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  • He died that day. He was still young and yet so old at the same time.

    Found alone in the desert with a broken leg, Max had ended by my side for 8 fateful years of living. The leg mended mostly okay and we had some great times exploring the world. We lived in the woods in Arizona, the suburban sprawl of northern Virginia, the hills of central New York, the madness of Boston, and eventually the refreshment of Vermont. Many adventures.

    But in Boston, his eyes had started to fade. Acute glaucoma gave way to a blindness that crept in from the edges.

    Still, it's funny how he never seemed to slow down even when it was clear he saw little more than the dark or light of passing shadows. And then, as if somehow life hadn't given him enough, he started to limp. A front leg had started to weaken. We never did find out the reason why his bone density decreased in that leg. And then, every time that it seemed to be an emergency, he would get a surge of energy and a couple days of ease ... running blindly around and having fun ... narrowly missing doorways and telephone polls and eagerly running face first into buddies at the park. Until.

    August came around, and it was clear that he had enough. Something had shifted. His energy started to wane. I carried him up and down the stairs of the apartment to go for slow walks ... and patiently waited as he sniffed around for nothing apparent. Reluctant as I was, I called the vet to find out what options we might have to for easing his troubles.

    I was sad to know I was losing a friend, but I told Max quietly that he could do what he needed to. We sat together on the porch for a few hours ... hours that seemed like days. I think we knew. No vet, no more troubles. He panted gently. And then he was gone.
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