Monday, May 24, 2010


12 March 2000 - 24 May 2010
affectionately known as...

Dear friends,
This is the day that I said goodbye to my dearest companion...

The account that follows is a graphic description of his last moments. 
I will not feel offended at all if you prefer not to read it.
Indeed, I will understand.
I need to honor my own committment to this journey : to reveal to my readers, in all honesty, the experience I have personally had with my Maxdog. His final moments, I feel, are equally important and hopefully will serve to strengthen others who are in similar heartbreaking circumstances. I write best when I am at my most emotive.

So please..
With love



The decision having been made, I found his lead and called him with me. He had been sleeping silently next to me and got up, shook himself off and went to the car with me. Together we rode the 8kms to the Vet. He sat in the back of the car, staring out the window as he’s always done. Golden sunlight was streaming through the windows, framing his features, giving him a heavenly glow. I could see the tiredness in his eyes and knew that it was time to say goodbye.

Max, the fighter that he is, would have fought to the bitter end. Had I not taken the decision, he’d have fought on, becoming more emaciated by the day. The liver tumour took up most of his abdominal cavity, yet he pushed on and lived life to the absolute overflowing.

I parked the car outside the Vet’s surgery, retrieved my handbag and went around to open the boot of the car. With ears alert and eyes alive he jumped out of the back. His first point of call was the bush on the lawn. This is where he left his last news of the day.

Thankfully there was only one other person in the waiting room – a lady whom I’d rubbed shoulders with many years back. Max immediately went to greet her, wagging his tail the way he always did with new people. She responded in the way people always responded to Max – rubbing his fur and telling him what a handsome boy he was. His tail said it all. He loved people!

She stopped chatting with him for a while and went to settle the administration she had come to settle. Then she turned back to me, sat down and told me all about how she had recently lost a Golden retriever of her own. Then she asked, “What is he here for”. There was no other way of saying it, but honestly.

“I’m here to put him to sleep” I said. Her face turned ashen as she struggled to comprehend what I was saying. You see, Max always looked good, even when he was dying. He hid his illness well, refusing to accede to it. When not soundly asleep (which had been most of the time in his 107days of grace) he was reaping life for all that it offered except for his eating. He had taken to refusing to eat. In his last few days he'd accept nibbles form me, but would keep them in his mouth and spit them out later. Either that, or he'd bury them. But he remained comfortable with an affectionate disposition.  My prediction was that he would have wagged his tail to the end, no matter how ill he had become. His tail would be the last to leave him, I am sure of that.

“Shall I stay?” she offered.

“Don’t worry!” I said, “I’ll be okay”, but my tears had started.

My usual Vet was otherwise occupied, but the new Vet – a young, gentle and beautiful woman – came out to meet me. I called Max to come and he obediently followed me into the consulting room. Again he was wagging his tail in greeting and started making friends with this new person. She petted him, looked to me and asked me what she could do for me.

I recapped Max’s history, the successful removal of the Mast Cell tumour in November 2009 and then the heartbreaking news in February this year (2010) that his liver was compromised with a large tumour. I went on to explain all that had happened to him recently. She then examined him and was taken aback at the size of the tumour. It occupied most of his abdominal cavity. Underneath his thick fur, he’d become obviously emaciated.

Together we decided that it would be best to put Max to sleep. His condition was both irreversible and fatal and there was no guarantee of a pleasant passing. It was time to say good-bye. She left me with Max and said she would return soon. I asked him to “Down” and he did. I told him to “Dead” and he lay on his side like he'd been taught. I sat on the floor and told him it would be okay, that we would all be okay, that it was time to go. I hugged him and spoke to him while he thumped his tail on the floor. That was the most heartbreaking moment for me.

