So, about twelve years ago, I had an idea for a horror movie – an idea, in retrospect, well ahead of its time.  Instead of writing the script, I sat on the idea. A couple of years later, a movie came out that was, in its unique direction, very similar.  And so, the idea ended up being shelved.  Years later, I began to give my horror movie a lot of thought. It was, I decided, different enough from what had come before – certainly a lot more different than many of the other horror films out there – so I decided to go out and try to sell it.  I discussed it with Paul and we came up a solid pitch, some wonderfully creepy supporting materials, then headed off to L.A. I wrote about our (appropriately enough) horrifying experience in a previous blog entry (October 28, 2008: My L.A. Update).  Ultimately, we weren’t able to make the sale, in large part because of a movie that had opened that weekend which – you guessed it – was similar in certain respects to the script we were pitching.  So back on the shelf went the script.  Years passed.  Then, a few weeks ago, I was having lunch with Ivon and I pitched him the idea.  He loved it.  We discussed and agreed that, while it had similarities to what had come before, it was certainly unique enough. And so, I sat down and started writing it.  Last night, I hit the 47 page mark.  Then, this morning, I received an email from Robert Cooper who informed me of an upcoming movie – with a plot similar to the script I was working.  The script I had over halfway completed!




Don’t care.  Read the synopses of the other movie, saw the trailer, and I feel my script is different enough.  Guess we’ll find out when that movie opens – and my movie doesn’t.  Or maybe they both open and no one remembers the other movie or likens it to Wyatt Earp to my Tombstone.  Whatever.  Come hell or high water (I don’t even know that that means) I’m finishing this damn script!

Thank you to everyone who has weighed in with their advice on Maximus.  I appreciate all the input (I wouldn’t approve the comment if I didn’t).  It goes without saying that this isn’t an easy decision.  I’ll be gone for twelve days and there’s the possibility that he may not be here when I get back.  On the other hand, I can put him to sleep tomorrow and be faced with the certainty that he definitely be here when I return from Japan.  Ultimately, I’m going to have to make the decision sooner or later.  But which is it?  Sooner or later?  It’s a choice that offers no second chances.  There are those who say his quality of life is no longer the same and I should put him to sleep.  On the other hand, there are those who say you wouldn’t do the same to a human being, so why do it to an animal you care about?  I fall in the middle.  I think the call should be made when it’s time – the only question is “When is it time?”.  When an animal is diagnosed?  When an animal stops climbing stairs?  When an animal stops eating?  I took Maximus to the vet today and his vet fully supports whatever decision I make. This is what I know: 1. Maximus is not getting any better and is only going to get worse.  2.  He has lost a lot of weight.  3. He stopped eating a week ago, but did eat a little yesterday and a little today.  4. The vet feels the loss of appetite is more likely a result of the meds he is taking than the disease.  5. He’s lethargic but, in all fairness, he’s always been a lethargic dog.  Again, the vet suggests this is more the effect of the meds than the disease.  6. The meds have eased his pain considerably as he no longer squirms and shifts whenever someone tries to explore his mouth.  7. Maximus trembles in fear whenever we visit the vet – which is the barometer I’ve always used as an indication he’s not quite ready to go gently into that good night.

Still undecided and time is running out.  I’ve made an appointment to bring Maximus in, for his final vet visit, tomorrow morning.  I have until 9:00 a.m. to decide whether I’ll keep it.  I’m going to sleep on it and, hopefully, over the next ten hours, Maximus himself will give me some indication of how things are going to go.

Continuing that preview of Dark Matter #2 (via the gang at  Comic Book Resources)…

56 thoughts on “January 25, 2012: Awww %&^#! Maximus! Dark Matter #2 Preview!

  1. Joe,

    I have had to make that decision before and I know its one of the most difficult. I’m sorry you have to go through it. Words are really inadequate but they are all I have to offer. Whatever choice you make, I hope you can be at peace with it, that seems to be the best you can hope for. {hugs} to Maximus and you.


  2. He is probably waiting until you go as most animals like to die on their own…my kittie died when I went to the dentist had been in for 3 days watching her and she goes when I am not there!

    Btw she was in no pain she died from old age and she was a very nervous kittie and taking her to the vets would not been fair on here…instead she died in peace at home.

