My name is Brenda Hahn and unfortunately, I am out of town this weekend for military training and am sadly disappointed that I can not attend the memorial ceremony.
My love story began when I received the best Valentine’s Day present ever! My husband and I were stationed in Germany and I was on a waiting list for a puppy. He surprised me when he brought home an eight week old West Highland Terrier. He was one of a kind and came from a pedigree of National and International Championship winners. I was a proud and happy mom! His given birth name was Dennis, but soon changed to Max. I wanted a good Scottish name. It was love at first sight; he was my soul mate, best friend, and we were inseparable. He was always happy, playful, and very social. He provided the unconditional love and happiness that I had never experienced with anyone human being.
Max remained healthy his whole life until the age of fourteen when he started slowing down, experiencing some arthritis, weight gain, and hearing loss. He was always a trooper and as long as he was with me, he kept going and was happy. We went to our last Dog Fest and I stopped at the Journey’s Home tent. I talked to Dr. Katie, since I knew that dreaded day would come and I wanted a plan. She was very nice and extremely helpful. She gave me a magazine, in which she was featured on the cover and kept for future reference.
Max seemed to be doing well until September of last year. He always seemed to be hungry, gained weight, drinking a lot of water, and was losing some of his hair on the tip of his tail. I took him to the Vet and she diagnosed him with hypothyroidism and possible Cushing’s disease. I treated him with medication, supplements, and the best food I could buy. We celebrated his fifteen birthday on December 10th. I knew he was starting to fail; developing dementia, losing control of his bladder, and becoming lethargic and tired.
The dreaded decision came on the day of New Years Eve. He stopped eating and became so weak that he was falling over. I could not stand seeing him in this condition. I slept with him the night before, and held him hoping he would pass in his sleep. That next day I laid on the couch holding him on my chest like a newborn baby. I gave him a gentle bath and comforted him as much as I could. I called my vet to get her advice and knew I could not take him in to an office setting. I then called Journeys Home. They were so accommodating and drove forty minutes, fitting me in their schedule. Dr. Catie Hawkins came out and sat with me, listened to me, and checked Maxi out. He was very weak, anemic, and dehydrated. She was comforting, kind, and never pressured me in anyway. I laid him in his favorite bed, gave lots of hugs and kisses, prayed for him and said my goodbyes.
This was the hardest decision and the ultimate sacrifice for the love of my life. She administered the sedative. I am so happy he did not feel a thing. It took a lot more time to have the medication go through his system, so I spent my time expressing my love for him and letting him know how much joy and love that he had brought to my life and the lives of others. Max passed peacefully, spiritually, and without pain. I loved him so much that I could not see him suffer any longer. I wanted to give him a peaceful passing, since his quality of life was in distress.
It has been eight months since he has passed and I still am in the grieving process. I think of him and miss him 24 hours a day. Although, time has healed my pain, I still sit and cry because I miss his presence. He was my soulmate and my best friend, but I know he is always by my side. I have dedicated a shelf to Max, with a tin of his remains, a clay paw print, a lock of his hair, his picture and his collar. I light a candle in his honor every day. I look forward to the day when we reunite and see each other again and we cross that Rainbow Bridge together.
I want to thank Dr. Catie Hawkins, Dr. Katie Hilst, Dr. Laura Purdy, the grief counselor at Memorial Pet Services and their staff all for helping me and Max toward the journey home. You all have given me great comfort and the best service possible!
From: Brenda Hahn,