One year has passed since we said goodbye to our dear old Maxi. We have almost 16 years of wonderful and funny memories, at home we reminisce about her antics and have a chuckle and some bring tears to my eyes. Her nighttime dinner dance was always entertaining, she would stand in the doorway with a goofy look on her face, jump in and out and twirl around in excitement. We had our first storm of the season late last week, the thunder and lightning reminding me how much we used to dread storms when Maxi was alive. Storms terrified her, she would shake for hours, drooling all over the floor as she paced through the house and nothing would help her settle. It was so frustrating for me, there was nothing I could do to help her and when a storm hit in the middle of the night we all would end up a little on edge. I don’t miss those nights yet I would do it all again if it meant she was still with us.
I remember the first day we saw her as though it was yesterday, she was all ears and legs and she was the last of the litter. At the time we were living in an apartment, no pets allowed so we walked away convinced that we would not be getting a dog. Maxi was still there a few days later which had to be fate, she was meant to be ours. Too scared to walk to the car, I had to carry her in my arms whilst juggling bags of goodies that would help us get through the first couple of nights (in secret of course). Sneaking a dog in and out of an apartment isn’t easy and keeping cream coloured carpet pristine is impossible with a puppy around. The search for dog-friendly accommodation began and we made arrangements for her to stay with family for a few weeks until we could all be together in our own home.
For a long time after she passed I could feel Maxi’s presence in the house and would catch myself looking for her in her favourite spot under the Poinciana tree near the front fence. That particular spot provided Maxi with full view of our yard and she could also keep watch over our street, barking at neighbours, strangers walking past, and random cars. It was where we always found her when we got home from work, waiting for us with a happy face and wagging tail.
There is no replacing Maxi, she was not just a dog, she was our first dog and a member of our family, a beautiful soul with a soft and gentle nature. Maxi brought much love and laughter into our home, I wonder if she knew how much she was loved in return.
Gone but never forgotten, I will always love you my Maxi girl xxx
Monday marked six weeks since we farewelled our dear old Maxi. Some days it feels as though it was only yesterday when I held her in my arms and said goodbye, her not being here doesn’t seem real. Other days I feel her presence, I close my eyes and she is right next to me. There has been plenty of tears, but also a lot of reminiscing about the funny side of life with Maxi. I miss hearing the click clack of her nails on our tile floor as she paced through the house, and come dinner time I picture her standing in the doorway eagerly awaiting her food. I miss the happy dance that she did once she realised dinner was ready and I watch with sadness as Bundy heads to the garage alone when I go to work. I wish I could kiss her forehead again and feel her soft ears in my hands, did she know how much I loved her.
Yesterday the custom urn from Vitrified Studio arrived. After seeing their beautiful urns on the oh melvin (and yo jake) (and hey doug) blog and reading the recommendations I knew that nothing else would do for Maxi. Such a special and beautiful girl, she deserved something special to rest in. On the back of the urn the artist has stamped (at my request) ‘you had me at woof’, one of my favourite dog related sayings and the most meaningful. At the moment the urn is on display alongside the Maxi photobook I created after sorting through hard drives and boxes to find all the photos. It makes me smile to see her face, the photobook is filled with hundreds of photos taken throughout her life and each photo has a funny story or a special memory that comes rushing back when I browse through the pages. Also in the photo is the silver memorial necklace from Earth Shine Designs1, it arrived today and even though it comes from the other side of the world it makes me feel as though she will always be close when I wear it. Gone, but never forgotten.
