Category: Remy Martin

All the Pretty Moments

Basil Hayden scared the living shit out of me two days ago. He suddenly refused to eat. All at once everything that happened to Remington came back to me, three years later. Aspen had a seizure the night after.

All the stress.

Basil is fine. He just had a bad case of worms. Aspen is fine, the seizure was a normal and a bit overdue part of his epilepsy.

But it struck me hard once again: we are our pets’ stewards. I held Basil, like I held Remington, and I asked him not to leave me. Remington did. He couldn’t hang on. Basil stayed. He wasn’t suffering from the same problem.

He’s looking at me right now, wondering why I am misty eyed while Aspen barks in the corner, unable to hear himself.

We are their stewards.


I knew today was going to be a tough day for me.  12 months ago I held Remington in my arms on the kitchen floor while he had the seizure that would cause his death later that night.  He’d been afflicted for a month with a vicious blood disorder. Thankfully as long as we kept him on his medicine and transfused him he felt pretty normal, so he wasn’t suffering.  But the risk of a seizure was always there, and with no platelets, that would cause a cascading internal bleed which is what happened. His little heart was beating so fast during the seizure, like nothing I had ever felt before and I told him it was ok that if this was his time to go it was ok and I loved him.  He was only 18 months old.

I woke up this morning at roughly the same time he’d awakened me a year ago to find myself looking into his sister Eowyn’s eyes.  A little while after Remington’s death our breeder called* to say that Eowyn, Remington’s half sister by blood, had been rejected by her family she had been placed with. Jane was heartbroken over Remington’s death even though his breeding and line almost certainly had nothing to do with the disorder according to the doctors. We were concerned about replacing him so fast, but when we met her we were shocked at how just like him she looked, but had her own personality. So we gave her our home.

She slept with me most of last night, an unusual occurrence because she often prefers to sleep on the floor because its cooler. I looked into those big brown eyes she shares with her brother and I felt pretty ok.  She was lying on her side to my right towards the edge of the bed, her legs facing me.  She stretched and did one of those adorable long yawns she does and leaned her head back as if to say “I am so cute.  None more cuter.”

In mid cute-showoff she promptly fell off the bed.


Well, her back end anyway, which was even more funny.  She managed to spin her front half forward as she began falling so that only her butt hit the floor leaving her perched somewhat precariously over the side with her front paws splayed out and a “What…the FUCK just happened” look on her face. That look quickly transformed into her “Aw man I embarrassed myself” look as Rochelle and I laughed at her.

So one Oct 2nd morning was pretty awful.  And another one was pretty ok. I miss ya Remy, but your sister is pretty awesome.

* Every time I mention we use a breeder for some of our Goldens on twitter or my blog I get The Lecture about rescues.  Fear not!  Our oldest Golden Buddy is a rescue, and in between Remington’s death and our giving Eowyn a home, there’s the awesome story of “Rufus” (it’s in roughly the middle of the blog post)

I’ll be with you till the day you leave…

Remington died a few minutes ago. There’s a lot I could write here.  There’s a lot my heart wants me to write here, pages.  But dead pet posts can only be written so many times. As young as he was and as much as he didn’t deserve an early end, life as George Carlin said, is a series of dogs. And we gave him a great life for so short it was.

When we choose to bring an animal into our lives we become their stewards. Rochelle and I have left the having of children to people the world needs more of, and so our pets are our children. I don’t demand anyone understand that. Some people get it, some people don’t. But mentally we make the choice that we owe them the best life possible. That’s what we trade for their trusting us with their unconditional love.

We waited ten years for Remington. Our first Golden, Hennessy, was chosen over a male we wanted to name Remington Martin.  By the time we got Buddy, his name was already part of his personality.  So last year along came this blond haired boy who swam like a fish and chased birds in the beautiful Snoqualmie river valley, and played with his friend Cthulhu and his pack mates Buddy and Adia. Here at last was our Remy.

His bright brown eyes, and gentle face. His head in my lap. His bark wanting attention. His puppy mischieveness. His odd taste for drywall.

I’ll always see him. Legs pumping in a rhythmic flow of long blond hair against short farm land grass, forever running at top speed to the chain link gate that let him out to the Snoqualmie river to swim.

