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Max 8-6-95 to 7-27-09

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I received an e-mail a couple of days ago -- from Max's owner. Max died this past Monday. So dogs die every day, right? Why should Max's death merit any recognition beyond those who loved him. Max was Pete's son. Max was littermate to my Flick. Out of all the pups in that litter Max resembled the old man, in looks, in mannerisms, the most, so much that the few times I saw him over the years, it would take me a minute or two to realize that it wasn't Pete who just walked by me.


What I find not surprising, but unusual, is that as the pups in this litter, who are now old or have already gone on from this life, are the reports that have gotten back to me, from the people who had one of these remarkable pups. There is a singular thread in their messages -- that they have never had a dog quite like one of these pups. From each and every person, come the words that these pups were more than dogs. We can't quite put our finger on what made them different, but as I read the words of Max's owner, I think he came closest to saying that it was more like losing a brother. And in every case, these dogs who came into our lives and left, have changed us in some way and left us filled with grief, but somehow, we're better for it.


As I read his e-mail, I felt the pain and the grief that his words carried and I cried with him. It's been almost a year since I lost my Flick. I look at things differently now with Flick gone. It still hurts like hell, but I know that what she brought into my life was good and I know that's the case with every one of the pups in her litter. How do I know? Because the feedback I'm getting is nearly the same, word for word, from people who didn't know each other.


It doesn't matter if anyone doesn't "get it", who thinks I'm really stretching it here, that they too have had wonderful dogs in their lives. All I'm saying is that there was a commonality of "something" in this particular litter of pups that is hard to explain, if it can be explained at all.


What constitutes a good dog is as varied as the opinions on the subject. No, none ever ran in OPEN, no, there were no Lassie type heroics -- some heroics, but nothing like Lassie would do, and they probably didn't carry much of a price tag, if they were ever to be put up for sale. No, they had no price tag. They were priceless. What ever it was that set apart Max, and Flick and Jack, and the others, might be intangible, but it wove it's way into our hearts, into our very souls, and that, to me constitutes not only a good dog, but the best dogs ever.


Godspeed Max, boy. What a reunion you're having. Tell Flick how much I love and miss her --- and your daddy Pete too. But then they know that already.

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I know exactly that feeling Vicki. can't be put into words but there are those special ones.

I'm sure they are enjoying their happy reunion.

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waranta putiya nayri

nara taymi krakapaka waranta-tu manta waranta tunapri nara


And their absence saddens us

But they will never be dead for us as long as we remember them.


Via con Dios, Max.

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