I grew up with dogs. We always had at least one at a time if not more. When I was 11, my dad, brother, and I went to the Humane Society the week of Thanksgiving to pass time while my mom was shopping. We found the most adorable puppy and brought Mom back to see it. That cute puppy came home with us, and we named him Max.
When I was 13, my family and I moved to a new town. I was heartbroken and having a really hard time. Max also seemed to be confused by our new home. That was a really hard time for me, and it helped having Max.
Max loved to chase squirrels and jump in the air. He loved wading in the lake but not completely getting under the water. He loved giving sugar (kisses) and having his ears rubbed. He loved popcorn and peanut butter.
Max didn't always love strangers, but he was loyal to his family.
Max was at my house for one night this weekend while my parents where in town. Max at age 15 was having trouble getting around. This weekend he was having trouble keeping any food or water down. Despite all that, his tail wagged when I walked in the room, and he got excited when I bent down to talk to him. And he gave me sugars.
Monday morning my parents took him to the vet since he had had a rough weekend. And the vet said there was nothing to really do. Max is now laid to rest in the backyard under a tree.
My heart is hurting. If you've never had a pet like Max, then I know it's hard to understand how someone can hurt over the loss of an animal. But if you have had a pet like Max, then you know it's a pain that's hard to console or explain. I'm sure that I'll always miss Max. He was my childhood. He was the picture on my desk at college that reminded me of home. He was the one I kissed on my wedding day before I went to the church and again before I left on my honeymoon. He was always the welcome home that I needed.
I last saw Max on Sunday night when I drove home to surprise my parents for their 35th anniversary. I walked in the house, and Max slowly got up and followed me around the house with his wagging tail and smiling face. I knew the end was near, but I wish I had given him one last kiss.
When I was little, I asked my dad if our dogs would be in heaven. He told me that God knew what made us happy and knew what we loved, and it was possible that seeing my pets again would be part of the blessings of heaven. It may sound selfish and shallow and silly, but there is a part of me that hopes that is true. Max was a huge part of my life. He laid by the side of my bed while I read books out loud to him, while I cried, and while I prayed. I may not see Max again or I may and that might be one of the numerous blessings of heaven.
Today is hard. But I have memories that will always be with me. I miss you, Max.
|^my first pictures with Max^|
|^my last picture with Max on Saturday ^|