    Kriss 🙂

  3. Hey Joe,

    It is a huge problem in Hollywood. I’ve seen many law suits and studios losing millions when they find out what you’ve just experienced. It is enough to make you crazy when working on a project. *smiles* You are blessed to be in the mix. I believe your talent will make a better film. Is it zombie related? Hmmm

    Here is a poem that helped me when we lost a treasured member of our family. His name was Toby…died in a battle with a coyote. Devastated the children and me. A Owner of a rescue sent me this poem…I like to think Tony is there waiting for me.

    Best to you Joe,

    P.S. Only you and Max can decide when to say goodbye.

  4. Not sure why his like or dislike of going to the vet means ready or not. But the shutdown of nearly all eating is a grim sign for sure. His body is telling him it is time. Starvation isn’t a kind way to go, nor is forcing food/nutrition on an animal who is ready to stop. Such a hard sad place to be in, but people suffer and animals when they don’t get enough nutrients to help the body function. You are the only one to make the call but it sounds like Maximus is swiftly approaching a time when an easy end has come.:(

  5. Mate, we are all behind you – whichever way and however and whenever; we are behind you :o) – there is no receipe book for these things – just know this though; dogs are different to humans, are ‘programmed’ differently – and instinctively know when they are loved by their masters – this is important to them!!! So if Maximus has to have the ‘needle’ just hold onto him while its all happening – and until he ‘rests’ – and he’ll go into ‘rest’ knowing that you love him……… and that’s what’s important, IMHO :o)

  6. Joe,

    It’s really hard. I’ve just stayed with him for a year and half but he am very attached. You’ve lived with him almost thirteen years… I’m sure he appreciates everything you’ve done for him. I found the doggy story I told you today about.


    1.  私の一生はだいたい10年から15年。あなたと離れるのが一番つらいことです。どうか、私と暮らす前にそのことを覚えておいてくだい。

    2. あなたが私に何を求めているのか、私がそれを理解するまで待ってください。

    3. 私を信頼して欲しい、それが私の幸せです。

    4. 私を長い間叱ったり、罰として閉じ込めたりしないでください。あなたには他にやる事があって、楽しみがあって、友達もいるかもしれない。でも、私にはあなたしかいないから。

    5. たくさん話しかけてください。言葉は分からなくても、あなたの声は届いているから。

    6. あなたがどんな風に私に接したか、私はそれを全て覚えていることを知って欲しい。

    7. 私を叩いたりlいじめたりする前に覚えておいて欲しい。私は鋭い歯であなたを傷つけることができるにもかかわらず、あなたを傷つけないと決めています。

    8. 私が言うことを聞かないだとか、頑固だとか、怠けているからといって叱る前に、私が何かで苦しんでいないか考えてください。もしかしたら、食事に問題があるかもしれないし、長い間日に照らされているかもしれない。それか、もう体が老いて、弱ってきているのかもしれない。

    9. 私が年を取っても、私の世話をしてください。あなたもまた同じように年を取るのだから。

    10. 最後のその時まで一緒にいてください。「もう見てはいられない。」、「私ここにいたくない。」などと言わないでください。あなたが隣にいてくれるだけで幸せです。


    The Ten Commandments of Dog Ownership.

    1. My life is likely to last ten to fifteen years. Any separation from you will be painful for me. Remember that before you get alone with me.

    2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.

    3. Place your trust in me- it’s crucial to my Well-being.

    4. Don’t be angry at me for long and don’t lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your entertainment and your friends. I have only you.

    5. Talk to me. Even if I don’t understand your words, I understand your voice when it’s speaking to me.

    6. Be aware that however you treat me, I’ll never forget it.

    7. Remember before you hit me that l have teeth that could easily crush the bones of your hand but that I choose not to bite you.

    8. Before you scold me for being uncooperative, obstinate, or lazy, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I’m not getting the right food or I’ve been out in the sun too long or my heart is getting old and weak.

    9. Take care of me when I get old ; you, too, will grow old.

    10. Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say, “I can’t bear to watch it .” or ” Let it happen in my absence.” Everything is easier for me if you are there. 

    Remember I love you…

    Thank you…

    From The Ten Commandments of Dog Ownership.

  7. Ah, Joe, I’m sorry. 🙁 I hope you have peace of mind, whatever you decide. Whatever happens, he knows you love him. Sending huggles from me and all of Martin’s Woohoos. *hugs*


  8. I don’t envy your decision Joe. I had friends who kept their old poodle alive long after I thought it was best they let him go. They used to hand feed him and he wore a nappy (diaper) – very undignified. They said they could not bear to put another animal to sleep. I thought that was a very selfish reason to let the dog suffer. Now I don’t know Maximus’ temperament, but I do think that he looks very sad in the recent photos you posted lately.

