Maxie Staxers

by John Heffley
(Columbus, GA. USA)

About a decade ago I had the sort of life that everybody dreams of. I had a beautiful significant other, a great job, and the most awesome pet ever - a cinnamon ferret named Max. He and I were bonded in ways that I never knew humans and animals could be bonded. He and I were, in every sense of the words, best friends.

Then, as can sometimes happen in life, things began to fall apart. I lost the beautiful significant other to a much younger man. After that, thanks to the depression from the break-up, I lost my job and things began to really bottom out for me personally.

I became a recluse and introvert - the exact opposite of who I had previously been.

But through it all, I had my Max.

When I had gotten him, as a baby, I named him Mad Max because that seemed like the right name for him. He was very active and playful. Over time the "Mad" dropped and "Max" evolved into "Maxie" and then "Maxie Staxers" - because of his habit of stealing plastic items from me and stacking them underneath my bedroom dresser.

As my life spiraled downward, Max picked up the slack. He really did. That little fuzzy guy knew when I was depressed or hurting and he would do everything in his power to make me smile. He had dozens of behaviors that he knew I enjoyed and he was smart enough to just which one would work to cheer me up.

Then, one day, Max got sick. He stopped eating. He acted as if he could barely move his lower half. In a panic, and near bankruptcy I found the only vet in my area who would treat ferrets. Sadly this vet was not a very nice person. She charged me nearly a thousand dollars just to half evaluate him and then told me that if I wanted him to live I would need at least ten thousand more.

I did not have that kind of money or access to it.

Soon Max got so bad that I had to water and feed him through syringes by hand. I know I should have had him put to sleep at that point. But I just couldn't do it. I was selfish and did not want to see him go. I kept lying to myself and telling myself that a miracle would happen and that he'd pep up and get back to his old self.

During this time I had to be awake every four hours to water and feed him - chicken flavored baby food as a friend had suggested. This went on for 28 days.

On the 28th day I woke up and went straight to the little bed I had made for Max after he had gotten sick. I picked him up and laid him on my own bed, heading to the kitchen to get his breakfast. I returned and gave him a small squirt of water.

He looked at me with his eyes full of love, spasmed a bit, and died in my hands.

I was shattered.

I buried him in a relatives yard because I know this particular house will stay in the family indefinitely, allowing me to visit his grave when I want to.

It's been four years now and I still think of my Maxie Staxers every single day. He was unique and touched me in a way I did not thing possible. He was like an angel who came to get me through the rough part of my life and I thank God I was honored with being his human.

Comments for Maxie Staxers

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Feb 26, 2014
Your little man
by: Anonymous

John, how wonderful for you and Maxie to have found one another to share life with. My heart breaks for you. Your little man adored you - and you him. Reconciling lifespans is the pain we all endure, but truly nothing could be more beautiful than the relationship you shared. It was pure, and unique, and yours...Love again when you are ready.

Feb 10, 2014
Beautiful Maxie
by: Diane

I wanted you to know that you did your absolute best for that beautiful little soul and I'm sure he loved you as much as you loved him.The average life span for a pet ferret is 5-7 years. A special few live for 10-12. Your ferret lived a long and most importantly a loved and happy life.I truly believe it was his time to go and no amount of money, love, or tears was going to save him.Even though it tore you apart, you were there for him at his passing,and I'm sure it meant the world to him because you were his world. He'll be waiting, safe and warm at the Rainbow Bridge, for you to meet him again.Please don't let your pain keep you from opening your heart to another little soul in need, there are so many that need, and can give back, love. When you are ready it can be a great comfort, and it helps to heal a broken heart. Now you must grieve, it's necessary and normal. Let us share your pain and suffering to lighten your burden, I'll pray for you both.Take care of yourself and know we will all be thinking of you, you are not alone. RIP beautiful Maxie!

Feb 09, 2014
Maxie Staxers
by: Doreen UK

John I am sorry for your loss of your partner, your job, and your ferret Maxie. You seem to have had a raw deal in life. Often so many tragedies come together and beat us down. You are not being selfish to want your ferret to live. To enjoy such a relationship is rare. When people walk out of our lives we have to look for ways of helping ourselves move forward. My daughter bought 2 cockatiels Into our home and I was left to look after them and nurse a husband through terminal cancer. Those 2 bird became 11 altogether in time. We had 2 love birds and they didn't do well in the same cage as the cockatiels. I lost one of the love birds when he went blind in one eye and struggled to climb the cage. I picked him up and he died in my cupped hands. I was heartbroken. I eventually gave the remaining love bird to a good home. I also put my birds in an aviary where they would have more space to fly and develop. Oh how I miss these darling birds. My heart is so broken from losing my husband to this deadly cancer 21 months ago. WE will struggle with our losses for some time, but hopefully we will all heal in time. Don't give up hope of meeting someone who can fulfil your needs I life. You could benefit from having another pet even if only to help you through your journey of life. Often we have to put new things in our life to complete our journey here. I hope you get another job soon which will help you move forward.

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