Friday, February 19, 2010


There has been absolutely no progress with my book over the past three weeks. Its status dial has stuck on “22” stories and is unlikely to move for a while. I have attempted to read what I have written, but the pages leave an insipid taste in my mouth. The completed portion of my manuscript lies forlornly on my coffee table – a stark reminder that I am in a hole of despair. How can one possibly find the resolve to write creatively when one’s world is falling apart?

Max, my dog and constant, faithful companion of ten years is dying.
There is nothing more I can do for him. After numerous, Xrays and Vets visits he’s been given the news that nobody ever wants to hear…”I’m sorry, there is nothing more we can do for him!”

I have suffered through the grief of losing close family members, but nothing has prepared me for the shock of losing my Max. You see, he is not just a dog! He’s a magnificent Golden retriever who has more than earned his place in this world. Rising above all my expectations, he has been my constant shadow and watched my every move. Indeed, he’s is probably the reason why I am still alive.

As time passes, I am coming to realize that he is so intimately etched into my identity that I am effectively losing half of myself. It’s only when someone is extricated from your life that you appreciate the full value of that person. It is no different with a dog.

Max has been a remarkable living creature – a working dog – my crutch over the past 10 years. He’s been my personal body guard and coach, seeing me through numerous projects and comforting me through debilitating depression. Throughout this time, he has never left my side, constantly encouraging me to get along with my life. In essence he has been a true service dog.

Now, while he deteriorates, I can only look on and assume the responsibility of watching and waiting for the moment when it will be right to give him the ultimate gift of canine love – a quiet, peaceful and pain free death. At that moment his life’s mission will be complete and I will have to move on.

For now, my book will have to wait. For now, I am spending time with my Max.


NAK and The Residents of The Khottage said...

And he has etched himself to many others 'round the world as well...

The book will wait - no doubt about that -

I do hope you are feeling the love we are all sending and sharing -

Scout and Freyja said...

You are right where you should be - with your Max and Max with you. A perfect fit.

I wish I could do more than just write words and send them through space and time. I wish I could help you more. But I also know that there are some things that we need to do by ourselves - in our own heads and hearts - because they are so precious and so private we want to remember and to cherish them on our own.

Piappies World said...

Hi there C,

I have to say that this post has touched me even more. It is enough that I feel your love for Max in his blog but what you have written has expressed more emotions and feelings that you shared with him and it really is no surprise that Max's love has extended and touched so many lives as well.

You have our support and we stand by you, Max and his pack through all this and even beyond.

Thanks so much!

- Mommy Iya & the Piappies

houndstooth said...

I went through something very similar with my heart dog, Treat, almost two years ago. I really lost my stride for writing and realized that I just had to give myself a break from it. When inspiration came again, I just sat down and went with it.

As I read your words about Max, I sense that you are as close to him as I was to Treat. Her loss was devastating for me. She and I had always seemed to be an extension of each other and I really felt as if I'd lost a large part of my self. When her voice was silent in my head, it was the biggest loss I think I've ever experienced.

Take your time, enjoy your days with Max so there are no regrets. Take him to do his favorite things, feed him things that he loves to eat and just savor those days together! After he's gone, you'll find yourself remembering them and be glad for them!

Sending you and Max lots of cyberhugs! I do understand what you're going through and I'm sure there are others who do, too. Don't be afraid to reach out if you need to!

Carrie (Bunny's mom)

Mrs. JP said...

my dear new friend,
please know that you and Max are in our prayers for comfort, wisdom, and peace during this hard time.
our dog family is no different than people family and they lend the same love and support - sometimes more because they give that silent unconditional love. be with him, and let the other dogs encourage you through this.
God bless you and keep you.

ocmist said...

I've been where you are with my old Shadow who was 17...

Your friends in these comments have given you such good advice... take the time you've been given to spend it with Max, and we, your friends will try to "float" you on our prayers... So many hearts are with you, Max, and your family!

The book can wait until inspiration again starts to flow in the right time for you... Linda

Here is the poem I wrote for my Shadow:

Goodbye My Shadow
3/90 to 7/9/05

That silver muzzle is no longer here
To nuzzle my hand as I shed my tears.

Old friend I will miss you so
As through this life I continue to go.

I remember your big head at six weeks old
Attached to that tiny body of bones.

We took you home and fed you up
And you became a sturdy pup.

And then when you were one or two
I shared the breath of life with you.

You’ve been my Shadow from that day to this
And you’re loving presence I greatly miss.

Today I freed you from your pain
I hope that my loss is your gain.

I looked to throw you a treat tonight
But no trusting eyes greeted my sight.

Later I reached to scratch your old ears
Then couldn’t hold back the flowing tears.

I know you’re in a better place
And smiling again with your doggy face.

By Linda Brock © 7/9/05

Anonymous said...

I think its great that your spending your time with Max. The book can wait. The stories will still be there for you to write. Im sure we will read some good ones too. I pray for you and Max ever nite. Peace be with you.

Ms. ~K said...

Your priorities are straight...putting the book aside for a while is best for now.

Valerie Cummings said...

Caryl, My heart breaks for you! I have come to know and love you and your "family". Max holds a special place in my heart as he reminds me so much of Joey, who also has helped me like Max has helped you! Please give Max a special hug and kiss from us! We are celebrating his 19th day with you!
God bless you, Valerie

Deborah said...

Please know that we are praying for Max and you daily.

Tweedles -- that's me said...

I hope you know how much we love you.
We feel your expressions of pain and sadness.
We can feel- because we can relate
to what you feeling

Jacqueline said...

Max has become a part of all of us; he has reached across time and space to touch the lives of everyone lucky enough to have shared even a small piece of his incredible journey...Max is special to so many and his legacy knows no bounds...I understand and have been down the road you are traveling with Max and I know it is one of the hardest things one can ever do; while it is painful to watch this heartbreaking event, it is also an intimate, precious part of your journey with Max and one that will never leave your heart/soul...Blessings to you both.

Valerie Cummings said...

Dont worry, we will wait with you and be there for you when the time comes. With all my love, Valerie