An even longer and more exhausting day than the usual.  I woke up bright and early this morning to take the 90 minute drive to the University of Guelph Small Animal Hospital where my pug Maximus had a visit with one of the resident Oncologists.

My handsome boy.

We met with the doctor who gave us the rundown on our options.  Thanks to the links man of you provided, I went armed with a bunch of questions concerning vaccines and potential alternate treatments.

Maximus looking very concerned.

Of course, it would all depend on what the tests showed.  I requested a thorough examination: a CT scan to identify the size of the tumor, chest x-ray and ultrasound to find out whether the cancer had spread, and blood work to see how his body was dealing with the disease.

He's usually incredibly laid back. Not so much in the doctor's office.
He seemed to sense what was coming and went into hiding - in full view - under my chair.

We had to leave him for the day.  The doctor promised to call me as soon as she had the results.

His "Please, don't leave me!" look.

Leaving him behind for a procedure is tough.  He is always terrified at the prospect of being left alone and will actually tremble.  But, alas, it had to be done.

I received the call late this afternoon.  Apparently, it’s a big tumor and the cancer has spread to the bone behind his eye.  Nodules were discovered on his spleen and liver but they will have to aspirated and tested at a later date to check for malignancy.  On the positive side, his lymph nodes and chest are clear.  Tomorrow, I’ll be talking to a surgeon about what can be done.

We wrapped at around eight.  I hopped in my car and drove another 90 minutes to pick up Maximus so that he wouldn’t have to spend the night alone.  He was positively thrilled to see us.  And Jelly was positively thrilled to see him.  According to Akemi, the poor gal spent much of the day searching the apartment for him, crying.  One year apart, the two practically grew up together.

Jelly and Maximus in their younger days.

Anyway, it’s late and I REALLY need to get some sleep.  I’ve got another early day on set and another pass on Sharks that needs to be done before Tuesday’s concept meeting.

45 thoughts on “August 4, 2011: The Maximus Update!

  1. Thanks for the pictures, Joe. I will pray that the surgeon can do something. And I know what you mean about needing sleep. I need some myself.

    Have a good night!!!

  2. Hey mate, we hope the very best for Maximus – we all hate it when our children and/or pets – hard to tell the difference sometimes :O) – are sick!
    but its obvious even form here down Under, that Maximus is loved! – and thats the MOST important thing for any being to know :O)

    Gregg – Perth Western Australia

    PS accepting that SGU is now in utter limbo – far from agile managerial mindsets – I just want to thank you anyway for all the work done there – i thought it was a really really good show – I have liked all three SG ‘franchises’ :O) – each had their own ambience!

  3. Sounds like a full day for both of you. I certainly hope that they can come up with a successful treatment plan. My old Yorkie, who has passed away now, had a terror of being left at the vet’s or groomer. Fortunately my new little guy is made of tougher stuff. Love the pics and videos of Maximus. Nice to see one of you too for a change.

    Nola S.

  4. Thanks for the update, everybody here has been worried all day. I’m so glad his lymph nodes and chest are clear! Please let us know what develops tomorrow! And to Max, as always, squishes and kisses from all of us. 🙂

  5. Keeping you in prayer. Hang in there Joe. Hoping for the best with Maximus.

  6. Thanks for keeping us up to date on Max’s condition. Good luck with the surgery consult and hoping for some good treatment options.

  7. Thanks for the update and the neat photos. Not thrilled with the circumstances, do love the photo of you and Max. And the one of Jelly and Max is so cute. In the second vid, it is as though Max is aware – could hear him “gulp” as he waits for whatever comes next.
    Still sending good thoughts and vibrations and many prayers for some good news. Hope you had good sleep. It is apparent from the photos that this is taking a toll on you.

  8. Good luck with everything Joe. I can only imagine how hard it’s been with what you’ve had to go through over the past year or so, but I’m sure in the end everything will turn out positive.

    Hopefully Maximus knows how many people are rooting for him!

    On another note, are you planning on attending Fan Expo later this month? If so, we should have a Joseph Mallozzi Blog dinner/meet again. I’m sure you have just as many longtime followers on the east coast as you do on the west! (And this way we can bog you down with get well presents for Max too!)

  9. Joe, thanks for updating us at the end of an exhausting day. What a good Dad you are. Sending prayers and support for a good night’s sleep for everyone and a positive game plan tomorrow. Thank you, Akemi, for being there for Joe!

  10. How good I forget? Gentle kisses for Maximus and hugs for the rest of the fur babies. 🙂

  11. Spreading to the bone does not sound good, but not in the lymph sounds good. Hard to know what to make of all that information, but at least they were able to give you some feedback tonight and you didn’t have to sit around waiting for weeks for them to call back. A 90-minute drive twice in 1 day? Yep, I know that all too well. Did that for 10 months for Patrick. We’ll do anything to help our kids (even our canine kids). Poor Jelly. I know she is not the only one glad to have Maximus back under the roof tonight. Get some sleep if you can.

  12. Dear Joe,

    I am so so sorry to hear about Maximus. For your sake and for his I hope a successful treatment can be found.

    As most of my dogs and some of my cats had been older animals from the shelter I have been through this situation several times and know how hard it is to decide whether it’s best to fight or best to let go. Unfortunatly “the best” for the animal is not necessarily the same for its human. But I am sure you will know what to do, as you truely love your dogs.

    I wish you strength.


  13. Coucou Joseph!

    Bon je comprend que vous n’ayez pas pensé à mon anniversaire hier ='( c’est triste ce qui arrive à Maximus…quel age à t’il déjà? ça l’aire vraiment grave en plus, j’espere qu’on va trouver une solution! J’aime beaucoup la 1er photo, vous êtes trop chou dessus!