    I do think Commandment 10 says it all……

    10. Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say, “I can’t bear to watch it .” or ” Let it happen in my absence.” Everything is easier for me if you are there.

    And yes, we don’t do it humans, but we let them suffer unnecessarily don’t we??

    I’m sure you will make the best decision for Maximus.

  9. I assume you’ve discussed all outcomes of what might happen to Max while you’re away with your sitter?…and they are prepared to take on what might be a very horrific role in deciding what to do with another person’s pet?…I know I wouldn’t want to make that final decision with a pet that wasn’t mine..but I guess people are different and stronger than I probably am…

    My husband and I both have had pets in the past, him being a dog person, me a cat person and our last pet (our cat) was hit by a car…I let him out early one evening and when he wouldn’t come in at his normal time, I gave up and locked the door overnight as I knew he could be a bit of a “Wandering Tom”….when we found him dead the next morning in a neighbour’s garage (he had crawled there to die alone) I was in agony with guilt and grief and still have never forgiven myself for not staying up later and looking for him and being with him – of course I rationalise that he might have been already dead long before I locked that door for the night, but I keep going back to the “what ifs”, even after more than 20 years…

    My husband retired and would have loved another dog, but then our “travelling the world” days begun and we made the decision not to have any more animals until we were committed to be there for them for 100% of the time…I could not fly away knowing that a sick member of my family (because that’s what our pets are) and the decision to end their life due to their suffering might have to be left to another…

    My good wishes for your doggie, and to you to help you with what, to me, is probably the hardest decision of someone’s life…


  10. Hi Joe,

    I read your blog frequently, but never post. But I wanted to share my story about my boxer named Molly. We got her when she was 3 months old, and had her for 13 years. Near the end of her life, she started to slow down, and needed help getting up on the bed, and up stairs etc., but she was still had a quality of life. One night she was lying on the floor, and she was a little cold to the touch, so I snuggled with her. She got up and went into the bedroom and threw up. It smelt like feces, obviously not a good thing. We rushed her to the vet, and the diagnosis was likely cancer. So we made the heartbreaking decision to put her down because she was in pain, and there was nothing we could do for her. My mom, my brother, and myself were there from the beginning, and we were there until the end. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. But two weeks later, just before Christmas, we ended up getting another boxer. We have had Bean for over a year now, and love her so much, she just brings so much joy to us.

    I know people have said this to you before, but I think you will know when it is the time for Maximus. I think that as long as Maximus is not in any pain, he will be ok for a little bit longer.

    – Superfroggy

  11. You know, Joe, I’ve tried to stay out of these types of situations in my friends lives and in your blog posts for the very same reasons. It’s a very tough situation and I’m not sure anything I tell them about my similar experience will really help. Every situation is different and there are many factors that affected my decision to put my cat, Wacko, down. But what is similar about our situations is that I was up against a wall, as it were, myself. I had to make a decision and it had to be soon. I’m not a cat person at heart, but I had grown to love that cat so much. I even treated him more like a dog, since that was all I knew. He was a very unique cat, very cool. When I did have to make that decision, due to factors I knew i ultimately could not control and could not change, I knew how I was going to have him put to sleep: in my arms. A friend of mine told me he did it that way years before my situation, but it had always stuck with me. I’m glad it did. I still feel sad about the whole thing, but I have zero regrets. I can think of no better way for him to go, for him and me. It was rough. It was the hardest thing I think I’ve ever had to do, but I’m glad I did it. When the time comes, whenever that time is, you’ll feel what the right thing to do is.

    As for movie scripts, have you ever thought about writing a script with a “boy meets girl” plot where they don’t end up together at the end? Something like the way Cast Away turned out. Its an idea I’ve been toying with for a looooong time. Nobody makes a feel-good movie with an ending where they don’t end up together. Hey, at least it’s be original. Well, kinda I’ve already got a lot of the major themes and situations formatted out. But since I’m not a professional writer, I’m sure you could come up with something different enough… I’ll take a writing credit as payment and a back end deal to be negotiated afterwards! 😉

  12. Hey, Joe. I’m so sorry to hear that Maximus’ condition has come to this. I’ve said before that when and if you come to that decision it will be between you and Max only. It’s something that all of us have gone through with a loved one, human or animal, when we love them we don’t want to be without them, but also hate to see them suffer. One thought – would a change or reduction in medication help for at least a while? In any case, be assured that he knows that he is well loved. My thoughts and heart go out to you.