“Nicolle” returned and set up the needle. She wanted to call someone else, but I refused and told her I would help her. I held Max’s arm whilst she administered the final dose. I tucked my other hand under his chest so that I could feel his heartbeat. All the time, he thumped his tail on the floor. My Max was going to be a thumper to the last. He let out his last audible sound and then he was gone. His heart had stopped under my palm. She confirmed this with her stethoscope. Then she gently consoled me and said that I could stay with him until I was ready to leave. It had been quick and painless.

I held him as my tears flowed. I could feel his warm but lifeless body in my arms. His spirit had left his body, yet it was still present in the room. I held him like that for what seemed ages and then I gathered up his lead and opened the inter-leading door to indicate that I was finished. That beautiful, gentle Vet, with her soft, acknowledging manner reaffirmed that what I had done was an act of love. A very difficult act yes, but an act of love nevertheless. I had granted Max the dignity which he deserved.

When I entered the waiting room, I fell into the arms of that same woman who had met Max. Together, this stranger and I cried in each other’s arms. Then she left.

...and sadly I didn't get her name!

Thank you, ‘stranger’ for being my angel when I needed it. You have no idea how much your gesture meant to me.

Fly free, my sweet Max!


My Mind's Eye said...

Max mom I know this was a very difficult post to I have been in your exact spot two times so far. Again I am heart broken and teary eyed...but remember the key word here is
DIGNITY!!! Max was the most dignified living dog and truly deserved dignity in his final days.
Max held on for you I'm sure!!! He knew you had to make this final step right in your mind. God Bless you and your family and pets,
Madi's Mom Cecilia

the magic sleigh said...

The tears are flowing, I am certain this was the hardest post you have ever written, as well as one of the hardest days of your life. You did what is best for Max, and I am certain he is smiling down at you all now. God bless.
-Pamela, Kira and Scampi

Jake of Florida said...


I stopped back to read your beautiful poem on Max's blog. The image was so perfect -- I could just envision Max stepping on the boat -- and hearing the barks of welcome when he got to his destination.

And then I clicked here -- and found that you had the courage to describe his last moments. Up to it or not, I had to read it -- sobbing all the way. Why do our dearest fur friends, whether near or far, evoke such heart-wrencing emotion? That unique combination of courage and vulnerability? That love and trust they so eagerly share? That irrespresible wagging tail?

I don't know about anyone else, but however difficult it was to read -- and however even more difficult it must have been for you to write, somehow being witness to Max' crossing through your words helped deep inside to accept that his time here on earth had come. He trusted you to make the right decision, and you did.

With love to help comfort and heal across so many miles,


Heather and Kelly said...

Caryl, I cannot express how sorry I am for you. Max was an angel, a dog that only the luckiest person could have. He was everyone's dream dog, and he could not have been in a better home, in better hands than your family's.

I am sorry for your loss, I cried as I read through your post, how could I not? Your story is a beautiful one, full of sadness. And I want to thank you again for sharing it with us.

The way dogs bond with us is very strong--and when they die, we feel grief beyond anything we thought we could feel. But through the years, they give us more pleasure than the grief adds up to.
Your decision was courageous, and it must have been undeniably hard. I'm sure it was the right one.

Rest in peace, sweet Max. Run free.

♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥ said...

Like Joan, I knew I had to read this too. The memories of our last moments came flooding back and the deluge poured out. Yes, it is so hard to do, but in the end the very best gift you could have given to Max. I am not good with words at times like these. But in my heart there is so much love for Max and you and all of your family. I understand your hurt and feel your love.

Hugs, Kathie

Angus said...

You did so well to record those special last moments. They are important to you, your family, your friends and to him.

A couple of weeks ago on the day we went through the same ritual someone posted the following on the blog. It summed up our feelings that day and proved to be somehow reassuring and comforting. It was written by a Mr.Lampman, the editor of the Oregonian newspaper and despite being much repeated retains its immediacy:

"Where to bury a dog"

'On a hill where the wind is unrebuked, and the trees are roaring, or beside a stream he knew in puppyhood, or somewhere in the flatness of pasture land, where most exhilirating cattle graze. It is all one to the dog, and all one to you, and nothing is gained, and nothing lost - if memory lives. But there is one best place to bury a dog. One place that is best of all.

