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Posts: 258
My sweet little Max,
Today I planted the special garden in your memory, as I have been wanting to do.  It took me a long time to get started because I knew that it would be sad because it means for sure that you are gone.  I planted it in your special place in the front yard ~ the place where you always enjoyed sitting to watch everything that was happening in our neighborhood ~ the place where you liked to go to greet our neighbors.  You would wait patiently until one of your special friends came outside or got home from work, and then you would bark your one "Woof!" bark that never failed to bring them into our yard to pet you and give you a special treat.  Everyone loved you and you loved everyone.  Our neighbors miss you and say that it just seems so sad for your special place to be empty.  I dug the grass up there today, and removed your little flagstone path.  It has been so hard for me to look at it since you left, knowing that you will never do your jaunty little strut down that path to sit there again.  So now there are flowers where you used to sit...daisies and daylilies and coneflowers.  When I find the right memorial stone, it will go there too.  The neighbors came over and said that the garden looks nice, and I guess it does, but I find that I am so very sad and can only think that I want you back instead.  I keep thinking of the last picture that I have of you from late last fall, wearing your little red sweater and sitting out there surrounded by red and gold leaves.  That was only days before you got sick and it's hard for me to look at that picture...maybe someday it won't be so hard.  I miss you so very much Max, and I am so sorry that I couldn't do more to help you, and so afraid that I just didn't do enough in the end...maybe gave up too soon.  You were the light of my life, my heart, my "Little Dog", my precious one.  I will always love you. 
I will think of you every time that I look out the door and see your garden, remember you there watching and waiting.  One day I will come down a new path...and there you will be. Until then I will be missing you...and I will be watching and waiting too.
Love to you, my Little Dog~


Posts: 355
What a moving tribute to your precious Max. We all miss our babies so much, but what a wonderful idea to plant a garden for him.

I am sure he is looking down and watching over you, and is so happy with the beautiful garden you made for him.

I think we all have the feelings of: did i do enough? did i miss something? but deep down I know, there was nothing more that could be done for my baby cat Cheeseburger who had lung cancer and passed away on May 4 2008 at the age of 10.

I try to do my best to take comfort in the 10 wonderful loving years I had with him - he was my baby, my friend, and he shared my life and my heart.

My heart and prayers go out to you and your Max.

Cheeseburger's Mom

Dee and Cheeseburger


Posts: 258
Dear Dee,
Thank you for your kind words and for sharing the photo of your beautiful Cheeseburger.  I am so sorry for your loss of your little one, and I know how difficult losing one so close to our hearts can be, especially early on.  I am happy that you are able to find some comfort in the wonderful memories of your precious friend.  Those are the things that get us through.

I lost Max on December 9th to congestive heart failure after life-long chronic illness ~ had to make the very difficult decision to put him to rest. It was devastating to make that decision, and unfortunately the choice is never clear cut.  These days, although I miss him every day, I mostly am able to manage my grief pretty well.  Planting the garden yesterday just weighed heavily on my heart, and I once again felt overwhelmed with waves of grief, guilt, and self-doubt.  I was sadder than I have been in a long time. I love to garden and Max was my constant gardening was hard to even get out into the garden this year ~ my first without him.  This morning I looked out at the garden and felt more comforted with it than I did yesterday.  I think that as it evolves it will be a place that increasingly brings me peace.

Warm Hugs,
MaxsMom ~ Joanne 

Posts: 5,100
Dear Joanne, I am in tears reading your loving words to your "Little Dog" Max.  Last night I wrote a reply to this thread at about 1 AM but I must have forgotten to hit the post key.  I was up late remembering and missing my little Betsy.  I think I mentioned on your other post that I found a beautiful Esperanza ("Hope") plant to pot for her.  They are also called Texas Yellow Bells and have a yellow trumpet shaped bloom.  My husband just left for the nursery to pick out a special planter for her.  He calls it "Betsy's plant".   I plan to make a little garden area for her on a knoll in our backyard.

Do you think you will be able to post some pictures of Max's garden when you are finished?  I would LOVE to see them.  I can just imagine him sitting out there with his little red sweater on, waiting to "Woof"at the neighbors walking by.  I would love to see that photo of him if you ever feel up to posting it. Well, here I go. I am crying again. 

