Our family is also half dog. Hug to you.

  87. My heartfelt sympathy to you and Norman. Your cherished memories will be a blessing for you. When you wrote that you knew he was loved every day of his life – that completely captured my imagination. It was such a lovely thing to say – and it is true. Oscar had a beautiful life.

  88. Dear Shannon, and sweet Norman, I am so sorry for your deep loss. Oscar was a precious boy. He will always be remembered by your family and blog girlfriends. Thank you so much for sharing your intimate thoughts and grief with us. I have tears in my eyes, but also a smile as I know what joy and delight his life brought you.

  89. God, I’m so sorry to hear that. Losing a pet is like losing a family member. Please accept my deepest sympathies. Just reading your blog and looking at your instagram I could sense all the love you feel for your boys. It is very hard the first few days and it feels like that for a long time, but you have all the memories that you built with him and you will cherish them and they will become sweeter as the time passes and you remember all the joy he brought you. I’m just so sad he’s gone, I love it when you posted pictures of both, looking at them just cheered me up. I’m really sorry for your loss.

  90. Dear Shannon,

    I am sending you love and blessings of peace and the happiest memories of your sweet dog Oscar. Thank you for letting us know your sad news.

    I still miss my Daisy, who was with us for 16 years. Now I am able to focus on all the wonderful times together.

  91. I am so sorry for your loss. I know exactly how deep it goes. Once you had a dog it does not matter how many you have in a life time, each time a part of you simply dies with them. My first chap was 14 when I had to say good bye…I was devastated to the core of my being for a long time. I still miss him even if I have two new dogs. Who are wonderful and unique and at the age of 9 and 11 and a part of my soul. I created a wall…I call it a Doggy Wall, on it there will be all the dogs I ever owned in my life. For now it is just one picture on there. Each year a candle burns by the picture on the day of his birthday. I rember his life, his patience and everything he was and tell him I miss him as I tell my living two I will be a terrible goner when they go or joke they must come back and haunt me with all the terrible habits they still have despite all my efforts to get them to tone them down. And I always get a thousand licks and nibbles back. You learn to live without them but that tiny wound is still there. And I like to think it is all just until we meet again. 😉

  92. I’m so sorry to hear about Oscar’s passing. How beautiful he was! Thank you for sharing him with us. Sending you all the love and prayers for peace as you navigate the days ahead.

  93. Oh Shannon, my thoughts and prayers are with you and Norman right now as you cope with the loss of your sweet Oscar. Losing a beloved furry family member is so very hard, but Oscar had a wonderful life thanks to you! You were his world and you made it beautiful. Revel in the memories and know that you and Norman continue to be loved and supported from afar : )

  94. Shannon, What a beautiful heartfelt tribute to Oscar. My tears came as I read it. Our fur babies are family. He will be forever with you in your heart. You gave each other so much. My heart goes out to you and Norman. 🌈

  95. I am so sorry, Shannon. Oscar was a special companion to you for many years, as you were to him. Your tribute to him was lovely and heartfelt. Sending you, Norman, and your parents loving thoughts during this difficult time.

  96. Shannon thanks for sharing gentleman Oscar’s story with us. He gave as much love and companionship as he received. Sorry for your deeply felt loss. Prayers to you.

  97. Thinking of you today and in the days to come. Oh, what sweet, gentle companions our pets are. Always by our side, never complaining, and there whenever we need their caring touch.

  98. I, too, cried while reading your tribute to your gentleman boy, Oscar. I’m so glad that he was able to pass in his mom’s arms. Sending you, Norman and your family my love during this difficult time.

  99. Dear Shannon, So very sorry about Oscar’s passing. Your sharing of what he meant to you was so very touching. Beautiful pictures. Hope the sharing of this was somewhat cathartic for you. Wishing you all good things, Amy

  100. Dear Shannon, I am so sorry. You wrote very elegantly of Oscar and I only wish I had known him for he sounds like a very special dog. I too have a special dog and he is sick so while I was reading your tribute, I was holding my dog tight knowing I will be in your shoes soon. Prayers of comfort for you and Norman. XO Julie

  101. Shannon there are no words when someone loses a loved one. How wonderful to have had Oscar, your faithful companion for so many joyous years and what a blessing to have had the last year to care and send him off to the rainbow bridge with dignity, love and compassion. I am sorry for his passing and know that Norman is there to comfort you as you mourn the passing of your sweet boy. Thank you for sharing your beautiful boy and this heartfelt tribute.

