The hardest decision I have ever made

Dayne Barkley
Sep 13, 2018 · 5 min read

Fourteen and a half years of companionship

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By far this has been the most difficult to write about and understandably been putting off, as I know it will bring up the memories and emotions that aren’t enjoyable but feel the urge to write it now as a final clearing.

The month of August 2018 was bloody intense for my family and I. In the space of a week from August 10 — 16 I turned 29, spent our last time at my Nan and Pops place which had been in the family for 55 years, and the hardest of all of them combined, saying goodbye to my best friend Osca for the past 14 and a half years.

It would have been sometime in 2003 whilst watching Burke’s Backyard, an Australian gardening and lifestyle programme, with my family, that a story came on about the relatively new Australian breed of dog, called the Cavoodle. A crossbreed of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Miniature Poodle. I instantly fell in love and the only way my parents would allow a dog in the house was that I had to pay for it myself and take it to training etc. At 14 years old, I could barely take care of myself and somehow had to save at least $1000, which in the early 00’s in Australia and under the legal age to work was extremely difficult, but as I discovered in my first taste of manifestation, very attainable. I applied and got through all the tryouts to become a ballkid at the Australian Open Tennis in 2004. I earnt that money in 2 weeks whilst having the time of my life.

At the beginning of March 2004 we got called down to the breeders to check out one of the Cavoodles they had who was just 8 weeks old and the colour I was after which was blenheim. When they brought him out he was mainly white with a tiny patch of blenheim, but after I picked him up and held him in my arms I knew he was the one. I eventually decided to name him Osca without the ‘r’ for some reason.

I learnt a lot quickly about responsibility and taking care of an animal with ups and downs as expected along the way. Dog training was a nightmare because Osca was so disobedient and hyperactive. There was a lot of maturing I needed myself, throughout my teenage years, I would barely take him for walks because I didn’t want to pick up his poo or even worse be seen picking it up, how embarrassing right?

Through all my life’s major moments Osca was always that unconditional love presence that was there. From waking me up every morning by running in jumping on my bed and pushing his butt up against my face to get me to move over, to seeing his face light up when I’d say walkies. He was there for us all always and brought so much joy and unity to our family that no human could ever bring.

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Osca and I eating lunch on my birthday 10/08/18

I am so grateful to have spent so much time and opened my heart fully with him for the last couple of years. I had grown, matured and created the ideal lifestyle for myself which involved long routine walks with Osca at my local bushy parklands, featuring him heavily on my Instagram for those that follow me would know, for his excitement brought this unbeatable joy to me.

Late November 2017 we took him to our vet and got the news he had rather large tumors growing in him and at his age was inoperable with a diagnosis of 6–8 months. That news hit really hard, but was an absolute blessing, for the following 9 months that followed, I cherished every single moment. Nothing could bring me more into the present moment than that limited time I got to spend with him. He slowly became too weak for our usual walks which converted into our morning backyard hangs where I would go to finish off my morning routine of sunlight in the eyes and barefoot on the grass whilst he licked out the remains of my smoothie.

Despite his time running out, he still managed to look like a puppy with a healthy coat, moving and eating quite well, which we attribute to the local organic blueberries and other holistic remedies that we introduced thanks to

Although somewhat expected, he declined quite rapidly the days following my birthday and something inside me knew his time was almost up. We had him booked for a visit to our vet on Thursday 16th at 5 pm. That entire day I didn’t leave his side. I prayed and asked God/the Universe to give me the strength when the time came to make the hardest call of all. That time came that Thursday 16th August at around 5:30pm. An overwhelming sense of calmness and clarity washed over me for that moment to make that call and prevent/ stop any further suffering for him. It was his time.

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For so long I had no idea what compelled me to get a dog so badly, as growing up I was terrified of all dogs of all sizes and would usually just run like crazy from them. Now, I have come to the level of understanding and realisation about who we really are as human beings on this planet and know that nothing is a coincidence in this world, including those spirits that come into our lives. Osca being a very old friend or guardian of mine from multiple lifetimes ago, I’m sure of it and can’t wait to reunite again.

I miss him every day and still feels so surreal, at times expecting him to walk around the corner. I am incredibly blessed to have had those 14 years of unconditional love.

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