I showed my husband Max's photo last night and he said, "Now, that is a cute little dog!"   We adore dogs.  We love cats but my husband is highly allergic to them, so we are a dog family.

Were you able to access Betsy's slide show?  I put other directions under my thread, so if you want, you can try again.  I am so proud of  my little doggie daughter.

Sending love and hugs to you,

Posts: 258
Dear Melissa,

Thank you for your heartfelt reply.  I always look forward to your posts.  Yes, I was determined to see Betsy's slide show, and even though I tend to be computer-delayed, when I got to the site and couldn't access it, I entered your last name/user name (I saw it in the link) and that took me to both the slide show and your album!  I have a strong affection for Betsy - I have ever since I first saw her picture with her soulful eyes and learned about her yodel, so I was not going to let anything prevent me from getting to those pictures!  And they were well worth the effort, as I knew they would be!  She is simply precious!

Yes, I will post Max's picture and his garden pictures.  I will see if my son can help me do that, or I will try to make a memorial page for him...I have been wanting to do that, but am put-off by may lack of computer-savvy. I will post when I get it done.

We are also a dog family due to my son Andy's severe allergies to most furry things, including dogs.  That is how we ended up with Max - ShihTzus are low allergen and never bothered Andy.  It was just meant to be!

Joanne ~ MaxsMom


Posts: 2,245
Dearest Joanne:
Your Tribute to Max is absolutely beautiful and of course made me cry.  Each time I look at Max I can see Max and Christopher sitting together waiting for us at the Bridge.  It simply breaks my heart that they are not in our arms.  I know they miss us too. 

I also put together a Memorial Garden for Christopher.  I had a Memorial made out of metal for him that says "Forever in Our Hearts"  His name and birth and loss dates are also on the Memorial.  I placed it in one of the planters he use to love to sit next to under the tree.  He would sit there for hours watching me work in the yard.  I found some beautiful planter stakes and put them in the between the Ivy and Flowers.  A 2 foot tall kneeling Angel sits next to the Memorial watching over Christopher.  I spend a lot of time sitting next to it talking to Christopher.  I will miss him Forever.

As you know there are now words that help with this grief.  I was up most of the night last night thinking about my little guy.  The pain never seems to end.

I know when our time is up on this earth we will be with them again and this time Forever.  I continue to count the days.  You and Max are always in my Thoughts.

Sending Prayers and Big Hugs Your Way
Georgeann and Christopher

Posts: 95
what a beautiful heart-felt tribute to your darling baby. I believe the garden will help heal you. I too am a gardener and when my mom died 4 years ago, that is what healed me.

Thank you for the info on the Texas bells. I did not know it was called an esperanza plant.

May you have a peaceful and blessed day.


Posts: 1,015

My dear friend Joanne –


I’m so glad that you finally found a way through your grief to create your beautiful garden in honor of your sweet baby Max. I’m quite certain that he was with you, in fact, he’s been with you this entire time, helping you and guiding you to the garden at this specific time. He’s helped you know when you’d be ready – not a moment before or a moment after. I truly believe our babies have a firm “paw” in our next steps because I know if I depended upon myself, nothing would get done. Oh I know how removing that path must have broken your heart, but I imagine looking at it every day caused even greater heartache. I removed Rusty’s heating pad from his little bed today, and I cried. Today marks 100 days since he left me, and I cried more than usual.


The garden sounds so beautiful . . . daisies, daylilies and coneflowers are such lovely choices . . . so bright and cheerful. I hope the garden will provide you with comfort.


Your Max knew you did all that you could for him Joanne and he knows how very much you love him. Please try and keep those thoughts in your heart.


Many warm hugs Joanne,


Rusty’s Mom – Allison.


