Max, Prologue & Epilogue

” . . . it is essential that ye show forth the utmost consideration to the animal, and that ye be even kinder to him than to your fellow man. 

Max, 1968 – 2012

I mourn the passing from my life of this incredible lively, quirky and wonderful spirit.  Max was a love – stubborn, incredibly stubborn, but a love.

December 2012,  he would have been 14 years old.  He was about 10 months old when he adopted us 1998. In his last week in both appearance and behaviour he wasn’t “Max”.

Before our eyes Max lost his hair, his pep, energy, stubbornness and his bearings.  He stopped greeting us at the door, giving hundreds of loving licks, he became completely disoriented, standing in space, starring at some unknowable sight, unable to move forward, backward or lie down.  Max’s body was here, his spirit was lost.  

We knew without question it was time,  on November 26, 2012,  to release him

I have turned even more to the Baha’i spiritual teachings and prayer to stay as graceful and loving as possible through my tears  and  rely on Max’s spirit to help me keep perspective.

I began writing this series of remembrances days before we euthanized him, unconsciously knowing he had not many days to live here on earth.   I want to share a bit of Max and my journey  together.  If you choose to accompany us on this spiritual path Max & I will be honored.

MAN’S RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANIMALS

 

“It is not only their fellow human beings that the beloved of God must treat with mercy and compassion, rather must they show forth the utmost loving-kindness to every living creature. For in all physical respects, and where the animal spirit is concerned, the selfsame feelings are shared by animal and man The feelings are one and the same, whether ye inflict pain on man or on beast. There is no difference here whatever. And indeed ye do worse to harm an animal, for man hath a language, he can lodge a complaint, he can cry out and moan; if injured he can have recourse to the authorities and these will protect him from his aggressor. But the hapless beast is mute, able neither to express its hurt nor take its case to the authorities … Therefore it is essential that ye show forth the utmost consideration to the animal, and that ye be even kinder to him than to your fellow man. Train your children from their earliest days to be infinitely tender and loving to animals. If an animal be sick, let them try to heal it, if it be hungry, let them feed it, if thirsty, let them quench its thirst, if weary, let them see that it rests.” 

Bahá’í World Faith—Selected Writings of Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá 

Next, Chapter 1 – 

How Max picked me for adoption

 

28 thoughts on “Max, Prologue & Epilogue

  1. I am so sorry about Max. He was truly a special member of your family, and I’m honoured I got the chance to know him through your blog.
    I am sending you (((((hugs))))) and my thoughts are with you. I know it sounds cliche but he will always be with you in your heart and in spirit.
    I will often wonder, “now just what would Max do.”

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  2. my dear friends. I am so sorry for what you have to go through during this time. I can only hope things turn around. As you know, I just 7 months ago I took this journey with Sandy. It is a difficult journey, but helping a loved one along this path is the ultimate show of love and compassion. I need to remind myself of that sometimes.

    I look forward to hearing more about your lives together.

    I feel a pull to the shelters lately. I think Sandy may be telling me it’s time to help another…we’ll see.

    My thoughts are with both of you.

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    1. Wendy,
      I know you know exactly how indescribable a pets love is and how indescribable it is when they are gone. Thank you always for your kindness and honesty. Whatever animal you adopt is very fortunate.
      much love,
      j

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  3. Oh Judy and Max … my heart is heavy with poignancy and bittersweet memories … for what the two of you are experiencing – for in recent months, I have made this journey as well; an easy one it is not. Yet, for the time the two of you have been together, it is a precious and sacred one. I send prayers filled with Divine Love and Healing for each of you. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. With very special love to Max, and big hug for you!! ~~ becca

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  4. I am sorry to hear about MAX and his decline. I sit here teary eyed reading about this. Animals have a heart of gold. I am also thinking of my little Chihuahua Mia who has been through so much with me and my fibro as well. She developed seizures two years ago and has lost much of her hair as well, She is only 7 years young, weighs only 5 pounds but I think stress takes its toll on dogs and humans alike. I can not think of what I would do without her companionship. I can understand your pain…

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    1. LaVerne,
      Mia is such a sweet name and only 5 pounds. She must be able to fit in your pocket. I agree stress takes it toll on all of God’s creatures, including us!
      Max loves to have other doggie pictures on his blog. Have Mia send him one.
      Thank you so much for taking your time to comment

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  5. Precious Judy and Max,

    Sending love, ease, compassion and blessings your way during this physical, emotional, spritual journey together of Max’s decline. I hope your visit to the vet brings some helpful insight. It is so precious that you shared your journey with us.

    My 11 year old chihuahua/poodle Maxi is also declining now from serioius heart valve disease and progressing heart failure, and losing his fluffy fur.

