Remington, Part II

Losing a family member is never easy.  I really couldn’t bring myself to write about Remington which is why I shared some of my favorite pictures.  This week, I thought I’d share some of my favorite memories.  Remington was 12.  He had a good run.  All week, I’ve been hearing other dogs in the neighborhood barking and I think its him.  I was coming home from work and I’ll have to remind myself that he’s not going to greet me at the door, though as of late, he was greeting me less and less.  I walk in and he would lift his head.   Mostly because I think that will help me some. 

Remington was always a smart dog…he was also incredibly agile.  Thankfully, he never wanted to jump our fence, but he could’ve if he did.  That’s relevant right now, because one day we had gone grocery shopping.  When we got come, as we are rounding the corner of the landing on the stairs, carrying sacks of groceries, we see Remington, his front paws on top of the fridge, back paws on the counter, and he’s nosing around for the dog treats that we kept up there.  I of course, tersely said, “Remington…what are you doing?”.  He looked at me with those big brown eyes as if to say, “Hey, great, you’re home, would you give me a hand with these.”  Of course, he then calmly jumped off the counter and wandered over to us to see if we had brought him anything.

It was also kind of neat in the summer or fall when we’d get home from work or errands, because he would have nestled into a chair and was watching the driveway for our return. 

He also loved to run, which was hard, because when he would start to run, he wouldn’t stop.  So, until he was about 7, we’d go for 4 or 5 mile runs and he loved it.  But, when we went camping, it was problematic, because you didn’t know what he would get into!  The first time we took him camping, he jumped out of the car, and took off.  Three hours later, he came back to camp (after we spent two hours hiking up and down the mountain looking for him) his tail was wagging 90 miles an hour and three porcupine quills sticking out of his nose.  Fortunately, he stood there while we figured out how to get the quills out.  

We also tried to teach him to swim while camping. I took him out into a shallow inlet on a lake, to get him used to swimming.  He hated it. He didn’t want to be in the water. But he paddled around a bit and after a few minutes I took him toward shore, and he bolted before we could a leash on his harness.  Sandy took off after him, and stopped at another campsite to inquire if anyone had seen him.  The other camper looked at her and said, “well, I don’t know what kind of dog it was because it was going so quick, but it was black and tan and headed that way!” I don’t remember if we caught up to him or he came back…but boy was he happy!

As he aged, he did get to go off leash a bit more.  He would stick closer to us…but he would catch a scent and wander off.  We were camping close to home, and he was running backing and forth to us and out a ways.  Pretty soon, we looked at each other…” where’s Remington?”.  We weren’t too sure, so we stopped, and listened.  We thought we heard something, but we weren’t sure.   So, we kept walking and then Sage (our Golden Retriever) quit walking and stood there looking at us, like “Hey, Remington isn’t here.  Listen.”  She was a good girl and led us right back to him.  He had gone exploring along a creek and couldn’t get back up to the shore.  The water was shallow, so no danger of drowning, but Sandy jumped down to him, and lifted him, while I grabbed his harness to pull him out.  That dog…he kept us on our toes.

At home, he loved to sit in chairs.  I’m sure he thought he was a person. He would frequently climb up in a chair at the dinner table and sit there wait patiently for someone to give him a little bite of dinner.  If he couldn’t get into a chair, his head was right in your lap waiting for his piece of dinner too.  After a day work, I’d sit on the couch and he would jump up next to me and rest his head on my lap.  If that spot wasn’t open, he’d wait for me to put out the recliner for my legs, and he’d climb up on the leg rest and nestle himself right in between my legs and just relax.

Dogs are great companions.  We loved having him in the family.  He’s missed.  I had to cancel his grooming appointment and I couldn’t bring myself to say that he had passed.  I just said, “He’s no longer with us.”  Which I guess could be interpreted in any number of ways, but I got choked up when I tried to say something else.  I know that the hole in my heart will never be filled, but I will quit expecting him at the door when I get home.  I will always miss him…I will always have good memories of him.  Even if we get another dog one day…it won’t replace him, but it will bring me some different joy.

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