Posts: 1,040
Joanne,I read your post and tribute to Max,oh how the tears flowed,It really shows how our little ones can work their ways  into our neighbors hearts to,I know what you are saying about special spots our babies have in the yard or house,your Max is a doll such a huggable little face,Know my heart and prayers are with you,and when his garden grows it's with a magic touch from Max because it held beautiful memories for you and Max.Every morning I get up I look out my bedroom window,and I can still in my mind picture my sweet angel Sammy sus walking the whole fenced in back yard until she was satisfied that nothing invaded her private places,she was such a wonderful dog I had her for 17 yrs. & 8 months,and when I lost her I lost my will to live,I just go through the motions of live,when deep down my heart will never heal until I have my little girl in my arms again this time forever.I pray you had a happy Memorial Day,I know you miss your Sweet Max so much.Sending Max Hugs & Many Butterfl- kisses
JoAnn Sammy Sus's Mom


Posts: 261


Just read your post to Max and it was so sweet!  You always express your feelings to him, about him, so beautifully, but I know that's because it's coming straight from your heart! Your responses to others are always so thoughtful and kind. I feel that you've really given great consideration to what you're saying, so I always look for your posts.  But, I've got to tell you alittle secret......even though I love reading your's Max's picture at the end that gets me every time!!  I think he's just one of the sweetest little boys I've ever laid eyes on!!!  You already know how partial I am to shih tzu boys, but he is truly beautiful!  I'm so glad you got his garden planted....I know it will bring you peace each and every minute you spend time there!  He'll be there with you each time you're tending it , making sure you have the pleasure of his company as you have in the past.  Believe it Joanne, he'll be there, you'll feel his presence in a very strong and powerful way....I just know it!  i don't remember if I ever sent you this verse, but it means alot to me and it makes me happy every time I read it, so I want you to have it too! 

On His journey to eternal spirit, He paused, but for a moment to kiss my life... with an innocence so blindingly sweet, He stole my heart.
Remembered joy can break the heart, but who among us, even on the darkest day, would choose to have missed the Joy........Author Unknown

I think that says it all!   Bless you my friend. I hope there are many happy days in Max's garden for the two of you!

(Rudy & Rileysmom)


Posts: 258
My Dear Friends,

Thank you all so much for your thoughtful and kind replies to my post.  As always, I found great comfort in reading each and every one of them - your words are truly like a healing balm to my heart.  (Sometimes I just wish we could all have coffee together!)

Georgeann ~ How beautiful your memorial garden for your sweet Christopher sounds!  I am sure that he is right there beside you when you are out there.  Our boys are together, I just know it. And we will hold their little soft selves once again when our work here is finished. When we are with them once more, all of the time spent without them will seem but a moment.

Benniesmom ~ My love for gardening was passed down to me from my Mom...who also passed away 4 years ago in July 2004!  We have that in common. My Mom lived with me for 10 years before she passed.  When she died, I was unable to go out into the garden for most of that summer because it hurt my heart to be there without her.  But Max wouldn't have that for long because he so loved our back yard.  So, with his urging, I got back out there and yes, it healed me, just as you said it healed you too.  This spring, since losing Max, it has once again become difficult to get out there...but little by little I am going and hoping that each time will be easier.  I think that you are right...for us gardeners, planting and nurturing our plants has a healing effect on our hearts.

Allison ~ Thank you so much for your reply...I know what a difficult time you are going through at this time.  I tried to email you when I learned about your Mom, at the address you sent in a post to me, but it kept being returned to me as undeliverable.  I must have done something wrong.  My heart is with you and please know that you are in my prayers always. I am so very sorry for your loss. 

I know how hard it must have been for you to take Rusty's heating pad from his bed...all of these small steps are landmarks of our losses and they are so very difficult.  100 days since your boy left...too long and too short at the same time. But, yes, they are with us and watching over us...I do believe that.  Please be sure to take good care of yourself at this sad especially kind to yourself. You are in my thoughts. 

JoAnn ~ Your Sammy sus looks so sweet and lovable!  It is so hard to look at the places and spaces that our precious ones once occupied and not have them there!  It sound like your Sammy, like my Max, loved her backyard.  What a wonderful blessing they were in our lives!  And how hard it can be to go on without them.

Donna ~ Thank you for your kind words about Max...he was a very special little guy and he knew that he was quite captivating!  And thank you also for that beautiful verse!  It is so very true.  I have copied it into a word file so that I can print it.  As hard as it was to start the garden, I do think that it will bring me peace...and that Max will be right there with me.  I will be sure to listen for him with my heart!

Warm hugs to all of you,
Joanne ~ MaxsMom

Posts: 1,015
Dear Joanne -

I was having some server issues, please try again at

Hope to hear from you soon.


Rusty's Mom - Allison.
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