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Maxwell added to Faces of Courage

February 23rd, 2015 · 13 Comments

May 14, 2006 — February 7, 2015


UPDATE 2-23-2015—

Maxwell Culkar’s Story

Maxwell was the best thing that ever happened to me. 5 1/2 years ago I was looking on and there he was, such a beautiful dog, I knew I had to adopt him. I went down to the APL and saw him. He was so sad and scared, sitting at the back of his cage. I knelt down and he slowly came to me, smelling my hand and allowing me to pet him. They brought us into the playroom and he walked over to me and sat right in my lap. That was it, we had found each other. Soulmates, best friends forever. We both needed unconditional love, safety, and comfort. I promised him from that day on, he would never want or need for anything, and I would make sure with everything I had, he would always feel loved and safe. He brought so much to my life, he was everything I could ever ask for. It was me and him, partners against the world. Through a few moves, ups and downs, different jobs and loves, he was my constant, my rock. All he had to do was look at me with those big, beautiful eyes, lay down next to me as close as he could, and nothing else mattered. He was perfect. Perfect for me. He would lay next to me all night, no matter what. Wherever I was in the house, there he’d be. That meant the world to me. I wanted, each minute of his life to show him how much he meant to me. I knew he had a horrible past with previous “owners” and months on end at kennels and that brought a feeling of uncertainty and fear to him. I was so conscience of everything I did, I tried to always make him feel comforted and loved. I loved to nuzzle in his furry neck. I loved the way we would lay on the couch together, either me lying on his back or him lying at my feet. We would get all cuddled up and felt no need to move until we absolutely had to. That’s all we needed, each other. He’d tap at the door of the bathroom with his paw, as to say come on, let me in. Sometimes he’d choose to enter, other times he’d lay right outside until I came out. Either way, was close to me, protecting me. He was so proud on our walks. If we passed a stranger, he’d bark, watch them, and then after we had passed I would pat him on his back and say “good boy Boobers” (that was my nickname for him), he’d perk up, head held high, and wag his tail as we kept on our way. When I would pick up the pace and start a little jog, he got so excited, smiling as wide as can be. He loved squirrels and any other land critter he could set his eyes on. His senses were impeccable. He could spot things a mile away, hear sounds that escaped me and the sense of smell…whenever I got a new outfit, he knew. It was amazing. He’d walk up to me and just smell away, as if to say, “new outfit, eh?” He loved his comforts too, big pillows, comfy blankets and a soft warm doggy bed. I wanted to spoil him as best as I could. Whatever I could afford, I wanted him to have. Sweaters, hoodies, even a pair of Christmas jammies with legs and all, he loved and proudly wore out on our walks. He loved my homemade chicken stock, especially when poured over his usual dinner time food. He never begged, really. Just quietly sit next to you, hoping and waiting that something would drop. Trust me, when it did, he found it. Sometimes he may tap your leg to remind you that he was there while you were eating, but that was as far as the begging would go. One of the funniest things he would do is when he was eating, if he heard something he should be barking at he’d try to do both at the same time. Munching away he’d throw in a low bark. It was so adorable. When he would dream, which was pretty often, his whole body would go into these waves and movements, I couldn’t get enough of it. He was so big, 130 lbs and to see him just wiggling about and his paws quivering, it just made me smile. Come to think of it, pretty much everything he did made me smile. I could be having the worst day, come home, and within minutes my heart and mind would heal. Just the look on his face when I’d walk through the door. He’d always be right there, within a foot or two of the opening door. Just as happy as can be. Talk about feeling so loved. If I had to do something before we took our walk, I’d make sure to bring out his leash and place it on the table so he knew, even though there may be a delay, we indeed were taking our evening walk. i didn’t want him to think I’d forgotten. He always knew he’d be getting a treat, too. If mommy had to leave, 9 times out of 10, he would be getting a little something on her return. The few times I couldn’t bring him something I would bring out one of his Milk Bones. It was so cute, he’d look at it and turn away, like he was saying “no, thank you”.

