Our English bulldog, Max, died today.
He was the best dog ever. Hell, Max was the best friend ever.
He was old. He was eleven and a half years old and evidently for a bulldog, that's pretty damn old. He hadn't been doing well lately and there was nothing anyone could do for him but make him comfortable. Max went to sleep last night and I found him in his usual comfortable position this morning, but he wasn't with us anymore.
From the day we adopted him, Max was a character. He was so small I carried him home on the inside of my jacket because it was raining outside. I don't know if you've ever seen an English bulldog puppy, but they're three-quarters head and one-quarter body.
Max had more personality than 80 percent of the humans I know. His heart was huge, and pure. He demanded that you love him, and could never conceive of the concept that someone, either human or animal, might be put off by him. Being a male, other male dogs may growl at him, and Max would stand there wagging his piglet shaped tail with the attitude of, "Don't be mad at me...LOVE ME!" Have you ever seen a bulldog smile? Well, I don't care what you say. Max could smile.
He was a nurse. He knew instinctively when one of us wasn't feeling well and he would lay down next to us our use his best known cure...smelling our eyes. In Max's world, that was healing.
He was a clown. There are too many stories of the funny things he did, sometimes seemingly on purpose, that had us in tears of laughter. Charlie Chaplin couldn't have mastered physical comedy the way Max was able to. Someday I'll tell you the story of the frisbee.
He snored. He snored like an eighty-year-old man from the day he was born. Samantha found it soporifically soothing. I couldn't sleep if he was even in the next room.
He was stubborn, he was belligerent, he was self-willed, and he made those all into attributes. Something no human could pull off.
He was love defined. Max made it possible for our dog Elvis to find his home here, and Max saved a cat's life who we call Smelly and is also part of our family. Elvis loved Max. Smelly loved Max. And Max's opinion? Of course!
He was a friend. I know he fought to stay with us, but as "bulldogish" as he always was, he knew when it was time to go.
The phrase, "all dogs go to heaven" comes to mind about now. I gotta tell you. I believe that. And I also must say that I know there's a special place for Max in that heaven, and he's saying, "What's to eat?!"
There's going to be a huge, Max-sized hole in my heart from now on, but I'd never trade this pain for not knowing him at all.
Max was a great person. You shoulda known him.
September 1, 1996 - March 5, 2008
Submitted by Charley