    I have an ongoing request of Maxi and Spirit to show me a sign if/when the time is right to lovingly help Maxi exit, or to just love and support him in going through a natural “labor” of freeing his essence from this physical world and body to the freedom on the other side. He is my greatest teacher on this journey, as were my previous canine companions Lacy and Fletcher, whom you knew.

    Love, love, love to you from Melinda and Maxi

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    1. Melinda.
      Another Maxi!!!!! Girl Maxi or Boy Maxi? I do remember Lacy and Fletcher. They always greeted me with a bark at the window and a sniff at the door and gentle spirits inside the house.

      I do believe we all know when it’s “time.” The anticipation, for me, is often worse than the event.

      My Max has the exact same thing as your Maxi. I’ve been blaming the medication for the hair loss. Do you think it’s a function of stress in and on the body”

      Send me Maxi’s picture as Max loves to share pictures on his blog.
      with love always
      J

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  6. You may have seen this already. A friend sent it to Bob and I when our precious Coco was dying. It gave me comfort. I hope it helps you in some way.

    RAINBOW BRIDGE

    Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

    When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
    There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
    There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

    All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
    The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

    They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

    You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

    Author unknown

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    1. Raffle,
      Yes, I’ve read the Rainbow Bridge many times. It brings great comfort to many. Max and all our animal companions reside in our memories forever into eternity. That can never be taken away.
      Thank you so much for sending it.

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  7. If Max could talk, really talk, he’d tell you how much he loves you and how much you have meant in his life. I suppose he doesn’t want to leave you anymore than you want to let go. The best advice our vet gave us about when to euthanize my beloved cat, Bean, was: “You’ll know.” I am so sad for what is happening for both of you…

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    1. Kathe,
      Thank you for such kind and wise words. We are taking him to the vet this afternoon. Our Vet, several dogs ago, told us it was time when dogs stop doing doggie-things. He is declining . . . and whether it’s a matter of days, weeks, months or years only God knows and only I must accept. It’s just hard being a human!

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  8. I remember when you brought this totally quirky seemingly mismatched little bundle from the pound. But like his owner, he was too precious for words, and who could describe him anyway. Through the years he has changed from a pillow eating mutt to an e-mutt mega star who is loved by many. What a good life! Hang in there Max, we all get glassy eyed and bald thru the years. You are loved…….Bernice

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    1. Oh Bernice, thank you for commenting. “Who could describe him anyway” – ONLY you with those words. I suspect that each of us are indescribable, each in our own way.
      with love,
      j
      P.S. Speak for yourself – I’m not bald . . . yet. The glassy eyed is another story.

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  9. Oh, my heart goes out for Max and you.. Max is in my prayers and I think..

    No, It can’t yet be the climax
    For our dear friend Max
    He will stay some more
    happen, don’t they, comebacks..

    He will be fine..

    God bless!!!

    RS:)

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  10. Oh Judith, I had a bad feeling about this, didn’t want to bring it up. I know how you feel, Callie died in not even a year ago, I will always love my first dog but I love Lexi too, I guess I am meant to have a dog. I’m sorry that Max got worse, is he in pain? The whole situation is so sad, We knew nothing about Callie but in retrospect she did show us. We all love Max, he’s part of our family. Kiss him on the head for me, Lickingingly Laurie xoxoxoxo

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    1. Laurie,
      I don’t think he’s in pain EXCEPT on occasion he will “snap” if I touch him in certain place and then other times he’s fine having that place touched? He’s in some discomfort though and He’s been in digestive distress – and not walking very steadily. It breaks my heart to not be able to help him – you know what that is like.
      I just gave him a kiss from you.
      Thanks Laurie,
      j

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  11. After my first Keeshond had a stroke I slept with her on the living room floor, the next night my son slept with her. We spent that morning sitting on the porch with her, she was able to bark at our next door neighbor’ dog, and got excited when my sister came to visit. She loved her porch and that’s where she spent her last hours. She knew she was sick, I believe that, but she was so happy to just be with her family. She wagged her curly little tail until the very end.

    Losing an animal, or just contemplating it is horrible, because so often we are the ones to make “the decision”. Get your pillow and sleep with Max on the floor. He will love you all the more.
    xoxoxomo

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    1. Maureen,
      Yup, I slept on the floor with my other dogs, many a night. Max sleeps right next to me and if I have to get on the floor, I’m there. I often thing the contemplation and anticipation is the most painful.
      Thanks Mo!
      with love,
      j

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    1. Rose,
      The behavioural changes began before the medication. I’ve just not talked about it because it’s been so hard to acknowledge the decline.
      It appears it’s not a side effect but I’m going to continue to investigate.

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  12. My heart hurts for you and Max. Just hold him tight and let him know how very loved he is. I’m already crying for him. I want him to be the old Max but I know that he knows his pack and his friends love him VERY MUCH.

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