Everyone Loves Max the Dog

by Sydnie B.

My name is Sydnie. I'm twelve years old.

My little cousin, Taylor, had a black lab named Max. Everyone in the family loved Max so much. He was alive for a long time...about eighteen years, I think. Taylor is now ten years old. She still cries, sometimes, because she misses Max.

When Taylor was four (I was five, almost six at the time), I was at her house with my other little cousin Cayle (who has just recently lost her coyote-mix dog, Tanga). Cayle was three at this time, but we were having fun playing. Max seemed fine. He was lying down, happily as usual. He looked especially happy that day. A little while (after a few months I think), poor old Max died. It devastated the whole family.

On the day of January 1, 2006 (only a few hours before 2007), Taylor (now nine), Cayle (now nine) and I (now twelve) were walking around my house watching the fire works (my whole family came over for a New Years Party that we were having). Taylor brought up how she missed Max and how he would get freaked out by the loud boom of the fire works. And then Taylor asked us what we thought of this story: One night when Taylor was sleeping, she thought she heard the sound of panting and dog claws scratching around on the tiled kitchen floor. Thinking her parents bought a new puppy, she hopped out of bed and saw the outline of what she thinks was Max. She said he was standing there for a minute, wagging his tail. Then he came over to her and rubbed his head on her arm and disappeared.

And then she started telling another story. Taylor said she woke up for no reason. She sleeps with her door cracked open about a centimeter, and it started to open again. Again Taylor saw an outline of what looked like Max wagging his tail and panting. He barked and disappeared.

I think what Taylor says is true. But what do you think?