If you bury him in this spot, the secret of which you must already have, he will come to you when you call - come to you over the grim, dim frontiers of death, and down the well remembered path and to your side again. And though you call a dozen living dogs to heel they shall not growl at him, nor resent his coming, for he is yours and belongs there.

People may scoff at you, who see no lightest blade of grass bent by his footfall, who hear no whimper pitched too fine for mere audition, people who may never really have had a dog. Smile at them then, for you shall know something that is hidden from them, and which is well worth the knowing. The one best place to bury a good dog is in the heart of its master'.

Tama-Chan, Benny, Vidock, Violette, Ollie, Hotesse & Heloise said...

Thank you for sharing this with all of us, Caryl. It resonates with so many and in so many ways. I think back of the time, almost 3 years ago, when I held my beloved Ikkyu, my first Abyssinian cat who had been my faithful companion for 15 years and on 3 continents, as he received "that shot." The pain and sadness feel endless and bottomless. But every single thing he gave you will be with you for the rest of your life.

Run free, glorious MaxDog, and always remember, MaxMom, that you gave him all the gifts it is possible to give.

Virginia (#1)

Anya said...

Hi Carol
Many tears today ....
Max had a wonderful life with you.
A loving family he had !!
Its so sad I don't know what to write :(
I am sorry for your loss...
Max we love you very much,
and we will miss you Max
and we will NEVER forget you !!!

((hugs)) Anya

Sheila and Bob said...

We just came over from Maxdogs blog.
We had been along on this journey with Max and we needed to be there at the end.
Your description brings back a flood of memories,
We think these words so apply to Max.

And if I go while you're still here...

Know that I still live on,
Vibrating to a different measure
behind a thin veil you cannot see through.

You will not see me,
so you must have faith.

I wait the time when we can soar together again,
both aware of each other.

Until then, live your life to the fullest.
And when you need me,
just whisper my name in your heart,
....I will be there.

Thank you for sharing the journey with so many and thank you for all the love shown to Max.

Sheila & Bob
Hamish & Sophie

Piappies World said...

Hi Caryl,

When I read your post in Max's blog earlier, I could not find the words to express how I feel.

As I was going through your posts during Max's finals days, I noticed that you have this post here and I read how hard it was for you to go through this day. I felt I had to have the courage to read through it and despite all the tears, it is good that I did.

Max was a fighter in the true sense of the word and you were there for him all throughout his journey. You both gave each other the strength, support and the guidance to know when it's time.

One thing I witness through his journey is how much you both made the most out of each and every day of grace you were blessed.

Max's love and inspiration will live in your heart forever and the way he has touched so many lives will always be remembered.

I thank you for sharing Max with me and the rest of the blog world. Our friendship remains and I will always cherish Max and his memories.

As I've said before, we will ALWAYS be here for you ANYTIME.

Saying a special prayer for Max tonight. And just like a star, may he always shine brightly up above.


Piappies Mom Ria

Ms. ~K said...

Thank you for allowing us to be with Max until the very end...
You will never know how touched I have been by this entire experience...
My heart is aching with you,

Sunny,Scooter, (sometimes Jamie) said...

Oh Caryl, once again I have to come back later. It was such the right thing and I hope he has met up with Shamus and is playing like a puppy. You described the way I do when that unspeakable time comes. I am so, so sorry.

rottrover said...

Yes. "The best place to bury a dog is in the heart of it's master." And her many followers.

Unknown said...

Golden fur, wag tail
Golden dog shares love and peace
Beyond world, at rest.

Thank you for sharing in depth the agony and the consolations you received in your courage and love to let Max go before pain set in. AS I wept for Digby, I weep for Max - and thank God we have "met" these dogs and the people who share them. Godspeed, Maxdog.