There are not enough words to describe how I felt about my beloved Maxwell. I wish I could describe every emotion, every moment he brought me joy. There are so many and I miss him so much. My life was so full with him in it. I never wanted for a hug, or love, or a friend. I had it all. He gave me it all. I know I tried to do the same for him, every moment of every day. He deserved that and the world and more. When I would wake up, and there he’d be right next to me, either sitting or lying next to me, that’s all I needed to start the day. When he’d look at me out of the corner of his eye from the couch when I’d leave, I just felt so good. He was keeping his eye on me, I loved it. I wish with all my heart, he was with me right now. The nights are so empty and lonely. We would sit down and watch our shows and do our routine until it was bed time. I miss that so much. I thank God I was blessed with him, I prayed for him all the time. I never wanted our time to end.

Friday night he was feeling fine. I got home from work we did our usual walk and came home to relax and I gave him his bone. All of a sudden a hour or so later, he showed some discomfort. He started walking around trying to get comfortable. He got sick, and then laid down with me, still agitated but trying to just lay with me. The next morning, yesterday (Saturday) he was lethargic and wouldn’t even take a small piece of fresh roasted turkey. I knew something was wrong and took him to Great Lakes Vet Clinic. His gums started turning pale grey on the way. We rushed him in and found after an ultrasound his belly was filled with blood. An undetected mass had ruptured. They went ahead with diagnostic testing and saw all his tests, urinalysis, blood, x-Rays, were not showing anything negative. They said he was an excellent candidate for surgery. We decided to have it done that same night at the Westpark Animal Hospital. My best friend and I Jacqueline rushed him over there and the surgeon was very positive. It could be a cyst, a hemotoma, or a benign or malignant Tumor. An hour or so later they began surgery, 20 min later they called me in. They found 3 bleeding tumors on his liver that were inoperable and were going to rupture. I begged them, I pleaded, “is there anything, anything I can do?? Whatever it is, I’ll do it. I just want him to live! He was FINE yesterday!” They said no, I’ll never forget the vet surgeons words “Something’s money just can’t buy”. I fell to the floor. I could not let him go. The vet told me, to wake him from anesthesia would bring nothing but pain to him. I thought of waking my Maxwell up just to have him know he was dying. An impossible choice and no time to make it. I wanted him home, I wanted to lay with him and hold him. But, I couldn’t let him suffer just to pass on. If there has been ANYTHING I could have done, if I would have been given even the slightest chance of hope, I would have taken it and done whatever was needed. He is my best friend, my soulmate. The vet told me He wasn’t going to live the rest of the life he was meant to. I went in and sang to him our song, the song I had sung in his ear ever since I met him, “you are my sunshine”. I held him him, stroked his head and neck and sang again. We let him go, to cross the bridge. He passed away. What is so hard is that this all happened within 24 hours. They said these types of tumors are undetectable and show no signs until they rupture. I can’t believe he’s gone. He was so healthy and active all the way up to late Friday night.

He made me feel so happy, so complete.

I thank God he brought him to me, I pray to God he unites us again when it is my time to leave this earth. Until then, I just hope and pray with all of my heart and soul, that he is here with me in spirit and can feel my love, each day growing. I miss you, Maxwell. I love you, Maxwell. Please wait for me and guide my way to you when it is my time. When that day comes, we can play and run in the snow, the leaves, the water. We can cuddle up close and keep each other loved and safe for all eternity. Til that day comes, stay with me, close to me, know that I will miss you so much until that day and know that my love will do nothing but grow and keep growing. I love you.

— Sharon

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13 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Kate // Mar 18, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    Dear Sharon and Maxwell…
    Your words completely and in total, describe
    love in it’s purest form. Maxwell earned your love before you found him with rejection and suffering.
    You earned his by knowing how dark people can be yourself. Your words landed on me so well as I, too am grieving the loss of my Darling pup. One of the rescues whom God paired with me. have that superlative and heavenly perfect love that no one can take from you and I hope and pray for your heart to heal from the raw pain in making a brave and courageous decision for Maxwell and then to say goodbye to “your sunshine”.
    He would say keep your heart open and maybe one day…you’ll have love again.
    They teach us how to love.
    You certainly were at the head of his class.

