Saying goodbye to Max

Discussion in 'The DIS Unplugged Podcast' started by WebmasterPete, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. WebmasterPete

    WebmasterPete Grand Administrator Administrator

    Jun 1, 1997
    For those who are not on Facebook (or friends with either Walter or I on Facebook), I wanted to let everyone know that we made the difficult decision yesterday to let go of our pup, Max.

    The night before we returned from PCC 4, Max had become very sick. It turned out to be pancreatitis, but there were many other complications as well. As many of you know, Max has had health issues over the last few years.

    In spite of our vets efforts to do everything conceivable to save him, he just continued to worsen. He refused all food, had become lethargic and was starting to waste away.

    When we went to the vet's office yesterday to say goodbye, I was surprised that he walked into the exam room on his own. He had spent the previous two days showing no energy at all, barely able to sit up. I expected they would have to carry him in. I spent a few minutes alone with him and asked him if he was ready to go, he responded by giving me a kiss - something he had not done all week. When I left the exam room to tell Walter and Mom to come in, Max followed me down the hall - which again, really surprised me. Walter and I both started to reconsider the decision - maybe he was rallying - maybe we should give it more time - maybe, maybe, maybe. But then when we got back into the exam room with him, he laid down and could barely move. His breathing was labored and intense, and we both knew at that moment we were making the right decision. Walter and I had always promised ourselves that we would never let Max suffer because we didn't want to let go. He rallied long enough to say good-bye to us, to let us know he was ready and that it would be okay.

    We brought along his favorite toy - a stuffed mallard that he loved to use as a pillow. When he laid down, he put his head on it as he always did. He laid there quietly as the vet (who loved him dearly and was in tears) administered the injection. I was laying on the floor right next to him holding him, as was Walter, all of us telling him goodbye and letting him know we'd be okay. He went very peacefully knowing that we were there and that we loved him.

    I had adopted Max when he was 8 weeks old and for more than 10 years he was at my side every moment of every day. He was there during the darkest days of my life - through addiction and depression - being a constant source of unconditional love reminding me that no matter how bad things may seem - there are things in this world worth living for.

    I know that everyone thinks their pet is special, and they are - but Max was unusual. Everyone that spent any time at all with him recognized that. There was a kindness and gentleness to his spirit that I've never seen in another dog - or another person for that matter. He brought that sprit to everyone his life touched.

    While I'm very very sad right now, and I miss him more than I could ever say in words, I am so grateful that I had him in my life. He taught me so much, gave me so much and loved me in a way I've never known. He was an amazing gift and that's what I choose to focus on now. Yes, the pain is great - but so was the love and joy he brought.

    Now, go hug your pets and never let them forget how much you love them.

  2. cgattis

    cgattis DIS Veteran

    Jan 1, 2009
    My condolences to you both. February will be 5 years since we had the exact situation (different cause--arthritis on the spine) with our beloved Dusty. So much more than a pet. (Miss you buddy...) I know you're grateful to have had that love, and he's always in your heart. You're in my thoughts.
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  4. lisah0711

    lisah0711 ♥ her Disney office

    Sep 9, 2005
    I am so sorry for your loss, Pete. Our four legged family members are just as much a member of the family as anyone. Bless Max's little doggie heart and yours, too. :flower3:
  5. jrsmom

    jrsmom DIS Veteran

    Jan 15, 2006
    So very sorry for your loss. It sounds like Max was very lucky to have found such a wonderful loving home.
  6. WebmasterJohn

    WebmasterJohn Genius Administrator

    Dec 17, 1999
    Max was a great dog and everyone who met him fell in love with him instantly. He was a total love bug and so gentle. I will miss seeing him at the Podcast recordings.

    Here's one of my favorite pictures of Max and Figaro (who we also lost this year).

  7. OKW Lover

    OKW Lover Retired and living 2 miles from The Castle. DIS Lifetime Sponsor

    Apr 29, 2004
    Thanks for posting this Pete. I know how much you loved Max and it must have been very hard to write - I can almost see the tears on my screen.

