Rest in peace, Maxx

Rest in peace, good and true friend…

Last night we said good-bye to a cherished member of our family. Our Maxx, a black Lab, succumbed to lymphoma. She was 15 years old. This was a difficult decision for us to make, but it was also the kindest one. We could no longer allow her to suffer, and chose to end her pain.

We will all miss her terribly.

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This is her story (originally posted May, 2010):

This is Maxx, not Maxine, not Max, just Maxx. We had the name (think ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’), before we had the dog.

Maxx is our alpha female (just don’t tell Pollo, it would hurt her feelings). She is pushing 14, which for a Labrador is OLD. She’s actually a Lab/Chow mix, with more of a chow head shape and coarse coat.

When she was a puppy, as puppies will, she chewed on everything. One day I noticed what I thought were ink stains in her mouth. Worried she had gnawed on a pen and perhaps still had dangerous shards of plastic in her mouth, I wrestle her to the ground (even then she was a big dog), rooting around trying to find these potential choking hazards.

It was only once I had a good look at these ‘ink spots’ that I remembered that Chows have purple tongues. What I thought were stains, were actually purple freckles.

For an old girl, Maxx is doing pretty well. She has arthritis and doesn’t move as fast as she once did. Having to leave harassment of our squirrels to Hershey, even though she still insists on being the first one out the back door.

Lately Maxx’s favorite pastime is sleeping… on her comfy bed in the living room, in a patch of sunlight at the backdoor, in wallow of soft sand in the yard, or at the foot of my bed. She dreams a lot now. I watch her twitching and gruffing, maybe she’s still chasing those squirrels.

Her once jet black coat is turning a russet shade, grey peppering her muzzle and chest. Her eyes dulling with age and cataracts, but her bark deeper and more resonant. She still commands the other pets with a single bellow.

She has been a cherished member of our family since the day she arrived, small enough to fit in the crook of my arm. Even at 80 pounds, she thinks she’s a puppy, wanting to snuggle when she no longer fits on anyone’s lap. After being away from home, Maxx meets us at the door, demanding we acknowledge her need for a warm hand on her back and scratch behind her ear before she lets us into the house.

When JM and WK were small, and we would be rough housing with them, if Maxx thought we were getting too rough, she would insert herself between me or Hubs and the kids, often grabbing our arms in her mouth and trying to pull us away… protecting ‘her’ kids. Thinking of that today, I feel that familiar lump in my throat, knowing Maxx would fight for my kids, even against me and their dad.

She did the same thing with Pollo and Scruffy if she thought Hershey was being too mean to the littlest furkids. Always the mommy, always the protector.

Maxx is more than just a dog, or simply a pet, she IS family.

26 thoughts on “Rest in peace, Maxx

  1. I just found your post from your comment on Rock & Drool. I am sorry you have had to say farewell to Maxx. No doubt she lived a life filled with love!


  2. I’m so sorry to hear of the passing of Maxx. Losing pets is something I still have a hard time coping with–the unconditional love, the constant companionship. Maxx was truly blessed, and you in turn, it seems, were truly blessed and loved by her… A big hug to you and your family in this time.


  3. I am so sorry for your loss. Working at a vets I see this almost everyday. This is something that never gets easier. Just know that Maxx is well now. Im know that he is grateful for the love that you gave and still give him. He will always be with you.


  4. This brought tears to my eyes! I am sooo sorry for your loss.

    Losing a pet is never easy. I try not to get over attached to pets, because growing up in the country, we’d go through dogs every year or two. Wild animals or they’d run out in front of a car… So I learned that pets were short-term companions. Until we found our very own version of a Maxx. Jean was just… different. She was protective. She was loving. She got hit by a car and survived. She was a terrible mother. LOL! But she was just… different. We had her 11 years before we had to put her down. She was deaf, arthritic, and her eyes actually asked us to let her go. I still miss her with all my heart. You’ll miss Maxx just the same, I know. I understand. I send a thousand hugs your way.


  5. You know I’ve been there. It’s so hard, isn’t it? I’m really sorry for your loss. That picture of her with the open mouth cracks me up. I’m glad you have these great pictures of her, so you can still “see” her when you’re feeling sad. xoxo


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