For everyone that has had a pet at any part of their life, you know of that bond you get with them. Especially if it is/was a dog or cat. They come to be like another sibling almost. Your best friend. You fear loosing them. You fear coming home from school or work, and your best bud is not sitting on the bottom stair just inside the door like he does every time you walk through the door. For those of you that know that feeling, you will enjoy this story.
Before I was born, my parents got a Doberman Retriever: Max. He was an extremely well trained dog for being a Doberman. I can remember my parents putting one of those plastic fire fighter hats on me and putting me on his back and riding around the house. I can remember whenever my brother, sister or myself got hurt and started crying, he was the first at our side. He was like a second father to us. And every day when I got home from school, Max would either be sitting at the top of the stairs outside the front door with my dad or mom, or he would be sitting on the second step of the stairs just inside the front door, excitedly waiting for the sound of the bus to drop me off and come walking through the door. Just like clockwork every day. But I will never forget that day when he was not there.
No jumping mass of dog nearly taking me to the ground. No wet tongue licking my entire face in excitement. I instantly knew something was wrong. My parents told my brother, sister and I later that night what had happened. Max had gotten liver cancer and couldn't eat or go to the bathroom. He was 14 years old at this point, which is old for a Doberman. This was before much was known on how to treat cancer for even people, let alone animals. My parents decided to put him to sleep so he would not suffer the pain. They got him cremated and he is still a part of our family. Sitting right by the fireplace, where he loved to lay while we all watched television. I knew I would never have another dog like Max.
I do not remember how old I was when this happened. For some time after my parents put Max down, I was sad. So were my brother and sister. Our best friend was no longer by our side. We missed him so much. But a strange thing happened to me that at the time scared me a lot.
My twin brother and I shared a room our entire life up until I went to college. Bunk beds: I always slept on top, and he always slept on the bottom. It was fine when we were little, but eventually we got too big to share rooms. But within the year my parents put Max to sleep, I had these scary experiences. A week or so after they had him cremated, I would wake up in the middle of the night and see something walking towards me on the top bunk rail. It looked like a black dog. I could see through it, but it was distinctly a dog, staring directly at me with bright red eyes. It would walk up to me and stop inches away from my face and stare at me for a few seconds then disappear.
At my age then, it scared me a lot. What was this demon dog doing? Where did it come from? Was I just having a nightmare? I knew I was wide awake though. But I didn't want to believe it. Every night for the next several months, I would see this black dog with red eyes walk up to my face, and just stare at me. I tried to ignore it, but for some reason I couldn't. What was strange is that even though I was really scared, I did not feel in danger.
Eventually I stopped seeing this dog, and I never thought about it again for some years. Too this day I can still see the dog walking up to my face at night then disappear.
When I was in middle school, I was thinking about Max and the great times we had. I could still so clearly picture the demonic dog, and I thought about it. It looked just Like a Doberman; same build, nose, body... Then it hit me. It was Max checking up on me. When he was alive, he always knew when I was sad and he would come to my side to comfort me. And he was still in the house, just downstairs. It all made sense. That's why I did not feel in danger. He was just trying to comfort me how he always did. Just then I knew he would always be there to comfort me when I needed comforting.
I have not seen him in years. But if I ever do, Max, you will be welcomed with open arms.