Growing up my family did not have any dogs we kept inside the house so I didn't grow up with any animal attachments. When my son turned 9 or 10 he begged me for a puppy. I did not give in. Fast forward to 2010, my son would be graduating from high school and his then girlfriend thought it was a great idea to get a dog, since my son would be leaving for college and the house would be empty for me without him. I finally gave in. I was very ignorant of puppy mills and set out to visit every pet store I found and always left with a broken heart. All those little precious souls looking at me wanting me to take them home. We finally found a listing from a local neighborhood paper from a woman who was selling Shipoo puppies (Shih Tzu mixed with a poodle). We agreed to meet her and she brought our future Max with her. He was so tiny, he was like a little bullet running all over the place, trying to climb up our legs. The love was instant and intense. We took our Max home.|
At just twelve weeks old Max was all fur but looked about 6 inches wide across his back. I remember when he got his first bath I told my son, that's not my dog! He looked so tiny all wet. So tiny my son was able to bathe him in the kitchen sink. Maxi was so smart, he learned to go do his business outside, he would give us his paws, sit, lay down and to fetch his toy. He was such an easy dog. He learned his bed time was 9 pm. If it got past that time he would come to me and just stare at me or wait for me at the bottom of the stairs as if to say, it's my bed time. God how I miss him!
He also loved food! OMG, he really loved to eat. Bananas, green beans, apples, watermelon, lettuce, any type of meat. He was my little cooking companion. He'd hear me chopping things up in the kitchen and he would sit and watch me. He loved me to toss peppers. He got real good at catching things in the air. It just dawned on me that I don't have a single video of him doing that, which makes me sad. Max was very independent and I could always trust him outside by himself (in our gated front or back yard of course). He would lay in the sun and ignore me when I called out to him if he was enjoying the day. He was his own man.
On Friday, June 1, 2018 I got home from work to find Max running to me down the driveway limping not being able to use one of his hind legs. I brought him in the house, put him on the couch and noticed he couldn't keep his eyes open. In a panic I began searching for 24 pet emergency clinics on my phone. Max is the first dog I ever owned and never once in his 8 years did I need to take him to an emergency clinic so I was clueless. My husband and I scooped him up and headed with Max and our other dog Bailey to the emergency vet clinic in Kendall. They performed a physical, gave him a shot for his pain and gave me pain medication to take home and told me to take him to his vet on Monday. When we got home we noticed a large amount of blood coming from the needle stick to his back. I was alarmed but just figured the doctor must have not pressed the cotton swab long enough for the blood to clot.
Monday comes and I take him to the vet. She's looking him over and is quite alarmed as to how one of his eyes is looking. She took X-rays of his legs and referred me immediately to the ophthalmologist which thankfully was just next door. The specialist ran blood tests and found him to be severely anemic and his platelets were extremely low, hence the bleeding from the Friday needle prick. She diagnosed him with Ehrlichia. She sent him antibiotics, steroids, eye drops, and pain medication. I fed him liver, red peppers, meat, anything I could think of to battle the anemia. I was to follow up with her in one week, but decided to take him back on Thursday to make sure he wasn't deteriorating. She looked him over and told me his left eye was perfect but was still worried about his right eye so she prescribed more eye drops. She also mentioned that his gums and tongue were pinker so he seemed to be responding to the medications. Next Wednesday comes and I take him back to her, they perform the blood test and she comes into the exam room with a look on her face that I will never forget. She told me she was baffled, the anemia was worse and not only was he blind in his right eye, the retina in his left eye was detached, that's when she first mentioned the C word, she thought it might be cancer, I was devastated. She told me I needed to take him to the hospital asap where they could give him a blood transfusion if need be. So I take him to the hospital. They perform all the same blood tests and X-ray to make sure he didn't have a growth in his spleen that was causing the anemia. The doctor at that hospital told me, "your Max is a little liar. He looks fine, but he is very ill. He's a good liar." He could fool anyone. The next morning I woke up, gave him all his medications and left for work. When I got home that afternoon, on June 13, I find Max struggling to breathe and looking not like himself. His eyes were distant. My worst fears were coming true. My husband and I rushed him to another emergency vet clinic. On the way there I could look at Max and know he was not going to make it. My heart was breaking and panic started to set in. The dreaded moment I refused to even consider was obviously inevitable and I though I would lose my mind. On the way to the clinic Max wanted to stick his head out the car window and I held him up so he could feel the breeze on his face one last time. My spirit was broken on the way to that hospital. At 8:30 Max passed away. My first ever fur baby was gone and I did not know how to deal with it. The night Max died I got home and I did not even know how to deal with Bailey, as Max had always been there as his big brother.
At just 8 yrs old, my Max was gone 12 days after he first showed signs of an illness. I tried everything I could but for whatever reason, it was not meant to be. My heart aches for him, everything I do reminds me of him. He was my shadow everywhere I went. God I miss him.
Max knew how much he meant to us. He was such an important part of our lives. He always felt the love we had for him. He was our little special baby. Now his little brother Bailey had to get used to a life without him.
Until I see you again my little baby Max.
7/18/2018 - My sweet little baby boy Max. I am not having a good day today, Luna ran out of the house and we cannot find her. I keep thinking you and your brother Bailey will watch over her and bring her home to me somehow. I miss you so much and my life is forever changed because of you my little angel. I miss you and will always love you, mommy.
Please also visit Bailey.