Spirituality According to Max, chapter 5 – Our Little Angel

“The meaning of ‘angels’ is the confirmations of God and His celestial powers. Likewise angels are blessed beings who have severed all ties with this nether world, have been released from the chains of self and the desires of the flesh, and anchored their hearts to the heavenly realms of the Lord. These are of the Kingdom, heavenly; these are of God, spiritual; these are revealers of God’s abounding grace; these are dawning-points of His spiritual bestowals.”

(Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha – Baha’i)

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If you missed previous chapters here are the links (which need to be read in order to follow the story line):

Prologue & Epilogue

Chapter 1 – Instincts Rule

Chapter 2 – Love at First Lick

Chapter 3 – Chewsing Heaven

Chapter 4 – Unleashed

“We are truly blessed” I tell my Husband.  He hasn’t peed in the house once.  He has a great appetite and look how cute he is!”  Our little angel adoringly looks up at me  with big brown eyes. My husband is examining the gouged edge of the cover protecting the couch from doggie hair.  “There are no scraps of material anywhere.  Can you believe he swallowed it?.  Maybe we should take him to the vet?”

I look up at my husband trying to appear not the least bit concerned, ” He’s just a bit anxious. OF COURSE he would chew it up.  If you were the one who was rescued an hour before you were to die only to be imprisoned in a horrible enclosure without any companionship and now find yourself in strange surroundings, you would do the same.”  My husband looks at me like I’m nuts. Homer looks at me lovingly, nudging my hand for more petting.  (It’s obvious that human men just don’t get it).

The bigger more pressing issue is doing something about that name.  HOMER!  It’s stressing me out to think he has a name that simply doesn’t fit his personality.  This is my priority right now, NOT an old throw cover.

“Call him Butchie”, suggests my Dad. “That was the name of my first dog.”  “Dad, that has been the name of every dog you have ever had. We’re not calling him Butchie. Look at that sweet little angelic face.  Butchie is for a bulldog.”  My Dad looks at me like I’m nuts.

This is a dog who deserves a proper name that reflects his personality – distinct but cute, short but sweet, unique but memorable, independent but loving – a doggie name?  a human name?

I get a baby book of names.  I read the dictionary of names.  I poll friends, family, colleagues.  I ask strangers on the street what their dog’s name is.  I call out different names to see what he might respond to.  He tilts his head and looks angelically at me with big brown eyes at every name I try.  He’s so cute.

“Take a look at this,” my husband waves the gouged edges of our bed comforter at me.  “There are no scraps of material anywhere.  Can you believe he’s eaten it?”

Just remember that we are so blessed.  He hasn’t peed in the house once.  He has a great appetite and look how cute he is!”  My little angel proceeds to lick my face, my arms my neck in a display of doggie love.

 (Maybe Dad is right. There has been a lot of fabric “butchered” in his first week home.)

 

Spirituality According to Max, Chapter 4 – Unleashed

“Happiness or sorrow – whatever befalls you, walk on untouched, unattached.” Buddha (563 – 483 BC)

Max, 1998 – 2012

If you missed any parts here are the links:

Prologue & Epilogue

Chapter 1 – Instincts Rule

Chapter 2 – Love at First Lick

Chapter 3 – Chewsing Heaven

The ride home took a needed detour to the pet store.  Dog food – only the best, doggie treats – only the tastiest and a walking halter so as not to hurt his precious neck when in his exuberance he powerfully strains forward on the collar producing rather unsettling choking sounds.  Choking doesn’t seem to bother Homer  in the least (we’ve got to do something about that name) but my uproarious laughter is disappearing in concern that we’ll end up with a dog with brain damage from lack of oxygen due to choking.  I’m no longer worried about the shelter-lady taking him back.  Now I’m worried animal control will jail us for cruelty to animals.

In the pet store, it’s Homer who is now in heaven.  Careening down the aisles, with me in tow, he’s a sniffing snorting, choking blur of dog.  Ah, finally find the halters.  Red, green, black.  I choose blue as it nicely sets off the color of his coat.  Halter size is a bit harder.  The length of his body puts him in the big dog size, his weight and girth put him in medium and his short legs put him in the small dog category. A fitting is required. Bending over to try a halter on for size  he exuberantly licks my face, my neck, my arms, setting me off, once again, into laughing ecstasy.  When the halter comes anywhere near his head he ducks and lurches away surprising me with his determination not to put on anything that isn’t his idea.

