Posts Tagged Max

A Lost Max

I’ve told this story to a few friends already, but I figured I’d write it down for posterity and further sharing. A few weeks before the break, I got up in the morning before work and performed my normal morning routine: I let my beagle Max out into the (fenced) back yard and took a shower before making myself coffee. When I finished with the shower, I dressed and went through the house and couldn’t see Max. He’s probably still in the backyard, I thought.

Then I noticed the door to the backyard had blown shut from the wind. Then I noticed – upon opening it and going into the backyard – that the fence gate had the opposite problem, and was standing open.

At that point, I started to get a little ball of anxiety and went outside as quickly as I could and started scouring the neighborhood for him. I yelled a lot of “Max!” that morning. Still, he had been out for close to an hour at that point, and he wasn’t (apparently) nearby.

I ran into a nearby neighbor and her dog, both of whom Max adored, and she agreed to call for him on her walk. When she returned, she told me some neighbors to the south had seen a dog wandering around a while ago. I headed that direction, even drove around a bit with the window down calling, but still couldn’t find him.

At this point, I was freaking out a little. You see, he’s not chipped, and in a terrible fit of karmic retribution, I had neglected to immediately fix his name/address tag when it broke earlier that week. So he was an identity-less beagle wandering the neighborhood and god I hope he doesn’t get hurt

I called up 9-1-1, and they said to call Animal Control when they opened (around 9am, about 2 full hours after I let Max into the backyard). I did so, after frantically calling fellow dog-owning friends Paul and Alida, who successfully talked me off a now-cliff of anxiety. The Animal Control lady was very kind and said as soon as she heard anything, she’d call back. She also recommended sending a post to the West Seattle Blog, which she said has a really active community. (I had never used it before, but she’s right, it’s great.)

As I sat down and started writing my post, she called back and said a man in my neighborhood just reported a missing beagle! I quickly called him and he confirmed it was Max and told me to come over. My heart almost leapt out of my chest – I didn’t realize how tightly wound I was until release.

When I got to this guy Bill’s house, he greeted me and let me in – where he had his own beagle, Sophia! She seemed nice, and Max seemed quite pleased with himself for his adventure (and his second breakfast, which Bill had fed him). As I took Max back, Bill told me something funny enough that I laughed in spite of everything.

“Yeah, strangest thing. I have Sophia here, and the folks in the neighborhood know I have a beagle,” he said. “So when they found Max wandering around, they took him and put him in my yard. Then, when I got up in the morning, I let Sophia out into the yard, and when I went to get her, there were two beagles!” :)

I have since fixed Max’s tag and now we go out into the backyard together!

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#12: Great Outdoors

Living in Seattle, I definitely feel like I haven’t taken advantage of “the Great Northwest” – by which I mean, going out into the wilds and enjoying the environment.  I really like going out away from technology sometimes (but not all the time – just a way to cleanse the pallet) and I also really appreciate seeing green in nature – having spent a lot of my early life in “brown” areas like Phoenix and California.

I also am really excited to take Max outdoors for long periods of time – obviously, he enjoys outside and I generally don’t have enough time to take him for more than an hour or so to the dog park.  Planning and taking a trip with him means he gets a ton of outdoorsy time and I don’t have to worry about where he stays while I’m on vacation.

12. I resolve to take Max on a camping trip at least twice, for a period of two or more days each, possibly with other friends involved on the trip too.

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Maxwell’s Song

Erik mentioned I don’t say enough about little puppers Max on my blog anymore, and I was feeling musical today, so here’s a song for the best beagle.

O ~ to be a Beagle, soft and cuddly
Sniffin’ and stretchin’, waggin’ and lickin’
When my human leaves for work
I know it’s me that he’ll be missin’

Shh ~ don’t tell, I’ve got a secret
My adorable face can’t be resisted
Tilt my head to the side and gaze real deep
Human gets the leash like his arm’s been twisted

Yeah ~ I know, I love him so
Wait near the door when I hear him get home
Each day is dry food, and that tastes nice
But if I’m a good boy, I’ll get that bone

Awwwoooooo!

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Immunity

I don’t usually get sick.  But since I feel pretty awful today, and left work early yesterday (and shouldn’t have really gone in at all, except that I had important presentations to do!), I figured I would talk about the ways in which I somehow overcome my naturally effective immune system.

The first, and most common, is that I force a delay in my physical reaction to stress.  If I have a big project that’s about to finish, or a long vacation coming up, I’ll postpone getting sick until the work is done and the stress is relieved.  This is actually totally backwards because it means I suffer on my break – but in a way it is a subconscious determination of “is it worth it for me to do the task now and feel the pain later?”  In this way, I often gained some insight into what I found compelling and/or engaging about work and school stuff.

The other regular way in which I sabotage myself is by doing activities that I know are no-nos for my body.  For example: I am allergic to dogs!  And yet, I have a wonderful beagle Max, with whom my body and I have reached an understanding.  My allergies really kick in after I have left on travel for a while and then return to dog-hair filled rooms and Max in my face, but then I reach a reasonable equilibrium.  Similarly, I used to have pretty bad asthma, which these days only really causes problems when I exert myself aerobically after not doing so for a while.  I have in the past *cough* gone and say, run a 5k when I was very out of shape, and I paid for it on this axis.

At least the cure is always simple – lots of sleep, lots of fluids and light exertions overall.

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Doggie Days

I’ve been taking Max to our new (to us) local off-leash dog park here in the White Center / West Seattle area, on 8th SW and Henderson (roughly), about once a day over the break.  He loves it, of course, and I really enjoy watching him at play with other dogs.  Most of my experience with Max and other dogs is…

  • …with his sister Tulip, and they spar/roughhouse a lot and then take doggie naps.
  • …with the remainder of his family, where they sort of all vie for dominance, usually via humps.
  • …and with other dogs he knows, like Amy and Daisy, where the Beaglesque roughhousing doesn’t seem to occur.

At the park, he starts off shy and unsure of where to go, and then at some point his instincts to mingle break free and he’ll dash into a group of dogs.  They all stop what they are doing and everyone takes a turn sniffing, then he semi-sprints from dog to dog investigating them — and their owners, of course!

Two other exciting developments:

  • Sometimes Max will begin a chase with another dog, usually apparently younger than him (we’ve seen a few Labrador puppies), and if that chased dog can go as fast or faster than Max, Max will start to whine about it as he’s running.  Since the two are running circles around the play area, it’s sort of this siren-y doppler effect – Maxdar?
  • Other times, Max will entice two or more other dogs into a race by just sprinting into their vicinity.  He seems to love it, and gets these little extra bursts of speed when, say, one of the racing dogs tries to move in for a hump, but gets confused when he is TOO successful and pulls in four or more dogs to the race.

I haven’t really spoken much with the people who bring their dogs to the park, but they all seem very friendly, and of course everyone loves Max.  I think the next time Max interacts with a dog on its own with an owner on his/her own, I’ll strike up a conversation.

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