Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Chapter 3: Sick as a Dog

Years after he was gone, my family would sit around and tell stories about our wonderful dog: Max was great, Max was cute, Max was funny...

My grandmother would say, “Max was dumb.”

She was then assaulted with a barrage of “No, he wasn’t!” and “Max was so smart!” and “Why would you say that?!”

I knew the reason why. It’s because of Grandma’s one distinct memory of him. I suppose it was hard to forget.

My parents had picked up my grandmother and brought her over the house for a visit. While they were gone, it seemed that Max had gotten into a bit of mischief. It wasn't apparent right away, but later they noticed that the bowl in the center of the coffee table was empty. It had been filled with rum balls.

So when my grandmother took a seat in the living room, Max came over to her with a strange expression on his face. The kind of look only a 70-pound dog could have after eating a half-pound of chocolate and alcohol.

I wasn’t actually there at the time; I was away for the summer. But I remember first hearing about it. I had called home collect from a phone booth, and asked how the family was doing. A moment later I fell on the floor of the booth, cracking up at what my mom had said:

“Max threw up in Grandma’s lap.”


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