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.
We'll miss you, Remy.