Over the past month, I've seen Herschel approximately 12 days. Granted, that's better than we expected, but it's still not a lot. During this time, I've had a chance to spend a lot more time with the other leading man in my life - our puppy, Oscar.
I have to say, I'm not quite sure what I'd be doing without him. For those of you who know me, you probably already know that Oscar is like my child. In his short eight months on this earth, he's completely stolen both mine and Herschel's hearts. This is probably how he's become unbelievably spoiled as well, but that's a different story.
One of the only faults I could find in Oscar from early on was that he preferred Herschel over me. This really irritated me, especially because Herschel didn't even want a dog when we got Oscar; he was only giving in to my begging and pleading. I tried explaining this to Oscar, but he didn't seem to care. He still proceeded to follow Herschel everywhere he went, cry incessantly when Herschel had to leave, cuddle with Herschel on the couch, run to Herschel first when he was let out of his kennel, the list goes on and on. Frankly, I was offended.
Now, you can probably see where this is going. Herschel's not here. But I am. It's just me and Oscar these days. The first day that Herschel was gone, Oscar spent most of the day snuggled up next to me on the couch. I'm not joking when I say that I really think that he was depressed. Anyone who has ever been around our sweet Oscar, knows that long periods of calm are not part of his DNA. He's a bit rambunctious. But that day, I believe he was sad. He knew his daddy was gone, and he was left with me.Since then, I'd like to think we've bonded. We've gotten into our own little routine. Although, he's had to adjust to eating breakfast a little bit later than he's used to since I'm not exactly and early-riser, I think he likes it. With the cold weather, he's had no choice but to cuddle with me on the couch - and I think he likes that, too. When Herschel was home a few weekends ago, when it came time for Oscar to begin his nightly regimen of pre-kennel snuggling, he chose my lap to curl up on, not Herschel's. And believe me, it was noted.
Again, this weekend, when Herschel was home, we were sitting around and Oscar came over and sat down by me. Herschel sat quietly for a moment before saying, "He comes and sits down next to you now." Only one word went through my mind at that moment - "Success!"
I'd be the first to tell you that I'm competitive, and it drove me crazy to think that this dog that I fought so hard for to get would just automatically prefer Herschel over me. But times are a changin'. And these days, I'm winning that battle - even on the rare weekend when Oscar has a second choice.
Now, I'm sure that once we all get to Florida and get settled in things could change. Just as a part of our daily routine, Herschel gets up earlier than I do, thus being able to feed Oscar his breakfast. He usually also gets home from work earlier than I do, thus being able to feed Oscar his dinner. He also usually takes him for a walk while I'm making dinner (even though I repeatedly ask him to wait until after dinner so that we can all go together!). So, you can see where Oscar would favor Herschel, as he seems to be his primary caretaker.
But personally, I'm hoping he will remember this month we spent together. A month of freedom - rarely being left in his kennel for long periods of time, long afternoons of playing ball in the backyard, treats abundantly - what's not to love?
Come what may, I'm relishing in these moments with my new main man - Oscar.