How do you say goodbye to your heart and soul furry best friend? Today I had to say goodbye to Remi. The kindest, sweetest, most tolerant Aussie I have ever known. He said it was time. I was not ready. But he was tired. I feel like my heart has been ripped out.
Our story started about 5 1/2 years ago. I was missing my Aussies, Charlie and Zoe, so much I decided it was time to look for another to fill that spot in my broken heart. I am not sure why, but I decided to look for a senior dog that needed a good home. A friend was fostering some Aussies and I went to go look at a 10 year old whose owner had passed away. This boy was a beautiful tri, and he was a working dog. He had been working on a farm and there was no way I could provide him that kind of active lifestyle. After discussing a few other dogs being fostered from the same group, my friend brought out Wayde. He was quiet, mellow, walked nicely on leash and was not overly impressive. They thought he was 10 to 11 years old. When I stepped back into the building and sat down in a chair, he promptly put his head in my lap. Ok, Sold!!
I brought him home, renamed him Remi after Frederic Remington the artist, and took him to my vet for a well check. He had a topical yeast infection and bacterial infection. His fur was rough and narley. When he was found, he was missing a lot of his coat due to allergies. My vet and I did a thorough check over of him and we mutually decided he was not that old. Maybe 7? So I gave him a birthday of 3/17/2010. A day after the date I took him home. He would be a St. Patricks day boy. And aged at 7 years old.
Six months later and we were evaluating to be a therapy team. He loves people and especially kids. But anyone who will pet him and say hello is the best thing ever. We worked at all sorts of facilities. Parkland Psychiatric Ward, Medical City Childrens, Children’s Health, Dallas Children’s Advocacy center, Dallas Libraries, and so many one time events. Everyone loved Remi.
It was amazing watching him work with kids. Never once, in all the time he has lived with me, has he ever gotten on the furniture or in my bed. I have begged, cajoled, tried to pick him up and place him in my bed. Nope, it was not in his nature. He would not get up so we could have a proper cuddle. But to watch him at the hospitals, trying to jump into the kids beds even before we were ready, was awe inspiring. I’d watch him and could tell when he really liked a kid or if he was like, “yeah, they are alright”. If a child really needed him, he would lay down in the bed and put his head in their lap. Otherwise, he would lay next to them lengthwise and look at me. I will never forget the the time we were visiting with a young adult. As we were leaving her room, she dropped her laptop on the floor and I turned around to help her. Behind me, my friend that we visit with was saying, “Robin, Remi is shopping. Remi is shopping.” It did not really connect in my brain until I turned around and caught him stealing and inhaling vanilla oreos off of her shelf. Such a goober!
Remi and I did other things together as well. He became a Dog Scout and we went to dog scout camp. He earned badges just like girls scouts do. He earned his backpacking badge. Yes, he had to wear a backpack (saddle bags) and carry certain items while we walked together. We had to do a total of 6 miles. It was hard, for him and me. Neither of us have great knees, but we did it! He earned his swimming badge by swimming in the lake at camp (he wore a life jacket to help keep him afloat), several agility badges, his therapy badge, and others. Having those badges gave me such joy as proof of our time together.
We also dabbled in Barn Hunt. He got to hunt rats in tubes (no rats are harmed in this game) and run around a ring just enjoying the heck out of himself. We did not get very far in our winning of ribbons but he did earn his novice title and really had a good time because, after all, we were doing something together.
I have never watched a calmer, gentler dog tell another dog they were acting inappropriately as Remi would. It was amazing to watch him. I have so many young dogs that come to the house. For training or playtime. I remember very well, and managed to get it on video, Remi sliding right up next to the offending pup, puffing his chest up, head held high and calmly and quietly telling the youngster what he was doing was not acceptable. With no sound, no contact or anything a novice person would notice, he told the youngster off and that pup promptly laid down and didn’t move. Then Remi walked off. I could just imagine him if he had hands, giving the “washing my hands” signal and saying “that is how it is done”.