  13. I can’t think of anything to say other than I’m sorry and my thoughts are with you and Max.

  14. Joe, I know all too well what you are going through and whatever decision you make you will second guess yourself. However… when I had to have my German Shepherd put to sleep I felt I couldn’t put her through the added stress of taking her to the vets to do the deed so I paid extra(considerably so) to have her euthanised(what an awfull, clinical term!) at home surrounded by her family. It still broke my heart (crying now as I type) but it was the right thing and the right place. I’ll be thinking of you and the dogs and know that you will do what is best for Maximus:( XX

  15. Be at peace, Maximus and Joe. Celebrate what you have so you can say goodbye

  16. Hey Joe,

    I do not often write you a comment, but when I think it’s necessary, I do. My advice is: Do it, you’ve made a descision, I think, and from what I’m reading, it ist the right one. He hasn’t been eating, has lost weight and it looks like he’s not really enjoying himself anymore. I can neither live with nor without medication.

    Even if he does tremble in the vets waiting room I would say that as miserable as he is, when he needs to go to vet, let it be his last.

    It is a tough descision. I know it, although when I had to make that call my beloved animal was already on the floor dying and there was no long process to decide. It isn’t easy, but at least we can spare them a suffering death, something we can’t do for our human friends and family, because it is forbidden.

  17. I’m sorry you have to go through this tough decision. It’s never easy. My aunt’s cat of 20 years was ill before she went away to visit her daughter. My family checked in on her beloved cats and found the old boy crying out in pain. He had crawled back to her bedroom and laid amongst her things meowing and moaning like the pain was killing him. My sister stayed there with him for three hours just giving him a comforting rub until he passed. It was the worst feeling in the world to her to watch an animal suffer on its deathbed.

    My aunt felt like it was her fault…he lost the battle when she wasn’t there to comfort him. My sister never told her that he had feebly crawled to her things and laid on them in his final moments because she didn’t think that my aunt could bear hearing that he had missed her.

    If you decide to cancel your appointment, you should definitely be prepared…and prepare the pet sitter too as it’s really unfair to them. If you don’t go through with it, you should really just stay home and care for him.

    I really am sorry to hear of his condition.

    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….

  18. Hi Joe. I’m so sorry you (and Maximus) are going through this. I have no advice to offer on making this decision, no idea how to know if you made the “right” decision. But from reading this blog I’m sure you’ll make the decision out of love for Maximus and a desire to do what’s best for him, and that’s really all any of us can do.

  19. I have been not posted on your blog for ages but felt that I should post today in support of whatever decision that you make for your wee boy.

    I don’t have kiddies but have since leaving home in 2006 have always had a furry bairn to look after. They are friends in little furry outfits – their individual personalities make us love them so much and it is so hard to let them go

    It is not going to be easy for you Akemi or the rest of the pack – but nobody said life was going to be fair or easy.


  20. That’s very cool Akemi! Love it.

    Thinking of Max. Big hugs to the little guy.

    %*#@ it Joe. Write the script.

  21. I’m sorry you have this decision. Praying for your heart. ((big group hug to Maximus and everyone who has grown attached to him)))


    Could the situation with a similar movie out work in your favor, depending on how the wind is blowing? People could say, “oh, that one did good. That’s a sign the audience is ready for something else along those lines.” You’re going to learn while writing it, anyway.”

  22. Best wishes on whatever you decide.

    Forget which show it was on that I recently watched, but someone said if you flip a penny in the air to make a choice: as the penny’s in the air, you’ll be hoping for the penny to either be your head’s or tails choice. So whatever you are hoping for before you go to see if the penny landed heads or tails face up, that is the decision that you are already thinking about doing. If you understand what I’m trying to explain. Haven’t tried it yet myself. 🙂

  23. Joe and Akemi, my prayers are with you all no matter what you decide, many many hugs. thanks Akemi for the 10.

  24. Best of luck, Joe. I know it’s not an easy decision and it’ll be hard to not second-guess yourself at some point later on, especially. We’ll be faced with the same issue soon with our dog, Buddha Bear, I fear.

    You and Maximus have enjoyed a good life together, because of each other. That’s the thing to remember once your decision is made, either way, and regardless of how it pans out 🙂

    P.S. Been enjoying the Dark Matter posts, thanks.

