They kept him out in the back yard more than he cared for, and Max, typical of his breed, figured out how to work the fence gate and get loose, looking for people who would play with him.
So he'd go over to the next-door neighbor who was between us because the woman who lived there felt sorry for Max and would give him treats. And then he'd come over to our house because he could smell the presence of Katie, a 15-year-old black female, and Babe, at the time our six-year-old chocolate female. Before he came to live with us, my wife would occasionally see him in the front of the house, but before she could get through the front door he'd disappear like a ghost.
In January 2001 we finally found out the story of Max who was all of six months old at the time and a 60 pound juvenile, full of nearly infinite energy and mischief. The original owners had had enough and wanted to give him to the local SPCA. Megs wanted to "rescue" him, and I agreed only if we could keep him overnight to see how he'd fit in with our family. It took about an hour before little Megs came to me, eyes brimming with tears and voice quavering, asking if we couldn't keep him.
What was I supposed to say? No? Right...
It was a good thing we got Max when we did. Six weeks later I had to put Katie to sleep because the vet found a large inoperable tumor in her, and there just wasn't anything anybody could do about it. So one Saturday I took Katie, the black Lab I'd gotten 15 years before as an 8-week-old pup, over to the vet and we put her to sleep. It was one of the hardest things I think I've ever done. The chain of events was almost like someone had timed it that way.
Life continued afterwards full tilt. I had two Labs to care for at home, the girls were growing through middle school and beyond, and we were going to have a lot more adventures to fill our days. Like the time one summer vacation when we went up to Moonshine Creek Camp in North Carolina and Max got loose because I didn't put him in his lead. Megs was up in arms looking for Max. I knew Labs and I knew Max, so I immediately headed down into the camp. Sure enough, Max had swum in he creek, then played with the kids, and visited the other guests until he decided to head back to us. When I caught up with a slightly damp Max, he had steak on his breath and a very guilty look on his face. By the time we left Max had become a minor celebrity with both locals and visitors and I'd sworn that Max would never be off lead again, a promise I've kept ever since.
This morning I discovered a 1980 VW Vanagan parked close to our room. I spent a few moments talking to the "trip mechanic", a guy who was friends with the owner. Turned out that the two of them were on a one-way road trip from Canaveral to San Diego. The mechanic planned to fly back, the owner was staying in San Diego. He had his doubts the VW would make it; he noted its age, the fact it had an early model rear engine with then-new fuel injection and hydraulic clutch. He was in the process of working on the clutch when I walked up.
Of course, being the old codger I've grown into, I was reminded of the original VW Minibus from the 1950s and 60s, and the same kinds of issues and scenes. Some things are eternal.
We picked up Megs and headed over to Canopy Road Cafe, a local breakfast institution. We would have hit Jenny's Lunchbox on Tennessee but we were informed by Megs that it had recently closed. I probably need to go by and see what that's all about, but maybe later. Too much to do as it is and too little time.
Everything taken with the E-P2. Top photo was using the M.Zuiko 17mm, the rest using the OM 28mm 1:2.8 with requisite adapters. Base ISO everywhere.