Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A long overdue post about... MAX

A few weeks ago today, our spaniel Max died. That picture is my favorite one of him, taken when he was a much younger guy.

I thought I'd tell a few anecdotes about the little man and highlight some fond memories.

Max was a real character. Everyone loved him. He was universally friendly, which of course helped out a lot on walks. Kids really loved petting him. I'll always remember the day we bumped into a bunch of 3-4 year olds just coming out of daycare. They swarmed him and Max ate up the attention. He really, really loved kids and was so patient with them. They grabbed at his eyelids and he didn't even flinch, just kept wagging his merry little butt off. One saw his handmade, handstamped leather collar that read M.A.X. and wanted to know what it said. Another exclaimed, "He's wearing a BELT!" It was so funny. I had not until that point ever noticed that his collar really was a belt. Kids. You gotta love 'em.

Max had a lot of nicknames. These are my favorites:
Zam Zam (Max said backwards and twice for effect)
Osama bin Dog Head (He earned his terrorist moniker, more than once.)
Butt Breath (He thought poop was a delicacy, among other reasons for this one.)
Maxy Pants (His leg fur fringed out so much it made it look like he wore fuzzy pants).

So, the terrorist part - Max. Let me present for your review:

Exhibit 1 for the Evidence
Christmas 2002 - I think. He helped himself to the Christmas presents which had been (so we thought) safely hidden away in the office. He tore into them and ate about a half pound of espresso beans. For 2 days straight he quite literally bounced off the walls. He was like a meth head on speed. Running. Running from one room to the other - for no reason. Treating the furniture like obstacles on a course. 2 days straight. Then he crashed and slept. And slept. And slept some more. He came away unscathed. But, boy was that *weird* and quite a sight.

Exhibit 2.
Christmas 2003 (?) Jumped onto the dining room table while no one was looking and ate the chocolate truffles. Enough that we needed 3 people to hold him down and pour hydrogen peroxide down his throat to make him throw up. Not fun.

Exhibit 3.
Christmas 2004. Jumped up onto the table after Christmas dinner, again while no one was looking, after the meal and helped himself to ALL of the leftover Swedish meatballs - my absolute favorite part of Christmas. Oh he was so proud of himself.

Exhibit 4.
When Mr. Field Notes left for Japan for the first time, Max developed 'stress colitis.' That's what the official vet's term was for him getting the runs every time Mr. Field Notes left for more than a few days. This Japan trip was the absolute worst. I don't know why I decided one night to put Max in the bathroom for the night, probably desperation for not wanting to clean diarrhea off the carpet one more time... I figured it'd be easier to clean up off of vinyl. I never anticipated that he would smear the shit on the walls *and* cabinets, but he did. In copious amounts. It was horrible. The Maxy de Sade...

These are only the most egregious of his Class A felonies. His rap sheet would have been much, much longer had I included every incident in Max's career as a criminal. I left out all of the many incidents of vandalism, notably the very expensive SPSS disks (for computing thesis statistics), the hand carved ostrich egg, and his penchant for chewing up cloth.

He also had numerous assaults on file. He was such a little biter. If he got a hold of something he shouldn't have, he would NOT let it go. Man was he tenacious. We got bit often when trying to take stuff away from him. Bribes were the only thing that worked, and they only worked when they were better than what he had - which in his mind - was hardly ever.

But he loved, loved, loved lots of things. Going for walks, getting into the car to GO! He loved rides. He'd hang his head out the window every time - long, fuzzy corkscrew ears blowing in the wind. He loved going to the bank drive through - they'd give him biscuits. Any drive through might have them. He was an optimist.

And games - GAMES! He loved playing CHASE. He'd fetch, but never return. You had to chase him. And he LOVED that. Keep away was the best.

He also flipped for games of HIDE & SEEK. He was both really great, and really bad at playing hide 'n' seek. Mr. Field Notes would go hide in a closet, behind a curtain, on the other side of the bed.. anywhere. I'd tell Max, "Go find your daddy!" And then he'd run all over the place from one room to the next, often looking 3, 4, 5 or more times in the same room or spot. It was so fun. When Mr. Field Notes would hide under the bed covers, it'd be so obvious where he was. But not to Max. He would finally think to look there and then when he realized that's where the daddy was - his frantic enthusiasm would kick in and he'd dive into the sheets, tossing them with his nose, digging out 'the daddy' and then wagging his butt off when they reunited. It was the best.

He would always great us at the door with a toy in his mouth when we got home - even if we were only gone for 5 minutes. He loved big, monster sized toys the absolute best - especially his mammoth rope bone. Although he had monster balls the size of cantaloupes chopped of when he was neutered, he still humped his toys like a drug addict on X.

Max - he was a real character and a very well loved.


ScienceWoman said...

Sorry for your loss. He sounds like a great dog.

Mel said...

Awww, sorry to hear about Max dying. This was a great post about him. I do love reading your dog posts. How is Yuki settling in? Do the Newfs miss Max?

Alasdair said...

Thinking of him makes me laugh until I cry and vice versa. A very good little guy.

I'd say the Newfs don't even notice - they're too busy chewing each other up.

::::Lula Boutique:::: said...

I'm so sorry to hear that. It sounds like Max was a great dog. So cute too!

Psychgrad said...

Sorry to hear about Max. Sounds like he was full of character.

BeadedTail said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Max. I enjoyed reading the stories about him.

Laurie said...

so sorry to hear about Max

Mishkat said...

So sorry to hear about Max's passing. I know it takes a while to be able to talk and write after that, but you have written a great tribute to him. Wonderful photos too.

Albatross said...

So sorry to hear about your loss. He sounds wonderful.