Three years ago, at Wags and Waves (Hawaiian Falls opens for the dogs the last day of their season) I found a golf ball sized lump on his hind end. That was a start of a whole new journey for us. My vet took a needle biopsy of it and it came back as a lipoma. So when I was having his teeth cleaned, I asked them to remove the lump. The vet doing the surgery called me in the middle of surgery and told me it was the strangest lump she had ever seen. It was encapsulated and went all the way to his spine. They removed what they could and sent it off for analysis. Sadly, it came back as a soft tissue sarcoma. Not only were they not able to get clean margins because it was so close to his spine, but it is a reoccurring cancer.
Now we are onto speciality vets. We saw a wonderful oncologist in Ft. Worth and as many of you know, we did 4 rounds of radiation treatment. After that, he went in every three months for the oncologist to review the site and check for any additional growths. Two years later, early 2022, and he was deemed cancer free. But now he was having these very random seizures or tremors. And he was starting to have issues with his rear legs in that when he got up or walked on slick surfaces, his legs would splay.
So off to a neurologist we went. X-rays were done and it was found that he now had spondylosis in his lower lumbar and sacrum area. And some neuropathy at the surgical site. To combat this, we started seeing an acupuncturist, an acupressurist and a massage therapist. Every week, this lovely boy and I would drive, sometimes hours, sometimes less, to see his vet of choice that week. We both worked so hard at keeping him happy, healthy and walking.
A few weeks ago, Remi went down in the rear end. He had several days where he could not get up on his own, and even when I helped him, he could not get his feet under him. Panicked, I ran him to my vet in an emergency. There was not a whole heck of a lot they could do for him. My vet said we needed to try steroids, what the vets call the “Hail Mary” attempt to keep him going. And I upped our visits to the accupressure vet who also does holistic vet care. Amazingly, Remi felt pretty well for another couple of weeks. And then he went down again. At this point, I am told, everything has been done that can be done. So now it is up to me to love him enough to give him the gift of softly passing over the rainbow bridge.
Remi and I have spent the last few days, doing things that he liked to do. We drove to the lake and sat in the sun. We shared hamburgers while sitting in the sun. He had friends come to visit to say goodbye. And I took him to see friends to say goodbye. We did a whole celebration of life together. Never before have I had the luxury of time before saying goodbye. All of my dogs have had to pass due to some immediate, horrible illness. Planning Remi’s sleep has been a blessing and so very hard. I have second guessed myself many times over. But in the end, I know it is up to me to listen to what he is telling me and he says he is tired.
My vet came to the house today, so he could go to sleep in his own home. Eating his salmon and ricotta bark pouch and with our dogs and me around him that loved him beyond measure, he quietly fell asleep. It is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. Yes, I have had a lot of dogs. And I hurt when they have to say goodbye. But Remi, well, I do not know how to explain that every bone in my body aches from sadness. There will never be another Remi.
He has truly been one of a kind!
Until we meet again my friend, rest in peace and run free. I will dream of you often. XOXOXO
Frederic Remington (Remi) 3.17.2010 – 10.4.2022
Forever in our hearts, dear Remi. Rest and be free.
Robin, I am so very sorry. I’m so glad I got to know him, even if just for a short time. He was truly special. He welcomed all new dogs, including my own. My heart hurts for you. I know he had the most amazing life with you. Where there is heart felt grief there is deep love, and I know you loved him with all your heart. You did the kindest and hardest thing we do when we love. Our sincerest condolences and deepest sympathies.
Rest In Peace, sweet Remi!
Sending much love and peace your way, Robin. I’m so sorry for your loss.
I remember you from Dog Scout camp when I was there with my young standard black and white poodle. You sat next to me in dog painting class. Remi and you were such an inspiration to us. Thank you!
What an amazing life!! I am so sorry for your loss- but thank you for choosing to rescue ❤️ Your pup will be with you always 🐶. What a sweet life.
