Something about this dog of ours – his smashed up bully of a face – a combination of bat and fly, a terrible underbite, missing teeth, his chubby, hotdog body, his tiny paws. His snores. His terrible odor. Barking at the cats. Demanding treats in the middle of the night. Relentless in his quest to be comfortable, on top of a blanket, on top of the couch, sleeping on my pillow. Biting our neighbors, threatening old ladies and babies. A terrible dog. And yet –
he sleeps beside us when we are sick. He listens to our tales. He makes us laugh. He is so faithful. And he is going blind, and getting very confused – more than ever. This morning, jumping at a strange noise, he turned and barked at the couch, then growled at the wall, then stood, shaking, in the middle of the room, not responding to this name, Max, oh Max, Maxie… Then he slowly returned to himself, after a treat, a long rub of his ears, a little nap. Life will be quieter, cleaner and easier without him. But he is my daughter’s childhood, he is my mother in law sitting on the porch rubbing his ears in the sun, he is my husband going for another walk, he is that delighted bark when he sees Alexis. He is my buddy. He is getting so old now. Maybe he can stay a little longer.