Welcome to Max Quirke's Rainbow Bridge Memorial Residency
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Memories of Max Quirke
Where do I start. Well at the the beginning I suppose. After I got married in 1995 I had a mission. I was going to get a dog. I had always wanted one and nothing was going to stop me now.I knew nothing about dogs so did not know the name of any breeds. I tried for several weeks and every time I got to where one was advertised they were gone.One day a westie was advertised and I got there not knowing what a westie was and saw the pups.My husband and I were going to take one when I heard barking in another room of the sales ladies home. I asked about it and she said that she had two shelties but they were not for sale as she was keeping them for breeding. I asked what a sheltie was and she said she would show me. The moment she opened that door, all was finished for me.I saw him and nothing that woman could say was going to stop me leaving that house without him. I knew he was going to called Max instantly. She tried to resist me but she was wasting her time. You see she just didn't understand that he was already mine and I was his. He came home to my rented house,We married very young ,I was 22 but we wanted to do so and we did. Now we were complete, Suddenly my shabby house was a palace because you see he was there. Every thing changed, we were in love my husband and i but not just with each other. We had purpose and meaning now too.We had a job to do and we were determined to do it well.We built our lives around each other and even when times were tough we had each other.We found special places to go and had wonderful times. We panicked when one day Max spat out a tooth and then another. I was like an insane woman trying to get a vet only to be laughed at and told that he was loosing his baby teeth. We never knew that was going to happen as no one told us a thing. We laughed through the times when as a puppy the wallpaper was eaten right off the walls, the linoleam right off the floor. We simply redecorated. I know that to laugh at that was true love because after finding those things we would look down at this still tiny face and see nothing but complete innocence and shock that we were even considering that he did it. All you could do was laugh at that. Or the time when I painted a little cupboard pink and arrived back upstairs to find pink paw prints all over the timber floor in our room and on the bedlinen and the window sill , oh and the dresser and wardrobe too, not to mention the trail back out to the carpet. Ah yes what fun I had with my bottle or turpintine trying to get that out for two days on my knees. But I could only laugh because of the expression on his face once again. Through the years we got a little more money and more things and started going on holiday around Ireland. It never once bothered us that we could not go on a foreign holiday as there was absolutely no question of Max not coming with us. We never left him in a boarding kennel because I simply could not have coped with him not being near me.He saw the whole of Ireland over the years and we returned to places he really liked more than once so he would have a good holiday too. He came across sheep a few times and we discovered that he was terrified of them which was hilarious being that he was a sheepdog. He never fought with another dog in his life and never chased a cat , in fact he got attacked by a cat on holiday once and ran and hid under the sofa. He was like that, so very gentle that if he was in the garden and i fed the birds they could come down and sit by him and he would not move a muscle , just sit there and watch them so as not to frighten them. We eventually saved enough to buy a house we really wanted in a different area, and Max made himself at home straight away. Change never bothered him. We found new places for out walks and this time we had a proper size garden for him to run in if he wanted. Eventually after 7 and a half years of marraige we had a child. I was getting a little older and did not want to wait too long. I was so afraid my Max would be upset with me or think that things would change but oh I was so silly to worry. When my son was born Max bonded with him straight away and was involved with everything from changing nappies to bathtime. As my son started to grow a little we all went on holidays together as we were now a family of four. He taught my son all his habits and how to get his own way and they became partners in crime. My son is now three years old and his name is Michael. We called them the M and M's. They constantly got up to no good together and the happiness just grew and grew for us as a family. Last year I lost a baby and my Max as always helped me the most. He was always there for me, when i cried or raged or laughed , he was always at my side helping me through everthing. He rested his head on me to give me support through all the hard times in my life that he was there for. I got pregnant again not long after and am now seven months along. Just like with Michael max rested his head on my stomach in this pregnancy also and listened to the baby move. I said to my husband on a few occasions that Max was going to once again be as busy as a bee when all the baby stuff started up again, running away with dirty nappies and the like. We never once for a moment thought he would not be sharing this with us. Out of the blue last week my baby got sick, but I was told and believed that it was a kidney infection and fully treatable and everything would be fine.Then he started having weaknesses and I was told it was normal because of the kidneys and the medicine would stop them. I argued that something else must be wrong , told them I was frightened , to please take blood tests as I wanted answers NOW. I was told give him the medicine first for two days then they would take the blood. Bring him back in two days. I did as I was told, One day he was great and the next he was not, He was now vomitting. Why I asked. Help me I begged, Tell me whats wrong,3 visits in the five days this nightmare took and still no answers. The morning that he was finally going to take blood, Day 5 Max vommited while waiting to be seen in the surgery, within one minute he had a huge fit of some sort.I completely lost control but did not scream infront of my baby, he was scared enough at the vets where I me me me had brought him. I held him through it told him he was going to be fine , everything was alright , I cant explain the fear inside me in those moments. "We need to keep him in they said, you have to leave him with us for an hour to do all the tests, He will be fine, These fits are normal with kidney problems,He just had a bad one because he is nervous they said. Dont worry he will be fine" . I looked at them and said do I have to do this and they said it would all be fine. I see now they had no idea at all what was wrong with Max having never bothered to even take a blood test. Yes Im bitter and I cant help it, I begged for answers and I got lies instead. I kissed Max and told him I loved him very much and would be back in an hour. They smiled and said not to worry, I grabbed on to that hope , after all even though I had just been frightned out of my wits , they were the professionals and I had to listen to them and believe them. It would all be ok. I came home and waited for the hour, desperatly upset I had to leave him on his own for that long. My husband worked very near the vet and called in to collect him to bring him home to me as we only have one car. He pulled into the driveway, he opened the door. He came into the room and I saw his face , his eyes, the pain , the shock, the horror. I tried to get away but there was no where to go, He took hold of me and I slid to the floor, I remember screaming , and trying get away , this was not real, it could not be happening. It turned out that Max had died before I had even got home , Within minutes of me leaving. He had lain down and closed his eyes and died. I was still waiting for him an hour later at home. When were they going to call me you may ask and tell me. If Diarmuid (my husband) had not called in to see if he was ready and how he was as he worked so near, when would they have let me know. How much of the day was I going to be fooling myself for. I got no answers, They dont know they say, They think it was his heart in the end, no more talk about kidney infections. I'll never know what happenedto my baby. All I do know is that I left him there, yes me and I can never never forgive myself no matter what anyone says. He died alone , I was only gone a few moments, but my baby died alone, why oh why god , why was he not in my arms, How frightened was he without me in those moments. I cant ever let it go and I'll never ever forgive myself for that.He was only ten.People will say thats not young for a dog, Oh but I expected 15 , of course I did , dont we all, we fool ourselves dont we. They will live forever, they will never leave us oh no. He was fit till the end and never aged in anyway at all. He was just as vibrant as the day he came home. That I am gratefull for. He did not suffer on and on , I am gratful for that too. In the space of five days something happend which I will never know and for three of those 5 days he was almost normal.He is in my back garden. We dont have pet cemetries here in Ireland but I wanted him near me anyway.

