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Our most loyal champion is gone.  Her name was “Max” or Maxie.  We knew we were coming up north eventually thus we ensured we got a good long hair family dog.   She was a mutt with a lot of German Shepherd in her.  We had to put her down.  She apparently had bone cancer.  It was so strange.  She never got really sick, she simply “broke” (hair line fracture) her leg one day, just by running around.  We took her into the veterinary office and after looking at several x-ray’s t he veterinary was 99.99% sure that she had bone cancer.  Her bone was “moth eaten” darkness throughout. She said she could extend her life for a little while if removed the entire leg for a considerable amount of money.  We decided that was not what we wanted to do.

Max chillin’ back in the old house

We wanted to make sure she was kept with us through last Christmas, but finally the bone destruction just kept moving through her.  It was like she had an out of control infection.  We most likely kept her too long.  At the last, she was trying to get up to greet me, but  she could not.  Time for her to go.  It seems fairly common up here in conservative rural America (Redoubt) to dig a hole and shot your dog in the back of her head with a pistol or rifle round.  A man and a wounded animal go into the woods, the man comes back.  It is humane, a 410 shotgun to the back of the head and no one feels anything more.  Three of my friends have said, yes they put down their own dogs on their land.  My wife was not having it.  She wanted a more peaceful end to our family friend.  Thus we spent the money (we didn’t have) to have the veterinary to put her down.

Max when she was younger always on guard

When you have to do something difficult, I think the way to do it is just get to it.  I explained that to our veterinary Doctor and she agree.   She made it a very efficient process.  On that day, the veterinary, gave her a first shot, if I remember correctly to reduce localize pain and relax her.  She also put a tube in her leg.  We then said our goodbyes.  Then later on as the dog got tired,  she gave her a drug that normally would put her to sleep, but with an overdose stopped her heart.  The entire process from when we entered the veterinary’s office to when Maxie was gone was over in less than 10 minutes.   It was peaceful.

South West German Sheppard mutt learning about her roots.

Our dog was a good dog.  She loved the land, she loved to just run around the property.  She “generally” stayed on our property, but she roamed a little.  She didn’t kill chickens, she didn’t even nip at them as they ran around.   She watched the children constantly, she would sleep in the kids rooms only when we were gone.  Once after we moved on to our little hobby farm our neighbors “rat dog” charged the children while they were riding the ATV barking loudly.  Max grabbed her and shook her a little and the let her go.  She ran crying with her tail between her legs.  Our neighbor was pissed “your dog attacked my mother’s dog.”  I tried to smooth it over, but that neighbor is none too pleased.  My thought was she was doing her job. 

When we lived in the low lands of the Deep Blue failed State before we moved up here Max went crazy, barking one night.  A few seconds after her barking started my car alarm kicked off.  Max and I came out of house with a loaded shotgun and death in our eyes.  The people / person had heard Max kicking up a fuss, and all we saw were shadows moving in the distance.   I give her credit for keeping someone from breaking into my truck.

One of the last times Max was out with the kids, chickens and snow

She was a good solid dog.  I find it interesting that now that she is gone, my wife is much more nervous about being home.  She locks all the doors, and triple checks them (not a bad thing), she is constantly checking on the children.  It is kinda of interesting.  She said, she always depended upon the family dog  to alert before anyone got too close.   Our family mourns the lost of a good family companion.