Rest in Peace, Max Dauernheim

We first met Max at an adoption event at a pet store in DC. I don’t even remember why we were downtown, or why we decided to stop in to this particular pet store on this particular day. But there we were, and there we met the little fur ball that has been a big part of our lives for the past 14 years.
Max was, quite literally, the runt of the litter. While the other puppies were barking and jumping to get attention from all of the onlookers, Max was just standing there and waiting for someone to notice him. We picked him up, and it was like he knew we were meant for him. He was quiet and patient and at some point, we knew.
After the Partnership for Animal Welfare approved our adoption, Max came home to our little apartment in Falls Church. He lived in the kitchen and a cardboard box as he was being potty trained, and I came home from work every day at lunchtime to let him out for some play time.
He was always a smart dog. Before we had human children, Max was passing obedience tests with flying colors, and became a “therapy dog,” visiting nursing homes with us and bringing smiles to the faces of all the residents. Max even won a silver medal at one of the local dog festivals for running the bases with me.
The years rolled on and we had two human kids, and Max was a great companion for them too. He was never a great watchdog, he never stuck his head out of the car window, and he wasn’t the most enthusiastic fetcher of tennis balls. But feeding Max and taking him for walks became chores for the kids, and so in his way, he taught them responsibility.
Last week, Max suddenly got sick. He wasn’t able to eat anything, and when we took him to the vet, it was clear that something was wrong with his liver. The vet did what they could for a couple of days, and eventually we took him home. It looked for a while like he might be okay: he was eating some food and drinking some water, and the jaundice in his eyes was receding. Unfortunately, he took another turn for the worse and he pretty much gave up on eating. Over his last few days, we did our best to keep him comfortable and surrounded by the people who loved him.
Max died today. He was 14 years old. Rest in peace, buddy.

Kid Update

We just had our parent-teacher conferences last week and we are so proud of our little scholars. It is great to go in to those things without being worried about what the teachers are going to say. We were still surprised with how well they were doing…They are both exceeding in a lot of areas and, even though Austin won’t admit it, they both love school.

As for the sports update…Austin is currently playing flag football and competitive soccer while Taylor is just playing park district volleyball. Austin has been a mad man on the football field, I think he has scored at least 3 TDs in each game. It’s been fun to see him really start to figure it out and trust his speed. As for soccer, he is getting better with each practice and each game. He kind of freaks out in traffic and neglects working on his moves but he scored the only goal for his team against the first place opponent. They are U8s playing in the U9 division. Hopefully that means good things for next year when these kids are actually U9s. Taylor’s is playing Park District but she is a 4th grader playing up with the 5th and 6th graders. She is doing awesome, one of our few consistent servers/passers/setters (more like our only). She has had a few nice little serving runs for us…If she could only find a way to run off 25 in a row, we’d be set! She starts club ball later this fall on a U11 team. The level with the girls we had at open gym is so much higher than park district. Most of the teams are just teaching their kids to pass the ball right back over then net instead of working on their fundamentals and getting them to pass/set/hit. It’s disappointing to see those coaches encouraging those bad habits but oh well, better for our kids in the long run I guess.