Max, RIP My Friend by BarbBarcikKeith

9×12 graphite on white. Original N-F-S.

As of 03-27-15, 1711 views and 26 favorited.

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In 2004, I met Max at the Cuyahoga County Kennel. My “present” dog, Snickers, was suffering with cancer and would be put to sleep that same week. I thought having a new “love” enter my life would ease the pain of loss.

Maxie joined us (he picked his own name, it was the only sound he looked at me for) and it did work, but, my boy had many issues. He would not go upstairs, not get up or sleep on furniture, not bark or wag his tail, not look at food when offered. He had horrible teeth (the kennel had his age at 4 years) so we started him on dry dog food and ham bones (He so loved those bones!!). And those are just a few of the things I discovered about him. BTW, 1 year after he joined us, I took him to the vet. I asked him how old he thought the dog was and he said “maybe 2 years”.. oh, the need for good dental health!!

I have no idea what his former owners did to him, but to the day he died, he never “cocked” his leg to pee… which I found rather odd.

Anyway, it took time, but (Shar Pei are not known for their “loving” ways) eventually he began to show signs of becomming a real dog. He loved laying in the sun (when I would open the front door “His Window”) and barking at the mailman or any other sound (he could hear a gnat fart from 5 blocks away!) and that curly tail of his.. oh! How it wagged when I came home from the hospital in 2010!

He never once gave us reason to discipline him.. he was obedient but bullheaded. He was loving but aloof.. and he was My friend. He would give me – what I referred to as – Maxie hugs.. he would push into me with his head and “allow” me to pet him. We could stay like that for quite some time.. or until he decided it was enough.

The hardest thing I had to do was make the decision to end his life. He started having health issues in May 2011.. then the vision began to diminish in October. By November he was almost completely blind. His fear and panic of going out after the sun set was devastating. He would run and bump into the fence and get confused.. you’d call him and he’d go the other way! I had to try and get him to come in once (I tried pulling then pushing).. he was one strong dog..

November 25 2011 we took him in. The people were very understanding and empathic. They allowed us as much time as we needed.. even though I didn’t want to let him go, I knew it was for the best. He passed, in my arms with my scent and my hands being the last thing he knew in this world.

I don’t believe the tears will stop any time soon but I was so priviledged to have shared my life with that wonderful animal. He now resides at my Mom and God’s side..

  • Complete 01-14-2011 in 10.57 hours spread over 10 days

I love what I do and I do what I love.. been drawing for over 60 years now – I hope I’ve got it right.

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  • Marlene Piccolin
    Marlene Piccolinover 3 years ago

    No, the tears take a while to stop. I am so sorry Barb. As you know, I can truly empathize. No words really help, only time and maybe a new friend someday.

  • Well, I’ve been offered a purebred koolie.. but – too soon.. not ready yet.

    – BarbBarcikKeith

  • eoconnor
    eoconnorover 3 years ago


  • FranEvans
    FranEvansover 3 years ago

    Well, he was a very lucky Max. You took him in and gave him a good life. What might his years have been like if he hadn’t met you?

  • Probably would have been a whole lot shorter.. and I’m so glad we bonded.

    – BarbBarcikKeith

  • jesika
    jesikaover 3 years ago

    What can I say to help ease your pain through my own tears? Nothing at all!
    I look at your drawing of Silky every day and think of my Treasure, Cockles, long long gone and still very missed and loved as are my other “babies”. You loved Max, he loved you and nursed you through your illness. He will never be forgotten, will always be loved, and one day, you will look at his drawing, his beautiful image created by your self, and you will smile when you remember him…
    my deepest sympathies and condolences go out to you

  • Well.. I’m crying again.. but thank you, it means a lot..

    – BarbBarcikKeith

  • Floralynne
    Floralynneover 3 years ago

    Barb, your lovely tribute to a much loved companion has brought tears to my eyes. They are never ‘just a dog’, they are an intrinsic part our family and we grieve for them just the same as we grieve for the loss of any loved member of our family. They are never gone entirely, while they rest in your heart and in your memories. ((((hugs))))

  • Morag Bates
    Morag Batesover 3 years ago

    I am so very sorry to learn of your sad loss.

    Max was certainly very special and will not be forgotten. He becomes a feature straight away as he has just recently passed.

    The Rainbow Bridge Group!

  • Patricia Anne McCarty-Tamayo
    Patricia Anne ...over 3 years ago

    he was wonderful and that art rocks!

  • Damian May
    Damian Mayover 3 years ago

    Amazing art work

  • EdsMum
    EdsMumover 3 years ago

    Congratulations, 3/12/2011…Shirley

  • EdsMum
    EdsMumover 3 years ago

    My tears still fall and it is 2 yrs. but my little friend was not going to suffer and he was so sick. I held him too and my tears fell on his head….His Vet who had attended him for 14 years said “He will take them to heaven and wait for you” which I felt was comforting…We are lent these beautiful and sincere friends but for a few years on the condition we love them and treat them well but also that when their time comes we do the right thing. Hope there is ham bone for him at Christmas. hugs, Shirley

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