Pup of the Week is back and today we have Oskar, the beautiful black rescue Lab. Oskar lives with his loving parents Erika and Jan Ullman, and his doggy sister Laika. We asked Erika some questions about Oskar and their life together since he was rescued.
Okay so where do you live?
I live in Clontarf, Dublin with my husband Jan and our two dogs, Laika and Oskar (A.K.A. – Oskilou, Skilou, Loulou, Goofinou, Monkey, Nounours – “Teddybear” in French), and many other silly nicknames.
How did you come to own Oskar?
“When my husband and I relocated to Dublin in 2015 we already had one dog and were looking for a home with a small backyard, which brought me to remind my husband that he had promised we could get a second dog when we had a (small) garden… I wanted a rescue, preferably an adult, and preferably black, because I know how difficult it is for those dogs to find a forever home.”
Erika wanted to keep things consistent with her first dog, “Because our Laika is a Lab cross I was looking for a similar type of dog so they could share the same fun with retrieving, water, etc. I stumbled across Oskar’s ad and just fell in love with him the second I saw his picture.”
“He had been found abandoned and tied up to a tree in the middle of a forest, from there he was brought to a small rescue in Mullingar where he remained for over a year . Unfortunately nobody ever came to meet him during his time at the rescue so his chances to get a forever home seemed to be quite slim. We went to meet him and I was so sad to see how scared and anxious he was, ducking in corners, walking as far away from us as possible while on the leash, it was heartbreaking to see such a beautiful dog so traumatised by his past life.”
Erika wasn’t sure about Oskar when they met at the rescue, until Oskar made her mind up for her, “I still wanted to adopt him but I was worried we might never be able to make him trust us. Just then, as if he had heard my thoughts, and while he had been avoiding us during our short time at the rescue, he suddenly decided to come and… sit on my feet! We were all so surprised but oh so happy in my case. They say your pets chose you and I believe this is what happened with Oskar, he knew before us that he was the right fit for our little family.”
How does he get on with your family?
“It was first a bit unusual for Laika to share her toys and treats with Oskar after she had been an only dog for three years but they got along quite well from the beginning, Laika being Oskar’s anchor and model for many things he wasn’t used to, such as being inside a house, having toys, staying at home without us, etc.”
“In fact she is his role model in so many things that we often call Oskar our “Monkey-see-Monkey-do”. They are loving brother and sister, sharing many things including our affection, and they also love chasing each other for a bit of sibling rivalry when we are at the park.”
Oskar and Laika sleeping after running at the park.
His favourite places to walk?
Oskar and Laika have similar tastes when it comes to walkies, “Anywhere there is water! Oskar is a Labrador through and through. Puddle, river, lake, sea, you name it, he is in it as soon as he smells or sees it! More recently he has also discovered that mud puddles are quite a lot of fun to splash in, but I would tend to disagree!”
“We usually go to St Anne’s park or Santry Demesne during the week, and then to Malahide Gardens, Sandymount beach or Portmanock beach during the weekend when my husband can join us for longer walks. Big favourites in our home are also Glendalough and the Cliff Walk in Howth where both dogs just run around like crazy and then sleep for the next 24 hours straight or almost!”
Fun at the beach
Favourite food/treats or toys?
“Well, here again, Oskar is a Lab through and through, which means he is simply as greedy as a dog can be. He could eat anything, anytime. He gets spoiled with many different treats, but we make sure that he gets the right amount of exercise as he is on the tiny side of Labradors and he should stay lean to be healthy (he is the working line Lab). He loves his Dentastix in the morning, and a piece of ham after his kibble, and well, because we can’t resist those beautiful loving eyes, he and his sister also get some pieces of sausage or meat from our meals…”
“A few months ago I bought two big soft balls from Ikea, and while we have plenty of dog toys, those are his favourites! Whenever you come home he welcomes you with one of his balls in his mouth, whenever he gets excited he goes to get his ball, sometimes he takes it upstairs to go to bed, I think it is his comforter somehow. And he won’t give it to you unless you have a treat in exchange!”
Oskar holding his soft ball with his paw.
Any funny personality traits?
Unsurprisingly, Erika had a few stories about her boy’s antics! “Oskar is the goofiest dog I have ever met. It is unique to watch him play with toys or balls, the way he throws them to catch them half a meter further, jumping on the item with his front paws as if they were able to escape from him somehow, then rolling on his back and just being a silly boy.”
“He is also the cuddliest dog I know, so much in fact that we call him our “living teddy bear”. He will crawl into your arms and rest his head on your shoulder, his body leaned against yours, and then stays there without moving an inch while you scratch his ears or his belly. He loves it if you whisper loving words to his ears and sometimes even falls asleep like that!”
Oskar after his bath (that’s what you get from slashing around in mud)
How is Oskar important to you and your family?
“I have had many dogs in my life but I always say – and I mean it – that Oskar is the furry love of my life. He is so loving, so loyal, and he has such a particular way of loving me, of allowing me to be his safe person and protector. Our bond is very special and I feel very honoured that he granted me his trust from the first day he came to live with us. He also loves my husband very much and is incredibly loyal to him, waiting for him everyday at the window after his evening meal, knowing it will soon be time for him to come home.”
Oskar waiting for my husband to come home
“He has a very strong pack mentality and when we are on walks he always makes sure that everybody is gathered together, that nobody is left behind, and should it be the case, he will run back and forth from the first person to the last one until we are reunited. While we were very happy with our Laika before we met Oskar, but we are so thrilled he came into our lives and completed our little family with his big heart and goofy personality.”
“He is still very anxious and can be wary of strangers, and many situations scare him. But he is a happy boy and blossoming more and more every day in our home, with the help of his bog sister too!”
A big thank you to Erika Ullman for telling us all about beautiful rescue Lab Oskar. Next week’s Pup of the Week could be your dog! Enter them here.
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