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Max by Laura Stamps

Turn to the next page. In this dog magazine. Skip the Table of Contents. Skip the Editorial. But stop for the photo of the editor and her dog. Yes. I stop for that. Always. Such a happy human face. Such a happy dog face. In that photo. Everyone happy. Always. Or so it seems. Skip the list of contributing editors. But, but, but. Stop for their photos. Yes. I stop for those too. Always. More happy human faces. More happy pup faces. Everyone happy. Geez. Makes you want a dog, doesn’t it? Maybe. Someday. I’ll get one. A dog. I don’t know. Skip to the ad for ice cream on the next page. Ice cream. For dogs. Imagine that? And look at all those flavors. Peanut Butter, Carob, Birthday Cake, Maple Bacon. Reminds me of my ex-husband. He only ate one flavor of ice cream. Butter Pecan. That’s it. Nothing else. Refused to try anything new. Refused to live on the wild side. To take a risk. A flavor risk. Never, never. No. Not him. But me? Give me chocolate. Give me creamy. Rich. Chocolate. Light or dark. I’ll try it. Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Truffle, Chocolate Mint, Chocolate Fudge Brownie. More, more, more. Chocolate. Ice cream. Give it to me. I’ll try it. If I had a dog we’d eat ice cream. Drive downtown to my favorite ice cream parlor. Me and my dog. His name? Max. Yeah. That’s a good name. Max. My rescue dog. Tiny, tiny. A tiny dog. A Chihuahua. Yeah. Max the Chihuahua. My dog. I’d order a waffle cone of Dark Belgium Chocolate. Max would eat doggie ice cream. Peanut Butter. His favorite flavor. We’d sit on a bench in front of the ice cream parlor. Me and Max. Watching the cars go by on Main Street. People watching. Bird watching. Eating ice cream. No Butter Pecan for us. No. Never, never. Not for us. Me and Max. My rescue dog. Just the two of us. Together. How many years has it been since my divorce? Ten. That’s long enough. To be alone. I know, I know. I should get a dog. I really should.

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