  25. It is a hard decision that I’ve had to make twice. Just ‘thinking’ of parting with my Babe in the future is depressing. I am confident that you will make the best decision for you and Maximus and I’ll support you in your decision and offer whatever support I can.

  26. *hugs for Joe and Maximus* Joe, you and Maximus will continue to be in my prayers. May your love for Maximus be unconditional. May God be with you and Maximus.

  27. By the time you get this post, you will have made your decision about Max. I’ve had to make similar choices before. Whatever you chose, remember that you love Max, and he knows this. I don’t doubt that your choice is based on what is best for Max, and I hope you will not doubt the reason behind your decision. You are not making an easy choice, and you are not making a choice based on what is convenient for you. You are doing something based on love, and respect, for a beloved companion. Hugs for you, Akemi, Max, and the rest of the pups.

  28. So many dear folks have already said here what I would say Joe. May God bless you and sweet Max. You are all in my prayers.

    2cats – Carol

  29. My thoughts are with you and Maximus. I wish I could say something more but the only one who knows best is you. All the best to you and your boy.

  30. Hi Joe,

    I was once the pet sitter who had to take someone else’s elderly cat to the vet to end her suffering. I cried and cried as if she had been my own, and stayed with her until the end. Mostly I felt bad for the owner, who wanted to be there but was several hours away. He asked the vet whether the poor little thing could be hospitalized overnight until he could get back. The vet said it would be far more traumatic for the kitty, she was too far gone, and to let her go gracefully. It is a tough call, and my heart is with you.

  31. It goes without saying that it’s a very tough decision you face with Maximus. Looking at what you’ve written about him, it looks like the choice is virtually made.

    @elliev, that’s very harsh what you’ve written. If you’ve read these blogs for any length of time, you’ll realise that Maximus’ illness has been weighing on Joe’s mind. What’s the guy supposed to do in the meantime? Put his life on hold until the demise of his beloved pet? I’m astonished at you for putting out an ignorant statement like that!

  32. Hope I’m not too late to catch you. If Max still responds to you with love in his eyes, then he still has joy and quality in his life. (Had a pug for 16 years)

  33. Hello Joe.

    Give Max a big hug for me, and know that you all have my best wishes and prayers whatever your decision.



  34. Btw: think “Deep Impact” vs “Armageddon”. Two movies with similar plotlines… happens every year. It’ll work out, and the theater patrons will ultimately call the shots. Best of luck.

  35. @elliev You must not read here often, otherwise, you would know how much and how long Joe has agonized over this.

    Add my *hugs* for you and Maximus.

    People say you wouldn’t treat a human this way, but sometimes we do have to make decisions like these for our pets. No matter their age, etc., it’s always hard because you love them as much or more than you love the people in your life.

    Like many here, I’ve had to go through that process, and, based on the interactions with those pets at the time, I am in the camp that only you and he can come to the conclusion of when it is time.

    I think you’re trying to weigh the factual pros and cons, and you could go in circles for weeks doing that. Go by what Max is telling you when you spend time with him, regardless of what your own emotions and logic are saying. I do believe our pets can and will communicate with us.

    Again, all the regulars and semi-regulars will support your decision.

  36. Hugs to you all. Am holding you all close to my heart whatever the day may bring.

  37. Feknhell Joe man I really feel for you.
    I’ve been in your situation a couple of times and dreading being there again soon as 1 of my Border Collie’s Sam is 13 now and although he’s still as fit as a butchers dog his back end is starting to weaken pretty badly. I’ve had Collies all my life and I know once the back end starts going it’s the start of a sad road.
    Joe at some point, and you’ll know when……….Be strong for him as you know he’ll sense it.
    Praying for yous.

  38. I hope you feel at peace whatever you decide. Beloved friends are always hard to let go of.

  39. Whatever decision you make is what will work for you and Maximus. It is more than obvious that you want the best for the little guy and he is lucky to have a pack leader such as you. It is a very personal decision and a very difficult one. Every time I have to make this type of decision, I keep thinking that my grandmother (all critters absolutely adored her) is taking them all in and taking care of them until I come along. I still wish someone would find a dog breed that lives closer to our lifespan!! Thinking of you and the gang…

    @Akemi: thanks for the 10 commandments!

  40. @Akemi: That was very sweet.

