We are going to be saying goodbye to our beloved dog Max > Maxi > Maxi-Pad > Pad in the coming week. He came to us after our three years of hell, losing 3 out of 4 grandparents, my cancer and a beloved old dog, Bella. That October, after losing my mother, we adopted an inbred cocker spaniel who ended up attacking both our daughters. My husband literally pulled the dog off our daughter’s neck. We were in the gutter. We had nothing left. That January I felt a small opening and started going to a different SPCA near my work. And there was Max. He had just been brought in, a full breed Bichon Frise and a day later I brought him home. We’re mutt aficionados, we aren’t fancy breed people but seeing him walk his walk in his argyle sweater made me feel a little taller, even in those first few days.
Slowly, as we loved on this dog so completely, we started to access the love in our home and started to heal. He slept above the girls like a protective angel. He was beyond cute and furry. His needs were minimal – never needed a treat, never barked, never licked our faces with ridiculous slobber. He loved Shabbat (challah) and climbing mountains in Maine, the Berkshires, Catskills and White Mountains. Each mile we walked, he walked 5 because of his little legs but he was all in. Most of all, he was by our sides all the time. I am so moved that we could be by his side 24/7 in his final year of decline.
He lived 17 good years and we were blessed to know him for the last sweet 16. I am gutted and grateful. Both, each as Baby Hannah used to say. I joke and say that he entered out lives right before the girls hit adolescence, evidenced by one of the names they gave him: Maxi-Pad, which eventually got shortened to Pad. It’s the name we use the most, actually. He would sweetly Pad around the house or on a walk, and then relax into our hearts. Which is where he will stay forever.