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happy birthday max (13)


Max turned 13 today. He's now the third-oldest Lab we've ever owned. The longest lived was our first, a yellow named Rhett, who lived to be 16. Second longest was Rhett's companion Katey, a black who lived to be 15. Katey was my very "first" dog; I never owned one personally when I was a kid. Katey was still alive when Max first came to live with us in January 2000. Katey was born on a January. A month later, in February, I had to put Katey to sleep because she'd developed a large inoperable tumor, and our former vet didn't catch it in time.

Sixteen and fifteen is a long time to live for any large breed; typical lifespan for a Lab is supposedly twelve years, so I can't complain when they pass.

To celebrate Max went out for his typical walk. He's not quite as energetic as he once was. He and I both walk a bit slower these days, due to problems with our joints (me primarily with my knee replacement). My wife took Max and Ruby to the vet for some birthday treats (the vet makes a big deal over all his charges, not just Max and Ruby).

I don't know how long we'll have Max, which makes each day special. And with a house that has a second yellow Lab as well as three cats, Max is kept literally and figuratively on his toes. But Max doesn't really seem to mind.

Happy birthday Max. Here's to many more to come.

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