Thursday, October 7, 2010

What it was like...

We took Becks with us to visit Max. When they walked Max into the room, it was clear to me he was already gone. There were no wags of the tail, no barks demanding to go home, and no kisses to be had. Becks in his very limited understanding of the situation said goodbye to Max not really understanding the meaning despite me explaining that Max was sick, was going to die, and was not going to be coming home. I know that a lot of information for a 3 ½ year old and some parents would make up some happy fluffy story about heaven, but I wanted Beckett to know the truth. With a little prompting, Beckett gave Max a hug (something typically forbidden in our home) and told Max that he loved him super big. Tommy then took Becks to school and I sat with my four legged boy and tried my best to tell him how much we loved him and that we would let him go.

Max was coughing and hacking quite a bit from the kibble they had found in his throat. He panted non stop. His eyes were red and haggard. With every stroke of his body, his legs shook and hair flew everywhere. As I sat with him on the floor, it took a long time of petting him to get him to rest his head on my lap to rest. Somewhere in the middle of all that awfulness, he kissed away my tears. We sat like that for a long time and it was peaceful. When Tommy came back, he brought Bellona. I didn’t want her to wonder where her brother had gone… she had already been skipping meals without him around. He had no energy to greet her and I saw the fear in her eyes- she wanted out of there and fast.

When it was time, we walked Maximus outside into the sunshine. I brought from home his blanket and a pillow. Tommy and Bellona sat at the edge of the blanket; she had her back to us either avoiding the situation or on guard. We spooned in the sunshine and told him what a good boy he was. He wore no collar, and no leash. I offered him his PB kong and he refused. We also had his favorite toy, the one we played fetch with nightly, beside us. At one point, a small dog was walked outside by the staff and Max made no effort to say hello. That right there felt like someone turning the knife inside of us. To know Max is to know the mere sight of a small dog elicited from his an insane amount of whining with excitement.

It was time to say our final goodbyes. Maximus left this world with his head cradled in my arms, my arms tightly around his neck, and every inch of my body pressed tightly to his. I stroked his velvet ear and told him over and over again as he was sedated I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you. And then he was gone.

"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion." - Unknown


  1. That was beautiful, my heart is broken for you and I cried for you and my own dog whom we had to put to sleep. I wrote an obit for my Rusty and this poem helped me...........

    Don't Grieve For Me

    Don' grieve for me, for now I'm free; I'm following the path God laid for me.

    I took His hand when I heard Him call; I turned my back and left it all.

    I could not stay another day, to laugh, to love, to work or play.

    Tasks left undone must stay that way; I found that place at the close of day.

    If my parting has left a void, then fill it with remembered joy.

    A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss; Ah yes, these things, I too will miss.

    Be not burdened with times of sorrow, I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.

    My life's been full, I savored much; good family, good times, a loved one’s touch.

    Perhaps my time seems all too brief; don't lengthen it now with undue grief.

    Lift up your heart and share with me,
    God wanted me now, He set me free

    I hope this brings you comfort. Nicole

  2. Wow, this was absolutely beautiful. I love your honesty, though it brought tears to my eyes. You all are still in my thoughts and prayers. Love!

  3. I found your thru Hound Girl and am sitting here in tears reading your post...... hugs to you...... love to you from a stranger in NH.

  4. We stopped in from Princess's blog. We are so sorry about Max. You are in our thoughts, our pawyers, and we hope you can find some peace in his memories.

  5. I commend you on your bravery in writing this very well written, heartfelt post. Even when we know it's right, it's still so hard. God Bless you and your family. Your memories of Max will last a lifetime.
    -Corbin and Jenn

  6. I'm in tears reading this. Thank you for sharing this. Still sending thoughts and prayers to you and your family. *hugs*

  7. What a beautiful post ...I didn't know Max, but he sounds like a very special dog and my heart breaks for you. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  8. Beautiful -- Brave -- Heartbreaking.

    Sending love to you and your family.


  9. My original comment got deleted somehow, but it's just as well. My words aren't as beautiful as yours and can't do Max the justice he deserves. Thank you for sharing your journey. He had the best under the circumstances and he always had the best in your family!

  10. I am so sorry.
    I sit here crying at my desk for you loss but also for the gratefulness I have to know that there are wonderful people in this world who truly love and share that with their four legged companions.
    Blogging is relatively new to me but I have found how much you can get to know someone by their blogging - I would have never thought.
    I fell in love with Max when I first saw his face on Princess' page - he looks so much like my Greighson Andrew I had to show his pictures to many of my friends.
    Just love that bulldog face.
    Thank you for sharing him through your blog - Max was able to touch more lives and hearts than you will probably ever know.

    God bless you and your family through this time and always.
    Jenna Krabacher

  11. That made me tear up all over again. It sounds like he was able to go while surrounded by the ones he loves. I know he knew how much you loved him and were doing what was best for him!


  12. I'm new to your blog and, after stumbling upon it, I couldn't go without commenting on the loss of your family member. As a dog lover/parent, you had (and still have) me in tears, admiring the courage and compassion you have for Max. I hope that the heartache eases for you, and that the memories of Max will continue to make you smile and laugh for a long time to come. Max was very lucky to have a family as loving as you!

  13. Just reading this now with tears streaming down my face. You two had such a special bond. He has left this life and yet will always be with you.