Max is my dog that I’ve had for 13 years ever since he was a puppy. When I was in the depths of the mental health system, he was the one thing I still connected to. My stepdad knew he was so important to me that he picked Max up in Kansas City and drove him all the way out to Massachusetts right after my mom rescued me from my really bad hospitalization where they were giving me shock treatments just because I had good health insurance. I used to write all kinds of really lousy poems to Max. None of them made the cut once I started putting out chapbooks and CD’s. He has an account, so you can friend him on Facebook.
Here’s Max singing to Stevie Ray Vaughn’s “Tin Pan Alley” while he runs upside down:
How he got mauled by a pitbull:
About two months ago I got accidentally exposed to a hallucinogen and I ended up staying out till 4 am till I started winding down. I came home and slept until maybe 8 am the next morning when the kids got up. I realized I wanted coffee and we didn’t have any and anyway the kid with autism needed to get out of the house. We
went for a walk with Max, who is now an old, old dog who can’t make longer trips than the three blocks to the store now, anyway. On our way back we went by this bulldog that I’d met the day before that seemed super friendly. I thought the dogs would want to sniff noses we went over there to do that. The owner said it was an English Bulldog but I thought it was just a fat pitbull so I might refer to the dog in various blogs either way.
Well, the bulldog play bowed like she wanted to sniff noses but then when Max got close she just jumped on Max and started shaking him like she was shaking a rabbit to break his neck. And my poor Max is the sweetest dog ever and would never hurt a fly and is now so feeble he can’t even get on my bed by himself. So I tried to break him getting mauled by a pitbull, or the dogfight, or really it was just a death grip. And I couldn’t kick the dog off but luckily I remembered my Judo moves and I got the Bulldog in a choke figuring that if she couldn’t breathe she couldn’t bite. So after a while she let go but then I couldn’t move because both my dazed deaf dog and my kid with autism were still standing within reach of themselves being mauled by a pitbull. Neither one would run when I told them to. Finally another neighbor was walking by and helped pull them out of reach so I could release the dog and sprint to safety along with the bag of coffee and broken eggs. That was the whole point of the trip before Max got mauled by a pitbull, of course.
So this all happened through my incredibly altered and foggy brain that I’d messed up partying too much the night before. I haven’t done that again since and vow not to again. So we took Max to the vet and told them he’d been mauled by a pitbull and they said he’d be OK. We got some resources from the Humane Society about how to help rehab the nieghbor’s dog so no one else would get mauled by a pitbull. They said not to report the bite or the Bulldog was going to get killed. So then I spent the rest of the weekend wrangling the the neighborhoood association who wanted the Bulldog killed since a little beagle had already been mauled by a pitbull at the same house.
But I didn’t want the dog to die because it was a great dog 95% of the time as long as it wasn’t around other dogs. And the Humane Society lady who does a lot of pitbull rehab said that the problem is the owner, not the dog, and taking the dog away wouldn’t motivate the owner to learn better dog training skills, just make her even more defensive. But I couldn’t for the life of me communicate all that to my family and neighbors and I was terrified that the Bulldog’s blood would be on my hands for making the mistake of pulling Max into her yard and her territory.
In the end it mostly worked out where nothing at all changed but at least the owner said she was interested in training. But this was all a lot of drama and trauma and excitement to handle on an addled brain. And that’s that story, I guess…