life, Pets

We Said Goodbye

We said our final goodbyes to Max last night, January 8, 2020 around 6pm. I have no energy in me to write much else at the moment. I wrote the following while he was sick but still with us. Thank you for honoring our sweet boy by reading it. I may be scarce for a little while.

I wrote a sort-of-eulogy for Piezon when he left us. I feel it’s only right to honor our boy, Max in the same way.

As most of you know, we adopted Max when he was three years old. It’s always a gamble adopting a dog that you don’t know how was influenced before he arrived into your home. We couldn’t believe our dumb luck that this dog was the most obedient dog we’d ever had the pleasure of meeting. The couple who gave him up lost out on a treasure, but we understood why, because they were never home.

We originally had talked about changing his name, because Max is the number one name given to male dogs. But, once we spent some time with him, Max just seemed right.

When he first arrived to our home in Florida, we sometimes forgot we had a dog. It had been 21 months since Piezon left. Our house was quiet, and so was Max. Even in the same room with us, we rarely heard him move around. Once he adjusted, he knew he was home and became more active. He began protecting the house with vigor, because…well… those delivery men were dangerous.

For many months I had difficulty bonding with him. I wasn’t sure if it was my own fear of getting attached to another dog that I’d someday lose, or if Max was still waiting for his original family to come and get him. I think it was a little of both.

I can’t tell you when or how it happened, but eventually Max became stuck to me like indelible ink. I couldn’t get him off of me if I wanted to, but I didn’t want to. Up to the very end, whatever room I went in the house, Max was right there with me. And boy, was he ever a good snuggler.

His first snow

He was born and raised in Florida, so we weren’t sure how he’d take to living in Illinois. Of the three of us, Max adjusted the quickest. He thrived in cooler weather and became absolutely ecstatic in snow.

Max on Christmas morning after opening his presents

Max and I used to play every morning for a bit. I’d throw his squeaky toy down the hall and he’d fetch it. Sometimes I’d run and hide on him. I’d hear the toy in his mouth drop with a thud and then his clip-clops trotting around the house looking for me. He loved that challenge. He never, EVER gave up until he found me, and he always did, no matter how good I hid. He would’ve made a great search and rescue dog.

When I cried about something, Max would lick my tears and my nose. I could just hear him thinking, “Mom, you’re leaking. I’ll get it for you.” It made me stop crying to giggle.

Now I have seemingly endless tears, and he’s not here to plug my leaks. Because he was always so close to my side, it feels like half of me is missing. This was the same feeling when Piezon died. It brings me solace knowing my two Aussies are together and still protecting me from the other side.

P.S. In the novel I’ve been working on for years now, I named a character, Max, after our loveable boy.

Thank you for reading about him.

 

44 thoughts on “We Said Goodbye”

  1. I am so sorry for your loss. My dad’s beloved rescue mongrel (she was many flavours of dog), Billi, passed on earlier this week and even though she was not my dog I spent much time with her. It’s impossible to explain the grief to people who do not have pets.

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    1. Thank you for reading about Max and for your kind words, Lynette. We took the day off and hope to go see a movie after wiping some tears. The house is so empty. 🧡

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