“Here’s the plan,” I tell my husband, “I’ll get down on the floor and restrain him while you slip the halter on”.  What sounds like a totally sensible plan turns into a wrestling match with all three of us on the floor.  Bursting into even more laughter, signals Homer we’re here to play.  And now that we’re at his level it’s even more fun for him as he jumps on both of us, over and over and over. and over and over and . . .  it’s a battle to the finish, everyone trying to establish alpha status, on the floor, arms, legs and paws flailing wildly in the middle of the leash and halter aisle.

Homer wins. With our tails between our legs my husband pays for all of Homer’s loot (minus a halter) while I, hanging on for dear life,  zig-zagging, sniffing and choking go back to the car.  Round #2 of the fight for alpha status begins again, as we cram all squirming, lurching and licking 29 pounds of dog into the back seat.

My husband now joins my Dad, “Why did you pick this dog?”.  I throw him a darted look while trying to control Homer from jumping from the back seat into the front to lick me. This dog really loves me.

Stay tuned . . .for More of Max’s Most Marvelous Adventure

Links to all the current chapters (they do need to be read in order to follow the story thread):
Prologue & Epilogue
Chapter 1 – Instincts Rule
Chapter 2 – Love at First Lick
Chapter 3 – Chewsing Heaven
Chapter 4 – Unleashed
Chapter 5 – Our Little Angel
Chapter 6 – Favorite Flavors, Patience & Self Control
Chapter 7 – Love has no Bounds
 

Spirituality According to Max, Chapter 3 – Heavenly Chewsing

“Jesus said: If your leaders say to you “Look! The Kingdom is in the sky!” Then the birds will be there before you are. If they say that the Kingdom is in the sea, then the fish will be there before you are. Rather, the Kingdom is within you and it is outside of you.” The Gospel of Thomas

Prologue & Epilogue

Chapter 1 – Instinct Rules

Chapter 2 – Love at First Lick

 Next time back I bring my Dad, a dog lover to the max. We are not allowed to take Homer into the play enclosure.  Does this mean another family is getting him?  A family with more money, more education, a better zip code?

More barks and humps. Dad’s not the least bit impressed.

I ask the shelter lady, trying to sound very nonchalant (so she can’t detect any desperation),  if they’ve made a decision about my adopting Homer.

“We’ll CALL to let you know if you’ve been chosen, MIZ Westerfield”.  She’s annoyed.  “Thank you”, I feebly respond,  steeling myself against the pain of ultimate rejection,  “WHY are you picking this dog?” Dad asks, clearly puzzled by my choice.

Ten (do you hear 10!) full days after falling in love I get the call, Homer is mine. I yank my husband into the car and tear down to the shelter before they change their minds.

Homer is, as always, DELIGHTED to see me, licking my hands, my arms, my neck, my face as I bend down to leash him.  I’m half-listening to the shelter lady, “Homer’s very friendly but not quite disciplined on walks.” Homer and I are already half way out the door, neither of us taking any chances that the shelter lady changes her mind. AAAAAAAAAnd Homer’s in the lead,  zig-zagging all over the place at full throttle.  Drowning in delight, I laugh louder and louder  which signals Homer to run faster and faster.

My husband finds us careening all over the front parking lot, both of us with tongues hanging out.

“I asked the shelter volunteer if there was anything else to know about him that would be helpful”, my husband says, as we cram all squirming, lurching and licking 29 pounds of dog into the back seat. “She really hesitated when I asked and said they put a wicker chair in his enclosure to see how he’d respond – he chewed it up”

“OF COURSE he would chew it up, rescued an hour before he was to die only to be imprisoned in that horrible enclosure without any companionship!  I would do the same.”, I snap, while trying to control Homer from jumping from the back seat to the front to lick me. This dog really loves me. I AM IN HEAVEN.

Links to all the current chapters (they do need to be read in order to follow the story thread):
Prologue & Epilogue
Chapter 1 – Instincts Rule
Chapter 2 – Love at First Lick
Chapter 3 – Chewsing Heaven
Chapter 4 – Unleashed
Chapter 5 – Our Little Angel
Chapter 6 – Favorite Flavors, Patience & Self Control
Chapter 7 – Love has no Bounds