I am grateful for the ten years I had with my beautiful Max, I treasure all the wonderful memories. And he gave me so many. I would not change any of that time except of course the end. I loved him with my heart and soul and so did my husband who is as deeply traumatised as I am. And we were loved oh yes we were loved a hundred fold in return and in hundreds of ways everyday by Max. Thank God my son is coping well and has accepted what we have told him about Max being with Holy God now so he wont ever be sick again. He says he thinks this is good and we are grateful that he is still so young and accepting. I am trying for the sake of my son and the baby on the way but you see. The day Max died so much of me went with him. My heart is broken and so am I. The main thing I want to say is to Max.

I love you my beautiful boy. I miss you so much I cant breath from it. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being my friend. You always were and always will be my precious boy and the love of my life. I am lost with out you. I look for you everwhere and your not there . Come to visit me if you can, I will wait for you forever. We will be together again you and I and oh how I will kiss you and hug you again. Im so sorry for leaving you there , please forgive me , I did not know. As I used to say when I had to go out, "See you later aligator".

UPDATE: It is September, Nearly 8 months have passed. I had My baby on April the 5th almost three weeks overdue. Her name is Rhiannon Max after my beloved boy. I am still in as much pain now as I was then and nothing has changed. I am trying for my childen to get a handle on things but I know that because of the love and friendship I had with Max that this is going to take a very long time. He would have been 11 in June and we celebrated hos birthday for the first time without him. Its all so surreal. I love you Max. You are always in my thoughts and I have seen the signs you have sent me and they have lifted me out of this dark hole everytime they happen. Thank you for these moments of letting me know you are ok . I love you for that as you always made sure I was looked after didnt you baby.
Kisses and hugs from Mammy , Daddy, Michael and Rhiannon. xoxoxoxoxo

Today is the 18th of January 2007. It is one year to the day you were taken from us. We are still as lost as ever. We have named a star in Canis Major after you my love for this the first anniversary of your passing. Now you will be remembered forever.
Love from Mam, Dad, Michael and Rhiannon.xoxoxoxoxo.

December 2007:
Happy Christmas Max. I miss you more then ever. I know you are around me now though and it helps me so much. Its hard not having you here at Christmas and this is the second time we have to endure it. Why has it not gotton any easier. Silly question, How could it when its you, It will always be hard but you are helping me and I know we will see each other again and that helps too. Big hugs and kisses this Christmas . If I could have anything I wanted of course it would be you back again...I love you ..Mammy

Today was a hard day but also this year the second anniversary of your passing I was able to think more of the happy times we spent than crying . Im glad I have taken at least a small step towards healing and accepted finally that it will always be hard but I WILL see you again and I know you are with me more than ever. I hope you like your gift from us all today. We love you Max always and forever.
Mam,Dad, Michael and Rhiannon..xoxoxoxo

Jan 2009
Happy New Year Max. Its that time again, How is it that your third aniversary is nearly here. It still seems like only yesterday. I have been working so hard to find some peace in you being gone from us. I am doing so well at times especially when i see you in meditation and dreams. Thank you for doing that for me. You still make sure i get the help i need when i need it. I thank god all the time that i was lucky enough to have you as my friend. I have never had nor will ever have in my lifetime a friend as true as you. When we meet again i will. You were and always will be the most precious companion i have had on this earth.. Thank you for choosing me when you came to this life to spend it with .We love you

Mam, Dad , Michael and Rhiannon

18th January 2009

It is your three year anniversary today Max. I cant believe it, it really is only like yesterday to me. I love you so very much Max now and always.

