Hi guys! You don’t know me but I have been observing the three of you for a while … oh, I am not a stalker by any means, but I watch people. It is so easy to see that the three of you love one another so much.
Max of course loves everyone, but especially his human John. He loves Joe too, but in a totally different way than John. Max is one happy dog and has so much love to share wherever he goes.
John loves Max and thinks of him as his writing companion … even a co-author at times. Right now John is stressed by an upcoming deadline and even more stressed that he can’t give Max the attention he knows he should. Max is ok with John being busy, but not ok with John being stressed and that makes him sad.
Joe loves both Max and John. They are his life boat … his saviors in a world of troubled seas as he finds his way home from terrible loss and sadness. Max especially has taught him that he can love again … can smile again … that the world is a good place to be with friends like John and Max. Joe knows he has a long way to go but is healing more and more every day. Internal healing, healing of the mind and soul are nothing others can see, but John knows that is happening every time he spends time with Max and John on their daily walks.
Recently, Joe has been walking Max just the two of them to give John time to work on an upcoming deadline. Last week he introduced Max to playing with a Frisbee and Max took to running and catching like a pro. It was evident that Max liked their alone time together when he curled up at Joe’s side after they had a long session of Frisbee in the meadow Joe found on an early morning walk a few weeks ago. That beautiful piece of land spoke to him, soothed him and had become a refuge for him when being inside became too unbearable. He knew he would share this special place with Max and John when the time was right … that came for Max but not yet for John.
By the way, I am Ellen. Like I said, I observe people and I know these things about Max, John and Joe by watching them every day when they walk together. I live on the lane they walk along with the pretense of getting Max outside. But … I can tell this time is just as important for the two men. The three of them walk side-by-side rarely talking except to Max, but so much can be determined by how humans interact with dogs. A few times I have caught bits of conversation between the two men. They respect each other and encourage each other. Even though Joe is the one recovering from a horrible accident and the loss of his entire family, John has been healing as well. He hides this from the world, but I can hear it in his voice and also from the way Max is protective of John. He is protective of Joe as well, but in a completely different way … as only good therapy dogs are able to do with humans they love.
Max, John and Joe have no idea Max is a therapy dog … it is a natural thing for him. But I know and can tell by the way they all interact. I used to train therapy dogs and Max would have been a star … don’t get me wrong, he is a star in his own right doing exactly what comes to him naturally.
The day Joe took Max into the meadow for a run and playing Frisbee catch, I had been on one of my rambles around the area. I love the outdoors and spend as much time as possible walking, observing nature, and taking the occasional picture. I am retired now and nature photography is my new passion.
Anyway, I was resting at the edge of the meadow in a small grove of trees when they two of them came to play. It was a surprise to see them alone and that they walked in this direction … right rather than left when they left John’s house. The freedom Max had in running and catching the Frisbee over and over was a joyous sight. He was so proud of himself to catch every throw and it showed in his eyes and his face … yes, dogs do smile and Max was positively grinning with delight that afternoon.
I was able to get several shots of the two playing and was proud of myself for catching Max in mid air several times. He is a natural catching a Frisbee and he knew he was good from the first catch.
When they took a break to rest and have a long drink of cold water Max snuggled up to Joe’s side … it was clear to see both man and dog drifted into a peaceful nap. Much later, lost in my own thoughts, I felt a wet nose on my arm. There was Max to say hello … did he know I was there from the beginning? Most likely and he took the opportunity while Joe as still napping to come say hello. Max is no stranger to me and often stops by my house for a head scratch during their daily walks.
During his brief time with me as Joe still napped, Max got his usual head scratch and a long hug from me. This brought a smile to his face and I received a return doggie hug and a wet kiss on my cheek.
I looked around and Max was gone, but he had not returned to Joe. I had a moment of dread thinking he had wandered deeper into the wooded area and might get lost. Just as I was about to go look for him, he came loping out of the trees with flowers in his mouth. He snuggled up to me with his beautiful dog smile as if to say these are for you. I took his offering and hugged him with all my strength.
Max started to leave, but turned around and plucked one of the flowers from the bundle he had given me. Gently he held it in his mouth as he trotted back to Joe. When he was by Joe’s side, Max placed the flower on his chest and nudged Joe awake. Max sat patiently by Joe until he sat up, smelled the flower and gave Max the biggest hug I have ever seen a human give a dog. He was grinning from ear to ear and I couldn’t hear what was said, I knew Max was getting an abundance of praise and thanks from his second favorite human in the world.
Just before Max turned to leave, he posed with the flower in him mouth and of course I could not resist a picture. One day, I will have prints made for John and Joe of this special moment … not just yet, but I will know when the time is right.
Copyright © 2017 Annie
Always…I wish you peace, joy and happiness, but most of all I wish you Love.
As Ever, Annie