  • 2 Jodee // Mar 24, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    Oh Sharon, I’m sitting here reading your story and sobbing, I am so sorry. God will unite you again, I promise, you will see him again. He’s watching over you now, you just can’t see him. When you are ready, please, rescue another furbaby, so many people aren’t as loving and caring about “just dogs” as you. Please, please, please, when you are ready, restore (not replace, Maxwell can never be replaced) your broken heart and get another baby. You should be a writer you are so descriptive, I know the pain of losing your best friend, I lost mine after only 2 years with him. My heart breaks for you and your loss. I hope you get a necklace to keep some of cremains with you at all times. I can’t imagine how hard those final moments were, I couldn’t even cope when Marvin died. You are very strong, and a great mommy, again I am so sorry for your loss and will be praying for healing for you. God bless you.

  • 3 colene // Apr 9, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. I am dealing with something similar with my 9 1/2 yo GS right now. I am so tormented and I cancelled an appt to put him to sleep because he is happy and seems to have no pain. I dont know what to do. This has been 1 month in the making and I am torture for Tyler. Any advice?

  • 4 maja // May 9, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    I’m so truly sorry, I’m crying like a baby over your story because I feel your pain thru and thru my lil boy has sarcoma and having surgery monday and I’m terrifed, I would totally die if he don’t come back home. I’ll keep u in my prayers for strength to move on. Our doggies are the world to us and the thought of or to lose them is heartbreaking. Smile because he knew that he was truly loved ❤. Take care of you.

  • 5 Tony // Aug 3, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    My God bless you forever for all of the love that you brought to Maxwell. You are truly an amazing mom and an amazing person. I too am dealing with an issue as my 5 year old Golden is being diagnosed with bone cancer, on to of the fact that my wife is battling stage 4 breast cancer. I do know you will meet Maxwell again. If you live in the NYC / Long Island area there is a medium that helped my sister in law with the passing of her dog. If you’re interested email me and i’ll pass along his contact info. God bless you, Tony xo

  • 6 Sandy // Nov 18, 2015 at 7:27 am

    You’ve put into words exactly how I feel about my big beautiful boy, Scout. He was just a few days ago found to have a large tumor in the back of his tongue, which they say is usually malignant melanoma. I have no money with which to pay for treatment, and apparently this type of tumor is very treatable. I’ve started telling my dog, Scout, to watch over us and, if dogs can, to pray for us once he has passed. I have told him to wait for me so we can be together again in heaven. I am so heartbroken over this I feel like I will not be able to move on. I am so very close to him like you were to your beautiful Maxwell. If I had the money, I would do absolutely ANYTHING for him. I would give him the universe if I could! I cried many, many tears reading your story and hope you have found a way to carry on with Maxwell’s love.

  • 7 Nancy // Jan 26, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    Sweetie, I am so sorry for your loss. I felt I was reading my own words when you described how you and Maxwell were together. My baby boy, Cheech, has just been diagnosed with a large tumor that has engulfed the entire rectal area. The initial comment from the vet was that surgery would be useless. I WILL NOT ACCEPT THAT PROGNOSIS! Why are people so ready to put an animal down but they spend years trying to heal people? That’s backwards! I always sing to Cheech also. “You Are My Sunshine” is one of our favorites. I made up a few songs just for him. So much of what Maxwell did for you, Cheech does for me…sitting outside the bathroom til I come out, laying right beside the bed next to me now that he can’t climb up on the bed. He just wants me to be touching him. He stares at me if he isn’t right next to me. The love is so obvious. Even strangers who see us walking together stop and comment on the love they see between us. I know I will have to let him go – probably soon. I just wish I could go with him. I’ve been the luckiest mommyperson in the whole world because God gave me the best little boy in the whole world. Unconditional love doesn’t even begin to describe what he has given me. I just hope I can be as good a person as he thinks I am. God bless you in your healing. And thank you for the mention of WSU. I’m not far from them and plan to contact them to see if they can help my “son”.

