He’s been a part of the family for going on five years. In that time I’ve learned to communicate with my adopted Australian cattle dog, canine companion.
Last night, Max, through expressive brown eyes, panting, and scratching, spoke volumes. I listened to what he had to say till well after 1:30 AM. He was shockingly intellectual. I’d never seen that side of him before. I knew, that sometimes he had differences, with his female companion, Maggie. Most of the time Max seemed happy.
The fireworks and gun shots started right after dark. “I’m not going out, it’s too noisy out there,” Max said. “You can take me out on a leash to do my business if you want, but I’m coming right back in. I can hold it in for twelve to fifteen hours if I have to–can you?”
Max had a point. Two to four hours was my limit. “Would you like a treat?” I offered. “For the third time, I don’t want a treat. Give it to Maggie, or eat it yourself.”
Max expressed disdain by wandering aimlessly throughout the house looking for a place to hide.
“What is the matter with you? Max asked. Can’t you see the house is under siege? You’re supposed to be smart. Can I hang out with you till this is over?” “Sure, Max, I don’t mind.” “Can I burrow inside your favorite recliner?” “No Max–not in this lifetime.” Do you think it would be quieter in the laundry room? In the garage? The spare bedroom?” “I don’t know Max–please settle down.”
Between ten and eleven I sat in the dark, with Max, on the couch in the living room. We both fell asleep–Max was snoring.
Another round of explosions woke us up. Max summed up his disappointment with the human race, “They’re mere pawns–opportunistic miscreants on a downward path of slow decline, wounded by the celebratory gunfire of their over inflated egos. I wish they would see the error of their ways–cease and desist all auditory assaults immediately. Because, my ears are killing me.”
“This “Thundershirt” you put on me isn’t doing anything, but I’ll keep it on to make you feel better.” “Max, you need to shut up and go to sleep,” I answered.
Max fell asleep, after one in the morning, on the spare bedroom floor. Al least he’d keep warm.
To noisy revelers, skeptics from the “who cares?” crowd, Max had some parting words.
“Quite frankly, I prefer digging holes to random pursuits of hedonistic pleasure.” “Max, cut it out,” I said. “Nobody likes a snob.”
“I hate noisy revelers. I hate New Years. I hate the Fourth of July. Some of you are going to hate yourselves in the morning when the hangovers hit. I can scratch myself in places where you can’t–so there. Enjoy yourselves–I’m sleeping all day!”
I liked it better when Max wasn’t so opinionated.