Max is Flying Now

Our Last Minutes Together

Our twelve-year-old dog, Max, left his body on Monday. I didn’t realize until after he was gone how hard his last year had been. Almost as soon as the vet’s medicine stopped his heart, I felt him celebrating–flying. (We fly too when out of our bodies. 🙂 )

I had asked him, “Max, please tell me if you’re ready to go.” He then lost control of his bladder and had blood in his stool. He had been limping for months and began to hop on three legs. The cataracts seemed to swell. He couldn’t keep up with me on our walks, which I should have noted, accepted, far earlier. I’ll know the signs now if I am blessed again with a special friend like Max, and I won’t expect my friend to hang on, no matter what.

We picked up calming medication to give him an hour before we arrived. I cried all the way to the vet; my daughter held her tears back until we reached the parking lot. He collapsed when I got him out of the car; a vet tech carried him in and laid him on the stainless steel table. Another family was crying in the room next to us. Just a few minutes later the vet gave Max the medicine and ten seconds after he was gone. My daughter held him tight in her arms and felt him go. I felt her strength and compassion and realized in that moment that she is ready for college.

It’s hard for me to go into my bedroom–he slept next to my bed. The sadness comes over me in waves and I cry again until it subsides again. It’ll be a while for me although I, too, am older and wiser. I’m not angry at him or God; instead I am aware of how blessed we were to have the last 12 years together. It’s a good lesson—to celebrate the life shared, rather then simply mourn the loss. I hope I don’t forget.

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6 thoughts on “Max is Flying Now

  1. This a very private moment for you Pam and delply heart renedering. I feel one of the biggest things about our relationships with our dogs is that they always seem to love us regardless of sometimes our bad behaviour. They pass no judgement on us – they are always just there – loving with a gentle wave of a tail or a nose nuzzel. Bless you, Pam.

  2. Oh my dear friend. I just happened here as I’m finally creating/updating my blogroll and I’m so sorry. This brings tears to my eyes. Max was just like our first rescue, Blondie, who we had to let go in 2004. It is so hearbreaking. Love to you, Pam. If you want someone to go with you to find a new love, let me know. We found our two babies on petfinder.com–an awesome site for rescuing dogs. xo

  3. Hi Pam: I just read this post today. I am so sorry you have lost your companion. Our dog, Sam, has been living with us for 10 years now and we have all noticed her slow down. I love how she greets us at the door with such pleasure, follows us from room to the other through the course of the day, and the total abandon that she expresses when we go on hikes. I know I will miss her terribly when she moves on. Take care…KP

    • Thanks, KP. Like you said, there are so many little things, the happy greeting at the door, the collar shaking in the kitchen to make sure I understand that he’s present and impatiently waiting for his share, how much the children loved him when we walked, his head on my lap–or his whole body when there was thunder. I knew I would miss him, but I didn’t know my heart would feel so broken. It’s going to be awhile. Thank you for your kind words. Pam

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