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August 23, 2008 - May 18, 2024

Max’s journey with us started in Fall of 2008, when the family moved to Placer County. I (Max’s human mom) saw a cute goldendoodle puppy with her owner outside of a local store and inquired about how she found her. We went on the website and saw there were three or four boys left in the litter. Max had a humble, gentle, thoughtful look that we were taken by and somehow knew he was the dog for us. Max was a surprise “housewarming gift” – and Christmas present to the family, especially our boys– in 5th and 7th grades who had just moved to a new area and started a new school. Max was sick, skinny, and scrawny when he arrived, and soon found out he had a serious bacterial infection. The breeder he came from offered to trade him for a “healthier puppy.” “No way. He had already captured our hearts.” After many vet trips, we were thankful when one vet targeted the infection aggressively. We believe this saved his life, and within a few months he was a healthy, playful puppy.

Max was a happy and healthy dog for more than 15 years. He had a special bond with each member of the family, showing love to each in a unique way. He loved waiting for the boys to arrive on the school bus and would run to greet them. He loved his dad’s good night tuck-ins hearing “What a good boy you are!” He loved Brandon chasing him around with a soccer ball or playing tug-of-war with a rope toy. He loved resting his head on Justin’s lap, getting close in his face and getting a chin rub, or listening to Justin play the piano at his place on the stairs. He was very excited when his mommy came home because he associated her with peanut butter bones and Kongs stuffed with apples. Max loved his family well. He could pick up on someone’s stress or sadness and try to offer comfort. If dogs could speak, he would say “I see you are sad. I’m here for you.”

Max was playful and had his favorite things. He loved car rides in the old Honda Pilot. He loved going to the local track, running freely, and chasing birds. He loved treats, new bones, chewy toys, and puppy patties on his birthdays. He liked playing fetch with the green squeaky toy. He loved squeezing into his puppy bed when he could no longer fit. He loved lying around and listening to the voices of his family. He loved sunbathing in the warm sun on the deck. He loved his backyard and having domain over “his open space” silently watching the deer and goats – without barking or disturbing them. He loved following his daddy to the BBQ to smell the chicken or steak.

Max had a lot of words he understood such as “go for a car ride, go to the store, go to the track, go back there, crate, time for a bath, peanut butter bone.” He was smart. We often spelled words out as we knew he understood what we were saying.

Max’ decline was slow, gradual, and natural. He could no longer jump up in the car or go up the stairs. He walks became shorter, and back legs weakened. Max taught us to slow down, take life more softly and gently. At the end, we knew he was ready. Until the end, he wanted his family close to him, searching for our voices and our presence. His life ended peacefully, with his family gathered around. Max lived his life fully, loved his family wholeheartedly, and was well loved and cared for by each of us. We are thankful for the vet that saved his life when he was a puppy, and thankful for Dr. Bruce Carstens at Willow Rock, Max’s vet for many years. We are grateful for Dr. Ivey and Morgan Oak Eternal Preserve for providing comfort and dignity at the end of his life. Words cannot express how full our hearts are – with sadness, grief, and joy. We are grateful to God for bringing Max to us, and for each day we had with him for 15 ¾ years.