Tuesday, July 25, 2017


The cutest pup that ever was

I am an avoider. Spell-check is telling me this is not a word, but it is. Mostly, I try to evade conflict, which has proved to be both a positive and negative character trait for me.  My family and friends will tell you that I tend to look for ways to steer clear of altercations and keep the peace (coincidentally, my name means peace) alternatively though, I sometimes avoid situations that need to be addressed, so as not to cause trouble or worry.

I also loved our dog...a lot. And because I am an avoider, I have not yet truly dealt with that fact that we had to say goodbye to him last week because of a degenerative spinal issue that caused him to lose the use of his back legs. I've spoken the words only to a few people, because it feels too real to say it out loud, and because I have never had a loss just like this one, he was my first pup. As a result, I am not sure if my reaction is typical; I guess you can say I am a little self-conscious of the magnitude that this loss has had on me.

From the beginning, 11 1/2 years ago, Jason and I said we were not going to treat our dog like a human. We were not trying to judge those who treated their pets as children, but it wasn't how we were going to go about it. And for the most part...we didn't?

Here are the arguments for our case:

1. When speaking to Remy we didn't refer to ourselves as "Mom" and "Dad".  It was "Jason" and "Erin".  For example, I might say: "Remy, do you want to go for a walk with Jason and I?", and with a tilt of the head, he would answer. He would never, ever turn down a walk.

2. Remy was allowed on couches, but was not allowed to sleep on beds. Unless Jason was not home, then he was allowed to sleep on beds. He had manners though, he would always ask before jumping up by resting his chin on the couch until you told him OK.

Isn't that just the sweetest? We didn't teach him that.

3. And it's not like we took him everywhere we went. We did though, take him whenever we could. Whether it was to a mountain vacation, a sports game, a day by the pool or his all-time favorite spot, Moore State park. We wouldn't dare have gone there without him.

Remy's many adventures at Moore, including his first time sledding.  

4. We knew that since he wasn't a human, it would have been silly to teach him how to read.

Or talk on the phone.

We know dogs don't need glasses...

And we didn't make him ride in a booster seat that time, he wanted to...

5. He was as much Mitchell and Landon's dog as he was ours.

The bottom left picture is of the boys on the first day of school. Doesn't Remy look so proud?! The walk to the bus stop was one of his favorite parts of the day, he would have gotten on that bus if we let him.

6. I set out to convince you myself that we weren't treating Remy like a person. What I now realize is that I shouldn't worry so much- we treated him like family. And he was unequivocally a part of our family. He was with us everyday, knew our rhythms, sensed our emotions, loved us as much as we loved him, and it's just a really big loss for us.
I am coming to terms with the fact that he is not with us anymore, the pictures and stories have been therapeutic. I am going to continue to let myself grieve without worrying how long it takes, or if I am crying more than one should for the loss of a dog. I will know a little better what it feels like when others lose a beloved pet, and hopefully I will have a comforting word.  Lastly, since I am no longer avoiding the fact that we had to say goodbye, I can now say that I will always, always remember his sweet, loyal, adventure-seeking, cat-chasing, fun-loving, happy-go-lucky self and what a special member of our family he was. 💗      

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