9/27/2009 - 12/6/2019About 6 years ago we went to adopt a Golden Retriever named Max. Little did we know, he was actually a giant moose, contained in a dog's body. He had been abandoned and then found and saved by Golden Retriever Rescue of Michigan (GRROM), and we were blessed that Max adopted us.

When we got him, they were guessing he was between 3-4. He didn't know how to play and his manners weren't the best. He thought that "sit, stay" meant that if he remained sitting, but scooted along the floor in that same position, it still qualified. But with some patient training, Max was a quick learner and soon was a sit-stay champion. And he did indeed have the retriever gene, it just needed a little nurturing. Socks, shoes, sweatshirts, towels, toys, sticks, rocks, moles, chipmunks, recycling, trash, our paper, the neighbors' paper... everything was fair game to be captured and retrieved.

About 6 months ago, Max started to get a bit wobbly and had a seizure. He was diagnosed with a neurological disorder and we had him on steroids, which worked really well and he returned more or less to normal: he retrieved a skunk, and managed to bless us with the aftermath for weeks.

About 6 days ago, Max was wobbling again and had a much larger seizure. So it was off to the emergency clinic. This time the diagnosis was worse: cancerous tumors.

Yesterday, we had to say goodbye. And once again my heart has been ripped out of my body and shredded.

It's hard to type with tears on a keyboard, but I have to say what a blessing it was to have Max in our lives, and that when it's time to say goodbye, there's no greater gift than sending them over that Rainbow Bridge with your love embedded in their soul and your kind words in their floppy ears.

For those of you that knew him, thank you for letting him steal your food or ram his big head into your pockets looking for treats. Or for letting him play with your dog: he loved all of his special girlfriends in the neighborhood. Especially Darby.
We thank GRROM for letting Max be a part of our family; the veterinarian staff at Animal Medical Clinic of Saline for helping extend Max's good days; the Jackson Road Emergency Animal Hospital for their care and concern during the last week; and the wonderful staff at Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice for their home euthanasia service.

Max will be terribly missed but loved forever, and in closing I need to paraphrase a quote from A.A. Milne, as provided to us by Lap of Love in their care packet:

“How lucky we are to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

Peace. Love. Rescue.
Kristian FoondleSaline, MichiganDecember 7, 2019
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