Max was a healthy pup when we got him, at least I thought so. We had many fun times in the early days and it wasn’t till the 2020 holiday season, not long before Christmas when he became ill. Although he seemed to be getting better I thought it best to have him checked. What I thought would be a routine visit, with some advice on how to get him completely back on track turned into something much more.
After the consultation with our vet and subsequent tests she was emphatic that we take Max straight to the emergency pet hospital from her office, so that more extensive testing could be done, as primitive results showed something major was wrong and time was of the essence.
So in complete shock, but also hopeful that there would be some good resolution, we took him. Our vet called ahead so he was immediately admitted. We patiently waited in our car (as covid rules did not permit entry) for the outcome. Minutes turned to a couple of hours which as you can imagine were extremely intense.
Then, by complete accident a young assistant came to our car professing his deepest sorrow to us and asked how we would like to proceed!?!?!? Can you imagine? We were in complete shock. My words to this young man were, “What are you talking about, the vet hasn’t been out to speak with us, we don’t know anything yet!!!” His eyes widened and face dropped in the realization that he had just dropped a verbal bomb and made a major ‘faux pas’ to put it politely. Needless to say he disappeared quickly apologizing and went off to get the vet.
We still were unsure what the diagnosis was but now hearing it was devastating news our minds wondered what life without MAX would actually be like. Of course, your mind swirls and spins and gets carried to a place that's not constructive - anything but. I wondered how it was feasibly possible at such a young age when just the other week he seemed great. Sure enough when we finally got the news it was not good. Renal Dysplasia was diagnosed. The worst they had seen in such a young dog. He was on a steady decline and their advice was to leave him overnight to see what if anything they could do in order to give him a few more weeks.
The tragic journey began when we left our beautiful Max that night, to receive the treatment he needed. We traveled home without him, knowing that one day this would be the norm. One night went to another and another, a blood transfusion and meds later still were not enough for his release along with the fact he would not eat.
The realization set in that it was time to bring him home and learn what needed to be done in order to make him as comfortable as possible, plus I knew I could get him to eat. So it was decided and I made the call that we were heading to get him. Thank God we did. He looked disorientated, lethargic, sad and for the first time in his life less than enthusiastic.
The next couple of days he slept and slowly started to eat. We wondered if it was possible to get him through this and beat the odds. We took the steps of learning how to give him IV’s at home each day and researched as much as possible what else there was out there that could help.
Less than two months later Max met his maker. The details I will not go into. What I will say is that the time we had together those last few weeks, although hard, wouldn't ever change and I am glad we went to the lengths we did to make him more comfortable and spoil him in his own home. However, the day came and he left - Peacefully.
It’s still hard two years later to go back and relive those days. The sadness and grief felt with the knowing that his days were numbered and also wondering if we were just prolonging his life for our own benefit, were truly heartbreaking and tragic. However, I truly believe it's what he wanted. We went on lovely walks some days longer than others and some none at all. Our friends and neighbors were able to say goodbye and enjoy his beautiful character one last time.
We too were able to say our goodbyes in a loving, lengthy way ... .and to this day I think of him every day many times, and know that our bond is still as connected just in a different way. There will be another meet and greet on the other side for us and that I hold close to my heart.
So for those of you who have had a similar experience my heart goes out to you and I understand the hard journey that you have endured or are perhaps still enduring.
For those that are going through this now, my heartfelt prayers of love and support for you.
So with love, grace and prayers to you all…. my fellow animal lovers … one word of advice….always follow your intuition - it will not fail you.
Love and Affection