August 12th 2010 7:04 pm
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One of our Dogster pals, Daisy Mae (439979), has recently lost a pal of her's named Max. She received a beautiful e-mail with the following tribute to Max in it. She posted it in her diary and I asked if I could use her ID number to let all our friends read it too. I hope she doesn't mind, but I copied it and have printed it below. It is very touching, but so wonderful and hopefully we all are loved like Max. We too have had several pals in the recent weeks cross the Rainbow Bridge and this could be a tribute for them too. It is very moving, so please have hankies ready. With Love.....
A TRIBUTE TO MAX
I received this email a couple of days ago but just got around to reading it this evening. It is from one of the groups I am on. It is obviously a tear jerk-er but it is so beautifully written that I thought you would enjoy reading it. It was written by an animal communicator.
I wrote this to remember & say goodbye to our dear, old, good friend Max...
Max’s Good Death
Our old dog Max has been flirting with death for several weeks. His eyes grew cloudy and his body became skinny, his hips moved precariously and he had trouble getting up by himself. But always he was happy with a wag of his tail and friendly look from those gentle brown eyes.
About five days ago it appeared Max’s end was finally near. So we made him comfortable on his big pillow bed, brought his meals to him, and sat with him, stroking his head, talking of all the good times we had together.
I made him a particularly delicious dinner one night as I suspected it might be his last. To my surprise he was up and about the following morning as if he hadn’t a care. Good old Max had bounced back with gusto — tail wagging wildly, eagerly moving around the back yard for an early morning piddle, and even climbing the back deck stairs to bark at the kitchen door for breakfast. My family and I were amazed — we had been grieving, slowly letting Max go, and here he was, back for a second round!
What followed were two very good days for Max: walking in the front yard, eating meals of kibble, rice and glistening chunks of salmon, and wagging his tail whenever he saw us.
But like all good things, this too came to an end. It shifted two nights ago when Max stopped eating. He took a sniff when I set down his bowl and simply turned away. This was something Max had never done before. He drank water that night and rested well, though the next morning he didn’t want to get up.
“Max is getting ready to go,” I told my husband and daughter. “Again?” they asked. We smiled — sadly and yet a bit relieved, too. We knew Max was finally ready to leave his old, creaky body behind. We knew the natural course of death was flowing through him.
Max showed up in our lives 11 years ago. He appeared on our back porch with another black lab during a winter wind storm. The two were runaways from (as we learned later) an abusive situation. At the time we lived with two dogs who were not so happy about sharing their home with two more. A day later the other black dog left and Max stayed on, wagging his way into our family as the big, goofy, good-hearted soul we came to love.
With a keen desire for food and fun, Max lived his life big. He loved to bark and run, chase balls and eat and drool. He was also a dog who possessed a deep well of acceptance — a genuinely kind dog who accepted even the sad things that happened to him as a puppy, and who continued to love. More than anything, Max was happy and proud to have a family — to belong. As he once told me, “I want to tell other people to love dogs and treat us well because we are so happy to help you and be with you. Ask us to do whatever you want and we will try, because we — black Labs especially — love to make you happy. That is what we love to do … to make you happy with us and then we are happy with us, too. We love you!” Such was Max’s simple yet profound philosophy of life.
When it was clear that Max was getting ready to leave his body, I accompanied him on a few short walks around our front yard. He moved slowly and stopped often to smell the grass, the mushrooms, the flowers, the rocks, the trees. But yesterday he didn’t want to walk. Instead, he purposefully moved through the back yard and lay down by the raspberry patch. It was a favorite place of ours: me picking raspberries from the higher branches and Max munching the small bright red berries that hung close to the ground. He lay down calmly, easily, sinking into the earth, his nose close to all those good earthy smells.
In the course of the day Max moved a few times, as if searching for his perfect spot. Finally, he positioned his body on a small incline, looking out over the mountains beyond our yard. During the afternoon I alternately sat and lay in the sunny grass next to him. We spoke of all the fun times we had together and I told him how lucky we felt to have him in our family. He reminded me of dreams he once shared — of following a trail through a marsh in which he was waylaid by shimmering flowers, teasing leprechauns, and other magical dream diversions; of running through a field that became a forest filled with incredible smells and shapes; and, in yet another, the thrill of running very fast and taking a giant leap off a hill, sailing up high into the clouds, race-flying through a misty, cloudy world. As we became quiet and calm, I felt him reliving his dreams — lapping up water as if moving through the marsh, twitching his legs and stretching his head as if to prepare for the big leap off the hill.
In the early evening, I left Max to prepare dinner for friends. I came out every so often to check on him, to sit beside him and gaze at the view from his perspective. Each time I noticed that more and more of Max was drifting away. He often seemed to be looking into another world — a different dimension than the one I was occupying. At one point I lay down next to Max and felt our energies join. I was suddenly aware of the soft and yielding quality of the grass and dirt — of how welcoming the earth had become beneath our bodies. I realized then that Max was sinking himself into the earth, and how comforting this was for his release.
Shortly after dinner that night it began to rain. My daughter and our dinner guests and I raced outside to move Max. But Max didn’t want to be moved. His body was anchored, as if it had become stone. Thus, we decided to cover Max. We grabbed tent poles to create a funky, four-sided pyramid, and lay a huge brown and green tarp overhead, securing the sides for any wind that might blow through, but leaving the front open to the vista.
Late that evening, guests gone, dinner and dishes put away, I crawled inside the tent to sit beside Max. It was cozy and warm, the rain a soft pitter-pat upon the sides of the tarp. I fluffed Max’s pillow beneath his head, and covered him with a bright orange and yellow sleeping bag I had once used as a child. By now Max was almost entirely in the spirit world, his eyes distant, his body still, his breathing deep and low and slow. It was peaceful laying beside him, my hand resting upon his neck, gaze drifting into the cloudy, blue-gray sky looming wide over mountains and trees and homes.
In the morning Max was gone, only the shell of his furry body left behind. My husband dug a grave and lined it with bright purple stalks of fireweed. I added a small branch from the raspberry patch and my daughter blew kisses. Together we gently lowered our kind-hearted friend into the welcoming earth. We said our goodbyes, our faces leaking tears and smiles, both missing him and wishing him well on his new adventure.
Standing by his grave this morning, I looked out over the mountain view. It was cloudy as the day before, but a ray of sunshine beamed through the haze, carving a bright, golden green path down the mountainside. And there was Max — running fast, his body swift and supple, taking a giant leap to sail high up into the clouds, race-flying with joyful abandon. As always, wagging his tail.
What peace.. what beauty.. wishing and hoping that I might drift away the same.
Cant see to type anymore.
That was really really beautiful.
Mom's eys leaking..so she cant type, but that was beautiful!
Lovely! 'Nough said...
Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.
So very beautiful and heartfelt. Thanks for sharing this.
eye's leaking to much to type
That is beautiful. How touching..
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