When one woman lost her father, she thought it was only right that she stepped up to look after his dog. What’s more, for a while, the animal gave her something to focus on. But her heart was broken all over again when she received some devastating news.
In January 2015 imgur user KingKizer suffered a tragic blow: his father passed away suddenly. Someone had found him dead on his couch, and nobody knew how long he’d been there. Naturally, KingKizer hoped that it hadn’t been a lengthy period.
The only witness to his dad’s death was his beloved dog, Max. His father had rescued the animal from a shelter when he was just four months old, and as a result, the pair shared a very special bond.
His master’s death, then, must have been a wrench for Max, and it certainly left the poor pooch confused. “[Dad] was living alone and only had Max there with him,” KingKizer explained on imgur. “Max, I imagine, was excited to receive the company of those who found my father and [was] likely very scared being stuck in the house as my dad was ‘asleep.’”
Rather than let Max return to a shelter, KingKizer’s distraught family decided to step in, and his sister subsequently agreed to adopt the dog. An avid animal lover, she drove from Oregon to California before returning to home to Austin, Texas, just to collect Max.
In fact, KingKizer’s sister was beginning to make a habit of rescuing animals, having helped to save a great number of creatures during the previous decade. The kindhearted woman previously worked as a veterinary technician, but it was during her time in the military that she really became an animal advocate.
During her service, she worked in Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The devastating natural disaster struck in 2005, claiming at least 1,245 lives while also destroying over 800,000 homes.
In the chaos, thousands of pets and other animals found themselves displaced. So, KingKizer’s heroic sister dedicated herself to helping them. Thanks to her, many stranded cats and dogs were able to escape to safety using a raft.
So, the veteran’s love of her fellow living creatures was undeniable. Moreover, she was keen to do her best for Max now that he belonged to her. As a result, she did the responsible thing and took him to the vet for a thorough check-up.
It was then that the dog’s new owner received some bad news. After running blood tests, the vet subsequently discovered Max that had severe cirrhosis of the liver. The disease was so bad, in fact, that the organ was close to failing.
The experts therefore predicted that Max didn’t have very long to live. With the family still coming to terms with their father’s death, then, the news came as another blow. And to make matters worse, Max was only two years old.
KingKizer’s sister was unwilling to give up on the young animal, though, and spent more than $15,000 to ensure that Max could be as comfortable as possible. As a result, he was able to enjoy his life – regardless of how long he had left.
Max soon became a huge part of the family. Indeed, even KingKizer’s sister’s other dog welcomed him into the fold, and his nieces and nephews loved nothing more than playing with their new four-legged friend.
Moreover, despite his ailments, Max rediscovered his lust for life. Photos from this time showed him playing in his yard and in a nearby river. There was also one image of Max getting into the spirit of Halloween, wearing a novelty hat and beard.
Sadly, however, the good times couldn’t last. A year after Max came to live with KingKizer’s sister, further blood tests revealed that the dog was on borrowed time. In fact, vets said he could die before the month was out.
For Max’s family, it was hard news to take. Nevertheless, they managed to look at the sad situation in a positive light. “Although it is bittersweet, at least my sister was able to show Max a real life with a happy, loving family,” KingKizer wrote. “A fitting tribute and a final favor to our late father.”
But KingKizer knew that when Max did pass away, his sister would be left to grieve all over again. He therefore decided to compile all of their happy memories online. That way, she could remember the good times rather than the bad.
“When Max does go, I’d like to show her this album and hopefully some positive and uplifting comments and praise for what she’s done,” he explained. “She deserves it. I think it will go a long way.”
What’s more, there were plenty of kind comments for KingKizer’s sister to draw comfort from. “Remember where Max came from and what his life could have been,” read one. “Then remember all the happiness and love his entire life has given him.”
Sadly, Max’s condition continued to deteriorate, and he passed away after developing an abscess on his neck. “RIP, buddy. You will be missed immensely,” KingKizer wrote in a tribute to him. “My sister notified me she’s been reading those comments and they are helping her while she grieves.”