Last weekend I went for a walk with Maverick and Goose on a gorgeous spring morning. I wore my prized green Turbo J’s so I grabbed a photo.

This is now the last picture I have of Maverick alive: 

Photo of me and my dogs out for a walk

He suffered a heart attack around 15 mins into the walk. I noticed he wasn’t keeping up and was breathing heavily. I quickly took him off-leash and he collapsed.

I asked a lady watering her lawn for some water and started CPR. But I could tell it was late. I swear I felt him go. He died in my arms.

Still, I picked him up and ran with him on my shoulder to our vet’s office just up the street. Fortunately, they were open and for half an hour tried reviving him. But it was too late.

I keep much of my personal life off of social media because, quite frankly, these sketchy platforms don’t deserve what we hold most dear.

I get why some choose to bear all. Some do it just to build their online brand, but I think the majority simply seek connection and understanding in an increasingly isolated world.

(My issue is that everything they share, from the trivial to the very personal, is being collected and analyzed to, at best, sell them shit they don’t need. And at worst? To be used against them somehow by corporations and agencies known and unknown.)

But my idiot bulldogs have always been front and center because they bring so much joy to my life. So it’s only right that I share when it was time for one to go.

And I also firmly believe two things:

  1. Dogs are angels.
  2. We may choose our dogs (or at least choose to put up with them) but we get the dog we get for a reason, and their brief mission is to teach us something about ourselves.

So as I sat in a quiet room in the vet’s office with my dead dog resting on my lap, I thought about what Maverick had tried to teach me.

While Goose (definitely my wife’s dog) is a harmless, loving fur doll, Maverick was a bit of a disaster.

Moody, overly-sensitive, incredibly stubborn, not always in control, even aggressive at times.

But he also LOVED what he loved.

Loved to wrestle with me.
Loved water and let my kid hose him down like an elephant.
Loved to eat and would get excited an hour before he was fed.
Loved to sit on the couch with me inches from my face and stare like I owed him money.
And loved us. Loyal and protective beyond words.

A lovable disaster. Dare I say, like me.

So I think he was my dog because he was trying to teach me patience.

To not get so frustrated when things don’t immediately go my way.

To work on not being too sensitive while acknowledging that it’s not always a bad thing.

To do what you love and to be you, even if it pisses off some people. Sometimes ESPECIALLY if it pisses them off.

To never give up on what you love or who you love. Never ever.

Thank you, Maverick.

Now back to the grind and my remaining dog whom I appreciate more than ever, and putting these lessons to work.

– Bryan