I had picked the name Orrick sitting in the back of the car while, this little wild pup we just picked up, was literally bouncing off of everything. I had never seen anything like it, a pup so energized, he was a blob of super charged energy instead of an animal. I googled "earthy dog names" as I tried to keep him from blocking Bob's view of driving. And then I found Orrick, which means old Oak tree. That was it I thought. We will name him Orrick and he will eventually grow into the calm, reliable, grounded energy of an old Oak tree.
Over the years he never lost his huge energetic display of his love for life and people. He did chill a bit but never even slightly hesitated to do his own thing when he got the chance. It might have been one of my favorite things about him…he was his own dog and he owned every part of that. It looked like not listening but I like to think it was his absolute love for life and adventure that he couldn’t help but to scratch that itch.
Its nearing two months since our little buddy had to leave us. And even the day that I’m writing this I still have many times, for a split second, that I’m wondering why he didn’t bark at that noise or why he isn’t cuddle up beside me. As much as I loved that guy I had no idea how much I relied on him to do each day with me. I’m definitely seeing all the spots he filled now that he’s not here.
Two days before leaving for the lake this past memorial weekend I took Orrick to the vet to get his leg checked out. He had been limping for a bit but it didn’t seem to really bother him or change much of anything about his routine. I also knew he’d be running full blast for the week at the lake so my gut said let’s just get a quick look and see what’s up. When the vet called with X-ray results my world shifted. I felt myself balancing on the edge of cliff seeing the hard crumble that might be coming sooner than I could ever imagine.
Fast forward a few weeks later and the dog oncologist confirmed what our vet hoped she was seeing wrong. A very aggressive and painful cancer not only in his front right leg but in several spots all over his body. Six and half years old and the kind of dog that loved everything about life…needless to say I was an absolute mess.
Bob and I chose not to put Orrick’s little body through chemo or radiation. And those next three months were the best and worst days at the same time. There really are no words for me to describe that summer knowing we’d be doing life without our best friend, companion and family member. And all the while that little dude, my love buckets, just went about his days so content and modifying as he needed but without missing a beat. It was amazing, inspiring and devastating.
Like deja vue, two days before we were headed to the lake for Labor Day weekend, we were calling the vet once again. Orrick was ready to move on. That day was something I never want to experience again and also a day I will never forget. Orrick taught me (us) so many things and I’m so honored to have that amazing soul be a part of our lives for the short bit he was.
Until Orrick left, I never really understood the phrase “who rescued who”. I get it now. If you’re reading this and have a furry soul in your life be sure to let them know, with actual words, how much they mean to you and how much better they make your life. Also give them all the human food they want. They beyond deserve all the snacks, cuddles, belly rubs and ear scratches we can smoother them with.
We miss Orrick beyond words and all the love and adventure he brought to us. We put his ashes around an Oak tree we planted just for him on our property and will continue to think of him as we watch the tree grow over the years. Looks like he did end up being that calm, steady, reliable, grounded energy he was named for years ago.