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Twelve years ago, we brought home a 3 ½ lb ball of fluff who we named Five Pound Maximus, “Max”. In fact, he was our Christmas gift for our children; Matthew, Ashley, Brittney & Blake. Max was so small that the bow we put on his collar was bigger than his body. I remember the kids looking down and all they saw was a big red bow coming towards them. I can still hear their squeals of joy when they realized they now had a dog!


Max immediately became part of our family and was the center of attention. Through the years, we quickly learned how to cater to him.


Max didn’t have to say a word but somehow, his needs were met. For example… If Max stared at a door long enough, the door would somehow open. When he was thirsty, he learned to get water by staring at the water cooler. Max would look at the water cooler, bark and look back at us. Max trained us to open doors and be attentive to his every whim. He had great powers!


Max was sometimes yelled at, punished, ignored and frequently, by accident, stepped on but he would take it like a big boy. At times, we wondered why we got a dog. That is especially true now that our kids are grown or when we are planning a trip. We often made him wear outfits that, I am sure, other dogs would have mocked but Max wore each outfit with pride and dignity.


Max knew when we were sick, sad or needing cheering up and was always up for the task. Max followed me everywhere! He was the first one to greet me after a long day at work but he didn’t just say; “hey!” No, he would greet me as if a dignitary was walking through the door. I have said; “if our husbands greeted us like our dogs… there would never be a need for divorce!”


At night, Max never wanted to leave our side but he would reluctantly leave our room after my husband would scoop him up.


For the last week, Max went from acting like a puppy, to a stroke victim. He was in a great deal of pain and yet, no matter his condition, he still followed me everywhere. He never complained but somehow we all knew he was in great pain. Today, the vet confirmed what we had all feared and we had to make the tough decision to let him go.


Max was quite the rock star and loved by the staff at the Cocoa Veterinary clinic. Max was surrounded by the same unconditional love he gave us for 12 years. Even Dr. Haney was emotional as he administered the injection and proclaimed; “He is gone”. Max was peaceful as he went to sleep.


We are grateful for all the wonderful memories, the laughter and the unconditional love. Max never held a grudge, gossiped, talked back, used sarcasm or passed judgment. Max was a great teacher, without saying a word.  We can all learn how to behave from our pets… I know, I still have much to learn!


I have no doubt that when I take my last earthly breath, Max will be the first to greet me!


October 5, 2001 – October 30, 2013