It’s hard to say goodbye!

November 21, 1992 – January 1, 2008

It’s hard to say goodbye to a family pet… especially if they have been a part of your life for a very long time.

On January 1st, Max suffered a second seizure within twelve hours of the first, and was only able to barely respond afterwards. We knew it was “time”. Even though it’s the “right thing to do”, and “what is best”, none of those platitudes keep your heart from breaking.

Max was my “ears” from 1992-1995. My kids were little and Terry worked full-time and was going to school full-time. As a stay-at-home mom and slowly losing my hearing… I came to depend on Max a great deal. We were unable to afford hearing aids, etc., so Max had his work cut out for him!

A friend of mine who taught dog training classes, helped me teach Max the basics. Mostly, however, he learned on his own as I think he knew I couldn’t hear well. The most “helpful” thing he did was during those potty-training years.

The kids will love I’m sharing this… but I was unable to hear when they needed assistance at the commode! They’d holler for “Mommy! Come help! I’m done!”… and Max would come get me. It worked out well (smile).

After I purchased my first hearing aid, I stopped using Max as my “ears”… and I think he knew I didn’t need him anymore that way. He enjoyed being the family pet.

After I was matched with Chloe almost 12 years later, and am now profoundly deaf without my implant, (plus having balance problems that keep me insisting to all who know me, “No! I don’t drink!”) Max was perfectly fine with Chloe being my new partner. He surprised us a couple of times by remembering some “how to’s” with alerts! Things come back pretty quickly when treats are used as awards!

Even Chloe misses Max. She runs out in the yard and scatters the squirrels… then looks around for Max as if saying, “Get a load of THAT, Max! Aren’t they scared of us?” But Max isn’t with us anymore.

My consolation is that I know we gave him the best home a dog could enjoy in life! He was loved! He is missed!

Denise Portis
©2008 Hearing Loss Diary

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