The Definition Of A Hero

For many of you, when you think of the word hero, names like Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle or even Lou Gehrig may come to mind. But what is in a hero exactly? What defines him? Is it his muscles? His speed? His stats? I am sure you are all expecting me to say that Derek Jeter is my hero, but for me it is beyond all that. My hero was my best friend, and yesterday I lost him. While it always hurts to lose someone you love, it cuts me deeply to lose this family member. Imagine having someone in your life that never once judged you. They were always there to make you smile and no matter how badly you treated them, they never left your side. Imagine having someone that no matter how much pain they were in, they tried to hold on as long as possible just so they could keep you happy for one more day. That’s what defines my hero. That’s who my best friend was, my Maxie.

I got Max as a gift from my dad when I had just turned 6 years old. Someone my dad worked with had a dog that had just had a litter of puppies and somehow conned my dad into taking one home. My mother threw a fit, but I got to keep him any way. I will always remember the trouble my little puppy caused. Chewing holes into the wall, chewing through the wire for the alarm, marking his territory all over the house….

Despite all these little things, I loved my dog. And I really must admit that for the last two years, I really didn’t give him the attention that he deserved. I rarely played with him and never took him for walks. I blame myself for getting so consumed in other things. For the last year, Max had a serious thyroid problem. He ate like a pig, but lost tons of weight, which made him look like a skeleton, but still had energy and still wanted to play. London and my husband loved Max and would play with him whenever they got the chance. But for the last couple of days, the dog that ate 3 large cans of dog food a day, ate nothing the entire day. Day after day, we would fill his bowl with fresh dog food, and the next morning, there it still sat… untouched. Monday evening, I went to pick up my son from my mother’s and for some reason I had the strongest urge to just go outside and spend time with my Max. He had no energy left and sat next to me on the floor by the pool. There we sat for what seemed like eternity, my best friend and I. He could barely move, he was so weak, but he turned to me and began to lick my hand. The next morning we found my Maxie laying on the floor next to his Dogloo and a bowl full of food. I just pray he had a painless death and went in his sleep.
Max gave me an amazing 15 years and I am so grateful for that. I just wish he could still be here. I can’t help but to be selfish.

Max, thanks for being amazing and beyond.
I love you.

“Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together…. “

PS: I’m sorry everyone for straying away from baseball for this post. It’s been a pretty emotional two days and I wanted to pour it all out. Thanks for giving me your time.



Filed under Real Life

10 responses to “The Definition Of A Hero

  1. Elizabeth

    Dam Im sorry that you lost your best friend! I have a dog myself and he is the most loving, caring, forgiving living being in the world. I would be very sad if something happened to him so as I read your story I cant help but to cry for your lose. Im sure he is not in anymore pain anymore and always remember the good times and love you both had for eachother. Just think of the good life he had with you and your family for taking him in and caring for him compared to some people who abuse and neglect animals. He had a good 15 years and that is a long life for some dogs to live. Be easy Tati..

  2. Patricia

    I’m so sorry for your loss. This is a lovely tribute to Max. The power that dogs have through their unconditional love is remarkable…he wasn’t saying goodbye with that lick, but rather “’til we meet again.”

  3. I am so sorry for your loss. I had to put my golden retriever down two years ago and it was the hardest thing I ever did. When I moved to the small town I live in now, I didn’t know a soul. Reba was my best and only friend. I still miss her. Part of me wants a new dog and part of me says no. Maybe one day.

  4. Brian

    It’s been a bad week….. I just lost my kitty, who in two weeks would’ve been 20 years old. I will miss Spiff..he was always there.
    Take care hon…. remember the great times, and treasure those that lie ahead.

  5. Thank you for all the support, guys. I ended up crying myself to sleep last night in my husband’s arms. It’s hard to go to work because I hear keys and it sounds like Max’s collar and the owner’s daughter brings her dog into work everyday. I can barely look at her dog. Everything reminds me of Max. My son saw him after he passed and he pointed his little finger at him and said “Puppy!”. It breaks my heart. May be with time?

  6. Joe

    I am sorry to hear about loosing Max. I have a dachshund also, Mr. Pickles, and love that little guy. He made the losses easier to take in Katrina by always wanting to play and has been a great companion for truck driving. Keeps me active and strangers away from the truck. I cannot imagine my life without him now. I offer some prayers for the best and wish you plenty of laughs when you think of Max.

  7. Todd

    Sorry you lost your friend. I know the feeling all to well. My thoughts and prayers are with you!

  8. I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive…..

  9. chemgod

    People who aren’t dog people just don’t understand. I had to put down two dogs last year and I cry about it when I think about it. Just remember the good times with your Maxie. That’s how I got the bad memories of my dogs during their last days out of my head. All I can say is that it’s never too early to get another dog and it really does aid in the healing process. Good luck.


  10. We went to go see puppies this weekend at the local Humane Society. The one I liked had JUST been adopted and the one my husband liked had a whole lotta gas. Then, I went to, and the puppy my husband liked was adopted and he doesn’t like the puppy I like. We will see. I may just wait until London is about 4 or 5.

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