Main Man, Bud, Big Brother, Rumpelsleepikins,... The nicknames we had for our boy were too many to recall, ranging from the simple to the ridiculous. We loved him like a son, the first living thing Joe and I were to take care of together, the start of our family and life together.
I remember how he came to us. Joe had intentions of getting a girl, but for some reason there was this male that was supposed to have been gone. Joe couldn't resist this pup with the white stripe down his face and with poop on him. How pathetic! Joe knew he was the one. He didn't say a peep on the way home - he didn't want to ruin anything! When Kathy not too happily told me, "Your surprise is in the kitchen...," I couldn't believe it. I always thought I would have a small purse dog, not a bulldog! I called Beth and asked what do you do with it, and she told me quite simply, "pet it." I decided very promptly Max would be his name.
It didn't take long for Max to grow on everybody. Joe's father always said, "You had to get the ugliest dog?" But not in my eyes. I never saw a more handsome creature. I really meant it when I would say how gorgeous he was. He would stop traffic everywhere we went. People would stop us and rave about how perfect a specimen he was. He was a celebrity around town. He went mostly everywhere with us, weather-depending of course! His favorite spot was riding shotgun with Daddy in the Jeep. We'd all be squooshed in, a happy little family! Boy did that dog love "chilling" in the air conditioning in the car.
Max loved a lot of things -- rides, walks, Nay Aug, "swimming" at Lake Winola, rawhides, balls, dirt, mulch, Don Tomaso's pizza, ice cream, etc. But boy did he love his dad! They were two in the same. Brothers from different mothers! I would come home and have to go find Max to give him a kiss (I liked to say he was "accepting" kisses!). But not with his dad! Max followed his every move and would always want to make him proud!
On July 15 of last year Max became a big brother. And boy did he take the job seriously! He had to be at every feeding and diaper change -- literally! He loved little sis, but just didn't want her to take away too much of his attention! How Joe didn't kill that dog was a small miracle. It took three months, but he decided to stop "running" and just accept little sis. We were sure that shaved a year or two off his life!
Finally we had our boy and our precious girl. The million-dollar family! Boy did they love each other. Max would be the first in to pick up Olivia in the morning and the last one to kiss her good-night at bedtime. I always said Max's greatest coup was to steal a kiss from Olivia. They loved eating cereal together and just looking at each other. They were quite intrigued by one another -- a regular, old "Beauty and the Beast!" She thought he was the coolest big brother, and I know he thought of her, "Whoa, she has too much energy for me!"
Of course we wanted them to be best friends for life, but that was not to be. I'm so glad that just a couple days before, they were swimming in their little pool together, Max dirtying up Olivia's water and stealing her bath toys. We wouldn't have wanted it any other way. Boy was he a sucker for rubber, squeaky toys! He tried to be good, but they and little sis were just too irresistible!
Max had the best life and so did we we with him! We adored him and there was nothing we wouldn't do for him. He taught little sis to love doggies and he taught us how to love a child. Because that was what he was to us -- our first baby.
We love you Max, and will see you in heaven,
Mommy, Daddy, and Little Sis