A special Mother's Day message

On Mother’s Day, 2017, Margaret lost her beloved dog Max. One year later, she writes him a letter to thank him for leaving his memory behind.

My dearest Max,

May 14 marks the day you crossed the Rainbow Bridge last year… 10 days shy of your thirteenth birthday. As we approach this emotional marker, so many memories flash through my mind. As I reminisce, laugh, and cry, the wave of feelings urges me to write this tribute as a way to heal from the void of living life without you.

This past year has been tough. I miss your soft fur and your affectionate kisses. I miss having you as my little shadow, following my heels at every turn. I miss your exuberant welcome each time you saw me, even moments after I left. I miss the way you snuggled next to me at night, and woke me every morning with kisses. I miss each and every moment with you.

I remember fondly the first time we met.  You came to us from a lovely family in Stockton – the same Yorkie and Pomeranian parents of your older sibling, Bruno – among a litter of six adorable puppies. We originally thought you didn’t like us, as you looked away when we held you. But when we saw you using the training pad on your own, we were so impressed that we begged to be your parents. You were two months old and all of two pounds at the time – this fragile creature, totally dependent on us.  We excitedly brought you home to join our family. Our hearts were full of joy and gratitude.

You were adorable beyond words, albeit quite a handful. You cried at night until I placed you on my pillow, and you found your favorite spot snuggled between the headboard and my head. I used to place you in my tote bag as I ran errands. You would peek out with your front paws hanging onto the edge of the bag. Everyone who saw you thought you were a stuffed toy. You gave kisses freely and melted hearts everywhere we went.

As you settled in, you tested your brother Bruno’s patience by constantly stealing his treats and toys. Bruno tolerated all of your little mischievous ways. Besides a low groan to let us know that you were at it again, he never growled nor fought you. He too, loved you tremendously. None of us could ever stay mad at you. We melted the minute you looked at us with those puppy eyes, and you knew exactly when to give us endless kisses.

Throughout the twelve years, your love never wavered, despite many life changes. However bad my day, your love enveloped me. You looked at me adoringly, and saw me as a perfect being with super powers. You had complete trust in my ability to protect you. That trust transformed me as a person. It forced me to shake off fears and insecurities, and focus on garnering strength and courage to face every adversity thrown our way. I didn’t want to let you down. I wanted to live up to your image of me as that perfect being with super powers. My deep appreciation of life was taught by you. Yes, a six pound dog taught me the meaning of life.

When you were diagnosed with nasal carcinoma, I had high hopes of finding a cure. But as time progressed, the aggressive tumor overpowered your small body. I cooed and hugged you, urging you to eat and take your meds. It was gut wrenching to watch you dwindle down to skin and bones as your appetite and energy diminished. I struggled with the hope of finding the miracle cure, and when to let you go.

On Mother’s Day, you decided for us. I held you as you drew your last breath. On that somber day, I sobbed uncontrollably attempting to say goodbye. I was not ready to let you go. It was some time later that I finally realize you gave me the ultimate gift on Mother’s Day. You spared me from having to make the end-of-life decision. You were ready to cross the Rainbow Bridge.

We are bravely moving on. We’ll hold on dearly to our loving memories of your time with us. You blessed and enriched our lives, and we’re forever grateful.

So, on this Mother’s Day, I want to thank you for all the joy you brought into our lives. We love you with all our hearts, my little Max.  Send us some kisses from heaven.

Forever and always,