I think it was on highway 95 heading for Las Vegas.   It was late December and we stopped to rest at a country store.  I waited outside with Max, while my wife shopped,  and we enjoyed the warmth of the afternoon sun.   A biker in full regalia with an expensive bike parked nearby, sat on a nearby bench and, like us, took in the sun.  We spoke of dogs.  The biker was somewhat older than me but sometimes I forget how old I am.  He had white hair and a long white beard that probably made him look ancient.  Sunglasses and the red bandana on his head, the vest and leather pants, said biker.  He looked tough but not dirty.

The biker said he liked the look of Max and asked about his breed.   Max always had a puppy cut which is common for dogs not being shown.  I inquired if he had a dog and he said no.   He said he had a few or perhaps several in his life.  He freely remarked that he would not have another.  I foolishly asked him why and he said that the grief of losing them to death was too hard.  Max was my first dog and still young, so I could not fully understand the full depth of the man’s words.  A short few years later this would change.

My good friend and companion, Max, passed away on October 26th, 2013. Max, a Tibetan Terrier, was born in Woodland, California on October 30, 2000. He was raised from a puppy and every day of his life was a day of joy for us. His full name was Cavu’s Maxmillian Miyano, but Max, Maxman and often Maxboy were the only ones ever heard. He participated in most of my landscape photography trips including my last one to Arizona and Utah. I have rarely been in one of my own photographs but Max was in several. He appears in Max at White Pocket, which was shown at the Maryland Federation of Art this year at their American Landscapes event.

A dog is a photographer’s best asset. After spending long periods to achieve the correct aperture, shutter speed and composition, the button is pressed and he will magically appear in the field of view to give approval.

— Ronald from San Jose, CA