Monday, March 24, 2014


The lights are out and his head is draped over my calve. His legs make rustling noises as they brush against the blanket in movement. His head rocks a bit, back and forth, twitching in his sleep.

Once, not long ago, this made me uncomfortable. Made me feel like crying. I would put my hand out to still his paws because it reminded me too much of my own motion that I couldn't control, though in my case, very much awake.

Now, I don't mind it as much. I don't mind it because I've been doing so much better for three months that the twitching, the shaking, the tremors, only come once or twice a month. They only stay for an hour tops, unlike the days upon days. The unexpected mornings, afternoons. Hours upon hours.

If I saw my new neurologist I'd give her a hug and tell her she has changed my life, just like Dr. Catherine who still works to get my system back on track (and knows how much I value her healing), and has stuck with me before I went on the migraine medicine.

But for now, I can sit here in the dark and smile as Orion dreams of running in his sleep. I can smile at his little rustling legs and realize how nice it is to notice this doesn't bother me any more.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


I love that when he runs his ears still flop up and down, up and down, like little wings that don't quite lift him beyond his little four legs but they're so cute in trying.

Sunday Mornings

     The hour is quarter to eleven and we settle in for the second start to our morning. Yesterday, feeling under the weather, I fell asleep at six p.m. and slept till 9, back to bed at 10, up at four to let Orion pee, then out again till 7 this morning. When I woke up my stomach felt my own, and my head resumed feeling normal again and Orion was ready for us to do something. My bones were ready to do something as well, sick of being stationary, so after bundling up we headed for the dog park to meet our friends Kris, Sarah and Watson.
     The dog park may be one of my favorite places to walk when Orion is behaving himself and I'm not having anxiety issues over him tackling bikers, chasing runners, or humping every dog around. It is a huge plot of land where the old state mental hospital use to be, with rolling hills, big fields, tree lines and a stream that runs through it. Perfect. Every time I go I think, "This is what I am looking for in a place of my own." It is quiet, the dog can run off leash, swim with abandon (which he did much to my it's only 32 degrees out horror) and my soul can settle into the land. I once had a friend who would have felt similar to me in this landscape speaking to her and she phrased it something along the lines of, "Enough land, but tucked against the hills so my eyes have something to rest on." That is this little place. I have found this on the way to The Eric Carle Museum too, driving along the land that makes up much of Hampshire College. It's a special type of setting but I hope someday I can find a little house on such land. In the meantime, I'm content on a Sunday morning with sparse people or dogs out, watching my dog race after his lanky black dog buddy, and chat with my two friends about the various woes of being pregnant (not me) and what we would need to own a communal farm...
     Orion, on this walk, happened to find every puddle, crack every ice that was hiding puddles, and swim or drink from them. Needless to say, while much of walking through the park involved skating over the ice covered paths, the other half was mud, and Orion smelled horrible and didn't quite resemble my yellow lab, more a murky grey dog. When we got home, I broke the news to him that we were going to have to give him a bath. He peacefully hopped up into the claw foot tub and let me bath him. This has never happened before. He has never WAITED to be bathed. I've sat on him. I've strattled him. I've been covered in mud and dog fur from pinning him. Never once have I made it out of bath time with dry hair and a clean body. 
     "It must be because you're three huh buddy?" I asked, leaning over and pouring water down his side.
     He looked at me but stayed still. The water turned a murky brown. I unhooked his leash. He stayed still. I told him all done, he hopped out, and proceeded to shake (minor Noah's ark moment in the bathroom) then rub all along the walls, before I could rope him in to being toweled off.
     Then off to the living room we went, me, getting dressed a second time. Creative books surrounding us, cup of coffee, and a nest for Orion to stay warm as his light fluffy self dries off. A good morning for a girl and her dog.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Feeling Grateful

I am driving home after a Tuesday night jam packed into the Iron Horse, listening to Andrea Gibson read her poetry. Crammed against the wall, sitting on my booster seat of a winter coat, hoping the girl three up from me will lean forward so I can see between the rails, I am still laughing as Andrea's voice reaches up to me as she recites Squash (

I am thinking about my yellow dog and about being grateful in the way Andrea's Squash is grateful. I give the two dogs, (Chloe is visiting) loads of attention, hugs, snuggles when I come in the door and then switch my shoes to walk them outside.

Walking out the door, I'm still smiling, thinking how much I love my dogs and then the leash is flying out of my hand as Orion sprints down the last four stairs, and around the corner.
"DAMMIT ORION!" I yell and start to go after him. Two steps down, I remember I'm still attached to Chloe who is now on a glorified "fall" down the stairs. Torn, I make sure she's okay in the fluffy grey heap, and stick my head around the doorway to see Orion sprinting over a snowbank.
"Orion, get over here RIGHT NOW!" I yell, still looking over my shoulder at Chloe who just can't climb snowbanks at her age like I can. "ORION QUIT BEING AN ASSHOLE!"
My temper is ticking higher and higher. Breathe.
What is is you're really angry about? A voice echoes in my head.
"YOU'RE GOING TO GET HIT BY A CAR!" I yell out. I watch impatiently as the 14 year old dog pees. I frantically debate just leaving her because she can't move fast so she'll be less likely to get into trouble in the amount of time it will take me to find Orion.
It's dark. I find myself still yelling at Orion. Then I find myself crying, dropping down into frustrated despair. He sprints by and I grab his leash and drag him within an inch of my body, yelling at him.

Soon enough we're back upstairs. I make him sit and stay in the hallway while I take off my coat, my scarf, my shoes. All the while I'm lecturing him on why his behavior was selfish and why it made me so upset. Orion sat with his head partially tucked and listened.
I let him back inside, kissed his head and we all piled into bed.
Then, I just start giggling. Giggling at the whole thing. Giggling at Orion being a dog. Me being an overwhelmed human, and swearing and crying and I just can't stop giggling.
Maybe I'll start the grateful jar tomorrow.

Monday, March 17, 2014


The trouble is Facebook. Facebook is stealing the best of Orion stories and making it so Orion's blog is something of a redundancy. But here we are, back at Orion's blog, initially created to record the comings and goings of my first ever puppy that was all my own... while simultaneously getting me back in the writing groove. This is my recommitment to this blog. Facebook can become secondary, starting NOW.

Me in the dark, tucked in bed: "Dear Orion, I recommit to keeping up your blog."
Orion: Silence.
Me: "Aren't you concerned that you've not been fairly documented these past few months?"
Orion: Silence.
Me: "You're awfully cute you know?"
"I'm hungry."
"Fine. I'll just try to go to sleep and I'll eat breakfast in the morning you know why?"
"I'll probably still be hungry then too."
"Goodnight Orion."

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Dog Walking

Probably my favorite part about walking Orion is watching his tail go side to side, side to side in complete happiness.