Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Puppy Love

Meet Remy, or Big R as Jonathan and I call him. He is our super sized, abundantly furry Australian shepherd, who has extremely gentile sensibilities. First off, let me say that Remy was born in Maine, but somewhere on the journey from his birth state to our home in Connecticut he acquired a very gentlemanly southern accent. Creating dialogue for Remy's "voice" has never stopped amusing us and sometimes we bust ourselves up laughing over the things that come out of his "mouth". Poor dog. He has childless owners and you know how those types can go a little overboard on their pets. Nonetheless, Remy enjoys his life to the fullest and he appreciates the love from his family and friends.

This past summer Remy's friend Izzy, another Aussie, contracted a serious heart condition and she passed away on August 1st. Izzy had been our girl for ten years and she was a devoted, adorable, lovely spirit. Jonathan and I were heartbroken about losing her and it's taken me until now to even be able to write about the fact that she is gone. Whenever one of our friends heard the sad news, they always asked the same question, " How is Remy handling it?" Well, the truth was that he didn't seem to be any different than he was before Iz died. It was as if nothing had changed in his happy, carefree life. I guess it didn't surprise Jonathan or I, because we always pegged Remy as a bit self centered. No judgement, that is just how he is. When our old male Aussie Dewars, who was Izzy's friend died, Izzy went into a mourning period that lasted until the very moment that we brought Remy home as a bundle of white and grey fluffernutter. Remy had sincerely shown love for his old girl friend, but now that she was gone it was like out of sight, out of mind for him.

After a month, or so had passed, Jonathan and I began to talk about getting a puppy, but we still weren't sure we were ready. Remy seemed to be almost relishing being a single dog at this point. He didn't have to share the back seat of the car, we allowed him on the bed, he was taken on most every road trip, we really thought he was A-okay. Until one day when I came home from my birthday party with a stuffed toy that my sister had given me as a joke. It was a grey rabbit and when Remy first saw it, he seemed quite stunned. I noticed his apprehension at coming to meet the bunny, so I made it dance around and invite him over to say hi. This caused him to leap around the living room with joy. He came over and gave the bunny a poke with his nose and began to nuzzle it gently. Jonathan and I shared a laugh over our simple pet and we didn't think much of it at the time. Over the next few days his ardor the bunny intensified and we began to question this relationship that he had developed. He thought he had a new friend and his devotion to this animal was clearly bordering on unhealthy. Jonathan decided we needed to take action, so one night while Remy was outside I hid the bunny-friend downstairs in the basement. Poor Remy searched the house in a frenzy when he came inside. It was wrenching and disturbing to watch is distress over the loss of the new pal, but we stuck to our guns and over the next few days he returned to old self. The writing was on the wall. Remy had shown us that he needed a companion. Were WE ready for a new puppy, yet?

Another week or two passed by when one morning I noticed there was a swath of brown fur on the grass by the back steps. "Oh jeez," I said with a sigh. I figured that one of the cats had caught an animal and left it for me to find. As I went outside to check it out, Remy jumped past me and excitedly gave the fur a poke with his nose and jumped in the air. Upon closer inspection I realized that the fur was a piece of deer hide. Disgusting. The local coyote pack has been on a mission lately taking down deer in the fields surrounding our house. It appeared that Remy had found a remnant of a kill and decided to take it home so he could hang out with it. And that is what he did. Anytime he was outside he could be found laying down next to his deer pelt. Contented friends. First a stuffed animal, now a deer pelt. When I told Jonathan of this new situation with our nutty dog, we both laughed at the absurdity of Remy's choice of friends. It was totally amusing, but we both know we can't let this dog be a single dog for much longer. He'll end up committed to a canine insane asylum.We simply have to get him a living, breathing friend. This time I think we're ready.