Scout and Freyja said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scout and Freyja said...

Caryl, your words painted a scene that I know all too well and will experience again and again because living wouldn't be living to me without animals at my feet and sharing my home.

You did so well today. You gave to Max what all living beings deserve - a dignified and peaceful passing. I only wish that I could have been there for you to give you comfort and support - to weep with you.

Please know that there is someone in Michigan that is crying with you today and who is loving her golden retriever extra hard.

Max was your ♥ dog. They don't come along often and we are not guaranteed to have one share our life. The day Max was brought into your home you were touched by an angel. I'm sure that same angel was there with you and Max today and carried him into the heavens to wait for you, his beloved family and sweet Tammy.

Farewell my darling Max. Tonight I will reach up and touch your star. I know it will be the biggest and brightest in the midnight sky.

I can only imagine the glorious celebration at the Bridge when your pup-children, siblings who have passed before you along with others you have touched throughout your life looked up and saw you running toward them - young, beautiful, energetic. Run free. Run happy. Run healthy.

sprinkles said...

Oh Caryl, I am so, so very sad for you and for myself. I know it was the right thing to do but that doesn't make it any easier, does it?

Thank you for sharing Max's story with us, including his death.

I've already shed a ton of tears so now I'm going to light a candle in honor of Max.

My heart goes out to you and your family. If there is anything I can do to help in your time of sorrow, please let me know!

I am so sorry, I really wish I had something comforting to say. (((HUGS))) Sending lotsa love your way!

Mrs. JP said...

my friend, I'm so very sorry not for Max, but for you. You did a good thing and we will keep you and yours in fervent prayers. Also, love to Tammy and Toffee.
Isn't it wonderful that God put someone there for you? He truly is the God of ALL comfort.

MySpecialDoggies said...

Dear Caryl
Thank you for sharing your last moments with Max and thank you, Max, for being the wonderful doggie you were.
Apples & Neeli are sending you licks too.
Take care of yourself,

The Bumpass Hounds said...

Dear Caryl & The Boss,
I truly know how you both must feel today. I know that difficulty in writing of the loss of one of your closest friend.

You weren't selfish, you're love told you it was now Max's time to move on. You saved him from pain and suffering. You let him hold his dignity. The world is truly hurt by Max's passing. I'm sure that you realize how much of a difference Max has made,through your postings, upon pet lovers worldwide. The sorrow will pass but the memories are forever. For years to come a smile will come over you when a thought of a special moment with Max pops into your mind. You were blessed to be fore warned and thus enjoy your time together. You had a GReat birthday present by being able to share it one last time with your beloved Max Dog. You have my most sincere and deepest condolences upon the loss of your treasured boy Max. He has left a scar on all of ourhearts that we will carry with us forever. His life truly made a difference in the world. He will be missed. We all love Max Dog.
- Bill & AnnMarie, Homer J., Jubal, JEB, Sophie, Shelby Belle, Jack, Abby, Max, Shiloh, Radar, Patti, Alex, Boru, Jenny and Gracie

Pip said...

Dear Caryl.
We sit in various places through out the world, a world that your honest prose of heartfelt love has touched in an amazing way, and we openly cry for you. We cry for your loss. And we cry for every loss we have ever experienced, because your honest bravery has given us the means to understand.

My sister sent me an email sharing her terrible sadness over Max's passing and she asks, "How can we get that wrapped up in someone we don’t know?"

And I say to her, "It’s easy. She writes brilliantly about the things we feel but are afraid to speak of, even to ourselves."

I thank you for sharing your final moments together. It broke my heart, and I am honored to have read it.

Golden Samantha said...

