He was on Craigslist.
He looked at the camera with quiet dignity and posed with his paws crossed, as Labradors like to do. Such a face. An old expression for such a young dog.
The family is moving to an apartment, can’t take the two adult dogs and their two puppies. We asked what the relationship was between the adults and the man said she was his “wife”. I immediately thought I was a home wrecker, and breaking up the band. But we thought we’d go meet him.
His name was Max.
He came right up to me in the house and gave me a lick and said to my heart “I’m the one you want.”
He was a terrible walker. So excited to be outside, sniffing like crazy and taking his 85 pound body in any direction he wanted. I could see he was just overwhelmed.
We saw the female and she was just all kinds of awful energy. Kind of frenetic and jumpy. She wanted to be inside where he was and I could just tell she wasn’t a good fit. So she stayed and Max (soon to be Pax, but he didn’t know that yet) left Orange County to be relocated in San Diego. He didn’t know how to get in the car. He sat in my lap all the way home.
He didn’t know how to go up the stairs to the house, and he peed everywhere when he got in. I forgot about boy dogs. The reality closed in. I started work the next morning at nine, and here he was peeing on stuff. What was going to happen?
Well, Pax was about to interview for his position.
In came the 9 am client, a lovely fire captain who was game to test drive the boy, and see what happened.
Pax walked up to him, put his paw on his knee (apparently his signature move, I was to find out), looked up at him with liquid sincerity (if you’ve ever gotten the full blast of a Labrador’s expressive eyes, you know of which I speak!) and then laid down.
So it was, and so it shall be!
Aside from a little preventative collar holding when the gate opened and shut, and some barking when he was put inside and was offended that he was missing all the fun, he has been to the manor born. He loves his people, greets them, and send them on their way with his blessing all day, every day. He sneaks toys in the office throughout the day so by closing time there are always a few of his favorites hidden around the room. He knows where his treats are stored. Anytime he’s on the porch, he wants to be sure no one is in the office in case he misses them, even on the weekend.
This dog is my gift.
I needed him.
My clients needed him.
He had a mission in life and he needed out of that unfortunate back yard where his mission was not being fulfilled or even considered. He has a job to do.
He lives up to his name, which means ‘peace’ in Latin, unless of course he is insulted by a mean, yappy little dog and then he tries to look fierce and puffed up, but he’s really quite a chicken.
He makes me laugh, and he has nothing to give but love. We should all be so generous with ourselves to each other.
Welcome to our lives, sweet boy!