Maxxi by Christopher T. Parsons / Chris

September, 1998 – August, 2004

People sometimes say that pets are much like their owners. I only hope that someday, someone will be as touched by my love as I was blessed with Maxxi’s unconditional companionship. . .

I’ll never forget that warm, breezy morning in Orlando, Florida. It was typical of autumn in the southeast, but atypical in every other respect. As I travelled down I-4’s flat expanse, I felt the surge of self-adrenaline and the joy of new life. You see, this was the morning of October 10th, 1992 — and the new born puppies advertised in the paper were old enough to be adopted. My search for a dog had been continuing for a while now. I knew only two things: one: this must be an animal that needs me, and two: there must be some sort of sign that this is the right one. Fate truly is a miraculous thing.

As I walked down the dirt driveway of the owner’s house, I could sense the verdancy of new life and could hear the imponderous yips of baby pups ripe for life’s adventures. As I neared the pen, the kindly old woman caring for the litter approached to tell me their story. “These pups are a miracle,” she said simply. She then went on to explain how she had taken her cat into the vet’s office for his annual vaccinations and had found out from the doctor that a seven puppy litter had been left on their doorstep last week. She said that she fell instantly in love. I can relate to her words because this was the same feeling I would encounter in just a few short minutes.

The sad truth of the matter however, was that the vet could not keep the litter and could not find homes for the pups. Therefore, he was going to have to put them to sleep. Thankfully for me, the woman would have nothing of this. She opened up her car (and her heart) to the young yippers and briskly took them home. She then placed an ad in the Orlando Sentinel that led me to her hound haven. I am not a pious man, but I do believe that spirituality is based in our humanity — that we are a culmination of all the good we do for others. I will forever owe a debt to this one woman — the “mother” of my most beloved companion: Maxxi.

As I approached the litter, I remember only two things clearly. Seeing a swarm of tannish brown bodies undulating around one single, large feeding bowl — and then — the image I will never forget: one especially enthusiastic puppy literally jumping up and over her siblings. In a desperate attempt to “grab some grub,” this little critter was doing continuous hurdles over her brothers’ and sisters’ bodies. This tenacity I thought, is what one needs to battle life, and what one needs to live with me! My initial thoughts were instantly confirmed when this small bundle of energy turned to look at me. No sooner, the pup began an all out sprint towards me and then leapt into my waiting arms. This deal was sealed. That morning, I drove home with Maxxi snuggling in my lap. She was no bigger than my two hands put together. Truly, this was the happiest day of my life.

The years that ensued can never properly be expressed in words. Instead, they must be measured by the testimony of love Maxxi left behind. My tears, my happiness, my tenacity, my veracity, my tenderness, my sensitivity, and my love towards others, are all direct results of her unconditional companionship. For those of you who were blessed to truly know Maxxi, you know of what I speak.

I have only one regret. I could not be with her on her day of passing. I could not look into her fading eyes. I could not soothe her pain with words of love. I could not stroke her soft fur and scratch her pointy ears. I could not send her off in the glory she deserves. This is the burden I must live with. I do however, take peace in knowing that she was blessed with the love of my parents, as I have been… That she was cuddled in love on the floor of my mother’s bedroom… That she was pampered with the affections of my father’s attention and care… That she lived a relatively pain-free life… That she will always be remembered in the hearts of those she touched.

I will always love my little “sweet pea” — and look forward to the day that she will once again turn towards me and begin the sprint that led her into my arms, and into my heart.


May peace be with you, Maxxi. I will love you forever.
Christopher T. Parsons