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"Man's Best Friend - Thank You, Max" - by Rev. Weldon Bares

I've occasionally written about my faithful dog, Max. I am sorry to say that I had to have him put to sleep last week. Two masses near his heart and other complications were too much for him.

Max was 12 years old, an Italian Spinone, and a rescue from the Humane Society. I’ve had him for seven years. Adopting Max is one of the best things I have ever done. He has been with me through a lot, including two hurricanes, an ice storm and a global pandemic. He has put up with my faults for many years, but he always remained devoted.

Max had such a good life during our time together. He loved to go on walks and to hunt for lizards in the backyard. He sometimes pretended to watch football games on TV with me. He would try to console me when the Dallas Cowboys would lose. He would listen to me practicing my sermon. He enjoyed each day, but he was often irritated by squirrels. He could never quite figure out cats.

He would sometimes attend church staff meetings. He would make a point of going around the table to greet each person. At a recent Sunday evening church event, he probably visited with 150 people. I think he wrote in his journal that night, “Best day ever!”

I am going to really miss Max. I already do. I know that it was the right thing to do for him, but it really hurts to see him go.

I saw his bowl outside this morning and it made me sad. The leftover dog food, his collar, his doghouse, his radio, his fan. I keep expecting to hear him bark at a passing cat or another dog. But I know that bark is not coming. I held his head as he died.

I guess I'll get over it, but losing a pet is hard. If you have ever lost one, you know what I am talking about. We know that God loves all creatures. God put each of them here for a purpose. I know what Max's was, to be my friend. I am thankful today for a faithful old dog and the time we had together.

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