Mighty Max – Pug Not Down!


Yesterday sitting on a bench at Ocean Beach I saw a man pulling a wagon slowly down the sand-covered sidewalk. I thought that perhaps capturing his likeness from behind with the blowing sand and fog ahead of him would be a great shot. I took my camera out and was just about to inquire if I could take his picture when suddenly I became speechless to see what he was carrying in the wagon.
There sitting in the middle of the Radio Flyer wagon was a Pug named Max. His owner was very protective of him and I carefully asked permission to take a picture of his dog. He gently patted Max and quietly informed him that the nice lady was going to take his picture. What I didn’t realize at that point in time was that Max was paralyzed from the waist down. I have heard of many people that love their pets so much they have bought doggy wheel-chairs for them but had never encountered an animal like this up close.

As I petted Max and talked to his owner, an old hippie, who I will call John; he began to tell me all about his beloved dog. There were stories of many doctors and treatments that his dog had endured – yet the dog was not in pain and looked happy. The elder dog only had half a front paw as Max also had cancer and gone through chemo treatments—yet he had done so well the doctors named him Mighty Max. I know personally that anyone that has dealt with something like this has someone who loves them behind them and a huge will to live.
My mother lost the use of her legs like Max one New Year’s Eve. My father assumed she had consumed one drink too many, but after years of fighting to get the use of her legs back, he knew it had never been the liquour. As a child I watched her go to one doctor after another and she had spinal surgeries to neurological tests slapped on her like a guinea pig just like Max.

After that sad New Year’s Eve my mother never walked again and no one ever knew why. I watched her sit on stairs, and become frustrated as she attempted to walk– yet there wasn’t a day she gave up until she died. Unlike Max who has access to super modern-day medicine they had no idea until my sister died in 1997 that she had been suffering with Lymphoma on the spine. My father like Max’s Dad John, would have done anything for her and he never gave up.

Life isn’t easy for Max and John these days. Max’s bowel and bladder issues are personally taken care of by John and he says it’s nothing because of the love he has for his dog. Max wanted to play, shook my hand and seemed like he was a young pup instead of the 14 years he was carrying. He barked at everyone passing by and seemed to be posing each time I took his picture. The whole scenario reminded me of my mother and how she used to ask my father to push her wheelchair outside in the sun so she could enjoy the day and sights like Max. Both my mother and Max lost the use of their legs, yet they were both happy and free inside. After all living in fear isn’t really living at all is it?
Just ask the Mighty Max — he takes it to the limit one more time each and every single day!

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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