My Dearest Orion,
Aka. Bubba, Buddy, Mr. Poopers, and Buddy Monster. Wow has it been a long haul little guy, and haven’t we been through so much together. I remember the night I first met you, which lead to the last twelve years we have spent together. I was a young college kid and my partner at the time told me the only dog I could have was a pug and I would have to find it that day. All day I searched the papers and the internet for you and to my amazement, there was the Craigslist ad stating you were for sale. I didn’t have much money back then, so I went to the bank and drained most of my checking account to get the $150 in case I wanted to take you home. It was late at night and I drove up to the trailer park where you were. A woman opened the door and you jumped up on me crying in excitement. I knew immediately that we were going to be great friends and that I loved you already. Before I left to take you home, I remember you went and drank out of the ladies glass of wine; you have always had a thing for trying to steal a sip of beer or wine. I drove you home to my dingy garden level apartment and showed you around. You were restless that night and you paced around, intermittently chewing on a loud squeaky toy. I was so exhausted the next day, but couldn’t be happier because of the happiness of having you there.
We grew to be fast friends and did everything together. You were my favorite fishing buddy, and I remember how much you loved running across the island at Doughty Lake. You would chase the birds, and occasionally and unsuccessfully swim a few feet out. We would spend my days off going to the dog park and back then you were speedy. You gave all the big dogs a run for their money. We went on many hikes up around Horsetooth, and you loved swimming in the falls. On the weekends when I had to work and when I started nursing school, you would come to Denver with me and stay at “Grandmas” house. You got so spoiled there and loved the walks my Mom gave you. There was never a lack of treats, love, and bandanas.
I remember the time I took you to Grand Lake and the cabin we were staying in wasn’t supposed to have dogs. I cared too much about you so I snuck you in and hid you in there. The little boy who was also staying at the property said you had “chocolate chip toes.” You loved the fresh mountain air and stuck your head out the car taking in all life had to offer to you. You have always been a true outdoors-man which makes me laugh, as you are a pug.
I almost lost you a few times before you went across the rainbow bridge. The first year I had you, your lymph nodes were so swollen and you were very ill. The veterinarians weren’t exactly sure what was wrong with you. Sure enough, the fighter in you pulled you through. There was the time I accidentally rolled your head up in the car window and panicked, froze and it took me entirely too long to roll it back down. Remember when I was walking you and the Coyote came up and tried to bite at your neck, and me being naïve thought it was a German Shepard. I really thought I lost you when Bear attacked you and pulled out your eye. When I went through the divorce I didn’t know if I would see you again, but I was so lucky to get you back. You still kept me on my toes over the last few months though, by running away on a freezing night or when you fell into the crawl space.
We have been through so much together Buddy. You have been my comic relief, my shoulder to cry on, my warm snuggle buddy, and my constant through so many changes and transition into adulthood. You were with me through school, my first real job, two failed relationships, so many adventures, and way too many moves. I didn’t get to have you for part of this last year of your life due to the divorce, but I am so glad we have had the last few months together. It has been so hard to see you decline and to lose that spunk that defines you. I’ve truly enjoyed walking with you in the field and just spending time together, us just being us. There are so many things that aren’t going to be the same without you here, and I am going to feel lost. I’ve grown accustomed to falling to sleep to the sound of your snores. Waking up to you walking into the bed or the harsh sound of your cough and wanting to hold you and fix you. Watching you fight sleep and rest on your oversized dog beds. You have been a real trooper, and you’ve really fought to keep on going, but I understand that it was your time to go. You will always be in my heart and I will forever be grateful for the joy that you brought to me and so many. I love you Orion. May you rest in peace over the Rainbow Bridge.
August 2003- April 29th, 2018
“A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours. Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things-a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty.”
― John Grogan, Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World’s Worst Dog