“If it weren’t for my best friend, I wouldn’t be in the world today. He lost his life and gave it to me. ”- Taken aback

image: Adobe Stock, LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS


As I moved, I came across a yellowed picture; I sit on the grass, with my arms around the neck of a large dog that looks like a wolf dog. We are both in the mud and we are both very happy with each other.

Max … When I was four, I could not think of a better name. It was then that my father brought home a small squeaking ball the size of a calf, which first won the hearts of all family members.

I didn’t want to stop, but I couldn’t get rid of it

I spent practically all my free time with him, he even slept in my bed, but before that I had to clean his paws properly. He could sit, squat, retreat, or even climb a pole. Otherwise, he was a terrible fool.

Among the dog houses in the yard, even if there were cats on their heads, it was considered a harmless cloak. You should have seen him bend his tail, cross his paws and run away from any murmur or crow!

The corners of the picture in my hand were on fire, and the back was a little on fire. It used to be framed on my desk and eventually turned into a box. I didn’t want to keep it in my eyes, but I couldn’t get rid of it either …

The neighborhood we lived in at the time was old and did not look like the current building; curved, claustrophobic, with toilets shared by tenants in a hallway; in winter the flats had to be heated with coal.

That’s what happened that winter I do not remember very well. Years later, fragments of incomprehensible sound and horrible images, completed with my mother’s story.

The smoke in the chimney ignited

In the past, technical inspections were not carried out as often as now. And so it happened. Dark, snowy night – If it weren’t for Max, half a block would burn alive. As soon as the good dog smelled the smoke, he began to bark terribly, knock everyone down.

The fire quickly took away wallpaper everywhere, trying to disguise the curvature of the walls, and burned the panels and furniture of neighboring apartments.

At that time, no one had a cell phone in their sleep, people had to make sure that information about the fire was transmitted, to warn each other. Someone had to run to the telephone booth to call the fire department, and someone called the door of the neighbors upstairs.

In the midst of all this noise, no one felt me ​​disappear; I fell asleep and didn’t know exactly what was going on, so I went back to my room for my favorite soft toy. And I stayed there because the flames prevented me from escaping.

After that, I woke up in the hospital room, in a hard and uncomfortable bed. The first person I noticed was a bull terrier and, as I later learned, a nurse with the expression of an angel’s heart.



How did it happen?

In the panic-stricken crowd in front of the block, my parents parted ways, and everyone thought I was next to each other. They only realized that I was not there when the sound of fire sirens could be heard in the distance. And suddenly they understood why Max was so eager to enter the building. Finally, the collar was released and like an arrow in a flame.

It was a long time – and at such a moment it turns into an eternity for a second – but it finally came back. And it caught me. He collapsed after a long time with a burnt face and sides. At that time, no one cared about the heroic dog. Everyone was worried about people and despaired of the smoky possessions. The ambulance that came with the fire immediately took me to the hospital.

Max died in the morning, holding his burnt mouth in my father’s arms. He died quietly, Just a little hiss. In those days it was impossible to call a veterinarian over the Internet; there is no internet, no veterinarians.

The mother said she had never seen her father so depressed. Before I left the hospital, he and the residents of our building built a small grave for Max. They also tried to get a plaque with the words “Max is a four-legged hero lying here.”

My eyes filled with tears as I held a picture of my childhood friend in my arms and remembered his self-sacrifice. I did not stop them. It flowed down his cheeks.


Is it possible to return such a gift?

I heard the key squeak in the lock, and Magda stopped at the threshold. After two years of dating, we decided to live together. He was holding a black, crunchy ball in his hands.

– Look what I found in the neighborhood dump! He did not hide his anger.

– We have to take him to the vet and find a house.

– Definitely a veterinarian – I agreed – but the house has already been found. And his name will be Max – I wiped my tears and added the old, burnt picture on the dresser.

I received a clear signal of fate. It’s time to pay for the gift of life I bought for myself.

Also read:
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“I was a child who kept everything under control and considered himself justified. My father almost paid for my laziness with his life ”
“I raised a demanding reptile in my chest. My daughter didn’t even give me a tulip on my birthday, but she wants a new jacket. “


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