Goodbye, friend.

Almost a week ago, Meredith and I said goodbye to Orvis, our best friend and closest companion of 13 years. We are broken without him. 

The days leading up to his last were filled with beach walks, bed snuggles, and contraband food. Before saying goodbye, we each read him letters we’d written to try to sum up what he had meant to us. Here’s mine:


You were sent here to give us our start. You bound us to each other and made us into a family. It has always been the three of us.

We used you as our compass and followed your lead wherever life took us. We traveled in ways that you would want. We built a home and a life around a friend that wanted to swim through the ocean in the summer and through the snow in the winter. We grew with you and you grew with us. We learned to appreciate a sunny afternoon in the grass of the backyard just as much as a hidden picnic area in a bend in a stream in Vermont. We learned to love life, and more specifically our lives, wherever we found ourselves at any particular moment in time.

We knew your time here was temporary from the beginning, but this temporary felt like forever at the start, and only too fleeting at the end. We were blessed to have your lifetime and are cursed to have our own thereafter. It’ll be up to us to find our way from here, and although it feels like you’re leaving us alone and lost and empty, you’re leaving us with the life and home and love that you helped build. We’ll miss you dearly, but you will forever be here – on the edge of our minds and in the center of our hearts – in memories, laughter, love, and tears. You will always be our best friend, our little man, our thin mint, and our bear.

Thank you. Thank you for the swims and the hikes. The hugs and nose nudges and long loving looks. Thank you for the puppy stares from your permanent puppy face, the comforting presence in our roughest times, and the countless examples for us to live our own lives through. Thank you a million times over and a million times more. 

Go enjoy this next adventure. Run in the fields and swim in the oceans. Play with all of those that went before you. Watch over us and guide us, and know that one day, we’ll come calling. It’ll be the three of us again – only this time forever.

We will forever love you more than you could possibly know,

Your mom and dad

Of course, words are just words without the memory of why we write them.

Fortunately, Meredith and I spent 13 years documenting almost every moment of Orvis’s life. There’s the blog we filled with random Orvis images, an entire tag (and many untagged posts) on Map & Menu, our instagram accounts (Meredith’s / mine), and countless more photos and videos on our phones and computers.

Here are just a few of the memories behind my words:

We love you Orvis.

An indescribable thank you to Sarah Der and Graham Terhune for some of the images above, and of course to my sister- and brother-in-law, MacKenzie and Philip, for the video that so perfectly captures many of our fondest Orvis memories.

12 years, to the day

This morning, Meredith and I woke up and walked our old man down to the beach. We sat on the rocks, soaked up the sun, ran across the sand, and rolled in the seaweed (well one of us did, at least).

12 years passed in the blink of an eye. 12 years ago, we lived 1,000 miles away from this beach. We weren’t married. She wasn’t a photographer and I wasn’t a web developer. It’d be two years before we’d graduate and move to Maine. Three before we’d find our house near Willard beach. Seven before we’d tie the knot. We were kids, just scratching the surface of what it meant to be adults, and in a moment of serendipity, we made the best decision we’ve made in our entire lives.

Tonight, we took our buddy out to dinner and fed him deviled eggs and short ribs under our table – giggling like the kids we were 12 years ago to the day that we brought Orvis home.

3 for 1

Because I’m feeling particularly giving and pictures of Orvis are always particularly inspiring…

And this is just filler text because Takashi can’t design a good theme and I’d like all of my images to be full-width, instead of the first one wrapping around the post meta. Geeze, Takashi.

You try getting into the water up to your neck and jumping out while looking this good.

He loves me ice cream.

This looks like we’re running together on the beach, but I’m actually chasing after him before he makes it to the top and rolls in the rotting seaweed.


The Old Man and the Ball

Picture by the incredibly talented, staff Orvis photographer, Meredith Perdue.

With all my hoards of newly minted followers from Twitter (hi Caroline, Kathryn, Brook, and Daniel), I figured I’d return to the basics of what this blog is really all about… pictures of my dog.

Every now and again, after guests leave and the excitement is gone, Meredith and I get to see a calm side of Orvis that few others ever experience. A side where he lays close to us in the grass, with his ball between his legs, as the sun sets in the sky. I feel sadness for all of you that don’t get to see this side of him.

Seasonal Picture of My Dog

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I know one pup that’s happy with the 15″+ that got dumped on us this week.

Every big snow storm makes me think back to this Instagram that Meredith snapped 4 years ago. It’s crazy to think that at 10 years old, Orvis still loves jumping through the snow like it’s the first time he’s seen it.