Dear Caryl,
You are a courageous woman to have selflessly given Max a peaceful end to that big sickness in his abdomen. Like so many, I wish also that I could have been with you - it sounds like you did have an angel there in the waiting room. I am always stunned by your incredible honesty in your writing and continue to be amazed by your recording here of Max's last day. The tears are loud here, but I know you and your family are heartbroken. I can't thank you enough for sharing the great and precious Max - his adventures and ailment with so many, many people. We will love him forever and will continue to be thinking of you lots and lots. Rest in Peace, dear Max.
Huge Hugs and Love xoxoxo
Sammie, Miche and Bill

Sierra Rose said...

Tears flowing here too. Sweet Max, you will be dearly missed. We are so sorry.

Much love,
Kristin, Dave and Sierra Rose

Kari said...

You gave Max the ultimate gifs of love: the gift of freedom from pain and suffering, the gift of your letting go and the gift of a peaceful passing. No regrets, only love.

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! said...

'This' is something I always suggest 'we' do for them when it is time -

I know not all are up to the emotional challenge BUT I feel it is all part of the best way to send them on the next part of their journey -

When we let Kyrye go - and I was crying just after we said our final goodbyes for now - the vet said he was sorry for our loss -

I told him from the day we bring them home, we know this day is coming yet we choose to do it anyway -

And yes, you made the kindest decision to let him cross without any additional suffering - all too often when the ends come from tumours and such, it is not kind to the patient -

We applaud you
We embrace you
We will toast to you

Run Free MaxDog

And yes, not forever, just for now


NanaNor's said...

Dear Caryl, My heart grieves for you today. I went through this on Christmas and so my emotions are right there. You showed Max true love by setting him free. You loved him and he loved you until the very end. Thank you for sharing this journey with us openly. My tears are nothing compared to what you must be feeling. Know you are in my prayers and thoughts. Max would say thank you for the life you gave him and for the love you shared.
Hugs, Noreen

Angel Junior, Orion and Sammy said...

MaxMom, all we can say is: thank goodness for the kindness of strangers.

Purrs and hugs to you and yours.

doyle and mollie said...

you were and are the best momma, we grieve with you but smile to think max is now running wild and free loves and licks

Jacqueline said...

Caryl, you and Max were brave together til the end; it was a loving, heartbreaking goodbye...I have cried so hard over this=a testament to the love you and Max have generated through this blog...Across the world, Max was special to so many and his memory will live in my heart too Caryl...Wishing you blessings of comfort and love.

Trudy said...

Now I have finally stopped sobbing and it did take me a while to stop and to light a candle for Marvelous, Wonderful Max. Your post tuched me so deeply as it took me back to the same experience with my heart dog Sam, it broke my heart but it was the right thing to do. Reading Max's blog has filled me with awe not just for Max but for you also. Your courage, love, dedication and your passion for Max ( and the others as well ) has shone through like a beacon. You were also an inspiration along with Max.
You and your family are in our thoughts and our prayers.

DTWP & Molly's Mom

labradorknitter said...

Hi Maxmom, I've been following Max and his adventures for a while. Your blogs have been a font of inspiration for me. I didn't know him, but from your writing it is as if I did. Max's blog was actually my favourite one, the one I was always looking forward to read, as it was always showing love and pearls of wisdom. I rejoiced when Maxdog was still showing his joyfulness, and I was sad thinking at how he would perceive his illness. I've cried and cried reading you posts today, and I will miss him a lot. You did it for the best and I totally support you. It must have been a great sacrifice for you today, but it shows how much you loved him. A big hug. Maxdog won't be forgotten. I will never do.


A MilShelb Mom said...

What a truly difficult post to write. I admire your strength. You are in my thoughts.

houndstooth said...

Reading your post brought back a lot of memories for me. I had to stick with it to the end, though! It's funny how those angels can just happen to be there when we need them. I had to take my heart dog in for that dreaded appointment by myself, too, and I told myself that I had to stay with her all the way to the end, and I was glad I did, but it was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. My heart goes out to you right now. I know it's so hard, and writing that post must have been, too, but please know that people around the world are sharing your grief and truly understand! Sending you many hugs and prayers!


