The Mountains - MO 

Hey, my extraordinary boy. 

It’s me. Your girl. 

Sometimes when I’m missing you a whole lot (which is often), I come out here, to the trails we used to hike. Man, we put some miles on, didn’t we? Especially you. You were always racing off, chasing squirrels or hunting. Mom sure loved it whenever you brought your leftovers home. 

That was one of the few occasions when your full name would come out, a sudden burst of vitriol accompanied with an eye roll.  “Vittorio!” 

But you were never in the doghouse for too long. How could anyone stay mad at you with your warm brown eyes and cotton ball fur. You were a charmer, Orio. More than that, though, you were a protector. Every night, you would pause in the hallway and poke your head into my room, just to make sure I was okay. If I was having a nightmare, you’d nudge me awake and let me know I was safe, that the monsters were just in my head. 

I don’t know who told you what to do before you came to us, but you understood the assignment. You were here for a purpose, and I’ll always remember what you did for our family—what you did for me. 

Thanks to you, I have a treasure trove of amazing memories. 

Like that time my brother and I took you for a walk after dinner. It was snowing and we ended up on an impromptu sledding adventure! 

And when you crashed a wedding proposal in Central Park because you were investigating someone’s lunch. 

And how about when we were dying Easter eggs and you ended up with pastel fur? Still not funny? Okay, but for the record, I did it to Lucky, too. 

Speaking of Lucky, you taught your little, lopsided brother well. He knows when I need help and he runs to my side. And he’s a good sport when it comes to wearing silly Halloween costumes. 

You have given me so much, Orio, and taught me so many wonderful things. But, I think most importantly, you showed me what it means to give unconditional love, and to be loved unconditionally. How does that saying go…To the world you might just be someone. But to someone, you are the world. 

I was your world, Orio, and you are still mine. 

Your passing hit me hard, to say the least. But you know that. Just like you know that I wear your Diamond every day. You were with Eterneva for a year. It was a long time to be without you, but during that time, you still did your job: you told them exactly what you meant to us, and they created the most beautiful diamond from your ashes. 

Eterneva understood the assignment, too. Because to them, you were never ashes. You were Orio. 

I wear your Diamond every day. No, I don’t even change it to coordinate with my outfits like I used to. Whenever someone asks me about it, I get to tell them, “This is my dog, Orio. And he was the best.”

Now that you’re back home with me, I can promise you one thing: your girl is going to be okay.