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Posts: 258
My Sweet Little Dog,

Today the sound of songbirds in our big maple in the yard woke me up early.  It is one of those soft, hazy spring days when everything green seems to be shooting up from the ground in a race toward summer.  This is exactly the kind of morning that you loved...not too warm, not too cool...and filled with promises of wonderful things to be discovered.  You would have woken up early too, jumping up on the bed to sniff at my ears until I finally gave in and got up!  Then you would run in happy, crazy little circles, grinning all the while, until I put on my shoes...a sign to you that we were going "outsidey"!  You loved the outside, especially "your" backyard, and would sniff every foot of it scouting out squirrel, bunny, and bird friends...and of course the old, but never forgotten chewies that you strategically hid around the yard in case you ever found yourself in need!  Every day was a new adventure to you, and you taught me that even the most seemingly mundane things are worth sniffing out, savoring, and celebrating. 

I miss you so, Little Max, and your passing left such a hole in our home and in my heart.  Even as I am able to find more and more comfort in my memories of you, as I make my way through all of the "firsts" without you, I am filled with a yearning to hold you and to feel your sweet little kisses once again.  You had the best kisses!  You opened my heart in a most unexpected way, wiggling in and claiming such a huge part of it for your own.  You came to us when you were less than a year old, an unexpected delight when we went  all the way to Canada to talk with the breeder, Pat, about adopting a not yet born Shih Tzu baby.  There you were instead, 7 months old, too small to be a "show dog", the "grandson" of Pat's beloved family pet, Chicklet; beautiful and regal with your floor-length Shih Tzu hair!  When Pat saw how you and 9 year old Andy took to each other, she reluctantly offered us the chance to adopt you!  And there was no other thought about the "new" puppies because we had found even more than we had hoped in your little smiling, strutting self! You were ours, and we were yours, as though it had always been.  Even training you was so simple. You almost instantly learned the boundaries of our fence-less yard, the rhythm and routine of our lives, and the way to communicate your wants and needs. And once you learned something, you never forgot it, and seldom made a mistake.  What a smart dog you were!!!  And you trained me just as easily! Even though it was you and Andy who "chose" each other ~ love at first sight ~ in a matter of days it became clear that although you considered him "your boy" to boss around and play with, you considered yourself "my dog", and you became my shadow. We just seemed to fit.  Sometimes it seemed like we were one, and friends and family would tease that you were my "husband" because you were always right there beside me!  But you were my baby, my heart dog, my sweet little buddy.  And I am grateful for every moment of every year we had together on this earth. 

Yes, life goes on...because it does.  Slowly, painfully, I am learning to continue on without you, to find a place in my life for this grief so that I can keep my heart open.  You would want that, my little dog with the heart of a lion.  We were always amazed and would chuckle at how, whenever we played Louie Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World", you would run to the stereo speaker, lie down in front of it, sigh, and close your eyes.  You loved that song so much - seemed soothed by it - and it was so "you".  You were our little "blues dog", our zen, our inspiration. You still are.  I will try to be led by your legacy, to love every new day, to treasure my moments, and to expect the best surprise to be right around the corner. 

Happy 5 Month Bridge Day, Max!  I know that you are running through the most beautiful of gardens, surrounded by loving friends. You and I will meet again, Little Dog, and until then you will live in my heart and soul, never more than a thought away.  I love you always and forever.

Love love love to you,

~What A Wonderful World~


I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
They're really saying I love you.

I hear babies cry, I watch them grow
They'll learn much more than I'll never know
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself what a wonderful world.



Thank you, Little Max, for giving dimension to my life and for coloring my world with your sweet, gentle love.  You are so loved, so cherished...and so missed.





Posts: 261


I can't think of anything to say but "Beautiful".  The tears are falling from my eyes.  As I read your letter to Max, it made me think of my Rudy. I always think I've gotten past the real grief, but then it washes over me again at the most unexpected times. These shih tzu boys are real lovers.......there is something about them, something in their souls that grabs your heart and never lets go! Please know that I understand exactly of what you speak.  Rudy and I shared a love like that.  I almost felt you were writing my thoughts and feelings.  As Rudy was my heart dog, I know Max is yours!
God Bless your sweet ((((((((((((((Max)))))))))))))) and God Bless You!

In friendship
Rudy & Rileysmom


Posts: 699
Dear Maxsmom,

The tears are spilling reading your beautiful and touching letter to your Beloved, Max.  Oh, how your love shows for that dear little boy, and how very much you miss him.  I'm sure he would be so happy to know that these memories of him and the deep love you have for him, are how you hold him in your heart.  All the things that you write to him, the happy wonderful moments, all of his endearing qualities, these are the things that I think our Beloved Ones want us to remember most.  It's what they were all about.

For the ache and sadness that you feel not having him with you anymore, I am so sorry.  I know exactly how you feel.

Katharine, Grunt's Mom Forever

Posts: 5,100
Dear Joanne,

I was moved to tears as I read your loving tribute to your beloved boy, Max.   How blessed you were to belong to each other!    Oh, the joy he brought into your life!   

