Toldin’s Hunter’s Moon (aka "Orion"), my family’s nine year old Vizsla, has gone to sporting dog heaven.
Late in December, Orion offered a few hints that he might be in trouble. So after about a week of playing ‘stump the veterinarian’, yesterday he was diagnosed (via CT scan) with generalized small intestinal lymphoma, a rare and incurable form of cancer.
Orion’s time with us was too short. We re-homed him into our lives in July 2014, after Magz, our first Vizsla, died. Orion’s prior owners dual trained him for show and upland bird hunting. He was well socialized and quick to learn. His AKC "Junior Hunter" designation was earned on the first try.
Around our neighborhood, Orion always walked with the signature Vizsla prance-like spring in his feet. It was rare for a day to go by without our getting a compliment on his elegance and style.
In the field, he loved to hunt. Unfortunately, loss of local habitat makes finding suitable places to hunt birds very difficult. Instead, Michael turned to using Orion’s innate passion to ‘search and find’ to help him discover subjects in nature to photograph.
As Michael’s "butterfly buddy", Orion’s job was to putter around in meadow grasses and flush butterflies. Michael watched where they would land then move into position and take the shot. Working as a team, we had great success and our game was more than a ton of fun.
At home, his special "pet" job, like Magz before him, involved fetching the morning newspaper off our driveway and returning it ‘to hand’… All much to the delight of our neighborhood kids at their school bus stop. He learned this trick in two days and everyone eagerly looked forward to him jumping to perform.
Orion loved "dog people", children and other dogs. His favorite people trick was to push against their legs, then sit on their feet. For dogs, he was an expert at delivering the surprise "Vizsla Bump" during run and play.
Orion was a great breed ambassador. His light will be deeply missed.
Tagged: , Orion