Golden Woofs! SUGAR said...

Woof! Woof! Truly a hard post to read but lots of Golden Thanks for sharing. MAX will never be forgotten. Lots of Golden Woofs,Sugar

Valerie Cummings said...

I can hardly see! My eyes are full of tears for you! But I want to let you know I am here! I know its been coming but its hard to grasp! Thank you for letting Max be a part of our lives!!! He is truly going to be missed! With deepest sympathy Caryl,Love, Valerie

Molly the Airedale said...

The tears are flowing at our house for you, Caryl.

Love ya lots,
Maggie, Mitch and Sue

Unknown said...

Oh Caryl, through your words these many months, you have shared Max with so many of us, strangers the world over who now shed tears at his gallant passing and mourn with you. How lucky to have had Max in your life and in ours, by extension. Petey will get extra hugs and kisses tonight.



D.K. Wall said...

"Max was going to be a thumper to the last" - Through all my tears, that made me smile. Love your spirit, dear Max!

Clive said...


You made a very brave and right decision even if it must have been so difficult. Thank you so much for sharing Max with us. It has been such a privilege to know Max and you and Murray has truly learnt so much from his friendship with you and Max.

look after yourself
all our love

Anonymous said...

Dear Caryl, The Boss, Family and Max's Crew,

We are so very sorry. Thank you for posting.

We feel so blessed to have know Max this past year. Thank you for that Caryl.

Hugs, Blu, Mel and Tessa

Angel Ginger Jasper said...

You gave the beautiful Max the ultimate act of love.. You were there with him and he knew he was loved to the end.. Run free sweet Max.. Your legacy of love lives on.. Love Carol xx

3 doxies said...

My words here seem so imperfect at this time. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for letting us in on this very private ,emotional moment that you went through. And God Bless you for being able to do what was best for Max, even though I'm sure it tore you apart...but, I know it was to ensure his dignity and to ease his suffering. You have a beautiful heart and soul just like Max.
I can't thank you you enough for letting us be apart of this journey...through the good and the bad...through the joy and the pain. I am still amazed at the impact Max had on my life, a dog I have never met and never touched. I didn't have to though, to love him and to feel his warmth. He taught us so many things. He taught us that the bonds we share have no boundaries, whether we are a million miles away or next door. we are compassionate people with one interest...loving our pets unconditionally.
You will always be in our hearts Max. And Caryl,, please know we are ALL thinking of you and sending our most sincere condolences during this difficult time.
We love you!!!!!
Puddles mum

♥♥♥♥Team Husky♥♥♥♥ said...

Oh Caryl, thank you for sharing your final moments with Maxdog with the world. It broke my heart, and bought back so many memories as I was in the exact same position as you are now only 3 1/2 weeks ago.

You are such a brave and wonderful lady, to share your journey with Max with all of us was. It is such a hard thing to do and I have so much respect and admiration for you, as I do for the brave and courageous Maxdog.

What a story you two have, so many memories. You will feel so raw right now but after a few days you will feel peaceful and relieved, knowing you made the right decision for Max. The tears will always surprise you when you least expect it.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for sharing the life and death of your wonderful Maxdog ~ you have touched so many lives all over the world!

Aleeya on behalf of Team Husky

Tiffany said...

Bless your heart. I am crying right along with you. You did the right thing, dear. Thank you for sharing his last moments with us. I haven't yet had to make that decision for either of my dogs but I hope that when the time comes, I can be half as strong as you are. You are in my thoughts.

-Blogless Dog's mom

Tweedles -- that's me said...

The forest is crying
and our tears are falling too.
Our heart is breaking
for your broken heart
We said that we would be here for you- always, and right now- we are here for you.
When hearts are broken-
the sun shines
through the cracks,
and you will know
that it is Max-
in the sunlight-
with his doggy angel wings
at the Rainbow Bridge
waiting for all of you
someday soon
My heart cries for this sadness.

