Lot 48: my favorite holiday memory

December 4, 2014

my favorite holiday memory

i was so excited when ashley and tay came up with this prompt for #blogmas14.  in my opinion, i have the best holiday memory of any kid out there.  it really is the best.

when i was 7, i got a puppy for Christmas.  his name was max and he was a golden retriever.  and he was the best dog in the world. 

it was Christmas morning and i was 7 yrs old.  the morning went like any other Christmas morning.  we went to the stockings first, then to the presents.  my dad likes to record us opening our presents on his video camera.  that's just what he always does.  we finished opening our presents and he still had the video camera on.  we thought that was odd.  i asked him why he still had it on and he made up some excuse.  then he said "where did you mother go??" and we looked around the room and noticed she wasn't there.  hmmm.. then my dad said "hey! look in the backyard!"  

there was my mom, carrying a tiny golden retriever puppy wearing a santa hat, in a stocking.  she brought him inside and we all just about died.  we were sooooooooooooo excited and happy!! he was the cutest, sweetest puppy there ever was.  then i uttered the phrase that i have to this day never been able to live down.  i looked at my dad and said "can we keep him?"  everyone laughed.  i am the youngest of 4 daughters, so my sisters immediately started to tease me.  my dad said "yeah, lauren, we got this puppy just for the day to tease you."

he was the best dog EVER.  and i mean that!!! we had a cabin up in the mountains, about an hour away from where we lived.  that was max's paradise.  he would swim in the river near our cabin, even if it was below freezing.  he would bite at the fish and run and chase things and sleep all the way home.  one time when we got home from the cabin, he was so tired and exhausted from playing he wouldn't wake up, we had to carry him to his dog house.

he was also so protective.  when we hiked or went for a walk, he always had to be first, taking the lead.  he had to survey everything to make sure it was safe for us, you see.  if we got too far behind, he would wait for us.  he stood so regally.  we had a big backyard with a big hill.  he would stand at the top of the hill, stand with his shoulders back and his head held high, and look at his kingdom.  he loved to dig holes and chase birds and cats.  there was a neighbor's cat who teased him like no other.  she sat on the fence, where he couldn't reach, and would hiss and tease him and he would just bark and bark and bark.

when walking him one day with my sister, i had my head turned and ran into a tree like an idiot.  it hurt sooooo badly and the force knocked me straight to the ground.  max came running over and licked my face and licked my face and barked and made sure i was okay.  he was never cuddly, there was too much to play with and too many cats and birds to chase.  the only time he was ever cuddly was when we brought him home from his neutering operation.  when he was little, he would stay still in our arms, but as he grew, he just wanted to play.  he would never cuddle.

we did this thing with him where we would take our hand and put it under his chin and squeeze his cheeks together and say "tell me all your troubles."  and then he would wine and make the cutest noises.  i loved that.  he was so lovable.  whenever i had a bad day, i would go to him and if i was crying, he would come over and let me hold him.  i have such vivid memories of my tears dropping onto his perfect gold coat.

he died when i was 14.  i was the one who found him.  he wasn't allowed inside, my dad didn't like that.  i walked past the glass door that showed the backyard and there he was, lying there.  i thought that was odd because he never laid down.  especially not there.  when he slept, he would sleep in his dog house.  i went outside and the second i stepped into the backyard, i could feel it.  i knew.  i screamed for my mom.  i went and felt him, just to check,  and then my mom who is a nurse checked, but we already knew.  we buried him in our backyard, so he can always survey his kingdom. my heart hurts when i read nadine's posts about her golden retriever, archie.  he looks so much like max.  

this dog actually looks exactly like max.   writing this post made me sad, but i have been wanting to write this post for a long time.  i want to tribute max.  he was the best dog there ever was.  and when we get an apartment or house with space where a dog can play, we are going to get a golden retriever.  and another dog for hunting.  and i can't wait. 

maxwell boroguard doxey.  you will forever be in my heart.

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  1. Aww Max looks so sweet! I'm so sorry for your loss. I got my dog 9 years ago for Christmas and I can't imagine life without her!

  2. I'm so sorry you had to be the one to find him like that. But it's so wonderful that you got to have him and make such great memories with Max! You definitely win the Best Christmas Present Ever contest haha!

  3. Your post made me teary eyed because we just lost our beloved Duke a couple months ago. We have a Golden Retriever that Santa brought my son about 8 years ago. She's the sweetest, gentlest girl. She loves baths and she talks a lot. We also have one of her daughters who is three. She's mixed with Rottweiler but they are so sweet and funny. I'm sorry for your loss, it seems we never really get over that kind of thing. Pets are family, too.

  4. This is such a sweet memory. It's interesting how pets make their ways into our families and our hearts; giving us a lifetime of memories. We had a golden retriever growing up as well that was only an outside dog. She was the best dog ( I think golden retrievers are just amazing pets!). You dog Max seems like such a lively dog! I can only imagine the laughter your family had to hold back when you asked if you could keep him.

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  5. Beautiful sentiments about a cherished family pet. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Awh, this post is so heartfelt! I think ever kid dreams of getting a puppy for Christmas! But atleast you gave him a beyond wonderful life!!

  7. This made me teary! I had a miniature poodle growing up, and he was my best bud. I can't remember ever not having him around because we got him when I was so young. I think it was my freshman year in college, and I was going home to visit for the weekend. It was dark outside and I was about to pull into the driveway, I saw my dog laying down in the middle of it which was odd. I honked the horn to get him to move, and then I saw my mom's hand come from her car to wave at me to pull in. My dog never moved. I freaked out and got out of the car and hollered at my mom...I thought she had run over him or something, but she didn't think she did. I completely lost it. It was like he had gone out to use the bathroom one last time, and never made it back in the house. I was a basket case the entire weekend and cried all during the church service the next day. My husband and I have a dog now who is our baby. We got her not long after we started dating, and she'll be 6 next month. I can't imagine life without her, and it makes me so sad to think of her getting older.

  8. It was a great tribute to your lovely dog, Lauren. I've never had a pet myself but I really want to.

  9. Golden Retrievers are absolutely the BEST dogs. Your Max sounds so special, like my mom's Cody. He died a few years ago and I still miss him, even though he was never really mine.


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