When Orion first stayed with the family at the top of the hill, he thought the pool cover was solid ground. The mom and daughter hauled him out of the water. He bolted for the warmth of the living room, we blocked him, he doused us. We toweled off our reproachful husky outside in the November dusk.
Hours before our international flight in late December, Sean and I again brought Orion to the house at the top of the hill. He strode eagerly to the front door, his self-inflicted bath forgotten. We worried he would fall in again, but he halted at the pool’s edge and sniffed. As we called goodbye, he looked up, bounded our way grinning widely, and overshot, skidding on the hardwood floor. He kissed each of us in turn. It was as if he knew. Non-clairvoyant, we left, the daughters fawning over him.
Orion died unexpectedly from a prolonged seizure on Jan 12, 2018, three days before our return. The family rushed him to a 24 hour vet at 4am, where his seizing stopped and his heart stopped soon after. He was almost nine.
Orion was the first rescue dog I ever walked, my instant favorite. He turned heads in downtown Oakland, worked crowds on the Berkeley campus, terrorized gophers at Cesar Chavez Park and learned to socialize at Point Isabel. He traveled all over the western US, wanting for nothing but always wanting more. We had a year and four months. He was loving, jealously affectionate, mellow, melodramatic, grumpy, silly, insistent and irreplaceable.orion