|It was just over 18 years ago that I decided my life was not complete without a male Rottweiler in it. I do not remember who or what prompted me to feel that way -- I had always considered myself to be a cat person up until that time...but while working for a vet, I fell in love with the Rottweiler breed and especially the males. A friend was working for a Rottie breeder at the time and being a newbie to the dog world, I chose to go with that breeder rather than doing the research I should have. I have since learned that everything happens for a reason, and had I known more at the time, I probably would NOT have gone with that breeder...which would have been a mistake. Yes, I probably could have avoided the hip problems, torn cruciate surgeries (2 of them!), numerous other health problems, and most importantly...the cancer that took my boy away from me -- BUT, I would have also missed out on the best friend that my Maverick turned out to be. Not only was he a constant companion to me, he was a wonderful guide in my life. Spending 8 years with Maverick led me into a dog training career which I love, introduced me to many of the friends I have today, and helped me through the time I lived overseas. Maverick was with me as I fostered many other Rottweilers in need of homes -- I shared my house with well over 60 Rotties...and shared my heart with only one. Maverick's permanent animal family included a Chow Chow, two kitties, and a scarlet macaw parrot -- he was wonderful with all of them. When my job asked me to move to East Africa in 2001 for six months, I jumped at the chance for the adventure...ONLY if Mav could go with me. He did, and I don't think I could have made it over there without him. He enjoyed the trip, and I am so glad I didn't choose to be away from him for that long. We returned from our trip overseas in November 2001 -- I moved into a new house...mainly for the dogs -- it had a pool (Mav LOVED to swim) and a nice big backyard...we enjoyed about 6 months in the house together before life threw some changes at us. A wonderful man that I met overseas was killed in a car accident in June 2002...Maverick was by my side when I got the news and spent many nights after that next to me as I held him and cried over my loss... little did I know that my moments left with Maverick were also numbered. In July, Mav began having difficulty walking...after a couple trips to the vet, we went to see a neurologist and even after an MRI, a CT scan and a myleogram, they still couldn't diagnose him. During this time, he was in great spirits...he just couldn't get his legs to work the way they were supposed to. I took him to chiropractors, massage therapists, and acupuncturists and finally began to see some improvement. In September, I planned a trip back to Africa so my boyfriend's family could go and see where we were over there -- my stipulation for that trip was that if Maverick was not walking, I was not going. Well, when I got on the plane, he was walking pretty well...even unassisted. When I got home, things seemed fine as well -- but less than a week later, they took a big turn for the worse - less that 2 weeks later he was unable to even sit up alone. We went back to the neurologist for another myleogram and this time they were able to see the cancer -- it was in his spine and it was completely inoperable. I took him home that Thursday and spent the entire weekend with him...he had many visitors, both human and canine, and ate as much ice cream, pizza, chicken and cookies as he could. I spent hours just lying with him on the floor...we slept on the floor together each night -- each night I was wondering if it would be our last together. On Sunday, I finally got up the courage to let him go -- I felt that he would go on his own when he was ready...but a good friend pointed out the fact that Maverick's love for me would cause him to hang on to life on this earth much longer than he really wanted to -- that made me realize that I had to be brave and help him to the bridge. My wonderful vet came to my house that afternoon and I held my little boy's head in my lap as three of my best friends looked on and his wonderful doctor helped him cross over. After he was gone, I felt a sense of peace...I knew I had done the right thing -- but I miss him so much still. I am now awaiting a new puppy -- not to take his place...but because my life is once again not complete without a male Rottweiler in it. I will always hold Maverick in a special place in my heart that no other dog (or possibly even person) will ever come close to replacing. I have a locket with Mav's ashes in it that I wear around my neck, so a part of him is always with me. The new puppy will have some big shoes to fill...he'll have to try to live up to the legend of Maverick -- which is why I've chosen the name Legend for him...to give him a head start on doing that -- and in memory of Maverick's legend. *****It is now October 6, 2003 - one year has passed since I lost my Mavy boy. I did find my new puppy and Legend has quickly stepped up to attempt to fill the hole in my heart that Mav left. He is not Mav, but he has some of the same characteristics and I adore him just the same...I named him Ciel Legend Vom Stefanhaus - the Ciel is french for "from Heaven", which I believe he is! He has some wonderful angels, both Rottweiler and human, guiding him through life and helping him to be my new angel. ***It's now been two years since Maverick went to the Rainbow Bridge...I still miss him daily and find it hard to look through photos and videos, but I know that one day I will see him again - he still visits me in dreams to let me know he's waiting for me. ***Three years later - and everything is the same...I still miss Mav and it makes me sad as I realize some of the little memories that have not been documented are fading. But, the memory of what a wonderful companion he was, what a gentle soul he had, and how happy he made me during his eight years will never fade. **It's now been five years and I cannot believe how quickly time passes. It seems that this time of year is always a little harder for me - as the days cool off and the feeling in the air turns to fall, I remember back to my last days with Maverick. I am lucky to have Legend by my side as I re-live those moments in my mind...he helps to ease the pain and I'm lucky enough to now say that I've shared my heart with two Rottweilers. However, five years later I still miss my Mavy-boy terribly. **Six years today...I can't believe how quickly time passes. Although there are still tears when I look back through the photos and stories of Mav's life...the pain in my chest has softened and I'm able to smile through the tears as I remember all of the happy moments. As the years go by, I see more and more of Maverick in my Legend -- which is a very comforting thing. **Nine years today...thinking of you and missing you Mav! **Ten years today....still miss you, can't believe how quickly the years go by!|
Maverick's People Parent(s), Shawna, would appreciate knowing you have visited their Maverick's Memorial Residency.