Remi, a one of a kind special dog. Always ready for fun and adventures, a gentle and kind soul. So glad we had the chance to work beside you and see the happiness you brought to all. Love you to the moon and back. 🐾🐾❤
Remi was definitely one of kind. The kindest, sweetest and most devoted best friend. I’m sorry for your loss Robin. I always looked forward to seeing him when you brought him to camp and other outings. He will be missed…but not forgotten. Love you Remi!!
I am so very sorry to hear about Remi. I have only known him for a short time – but could tell immediately how special he was. I swear when he’d look at me it was like he stared into my soul! What a special blessing to all he’s ever met. My heart breaks for you. Rest in peace sweet Remi. ❤️
Robin, I am so sorry. Although I never knew Remi, just reading about him makes me know he was very special. Thinking of you-
Robin, I am so sorry. I know the pain in your heart when you lose such a special dog. I too felt like Daisy was one of a kind just like Remi. You never forget them.
Robin, my heart is aching for you you are such a lover of people and dogs and what a great home you gave Remi. I will be praying for comfort and peace in your sweet life. I hope someday you will find another Remi you are an amazing lady. Love and prayers, Ro
Robin, tears are streaming from my eyes as I read your moving tribute to Remi. What a happy coincidence that the two of you found each other and were able to give one another so much love. My heart goes out to you, as I have also had to say goodbye to a fur baby who was just about like one of my children. You gave Remi a beautiful, full life. and his precious spirit will live on in all of the other pups you train and care for.
Oh Robin my heart breaks for you…thinking of you and yours.
I am so very sorry. I went through the same thing with Benji 3 years ago and I still think of him every day. You’re in my thoughts.
What always stood out to me was the deep rapport that you and Big Remi shared.
I loved hanging with you and him and Little Remi, who clearly found comfort and ease in his presence.
Our hearts ache for you, Robin.
Robin, my heart aches for you and your loss. Remi and you shared an amazing bond. You will always have the love and memories you shared. Hugs
I am so sorry. Each furry friend leaves pawprints on our hearts, some are deeply imprinted. Your story truly touched me and resonated.
I have had heart breaks where I was not ready to say goodbye. One Border Collie was a senior rescue and about 15, her eyes said I’m struggling Mom, I love you….. One year later I suddenly lost my Border Collie mix to cancer (on Friday she was fine, late Saturday night we were racing to the Emergency Clinic, things looked hopeful, in the wee hours of Tuesday morning she was gone. I did not get to say good-bye, Covid prevented me from entering the Clinic). She had been to agility classes with you and love it.
What a beautiful dog who was uniquely gifted! Thank you for sharing his story and inspiring all of us with your loving kindness and devotion to Remi. Hang in there!
I am so sorry, Robin! It’s never easy to lose a wonderful family member! It sounds like he had a wonderful life with you! Run free, Remi!
I am so sorry to read this. He sounds like a one of a kind. I hope you can find comfort in knowing you gave him the very best life until the last possible moment. Love to you,
Remi was sweet, so sorry to hear of your loss. Our thoughts are with you!
Robin, I am so sorry about Remi. You are an amazing person and did everything you possibly could. Keeping you in my prayers and thoughts!
Oh Robin. I’m so sorry for your loss. Remi sounds like one of a kind, for sure! Much love to you.
We’re all sorry to hear about your loss
It is always hard to lose a friend as special as Remi
What a beautiful tribute to honor his life. We will keep you in our prayers. Roscoe and Rebel send kisses.
What a beautiful tribute to a great dog. I’m so sorry for your loss and I realize from my own experiences just how hard it is to say good-by. I’m hoping that when my dogs go, I can give them the same attention you gave Remi and all your dogs. May God bless you and Remi.
I am so sorry for your loss. The love you shared for Remi is truly amazing.
He was such a special dog, and you were a special angel to him.
God bless both of you!
Oh, Robin. I am so sorry. Your compassion was evident throughout Remi’s life with you and all the way to your willingness to listen to him that it was time. May your memories bring you comfort as you grieve. Sending big hugs– Mindy, Rick, and Henry