In Memory of Orion Van Alstine

June 1999 — April 2008

Orion, our first baby, was the sweetest dog you would ever meet. I don’t think she had a mean bone in her body. Orion, pronounced Or-e-on, was a dog of many many names: Origami, Red, Red Dog, Poo Breath, Gami, Big Red and the list goes on and on. We have so many fond memories of her life, that we decided to share a few in memory of our sweet baby girl.

Orion, what does that name mean? It’s an Okinawan beer. She was named after it due to her gold-ish red-ish coloring. She lived up to her name, that’s for sure! The dog loved, no, LOVED beer. One time we had a friend leaning against the kitchen island with beer in hand. Orion walked by and noosled it from his hand. It fell to the floor and she immediately started lapping the beer up! We warned all our friends to hang onto their beers tightly if they came over.

When she was a young pup, she craved attention and would seek revenge if you ignored her. Mike’s mom, Pam, had bought a couple of tiny Japanese maple trees to plant in the back yard around the beautiful pond they had just constructed. Pam kept shooing Orion away while planting these trees. Orion was barking at her and trying to help her dig. Later that afternoon we all went to admire Pam’s newest additions to her prized creation. Low and behold, Orion had chewed every last branch off those trees… ll that remained was 3 straight twigs! There went $120 worth of trees down the tube!

Orion was always known for her gentle nature. Her favorite place to go was Tome State Park in Olympia, Washington. She enjoyed playing on the beach of the Puget Sound and “four paw driving” through its nature trails. One time there was a little girl, just learning to walk at the park. She reached her arms out and smiled at Orion. To our amazement, Orion crouched down to her level and crawled to her (keeping in mind, Orion wasn’t even two). Orion allowed her to pull on her ears, lips and didn’t move a muscle until it was time for the little girl to leave. She was so patient and loving. We wish she would have been around for our future children.

Orion had little quirks about her that would make you laugh, love her more or drive you crazy!

She had a slight under bite, so on occasion you’d catch her looking at you with a sort of “”duh””look about her. You couldn’t help but laugh at her.

She was a great muse for my animal portfolio. There isn’t a shot I’ve taken of her that wasn’t perfect as you can tell from her photos.

You could never let your arms hang down or hang off the couch… he would lick it or noosle it constantly. OH and she loved deodorant and lotion too!

Our best friend Rick, invented the “air pet” with her. Since she was such a love dog so to speak, you could act like you were petting her head, “air pet” and she’d respond as though you were really petting her!

Orion will always remain in our hearts forever! We love you and miss you so very much.