Touchstone’s Orion, rest in peace

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(Editor’s note: Generally, Janie Jenkins’ column runs every other week and this would be her ‘off week.’ However, due to the dated nature of the topic of this column, it appears this week.)
Now he runs to me in my sleep and puts his head in my lap and he is young and beautiful again.
I cry myself awake and my heart is like lead in my chest because I know he is not here. Because I gave him permission to leave even though I begged him not to go.
Ori’s journey home was gentle and peaceful and he slept sweetly away although his huge heart did not want to stop beating.
I told him if I did not love him so very much, I could not do this and could not watch him pass. But I had promised not to leave him and somehow I kept my promise.
In 10 years and 11 months, we had spent over 95,000 hours together, give or take a few. Every hour was a joy, except lately when I had to watch arthritis cripple him more each day. When he could no longer run or lie beside me on the couch.
When his walk was painfully slow. When he seemed to plead with me to make the hurt go away.
He was the honor guest at Thanksgiving dinner and was toasted and given treats and there was not a minute that he was not being loved and patted.
Valerie Thorn-Baltes, whom he adored, was the angel who sent him on his final journey. He was in his very own home, on his very own bed and I know the last voice he heard was mine.
Little Sister, who has never been without him, has always been “clingy.” She is even more so now, and she and I and Lisa will somehow get through each day, and though the holidays and into another year.
What would I do without them, and Apache and Toby, who keep me physically if not emotionally occupied?
In my eight decades on earth, I have been blessed with 13 wonderful dogs. I can name each one. But there is such a thing as a lifetime dog.
Ori was my lifetime dog and my life will not be the same without him.
* * *
On a lighter note: The abandoned dog I found and took to Angels for Animals June 16 has at last been adopted! Don Johnson, who is in charge of dog adoptions at the shelter, let me know she went with a single live-alone lady who had been wanting an older dog, and that the two of them were an instant match. “Tawny” was so well-liked at the shelter, he said there were tears when she left.
On an even lighter note: The radio commentator was talking about New York City’s dog laws and that arrests would be made if “canine ejections” were not removed from sidewalks and streets.
I do wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

About the Author

A lifelong resident of the Mahoning Valley, Janie Jenkins retired in 1987 as a feature writer and columnist at the Youngstown Vindicator. In June of that same year, she started writing her column, "On My Mind" for Farm and Dairy. She loves all animals and is an accomplished equestrienne. Local history is also one of her loves, and her home, the former Southern Park Stables, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. More Stories by Janie Jenkins

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