Our good (do anything for) friends B&T ever so kindly asked us to watch their dog for the weekend. Of course we said "yes" if nothing else to pay them back for watching our two
Besides being a breed match to our boxer Rocko, Max and our dogs (Rocko and Oliver- St, Bernard) have been fast friends from the start. Max and Rocko were born only days apart but are not related, although with the questions we get when the "boys" are together, you would think they are twins. Same as if any two Asian-American women approximately the same age and height would be twins, for example. So while some people may think that the two boxer dogs, one very thin with very gray facial hair and a noticeable limp and the other one overweight, balding, high energy with a thyroid disorder and a newly diagnosed heart condition that makes him faint involuntarily, are surely brothers I can attest that they are not in fact from the same bloodline.
Oliver turned 9 over the summer and both Rocko and Max are 8.5. Of the three, Oliver seems to be doing the best considering he doesn't faint and walks on all four legs reliably. Every day at our house seems to be a gift for these old dogs, but with three in the house I have an even higher level of anxiety. Rocko steals Max's bed. Max wanders around whining and twisting his overweight body into as much of a circle as an 80 pound boxer dog with a heart condition can. And Oliver just tries to catch a nap without being forced off of his brand new (XL) doggy bed.
Max sleeps in our bedroom only because he can't be trusted in the kitchen overnight with the other dogs. It's not that we fear the dogs getting into a fight, more so that we'll wake up without even one slice of bread left in the house. Believe it or not, Max would take a loaf of bread any day over a choice cut of meat. This morning as I toasted two pieces of bread for the girls, Max sat at my feet begging for a slice of week old white bread. I gave in and tossed him the butt of the loaf and watched him inhale it like it was a puff off a Marb light. This summer while we all went away for a weekend of world class hog wrestling, Grandma N watched both our girls and all 3 dogs and experienced first hand Max's carb craving. He ate two entire loaves of bread without any trace except for the paper wrapped metal twist ties that secure the end of the bread bags. Not sure where the bread bags themselves went but I'm they have since been mowed by the lawnmower.
As much I love having these geriatric sleepovers, I know that one day soon these get-togethers will all come to an end. Max could expire any day with his erratic heartbeat and Rocko barely gets around as it is. The Gardener and I have had many a conversation lately about Rocko's health and the reality that the ground could be frozen within 30 days, leaving us unable to dig a hole and forced to pay the cremation fee at the vet's office, an absolute travesty in my husband's opinion. For now we will live through the unpleasant noises and smells that emit from these old pooches... with love for them all.