  102. I don’t think I can add anything that hasn’t already been said but I will anyway as this pain is something that only those of us who have really loved our pets can understand. This was a beautiful heartfelt tribute that you wrote – I cried as I held my own two pups while I read it. Oscar is still with you in your heart and in the years of memories that you’ve collected – I hope that brings you a bit of comfort. You and Norman need each other a lot right now as I’m sure he’s feeling a bit lost also.
    Thank you so much for sharing all about your time with Oscar – very sweet and touching.

  103. Shannon, thank you for sharing Oscar with us over the years, and this beautiful tribute as well. Losing a fur baby is never easy. They truly are our children. My heart is heavy in knowing you and Norman are sad. But I know Oscar had an amazing life and was so loved and adored.
    Hugs to both you and sweet Norman.

  104. I am so sorry Shannon. It is brutal losing a fur baby and I’m crying on your behalf as I write this. They teach us so much about love and compassion, which no human can do. Rest in peace Oscar!

  105. Shannon, this post broke my heart. I am truly sorry for your loss. You and Norman will be in my thoughts and prayers today.

  106. Oh Shannon….thank you for sharing. Tears are streaming down my face as I write. I had a Martha, and she is still missed today. Dogs are amazing little beings of complete and unconditional love and teach us how to love by loving us no matter what our foibles or inconsistencies…..Your memoriam to Oscar is beautiful. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing. Sending you a virtual hug.

  107. Dear Shannon, This is a beautiful tribute to Oscar. Sending my heartfelt sympathy for your loss of your precious fur baby. You and Oscar had a special bond. Let those tears flow. Oscar will live in your heart forever. Thank you for sharing him with all of us. All the best, Rose

  108. Shannon, I’m so sorry for your loss. Your Oscar sounds like such a gentleman – I know his spirit will continue to fill your heart. I was very touched by your tribute and thank you for sharing it with us. Hugs to you and plenty of belly rubs to Norman.

  109. I am so sorry for your loss. I know what kind of pain this is. We had to say goodbye to our littermate puppies in June 2020 and July of this year. I’m so thankful that I got a full year extra with our dear Astrid after Josephine’s passing and I know that your extra one-on-one Norman time will be so precious to you. Sending virtual hugs your way.

  110. I am right there with you in pain and heartache. Lost my beloved Darcy after 14.5 years.
    The joy they bring equals the pain when we lose them.
    I hope it gets better. Im still incredibly sad after 4 months.
    thanks for sharing
    B

  111. What a heartbreaking, yet beautiful tribute to a fine gentleman. Your words make me want to hug my own fur baby even tighter and to be grateful for every moment. Thank you for sharing with us Oscar’s story. Sending you so much love. ~Millicent

  112. My deepest sympathy to you, Shannon and Norman. Loosing a beloved companion is JUST SO HARD. My husband and I lost and loved two absolutely lovely German Shepherds…half brothers four years apart….both enjoyed long and vibrant lives. It’s been quite a few years, but their loss still reverberates, though now it’s usually a happy smile in remembrance of all the joy they brought us. Know you are in your readers’ hearts.

  113. I am sad to read about Oscar’s passing, but happy to know that he lived a very full life with you. Thank you for being such a wonderful mum to him. You were a good boy, Oscar.

  114. Thank you for opening your heart to us and sharing these beautiful memories of Oscar. My prayers go out to you, Norman, your parents, and anyone else lucky to have know this special boy.

  115. Bonjour Shannon,
    Beyond words, I am so sorry for your loss. I am happy that you found companionship with your faithful gentleman boy of 16 years. What gorgeous pictures you shared of your beautiful memories! I can see he was always there for you in times of joy, laughter, sorrow, etc. He also kept you company during the pandemic as well as times you wanted to let your hair down! He was the greatest sous chef. I am praying for you during this difficult time. xoxo

  116. Dearest Shannon,
    Our four-legged friends leave footprints on our hearts….holding you and Norman in mine as you navigate this next part of the journey….I am so sorry for your loss….
    fondest love,
    Annie

  117. Dear Shannon, I’m so sorry for your loss! I started crying when I saw the title and tears went on as I was reading this emotional post. It’s beautiful to have all those memories and still feel that love… I believe it will never go away. I’m thinking of you and sending you hugs!

  118. Dear Shannon, I am very sorry for your loss. May you experience moments of peace, respite, and comfort in the difficult days ahead as you cherish the memories and experience sorrow. Sending you wishes of warmth and support.

