Friday, November 16, 2012

Goodbye, Love

Dear Max,

Your daddy and I had to make a very difficult decision at 1 o'clock this morning, after we finished cleaning up another accident, but we feel it's the right one. We've done everything we can to make your quality of life the best it can be as you near 10 years of age. Every day life is beginning to be a battle for you, and it is getting harder to see you struggle.

At 200 lbs, I really do believe a good percentage of that is your big ol' heart - you are the kindest, most gentle loving dog I have ever met. You walked into my life only 18 months ago, but the bond we formed is forever. If I remember correctly, you ran so fast to meet me that you nearly knocked me right over. Little did I know, that would be the way you greeted me every day when I would get home from work - at the door, with a toy, of course.

It may sound crazy, but you really are one of my best friends. You are a great listener, you love unconditionally, and goodness, are you the best cuddler. I sure will miss those cold winter nights, being able to crawl down on the floor and sprawl next to you, while you lay your head over me, as if saying, "it's okay, Mom, I'll keep you warm."

It's hard to even imagine our life without you in it. I will miss that sweet face and vibrant personality so much; how you come up and nuzzle me when you know I've had a bad day. How you grab the clippers out of Daddy's hands and throw them down on the ground after he cuts your nails. And no matter how deep asleep you are, your head will always perk up when you hear me open the peanut butter jar. How you can barely walk yet you still try to chase squirrels and rabbits. How you are 200 lbs but are deathly afraid of a 30 lb child. How you furrow your brow when I say the word "cookie" and it forms wrinkles all across your forehead. How you make new friends wherever you go because you're Mr. Social. How you burst into the bathroom while I'm taking a shower and sneak your head through the curtain just to say hello. Casey is always Daddy's shadow, but who will follow me around the house when you're gone?

There is so much more I wish we could have done together. We planned on taking you back to Delaney Park this fall, but we were afraid your legs wouldn't be able to handle it. We really wanted you to be around for one last Christmas, so we could dress you up again in that big red bow you loved so much last year. I had a genius idea for our Christmas card photo this year - now, I don't even want to do Christmas cards. I'm glad you got to see snow one last time a few weeks ago - your favorite all-you-can-eat buffet. You got to see Grammy this week, too, and I know she was one of your favorites. I'm not sure how Casey will be without you here. She has known you your entire life, you know. You two have always been the best of friends. I know she will miss you, too.

Life is a funny thing. A lot of people tend to take it for granted - but not dogs. You, my friend, have had quite an exciting life, and I'm certain you will leave this world today having no regrets. Daddy and I are going to stop off at Burger King on the way today to get you that delicious burger we always promised we would when the time came. You have taught me so much these last 18 months, and for that, I am eternally grateful. I will miss you more than you can imagine, my dear friend. <3

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