My name is Maxwell. I was black – though mostly grey before I died at 17 years. When I was just little, a young girl took me home. Her Mum came from China and her Dad from Vietnam. Our home though was Christchurch, New Zealand.
The father didn’t want me. He kicked me and said, “I don’t want him. He just a dog – like all dirty pets. I not want him to invade our house”. So I slept outside.
I guess dogs didn’t matter much in Vietnam.
Two years passed. Father’s Mother died. Father would come to the backyard and sit near my kennel. I’d lick the tears on his face and lean my head on his shoulder.
I think it helped, because he’d put his arm around me. Not long after, I was allowed in the kitchen, then Father let me in the bedroom. It was good to see him smiling his big white smile again and I was very happy sleeping on his bed. I didn’t want to leave him. Father must have known, because he took me everywhere. I’d sit in the front seat of the car and Father would drive, while Mother and the children would sit in the back. Everyone was happy.
One day we picked up two kiwi men. Father said they had to sit in the back because the front seat was mine. We drove past Burger King and I jumped up and down. One of the men asked, “Why is he so excited?”
Father said, “He always get cheeseburger.” Then Father told them about the time he bought a cheeseburger for me and a Big Mac for him. I wouldn’t eat the cheeseburger. I had my eye on the Big Mac. So Father gave it to me and ate the cheeseburger himself.
“I not see him as dog,” Father said. “He human.”
I know Father loved me.