Goodbye Max

Last night the family lost a soulmate.

Max – a memory (02/08/2022)

It was Birmingham Dog’s Home, Digbeth,

some thirteen years ago where you, a yearling

whelp, wheedled your way into our home and hearts.

Then the beach at Dawlish, Devon, springs to mind,

where you seemingly tried to drink the sea dry,

Nearer home, perpetual walks round Chinn Brook,

The Dingles, Trittiford Millpond and Billesley Common –

So considerate when Tyson, lost some of his mobility,

hearing, sight and other faculties – a true brother.

Tyson and Max in The Dingles

Less common walks to The Lickeys, Drawbridge,

and elsewhere, especially those you took alone.

Your unsanctioned personal wanderings and explorations,

across dangerous roads, were cause of much anxiety.

Impatience when I stopped to take a few photos,

yet eternal patience when the sniffing got good.

Talk about a mind of your own, such an intelligent animal.

What other dog could open doors the way you could?

And that was you all over.

You watched and learned, you were a watch-dog,

still watching yesterday when you took your last walk,

full of energy, full of inquisitiveness, full of legs.

I forget so much. Little things will replenish the memories.

Yes, the boys were only boys back then, now grown men –

so pleased they could be there tonight.

Kamil taught you to shake a paw and a few hours ago

it fell upon me to shake that paw for the last time –

well, hold it, really, and stroke your handsome brow

while the drip took away the pain and suffering

of the previous thirty hours. Yours was a life well-lived.

Those whose hearts you touched are left with a void

that only you could fill. The cavity is immense,

beyond mortal words. You really were

the proverbial, the perennial, “cheeky monkey!”

Featured image shows Max swimming in the River Dove.

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