I lost my best friend May 27, 2005. I am a part time writer and photographer for a local newspaper. This is an article I wrote and was published last
week. I will never get over Max.
I picked him out at a pet store off of Scott Street, or maybe he picked me out. I know Pet stores are evil, and normally I don’t visit them, but if I had never stopped, I wouldn’t have met Max. My life would have been much less than it is.
He was a Maltese, and could fit into my coat pocket. The Maltese Breed is one of the oldest. In Old England, and on the Continent, ladies of the court would place them in their large sleeves for warmth. I don’t like to call them a Breed; he was much more than just a breed. More like a kind friend totally concerned about my health and well being. No, the word breed reminds me too much of a bad western movie of the fifties.
My Best Friend Max
He was named Maxwell Kramer after Kramer on Seinfield, and Mad Max of the Road Warrior movies. Max was a complete dork at times. Running into a room to find me, he would try to make a fast turn on a tile floor, and with shaggy ears flopping he would slide and sometimes smack into a piece of furniture. When I laughed at him, he smiled. When I was down he would find me, and touch me with a paw while laying his head on my hand. His most prized possession was a worn yellow rubber fish. He had inherited the fish from his future girlfriend Maggie Mae.
I have worked with people in the past whose learning curve was purely horizontal. Not Max. When caught doing wrong, he managed to look so guilty that you felt sorry for him. He could look as innocent as an indicted politician. He also mastered using tools! Max taught himself and the girls how to use a chair or a kitchen trash can to climb up on cabinets or dinning tables. Although his official papers said he was a 100% Maltese purebred dog, I think he was half raccoon. After climbing up to a kitchen counter, or sometimes the range top, he would pick something of interest out and nose it to the floor for the girls to share.
a ride one day with Max. He just shivered and grinned during the entire trip. Storms of any nature scared Max. When the thunder came, he would search out one of us to protect him. He wouldn’t stop shaking until he knew we would save him.
One day last May I was hauling a load of trash to the dump. I hadn’t noticed the storms building, but Mad had. He started to have Grand Mal Seizures. My wife Linda promptly took him to the animal hospital. She told me he would briefly come back into consciousness and place his paw on her arm while licking her. He was telling her it was ok. She got him to the hospital, but it wasn’t ok. He was only seven. Some people don’t think animals had souls. I think he did. There is a poem called The Rainbow Bridge that deals with grief over a lost pet. It tells of how your departed pet will wait for you at the foot of a rainbow bridge until you join them. While they wait they play, there is no hunger, pain, or abandonment anymore for them. There is also no limit as to how long they will wait for you. I let the girls see him one last time and then buried him next to Maggie Mae. I loved Max completely – I will be sad if he isn’t waiting for me.
We introduced Max to Maggie Mae. She was a three quarter Maltese with one quarter Yorkie. It was love? At first sight and 63 days later they had the girls. Haley was a small clone of Max floppy ears and all. Same caring temperament, same concern for our family. Lexie, also know as Lexapro, and Madison were the evil twins, Ears straight up with a psychotic nature.
On the third day after the birth of the girls, Maggie became very sick with a blood immune problem. After she died Max became less frivolous and became the girls’ mother. It was quite amazing to see a male of any species react like he did. He licked them to stimulate their systems, and would count them after we fed them. That was Maxwell.
He tried to fit the macho male dog role, but in fact was a sham. We tried to go for