On Max…Five Months Later
Written by Irina Gallagher
The last time I posted about our family happenings, we were moving into a new house. It was a very emotional experience for everyone involved. A lot of feelings were raging about leaving our home of nine years and most of our little unit didn’t know how to deal with any of it. Little did we know that before we were settled, before the boxes were unpacked, we would encounter an even bigger emotional avalanche.
Today is the five month anniversary of the passing our dear pup Max. I haven’t been able to bring myself to write about it because no words are adequate. We still miss him enormously. We talk about him daily. We long for all of the, seemingly, little things that he contributed to our family – the clinking of his collar; the sleepy slinking off the bed which turned into a tail-wagging greeting at the door every time anyone came home; the grunting of dissatisfaction if we, heaven forbid, attempted to move our legs while sleeping; his nightly checks at each door before he fell asleep for the night. There are countless moments that happen throughout the day still, five months later, which remind us of how terribly we miss our Max.
As I write this, my little one asks “Mama, did Maxi like it when people were lawn mowing?” (He did not, by the way. He did not like it one bit.) His name is brought up on a daily basis here, whether it’s about lawn mowers, or a food that he loved to eat, or the fact that he would be disappointed that we’re not taking enough walks. A couple days ago during lunch, my daughter somehow flung a piece of a hot dog off her fork. We spent way too long looking for the piece of meat, worried that it would be stuck somewhere in the middle of huge stacks of books on a bookshelf forever. We knew that, had Maxi been involved, he would have masterfully found himself the flying food without issue. Last weekend we were rearranging the furniture in the family room – again we were lacking Max laying directly in the middle of the action. We’re simply incomplete without him.
I decided to ask the kids some of their thoughts and what they think Max is up to now. Here is what they had to say:
Simplicity Sprouts: What is your favorite memory of Maxi?
3-year-old: I liked to walk with him. I liked to jump with him. I liked to run around with him. Sometimes he jumped in wet puddles.
8-year-old: Running with him. I would take his leash and we would run as fast as he wanted to. I could keep up if I kept my feet up and just kept running.
Simplicity Sprouts: What was his favorite thing?
3-year-old: He liked bones. He liked snacks.
8-year-old: He loved to lay in the middle of the crowd, but not be touched.
Simplicity Sprouts: What do you think he’s doing now that made him happiest?
3-year-old: He’s sleeping. He’s playing with the doctor. He liked to lay down in the grass. He liked to play with us outside.
8-year-old: Lying around our yard, playing with a snail. Maybe he’s running behind a flock of geese.
Simplicity Sprouts: I think he’s running as fast as he can through tall, tall grass and smiling while it smacks him in the face. He loved that so much.
Simplicity Sprouts: What was Max’s favorite way to spend time with family?
8-year-old: I think just lying in the middle of the crowd and not being touched.
Simplicity Sprouts: I agree. He loved to keep a watchful eye on all of us.
Simplicity Sprouts: What’s the best part of having a dog?
8-year-old: Their love and companionship.
Simplicity Sprouts: Is that what you miss most?
Simplicity Sprouts: Me, too.
Five months. The conversations of when the appropriate time to fall in love with a new companion comes up frequently these days. On one hand, we feel like it’s still too soon and disrespectful to our Max. On the other hand, being a dog family without a dog is becoming increasingly more difficult. But for now, we keep thinking about this guy, and what an incredible kid/brother he was.