    @Joe: Is this the same dog sitter you have used for years? One that knows Maximus and that Max is comfy with? Have you talked to the sitter about Max’s condition? If they are okay with everything and you trust them, then take your trip.

    If Maximus was a human, what you are doing for him would be considered hospice care. Your are making him comfortable with pain medication. Keeping him fed and hydrated. If he was a human you would continue to do that until he slipped into a coma and died peacefully in his sleep.

    Whatever your decision, don’t beat yourself up about it.

    Love and hugs to you, Akemi and Maximus and the other pups. All of you are in my prayers.

  41. @fortheloveofBeckett: Melatonin 2.5 mg. I use the peppermint flavor sublingual tablets. There is also an orange flavor. Brush your teeth, get into your jammies and pop a melatonin under your tongue about 45 minutes before you want to be asleep and let it melt. Resist the temptation to chew it (it will take about 15 minutes to dissolve). I usually read in bed until I start getting drowzy. Don’t take it until you are ready to sleep or you will fight your way past the melatonin peak and all will be for naught.

    @Joe: Love the Dark Matter previews! And that stinks about your script. However, how many truly new movie ideas are out there? Maybe yours will be just different enough to catch someone’s interest and it will end up a movie after all!

  42. Joe, while this was written about a horse, it applies to any creature in our care:

    ‎”This It Be Right” by Sarah Young

    Better a week too soon than a moment too late, they say.
    Better while the eyes still sparkle than wait til they dull.
    Better while the good days outnumber the bad.
    Better when it’s hard for us than hard for them.

    It will never be easy for us.

    As stewards of these great creatures,
    We have the opportunity to give one final gift.
    We grant them peace in lieu of our own.

    But granting peace, the end, when we wish for more time?
    Eventually becomes a gift to ourselves.
    Knowing that we gave a final gift to one we cherished.
    Knowing it will leave an empty spot in our hearts.

    Doing it anyway. Because we DO love. And “this it be right”?

    That is what makes us human.

    For the love of my horse, I know who I am.
    And I know love.

    This it be right.

  43. @elliev Wow, harsh. As someone earlier posted, you must be new here. I know Joe personally, so I can say this without reservation: There are few people in this world, if any, who put the needs of their dogs above their own more than Joe.

  44. Not sure what to write, but hope you and Maximus are at peace with what ever decision is made. Also know that we are thinking about you in this tough situation.

  45. Can’t believe how hard the tears have come today, just reading the comments alone. It’s been 2+ years since I had to let my baby grrrl (doggie girl) go. Here she is, in the icon. —–>

    The regulars here are on the money. The newbies don’t know any better. Please forgive them.

    Only two very important things I would add:

    1) When it *is* time, make sure he is well hydrated. Bait the water with canned fish juice so he’ll drink. That way the vet will be able to get a vein easily, and it won’t be a struggle at the end, as it was for my girl.

    2) Help the rest of your doggie kidz by finding a way to let them know where Max went. It helps their grieving process so much. Some people bring their dog home from the vet afterward, so the others can say good-bye and understand. (Then they either have a burial at home, or return them for cremation.)

    God Bless you, Joe & Akemi. You are both sweet, sweet people. Love and prayers,


  46. Thanks Das! Forgot to look for tart cherry juice in the organic section of the grocery. And/or a health food store. We have two Whole Foods outlets in the metro area. With the cherry juice and Sparrow_hawk’s melatonin, that might make pretty good “lights out!” medicine. 🙂

    Hey Sparrow_hawk, those are excellent directions for the Melatonin. Glad someone (or two, hi Joe) has done this before. I kinda felt the “fighting past the peak” effect when I had some of the regular cherry juice a little bit before bedtime. By the time I got in bed, I felt more awake again. Any time a prescription also calls for jammies and reading a book in bed, it sounds good to me. Thank you!

    For Fred, loved the poem you sent.

    Joe, when do you leave for Japan? {{{Hugs}}}

  47. On Maximus. My advice would be to not put him to sleep dude. I completely understand the argument that his quality of life has diminished and as arguments go it is a very valid one. I had a dog and he died 4 years ago, and we didn’t put him to sleep. I occasionally do think if it would have been better if we did but the answer is always no. He lived until the last second of his life in a house full of people who loved him.

    It’s a very difficult decision to make and you are of course aware that as people give you advice on one choice or the other nobody is completely against the other option because neither choice is wrong. The only certainty here is that it sucks to have to make this decision.

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