18th January 2010

Hi Max, Its been four years today since you had to leave us. It is amazing to me that it has been so long in some ways but seems so much longer in others. I can still smell you and remember exactly what it felt like to touch your fur and how it was different in every place from your ears to your feet, so soft always so soft, I remember what it felt like in perfect clarity to hold you tight and feel the love from you and feel the love i felt for you, sometimes i close my eyes when its a quiet time and i can go there, its so very close, for one moment its real. Thats how much i love you ,nothing will ever be forgotton, Thank you for being my friend and for loving me.

18th January 2011
Hi Max, Its five years today since you went to rainbow bridge, its the same as always, i think about you every day as you know, i feel you around me a lot and would dearly love to see you. I miss you like it was yesterday and love you so much. You are always in our hearts.
Mam, Dad, Michael and Rhiannon

18th January 2012
Hi Max, It's that time again, It's very hard today without you, hard every day without you,I love you and miss you so much, Its been six years, I always thought if I waited long enough that you might come back, It's one of those deals we all try to make to get us through, but theres a part of us that thinks it might happen if we wait and keep hoping, I know you have moved on and are happy where you are, and It's the selfish thing to do to ask , but, can you come back now?
Love always from
Mam, Dad, Michael and Rhiannon

18th January 2013
Hi Max, another year has gone by without you, I cant get my mind around the fact that 7 years has passed, it's inconceivable to me that this is the case. It's still like yesterday , but I realised a long time ago that I'd always feel like this. I miss you so much, I know your around me but I still hope catch a glimpse of you just for one second even though I know now that's not how it works no matter how much you want it . I will love you always, thank you for being my friend , I'm forever grateful you chose me. On the other hand if you decide you'd like to take another trip round this crazy life I'll be waiting for you! Always...sorry..had to ask:-)

18th January 2014
Hi Max,
Yet another year has gone past without you. It's been 8 years. I miss you of course. I love you always of course. I still and always feel you were and are always the best friend I ever had. Please come to me when you can. I need you. Michael says hello and dad says hello too. Rhiannon says hi and wishes she had met you . Please be having a great time and play and jump for me.
All my love

18th January 2015
Hi Max,
Another year has passed. 9 years now, that makes no sense to me. It's been a terrible year and it spilled over in to the new one which I hoped would be better. I miss you more than ever when times are hard as that's when you always helped me . I hope with all my heart you are happy and playing with all your friends at the bridge, I miss you more than ever and need you more than that. Michael , Rhiannon and Dad say hello too. I love you so much

18th January 2016
Hi Max
Another year gone. My worst year since you left . This has been such a hard and miserable year for the whole family. I just really miss you,
I know if you were here it would be easier to cope with all this , you always made me so happy . I miss my friend.
Love always
Mam, Dad, Michael and Rhiannon

18th January 2017
Hi Max
It's been another year and I miss you just as much..I finally tried to get another fur friend this year after all the years that have gone by and I just couldn't do it when it came right down to it. It's hard without you as always . I love you so much and miss you . I really wish I could see you just once, and know your around. It would make all the difference I think as things are so hard here these days. My truest friend you still remain

18th January 2018
Hi Max
Another year and still no easier..I miss you as much as ever and wish so much that you were here with me ..I wonder if I'll ever see you again ..I just wish you could come back now
I love you

18th January 2018
Hi Max
Yet another year without you and each one seems to bring more misery and illness here..I miss you so much and wish I had my best friend back. I hope your happy where you are ..
I love you so much

18th January 2019
Hi Max
Well I still i still miss you as much as ever..I hope your having great fun with everyone at Rainbow Bridge 🌈..
Still hoping I'll find a stray someday which is really you coming back..lol..I can dream
Love you so much

18th January 2020
Hi Max
I finally thought I was ready to bring another furry friend into the family but after 14 years of none ever measuring up to you I'm not sure if I'll do it..
I'm kind of looking but I'm not feeling any connection .
I hope your having a blast at rainbow bridge 🌈
I love you so much

18th January 2021
Hi Max, I love you and miss you as always..I've been thinking of finally opening my heart to another Fur baby ..You've been gone 15 years now and I still haven't been able to do it as it's not you.. I hope rainbow bridge is wonderful.
I miss you
I love you so much

18th January 2022
Hi Max
I miss you ..I got a fur friend ..I can't believe it but I did it..he came home to me in April and was born the previous Christmas Eve..I found out about him out of the blue and went for it..i kept thinking I'd back out but I didn't..he turned 1 on Christmas Eve and he is amazing..i think you might like him..His name is Dipper and he is a tri colour Border Collie..I hope you approve as it's a huge step for me after nearly 16 years without you.
I love you forever, I'll see you when I get there
Your Mam

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