Hello and welcome back to the Dogpound where we are taking a sentimental journey down memory lane. They say the best way to ease...

Hello and welcome back to the Dogpound where we are taking a sentimental journey down memory lane. They say the best way to ease the loss of a friend and/or loved one is to recount the good times you had together, and, by doing so, they will never seem to be very far way. One of the other cute things Max did when he was young, besides climbing out of the play pen, he would grab one of my socks out of the bedroom and sleep with it. He always liked to be in the same room with me, and I would be working on my computer in the study, and I would see him out of the corner of my eye, high stepping into the room with his most recent sock acquisition. He never tore them up, but he did one other strange thing with the sock – he would sleep with the sock in his mouth. I kid you not! I have pictures of him sprawled out on the rug, fast asleep and he would have this big sock hanging out of his mouth, which later turned into a bathroom towel (can you say cotton mouth? Gag!) . Speaking of towels, one of Max’s favorite pastimes was to play tug-of-war with a towel or with a big chewing bone. At his prime, Max was 90-plus pounds…I was hoping he would be closer to the 40-50 pounds of a Border Collie, but he got the size and hair of the Golden Retriever and the markings and intelligence of the Border Collie. At that size, a tug-of -war with Max was a real tug-of-war, and he was not one to give up. He would grab hold of that towel and hang on for dear life. I would manage to pull him forward a few steps, and he would keep pulling until he regained the lost ground. If I would happen to get the towel away from Max, he was all over me trying to get it back, and, if he won, there were two courses of action. One, he would do a victory dance by standing on the towel and pulling on it till he ripped it to shreds (I bought very cheap towels just for this reason), or he would come back with towel in mouth, seeking a rematch. Now, the rematches and sometimes the initial challenge for a tug-of-war often had a special twist to them. Max, even though he loved to play tug of war, also loved and probably moreso, “keep-away.” He would come to me with towel or bone in mouth with that “come play with me” look. The minute I reached out to grab the towel or bone, he would back off, just out of reach. Then he would come closer again, and, as soon as I made a grab for it, he would prance off a few steps, shake his trophy and dare me to try and snatch it out of his mouth. Max was good, too. I would pretend not to care, turn around just far enough so I could see him out of the corner of my eye…he would cautiously creep toward me…then a little closer….and no matter how fast I spun around, more often than not, I was left grasping thin air. I would pretend to be mad and frustrated at his little game of “keep away,” but we both knew that we loved it.

That is another chapter in the life of Max and I appreciate the opportunity to share my most personal memories of my buddy of 14-plus years. As always, be good, do good, play safe, and remember, memories are special photos for the heart.

JR