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Max and Taco

I promised to share some of my work from time to time. I make it a point to always endeavor to keep my promises. Today I’m sharing a piece that I wrote a couple years ago in honor of my dogs. I think many of you will relate to my little story. Sadly, Max passed away last year. My heart still aches with his loss. I’ve never met a sweeter soul.

Max and Taco

Max and Taco

I have the honor of being Mama to two very different dogs. I never planned to have any dogs, but life had other ideas. Both of them fell in my lap so to speak. I cannot imagine my life without them. Their unconditional love and loyalty warms my heart daily.

Max is my buddy. He is a black and white parti color Cocker Spaniel with big soulful brown eyes. He came to live with us around eleven years ago. He belonged to my husband’s ex-wife. She couldn’t take care of him anymore because Max and her other dog kept marking the same places. She decided that one of them had to go. My step-daughter was extremely upset at the idea of losing one of her beloved dogs. So, my husband and I decided that Max should live with us.

Max has always been the sweetest dog I’ve ever known. He has also always peed everywhere. In fact, we replaced our carpet with hardwoods to make cleaning up after the little guy easier. He is geriatric now. He can’t see very well. He can’t hear. He can’t jump up on the couch anymore. We have to lift him up to his favorite spot. However, he follows me around constantly. When I wash dishes, he is between the sink and me. When I cook, he is between the stove and me. When I do laundry, he follows me to the laundry room and sits in the doorway with his back to me facing outward to watch and make certain no one sneaks up on me. He sleeps outside my bedroom door. He makes my welfare his business and number one priority.

Taco is a black and tan Chihuahua with large expressive brown eyes who came to live with us about a year ago. He was abandoned close to where my husband works. My soft-hearted husband couldn’t resist bringing him home. He is a tiny package of dynamite who runs or trots everywhere he goes. He is temperamental and territorial. He believes he’s a lion and doesn’t back down from anyone or anything.

Though Max and Taco have very different personalities, they often conspire to make my life interesting. From tag teaming the trash to playing “who can pee in the most hidden spot,” the dogs make dynamic partners.

They may cause me extra work and some aggravation, but their love for me is all encompassing. A couple weeks ago, I had three wisdom teeth removed. Both dogs expressed great concern for me the moment I walked in the door my bulging cheeks packed with gauze and slightly stumbling from lingering anesthesia effects.

I claimed the couch, and my husband brought a blanket for my comfort. Taco immediately jumped on my chest and started whining. Max pawed at the couch until Jim lifted him up onto it so he could see me for himself. Max settled next to my legs, and Taco finally burrowed under my blanket and settled on my tummy. I think the smell of my blood really bothered them. Neither dog moved for several hours.

Sometime late in the afternoon, Jim decided to vacuum the area rug in our living room. I was awake, but still recovering on the couch. Taco attacked the vacuum cleaner. He ran up to it growling and barking like he could make it stop by his will alone. Then he jumped up on the back of the couch to bark and snarl at Jim. In fact, he barked and growled every time Jim got near me.

My life is never dull with these two sweet babies. One Saturday not long ago, I woke up with a rain headache knowing it was pouring outside without even looking. My body ached like someone had beaten me or I had climbed to the top of Mount Everest. I took a long hot shower, which helped my headache a tiny bit. I gathered my things to bring to the living room because my husband works nights and was sound asleep in the bedroom.

The first thing I noticed when I entered the main living area was a foul smell. I found Chihuahua poop in the kids’ bathroom. I cleaned that up. I took the dirty bathroom rugs to the laundry room and discovered more Chihuahua poop on the laundry room rug. I cleaned that up and put all three rugs in the washer.

I went to the kitchen, thoroughly washed my hands, and started to make myself an omelet. Max joined me in the kitchen and lay down between the stove and me. While my eggs were in the skillet, I started to smell something foul again. This smell was slightly different than Taco’s poop, which I had already cleaned up twice.

I looked in the living room and discovered that Max had pooped all over the living room rug, which was too big to put in the washer. I used an entire roll of paper towels, most of a bottle of doggy mess cleaner, all the rug shampoo I had, and a plastic bag which I immediately took outside to the trash bin.

By the time I had Max’s giant mess cleaned up, my eggs were burned. The house still smelled like dog poop with the burned egg smell making the odor even worse. I liberally sprayed the area with air freshener. A few minutes later, I lit a couple candles.

All I wanted was to have a quiet Saturday, write a little, and maybe bake a cake. I spent a good two hours trying to get the poop smell out of the living room rug.  Any inspiration I may have had flew out the window the minute I saw the first poop mess.

So, I lifted Max onto the couch beside me and covered him up with a blanket. Taco snuggled into my other side, and I ate my burned omelet. I spent the day cuddling with my little poopers and listening to the rain.

Thank you for reading Ozarks Maven. If you enjoyed these seeds of wisdom and joy, please subscribe, Like Ozarks Maven on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter @Ozarks Maven.

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