In the months preceding the celebration of Passover in 1984
my parents saw a beautiful white puppy age approximately 40 days,
wandering alone in one public square of Rome.
They repeatedly attempted to approach him in order to understand
if he had simply gotten lost or was a stray. He was so beautiful
they hoped to adopt him. Life with Oscar cucciolo was wonderful;
he was untiring and to carry him to the park to play filled us with
joy. We learned he had a passion for the water (a trademark of the
Labrador breed) and he dipped in each of the park fountains!
When Oscar was approximately 5 months old, we took him to one locality of sea
close to Rome, I cannot begin to tell you Oscar's joy in seeing the sea...
the sand... he was hyperexcited and we shared several splendid days!
All at once, Oscar began to run towards the escape of the beach. What made him bolt?
What attracted him to run toward the road? We have never understood it.
We called, but he did not heed our calls for him to come back.
We tried to catch up to him, but he was already on the road...
It was nearly lunch hour and the road was deserted, but a vehicle
had approached just in the moment in which Oscar had tried to cross...
Not one of us saw the scene, because we had arrived a moment after
the accident happened. One red Fiat 128 sitting idle and Oscar lay
on the median of the road, seemingly lifeless.
As we raced to the veterinary (the Sunday of Passover!) Oscar seemed to revive
as I comforted him in my arms. His front leg was shattered and we feared possible
The veterinarian heavily medicated Oscar and closely watched him during the first 24 hours.
Oscar dragged his left front leg. The diagnosis of our veterinary of Rome was not comforting.
Paralysis of the radial nerve. The red Fiat 128 had not severed the leg, but it hit the flank
with such force that it caused a lesion to the nerve. Oscar had to be medicated for the pain.
Had it been a matter of some bony fracture, it would have been simpler to have set it,
but there were no remedies for nerve damage.
The veterinarian advised amputation of the leg and he assured us that Oscar would lead
a perfectly normal, healthy life. Skeptical, we consulted many other veterinaries,
university clinics, but the diagnosis and " the cure " was always the same.
Then we found a veterinarian who gave us some hope: an operation that might succeed in
saving his leg. We chose this option and Oscar was operated on.
Unfortunately, the operation was unsuccessful and Oscar underwent 4 separate operations
within that year, but his condition did not improve.
Oscar was always full of great games and race, therefore it was sad to see him have to be
in pain and drag his useless limb. The decision to amputate his leg was difficult;
my mother and my brother thought it better perhaps to euthanize him;
they wondered how a once lively dog could ever live with fewer than 4 limbs.
My father and I, instead, insisted for the operation. Each of the veterinarians assured us
that he would resume the kind of life he always had.
They told us that many persons have instead chosen euthanasia in cases of this kind.
After the leg was amputated, it was incredible to see Oscar walk in the house almost immediately
after the operation, still wobbly from the anesthesia.
The following day, he was running!
We marveled over his enormous courage and strength.
One constant in our life with Oscar:
nearly every person who saw him asked us how he had come to lose his leg.
For the next 17 years we have had to repeat this same story... still to this day!!
In any case, we have always considered Oscar a normal dog. And he was!!
He stayed perfectly balanced while urinating, he ran, he played, he swam.... everything,
just as before! Oscar always accompanied us, from restaurants to lodges, the sea and mountain,
and we have never encountered any problems of any kind.
The sea above all continued to be a fixed appointment of its life:
on the beach, a carefree moment was not hindered, from swimming to digging holes,
even in old age he enjoyed the same routine and we had only to wait a moment for him
in order to make sure he didn't tire too much from it, urging him to rest every so often!
It is impossible to describe what Oscar successfully gave to us in his many years with us
and how much vitality it brought to our lives, forces and energy he possessed
until the end of his days!
At the tender age of 10, Oscar was presented with a brother!
One of the family friends gave us a dachshund named Cora.
Fortunately, Oscar always enjoyed optimal health.
In the last two years of his life (approximately between the 16 and 18 years)
he only begun to experience various signs of senility and problems of deambulation,
but not for the front leg, always sturdiest, rather for the two posterior ones:
those neurological problems began to show oneself that then have led it to the end.
We had a special leather harness made by a shoemaker with which we helped him to
make the scales and more ahead also to walk.
Arrivederci, our dear friend Oscar.
your mommy, Laura Manzini