Musing with Max

Musing with Max

February 18, 2011

Life Savior

When I started writing this blog it was mainly as an outlet. I had just become unemployed very suddenly and without much warning and the prospect of sitting at my computer spending the day going through the job listings was depressing to say the least, boring also comes to mind as well as a few other choice words, but I digress. I started writing to take a break from the job sites and do something I've always enjoyed but was too bashful, insecure, scared, you pick it, to do. There was no conscious or coherent effort to make this blog about anything in particular. The fact that I write a LOT about food says a LOT about what I enjoy doing with my time which is definitely cooking, in the Spring (if I'm still writing, oh yes) it will probably also include gardening, something else I thoroughly enjoy. This is clearly not a food blog; there are a bunch of food blogs out there and some are quite amazing, I am not about to put myself in that category. However I write about what I love. So here comes the tale of Max, the one constant in this little story.
Long story short, or maybe not: On December 25th 2005 we had the unfortunate experience of having to put our beloved pet (baby) TJ to sleep.
It was devastating. We had him since he was 7 months old and he was 14 at the time. Yes he was sick, yes he had crippling arthritis and hip dyspepsia among other things and yes that night he started to go into convulsions but still... Anyway after a couple of years of being "petless" I started to get antsy and spent an incredible and probably unhealthy amount of time looking through the Jersey Animal Coalition's (local shelter) website and pestering Frank no end. Finally one day in April of 2008 he said "OK, let me see that website" and picked about 7 dogs to look at, including the 2 collie puppies I was interested in. I'll spare all the details except this one, when we walked up to Max's (he had the unfortunate name of Timothy at the shelter) crate and he jumped over to the door where Frank was looking up at him I actually heard violins. This was love at first sight and I knew then and there that the 2 collie puppies were bupkus. So we rescued (it is debatable who rescued who, my money's on Max) this 1 1/2 year old combination beagle, treeing walker coon hound, pointer, etc, etc, mix. and immediately renamed him. He took to us (Frank) right away, walked in the house and jumped on the couches, the beds, you name it. Training of furniture etiquette ensued, it has worked to some extent. He knows what he is allowed on, the couch in the TV room, and what he's not allowed on, everything else. Translation: He lies with us on the TV room couch while we're home and watching TV, he lies on everything else when we're not home or out of sight.

and he lies on Frank whenever possible

When Frank's 3 month consulting assignment with JPMorganChase came to an end in June 2008 after 9 years he decided to take a couple of months off and catch up on some software that he felt he badly needed to learn, therefore he and Max spent all day together. They went to the dog park, they went for walks in the woods, they played catch in the back yard, went for power walks, and just plain hung out. In September of 2008 the economy of the great US of A collapsed big time and Frank who has amazing knowledge and experience could not find a job. It took a year; a long anxious,terrifying year. It was a trying time yet we got through it with amazing aplomb. We woke up every day to be greeted by this incredible little creature who couldn't be happier to see us, he'd look at us with those big brown sad eyes and his tail would wag so hard that half his body would wag with it, he'd take his paw and try to grab our hand, if we argued (and remarkably we did little if this) he'd try and either sit on one of our laps and grab us with his paws or put his head down and go lie in his bed forlornly. I can go on and on and on. The last two years have not been easy yet we have endured, gotten through them, forged on, with an ease and peace of mind that surprises and amazes me since Frank and I tend to be pretty volatile people. I can only attribute it to one thing:
So why do I wax poetic? Why the corny sentimentality? Well this morning as I was getting ready for work and the heat was coming up the radiator in the library started to make a whimpering sound and Max went in there and started to whimper because he's sensitive that way. Last year in my darkest hour when I lost my Mother and the sadness was unbearable, he sat next to wherever I was and laid his head on my lap. When we drove to Miami for her funeral and stayed at my brother's house he was the glue that bound us all and comforted us one by one and we were able to smile.  I realized that in all this time Musing with Max no post has necessarily been about Max...or maybe they all have been since he gives me the gumption I never had before. He will not judge, I can do nothing wrong, he loves me and I am better for it.

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