Friday, February 29, 2008
It's Max's birthday today, and although he's four years old, it's his first REAL birthday, because he was born on Feb. 29, 2004. In spite of the 2,500 (or so) walks I've taken him on -- twice a day every day for four years -- in every kind of weather that the Northeast can dish out, it seems like just yesterday he was a puppy, and I was alternately in love and suffering from extreme sleep deprivation. Although he was an adorable puppy, he's an even more wonderful dog, and we have settled into a comfortable routine that suits us both. Most days, we head down to the local bike path at about 6 am and walk for 45 minutes or an hour, meeting up with his other dog friends and their owners, among them Tank, Jet, Bullet, Paige, Zoe, Kip, Scruffy, Buddy & LouLou, to named just a few. Then we return home for breakfast, a few rounds of fetch with his favorite toys, and he settles into his recliner until I return from work, when the routine begins again. He can sit, and he can retrieve most of his toys by name, but otherwise, he's not especially talented, and that's just fine with us. No human can greet you with as much enthusiasm as Max, and when he cocks his head just the right way, he'll make you believe that he understands just what you're saying, and it's fascinating. He is the reason that every day of the year, I go outside, breathe fresh air, and appreciate the miracles of nature.
This was Max as a puppy. Curiously, after his first grooming, all those dark markings disappeared, and he became the silvery charmer above.