My Hero


How many people do you know can get bitten by a snake, walk on one less leg, go five days without an appetite, then add in vomiting, bloody diarrhea, endure multiple x-rays, IV’s, blood tests, and piles of prescription medications that no cheese, hot dog or pill pocket would make taste good, and never… ever… once… stop smiling? That has been Max’s life this past week.

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Max was rescued in a backyard breeder raid south of Orlando in 2010. But I had no idea I would be the lucky human whom he would choose. Max taught me the meaning of Be PAWsitive when we started the pet therapy program together at the Gulf Coast Humane Society in Fort Myers:

We proudly continue that tradition today at Chestnut Hill. It is the highlight of the month for both of us.

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But Max has had a very tough week. I would have given anything to trade places with him. I am certain that everyone who reads this can relate.

When Max limped his way to the kitchen and ate dinner Thursday night – his first interest in food since last Saturday – I lost it. With happiness. Yeah, lots of tears. That will sound crazy to some people. But I know it won’t to you.

Thank you for indulging this personal post. All of us animal lovers have stories of unconditional love, and unfathomable heartbreak. I will always love listening to each and every person’s story about their companion animals, no matter how happy or how sad. Thank you for listening to mine.

Max is lying at my feet as I type this. He is smiling up at me just the same way he did when he adopted me four years ago. Because of Max, I resolve to always … Be PAWsitive.

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And his eyes are saying to me… in the words of Mark Twain:

“The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”

Steven, Miss Lila, Stephanie, Tom and all our amazing friends at Chestnut Hill… Max and I will be there July 17th for our much-cherished visit.

And one last shout-out to some more heroes of Max’s and mine… the angels at Animal Wellness Hospital of Highlands. We “closed down the place” two days this week with lab tests, x-rays, blood work, and IV’s… this staff never looked at their watch. Their focus was on the animal in need. Dr. Emily, Courtney, Lindsay, and everyone… you are our heroes, too.


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