Max had been chained up in an unloving home for most of his life. He was left in a yard to endure the cold, the rain and the loneliness. Max developed a problem with his left leg and a neighbor alerted a rescue organization of the conditions that the dog was living under, but sadly in this country there are no laws against keep your dog outside on a chain, as long as there is food and water near by. The only thing that the rescue organization was able to do was to inform the owners that they would need to have Max’s foot looked at to make sure that it was not life threatening.
Max’s condition worsened and his left foot caused the neighbor to report his living conditions once again. After being asked to assist the dog and to have his foot looked at, and the owners failing to do so, the Animal Anti-Cruelty League Epping was finally able to intervene. Max had Sarcoma in his front left foot and the prognosis was not looking too good. The cancer was vigorous and the only treatment option that the AACL had was to amputate Max’s leg at the shoulder.
Once the amputation was complete and successful, the AACL started the process of having Max adopted. His picture passed by a number of uninterested people, and was shared by a number of sympathetic people who were unable to help him before it landed up on our Facebook page. It took a number of conversations before my boyfriend and I decided that we were going to adopt him. We felt that we needed to give this boy a fighting chance at a good life.
On Monday the 12th of September Max was struggling terribly with an upset stomach and he had been loosing weight at a rapid rate even though he was eating his food, and so my boyfriend rushed him to the vet after work. The vet was unable to see him because they had an emergency C-Section to preform. My boyfriend came home and decided that he would take him again the following day. Through the night, Max became very restless and asked to be let outside a number of times and on one occasion he went and fell asleep down the side of the house. This behavior was extremely unusual for him because he could barely contain himself when it was time to come inside the house – he lived for being indoors. At around midnight we decided to rush him to a 24 hour vet because his upset stomach was causing both him and us unnecessary stress and worry. The doctor took his temperature, ran some blood tests and offered us an anti-biotic for his stomach. While at the vet, he questioned us on whether or not he was eating, and we mentioned that he was on and off about eating but we were convinced he would eat. The vet decided that he wanted to make sure that he would eat some food but unfortunately Max did not eat what the vet put down infront of him. Worried about the weightloss, not wanting to eat and Max’s history, the vet asked if he could run a few more blood tests. We agreed and Max was taken out of the room for further tests.
We waited for what seemed like a lifetime, and the vet came back into the room. His face had softened and he requested that we come and have a look at something. He had run an X-ray of Max’s chest and the results were terrible. New cancer had spread to his lymph nodes and to both of his lungs. The prognosis… Terminal.
In the early hours of the morning on Tuesday the 13th of September we faced the harsh reality of having to put Max to sleep. There were no possibility of treatment for Max, but we had the option of taking him home and keeping him comfortable until he passed away naturally or we could put him to sleep at the vet. Naturally would have most likely put Max through a large amount of suffering, and no one wishes this on any of their animals, so our choice was simple.
We sat on the floor and held him tightly as he took his last few breaths. His fight against cancer was over.
New cancer had developed after all the tests that the AACL had run once they had preformed his amputation, and it had spread during the 2 short months that we had spent with Max. Cancer can go undetected for a number of months, and then it can spread like wildfire. At the time that tests were performed, the results showed no cancer, but it only takes 1 small microscopic cell to start the disease.
During his time with us, he grew to love us just as much as we grew to love him. He experienced what it was like to have a loving family, and what it was like to sleep in a warm bed every night. His tummy was always full and he made 3 friends that he saw every Saturday at his first ever clicker class. He even graduated the clicker class and learnt basic commands like sitting, lying down, and even saying hello politely to strangers.
He was a happy-go-lucky dog and loved nothing more than to be with us. We are nothing more than grateful that we had the opportunity of being with him and helping through his last 2 months.
I have been asked if we will ever adopt again. My answer to this question is that this experience has not discouraged us from adopting other animals. It has only made us want to adopt more animals and give them a loving home and family that they so desperately need. Every animal deserves the love that we were able to give Max, even if it is only for a short period of time.
Max made my boyfriend and I stronger. He brought us together and showed us what it was truly like to give heart and soul to an animal. I am truly grateful that we were able to help Max enjoy his last few months. He was a blessing in disguise and I will always be thankful that my boyfriend and I could call him ours.
I encourage people to help animals in need. There are other options apart from adopting. You can donate, you can volunteer, and you can just go to the local SPCA and give the animals a small bit of attention.
Rescue organisations give only the best care to the animals that end up with them, but the best care comes at a price and this is sometimes a price that the organisations cannot afford. Funding – in any form of the word – is always appreciated at rescue organisations. If you are unsure of where to start donating or where to volunteer, I encourage you to have a look at Friend of the Rottweiler Rescue and Rehome to start making a difference in an Rottie’s life.
Click here to like the Friend or the Rottweiler Rescue and Rehome Facebook page.
You are also more than welcome to send dog food, blankets new or old, or even old news papers to me and I will make sure that they are given to an organisation that is in need. If you would like to do this then please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and I will give you further details.
Please note that I am doing this in my personal capacity and will NOT accept donations in the form of money. If you wish to donate money then please contact the organization directly – you can click here to donate.
* If you are unsure on how to get hold of any organization that you wish to donate to, then you are more than welcome to email me and I will find out more for you and lead you in the right direction.
I would like to thank Animal Anti-Cruelty League for everything that they did for Max. For getting him the treatment he needed in order to live a few extra months. We moved into our new home with Max, only to find out that a young lady who helped Max at AACL lived next door to us. She recognized Max immediately and came to say hello to him.
I would like to thank the Friend of the Rottweiler Rescue and Rehome for finding him a wonderful foster mom and dad while he waited to come home with us. Zanfre and Roland gave a lot of time and effort to Max and he never forgot about them. He showed them love every time he saw them. Zanfre and Roland’s continuing support once we ha adopted Max just showed us how his love had touched their hearts.
I would like to thank Lindi at Puppy Town Day Care and Hills for sponsoring Max some food while he waited to be adopted, and to Lindi again for helping Max through training so that he was able to graduate his first ever clicker class. In a matter of 6 weeks Lindi was able to get a 3 year old Rottweiler, with no former training, to Sit, Lie Down, and say Hello to strangers – that is a major accomplishment. Max was a special case, and Lindi was nothing but supportive and positive about his future and his progress.
I would also like to thank Pet Wellness Worx for offering complimentary therapy for Max while he was waiting to be adopted. Pet Wellness Worx helped Max cope with being tri-pawed and made him do exercises to strengthen his body. He went to therapy every 4 weeks and his improvement was phenomenal. Everyone at Pet Wellness Worx loved to see Max come around to his appointments. He was well loved by all the staff and they were saddened by his passing.
Max’s paw touch the hearts of many. The love he had to give was greater than any I had ever seen. RIP Max.