04/28/2011 - 04/26/2023
11 years, 11 months, 30 days / 4,382 days.
Our story began as a result from time shared with another Chihuahua and it began a heart change within me, as I had once sworn to never "own a pet"
(what gives one species the right to own another?)
it's a commitment that few humans are capable of honoring.
What does that mean?
They are not disposable fads for people to be cool - They bond with us, depend upon us in every way and are as every bit a sentient soul as we are, and if we are unable or worse "not willing" to make that level of commitment, we are not honorable enough to be a part of that soul-tie that will always take place.
Decided - to fully commit, and make the required flexibility to lifestyle changes permanently.
Then searched all over the US, and corresponded with His breeder (AKC and all that) made the agreement and time arrangements.
Twelve hours and some on mostly expressway, all the way there repeated to myself over, and over -
~ "if it's not good walk away" ~Max's first ride in a vehicle was dusk to night, with big noisy trucks flashy lights around with him sitting in this new to him persons lap, all the while I did my best to talk with him, and comfort him during the ride to his new home.
- - - - Arrive - - - -
"it's not good, I can't walk away!!"
The most incredible spirit anyone could have the gift, honor and privilege of knowing.
He always wanted to play with everyone, and every other creature -
Incorrigible food pirate - He was barely going on two years old, like a dumb human I thought I could leave
a quarter chicken, with a couple legs, and a slice of pizza in the room, stepped out for maybe 40 seconds to grab a glass of milk,
and the little food monster had chowed down everything, and was starting on the last leg when I returned!!
"How could anything besides an alligator or great white shark eat anything that fast?"
Looked around, and no he didn't get creative and hide anything "gulp, chew, gulp - down the hatch!"
I thought he would burst - all of the worse parts of a young puppy without food impulse control, which never changed.
The next few days everything was totally normal as if it was a normal meal portion for Him.
Max is smarter than "his human" and can jump from floor to chair, to desk and back - a true Chihuahua gymnast!
Not a mean part of him except when it came to tearing his stuffed toys to shreds -
he loved yanking out the stuffing to get at those little squeakers inside.
I am confident I will be finding parts of toys and some hidden away for many years to come.
Max was loyal to his respect for me at an amazing level, one night on the sailboat it was a terrific deluge outside.
About 0200 I hear a whimper that woke me from a sound sleep and saw Max with an admirably impeccable aim -
with his leg lifted over one of my deck shoes filling it - and not getting a drop anywhere else...
How could I be upset with that? I just gave Him a friendly scowl and said "I don't want to go out there either",
carefully picked up the shoe opened the hatch enough to toss it into the cockpit -
thought for a moment, "this is a good time to wash these things" grabbed the dish soap -
filled each shoe (yes, had to venture out in the downpour) and washed them out,
Max was back sound asleep as if this was normal when I clambered back into the cabin to dry off, and move him aside a little to climb in the bunk.
He truly seemed to enjoy the sailing life, and he sure could win hearts quickly at social events.
Max was an absolute master at playing super shy, until the Ladies gave him a little attention and he could work that with perfection!
I could spend years writing and never touch the surface of what joy Max brought for everyone to share.
Yet overall I was envious that he was always in ready to play mode,
except for bath times which he would fuss horribly over until he realized how much fun he could have getting me wet too...
I simply called him a munchkin, little monkey face (he always seemed to have an impish grin as if he had a play secret)
Max owns my heart for eternity, he taught me more about unconditional love and loyalty, trust - than any resident of this planet deserves.
His last moments were excruciating, for us both.
I knew he was struggling, he has over the years as we all have in various forms had typical health events.
But always bounced back, as strong as ever.
I sensed he seemed to be aging more rapidly the past year, and even more rapidly the past winter.
We always ate meals together, Max would patiently sit and watch my every movement,
I would frequently glance over and say good boy, and chat as if he might actually understand what I was saying, when in reality -
Come on human - just put the dish down will you?
But the past months when he was just sitting it was barely perceptible at first,
yet seemed a little unsteady when stationary - hardly noticeable yet there, not the traditional Chihuahua shakes - he never had those, but something all of us reaching advanced senior years may experience.
Max sometimes would have to make a second run on what was once a simple Puppy leap.
And his walk/runs became more run/walk - "carry me human!" events...
He and I both struggled with dust and pollen allergies over our 11 years together -
He was incredible when I endured covid, not once, but three events - oddly he sensed I did not want him doing his usual lick my face moments,
We looked out for each other - in a fashion that can only be described as spiritual in a way.
This home is now silent, an unholy silence it feels like a prison of silence - Max was always making some sounds, kicking and pawing at his bedding for and during his naps - kicking and dream sleep running, snorting and little dream yips... midnights and also around 0230 ish he would grab one of his loudest squeak toys to signal it was time to play, he was awake - so should the human... He would jump up on and off the bed at random times to nap, reposition, nap - repeat.
