Beau was napping in his swing when I got home from work which afforded me the luxury of some free time. Max looked at me with a heavy sigh as he changed positions on the couch, just about guilting me to take him outside and run around. It’s much too often that our one on one time with Max gets deferred by the baby.
I grabbed Max’s brush as he followed me outside. The brush prompted a game of chase and I finally had him cornered. Maybe it was the way the sun was shining on him, but I noticed a few gray hairs on his back. We noticed that shortly after Beau was born, Max’s face got white around his eyes and snout. I joked that the baby was stressing him out. I tried convincing myself that golden retrievers gray at a young age and that it was just coincidence that we noticed these changes around the time Beau joined our family.
Finding gray hairs on my dog probably hit me as hard as it does for a young woman to find her first gray. It forces me to accept a reality that I’m not willing to bare. Max will only be 4 years old next month, but I tell myself that these are the best years we have with him, while he is young and healthy. I would say he is slowly approaching the peak of his life. He’s young enough to run around and play fetch, but old enough to nap for 4 hours and not destroy our house.
Max was our first kid and a symbol of our life together. He represents Brandon and I’s love story and all of the exciting events that have taken place these past four years.
Brandon and I had just moved in together when we decided to get Max. The thought of having someone else to blame my farts on and take some of the heat for all of the blonde hair on the furniture and in the shower drain was comforting.
Max also shared in the excitement of our engagement.When Brandon got down one one knee to propose to me, Max perched himself beside his dad and looked up at me with the brightest eyes and smile as if he was sealing the deal, how could I say no to that face?
On our wedding day, Max sat at the alter beaming with pride as he watched his parents do something very important dressed up in fancy clothes. He looked at me with the biggest puppy dog eyes that day; making me feel like the most beautiful woman on his earth.
As I sat on the toilet and watched two faint lines appear on a pregnancy test, max sat there at my feet eagerly waiting for whatever I was waiting for. When I drove to Walmart at 4:30 that same morning to get more pregnancy tests, Max rode shot gun. Brandon is still secretly upset that Max found out before him.
During the first few weeks after having Beau, I slept in the living room with the bassinet. The nights were long, lonely and hopeless at times. Max never left my side. He laid at my feet and provided me a familiar comfort and warmth that I would have crumbled without. Even today, he still lays at my feet while I feed Beau. Max grounds me and reminds me of who I was before I became a mom. He reminds me that that woman matters too.
The days go by so fast and sometimes I feel like I’ve cheated Max. Sometimes I just don’t have the energy to get down on the floor and roll around. Sometimes the ball just gets thrown once and the cookies are scarce. We don’t even speak of going to Grandma’s if we don’t plan on bringing Max. I can’t remember the last time we went to P-e-t-c-o and Max is way overdue for a nail trimming. No matter how disregarded Max may feel or how old he gets, his love and loyalty will remain unwavering.
Today I’m thankful to be a mom to the best dog there is.