In memoriam

So, Max is gone. But, as they say, not forgotten.

However, I would not want to remember him as he was in the last weeks and months. He had become a shadow of his former self, and the end was a release for him and, to be honest, for us. Perhaps we held on for too long? It’s hard to take a decision to kill any animal — not for nothing am I a vegetarian — let alone one who has lived with you for nearly thirteen years. By the time we reached the final decision, Max seemed no longer to gain any enjoyment from life. His days were punctuated by annoyances and burdens, when what he wanted to do was just lie down, preferably in the sunshine, and snooze.

Max lies in the sun with Min

We actually bought Max to solve a problem. He was our desperate last-ditch response to a series of five burglaries in one year. My son had said we should get a Rhodesian Ridgeback, because they made fearsome guard dogs. And indeed, that proved to be the case. The fact that the police eventually caught the miserable addict who had repeatedly broken in to our house helped, but we never had another burglary.

Max was a splendid pet for most of his life (although he never did really get over the bad habit of trying to hump young female visitors). His need for walks introduced us to all the corners of Derby’s parks. He wasn’t a ball chaser or stick fetcher, but he used to race around taking full advantage of the wide open spaces.

It’s this Max that I shall seek to remember. Rather than mourning, I shall be trying to concentrate on the happy memories. The joyful, high-spirited dog that entertained and protected us, not the sad, painful shell that he recently became. He was such a good friend, but it’s good that he has now gone.

Max in the park, October 2004

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4 Responses to In memoriam

  1. Jane says:

    Pass me a tissue x

  2. Linda says:

    R.I.P, Max. I often think of Norma, my ancient cat, and wonder now why I let her go on so long, except at the time she still seemed to enjoy odd moments and I couldn’t bear to loose her at the time. Sorry about Max. It sounds like he had a great life. He is probably in that eternal meadow full of females for him to hump and burglars for him to chase!

  3. The One who Is All Seeing And All Knowing says:

    It’s easier to empathise when you’ve been there yourself more than once but I do feel for you both. As trite a statement as it is considering how often it is said, Max and his unfeasibly dangly bollox had as good a life as any dog could have had and he couldn’t have asked for more than that.

    • Val says:

      Funnily enough, I do miss those unfeasibly dangly bollox. The vet relieved Rufus and Stubbs of theirs a while back – hopefully along with any potential desire to hump young female visitors. It’s funny how such annoying habits can seem endearing in retrospect.

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