  119. What a beautiful tribute to Oscar who had a wonderful full life and gave you so much during his time with you. I am sorry for your pain, but thankful you have such warm memories to comfort you and Norman. Thank you for sharing them both with us!

  120. Shannon, your tribute to Oscar was so beautiful. I deeply feel your love for him, and your sense of loss and I am very sorry. I love how you said in one of your video posts that Norman and you have not left each other’s sides since Oscar passed. And I also love that you respected Oscar’s personality and what he needed in daily life, the quiet presence and nearness of you. Everyone is posting their sympathies and I did want to share mine, knowing that you have a heart full of loving memories that you wouldn’t trade for the world. Blessings to you and Norman as you continue on, and thank you so much for sharing with all of us.

  121. Dear Shannon, what a lovely tribute and memorial to Oscar. What a handsome boy he was and what an incredible life of love he had as a member of your family. Your decision to surround even his last moments with beauty, family and love honors the singular blessing that is Oscar’s life. Now, I wish you peace and the joy of happy memories. Sending love, Kristen

  122. Shannon – I am so sorry for the loss of your friend and companion. I sometimes wonder if the universe had plans for you two – an unexpected benefit of Covid being that you got to spend the last year of his life with him almost nonstop!

    My husband left the corporate world early (around 43) and bought and renovated several houses in his hometown. He spent a lot of time with his mom and dad during that time, but unfortunately his mother died of cancer about a year later. If he had not left his high paying, high stress career he would not have had that extra time with her, and he was so happy that he did so. It makes you wonder, doesn’t it?? Prayers and love to you and Norman. Kate

  123. Shannon, I’m so so sorry to read this news. This was a beautiful, loving tribute to the wonderful gentleman who was by your side for so many years. I lost my kitty of 15 years earlier this year, and it hurts on so many levels it seems impossible at times – but they know how much we love them, and that’s what matters. Oscar was a very good boy and you were the best mom he could ask for. <3

  124. Oh Shannon! It took me three tries to get through this post. The tears got in the way as it brought back memories of my own sweet boy. Sending you sincere condolences as you navigate the loss of your sweet Oscar!

  125. My heart breaks for you, Shannon. I believe the loss of a beloved pet is one of the hardest things anyone can go through. They are with you every day and provide unconditional love and depend on you for everything. I had to put my beloved cat Mr. Snuggles down this past Saturday because he had an aggressive tumor and could no longer live without suffering. I have cried all weekend, even though I know it was the right thing to do. I am so glad you had so much time with Oscar, and were able to part with him in such a beautiful way of your choosing. It always hurts, no matter how you try to prepare, and the loss is always there. May his memory give you and Norman peace and comfort, and in the future joy in remembering all the good times. Thank you for sharing Oscar and Norman with all of us. God Bless you both.

  126. So sorry for your famly’s loss. I loved reading Oscar’s story. Talk about a life well lived and putting in a good showing! I am so glad this last year at home allowed for more time together. My last 2 rescues have been senior pooches and I can relate to hunckering-down while our companions relax into their end of life transition. Condolences.

  127. I’m so sorry Shannon to hear your sad news about Oscar Pets are family not just pets. Both you & Norman will miss him greatly, yet you can comfort each other. God bless. Treasure your memories & yes love every day with all your heart & I’m sure that love will return to you to comfort you tenfold. Xx😥

  128. Dear Shannon,

    I read this post not long after you put it up, but I have only now been able to send my condolences because I was so heartbroken for you and Norman I couldn’t bring myself to write. I’ve been a follower of the blog for a very long time and Oscar (and Norman) are every bit a part of it for me as you are. I will so miss seeing him.

    Also, I have my little Maxie and knowing the love for and of a dog, I can’t help but understand and be touched by the sadness and void you must be experiencing due to Oscar’s passing. You and Norman are in my thoughts.

    I am so deeply sorry for your loss. My most heartfelt sympathies to you both.

    Warmest,
    Kristi

  129. Hi Shannon. I tend not to communicate on these platforms, but I had to reach out and express how sorry I am. I had to scroll down quite a bit to get to this reply box, and I won’t be surprised if you never read my words. All these condolences rip open a wound that not even time can truly heal. It is as if they take a part of you with them and you’re never quite the same again. The shamans don’t believe in animals – they consider all as people. Oscar was not your pet; he was a four-legged fur friend – and will always live inside your heart. I wish you and Norman comfort during this difficult time 🥰

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