You’ll never meet Max and Kadjo. But Jim Parrish wants you to know about them just the same. It’s not just the doggie delight of Max, a 110-pound Rottweiler, and Kadjo, a 142-pound Akita, he wants to share – it’s what they brought to him and his wife Sally.
“I do feel sorry for people that don’t expose themselves to the love that dogs give,” said Mr. Parrish. “What other creatures besides God and dogs give unconditional love? It’s perfect love.”
Max died in 2002, and Kadjo in 2011. Mr. Parrish still tears up sometimes when he talks about them. So he’s written a book about his two canine companions called “Dog Gone” and published it himself. Mount Desert Island art teacher Mike Duffy did the illustrations. The book is available at Sherman’s book store in Bar Harbor.
After Kadjo died last year, Mr. Parrish was so sad and missed both dogs so much that he started writing down his memories of them and remembering all the miles they’d walked (10,000 or so with Max, and about 15,000 with Kadjo) and the funny things that both dogs did.
“I was enjoying it so much,” he said, “just reliving some of the things that had gone on.”
He showed his musings to a friend out on Little Cranberry Island, where he and Sally live in the summer, and the friend told him she thought he had the beginnings of a children’s story.
“I had started out writing a man’s book,” he said, “but then I changed it to a tone I thought a child would listen to.”
Around that time, not long after Kadjo died, a friend sent him a card with a picture of a dog walking away on a beach. “So I got this idea – two dogs who don’t know each other meet in heaven and introduce themselves and get to know each other.”
He recruited Mr. Duffy to do the drawings.
But he had more stories than would fit in just one book – he’s now at work on the third.
“I loved them dearly,” said Mr. Parrish. “I’ve got a lot of stories.”
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