With all of the comfort my loving embrace, kisses, and tears could offer him, Max was euthanized Tuesday morning August 9, 2016 at 11:00 AM at Asheboro Animal Hospital.
Max was born in 2001 from the purely accidental union of Miniature Schnauzer and Lhasa Apso parents. He was quite fortunate that his first owner chose to leave him unclaimed, in late 2005, at a groomer who had recently learned of NCSR’s inception, and called upon them for help.
As a new volunteer for NCSR, Laura Z. was approved for pickup and transport, and immediately recruited me for fostering duty, which we all agreed would be for “only two weeks.” Max was delivered to me on December 10, 2005 which will always be celebrated as his Homecoming Day.
The intake medical examination revealed Max to be suffering Class III heartworm disease. The aggressive treatment reduced him from 17 pounds to a quivering 14, and nearly proved fatal. Max had recurring difficulties related to an enlarged heart, pancreas and thyroid issues, and reduced heart function, and in September 2009, finally suffered heart failure to the point of no noticeable pulse or breath. Max was rushed to NCSU Veterinary Hospital, where he had been pre-qualified as an epicardial pacemaker recipient. Successful surgery enabled Max to live with tremendous vitality until September 2015, when organ failure began contributing to ascites, a buildup of bodily fluids in his abdominal region. Over the following year, he slowly lost mobility due to excess weight and an arthritic hip, and in his last few weeks, the delight and innocence shining in his eyes was replaced with distress and a longing for relief. When Max finally stopped eating, I knew I could no longer hold on to my son, my best friend, and my greatest roommate of all time.
Max easily made friends wherever he went with his unique appearance, erect ears, soft silky creamy coat, and sweet disposition. His life was full of adventure from chasing squirrels and teenagers on skateboards, to boating, off leash hiking, mountain camping, and dozens of road trips. He was the big brother of four girl cats, who he ignored as if they were invisible, but I know he was comforted by their presence and affection. Max never lacked for a long walk or a good meal and was most fond of scrambled eggs on toast, chicken, steak, or hamburger on the grill, and pizza crust. He was living proof that dogs can smile. His kisses meant everything to me.
Our final adventure was a Tuesday morning ride in the truck to the Uwharrie Forest where we shared tender moments in the fresh air and warmth of the morning sunshine, both of us knowing that our time together was coming to an end. Max was a trooper to the very last moment, showing remarkable courage and spirit all the way to the finish line. I will love and miss him, our perfect friendship, and his presence in the room, every minute of every day.