March 2, 2010

Max and Blackie.

So unlike each other and yet, so fundamentally the same.

A year ago, Blackie survived an interstate move.  He spent hours bouncing in the back of an unheated UHaul truck, in a broken waterless aquarium.  6 months ago he survived a second move, one which claimed the life of his tank mate Sunny.  We tried finding him some new friends and instead gave him a parasitic anchor worm infection.  Poor Blackie underwent extensive treatment over the course of weeks and somehow managed once again to triumph.  But even heroes have their time.  Blackie the miracle fish, who had given us his all and then some, passed away overnight without drama or fanfare.  It was a gentle death.  The most any of us could ask.

Much like Blackie, this year Max also rebounded from a horrific infection which nearly claimed his life.  He’s always suffered from acute allergies (to what, we don’t know) but 7 months ago, Max was in the worst state he’s ever been.  He’d lost nearly a third of his body weight, and his body appeared to be breaking down.  I’ll never forget taking him to the Portland Dog Wash, a self-serve facility, just before we moved into our new house.  As we gently bathed him, blood literally poured from his sides.  His back half was nearly bald.  The vet put him on steroids & antibiotics, we switched his food for the MILLIONTH TIME, and we prayed for the best.  I don’t know if it was a combination of everything – this beautiful yard, the new allergen free food, the steady low dose of steroids, sheer willpower, love, but over the past 6 months, Max has RETURNED.  Our friends and family who saw him at death’s door and see him now simply marvel at this beast.  None of us expected him to live, let alone thrive.

Today is March 2, 2010.  Max’s 9th Birthday and Blackie’s “death day.”  I am not quite sure what the great cosmos is trying to say, taking one life as we celebrate another.  So I will close with Happy Birthday Max.  And happy trails, Blackie.  Here’s to you both.

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20 thoughts on “March 2, 2010

  1. German Shepherd?

    I have a Blonde Shepherd almost like this pic link but more ‘golden’ now http://germanshepherdpuppiesblog.com/files/White_German_Shepherd.jpg (We named him Ted. E. Bear because he looked like a polar bear cub more than a puppy when we finally brought him home)

    He is allergic to air.
    (Not really *small smile* just that it seems that we have gone through so many different foods and shampoo’s and meds to help him with a skin condition and frequent infections of the skin that we figure he must be allergic to everything in the world – including his best friends ‘the cats’)

    I am glad that your ‘Max’ is still with you and getting healthy *smile*

    And – umm…R.I.P. Mr. Blackie.

    I wish you all the best.
    M.L.

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  2. Oh my – I am sorry…please delete that link to the picture I found (It just did something funny to my computer when I tried to get to the actual site and I don’t want that to happen to anyone else. Please forgive me. If you had a chance to see it though – that is what my dog looks like)

    M.L.

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    1. ML – your Ted E. Bear is simply stunning. That golden blonde fur is such a rarity; I’ve never seen a shepherd like that in all my life. Thanks so much for sharing. Thanks also for your kind comments. I am much obliged. Take care! & best wishes, Christy

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  3. Bitter Sweet Dish Lady…
    We had Squishie, the goldfish for 10 years and I missed him so much when he passed. He was my kitchen- friend and we spoke every day. Blackie did put up a brave fight but I guess he thought it was time to try something different.

    Max! (I always knew that dog was a super hero) I think love is an incredible thing and Max was and is loved…

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    1. Thanks so much Trace. Blackie certainly fought the good fight. To have lived another year past that first incident, and to have subsequently triumphed twice more — he was truly a fish among fish. And I will miss him. As for Big Max, he is a champion too. And much loved. I am off to bake him a cake now! He deserves no less. xo

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  4. I’m so sorry about your fish, Blackie. He looks like a black moor I owned in college. A fish passing is a sad time. My son lost his neon tetra, Nemo, back during our power outage. Blackie sure endured some trials, but now he is in a good place. 😉

    Way to go Max!! I’m so happy he overcame some major health issues. I think when a dog has good owners who care about him; it encourages his will to fight. Our dog, Bodie, broke his leg right after we moved here. His leg has healed but is only slightly mobile. He is back to his old self, with a gimp leg, and he is here with us and that is all that matters.

    Christy, I am so glad I started reading your blog. I like how much of a faithful pet owner you are. Unlike your move, our move was less than five miles. I remember the night I brought all of our pets to their new home. I moved them last and my van was packed with some last items, cleaning supplies, two cats in carriers, a dove in his cage (strategically separated from the cats), a small aquarium in the front floor and our dog. When I got in the van to drive off, I looked in the back and it was a sight to see all of our pets in one place. Life is funny. I wish I had taken a picture.

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    1. Thanks so much Tammy. I am so glad you started reading as well. We’re definitely two of a kind. Here’s to Max, Kiwi, Bodie, Moe & the rest of our pet families! May we all live long & prosper.

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  5. Oh wow. I really thought Blackie would make it. (I mean he’d HAVE to after that HORRIBLE experience.) Rest in peace, Blackie.

    But it is awesome to hear about Max. AWE. SOME. I say go with the celebration of life.

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    1. Thanks Hayden. I thought Blackie would live forever; he was the little goldfish who COULD. But every body wears out eventually.. We buried him yesterday next to Sunny. RIP fish friends.

      Max had a fitting bday celebration last night. Steak & Cake. and presents. We went a little overboard, but the big guy deserves it after the year he’s had.

      xo!

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  6. Awww, Max!! Sorry about Blackie. Poor guy.
    Today is Stripe and Tom’s birthday. FOURTEEN years old. You would never know it by looking at Thomas– he looks like a kitten. But, poor Stripe. Arthritic, drooly. Oof. I feel so bad for him, and I’m at that point where I should take him to the vet, but I think the vet will make me feel guilty.

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