Remembering Max


This post is for me. It’s probably going to be long and I don’t expect others to read it. Like I said, it’s for me.

When our oldest daughter was about 6 months old my husband said he wanted to get a Rottweiler. Growing up with a Schnauzer and Cocker Spaniel I said no way to a big dog. He persisted and I agreed to read a book about them. A couple of months later, we adopted a female American Rottweiler.

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Shadow became Kailey’s best friend and followed her everywhere. They lived to share French fries in the car and she helped Kai clean her dinner tray on her high chair.

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Boy, what a scary and dangerous dog!!

We had Shadow for six years and she was a wonderful family dog. When we were ready to get a new puppy, I’d fallen head over heels with the breed and wanted a big, burly German male (American Rotts are bred smaller). We stumbled upon Kaiser Wilhelm at a puppy store. He was covered in fleas, had severe kennel cough and you could see his ribs. We couldn’t wait to get him out of there. The day he was to be given a clean bill of health he was diagnosed with subaeortic stenosis- a heart defect. He lived a pampered life and loved it when we added a spunky long haired minature Dachshund to the family for Kai’s 8th birthday.

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They quickly became best buds.

When we brought baby #3 home from the hospital, Kaiser became his protector. He would sniff the carseat every time we came in the door making sure we’d brought his baby back to him. Kaiser only lived for three years and his death was hard on Yoda and me.

One day I was walking through the mall and walked into the pet store. I was surprised to see a Rottie sitting in a cage.  I fell in love. I called Hubby to see if we could get him hoping that the people who had ordered him changed their mind. They did! I met the store owner at our vet’s office a few days later to have him checked out- the dog, not the store owner. The vet took one look at his paws and said, “You do realize you bought a moose.”

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Hubby brought Yoda down to meet the puppy. He very clearly did NOT like him. He still missed his Kaiser. When we brought Kaiser Maximilian home the next day, Yoda again showed his extreme displeasure. Eventually they became best buds and slept against each other most of the time.

Max quickly grew into his moose feet and topped out at 150 lbs. He loved playing in the yard with the kids.

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So not scary or dangerous.

Last December, Max became very lethargic and stopped eating. Hubby and I brought him to the vet where he was diagnosed with cancer and not expected to live through the holidays. Recently losing his mom and one of his best friends, Hubby took it hard. I stepped in and made the decision to bring Max home instead of having him put to sleep. The vet assured me that he was not and would not be in pain. I fixed him his favorite people food- pancakes- and we made him comfortable.

We now call pancakes the miracle healer. They gave him the strength to fight and hang around a little longer.

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When Max was feeling stronger, we gathered the kids in the backyard and took pictures.

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It was a good day.

Spring is Hubby’s busy time of year when he has to travel. Max was better but we knew he could still go at any time. Every time Hubby left I prayed Max would make it until he returned home. After a month, I became convinced that Max was holding out until travel time was finished.

I was right.

Last night, while hurrying to complete a 3rd grade project on New Mexico that was assigned 2 weeks ago and due the next day, Hubs asked me, in his best cheerful voice, to come look at something. I left the two older siblings to help and followed him into the bathroom. Max was lying under the counter which has always been Yoda’s spot. I knew that it was time.

I sat down on the floor, petted his head and told him it was okay. Once in a while he would lift his head and open his mouth like he was trying to take a deep breath. Hubby took Yoda out to play with the kids so Max could have some peace. While he was in the other room, Max stopped breathing.  With my hand still on his head, I cried. Hubby came back in, saw me crying and asked if he was gone. I nodded my head.

We both sat there petting him for a few minutes. Then, he moved his mouth, like he wanted to breath. A few minutes later he started breathing again. Moments later, his leg then head relaxed. He was gone.  We thought. His mouth started like before but his chest didn’t rise. About forty minutes after I sat down with Max, he finally let go. We brought each of the kids in one by one to say goodbye. Yoda came last.

Max was a blessing and another wonderful Rottweiler. He lived for ten years which is good for a Rottie. I’m pretty sure he ate more pancakes than any other dog in his lifetime. He was a reliable protector and a loving companion. I am sad that he is gone but happy he was with us as long as he was.

Thank you for being such a good puppy.

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We love you.

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