life, Pets

My Guys


Listening to the neighbor’s nonstop barking dog made me grateful for the dogs I’ve had in my life.

Max and my beloved Piezon (Paesano in Italian who is now gone 😥) have been fully obedient and only bark when someone is near our house or approaching the door.

If you don’t mind indulging me, I’d like to share about these faithful, soulful creatures. Both are black Australian Shepherds and look very much alike.


Max, my present beautiful boy, is ten years old. We adopted him when he was three, and he was obedient right from the start. Not to mention, he’s pretty calm for an Australian Shepherd.
His focus during training and play activities is unshakable. He’s so smart, you can see him thinking.

In contrast, my beloved Piezon was not calm and rarely relaxed. I couldn’t get him to focus, yet somehow he was easy to train and just as obedient as Max. He had such high energy that it took him a few circles before he settled into a lie-down or sit pose, but he always did what he was told.


However, don’t mistake Piezon’s high energy for hyperactivity, like a terrier. His energy came from joy. His cheerfulness never waned, so he appeared excited to be alive all . . . the . . . time. He loved life like no other living being I’ve ever known.

Relaxed Max

Max, on the other hand, can get really relaxed and is a moody guy. There are days he’s filled with joy, and there are days he mopes around. Sometimes he even grunts as if he’s frustrated. I was so used to Piezon’s cheerful disposition, that I worry Max is sick when he gets mopey. I have to remind myself, he’s just different.

Piezon used to help me around the house. For example, he used to follow me when I carried dirty laundry to the machines and pick up loose socks for me. He’d get the remote or shoes. He’d be so excited to help out, he’d wag his entire body and make sounds of giddiness.

Piezon even helps with fishing.
Max didn’t leave my husband’s side after his accident.

Max doesn’t help me out with physical duties, but he’s a compassionate guy. He seems to sense what I’m feeling even before I do and will snuggle up to me. He gets right under my feet when I’m emotional. When I’m angry he puts his head on me to calm me down. When I cry he licks away my tears.

Piezon reacted to emotion in a different way. Because he couldn’t sit still, his hugs and snuggles didn’t last long, but he did give them. His temperament didn’t seem to understand other emotions outside of happiness, but he would come and sit by my side to let me know he was there for me. Speaking of sitting by my side, the only time he ever really got calm was during prayer time. He instinctively seemed to know something and relaxed beside me during my meditation time.


Neither one of them have been fearful of anything, not even thunder or fireworks. But at times, Max gets unsure of situations and seems a little worried. For example, he likes car rides, but gets anxious. He’s worried about where we’re taking him and just wants to get to the destination. He is wary of strangers at first, but warms up after a quick sniff.

Piezon loved tennis balls.

Piezon loved everyone immediately. His car rides were an adventurous journey for him. He didn’t care about the destination. Once we arrived somewhere, he’d turn around to go back in the car for another journey. As I wrote in Piezon’s eulogy, he never worried and was afraid of nothing.

Neither dog was mischievous, and rarely got into trouble. Only once Piezon ate an entire loaf of banana bread. It was rough sleeping in the same room with him that night.

Only once (recently) Max ate an entire pack of gum out of my purse. That was dangerous, because certain types of gum can kill a dog. Thankfully, mine wasn’t that kind.

Aside from those two incidents, my dogs have been complete angels. It’s not because I’m biased either. These dogs are unbelievably smart and tuned into what their people want or need.

Both of these guys melded into me, becoming a part of my soul. A huge chunk of me was cut out when Piezon died. I just hope there’s something left of me when it’s Max’s turn to leave.

UPDATE: We said goodbye to our sweet Max on January 8, 2020.

What about your pets, past or present? Are their personalities markedly different?




14 thoughts on “My Guys”

  1. Lori, a lovely and touching post about your guys. Max looks adorable and I’m smiling at him reading away with the glasses on! It must be hard to see his anxiety whilst travelling … glad all was okay with the gum incident. I’ve had two cats – the first, Sooty was fearless, got into endless scraps but still loving and sweet. He was best friends with my guinea pig and protected her from other cats. My most recent cat was the runt of the litter, constantly fearful, anxious. He slowly learnt to face the world but loved being home best!

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    1. Hi Annika. Your kitties had such distinct personalities. It’s fascinating to see that in our pets. At least to me. Thank you for reading about my guys and sharing about your furry friends.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. They all do have their own personalities don’t they? It was lovely and moving to read about your boys. Winston is a happy little boy most of the time, but he doesn’t give cuddles or comfort easily – he hates it if people raise their voices and he even runs away if someone hiccups! He absolutely loves people, probably more than he likes other dogs.

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    1. Hi Andrea. Thank you for sharing about Winston. I like to hear about pets and how they develop such distinctive personalities. I know what you mean about Winston like humans better than dogs, because Max is like that, too. Thanks for reading about my guys. Have a great weekend.

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  3. So lovely to read about the contrasting personalities of Max and Piezon. They remind me of Wilfred, the Border collie/Kelpie pet of some friends. He’s 11. 😀 A very sweet dog, though he tends to herd children. 😀

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    1. I certainly could understand why Wilfred would tend to herd children. That’s a sheep dog for you. Thank you for reading about my two guys, L.


  4. Thank you for sharing the wonderful stories for your dogs. 🙂
    I have had dogs all my life except for the last three years. Our beloved Rudy who was almost 16 passed away then. He was very healthy and active right up to his last couple of weeks. We are thinking of adopting a new family member in the next year or so. I have had all kinds of dogs but the last three were SPCA rescue mutts, and that’s where we will go again.
    Rudy’s greatest gift was to other dogs. My stepson B (a self-proclaimed non-dog person) fell in love with him. As a result, there will be a loving home with B for other dogs. It’s the first thing he’s going to do when he’s settled.

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    1. It’s hard to decide to adopt another, at least it is for me. I’ve have health issues that I have to consider now, too (pain).

      I love that Rudy melted your stepson’s heart to the love of dogs.

      Thank you for sharing about your dog and reading about my guys.

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  5. It’s so good to know that your dogs have had a good life with you. Max is lucky to live with you. We often say our dogs have a better life than most people. But that’s the way it should be. I don’t believe that just because they are dogs, they should have a hard life (and be left out in the cold in the winter, for example). Thanks for sharing about your lovely dogs, Lori.

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  6. A good friend of mine loves Australian shepherds for all the reasons you give. She has one now about 6 years old and is thinking of adopting another (her other dog died about 2 years ago). My childhood dog was a crazy terrier. Yikes! Smart but refused to be trained!

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    1. Hi Kate. Aussies are so great, but now that I’m dealing with pain issues, I don’t know if we should get another. Despite that Max is a calmer dog, he needs daily exercise. Aussies always do, but I would really love to get another.

      Thanks for reading about my guys.

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