    Gros bisou, reposez vous bien.

  14. Thanks for the update Joe! Hugs and kisses to Maximus and Jelly! We shall prat and hope for the best outcomes yes? He looks So cute under the chair 🙂 I feel like that at the doctor myself!

  15. Thanks for the update on Max. I hope the doctor has something that is not too envasive for him and I hope that it does not effect his sight. Best of luck to him and he will be in our thoughts.

  16. Joe, I hope that Max responds to treatment if you decide to go that route. But if you don’t, or if he doesn’t, sometimes all you can do is make him as comfortable as possible. He’s already spoiled something terrible, so I don’t need to remind you about that. 😉 Hang in there, sir. I know how tough it can be. As you recall we had a very sick cat back in April…they suspected maybe she had colon cancer. Well, she’s back to her old self – not sure if she has cancer, or not, but I couldn’t afford the treatment anyway – so we’re just loving her to pieces and hoping that she’ll be with us for a little while yet. But the stress of her being sick was just horrible. It’s not easy dealing with a sick pet because they can’t tell you where it hurts…and they do try to put on a strong front. With everything else (work, Akemi’s situation, personal matters, Toronto in general), you are really being bombarded right now. Needless to say, thoughts and prayers are with you all. {{{hugs}}}


  17. Max sure is a cutie pie (southern talk). I’m so sorry y’all have to go through this. It’s been a while since I was a vet tech and things have improved a lot! Still it worries me that it spread to the bone. I’d plan on spending extra time with Jelly and maybe pick up some valium for the dogs. Sending hugs to Max, Jelly, Akemi and you!

  18. Sorry the news wasn’t better, Joe. Hang in there Maximus! We’re all pulling for ya buddy.

  19. *hugs for Joe and Maximus* I’m just so heartbroken over this. I got tears in my eyes as I read your blog. Poor Maximus. 🙁 I just wanna reach in give him a big hug. He looks so sad and scared. I hope and pray that the doctors can make him better.

  20. Its a terrible thing to be a dog owner. To realize that dogs as mortal as we are, and are bequethed even less time than most of us. I hope the surgeon has some good news, so that Maximus can enjoy the full measure of his years. Keep yourself healthy and make sure to give him an extra treat or two from all of us.

  21. Grateful for the good news that it hasn’t spread, and will continue to think good thoughts for surgery and treatment. Blessings and belly rubs to you all.

    P.S. My Molly-girl also trembles during vet visits and sends an extra face-lick for Maximus. Woof!

  22. Hey Joe

    You planning on a trip downtown this weekend? The Taste of Danforth will be in full swing. It’s Greek, they have Danforth Ave. closed from today trough to Sunday night. Worlds largest street party.


  23. Your poor baby. I’m so sorry Maximus (and you) has to deal with this. I hope the right treatment is found quickly and is as painless as possible. I know what you mean about leaving them. I have a big baby (100+ pounds black Lab) who cowers in terror when we go to the vet. There’s just no way to assure them it’s for their own good.


  24. Sending love, good wishes and shared sadness for the tough choices facing you. Poor Jelly, too. I know she and Maximus are so glad you got him home last night.

  25. I started reading your website when my husband showed me pictures of your pugs. We had the most wonderful little pug named Ugg and I felt an instand bond with your dogs because they reminded me so much of my little man. We lost Ugg 11 months ago to PDE and reading about your gang of adorable dogs has really helped me through, infact it was reading about your Frenchies Brie, Lulu and Stewie that convinced us that we were ready for another little boy in our family ( we really wanted another Pug but couldn’t face the prospect of PDE again). We now have the most amazing French bulldog named Spock. I suppose what I’m trying to say is my heart goes out to you. I cried tears of joy last week when you posted Maximus was ok and it seemed to only be his teeth that where the problem. I again cried when I read it seemed to be much worse for the handsome little man. I’m praying to every god there is for him, I love your dogs so much and only wish the best for them.Maximus and Jelly are constantley in my thoughts and I know my little man Ugg is up in heaven with his paws crossed for him. Thank you for making your dogs part of my life because without your website I would never had had the two biggest loves of my life. Ugg and Spock.

  26. I hoping for the best for Maximus and you Joe! Even though only know them through your pictures and writing, still have become a bit attached to them, but not hard for a dog lover like me.

    Also so cute on Jelly and how attached they are.

  27. Bless your heart Joe.
    Thanks for the Max update. Please take care of yourself too.
    Continuing prayers for guidance and comfort.

    Good night to all…


  28. I hope it’s really treatable and not malignant. I’ve had a couple of my four-legged babies who passed away from cancer. It was tough on everyone. I hope the same isn’t happening here with Maximus. My family’s (two-legged and four-legged alike) prayers are with you and Maximus and all the rest of your family. Get well and be well Maxi!!!!

  29. Hi Mr M!

    Just catching up on the blog. Big hugs to Maximus!! I know this is a tough time for you, Max and the rest of the gang.
    Our thoughts are with you. Our dalmation Duncan barks his support too…


  30. Oh Joe, my heart and prayers go out to you and your family, and am hoping for the best news. I love the header picture of Max and all the pictures and videos you have shared today.praying for miracles and sending hugs to all of you.
    @luvnjack, nice!!

  31. The poor wee soul, and you too. I just wanted to reach through the screen and give you a hug.

    Despite what the less informed believe, dogs are family, and I will be praying for yours.

  32. Poor little guy! I hope he pulls through with all of this! The little videos are so heartbreaking! 🙁

  33. Oh it’s so cute and heartbreaking! Jelly cried and spent the day looking for her little brother.

    Still sending warm thoughts and prayers to Maximus. His picture at the top is still one of the best things about visiting your blog.


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