A Tribute to
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Max died unexpectedly on Monday, October 8, 2001.
aka "Mr. Max, the boy, Diggy Boy, Talky Boy, Maximum, (and in a loving way) Bone Head."
Max was a good dog. Friendly and generally happy. But he did have a naughty streak of running. He didn't respect property lines or boundaries and if he was not on a leash, it seemed he couldn't hear you call. That was odd since he could hear you open a food package when he was outside.
This is how I came into being his keeper. He would escape and run until he got caught by the authorities and put in doggy jail. His owners were growing tired of bailing him out of the pound 2-3 times a month at $45 a crack. If I couldn't give him a home, they were going to drop him off at the humane society and leave him to fate. He was 2 1/2 years old when I gave him a home.
I put him on a standard dog leash while I built him a kennel and he broke the leash in no time. I got a cable leash and that held until he snapped the leather collar around his neck. Samoyeds were bred to be sled dogs in Siberia and they have tremendous pulling power. Champion pullers from this breed are capable of pulling a several hundred pound sled on dry dirt for 25 or more feet.
He had personality and a cute way of "talking" to you. Not the normal bark like most dogs but more like a closed mouth wavering, soft howl. Sort of a "woo woo" sound. Sometimes he had a lot to say... especially if you talked and kept the conversation going. Lord knows what all he was talking about. I nicknamed him (in a loving way) "Bone Head" for all the goofy things he did. I built him a nice dog house, so he slept outside on the ground. In the winter, we put hay in his house to keep him warm, so he dug a nest in the snow and curled up out in the open. On a bright sunny day, he went in his dog house even when there was plenty of shade in the open. And on rainy days, he sat there in the rain blinking his eyes as the rain drops splashed his face. Often, he would lay on his back with both back feet against the garage wall as if he was holding the garage up. Sometimes he would hold his kennel fence up the same way.
We lived in the city but he had a big kennel with lots of room... 20 feet by 40 feet. And he got a walk around the neighborhood every morning and night. He had to be walked to satisfy his need to roam. If he wasn't walked regularly, he would break out of his kennel and take his own, unescorted walk.
He was quit the digger too. I lived at two different places while I had him and at both places he put a basement in under his house within a few days. At our current home, I had to put a 2X6X12 beam under his house to keep it from falling into the oversized basement he dug. Sometimes he dug just to be digging and made a lot of grunting noise doing it. Sometimes it sounded like pure pleasure and other times it sounded like he was fussing about his labor.
He was terribly afraid of thunder and lightening. So afraid, he usually had to be tranquilized during storms. If alone in his kennel when a storm approached, he would tear through the chain-link fence and run. A few years back, he was having a lot of medical problems and had to get an X-ray taken. The vet pointed out that at some time in his past, he had been shot with a shotgun and still had a pellet in him. We assume that this is probably where his intense fear of thunder came from. During the 6 years I had him, I only had to bail him out 2 of the 15 + times he escaped. Either he would finally get tired of running and get into my car when I found him or come home himself. If the Weyauwega police picked him up, they would bring him home first instead of to the pound so long as someone was home to take him.
We do farm setting several times a year and these seem to be the happiest times for him. He would be out in the country with another (better behaved) dog and be tied out in the open where he could see in all directions. He really enjoyed playing with his pal "Lucy" and touching noses with the horses when he got a chance. Some times he would get a long walk down to the fish pond and often tried to pull in that direction any other time. Sometimes he would hop up on the hay wagon and look around with excitement and alertness at all the sounds and movements. At home, he would often want to come in the house at night but on the farm, he'd just as soon stay out in the field all night and bark at all the critters moving around.
One dream I always had for Max but never got to fulfill was to get a sidecar for my motorcycle so that he could ride with me and go on trips with us. I couldn't afford to get a side car and now the chance is gone. But that's OK because now he rides with me every day in spirit and in my thoughts. Eventually, I we will get a new companion, not to replace Max, but to fill some of the empty spaces in our lives that he left. I hope that I can get a sidecar in time to be able to share the joy of being in the wind together with him/her. Because you know... bikers and dogs have a special spirit kinship... the dog is like the wolf who is free to run with the wind and the biker finds the same sense of freedom running in the wind. Now you know why dogs like to stick their heads out the car window and blink at the joy of being in the wind.
He was a runner and needed to be kept on a leash at all times. Care was always taken to insure that he would not hang himself trying to escape but in a freak accident, he managed to any way. Although his cable provided enough slack to go over the 7 foot wall he jumped, the cable got caught on an obscure eye hook before he jumped the wall and cut him short. He went into a horse stall and jumped up into the manger. This put him closer to the top of the wall and within reach. There was an eye hook on the front of the manger that is sometimes used to hold a horse when it's hoofs are trimmed. His cable got caught on this hook and cut him short by three feet and he wasn't able to reach the floor on the other side. Max's naughtiness caught up with him and he literally hung himself.
Fare well my friend.
Go now and run free
in the open meadows
amongst the Star Nation.
May the wing of
Brother Red Hawk
carry you swiftly home.
May you find joy running and playing
in the free places of the Creator,
running under the Mother Moon
like your brother Wolf.
Thank you for the joy and happiness
you gave us while you lived among us.
Thank you for the patience you taught us
and the companionship you gave so freely.
Thank you for the lessons of simplicity
and understanding of unconditional love.
Thank you for the lessons of compassion
and helping us understand giving and caring.
Go now and be happy and free,
and until we meet again,
fare well my friend.
The following poem was written by a special friend in memory of her dog Buddy who passed away in 1994. She felt the words were fitting for Max and I agree.
Walk with the wind my friend
to the giver of all life,
I am grateful
that he shared your spirit with us.
You gave us great joy and happiness...
The gift of laughter you brought.
You stood strong and protected us...
The lessons of loyalty and trust you taught.
You greeted each day with embrace...
The gift of hope you brought
You suffered great pain in silence...
The lessons of courage and dignity you taught.
Spirit of the Wolf
You lived with great Honor
You taught us many Things
Without saying a word
Walk with the Wind my Friend
The time has come to say farewell
I know one day
We will again walk together.
October 7, 1994
In loving memory of Buddy, our friend.
And from another very special person, Pat, this paraphrase of a poem written by Harrison in "Gentlemen- The Horse." Pat is one of the owners of the farm and always baby sat for Max when we traveled.
Somewhere... somewhere in Time's own Space,
There must be some sweet Wonder Place,
Where rabbits run and Milk Bones grow...
Some paradise where all dogs go.
For by the Love that guides my pen,
I know that Max will live again.
October 16, 2001
Dr. Ziegler was Max's Vet. He went above and beyond what was required of his "job" to find answers and research Max's complications that resulted from a gunshot wound he had recieved before I had taken him in. Dr. Ziegler spent a lot of extra hours consulting collegues in other parts of the state for ideas on how to best help and treat Max. I had been refered to Dr. Ziegler by someone who also said Dr. Jim goes the extra length to do what is best (not easiest) for the animal and it's human companion. I travel a distance past two other vets in my area because I know Dr. Jim works from his heart for the animal. And the above shows how truely dedicated he is to animals and their owners and that is what makes his clinic the best in Central and Northeastern Wisconsin. Wolf River Vetrinary in New London