Remington came to live with us shortly after Christmas in 2009 – he was just turning 10 months old and in need of a new home. The family who had brought him home as a small puppy were unfortunately not equipped to deal with this goofy 80 lb Golden Retriever. I had heard about his need for a new home on several occasions from a friend (Ashley) who worked at another veterinary clinic.
She had been asking me for several months if I was interested in adopting him and my answer every time was emphatically no. Ashley realized that I needed to meet him in person – so one night she showed up with him in tow and handed him over to me with a large grin on her face. The rest is as they say history!
Remington was to become my best friend, confidant and soul mate – he always listened when I spoke, sensed when I was sad, celebrated when I was happy and always had my best interests at heart. He met me every morning and every evening with the same level of joy and happiness. He had the ability to smile and would talk in a low grumbling sound while trying to knock you off your feet with his enthusiastic tail wagging. His personal mission in life was to make me happy and he never failed at that task he always managed to bring joy to my heart.
Remington left us in early March in his 7th year – my heart is broken and I am so sad about the loss of such a fine and loving friend. The tears flow freely and some days the grief is so strong it passes over me in a wave. I realize that eventually the grief will change shape and the pain will lessen and with time my memories of him will bring more laughter than tears, but that time seems to be so far in the distant future.
What I did want to do is share the lessons that Remington taught me – because as I look back on the short time he was part of my life I realize that he influenced me in many ways.
Lessons Remington Taught Me
- Always be kind – because in the end only kindness matters
- Never prejudge – everyone has a story to tell and you should treat everyone with the same level of courtesy and kindness – which means you still wag your tail with the same level of enthusiasm for everyone you meet.
- Mud is completely washable – and life still goes on even with mud on the walls and floor
- Always have hope – because someday that squirrel will fall out of the tree and land right in front of you.
- Be proud of your accomplishments – getting 9 socks in your mouth at once may be inconsequential to some but it is a really big accomplishment for others.
- Don’t ever give up trying – it may have taken months but he finally managed to pick up 3 rubber balls at once – he never once gave up trying.
- Sit quietly and listen to the sound of running water – it calms the soul.
- Nose prints on glass – are the best form of art work anyone can own.
- Wear your black wool coat with pride – it may be covered in golden retriever hair, but it shows the world who is waiting for you at home.
Remington left us too quickly but I am glad he walked into our lives that snowy night in December – he left lasting memories, joy and laughter in our lives; he will be missed by all who knew and loved him. We have laid Remington to rest in his favourite place – on the banks of the duck pond behind our house, and I often hear his dog tags jingle on the evening breeze, as I watch and wait for him to run up the embankment to greet me. Time will lessen the pain and sadness I feel but my memories of him will always remain strong.
Written by Marie