Friday, September 11, 2015

A Day in the Life of Maximus

On a typical morning on The Chilean Miner I, Maximus stares down his Master, Elizabeth.  SSSSSTAAAAARE  SSSSSTAAAAARE.  Until she wakes up.  Eager with the anticipation of all the delicious treats he'll get on his morning walk, he starts panting.  Elizabeth attempts to slide the dog over to the left of the couch before putting up his ramp, otherwise, his head gets hit by the ramp, which never really seems to bother him but it bothers her.  Lifting the ramp, Maximus gets so excited he can't wait for the carpet to the rolled out.  The carpet that provides him the grip to get up the ramp.  Not the celebrity kind of carpet.  The carpet is rolled out and Maximus is able to climb, with some help from Mom.

YAY!  I'm out!  He gets so excited to go trick or treating on the dock that he can't wait and climbs around the winch to the deck and finds his way under the lifeline, falling rather than jumping to the dock from 3 feet up.  If not for his chest and shoulders being strong, his back legs wouldn't have allowed him to do it.  Not even 2 years ago.

WOOHOO!  I'm free!  Maximus starts to gallop down the dock, almost missing Tony's boat, he slides to an abrupt stop, his back end falling to a stop.  Getting back up he goes down Tony's finger.  Waiting and hoping the staring game will get him noticed, Tony does not show up and he decides to leave.  Bouncing over to Baron's boat, he drinks some water out of the bowl originally designated for the cat, Ito.  This is no ordinary water, Ito cannot drink the tap water, so this specific bowl comes from a bottle.  "Come on boy!" She pulls the leash.  No response.  "Let's go Maximus!"  Nothing  "BUTTHEAD!"

Taking advantage of all the cat's water, he is ready to go when it is gone.

Stopping briefly to see if someone familiar is on the Water Witch, he moves onto the next stop, Don and Carol's boat!!!  Maximus barges right up to the boat, nearly falling in every single time.  Carol sees him and immediately comes out of the boat to get a him treat.  Elizabeth attempts to make Maximus sit, (back when he could hear and was able to actually sit painless) as Carol slowly hands him the treat...  "gentle.... gentle..."

Maximus is thinking, "watch your fingers... watch your fingers..."


Treat is gone in 0.7 seconds!  MAGIC

Making their way down the dock and up the ramp, Maximus anticipates his time to sniff the grass, make pee pee and spend time with people.  (He prefers to stay away from dogs- they annoy him) They walk down to the palm trees, get swayed by the people eating bacon at the sportfishers cafe, a few pets from kids that are always respectful and ask first if they can pet him.  When finally ready, Maximus, AKA Butthead, decides to take his morning poop.  He curves his back and starts walking...  stops and pushes and walks... Mommy prepares the poop bag... a turd!  More walking and pushing... another turd!  More walking... and 2 more turds and he's done.  "I wish you'd poop in one place, dog!"

Making their way around the grass, they return to the sportfishers and get some more pets and a few questions from on-lookers.  Someone has always had a labrador before and has a cute story to tell.  Maximus is getting tired at this point, but as soon as he sees the dockmaster's office, he gets a pep in his step!  John makes a point of coming out to greet us with a handful of treats... and the last one always goes 'to Mom'.  This is so she can lure him away from John.

"Now that you've had your morning treats, let's go eat breakfast!"  Maximus turns to look at John a few more times before reluctantly heading down the ramp... 'fine... I guess...'

Happily skipping down the dock, they arrive at their slip and get some more water before retiring to the cockpit for the day.  Elizabeth pulls the boat to the steps and Maximus hops up onto the deck, into the cockpit and onto his cushion.  Standing in the cockpit, waiting for his food, as it's being prepared he gets so anxious he can't control it anymore and starts drooling...  In a hurry, she mixes the sardines and oil into his food and serves it too him.  Maximus promptly gobbles it up.

He finds himself comfortably on his cushion until Mommy leaves for the day...  normally staring out over the water, smelling the bacon from neighbors or sometimes just passes out entirely in the morning air.

When it's time to go, Maximus gets woken up yet again after Mommy puts together his ramp and walks him down the ramp onto his soft bed, get a couple of big kisses and goes back to sleep while Mommy is out for the day.

5 o'clock is always a very important time on D Dock.  It's dinnertime and Maximus knows it.  Mommy does her best to get home then because he could very possibly be starving to death!  Sometimes, Maximus is so excited he can't even get out of the way long enough to get the ramp up!  This means he gets knocked in the head, sometimes falls off the couch or ends up getting lifted into the cockpit with Mommy's arms and hamstrings- careful not to sprain her back again!

The dinner cannot be served quick enough!  And it's gone even quicker than it was served!  Whoosh!  A few licks of the bowl to make sure he gets it all and he's ready to adventure on the afternoon walk!
Along the deck, under the lifeline and falling to the dock, he takes off!  WAIT!  He stops for water.  And more water... and more water... and it's gone...  

Tony!  Water Bowl!  Baron!  Water Bowl!  Carol!  

And up to the grass they go, with all the excitement imaginable.  This time, an even longer walk is in order as the evening unwinds and the sun goes down.  Sometimes the walk goes all the way to the Ventura Bridge and sometimes over to the lifeguard station to watch the sunset.

The Butthead sniffs everything, defying the leash every moment he can, hard-headed following his nose always.  Back on the boat, Maximus takes his place and gets ready as Mommy prepares her own dinner.  Sometimes she does meat and he can't simply lay and watch, he has to be a part of the action!

If he's lucky, he gets some human food, depending upon if there are guests or not.  If Grandma is visiting, he gets to lick the plates too!  One more evening walk before the day is done, and Mommy brings Maximus back into the boat where he waits, drooling, for the 3 little treats Mommy gives him every night, if he's been good!  The dog cannot go to sleep without these treats, he knows they are coming every night.  Afterwards, he promptly falls asleep after a long day of treat hunting, water drinking and walking.  Dreaming, he rejuvenates for the another day of the same fun.

Thank you for reading.  I wanted to memorialize him this way because he lived such a great life his last 2.5 years.  This dog never slept on a hard floor since I got him.  And he never went a day without a treat.  Getting a senior dog was actually really good for me.  He organized my schedule, taught me to stop at nothing to get what I want (TREATS), and he certainly kept me selfless with his hefty demands of walks, treats, sardines, injuries, and monthly baths!

There were those times when I had to be THAT person that couldn't stay to work on a research project at school or hang out after work because "My dog is going to kill me if I don't get home soon!"  

And who could forget the time he fell in the water, swam under the dock and then under the finger before anyone even knew he had disappeared!?  Or, the time he stole Cousin Dave's perfectly crafted sandwich from his dock box?  Or, the rare occasions he barked in the mountains, protecting us from the mountain lions?  

Thank you for everyone's support over the years in watching him when I was away, giving him a literally lifelong supply of treats and walking him when I couldn't get home quick enough or was injured myself.  He and I both appreciated it.

Good, good dog.  R.I.P. Maximus