Emma Rose said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. We have all been there and our hearts ache for you.

Much love,
Emma Rose and the Duchess

Rocky Creek Scotties and Rocky Creek Ramblings said...

Angels visited with you today.

Curt Rogers said...

You have moved me to tears. Thank you for having the courage to share your story, despite the difficulty and courage it must have taken. You are a brave woman and Max was lucky to have you, as lucky as you were to have him.

I will give Duncan, my own Golden, extra love for you and Max tonight.

Bless you and Max.


Jans Funny Farm said...

We tried to leave a message earlier but we just couldn't! We are so terribly sorry for your loss. It is such a hard decision to make and carry through. We wish you peace and comfort in your grief.

brooke said...

I couldn't bear to read this post earlier when I was at work because I knew how deeply it would hit me. We only knew Max through his blog, but through it we felt like we really knew him, and knew you.
Darwin is my first dog, and being a Dane I know we won't have her long. I think that's why Max's story hits home with me because I know, too soon I will have to face this decision as well.
Max was an amazing dog, with amazing strength and it's all the love you gave to him.
We knew the time had to come, and while 107 days of grace was an amazing gift, we are so sad it ended so soon.
Our thoughts are with you and "the boss" as I know it was as hard of a decision for him as it was for you.
Max has an amazing story and I thank you for sharing it with us so openly.

Inky and Molly said...

We admire your strength for telling us all. He was a beautiful boy and he deserved an end with dignity. Thank you for allowing him to pass peacefully. We are happy he can be without pain now, wherever he is.
We wish you lots of strength for the upcoming weeks and months. We feel your pain and cry for you but rest assured, you've done the right thing, let this thought carry you through...
Love, Inky & Molly

Tabatha said...

I am so sorry to hear about Max. I have not been online much and just read this. My heart breaks for you and I like everyone else have tears running down my face. Max has toudched all of our lives in a way only he could with the help of you typing for him. I completely understand the pain that you are going through as we just recently lost our Chocolate Lab Tracker. At least we know they are romping together in the fields over the rainbow bridge.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

My feeling is always that I would rather be a day early than a day late. I think you timed it perfectly.

KB said...

"An act of love" - I agree but the most difficult act of love that one can ever take. Thank you for telling this story - especially for the sake of those who have never been through it. My experiences have been much like yours - such peaceful passings but so heart-wrenching for us.

My thoughts are with you MaxMom.

Stella said...

Thank you so much for writing this story. When we have all spent time reading of Max's life, it is somehow comforting to read the very last chapter. I know I could see that the time was near, and so this was a kind and gentle ending for the boy. I have done it and only felt it was the rightest thing to do, and I am sure you feel that way too, Caryl.

God bless,

Jo and Stella

Coreena said...

Hi there, I haven't commented before but have read your posts about Max for some time. I just wanted to send you some cyber hugs and some golden tail wags and kisses from my own special golden retriever who is too, plagued with an incurable, fatal disease. Our hearts and prayers are with you.

Doris Sturm said...

Oh, dear God, I can't stop crying - I am so sorry for your loss, but I'm so happy you stayed with your Max to the end. That is my plan too. I will not desert my boy hin his final hour of need...when the time comes ... IF it comes that way. I don't know when and how, all I know, I'll be ther for him too.

God bless you for being so loving and brave!

Reena G said...

I have just found your Max, and I am sobbing at your loss. I have been in your shoes many times and it's never easy; but each day it gets a little bit better. You have left a beautiful legacy and tribute for your Max...

God Bless you and your family and of course, Max.

Cobi said...


We found out about Max from Sugar's blog and came over to offer our condolences. Although we have yet to read the previous posting on Max’s blog but we are deeply touch by your courageous yet tough decision.

Thank you for sharing your last act of love for Max with us.

Stay strong and god bless.

Cobi & Family

Unknown said...

