Saturday, March 24, 2007

Remy Martin: January 11, 1994 - March 24, 2007

My dog died this morning. My mom called a little while ago to tell me. She cried. I cried. Then my sister called me, and she cried too.

The dog was born on January 11, 1994. We adopted him in March.

For years and years and years, my mom, my siblings, and I wanted a dog, but my dad kept refusing, purportedly because he was allergic. But then my dad was doing consulting work which kept him out of town a lot. And I left for college. And my sister was volunteering at the humane society.

My parents wouldn't let her keep a kitten that she had fostered. So, one day, she took my mom into the humane society, and showed her this little ten-week-old puppy. Part lab, part beagle, part shepherd, part god-knows-what. My mother walked in and took one look at this mutt and fell in love, even though his ears didn't even match.

So that March, they took him home. He was roughly the size of one of the ceramic tiles in the kitchen, and he cried all the time. My mother thought he needed a fancy name, so he became "Remy Martin."

When he was a puppy, he had boundless energy. He would run so fast on the tile floor that he couldn't slow down in time. To stop, he'd jump in the air, go up over the couch, hit the wall, and turn around to land. He'd hear the birds chirping and kids playing outside, and would take off running again.

Back then, he'd tirelessly chase the old soccer ball that he stole from my sister around the house. He knew the difference between "green toy" and "soccer ball," and if you asked nicely, he'd show you which one is his favorite. He'd carry it everywhere, and cry when he couldn't find it. Eventually, though, like everything else, it had to be replaced.

Remy loved almost everyone. But he worshiped my dad. He followed my dad around the house like he was his shadow. When my dad wasn't in the room, and you'd ask "Remy, where's Daddy?" he'd cry. And my dad -- who didn't even want the dog in the first place -- talked to him like he was just another one of the kids. At night he'd bellow, "Whoever wants to go out for a walk needs to go get his leash," and the dog would jump up, wag his tail, and run towards the garage.

My dad saved the best food for the dog. Sometimes, he'd even cook things for him.

Fast forward thirteen years, and Remy somehow became ancient. He'd struggle to find the energy to kick the soccer ball across the room to my father. But, when you asked -- if he heard you -- he'd still tell you that it was his favorite.

He was sick on and off for the last several years. Each time, my mother would be in tears, worrying that it might be the end -- but until today, he came back.

I was just looking through some of the old pictures and videos of him. They don't do him justice. He was the best dog -- the smartest and sweetest dog -- ever.

Need proof?

We'll miss you, Remy.


mad said...

Sorry to read about your dog, Dara. Friends of ours lost their dog not long ago, and Ray cried like a baby. He was like your dad -- he would talk to the dog and cook for him. It was very sad.

Dara said...

My sister and mom are inconsolable. I'm upset because I was thinking about going home this weekend, and changed my mind at the last minute.

My dad's being stoic. But I think we'd all lose it if he cried.

Needtsza said...

Wow. Just wow. I've lost 2 was when I was watching Saturday morning cartoons.

I won't get into it, but I feel your pain.

*Big Hugs*

Good luck to your father too. Not expressing is ....well, good luck and much love to you and your family during this tough time.

E :) said...

I'm so sorry you lost your beautiful dog. I know how hard it is to have that happen or to have a sick pet generally.

Best wishes to you all. Your dog was lucky to have such a loving family.

Dara said...

Thanks. I think this is particularly hard because he is the only pet that we ever had.

Well, except for the fish. And the hamsters. But they weren't the same.

My dad's okay. He acknowledged that he's sad. But he's got two distraught daughters and a distraught wife. (I'd assume my brother is distraught too, but he had classes all day today, and might not have found out yet.)

Evil Spock said...

Sorry for your loss. Your story is a lot like my family's, except change Remy to Lucky.

My parents got him as my "replacement" when I went to school in '93. All those years begging for a dog, and they finally get one when I leave for college.

Lucky died last year of cancer. It was really hard for my mom, who treated Lucky like a little kid. She cooked for him too!

Ryane said...

Dara, I am soo sorry to hear about Remy. My best to you and your family...oh, it is never easy to lose a pet. =-(

Dara said...

Evil Spock: My mom denies that Remy was a replacement for me. But he and I knew better, and we bonded over it.

Ryane: Not that I would really know, but I think it's like losing any other member of the family. Only this one never said mean things in the heat of an argument.

Justin S. said...

Sorry to hear about your loss.

Dara said...

Thanks, Justin. He was a good dog.

e.b. said...

Oh I am so sorry for your loss. It really is so difficult losing one. Best wishes.

DSL said...

Oh I'm sorry about your dog Dara. :-( I remember when my beloved cat disappeared.

Dara said...

e.b.: Thanks. It was a hard weekend -- especially yesterday, when the weather was nice, and I had to walk outside in a plaza where everyone seemed to be out with their dog.

DSL: Thanks for the sympathy. But back up a minute -- your cat disappeared?

I said...

Sorry to hear about Remy.

Dara said...