Max, Magnum

Max the mutt (german shepherd mix) has died. He came to us about 10 years ago. The lady at the shelter said that she found him tied to the door one morning. She had named him Texas because he looked like a lonesome cowboy. And lonesome he was but, with a heart filled with love. He never changed, shy and loving toward people.

We picked him up one day in mid-September and brought him home. He was nervous and let us know with seemingly endless gas. I said to my son “Thank God it isn’t winter or we wouldn’t have survived the trip”. He was soon to meet our other dog Magnum, the rough and ready wimp of the house, or as Mag probably would have said “all creatures great and small, oh God I’m afraid of them all”.

After introducing the dogs on the road and taking a short walk, we returned and started down the driveway toward the lake. It was then that we noticed something strange. Max would not walk on the grass. I guess being a city dog he was more at home on streets and sidewalks. I’m sure he wondered what this green stuff was.

Well after a few battles Max got used to what was to become his lifelong buddy Magnum as well as the green stuff. He became the canine master of all of the property and any part of the lake he could get to. Mr. Bunny found out as did Mr. Muskrat and a few geese. Did I mention that with the exception of Magnum, Max was not fond of other animals? Although he was Top Dog of the animals, he remained the shy observer of our family life, participating only when invited. Then he would join in happily, wagging his tail. The only thing that would overcome his shyness was table food. A little roast beef and Max would become the life of the party, outgoing as could be. So “the Boys”, as they came to be known, were a big part of our family for many years, but years that were to go by much too quickly. They were part of a long line of pets that bring their special gifts of love, laughter and a occasional mess on the rug.

When you come down the driveway, they are always there waiting, tongues a hanging, tails a wagging. Gee I’m glad to see you they seem to say. Well I’m glad someone is. They go on to do whatever it is that dogs do and I would go do whatever humans do. But just leave again for a few minutes and when you return it is the same greeting, tongues a hanging, tails a wagging- Gee I’;m glad to see you.

So Max the mutt now rests under the soft green grass that he was afraid to walk on those many years ago. And as Magnum and I walk from his grave I notice how old and stiff he is when he walks. I think I’m missing a step or two myself. I don’t know what lies on the other side but, when I get there wouldn’t it be nice if….and there they all are, tongues a hanging, tails a wagging – Gee I’m glad to see you.

Daniel from NY