That was the saddest and yet the most beautiful thing I have read. I have never experienced what you went through - Honey being our first dog - but I know one day I may have to travel the same journey and I thank you for your courage in sharing your experiences, even though I know how painful it must have been for you.

You are right - it was an act of love. The GREATEST act of love. It is much easier to do the selfish thing and hang on - much harder to do do the real act of love and let them go.

Hsin-Yi (& Honey the Great Dane)

♥I am Holly♥ said...

Thanks so much for sharing that with us. We, like so many others, have been in that same situation. I am so sorry about Max and I send you and your family lots of love. I know so many people will miss dear Max but I know his spirit lives on. Tears are flowing in Virginia. Lots of love, Debbie and Holly

Jennifer said...

Thank you for sharing your MAXDOG with us. This post was truly from the heart and you did him justice by allowing him to fly free. Praying that you will comfort and peace from within~~

God Bless You,

maggiemia in the woods! said...

You have given your heart and soul to Max.. Thank you for this lesson in courage and love. Our thoughts and heart are with u and max.

Joy said...

Caryl, I am sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing with us MAX dog's final moments. I know it was hard for you. I'm so glad I found your blog a few months back--it's been a wonderful gift to learn about MAX and the bunch and your country. My sympathies to your family.

Bailey said...

My Mom is crying so hard that she says I have to do the typing -

We will miss Max so much!

We are so sorry for you.

Mom's 1st golden (Niki) died from Mast cell tumor, and it was so hard for Mom to make the decision, too - but the vet told her that he had less than a week left, and Mom didn't believe it. But the morning they had the appt at the vet, Niki couldn't even stand up, but was telling her he had to go outside to pee, so Mom carried him outside, and even though he couldn't stand up anymore, he laid in the grass and peed - he was such a good boy that he never would have peed in the house, and that still makes Mom cry. So they went to the vet, and Mom carried him in, and stayed with him like you did.

We just are so sorry. OUr hearts go out to you.

Sames Blogs said...

From Sasha's mommy: You started with "Only read this if you are up to it" and I knew, just knew, I HAD to be up to it. Somehow sharing that last moment with others, offers us the assurance that others are with us. I had to make the same decision for My Max 9 months ago, and it still brings tears when I think of the sweet memories, and that wonderfully bittersweet ending. My dear hubby and I had much the same experience and are so grateful for the dignity that the Humane Society granted Max and ourselves. We were able to say our final goodbye's on the floor with his head in our laps, and same as your Max, that dang tail still wagging. I feel your hurt and reafirm that you did the Greatest Act of Love ever! Our hearts are with you during this healing time. -- Sasha The princess's mommy!

Dino and Family said...

Big big hugs to you, Max's Mom! Please take comfort that Max is now young and healthy again and the wonderful memories you had together will live on in your heart forever!
Love, Dino

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

Courageous and heartfelt. 18 Months ago I had to say goodbye to my 15 year old girlfriend (cat) Nizzy. She had renal failure which presented itself suddenly (seemingly, there were other signs) and the vet sent me home with steriods and fluids. Before one night of forcing these on her was over I knew, I had to let her go.
I felt as you do that it was a privlige to be able to let her go before she was miserable. I agree with the comments that you can't experience the joy unless you are willing to take some heartbreak too. The joy outweighs everything.
Godspeed to your beautiful dog.
I hope you don't mind my leaving this link to Nizzy's last day.

Girl Tornado said...

I have known you and Max but distantly, and infrequently, and yet, my eyes filled with tears reading your final goodbye to your trusted friend. I relived those same last few moments with my dalmatian in February 2004. Well I remember my pain at his passing, and the gentleness and caring of those at the vet's office. It is never an easy decision to make, one of the hardest we as pet owners must make. But one of the most important decisions that we can make for our devoted and loving pet friends.

Hugs to you, and I hope you are doing better now, and again experiencing the myriad joys that life offers us.