Today Maxi, the number one black dog, turns 13 which is roughly 83 years of age in dog years for a dog of her size and weight. Princess, as we like to call her, was our first dog and she was purchased on impulse from a pet store – everything I am now vehemently opposed to. We were living in an apartment near the beach, no dogs allowed and Maxi spent her first few days hiding out in our bathroom and avoiding the so-called wee wee pads that are supposed to help with toilet training. Early of a morning and late in the afternoon we would sneak her outside for a walk and a play in the park, she was frightened of everything and absolutely hated stairs. Thankfully my sister in-law was able to look after Maxi for a few weeks while we went house hunting for a pet friendly rental. They had a border collie pup called Murray and she was a few weeks older so the pair of them played and slept together, Maxi still gets excited when we visit my sister in-law even though Murray passed away long ago.
We made alot of mistakes with Maxi, walking isn’t always fun and she is frightened of so many things yet will take on anything or anyone that dares come to our front gate and as Maxi has gotten older she has become less tolerant of other dogs. With her greying fur, wobbly legs and poor hearing Maxi still retains the most beautiful nature and is loved by all our friends and family. She is great with kids of all shapes and sizes, occasionally bounding across the yard with them until it all gets too exhausting or unless someone offers her a cuddle and a treat.
Maxi loves a walk, her favourite places are the beach and the local park where there is plenty of smell duck poo to roll in. Her happy face is contagious and we always have a good laugh when she hits the ground for a roll on the grass (minus the poo), the look on her face is goofy and yet delightful. For her birthday she will have a yummy chicken dinner and a walk around the duck pond, there will also be lots of cuddles and kisses.
Happy Birthday my beautiful Princess Maxi and thank you for 13 years of unconditional love and loyalty.
Only yesterday (or so it seems) my husband, Bundy and I were at the beach admiring the creative works of others and making the most of the opportunity to get our feet wet. If you’re wondering where Maxi, our other black dog is, she didn’t join us at the beach because her arthritis doesn’t allow her to spend a couple of hours walking up and down the beach and as she gets older, she is getting less patient (friendly) with other dogs. Since the Swell sculpture exhibition life has gotten pretty busy, both socially and at work, but mainly at work and it has my head spinning. I generally don’t write about work, preferring to spend my spare time focusing on the loves in my life because that is what is most important to me and I think that when you write about work it can be easy to get bogged down in the negative.
The weeks are flying by, soon it will be Christmas but in the meantime my boss will have moved on and we’ll be looking down the barrel at a restructure of our entire division. Restructures aren’t always a bad thing, I don’t mind the change and I’m trying to remain optimistic, hoping that it won’t mean a major loss of jobs however I’m not naive and realise that some loss is inevitable especially for those staff on short term contracts. The scary thing is that I’ll probably be stepping into my boss’ shoes for the short term, why? Because I’ve been around for a while and our senior executives are hoping that I can maintain a level of stability for the team while they determine what our structure will look like. Can I do it? Who knows, my boss seems to think so which is really nice but I can’t help feeling like a fraud.
The likelihood of something going wrong, really wrong, is minimal for the short period of time that I’ll be acting in that role, still, it makes me quite nervous and I hope that the pressure doesn’t turn me into a complete stress bucket. Coming home to our two black doggies and spending Sundays at the shelter will help keep me grounded, when working with the dogs I don’t think about work, it is all about them and I’m usually so tired of an evening that I easily fall asleep.
I guess I just have to keep reminding myself that I am working to live and make myself take time to enjoy moments such as those in my photos.
Today is a great day, work is finished for the year and soon we’ll be heading south to spend time with family and friends for Christmas. Christmas for us is spending time at the beach, sitting on the back deck and enjoying a cold drink, avoiding hysteria at the sales and going to the races, it is also when we have alot of storms and have to drug Maxi so she doesn’t freak out.
Tomorrow we’ll do all of those last minute things that you have to do when going on holiday, plus we might brave the shops again to buy the last of the Christmas presents. Our car isn’t huge and somehow we have to make our luggage, presents, two black dogs and their bedding fit into the back of the car so that we can fit comfortably in the front. My husband wants to take his golf clubs and his fishing rods, apparently these are a necessity and are things he cannot borrow from a friend but I guess we’ll find out soon enough 🙂