Had to make my first visit to the Danada Veterinary Hospital since losing Max; Emmet needed his claws trimmed on Saturday morning. While there, they gave me Max’s clay paw print mold. It came in a nice little box with the baking instructions on it. As I sat and waited for Emmet to be done, I thought about that paw print and all the places I will miss seeing it. I especially missed it that morning in the snow on the deck. It used to be all Max prints in the snow. He loved snow and running all over in it! After playing in the snow, he would come in and get wet paw prints all over the kitchen until I could get him toweled off. He always ended up stealing the towel I used and ran with it all over the house! Many winters of stealing towels!
Then of course after winter, came spring…..mud prints! I used to know wherever he went in the house after he came in and dodged the towel that was waiting to wipe him off! One particular spring, he decided that rolling in the mud was really fun. He was covered in it. I took him in the garage, filled a tub with warm water and before I could get him washed down, he shook and I was covered in mud, too!! I laughed so hard between the curse words I was muttering under my breath! I got him cleaned off the best that I could, took him in and gave him shower. We had a removable shower head, so it worked real fine!!
I came home and took the paw print out of the box; they had also included a lock of Max’s hair in a little plastic bag. What a thoughtful touch. I looked at the paw print and thought about how many times I had held that paw and how many times that paw was on my leg comforting me. I never would have made it through my divorce without Max. He was there for me every second. He offered me many comforting paws. Believe me, I accepted those paws and was so thankful for them. Those paws got me out of the house walking and getting back into life again. Max truly was my best friend.
When Max would come in from outside, he would offer me his paw in exchange for a treat. He was really good at that! I wonder how many times we shook hands. I thought back to when I taught him to shake. He was a puppy and would watch Hobbes when he came in from outside. Hobbes knew the drill; come in, shake hands, get treat! Simple! Max watched Hobbes many times. I tried for quite a while to get him to shake. I would take his paw and tell him “this is shaking hands, this is what I mean!” Finally one day he sat there and shook my hand. I probably gave him 3 treats!! He got it!! He really got me….he would offer his paw at any time and expect a treat. He knew I carried them in my pockets!
After baking his paw print and letting it cool, I put it in a special basket on my dresser, right next to Hobbes’ paw print. Every time I look at it, I will smile; thinking of all the happy times and how lucky I was to have had the dog that belonged to that paw in my life. Max’s paw print will forever be in my heart.