It just tears our hearts out to lose these marvelous little creatures who want nothing more than to love and please us.   They cherish every single moment with us.   They forgive our every fault.   They love us unconditionally.   Hence, the pain is so unbearable when they must run ahead of us to the Bridge.

I am hoping that Max's loving and gentle spirit surrounds you with love and warmth today and always.  

HAPPY FIVE MONTH BRIDGEDAY, SWEET MAX!!!!  Your mommy loves and misses you so.  Let her know you are safe and sound at the Bridge.  Fill her heart with your boundless joy today and always.

Betsy's forever mom

Posts: 909

What a beautiful post to your special Max.


I know he misses all the special

things you did with him.


I heard that the gardens are the

loveliest they have

ever been since Max arrived

at the Rainbow Bridge.





Posts: 258
Dear Friends,

Thank you to all of you for taking the time to respond to my Bridgeday tribute to Max.  Your caring and support helps so much, especially when those waves of grief seem larger than usual.

I feel that we have a connection through our boys and I know that we share similar feelings for them.  You are right, these little guys have such noble little souls that seem to just connect so closely with their "chosen" person.  I am sure that even after years pass, as they have for you and your Rudy, I will feel Max's spirit in my heart.  I am sure that he and Rudy are fast could they not be?!  Thank you for always understanding!

Yes, I do think that our little ones want us to remember them for their spirits, their joy, and the happiness they brought us.  I know that when you think of your boy Grunt, these are the kinds of things you remember too.  I remember reading your first post about Grunt and all that he went through.  I empathized with you so much because my Max experienced similar problems as a result of lifelong Cushing's Disease.  The acute pancreatitis attack that led to his congestive heart failure was by far the worst.  It hurts so much to see our babies in such awful pain.  But they were about so much more than that, and that is truly what remains with us.  Thank you so much for your kind words.

I am surrounded every day by Max's spirit, as I know that you are by your sweet little Betsy's.  That is what helps to move us ahead, I think, celebrating their lives and all of the love and joy that they gave us.  Thank you for always being there for me and for so many others here.  Your wise and sensitive words always lend strength, reason, and caring support.  I find myself always looking for your posts.

Once again I thank you for your special gifts, and for bringing Max to me in the here and now!  You have so captured his spirit that it's almost as if you are channeling him!  I love the roses he grew for me!  He does tend to eat some plants - especially wild garlic - so I am happy to hear that the gardens are thriving! (He must have planted a "snack patch" of it somewhere secret!)  Thank you for sharing and for helping me to see that Max does indeed live on in the most beautiful of gardens!

Happy Mother's Day Everyone!!!

Many hugs to my friends-
Joanne ~ MaxsMom

Posts: 1,234
Hello Joann,

Max also planted a snack patch of baby carrote for the Hersh. Both he and Hersh just love to gossip under the trees in the Secrete Garden. Here the bunnies and the squirrels share treats and stories with Max and Hersh.

Here on earth, Silver, Moz and Kugs watched Michael mow the lawn for the first time this spring. We are all heading out to celebrate at a goodbye party for our student Rabbi and then a birthday party fro an Austic friend.

Sending yu and everyone Mothers Day greetings from your Max and my Hershey.

Meriam, Silver, Mozart and baby Kuggel

Posts: 1,415
Dear Joanne--  Your Max is just so adorable and your words say how much he means to you.  He was meant to be in your life--not an unborn puppy- but a wonderful 7-month old furchild full of love & happiness.  I'm sure that he was sent to you as a special gift from God.  He will always be with you in spirit and your heart until you meet again some day.
     My thoughts and prayers are with you as I know how hard it is to deal with these milestones we must endure.

                             Many hugs---Teddy's Mom

Posts: 2,245
Dear Joanne:
Where does the time go?  I cannot believe that it has been 5 months since I first saw your post and Max's sweet little face.  It made me cry then and it made me cry today.  These incredible little Angels steal our hearts and give us every ounce of Love in their bodies expecting nothing from us but to Love them back.  How does one survive without their Shadow?  I still have not found an answer. The pain continues on. 

Your Tribute to Max is Beautiful.  I am sure that he and Christopher have become great friends. I know that when it is our day to go to the Bridge that our Precious Angles will be there waiting just as they waited for us to come home every day.  Mentioning What a Wonderful World made me smile as Christopher Loved that song too.  After I lost Christopher my husband made me a CD with Christopher's pictures and they moved forward as What a Wonderful World played.  I will miss Christopher Forever just as I am sure you will miss Max.  You and Max are in my Prayers.

