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I haven’t publicly shared about this yet. It has taken this long for me to feel ready to open up about it. I’m still not sure that I’m ready, but I feel ready to share about other things and I know many of you will wonder where he is. And, I know many of you met him in sessions or because you’re a friend or colleague, and I wanted to share this for you too, so that you would know.

In fall of 2022, we made the impossible decision to euthanize Max. He had advanced colon cancer.

When I think of him, my breath catches and my eyes water, and I have to pull myself together because if not, I may never stop crying… even now, months later. 

My grief is shocking to me. I knew I would be sad, but I’ve said goodbye to so many dogs before. I wasn’t anticipating the devastation that Max’s passing would bring.

Maybe it was the fact that he and I went through so many life changes together. From WARL to my training studio, through 3 moves, 2 pregnancies, 2 beautiful children, one closed business, one reopened business, traveling together, covid, working together, playing together, being together…

Maybe it was the fact that he and I had an incredible connection. He wasn’t human, he was a dog, but his soul and my soul made a connection.

I miss the peacefulness of his warm, giant head resting in my lap. I miss the annoying licking sounds he would make that would wake me up in the middle of the night. I miss the effortlessness and joy that was walking him. I miss his willingness to do anything with me. I miss my shadow. I miss the sound of him breathing. I miss his hair all over everything and the twice daily routine of vacuuming. I miss the warm smell of him. I miss his solidness.

He was a great dog. He loved his family. He could go anywhere and do anything. I could bring him to a hotel, to ride in an Uber, to work with a client’s reactive dog, or to a group training class. And, he would take it all in stride. He loved his ball. He loved string cheese. 

His last meal was a steak and he was so happy to see the vet who was doing his euthanasia. He loved visitors. In true Max fashion, he laid down calmly, just like I asked him to. He always trusted me. I remember him looking at me with his warm, brown eyes, everything was very peaceful, and I am grateful for that.

He loved me, and I loved him. I will miss him forever.