I’ll always see him eighteen months, then gone from us.

Goodbye Remington Martin. I loved you very much.

I’m going to be withdrawing from the Internet for a while.  Rochelle and I will be ok.  But right now there’s no joy in the world for me.  And I know that’s not right, because there’s plenty of joy in the world. But I’m going to have to go find it.

I’ll let you know when I come back.

Remington Update and Donation information

August 28th seems like a long long time ago.  That was the day I left downtown from PAX and then out of my control ended up spending three weeks completely unplugged from work and focused on Remy. It seems like six months ago.

The good news is that ever so slowly and ever so slightly, Remington is improving.  He started out by making a few platelets, getting him out of the uncontrolled hemorrhage scenario.  Today he’s got more white blood cells than he has before.  He’s at home alert and bright and active.  He’s not in any pain or anything, and the doctors feel he’s doing well enough clinically to increase one of his treatments to speed up his recovery.  He doesn’t even appear now to know that he’s sick, which is a huge leap from where he was two weeks ago.

Rochelle and I however are exhausted.  But our friends and family both local and on the Internet have really been what’s kept us going.  Anything could still happen to Remy, so we’re cautious about the fact he’s far from out of the woods.  But the support has helped.

People have asked how they can donate to help Remington.  When I first started getting this request on Twitter I couldn’t really process it.  It never occurred to me that people would be so unbelievably generous to want to donate. 

One of the things being completely unplugged from work let me do was think a lot, and work on my audio book. I only just got back into work a couple of days ago and digging through the mountain of email took a day and a half by itself.  But now that he’s a little better and I can incorporate some work back in, I’m making the push to finish the audio book.

I wrote in the first blog post about Remy being sick that Rochelle and I are fortunate enough to be able to afford his treatment, but that being such a first world thing that I would commit to spending an equal amount on a charity of my choice.

I’m very pleased to announce that the audio version of my book, A Microsoft Life will most likely be available in mid October.  100% of the proceeds from the audiobook at least until the first of the year will go to two very important things.  Half the proceeds from the audiobook will go to Remington’s treatment.  The other half will go to Child’s Play. I’ve already been in contact with the folks at Child’s Play and they are really excited to be a part of this.

Those of you who have already purchased the book version might ask yourself why you should buy the audio version?  (By the way the title of the audiobook is “A Microsoft Life: The Audiobook Expanded Edition with Bonus Material and Surprises (Abridged)” because I did leave out some chapters it made no sense to record.)

Well in addition to me performing the chapters from my book, a special e-copy of the book, scans of the cover that was in development, original music, all new bonus chapters and some pictures of Remington with his thanks, I can *promise* you that if you are a fan of w00tstock type activities, some very special guests have lent their time to the book.

I can’t say anything else just yet.  The price should be somewhere around 15 dollars or less, and the delivery format will be a .zip file with all the goodies and the audio done in 192k MP3.  I don’t know if I will be able to break out the Child’s Play amount to be tax deductible due to how I plan to deliver the audiobook, but I will try and keep people apprised of running totals here on the page.  Hey if it becomes a big enough deal I would love to present Child’s Play with one of those big oversized checks at the dinner in December!

So there you go.  For those who wish to donate to Remington’s treatment you will soon be able to do that AND donate to Child’s Play AND get yourself a nifty audio book with some special guests and fun!

I will announce more details very soon!

Look upon ye now, on the face of pitifulness.

Remington is on his third transfusion.  This is somewhat of a normal process in the healing for his disease.  His body has to be given red blood cells so that he can start producing platelets and white cells.  After each transfusion however, he has to wear a soft collar so that he won’t lick his needle prick spots.  He…he doesn’t like it.


So far he has more platelets, still struggling on white blood cells.  But his quality of life is great, he’s home and has energy.  He can play in the yard a little bit and sleeps with us.  He’s still not out of the woods.  But he’s turned some corners.  And should he not make it from some event Rochelle and I cannot control, I will certainly look at the steps we did as steps to keep his quality of life and not just keep him with us for our own reasons.

But he’s a pretty strong little guy, and has endured this terrible situation without whining or whimpering.  I know I couldn’t be that way.