Something woke me from a deep slumber. Startled, I sat upright in my bed. And then I saw him. Max looked healthy and that made me happy. He came toward me, carrying a glowing ball in his mouth. He had a slightly sad look on his face. But, then again, that was his normal look.
I thought he’d come all the way toward me and bring me the ball but he suddenly stopped. It seemed like he wanted to come all the way but was somehow prevented from doing so. Then he vanished and my heart broke.
In my still groggy state, I wanted to call him. Or somehow communicate telepathically. It seems like our pets can almost read our minds that way and we can read theirs. So I tried, desperately, to summon him again. But I couldn’t.
I staggered out of bed and toward the kitchen to make some coffee. I carefully stepped over where Max always laid in the hallway…right where he was unavoidable. But he wasn’t there.
I poured myself a cup of coffee and sat down in my favorite chair. I waited for Max to come over and rest his chin on my lap, begging to be petted. But he wasn’t there.
Eventually I got dressed and went outside. I slipped out the door quickly because I was only going out briefly and I hadn’t yet leashed Max. I didn’t want him to go dashing out. When I was outside, a cold wind threatened my face. The wind had an extra bite to it. It was still dark. Extra dark. But I only wanted to take a very brief walk in the cold and dark to contemplate the visit from Max and the glowing ball he carried in his mouth.
I instinctively paused where Max would normally relieve himself. I then realized that I hadn’t leashed him yet and continued on. The cold wind didn’t seem to clear my mind so I turned around and headed back inside.
Once back inside, I figured Max would be right at the door to greet me. He always was. I’d pet him and leash him for a good walk and then feed him. But he wasn’t there.
I poured myself another cup of coffee and sat back down in my chair. This time, Max would certainly come over and rest his chin on my lap. But he wasn’t there.
Even so, I tried talking to him. I talked to him all the time, as if he could understand me. Max always listened attentively. He never interrupted with his own thoughts or opinions. He had a listening capability no human has. But I don’t know if he heard me this time.
His chew toys were still laying around. I could still detect that seeming permanent dog smell near his crate and near the spot on the rug where he loved to lay. I figured he must be around somewhere. I wanted to call for him. But something stopped me. He didn’t seem to be there.
I thought I might mutter a goofy dog-related joke. Max brought a light heartedness to me. I’d talk out loud what I thought he was thinking, in dog logic. Since he never corrected me, I figured I’d nailed the dog logic and laugh. Max seemed to find it amusing too. Max was the one creature I could laugh with. And laugh at. He always seemed to enjoy the humor. In fact Max seemed to become my sense of humor. But I couldn’t think of any funny dog thoughts to express this day. It was like he wasn’t there.
Max and I seemed to mind meld, even when things weren’t a laughing matter. My avatar for my blog persona is a picture of Max, shoving his head in a snow bank when the temperature was double digits below zero. I was walking him one afternoon when I had been having an awful day. I wanted to shove my head in a snow bank. But Max did it for me that day. He was always thinking of me. Well, maybe not. He was often thinking of food, or sniffing something smelly or rolling in something. But he often thought of me. I wasn’t sure if that was still true today though.
So I went and got my Bible. I’m not sure why. For some reason, I was trying to figure out what heaven may be like. Who might I see there? What fun stuff would I experience? I closed my eyes for a bit to ponder those thoughts. I was still groggy and my mind still hadn’t cleared from my morning slumber.
But as I contemplated heaven, I saw it. It was a ball, maybe the size of a tennis ball. And it was glowing, like the one Max was carrying in his mouth. Then I realized what had happened. Max occasionally went on a neighborhood romp if we let him off leash. This time, the romp went farther. He didn’t literally run off but he suddenly had a seizure that never stopped. Max made it as far as heaven. He found a ball and brought it back to me to throw for him. There is a divide he can’t cross. But someday I will. And I’ll be able to play fetch with him again. With tennis balls that glow.
Max the dog. April 23, 2012-February 12, 2020 RIP
Copyright Daniel Blake February 13, 2020