Monday, February 2, 2009


Those of you who visited our little shop (when we had the shop) remember Max, our unofficial greeter. He was my son's wedding gift to Wendy in 1992 - a tiny ball of fuzz who looked like a Steiff stuffed toy.
After JT was born, Max didn't like having to share his Mommy. And when Wendy became pregnant with Kaitlinn, she announced she couldn't deal with a toddler, a newborne and a Max! So Albert and I were gifted with this 5 1/2 lb alpha male. For years he rode in the truck with Albert (whose job involved spending most of his day in a company van.) When Albert crossed over, at the Hospice residence, Max was on the bed with him as he took his last breath. After that, Max went to work with me and became the official greeter at Nature's Gift. He was a dreadful watchdog. He never barked when someone came in. He would bark and carry on if you left. If you spent five minutes here, you belonged here and shouldn't leave. Severe abandonment issues, he had!
For years he slept on my bed. When he got too old and stiff to jump up on the bed I bought a wicker footstool so he could make the climb in stages.
The last few months he slept on a blanket folded beside my bed. He didn't want to be up too high. Recently he's chosen to sleep where-ever he lay. He couldn't go to work with me any more because any semblance of house-breaking had become a thing of the past.
Over the course of the past few weeks, he changed. He no longer came to greet me when I came home from work. He might or might not get up to welcome me when I came into the room where he was dozing. For the past few days he hasn't been himself. When he got up, he had trouble deciding which foot should go where. He didn't want to go outside, he didn't want to be held, he didn't even want to harrass Blue (the remaining cat.)
The Vet said it was Canine Dementia (similar to Alzheimers) and that in human years, he was 95. I just know that he wasn't my Max any more. My daughter, who manages a very busy Veterinarian practice in Northern Virginia said one rule of thumb that might apply is "think of the three things they enjoyed the most. Do they still enjoy any of them?" And the answer had to be "no." He didn't seem to be in any pain (for which I am so very grateful!) but he just wasn't Max any more. There was no more joy in this happy boy's life.
My friend Paul is coming over in a few minutes to dig a grave in the backyard, between Jez, my tiny black cat, and Starr, the big old Sheltie.
I keep thinking of "the Rainbow Bridge"
He was a SILLY little dog, who thought he could drive away any big dog in the neighborhood, and would wander in traffic if he got out of my fenced in yard. He didn't run, like most dogs, he DANCED. His paws were smaller than the ball of my thumb, and he placed them oh so daintily. He loved riding in the car. He knew he was pretty and expected to be admired. And he LOVED people. He wanted a lap, any lap would do.

Rose Bliss Bath is for comfort when you're grieving. I need to go make myself some.


Joe said...

I found your shop several months ago and just stopped back again to look over all the wonderful descriptions of your EOs -- I don't know where to start, but I've had a fascination with perfumery and was looking for a resources like your business which sells pure absolutes and EOs.

In any case, I checked your blog just by chance, and wanted to say that I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. I'm sending you healing thoughts.

Kat Mundell said...

Sleep soft, dear Max... You were deeply loved. Marge, you are in my thoughts & prayers. Saying "Good-Bye" is never easy. May your memories help ease your sorrow.

Anonymous said...

Marge, such a wonderful recounting of the Life of sounds like he was truly loved & loved truly.

I have a close friend who's dog is 15 (!!) years old & has developed something that sounds similar to friend & I were discussing how to know when it's time to let go...I'll pass on the 3 most enjoyable activities question/test to her...luckily her dog is still able to run around & otherwise function normally.

Sounds like some rose bliss bath is well-deserved.


Andy said...

Hi Marge, I am deeply sorry. I will be thinking of you. Be good to yourself.

Andy said...

Oh my Marge:

What a wonderful testiment to Max.!!
He is at peace now .. with all our furry family that have gone before him. I am sitting here crying .. he is at peace .. but I know you will miss him. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story.!!!
hugs and love to you,
Roe -

Marge said...

Just wanted to say thank you to everyone.

It's still hard opening the door after work. Hard to believe he's not here to greet me.

Sharon said...

Maybe someday, somehow we'll understand why those we hold dear have to leave us. One never stops missing them, but we can bask in the love and memories they gave us. - Sharon

Christine said...

Oh, Marge! I am so sorry for your loss. I had to say goodbye to my beloved cat, of nearly 15 years, on Valentine's Day, and understand how difficult it is.