    Fortunately you have many memories of Max so he's not really gone. :grouphug:
  8. Tinkershelly

    Tinkershelly <font color=royalblue>DisneyWorld trip winner!<br>

    Jul 25, 2006
    I'm so sorry for your loss. You were blessed to be able to spend Max's last minutes with him, quietly and with dignity. And I applaud you for caring for him so well while he was sick but having the strength to let him go when you did, when the end was inevitable, and not have him be in pain. I've never had to make that decision, but I'd like to believe I would if the time comes.
  9. beachwarmer

    beachwarmer <font color=deeppink>Thanks very much for the extr

    May 12, 2000
    My heart goes out to you and Walter. Such a hard decision to make. The unconditional love from a pet is irreplaceable.
  10. tammydel

    tammydel <font color=blue>A true blue DISer!

    Mar 28, 2002
    Pete and Walter,
    I have felt your pain and know how real it is, for my family it was our beloved dog Rugby.
    In addition to remembering how much Max gave to you, remember also how much you gave to him. He had a safe and loving home, well cared for, protected and loved, and he had purpose in life - caring for and loving you. He had a full and happy life. In the end, you were strong enough and loved him enough to give him peace.
    You will always love him, you will always remember him and you will always tear up when you think of him, but your heart will be filled with more joy than sorrow because of him.

    Lots of love,
  11. Jotash

    Jotash Mouseketeer

    Jul 3, 2005
    I am so sorry for your loss. It's hard for some people to understand how important pets are and that you love them as you would a child. I lost my baby Joey earlier this year after 22 years together. Joey lived a wonderful long life and I know I did the best for him - just as you did with Max.
  12. kbelle8995

    kbelle8995 DIS Veteran

    May 28, 2009
    I'm so sorry to hear of your loss, Pete.

    It is always hard to lose a pet because they are members of your family.
  13. Susan R

    Susan R Mouseketeer

    Sep 27, 2010
    I've always enjoyed hearing Max walking around while you were doing the podcast. It was like he was a part of the podcast, to me anyway :)

    My vet sat on the floor with me and cried with me as I let my dog Maggie go. I always respected her so much for doing that. I had forgotten that the vets see our pets grow up too.

    John - thank you for posting the picture of Max and Figaro so we who listen to the podcast and hear your stories of you pets can see what they looked like.

  14. NC Belle

    NC Belle <font color=indigo>I <font color=red>♥ <font color

    Jan 7, 2004
    :grouphug: NC Beast and I are sorry for your loss.
  15. *NikkiBell*

    *NikkiBell* The WDW Merchandise Walking Bible Moderator

    Jun 27, 2005
    I'm in tears reading this as it reminds me of when I let Princess go a few years back. I've been thinking of you today. Hugs, Pete.
  16. figmentswife

    figmentswife One little spark will light your fancy

    Jul 23, 2011
    So sorry for your loss, but so glad you were able to be there for him.
  17. BeamsofLight

    BeamsofLight <font color=darkorchid>One of the 'They' in 'They

    Apr 22, 2004
    My heart goes out to you guys. Max was a lucky pup to have such a loving family. Be proud that you were able to be there for him and do what was best for him when he needed you. :hug:
  18. Bewitch324

    Bewitch324 DIS Veteran

    May 12, 2009
    I'm so sorry for your loss!! We could always tell how much you loved Max by the way you spoke about him, and I'm sure that your willingness to fight for his life as long as you did as well as your ability to let him go when it was time meant everything to him in the end.

    Take care of yourselves and know that everyone our here is also grieving with you.

  19. bear_mom

    bear_mom DIS Veteran

    Jan 9, 2007
    Sorry for your loss Pete and Walter.
  20. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel

    Oct 28, 2006
    Pete, even though I already read about this on Facebook, there was something about reading it here, all in one place, that just hit me, and I'm in tears here.

    I am so proud of you and Walter for your strength and compassion for Max. I cannot imagine having to make a decision like that, but it sounds like you made the best choice for Max. I know you miss him, but I think focusing on the gift of his presence is a wonderful way to honor his memory.

    Many of the responses here from folks have me in tears, too.

    Many hugs to the both of you. May you be comforted in your time of loss.

  21. StitchesGr8Fan

    StitchesGr8Fan DIS Veteran

    Jul 17, 2009
    Pete, prayers for you, Walter, and everyone else who new and loved Max. Take comfort in knowing Max is back with Figaro and they will be waiting to greet you someday on the rainbow bridge.

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