Orion's First Birthday
February 2004

Yesterday was Orion's first birthday! Sorry I'm a day late, but Happy Birthday to his brother Malachi in GA!

I took Orion to the vet's for a check up. The vet fell in love with him! She's a very petite young woman, whom Orion had never met. She walked in the room, and put her hands in front of Orion, who sniffed her and wagged his tail. She ended up sitting on the floor next to Orion, rubbing him and scratching him. Orion licked her whole face! I think the admiration was mutual!

The vet gave Orion a clean bill of health. She kept saying how gorgeous he is! At his last weigh in, back in November, I was told he was too heavy. I couldn't find his ribs! Now, he's slimmer, but not too skinny. I can find ribs, but have to look for them. Anyway, Orion has maintained his weight of 113.3 lbs. The vet said his weight is fine. Some people like their dogs a little slimmer than what he is. I figure, when we start sheep herding again this spring, he'll slim even more. I measured him myself and I'm not too sure I measured in the right spot. I did it twice and got 27.5 and 28 inches. So, he's in that range.

So, by Ma's calculations Orion will be around 30.5 to 31 inches tall, and weigh around 143 lbs by the time he's 3 years old. I wouldn't mind his getting taller, but I just as soon he doesn't get that much heavier! Or, I better get stronger!

For those of you that don't know Orion, he's a golden/sable plush NB2 Buffy/Grizz son, Orbit grandson. There's been a lot of discussion regarding the Orbit and Artus progeny. I have hesitated to discuss Orion, because he's still a puppy, and I don't know what his temperament will be like by the time he's finished growing. He was a delightful puppy who was house trained right away. But, we had a terrible time with his teething. People told me he would stop trying to use me as his teething ring, and they were right. He still likes to hold my hand or arm in his mouth on occasion, but uses very little pressure, unless he's excited about something. Then, I have to remind him to be easy. He also loves to cuddle with me. But, then he gets too hot and has to go find a cooler spot. One of the most endearing things he does, he likes to rub his head on me, just like a cat rubs on people! He just swipes his face on my leg or whatever area he can reach!

As a young puppy he was happy to play, or sit next to me. As he's grown, his need for exercise has increased. I take him on a semi-long walk in the morning and a 2 mile walk in the evening. We're trying to increase the distance of our evening walk. But, I need to get in better shape for that. If for some reason he doesn't get his walk, I can definitely tell, he starts bothering my other dog. He wants to play with him, and picks on him. My other dog, Riker, is a fox terrier/schipperke mix who only weighs 16 lbs. Now, that's a hyper dog! He barks out the window at people, dogs, cats, cars, leaves and absolutely hates the UPS man. Orion looks at him like he's crazy. Orion will bark at some people and dogs and cats. But, that's it.

One thing Orion is, is stubborn. We've had our run ins. When he was around 4 months old, he refused to let me cut his nails. Well, he tried to refuse. We had a wrestling match on my bathroom floor, and I ended up pinning him to the ground with both my legs. But, he's never fought me again when I need to cut his nails! I remember helping Lisa once, grooming her dogs, and she said to me, "You never let the dog win!" Right now, Orion is testing the waters for the alpha position and he's finding out I'm the alpha, and there's no discussion about it!

Currently, Orion and I are attending basic obedience classes. He's very smart, and I only have to show him something a couple of times. We're waiting for spring so we can start taking sheep herding lessons again. This past January Orion won his first herding title, the Herding Capability Test (HCT). We're hoping to get his Junior Herding Dog (JHD) title this summer or fall. I was also showing him, but his ears are not up yet. If his ears are not up by the time he's 15 months old, he won't qualify to go in the show ring. I've been bracing them, and feel they're getting stronger. So, I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I still have hope!

So, now you've met my Orion!



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