Big Hugs
Georgeann and Christopher

Posts: 258
Dear Meriam,
I am sure that Max and Hersh are great buddies, and I can just picture them snacking and gabbing away!  Max is a great listener ~ sharpened those skills by being my confidant ~ but he also always was a great communicator, so I am sure that he and Hershey have lots to talk about.  I remember reading that your Hersh likes to chase the girls, and Max is also a ladies' man  (he especially loves poodle girls!).  Max also had vision problems (retinal atrophy) and was learning to adjust over his last 3 or so years.  I think our boys have lots in common!  Posts like your are so comforting to me because they help me to be mindful of the eternal, and to have faith that Max's spirit truly does go on.  Thank you! 

Dear Helen,
I believe that you are so right ~ Max was surely meant for us as we were meant for him, and I have no doubt that it was God's hand that brought us together.  Yes, it is so hard to go on without our babies.  I know that you recently marked Teddy's six month Bridgeday, and that you are missing your girl, just as I am missing Max.  Thank you so much for your kind words and support.

Oh Georgeann!
Christopher loved the song "What A Wonderful World" too!  I have always believed that Christopher was Max's first friend and guide at the Bridge, and that our boys are connected.  Learning this about Christopher just reaffirms that!  I can hardly believe that 5 months have passed either, although at times the grief is so strong that it feels like I lost my sweet boy just yesterday.  I don't know if there is an answer to help us go on...I think the answer is just in the doing.  Life continues...because life continues.  And we just go along, taking our Angels' spirits and love, and our forever grief with us, until we can hold our precious babies again.  Thank you, as always, for understanding so well.  And thank you, Sweet Christopher, for being there for Max!

Love and Peace to All,
Joanne - MaxsMom 


Posts: 1,015

Dear Joanne –


Sometimes it’s all just too much for me to take, and I’m so sorry I missed your post about your Max’s 5 month bridge day.


Your tribute letter to your Max was so sweet and I can feel the incredible love connection you had with him in every single word. Our babies, in some unknown, profound, almost magical way help guide us to see things, to feel things that we otherwise would never have known, and I can see how your Max has done that for you.


Time indeed is strange. I wrote to Rusty the other day that I thought time was doing what it needed to do . . . which is basically putting distance between the time he left me and each day that passes. It doesn’t lessen my grief or make his leaving me any easier, it has just allowed me to let the wonderful memories to slowly, but surely seep back into my consciousness.


I’m thinking of you Joanne, and your sweet little Max. I know he’s waiting for you out in your garden . . .


Lots and lots of hugs.


Rusty’s Mom – Allison.


Posts: 258
Dear Allison,

Thank you for your response to my post and please don't apologize for not seeing it right away!  I know what you mean about it sometimes being too much. Sometimes the sadness I feel is all that I can deal with, and at those times I may not get here for days.  But I always do so appreciate your thoughts because I know that they come from a deep sense of knowing and understanding, and your words get to the heart of things. I like that and find it very supportive.  Thank you for your willingness to share.

It's true for me too that the passage of time has healing qualities. I agree with you, my grief doesn't lessen with time passing either, I think I just find a way to cope with it a little bit better.  I was thinking the other day that, for me, the grief that I feel over important mom and dad, doesn't "go away" or "get better". I think I just build up a greater degree of tolerance for the sadness and incorporate it into my life somehow - it just becomes part of me.  So then it doesn't stop me in my tracks quite as often. 

It hasn't been very long at all since you lost your sweet Rusty after so many wonderful years together. I know how difficult it has been for you and how very much you are missing him. I am happy that your precious memories of him bring you more peace as time passes.  I know that we will both hold our sweet boys again one day,

Big Hugs,
Joanne - MaxsMom

Posts: 1,015

Dear Joanne –


Thank you so much for your reply to my post. I feel as if we’re in very similar places emotionally. I am so missing my boy right now . . . I’ve been having many crying jags over the last few days. As you well know, some days are just better than others.


If you’d ever like to communicate directly, feel free to e-mail me at


Hugs Joanne.




Posts: 846
What a beautiful letter to your precious Max, and what a beautiful furbaby he is!  I'm sitting here at work reading your post crying - goodness.  It just amazes me how special these creatures are.  How they are such a part of us and everything we do. 

Happy 5 month bridge day Max!  You're just too cute for words.  What a special soul!!  I hope you're playing with Gypsy and Luna at the bridge too - they were always so curiuos about little dogs and played with them at the dog beach much more than the bigger dogs.  Send your mommy love and kisses as she misses you so much.  God Bless you.

Gerlie (Gypsy and Luna's forever mom)

Posts: 258
Dear Gerlie-

Thank you for your reply. I am sure that Max has found Gypsy and Luna at the Bridge and is having a ball playing with them.  Max definitely considers himself a big dog!  Once, when he was only a few years old, we were at a beach on Lake Ontario and a couple of retrievers were playing catch by swimming out into the lake to fetch a stick that their dad was throwing for them.  Max ran over and sniffed them and then proceeded to run out into the lake with them!  He would have been in WAY over his head if I hadn't run in after him, because Max was only 14 inches tall at his tallest!  He may have been little...but he was mighty!

I am sure that our sweet ones are playing (and maybe even swimming!) together at the bridge.


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