November 25, 1994 --- December 22, 2011


My Dear Max:

Max was a truly wonderful gift. I purchased Max at a local shop here in New York. He was to be a gift for my sister who was recovering from breast cancer and was spending her time at home.

Max was such a bouncy and wonderful little boy and filled her days with unlimited joy. As my sister was recovering and was in remission we began to take Max out more often and he enjoyed running on the beach. We had our country home in Montauk, NY and we would spend long weekends and the great outdoors was at our disposal.

About a year and half later my sister developed a chronic uneasy feeling of dizziness. We went from doctor to doctor to doctor with no real clue. Her illness was debilitating her and yet we could not find the answers. Finally we met a knowledgeable doctor who diagnosed her with CJD. It is the human form of Mad Cow's disease.

Well, a shock was not the word and my sisters condition worsened and she needed to be hospitalized. Every day I would take Max to visit her and spend time with her. He really was the best medicine for her as she would do her best to smile and just loved when he would lick her face. He was so happy to see her and we spent our evening with her every night and day until she went to sleep. It was my worst life experience and I'll forever be heart-broken.

Thankfully Max was there and being a young boy he kept my spirits up and was always there for me. We travelled and went places and he was always by my side. I took him to Disneyworld and he just enjoyed the adventure. He spent time with me on Miami beach and was a wonderful companion in my car.

Over the years we both healed over our loss and Max was my best friend and companion. He would be the best that a person could ever ask for and never let me down. Although he was 17 he appeared to be doing well.

I noticed that he was experiencing pain on his head so I took him to the vet and they said that some of his teeth needed to be removed and he needed some tests. I got the tests taken and it looked good that he could tolerate the anesthesia for his teeth. The next day he developed seizures which is something that I've never experienced with Max and I did not know what to do.

Fortunately, New York has some of the best medical veterinary centers and I started going through a series of tests to determine what was wrong. I was meeting with a vet who was about to give Max a cat scan to check what was going on in his head. As they were taking him for his exam he experienced another massive seizure and the doctor gave him a shot of valium to calm him down and to stop the seizures. It was apparent that Max was in great pain and the seizures were literally "frying his brain". I then had to make the difficult decision to let Max go as I had to do for my sister.

I was reliving this all over again with the last visage of my family. All of my family has passed on and I was alone with Max but I never felt alone with him. Of course friends were comforting but it's just not quite the same and there are no words to describe the day I had to let Max go to heaven. I just couldn't be selfish about it by prolonging his illness. He was already 17 years old and the chances of recovery were so small that the cards were stacked against him.

I made the decision and said my goodbyes to Max as I watched him gently go to sleep. The image replays in my mind like a video tape on a daily basis. All my wonderful memories of Max are forever with me but the one thing I want is to have Max back but I know this is not possible. I've had so many losses over the past years that it's very difficult for me to go through the day. The good, if there is a good, is that each day is just a little bit better than the day before.

I know time heals all wounds but these wounds are still fresh and will take me a long time to recover.

My sister passed away 14 years ago and I still think of her. Max passed away a few months ago and I will always think of him. I loved him so much and he returned my love a hundred fold.

In loving memory of my true friend, "Max".


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