The Mayor of Dogtown – Mac (GH255) 1998-2015


mac&indie2005When I first met Mac, he was in a tiny studio apartment in a not-so-nice area of Baltimore. He was 6 years old. He was excited to meet me and my other golden Indie, but settled down for a few short minutes to plonk his butt on my feet and gaze lovingly into my eyes and BAM! I fell in love. Mac continued to love us for the next 10 years and 3 months.

He was a dog with a huge personality and I say if a dog ever had ADD then Mac was it. Always sniffing, always doing, always running, always saying hello, which is how Mac came to get the name “The Mayor of Dogtown”. He wanted to “talk” and “shake hands” with everyone and anyone he met. Our friends loved him, our family loved him, the neighbors (and their kids) loved him.

NapTimeMac adored his “big sister” Indie. From the moment he set eyes on her he would follow her around, pester her by grabbing on to her tail and pulling so she would play, and laying down next to her to sleep. They had been together for 3 years when Indie was diagnosed with cancer. During one particularly uncomfortable night for all of us, he lay down next to her, put his paw on hers and leant against her. I swear I saw him whispering in her ear – “I’ll be OK. You can go if you want to”.

mac-tennis-ballsMac was obsessed with tennis balls; and I mean Obsessed! Especially the bright yellow new ones. We had a big bag that we would keep on the book shelf in the kitchen. He would bark at them until we gave him one. Eventually I hid them behind the books, so he couldn’t see them. About 3 years later, he was in the kitchen one day barking at the bookshelf. He continued to do this for about 2 or 3 months – I thought it was mice, but whenever I checked it out there was nothing there. Finally, I stuck my hand in behind the books where he was looking and there – yes you guessed it – I pulled out a half full bag of tennis balls, and he went nuts!

One morning, when Mac was around 12, he couldn’t stand up. We rushed him to the vet and then to an oncologist, an orthopedist and a neurologist… in that order. After a thorough exam, x-rays, a sonogram, an MRI and spinal tap, he was diagnosed with Rocky Mountain Spotted fever. An aggressive course of antibiotics knocked it out of him, but he remained with the long-lasting effects that made his hind quarters weak. He did fine for a while but old age caught up with him and along with his arthritis, he began to slow down. He still did the sniffing, the doing, the running, the saying hello, just a tad more slowly.

1690694_10152785261781760_5953432407738289045_nAs the years went on he was still full of joy and love, still playing with his brother. We took him to rehab on a regular basis, getting laser therapy, massage and underwater treadmill to keep him strong and mobile, but he was getting older. Our vet asked us if we were going for the “oldest living golden retriever” record and at 16 years old he was getting there (that honor apparently goes to Max, a golden living in British Columbia who lived to 19 ½ years old). Even at 16 he insisted on going for his daily walk, even though it was only 20 minutes and needed a harness to help him walk.

As with all things, when the time came Mac did it with enthusiasm. He stopped eating one day, and didn’t want to go for a walk. The next day we took him to the vet; he walked into the room, just lay down as if to say “let’s do this”.

He was always so full of enthusiasm, loved to walk, and play. He would talk to anyone who wanted to and many who didn’t. Our Mac, Macaroni, The Macster, Old Man, Maccie Boy. He was the light of our lives and the joy of our heart. Good night sweet prince.

The Reid Family




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