This is a love story that begins and ends with sadness, but had a whole lot of joy in between.
In April of 1998 I got a call from Dr. Paul Oberbroeckling at the radio station telling me he needed a favor. That weekend a puppy had been brought into the emergency clinic by a woman who just wanted him put to sleep. She said he had “fallen down some stairs and hurt himself” and was just too much trouble. His injuries included broken ribs and he had to be put on oxygen. The injuries suggested much more than just a fall. The clinic staff had the woman sign a release and they administered emergency care. Now Dr. O was calling to see if I could help him find a home. I told him I’d call Diane and be right back in touch with him and when I reached her she simply said, “When can I go get him?” The next day we saw Max for the first time and it was love at first sight…for all of us!!
Max was without question the most loving creature I have ever known in my life. He loved life, and he loved everyone he met. He seemed to know that every day was a gift he almost missed out on and his love knew no good day or bad day, he just always loved. When Diane had her stroke Max would sit and listen as I told him how worried I was about her and what we needed to do to make her better. I snuck him into the hospital one day and I’m convinced when Diane saw how happy he was to see her she started improving on the spot!! When she came home he was always there with her. Always. He was Diane’s companion in the garden during the day where he’d lay for hours while she planted and weeded. He was on the mat next to the tub whenever she took a hot bath and every night he slept at her feet on the bed. When the grandkids were over he’d make a point of licking them all and letting them hug him. When we had parties at the house he’d always be in the middle of it, eyes on the floor waiting for someone to drop something, which they always managed to do!! When I napped, he napped with me. All I had to do is pretend to yawn, and he would beat me to the bed! And more times than not when I sat at this desk in my office at home he’d be on his pillow beside me, when he wasn’t with Diane. Unending love for those that had given him a second chance.
Today, the week of his 14th birthday, Max suffered a seizure that blinded and paralyzed him and we lost him. It would be bad enough if we had just lost our dog, but we lost so much more than that. We lost what was good in life. Let’s face it, times are tough. There’s not much on the news to cheer about. It’s hard at work, it’s hard making ends meet, it’s hard getting older. People seem more interested in yelling at each other and criticizing each other than they do helping each other and loving each other. Max was that in our lives. He was the constant reminder that just being alive and loving those around you mattered more than all the nonsense. What you did and what you made paled in comparison to how you loved. I will, for a long time, desperately miss that. But I will forever be grateful for the love story we shared with Max. God Bless you old bear.
Rick, I can sympathize with you. About 5 years ago I lost my precious Papillon. He was my best buddy. And I still miss him. Linda M.
We understand your pain
Dear Rick and Diane, we totally understand the pain you are going through. The loss of a four footed fur child is a heartache deep in your soul. These little creatures that God lets us look after are so precious and dear. We lost our beloved cocker spaniel, Annie, over 12 years ago and I still miss her. I used to bring her into my office at KOSI when I had to work on the week-ends. We have Julie, our 11 year old silky terrier, and know one day we will have to give her back to God, too. It never gets easy. Our love and prayers to you both. Debbie and Jeff Jones
Rick and Diane, Just the fact that you called him "Max, the Wonder Dog" says it all. I loved hearing about him. Our pets are our children, too. They give us unconditional love and listen to us long after others stop. Max picked good parents.
"Please God, let me be the person my dog thinks I am."
I'm very sorry to hear of your loss. Small creatures take up big spaces in our hearts. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Andrew Paschetto
It's very difficult to lose a pet as they are family.No matter how long they are with us or a very short time. We always have memories of all of them that we've enjoyed and loved.
Oh, Rick, I'm crying with you - our fur babies are such a light in our lives! So very sorry for your loss, we have been there as well and it is a kind of hurt that takes over our lives for a while. Know that all of your loyal listeners are thinkingand praying for you and Diane in this! What a beautiful tribute to Max you have written - how lucky you were have to him, and how lucky he was to have you! Brenda, David, Sara and Alex in Lakewood
I understand how you feel. My little 19 year old Smoky (Shih Tzu) has good and bad days. He came from abused home, but all he wants to do is love everyone and he is loved. I understand your feelings and you are in my prayers. Max was blessed to have you and remember all the good times. Claudia and Roy Denver
So Very Sorry
Rick , Diane and the rest of your family, I am so very sorry for your loss. I do what you are going through. After 12 years of unconditional love, I had to put my Keiki Kone (my Maltese) to sleep becuase he was so sick and had a seisure also. I held him while the vet inserted the needle and continued to hold him a long time after that. He was a very special partner for me and to this day I miss him terribly. May you start to just remember the good times with Max and may God be with you and your family during this period of sorrow. Sincerely,
Our furry babies
It was one week after you lost Max that I wrote in to tell you I lost my gorgeous sweet kitty Lumpy on Sunday March 18. I couldn't even bring myself to read this blog until today. Such a beautiful and loving tribute. It was so nice to read about someone else who has such love for their four-legged furry baby, as I do.
Losing our pet children leaves a hole in our hearts and makes us feel like our whole world has been shaken. Max was so loved and lucky to have you and Diane to share his life with. It's so nice to hear your talk about Ozzie, new life and puppy breath. Thanks for sharing your life with us and allowing us to share our lives with you. Bless you Rick.
Sally in Englewood
Max the Wonder Dog
My Lhasa Kaylea and I were fortunate to meet Max and you several years ago at a dog event at a Aurora pet store. Max was such a sweet dog. He has a very similar personality as my Lhasa. I know how hard it is when a beloved pet dies. Kaylea passed away in 2004. She was such a treasure to me and is greatly missed. God Bless you Rick and Diane. Sincerely, Diane B, Aurora