Both Oakley and Orion adopted us around Valentine’s Day. Orion in 1998; Oaks in 2011.
Orion would have made a great canine cast member on “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” He threw himself into the middle of any situation with a wagging tail and confidence bordering on recklessness. Much to our chagrin and the amusement of vet’s office staff, he ate damned near anything offered. Regardless of species, everyone was his friend until proven otherwise, and the top of a picnic table was the best place to sit while he waited patiently for tidbits. He slept on his back and could snore and wag his tail at the same time. Most days, the peace and acceptance over his crossing settle like a cloak; others the pain rebounds as if he’d just left yesterday.
Oakley is more like Michael Palin in the post-Python years: a bit reserved, analytical, willing to wait until the moment is right to jump in with his contributions and observations. He has discriminating tastes in cuisine and with whom he chooses to keep company with, and is protective of me on walks at the park. If he doesn’t like a vibe he’s picking up, he stands in front of me. At 75 pounds, this sends a pretty strong message to squirrels, other dogs, one rather creepy person who chased after us to talk to me, and a giant snowman. Once on the A list, a person will get leaned on and Pyr-patted to no end.
Because of them, chestnut and white have replaced pink and red for Valentine’s, and I am the better person for it.