Sunday, March 28

Farewell Oreo ~ you have been our loyal family friend

Oreo ~ sitting pretty!

Oreo leading the pack!

patiently waiting for me...

my walks will never be the same without him ~ I miss him already.

It was strange I thought. When I got up and went downstairs Saturday, I figured I would let Oreo back into the house. It was a nice day out, but Oreo usually spent alot of time inside at the back door on the blanket I have for him. Usually when Alvin leaves early for the hall, he lets Oreo out for a while. So, I opened the door but ... nothing. Hm, that is weird. Come to think of it, he wasn't home the night before, but sometimes we find him at the end of the street visiting "Coy" (Travis and Cathy's dog).

I walked to the back of our acreage, and it was so strange. I am not used to walking alone. It was as if I kept looking for Oreo. Usually Oreo is scoping out the route, usually running back and forth, once in a while stopping and turning around to look in my direction. I am not sure how much he sees, yet somehow he knows when I clap my hands together. He seems to love that and comes bounding toward me, puts his front paws up on my chest so that I can rub his ears and pat him and say "Orie, you are such a good boy! Such a good boy." Sometimes on our way back from the boiler to the house, I do this at least 5 times, and each time he comes running. Not sure how he sees me doing this, but he does. And he seems to love the affection.

So yesterday I walked alone, and let me tell you I didn't like it. I got back to the house and texted Alvin, and told him that Oreo has been gone all day. Alvin said that he must not have come home the night before after all. (Okay, there have been times when he has come "slinking" into the garage after we have seen him hightailing it home from the corner. If dogs could have "guilty looks" then Oreo had it mastered! Just had to laugh sometimes!)

When Alvin got home from work, he went and looked for him. Come to think of it ~ I realized that the last time I saw him was on Friday. He was laying in the sun when I left. In fact he didn't even more a muscle as the garage door went up. Little did I know that this would be the last time I saw him alive!

So yesterday, I came home from St. Vital Place, and took Dugald Road (#15) and then onto #12. It was so strange, all of a sudden I thought, maybe I should keep my eyes open for Oreo. We had wondered if he had just wandered off, or if someone took him in, or worst case scenario, if he had gotten hit by a car. The fact that he was very deaf and very blind meant that we did not walk along the street anymore, as he just could not hear or see the traffic coming.

SO, just as I thought of this, (it was very strange) within a couple seconds I noticed something white and black in the ditch. My heart fell. I tured the car around, drove back, turned around again, and sure enough, there was our loyal pal in the ditch. Dead. I cried.

It's funny, he is a dog. D-O-G ~ dog! But he has been the dog that has been part of our family the longest! He came as a little pup. A border collie - black with the white collar .... like an OREO COOKIE... Oreo just seemed to be the best name for you. (but as always around the Klassen home, you got some nicknames such as ORIE or ORE). We still have a video of when he came home with Josh and Alvin. He was just a little thing scurrying around the kitchen. He was amazing with the cattle, actually Alvin and he had this unique relationship. Alvin had two types of whistle that he would do, and Oreo knew exactly when to round up the cattle and when to just be still. Oreo just loved people! He loved being beside you around the campfire. In fact, if you gave him an inch - he took a mile! He would sit right next to your lawnchair and nuzzle you. Then he would put his head on your knee. Then a paw... and then before you knew it - he was right up close and personal! He loved the rare times when he rode with Alvin in the truck. He hated the time Josh and I had to take him to the vet. Josh literally had to carry him and put him in the car. He was not happy about that! Oreo would constantly when Alvin rode the three-wheeler, chasing alongside as Alvin drove. He was very smart, and seemed to know your move before you actually made it. He was a great companion for me - especially on those nights when Alvin worked. I don't look forward to the night shifts! Oreo will no longer be laying at the back door! There was something real good about knowing I was not home alone.

Oreo was afraid of thunderstorms. I think he could "feel" the storm. When we started letting Oreo into the house at night, he would stay at the back door. However one night it began to thunder and all of a sudden I hear the "clicking" of his toe nails on the hardwood floor, and then, up he came into our bedroom and laid down beside the bed. If I was the only one that heard him - I just let him stay. Alvin usually sent him down.

Many years ago, when we came home, Oreo greeted us with what we thought was a growl-like-look on his face. His teeth were showing, his lips back... but there was no growling, only a wagging tail and a happy dog! From then on - we were often greeted with the same look, which we decided was his "smile". A number of the kids friends experienced this too! Oreo - the smiling dog!! I have never seen another dog do this.

Alvin and Josh went and picked up his lifeless body. He was laying on his side, and the boys are pretty sure that he must have died instantly when they saw his injuries. They brought him home. Later, Alvin went out, dug a grave, and put him into it. When Alvin returned to the house, his eyes gave away the fact that he had wept too when he buried our old friend. In fact for Alvin, there was no where that he went, that Oreo did not go! They were inseparable in the yard!

Yesterday while we were getting supper ready, Leah said, "do you think there will be dogs in Heaven?" I said, well according to Disney "ALL DOGS GO TO HEAVEN" (I took the kids to see that when they were little) I said that I liked to think that there would be some animals in heaven... and Leah replied, "I think Oreo went to Heaven!"

Oreo you were a faithful canine friend. You loved to be with us, and we loved to have you as part of our life here in the country. When you could see and hear, you didn't miss a beat. You were the only dog I knew that truly "smiled" when we came home. You got into trouble once in a while - like the time we found you on top of Rick and Corinna's car - trying to get a good look at "Baxter" whom was inside of the car. You loved affection, and the way you stuck so close to us - we knew that you loved us as only a dog could! You were my companion on my walks and were privy to my conversations with God. You sat quietly when I stopped to lay rocks down at the "altar" in the back. I will miss you... Alvin will miss you... we will all miss you. But perhaps, "if all dogs go to heaven" we will see you again. Only God knows that.
Oreo ~ we loved you and will miss you!


jerandmeagan said...

Hey Joy.

As I'm writing this I'm crying because I know how precious these dogs are in our lives. I remember how much it hurt when Bailey died and I can't even imagine the loss our family will feel when Lucy passes away.

I just wanted to say that I think really special dogs like Oreo do go to Heaven. I remember Grandma saying that when Bailey passed away, and the more I thought about it the more it made sense. If God's going to have animals in Heaven, why wouldn't he choose the faithful companions that were so precious here on Earth.

Just wanted to share that!

Love Meagan

Joy said...

Thanks Meagan.... I remember well when you lost Bailey. You know somehow when we lost our other dogs, it just wasn't quite the same, but Oreo, well, he was with us for such a long time, we knew it was inevitable that his time was coming to an end, but are so sad it had to be like this. We were wondering how he would make the transition to a new place, with being deaf and blind...
But man I miss him and his furballs rolling around at the back door!!

Betty said...

Hey Joy,
I'm so sorry to hear about Oreo. I remeber well what it feels like to lose such a faithful and loving family member. Hugs to you my friend...