My heart is aching, so forgive me for not writing about art right now. Our beautiful, sweet, joy-filled Golden Retriever, Maxi, died last night. She was only seven years old and in perfect health up until four days ago.
I came home from Petsmart the other day with two new balls and went out to the yard to throw them for the dogs. We have one other Golden, Suzi, Maxi’s sister. They were best friends and slept cuddled up together at night from the time they were tiny. Maxi is on the left and Suzi on the right in this picture. We bought both of them when they were three months old from a breeder up in Everett. Anyway, back to the balls. They had so much fun running like crazy to catch the balls and bring them back for another throw. Maxi was such a good girl, always bringing the ball back and dropping it at my feet. Suzi, on the other hand, was more possessive.
Maxi was the smarter of the two from the very beginning, with one exception — squirrels. She never saw a squirrel she could ignore and scared me to death on more than one occasion bolting to the chase while I was left with a sore arm, watching helplessly as she flew down the street with her leash and me dragging behind. She never did catch a squirrel.
Back to the ball. On Monday afternoon she threw up and started eating grass. By Wednesday I knew she had to go to the vet when I found half of one of the tennis balls. The vet, a kindly lady, took x-rays and showed me the results with four large pieces of something in her stomach. She operated that night and called to tell us the happy results as she had removed the four pieces of a bright pink ball. Maxi was doing well, and she said we could take her home on Saturday.
Yesterday her prognosis steadily worsened. She had a bad case of aspiration pneumonia. Pneumonia in a dog? We visited her yesterday afternoon and found a very sick girl with labored breathing. I knew then she wasn’t going to make it, but the vet said she was giving her antibiotics and there was still hope.
Last night about nine, the call came. She was gone. We took Suzi over to see Maxi’s body to help her understand where Maxi was. It was one of the saddest and most emotionally wrenching things I’ve ever been through. Believe me when I tell you dogs have deep feelings. Suzi did not want to leave her.
Thank you for reading.