  • 8 Lisa // Mar 25, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    Dearest Sharon,
    I just read your story n it breaks my heart. U described in every way how I feel about my baby, Grimmy. He is a pure 11 yr old wolf n I’ve had him since he was 8 weeks old. He is my world, my life, my everything n I can’t imagine one moment without him in my sad life, he is all I have left. My kids r grown n have their own families n I’ve been with my boyfriend for 16 yrs, but the last 7 I have been alone cause my boyfriend no longer loves me, so my baby is all I have when I get home, he is the only one that makes sure to great me n makes me laugh. I know my boyfriend loves him too but he doesn’t have the bond that we have, me n my baby r truly soulmates. About 2 wks ago we found out that my baby has cancer n my not be with me for much longer. We want to start chemo, but it’s so expensive n we don’t have the money, I don’t know what to do, I can’t live without my baby! I will stand on the corner with a sign if I have to, there has to b away, I have to try everything I can. I can’t lose my baby! That’s how I found your story, researching to find some kind of help. I am so sorry for your loss, I can’t even imagine how u feel cause my baby is still here n happy, he’s not gone yet n this is tearing me apart. I cry all the time when I’m not around him, my heart feels like it is being torn to pieces inside my chest, the pain n the tesrs won’t stop n I don’t think they ever will. I know I’m going to die without him. No words can explain the way we love our babies n how much they mean to us. I guess I’m lucky cause I have a little time with my baby, u didn’t. I just hope n pray everyday that God helps me find away or the money I need to save my baby. I hope time has helped heal your pain, I completely understand if it hasn’t. I know no time or anything will ever heal mine. I do know that oneday u will b together again n he will b the one waiting for u, I just don’t want to lose my baby! I’m sorry for carrying on but I know u understand. Please everyone send your prayers so we can find a way to help my baby, Grimmy. Thank u.

  • 9 Dixie // Mar 25, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    I know it’s been awhile since Maxwell’s passing, but I just ran across your story. It was so sweet and so heartbreaking at the same time. You wrote the words so perfectly. My hope is that you are finding peace and the comfort you need. You will see him again. Prayers.

  • 10 Sharon Kimbrell // Jul 5, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    Sharon I know your heartache. We just lost our 11 month lab/shepherd mix to cancer. We had no idea that he was sick. He went to doggie daycare about 3/5 days a week at his veterinarian office and they were as shocked as we were when Scout was diagnosed. On June 12th we took Scout to emergency animal clinic and June 14th sent to Mississippi State Veterinary Hospital for test and on June 15th we made the hardest and most heartbreaking decision to have him put down. He was so sick, his cancer started elsewhere and spread to lungs. Our hearts are broken but we know that Scout is better off. I can only hope that he is running and playing around rainbow bridge

  • 11 Steve & Jessica Spence // Sep 13, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss. We lost our German Shepherd Tyson on 8/13/2008 and our GSD Tasha 6/03/2016. We spent 16,000 trying to save Tyson from cancer. Tasha had a tumor rupture on her liver 6/2/2016 and she was gone within 24hrs. I know your pain, I live with it everyday. Again I’m so sorry for your loss, they are our family.

  • 12 Donna // Nov 1, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    Dear Sharon,
    My Heart goes out to You. I also know Your pain. I truly Hope that You are feeling Better, even though still missing Maxwell. I DO Believe that We Will be reunited with Our FurBabies in Heaven. OtherWise, HOW could it Be Heaven, WithOut Them? May God Bless You and continue to help Your Heart Heal.

  • 13 Rob // Jan 14, 2017 at 11:15 am

    Dear Sharon,
    I am so sorry that you had to go through that. I too know this pain. It’s been 2 years and that pit in my stomach still swings around now and then. Love is a Very powerful thing. The love between you and Maxwell can ONLY mean that he is just as excited to be with you again one day as you are to be back with him again. All good souls go to Heaven, Maxwell just got there first. Donna’s kind words really say it all. How could it be Heaven without them? You should google ‘Pets and NDE’s’ . I can’t tell you how much it did for my broken heart.
    Take care Sharon.


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