Puppies: Max, Huntley


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Member Since: April 9, 2008

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Max is a sweet, playful dog who constantly demonstrates affection for his people. In addition to his craving for human attention, his trademark features include big floppy ears, super-soft fur, and delightful star quality. For years, he loved to play fetch and catch balls in the air (stubbornly refusing to stop playing), found a way to grab whatever tissue or napkin was lying around, and insisted on being the center of all social activity in his house. Now thirteen, Max has calmed down a great deal, but you can still catch him sleeping upside-down with his legs splayed out or running nose-first into a carpet and then rolling around snorting in order to say hello to a room. Our older Lab, Huntley, passed away very recently, and we miss seeing Max licking her ears and finishing her water. Although he sleeps more nowadays and we avoid encouraging physical activity since he tends to get huffy and out of breath, our boy Max is still a thrill, with his genuine adoration for family members and comfy beds. It's impossible to leave a room without Max following you; it's almost equally impossible to type on a laptop without finding a soft, wrinkly head squeezing its way underneath your wrist.

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We were devastated on March 13th by the loss of our sweet, odd dog Huntley, who was due to turn fourteen on the 19th. Although you probably wouldn't guess it from looking at her sad eyes and neurotic behavior, Huntley was a precious girl with a strong appreciation for the little things. She loved to close her eyes and sniff fresh air, sleep in front of open windows and screen doors, lie in sunny spots, explore decks and kitchens with her nose and tongue, roll around on her back in the grass, scratch her back on bushes, and bury her nose in my stomach or shoulder and nuzzle me to say hi. Huntley was terrified of flashes of any kind, cameras (due to their association with flashes), storms, a certain threshold she had to cross, and sometimes the fierce meal-time theft of our other Lab, Max. Her tail was frequently tucked so tightly under her body that it was barely even visible! She tended to leave rooms as soon as they got too noisy or became filled with too many people; she preferred to sleep in a dark, quiet bedroom or at the top of the stairs, where she could listen to what was going on but avoid any chaos. Extremely gentle and calm, Huntley was not pushy about getting attention, tending to relent and let Max take the spotlight at all times. However, she really appreciated being brushed, having her ears scratched, or just being petted calmly during some one-on-one time. Arthritis made walking painfully difficult for her at times, but she was so quiet and quirky that I'm not sure it made a big difference in her routine. Huntley's subtle shows of care and love -- following me around, leaning her head against my leg, standing next to my mother's bed to be petted at night -- made her sensitivity and seriousness all the more endearing to me and others, even if she often came across as inscrutable or sad. The sound of her letting out a very low sigh (or "purr") when she was relaxed or happy, the sight of her trotting swiftly toward the food cabinet in the mornings in sharp contrast to her slow demeanor, and the feeling of her nose pressed against my chest in shy affection -- these and other memories have made Huntley one of the most beautiful, sweetest creatures in my life.

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