April 20, 2012
Missed By: Tom, Deb, Derek, and Zack
Whether it was playing Frisbee, going for a walk up to Memorial School and back or just wandering around the yard while the family did work, Max was always a joy to have around.
I remember it vividly; back when I was in sixth grade, I was working on a project at my mom�s house, Zack walked in after a long, drawn out process of looking at puppies to find the perfect one and said, �Come see my dog.� My mom replied with, �You have a picture of one?� No, Zack had found the right dog for him and he was waiting in the car for everyone to see. The little Golden Retriever puppy had so much energy and was so cute, even myself, not being a dog person loved the sight of the little guy.
This was a whole new experience for us as a family, owning and taking care of a dog. They are a lot more work than a cat will ever be. Having to take them out to do their business, walk them as much as possible to keep them in shape, feed them twice a day and with Max, make sure he didn�t leave the kitchen. All of this training we knew would take time, but it seemed to take a lot longer than expected. Once Max started to �grow up� a little, we, brought him to a training class so we could learn how to control his animal instincts and bring them into our home. Yes, it took a while and he never became that super well trained dog that everyone wishes to have, but that�s what made Max who he is.
He would run away on occasion and we would all get together, grab a flashlight and look up and down Dale Drive for his glowing eyes until they lit up and someone would run after him with the leash, hook him up and bring him back on the deck, scolding him the entire time� �STAY IN THE YARD!�
Dad, Zack and I installed an underground invisible fence shortly after welcoming Max to the family, but we never turned it on. We never trained him with it. That seemed to be the theme of Max�s life, teach him on the fly.
�Keep Away� became the go-to game to play in the yard. A Frisbee, a football, a baseball or any other type of toy that Max would want, we would try to keep it away from him and once he got it, he would keep it away from us. I swear Max is one of the best dogs at this game I have ever seen. Some days it was almost impossible to get the toy away from him no matter how hard we tried; double-team, triple-team, he was the best. The only time we had a chance was when he would take a break and drink out of the bird bath and we were done when Debbie would yell, �Time to eat!�
Zack and I got older, we got our driver�s licenses, weren�t home as much causing Dad and Debbie to take care of Max most of the time. Let him out in the morning before they went to work, put him in the kennel on nice days in the summer and let him in when they got home, seemed to turn into a routine, that�s why he would love camping trips. He knew, if we were going in and out of the back door and packing up the motor home, he knew he was going to have a great vacation. Florida for Christmas, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont; all over New England, this dog sure did travel. He even got to spend a honeymoon in the Outer Banks of North Carolina with Dad and Debbie.
Over the years Max learned about us as a family and we learned about him as a dog, but he wasn�t just a dog, he was a friend, a companion, a member of our family. We loved him as much as he loved us. For as long as we are still here, he will always be in our hearts. That look he gave you if he wanted something. That look he gave you when he was tired. That look he gave you when he was excited. We will always remember the Max that filled our hearts for 11 years and he will truly be missed. -DEREK TURNER