Tollhaus Roberto Benigni
AKA Max; Maxi Pierre; King Dog
February 2, 1999-May 19, 2008
You bring home a puppy and the love sears so deep and the road seems
so stretched out in front of you. Our years together passed like a
Julie will tell you she had her doubts about our suitability as pet
owners. She thought she might have Max back within a few days. She
was wrong. Brad and I fell madly, deeply, irrevocably in love. As the
old saying goes…I stuck my toe in the pond and was in up to my
neck. Within three years I had two more dogs. In 2004 came the fourth.
What can I say about Max that can bring him to life for you? He was
the King of the pack. A benevolent leader whose authority was never
challenged. I called him my David Niven dog—he was so elegant and
dignified and displayed impeccable manners. Whenever I left home his
charge was to “watch the house.” I would come back and he would leap
up from his favorite chair, give me the once over (where have you
been? what did you do? who did you meet?) and then lean into me and
rub against me like a gigantic kitty.
Honestly, he was an absolutely brilliant dog. Never have I known a
dog to try so hard to communicate. Brad and I swear he always knew
what we were saying—I know everyone says that—but with him it was
true! And he was protective. In a very subtle and effective way. If
he sensed discomfort on my part, he would place himself between me
and that discomfort. No display of brute force, just a quiet and
alert presence that could and would take care of business if necessary.
His absence is so loud it makes my head spin. The grief comes in
breath taking and body knocking waves. I try not to think what of him
I’ve lost…only everything I’ve gained. I will put one foot in front
of the other and walk through this pain, into numbness, and back to
A friend wrote that dogs live in the moment, unaware of their
mortality. That we gave Max a lifetime of beautiful moments. It is a
comforting thought and I pray that it is true. I know what he gave me
is beyond words—precious and forever.
God speed my gentle King. We’ll meet again on the other side.