Thursday, September 17, 2015

Max the Destroyer

I had this dog. He was big and clumsy...and annoying sometimes because he would whack you with his whip of a tail, or he would silent but deadly while you were minding your own business enjoying the pure air, or he would push 4 year olds over because he weighed more than them. My neighbor once said that he was the kind of dog you could steal a couch with...I don't know what that means, but we still throw that around because it's ironic...and possibly more indicative of who HE was than my dog.

Max was a year old when he came into our family. I had some friends who couldn't accommodate him. They were moving and couldn't keep a big dog. We had just moved into a house with a rat problem and the property managers needed almost a week to just GET to the issue. I took the matter into my own hands and took my friend's cat and dog. He wasn't super socialized and he was spazzy. I grew up with retrievers mostly, so the personality of this dog was initially a bit of a challenge. We got over it, though. While awkward and big, he was a lover at heart. And also while maintaining the appearance of a bully-like dog, he was a total coward. He was afraid of things like...the ultra horrifying dustpan, dead things (like the tiny baby birds that fell out of their nest when the momma built it on top of the slats of our patio cover), florescent light covers and the like.

There were also plenty of times when my man would let him out "accidentally" and he would terrorize the neighborhood, seeing whose doors were open so he could go check out their houses and test the water in their toilets, or sniff their bum cheeks while they were still in night gowns. Great stuff. THOSE were the moments when I was so irritated that it didn't seem like such a bad idea for animal control to come and get him. The only way to coax him to do anything was with hot dogs. I could pull him home from a block away if he saw I had a processed meat product in my hand. He also liked cheese and being with me...even when I was bugged.

The night of mother's day, I saw it. A huge growth in his groin area that hadn't been there before. 5 hours in the animal ER, and a follow up visit with the vet the day after confirmed that it was cancer. No amount of chemo or surgery would make it go away without seriously diminishing his quality of life. And the difficult decision was made to let the time work it's way, make him comfortable, love on him, medicate him and use every second we had left to enjoy him. The vet wasn't sure if we would get a month or a year...we were lucky, it was 3 months. I can't bring myself to write about those months...or the last day. What I can write is that I miss my dog. I miss him snoring through the night. I miss that he chased things away. I miss that most people thought he would be rough, and would therefore leave a wide wake for me to go my way...I mostly miss that he would find me and check on me often. I miss him asking me to take him on a walk. I just...miss.

Love you, Max the destroyer of all things backyard irrigation. I'll miss you forever. xo

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