Tag - max


I’ve already shared this news on Facebook and Twitter, but couldn’t bring myself to blog it until now.



Our little Max died Thursday morning, July 14, 2016 at the age of 14-15ish. I was his for one month short of thirteen years. He chose me on August 11, 2003 and I brought him home a little less than a week later.

Let’s just say that Max wasn’t the most obedient dog in the world. He was super-smart and had a mouth crammed full of giant teeth – two factors which sometimes lead to trouble. After a very bumpy first year, he finally trusted that he had a forever family, and settled down. He fiercely loved WM, Ollie, and me and we loved him back.

I miss his grumpy growls. I miss his fangy smile. I miss his expressive ears. We three are gutted.

Max was diagnosed with Diabetes almost 2 years ago, and went blind shortly after that.

We took a trip to Seattle a week ago. It was the first trip WM and I took together since Max lost his vision in late 2014. He and Ollie were taken care of by an ace team of petsitters and pet snugglers. When we came home Wednesday night Max was happy and waggy. The next morning, he was gone by 10:30am. This only means to me that he waited for us, and I am grateful for that.

“You gave him many more years,” the veterinarian said to us Thursday morning as she glanced over his very thick medical file and I shakily signed the last paper. “You did good.”



No, Max was the one who did good. Max was with me through some of my lowest lows in those early/mid 2000s and snuggled with me as I rebuilt my shattered life. He welcomed WM without reservation and later became a fantastic big brother to Ollie. After his bumpy start, he warmed up to being pet by strangers, and was his most gentle with children — many of whom called him Toto on our walks.

Max moved house 5 times. He took road trips to Michigan. He jumped into the lake at Knight Park. He always had to pee. He liked mustard.

In a hotel room in Michigan. Smaller than my overnight bag. The chair was to help him get on the bed with me.

In a hotel room in Michigan. Smaller than my overnight bag. The chair was to help him get on the bed with me.

A few months after we moved into the house, WM and I were working in the garage and the backyard. We inadvertently left both the door to the garage AND the garage door itself open.

We were looking at our ravaged yard when we glanced toward the street and saw a brown terrier walking in the middle of it. “That poor dog looks a lot like Max!” I remarked.


Max managed to navigate to the garage, through the garage, down the driveway and across the street. Dog owners of the year, right here. We were outsmarted by a blind, diabetic, geriatric dog who by then spent about 20 hours a day asleep.

And that, right there, was Max in a nutshell.

Maximus Decimus Meridius, Commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, my loyal mini-direwolf and tiny fangy beast: you will be missed by all who knew you.

Max - May 07

Evolution of feeding dogs.

2006: Yeah, I just dump out a bunch of cat food in this dish, and Max eats alongside them. It works out well for everyone.



(time passes, acquires a puppy)

You dogs will eat the dry food we buy you. That is the rule. No-drama mealtime.

(time passes)

Okay, let’s try this dry food. It’s supposed to be grain-free and that’s better for you.

(time passes)

A little bit of green beans to supplement the food is good for weight loss.

(time passes)


Okay, let’s put a little dollop of wet food in with the dry food. But just until you feel better.

(time passes)

*wet food becomes a recurring order on Amazon.com*

(time passes)

2016: They each get a certain amount of dry food, plus a spoonful of the wet food stirred around in the dry food. Make sure you sing “who’s hungries?” while you stir. Don’t forget to say “BONE Appetit!” as you put the food bowls down in front of them – it’s a cute pun and they like it. And give Max’s bowl a little shake as you put it down so he can find it.

Friday 5: All I need is a miracle

god, my roots...

Our 2014 Holiday party on the Spirit of Philadelphia. Also, this is why I didn’t update last Friday.

Happy Friday, AND the last Friday before Christmas! Where has the time gone? I’m pretty set with the holiday — I just have to buy 1 small thing for Mom and a pollyanna gift for Christmas Eve. I have cookie dough in the freezer and this weekend will be a baking marathon. The cards have almost all been sent.

This week’s Friday Five theme is “All I need is a miracle” which was the name of an 80s song sung by …

ERGH. Who sang that song? Mister Mister? I know I can google it, but it’s somewhere in my head and I just have to find it. These questions look hard, so let’s dive in.

1. When has something miraculous or seemingly miraculous happened to you or someone you know?
2. When were you last part of an amazing coincidence?
3. What have you recently accomplished against magnificent odds?
4. In what way this week has luck been in your favor?
5. What was the last outcome you consciously decided to leave up to chance?

(Phil Collins? It’s Phil Collinsy…)

I’ve been staring at these questions for 20 minutes now and I’m coming up all blanks. So I’ll dump this here: I believe in miracles and coincidences. I believe in luck and chance and beating the odds. But … THANKFULLY and BLESSEDLY my life has been charmed (boring?) enough where I don’t have to rely on miracles and luck. It’s like when I donate blood and go through all of the screening questions – my life is thankfully and blessedly BORING. No mad cow disease. No accidental needlesticks. No paid sex. And I’m privileged enough to be able to finesse the odds when I really want something.

(Mike and the Mechanics? Yes! Mike and the Mechanics!)

I realize I’m completely jinxing myself here. I believe in that, too.

Here’s some good news: Max appears to be learning the concept of “step” during our walks. (Reminder: Max has lost most of his sight.) When WM and I walk him, we’ll chirp “Step!” before he has to go up or down a curb and then use the leash/harness to help him up or keep him from falling down. This week, when we say “step!” he stops and lifts a paw in front of him to “feel” what’s there. Good dog. 🙂

Have a great weekend!

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