Life According to Max
Was it so very long ago
that I descended the basement stairs to find a
pen with many black and tan balls of fur? This was my first exposure to baby
Gordon Setters, and there was one in particular who looked right at me. That
one seemed to be saying, you finally got here. Although Karen had me
interact with all the puppies in making my selection, this one kept escaping
and running over with a toy and pulling at my hair, regardless of whom I was
playing with. Needless to say, he picked me as his owner, and neither Karen
nor I had a say in it. Enter Max into my life.
Max loved everything about life . . .
he was inquisitive, an ardent soccer player,
loved kids and his four-legged neighbors especially Maggie, the shy lab in
the next yard. He was not a fan of loud noises, and would run to the slider
during a thunderstorm, barking at the lightning that he apparently thought
was an unwanted visitor. He never was quite sure about the October 31st
phenomenon that brought strange looking little creatures to our door. One
night, while my family was playing cards around the dining room table, Max
decided to redesign my sisters loafer, which she had removed, into a more
stylish open-toe sandal. The only saving grace that night was when he let
out a roar over what we thought was nothing, until my father found
footprints and a scratched bedroom window the next morning. The police were
notified and confirmed there was a robbery in the next block. He went from
bad dog to hero in less than 24 hours.
Max began his show ring career at the age of four,
when according to Karen he
had matured. Hmmm, it was more like whos judging who. I know Max had his
favorite venues Springfield and Oyster Bay, L.I., and his dislikes
Hartford Armory and N.J. And weather . . . Im sure Karen will never forget
showing Max not far from Cape Cod on an overcast muggy July later morning.
Just as Max entered the ring, the sun came out and turned everything into a
giant steam bath. It only took one pass around the ring for Max to find the
judges table, and on the next go-round, he dove under the table. Although he
didnt win, the judge apologized for not being able to give him the win. Max
wasnt fazed in the least, having reclaimed his spot in the back of Karens
van with a cool towel and fan….
Max actually did love to show off,
and was in his element at the Big E, his
favorite site. It didnt take long for him to get his title, although Karen
regarded him as a handful in the ring. He was a beautiful dog, and when he
wanted to, could strut his stuff with the best of them. He taught us a lot,
most importantly looking at things with curiosity and wonder. There wasnt a
tissue or napkin he couldnt snare without the owner even suspecting it was
gone. And challenged us to tire him out. Life was far too interesting to
sleep through. A trip to Arcadia when he was a year old brought a smile to
my face when at the end of a full day of hiking, Max curled up by the
fireplace, too tired to even try to climb up on the bed.
Max seemed to leave us the way he entered…
He was a great
teacher, and will always have a special place in our hearts.
— Ginny and Jeff Walsh