Goodbye, Max!

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Max was 12 years old. But like a child, he always wanted attention. Every time he felt hungry or thirsty, a growl was enough, and our attendants would rush to his aid and feed him. Good old Max, a majestic St. Bernard, one of our permanent boarders. He must have been his owner’s love and pride, such was his majestic appearance! But with the passage of time, he became just another old and ailing dog – needing help to pull on with life. Due to his age, Max slowly became paralysed from the right side. He could no longer go out for walks, could not sit up and relax. He had to be physically carried out to the terrace whenever he needed some fresh air. Our lobby where Max slept, looked smaller than its real size, because Max used to lie there, occupying almost the entire space. A harmless, friendly dog, he would never bark at any intruder, but only when he wanted something or was uncomfortable. In our adjacent office, we were so used to hearing his occasional barks. In July last year, a television crew came to our office to do a story on benevolence towards helpless animals. Max was featured in this news story. Around this time, Max gave us reasons to be seriously concerned. Our vets, who were regularly supervising his state of health, informed us about his renal failure and general deterioration. Max died and left us forever. Three days after his death a TV programme featuring Max was aired. Seeing him alive on the TV screen was sad. It was difficult to believe that we will not see him again or hear his bark. Now when we come to work, the otherwise clumsy lobby where Max used to sit looks so spacious and clean, but its emptiness claws our hearts. Work goes on as usual, crisis calls for helpless animals pour in from different corners of the city… ambulances get lined up for the day’s rescue work… new challenges… and new member pets coming in to stay… Well, we remember the poem: “Life marches on but memories stay… torturing silently the rest