Slurping at his water, sometimes a few quick food nibbles - he rarely ate directly in his dish, he would grab several morsels and carry them to chomp down in the middle of the room...
Someone once nicknamed him "fast food" watching him eat like that...
And I failed Him...
His last hours went downhill fast, he had been drinking his water and all that, but in short order began laying for extended times in his favorite spots.
What was different?
His quietness - he would yippity yap, or a little murp-grrr at almost everything, every little noise that was unfamiliar "barkety barkety, bark", until I spoke to him to acknowledge the discovery...
I picked him up a few times and could feel him relax in my lap, and when I held him in my arms for his favorite belly-rubs. The look in his eyes were a little different, he has a favorite spot inside the front door where he suns in a canvas yard chair I would set out for him, he watched the world as always, but none of the barking at the activity - that is when, it was clear - something is seriously wrong.
Picked him up, he didn't fuss, we always walk around like this - yet this time I took and set him in front of his water dish, he lapped some - then again picked him up, and carried him to his Pee-pad area he waited, and waited then went. I normally never needed to carry him, then He immediately walked off the pad and lays right down, he always cleaned himself before resting - he suddenly began rapid shallow breathing to nearly hyperventilating, and clearly struggling.
I quickly go and get a washcloth wrung with warm water, to clean where he got his rear paws wet.
Then picked him up in my arms carried him back to the front door to set him in the chair to enjoy the sunshine,
except - ~ His eyes ~
He was scared, like nothing that can be imagined - it was then I could see in his eyes, that He knew he was in trouble - Our bond is a depth most will never experience, and yet both of us in every fiber of our souls fearfully realized these were our last moments together, only a few precious minutes at best remained.
He was looking to me to save him, (the nearest Vet / emergency Vet would be at least too far of a drive from us, no time for a phone call, then drive. Plus riding was always a little stressful for him - and that would hurt Him even more, and I wouldn't be able to give Him my undivided attention, and hold Him close).
- our souls touched as always, yet with renewed depth -
we could see in each others eyes these were last moments and there was nothing that could be done, he saw me as the one who was always there for him, except now, with a lost, scared, helpless look in my eyes and expression -
And I prayed, cried out to God, to help this little Angel, prayed and prayed for healing - a miracle - and what we saw in each others eyes was mutually emotionally excrutiating.
He knew he was dying - it was coming over him fast.
But he wasn't ready to go, he didn't want to die, He wanted to continue living - I could see his expression begging me to somehow save Him, He was scared, He wasn't ready to leave - he gazed with a scared help me expression, and he began to fade, and all I could do was hold him close looking deeply into his eyes as he gazed back terrified, and he left this life as we know it.
He went limp, He was gone - I put my ear to his chest to listen to his heart and lungs - in the past he never liked it, this time silence....
No, no, no, noooo - I cried out to a deaf God that was anywhere but here.
I tried some basic resuscitation - saying "come-on!" you're tougher than anyone I know - "fight", come on!!!
He was already gone, there was nothing I or anyone of this earth could have done - "it was - - his turn"...
I knew it, desired to not believe it, unwilling to accept what was - yet Max knew death was approaching -
Being left alone in life, losing those you love, being abandoned - and the emptiness of the heart and soul
- - is something I never wanted Him to experience as that path has been traveled before.
Our life together held this unique species transcending soul-tie and even in our last moments that may have been what was scaring him so deeply - and is perhaps the pain carving deep, oh so deeply into my soul - that he cared as much for me, and was scared for how I might be left alone with him no longer here to watch over me...
He was gone from this life as we know it, I refused for long agonizing minutes to accept it - kept praying, repeated attempts to resuscitate Him.
(yes I have trained - and studied, for what if we were miles offshore sailing which he Loved, and needed emergency care)
I didn't want to believe Max was no longer here, I brushed him a little washed what needed to be washed from him,
tucked his legs up like he used to do when being in super cute Max mode - still praying - He would suddenly take a breath all to no avail.
I baked our favorite meal tonight (04/27/2023) chicken breasts, plain - for a moment had a fleeting urge to toss the chicken out - (I am not at all desiring food), but Max wouldn't want me to do that...
Promises that I made to him for this summer that we were going to have good fun, doing what he loved to do.
Can no longer be fulfilled...
All I know for this moment in time, Max looked into my eyes, touched my soul as many shared precious times in the past, frightened, helpless, not ready to die - looking for me to help Him continue in this life.
And God suddenly and quickly ripped Max away - - and I failed Max, my prayers weak and useless - He is the kindest, most playful Soul I will have ever known.
My only hope is he was not realizing how empty my life now is without him here, and there is the pain, the question, did Max somehow sense how alone it would be now that - he is not here to watch over and "protect me, His human"?
I once looked deep in his eyes some years back and asked - "are you an Angel sent here? how cruel of God to share your soul, with one so unworthy"
The emptiness of this prison of silence - cuts deep to every fiber of the soul...
~ Max's human...