by Sam Pellman, ’20
From the moment we brought him home, we knew we picked a good one. Not only was he cute, but he was a real beauty. The markings on his fur were like nothing else I’d ever seen. The blacks, browns, grays, and whites were all so precise, it was as if someone had used a brush and painted them onto his tiny body.
He was an only pup, just him and his mom. It was not long after we brought him home that he clung to a new mom, almost imprinted to her and followed her everywhere she went. My mother loved the attention; she now had another baby. I’ll admit I was a bit jealous.
He grew up in our old house; that’s where he found himself. He learned how to face his fear of the stairs and finally turn that wimpy bark into a strong one. I wish I could say I was the only one who truly fell in love with him, but that would be too big of a lie. Everyone he met adored him; I can’t think of a soul who didn’t. The fact is, he wasn’t hard to love, rather it was easy. You fell in love with the way he’d cry if you squeaked a toy too much because it hurt his delicate ears, or the way he would go crazy and throw a barking fit when you changed the garbage bag or took out a bowl from the cabinet for cereal.
He had his quirks, weird quirks, that were just too funny not to love. You even learned to love that god- awful breath of his, the kind that smelled like he had just eaten five rotten fish he found while making his way down the beach in our backyard. He hated the car, so much so that his body would shake uncontrollably and he’d pant the whole way, emitting that awful, awful breath. But it was okay, because you loved him.
He had anxiety when he heard thunder, and worse were the fireworks. For the whole month of July around 9 p.m., you’d wander around the house wondering where he was only to find him arched over awkwardly in the bathroom shower, shaking and panting.
He was a cuddler, and come 10 p.m. you could do absolutely anything you wanted to him because he was too tired to fight you. He slept on the bed and often times stole my dad’s spot if he did not come quick enough to claim it. He loved chicken, but eggs even more. When my dad made eggs in the morning, he’d make an extra just for him. I gave him my yolk, because I didn’t like it, but I knew he loved it.
Max had a good life. He was happy, and best of all he made us happy. He was there for me when no one else was. I would cry my eyes out while he just sat there and listened. And that’s all I needed, his presence. He kept my grandma company when we went on vacation, for he went on vacation to her house, and oh, how she loved him. He didn’t like other dogs but he sure liked people and to us, that was more than okay.
The thing with pets is not to dwell on the day their lives no longer exist, but instead to remember the years and years of endless bliss they brought you. For a dog, we are all they have. We can yell at them, leave them hours and hours in a house all alone and yet as soon as we come back they greet us as if they haven’t seen us for years. That’s something only a dog does and that something is what makes owning one so special. To build a good life for a dog is all that matters, and Max for sure had a very good life.