Max Visits Valhalla on Halloween

Max dressed for Halloween.
Max, aka Ragnar the Malt.

The dogs of the Viking Age were both working animals and beloved companions.

That’s quite unlike your common or garden variety Maltese who has never done a lick of work in his life.

We know Viking dogs were considered devoted friends because they were frequently buried along side their masters.

Ancient runestones show Viking warriors entering Valhalla and being greeted by a Valkyrie with a horn full of mead while the warrior’s faithful hound waits patiently nearby, no doubt hoping for a chunk of wild boar jerky.

The Norse afterlife was not complete without the pooch.

Frigga, Odin's main squeeze with her dog chariot.
Frigga, Odin’s main squeeze with her dog chariot.

Frigga, wife of Odin and goddess of marriage and fidelity, was believed to travel in a chariot drawn by a pack of dogs, perfect symbols of fidelity and faithfulness.

Yes, with a wife named Frigga, the jokes just write themselves. Behave yourselves.

Dogs did not play a big role in The Vikings, the 1958 “Norse Opera” that was a big box office hit starring Kirk Douglas, Janet Leigh, and Tony Curtis . If you haven’t seen the flick, follow Kirk Douglas’ advice and keep an eye out for it.

They had really, really small boats back then.
They had really, really small boats back then.

Despite a paucity of canines, the movie taught us much about Viking feasting and bad table manners fueled by copious quantities of mead and an occasional monster-sized turkey leg.

Viking Feast
Good times and pass the mead.

Who could forget Ernest Borgnine as the fearsome Ragnar?

Well, I forgot, but here’s a little factoid you probably don’t know: Ernest Borgnine played Ragnar, the father of Einar, played by Kirk Douglas but in real life Borgnine was born almost two months after Douglas.

Other famous Vikings include those that hail from Minnesota. They include a group of Valkyries known for their, um, pom poms. Yeah, that’s it.

Famous Vikings from the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
Famous Vikings from the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

The movie also made the Viking funeral a familiar meme, replete with flaming arrows that set the longship on fire as friends and neighbors cry out “Odin!”

I requested this kind of funeral in my Last Will and Testament.

If you hear of a flaming ship off Waikiki and a bunch of guys kicking back in the sand and quaffing mead, you’ll know I have passed to Valhalla and I’m probably already scamming on my Valkyrie.

There is absolutely no justification for putting a Viking helmet on our long suffering Malt. One daughter begged us not to embarrass Max with a costume so of course we lied to put her at ease. Sorry, hon, it was a random act of dog abuse.

Max did not want to cooperate so we had a discussion. I kid - I'm not really choking his lights pout.
Max did not want to cooperate so we had a discussion. I kid – I’m not really choking his lights out.

As to choice of costumes, well, we are not the most imaginative of couples. I mean, we named the pupster “Max” which is the most common dog name in America. I guess that is better the second choice “Tofu” but it’s not imaginative.

The AJF mocked my hat but then was spotted wearing it.
The AJF mocked my hat but then was spotted wearing it.

So when it came to Halloween we opted for the lowest common denominator of dog outfits – the Viking hat.

See, he survived with damage only to his pride.
See, he survived with damage only to his pride.

The AJF calls this a case of father-son silliness. She doesn’t realize Max and I fully intend to go out in public like this and try to cadge some free candy.

After stressful photo shoot, the Malt plays in Valhalla. Actually Hawaii Kai but close enough.
After stressful photo shoot, the Malt plays in Valhalla. Actually Hawaii Kai but close enough.

 

23 thoughts on “Max Visits Valhalla on Halloween

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    1. Why does everyone think I should sing? You guys never heard me sing. Trust me, if you heard me sing you wouldn’t be so keen to hear that again. It’s an experience that can scar you for life. But I do look mighty good in lederhosen.

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      1. I regret to inform you that only Malays are entitled to run amok…that Maltese must find another way to express his dissatisfaction. Mark you his expression under that helmet tells me that he has plenty of ideas on that store…

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  1. At the end of a wild work week, I can count on you and Max to make me laugh out loud. BTW, love, love, love the Viking hat. Very apropos for Max. A Big Wave in a mug though seems a better drink to quaff, my current favorite over mead any day. 😉

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    1. One of Max’s buddies, a shih-tzu named Prince (I wrote of him as the Dogfather sometime back) dressed as Count Dracula which was a hoot because poor Prince has had most of teeth pulled. A toothless canine vampire, imagine that. It would lick your neck until you expired from laughter.

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  2. How long did Max keep the hat on? Kids are notorious for taking them off as soon as they’re put on.
    Our local neighborhood must have thought our dogs were canine vikings. We didn’t get one knock on our front door. They’re the fiersome twosome.

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    1. At first he resisted wearing the hat which may have been a statement of personal fashion rather than any discomfort.. Over time he got used to it and walked down the street with head held high while less brave canines quivered in fear of Ragnarok, the mighty Malt.

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  3. when I saw Max I did a double take. his eye area is cleaner than my dog Sam’s right now, but they look so much alike! such a cutie. 🙂

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