I follow your organization on facebook, and I want to thank you for all that you do to bring awareness to canine cancer and most of all, I want to tell you I am sorry for your loss. Tonight, I read the story about Izzo. It broke my heart and caught my eye for many reasons; 1) I am an MSU alumni and EVERYONE loves Tom Izzo- especially after the
b-ball win last night 🙂 and 2) I too, have a story to tell of great loss.
I adopted my best friend Max in March of 2005. He was the most beautiful Labrador I had ever seen in my life. Much bigger than all of his siblings, and so white he actually looked like a miniature polar bear. He stood out from the rest, and we instantly became best friends. The beginning of that year brought me so much happiness, but what I didn’t know at the time, is that it would also bring me so much sadness… What I know now, is that Max, came into my life to save it.
Max was the epitome of a lab puppy! Constantly leaving me exhausted from his desire to play and be naughty. I remember taking him down to my parents house. They had just built their dream home with all cherry hard wood floors, and I would wince as I watched max run so fast he would slide and wipe out from room to room. I thought my parents were going to kill me, if nothing else, they would make me rebuff their beautiful brand new floors. But that didn’t happen. They instantly fell in love with max, just like everyone did when they met him. He was the kind of dog that was so bright and loving; he wanted you to love him back and he wouldn’t give up until you did.
Then came the awful day in October 2005. My beautiful mom, died in a tragic car accident just 3 weeks before my wedding day. My life stopped on that day. Through the chaos of grief and loss, being angry and very much in denial and all things horrible one thing stood out to me through it all…. I had this beautiful puppy, that was no longer a puppy. Literally overnight, he became this mature, careful, calm and aware loyal companion. Max would just follow me, sit with me, cry with me, and lick my tears when I was sad…months turned into years and he continued to be my best friend until the day he died. Literally, licking my tears as he laid calmly and took his last breath. He was stolen from me at the young age of 7, to CANCER.
It was Valentines day 2012 when he was diagnosed with incurable cancer on his brain stem and given 2 weeks to 6 months to live- with the recommendation of immediate palliative care. With the help of the MOST amazing friends in the veterinarian field, I took him everywhere for his care, getting a 2nd and then a 3rd opinion. Even going as far as having his scans sent to Colorado for the last resort, more opinions and some hope. I remember that call…”please don’t drive him all the way here from Michigan..chances are, he won’t survive the radiation and we can’t guarantee it will work due to the size and location of the tumor. It is my opinion that you give him plenty of hugs, kisses and treats because it could be anytime now”.
He died 10 months later, on December 10, 2012. Just days before he died, his hospice vet spoke of how strong he was, and that it was amazing how well he was doing. Those 10 months of his life were filled with ups and downs. Many scary trips to the local ER animal hospital. However, HE ALWAYS pulled through. He was my champ. My rock. He helped
me cope with the fact that he was dying of cancer. He did this by showing me his amazing will to live, to fight, to be brave, and most of all to be happy. He was happy everyday even though he was dying. Nothing kept him from barking at strangers (especially those on
bikes), napping in my bed, eating fab human meals prepared for him daily, going on boat rides or long walks, driving to “grandpa’s house” to relax in the country, or even teaching his brothers (who are boxer mixes) how to catch ducks and swim in the lake which he did 3 months before he died.
Thank you for sharing Max’s story and love with Chase Away, I hope you sharing his story and asking your friends to make a difference on Valentines day by donating to their favorite animal charity and sharing Max’s love is a great success. ((Hugs)) and love …… Cera