Saturday, March 2, 2013

Max's Daffodils

I love it when C tells me stories about Max, his dog.  When Max was just a puppy, C adopted him, and it was twice lucky for Max, who had already survived a car accident as a stray.  Now Max had a master, and C had a good dog.  Max grew up to form a close bond with C, who once on a long hike saw that the puppy was tiring quickly, and carried him the few miles home like a lamb across his shoulders.  They were an inseparable like-minded two, and Max lived a good long life.  Dog days go quickly though, and I only met Max once, when he was very old.  C no longer wanted to risk leaving the ailing old dog at home, and so would bring him to work in the bed of his truck, then go out and visit him periodically through the day.  I was C's coworker at the time, and didn't realize the situation until one day I happened to be passing through that area of the shop and C motioned for me to "come and see."  I, curious as ever, followed him outside and met the friendly old blind white dog, whose age could not hide his devotion to his master, and who licked my hand with dignified friendliness.

Several weeks later I happened upon C again at work, and he was trying not to cry.  It's very shocking to see a man cry, and I realized Max had died.  Not having words, I bought the most cheerful thing I could find, a miniature daffodil plant in full bloom, and gave it to C.  He planted it on Max's grave, where he lay buried under the Rose of Sharon tree in his back yard.  And sometimes when C tells me about Max, tears still come into his eyes, he misses him so much.  And that makes me want to cry.

Nine-odd years later, C and I are married, we have no dogs but memories, but the miniature daffodils continue to bloom and cheer both our hearts.

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