Ozzy was a shepherd/chow possibly black bear mix.
He was always exactly what I needed him to be.
When I was a moody teenager he scouted ahead of me in the woods and protected me from running headlong into danger when I was trying to escape the world.
When I was scared of my parents fighting, he sat on the back deck with me and let me push my head into his chest to drown out the sounds.
When I was sad he’d always let me use him as a tissue and lick the tears away. The only time he licked actually.
When my dad died, he was what kept me here.
When I was happy…well my childhood/teenage-hood wasn’t happy so he was always this calm presence in my life. Looking back he was probably my version of a therapy dog.
When I left for college and came home every weekend he was always happy to see me and always chased me down the driveway when I left.
I finally was able to move into the house in front of my mothers. I was happy. He was happy. And we had an amazing 3 1/2 years of girl and dog time. But I was happy and I think he started to see that his job was done. Momma was happy. On Janurary 10, 2016 I called him in for the night. He would never stay in a kennel or in the house except when it was raining or night time, we lived in the country and I was never too worried. We called and called. So I hopped in my car knowing that when he hear my car he always came out from where ever he was hiding. He didn’t. I found my sweet boy on the side of the road. And I shattered. He’d been hit by a car and who ever hit him drug him out of the way. I screamed. I cried. I couldn’t remember my house number to call my husband to come help me. I could only remember my mom’s number. I called screaming. I couldn’t string words together. I had to get in my car and leave him. I collapsed in my carport in my husband’s arms and all I could say was Ozzy over and over again.
I had to say goodbye to the only constant thing in my life and the only thing that had ever kept me together. I had to show my one year old dog her older bother’s body and watch her accept his death easier than I ever could.
My family showed up and helped dig his grave. I sat at the edge and said goodbye. My mom’s old cat came up from her house and sat next to the grave. He had known Oz his whole life. And then He watched something, someone walked to the edge and this his eyes followed that same something away. The anniversary of my Dad’s death is January 8th. I fully believe my dad came and got Ozzy and my mom’s cat watched everything.
Ozzy dying has been the hardest moment of my life and that’s bad considering I’ve lost a parent. But him dying forced me into therapy to deal with not only his death but my dad’s death. He saved me again even when he wasn’t physically here.
His death profoundly changed something in me. Because of that I have molded my life around dogs. I rescued a dog in his honor. I’ve put in applications to be a foster mom for dogs. His legacy will live on as me saving the ones the world has forgotten, just like he saved me when I thought the world had forgotten.
“Some people are afraid of dogs but I’m afraid of the opposite of dogs. The absence of dogs. Dogless space.”