Bat Dog 2.0 (and some no good very bad news)
See Beau Run

Good Times, Bad Times

We put Max down just a few hours after I published Friday's post. It was a horrible, scrambling-type decision, but Max was no longer declining by the day. He was fading by the hour. The at-home vet squeezed us into her already fully-booked day and said she'd be there as soon as possible.

Jason spent a quiet hour one-on-one with Max saying goodbye (Max was always extra-ultra-special to him), then loaded the kids and Beau up in the car and drove them to a playground. Unlike our final pleasant days with Ceiba, the boys had almost zero notice or time to process this loss. They knew Max was sick and probably wouldn't be around much longer, but it was awful to tell them that "not much longer" was basically boiling down to "15 minutes, please give him a kiss and then put on your shoes."

I was the only one holding him when he passed. I sobbed into his head, handed his tiny shell over to the vet, and then sat alone in the house until all my boys came home, completely numb with shock and grief.

Ceiba at least had a "HEY STOP THAT" reaction to the initial sedative shot, and its effects on her were visible. She yawned and bobbed her head, then slowly curled up in the crook of my arm and fell asleep. 

Max didn't even flinch. And there was really no difference between pre-sedative Max and post. He was already so out of it. I feel awful that we waited so long -- honestly he probably should have gone weeks ago, to spare him this final, brutal decline. Typical cat stoicism mixed with stupid human denial. We loved that cat so fucking much. No matter how old he got it was just never going to be enough. I miss him so, so much and nothing feels right without him.

I would not be here typing these words, though, if it weren't for Beau. I would not be upright or even close to functional. I never, ever considered that I would lose both my pets so close together, and while there were DEFINITELY times when I felt really guilty about getting a new dog so soon (unfair to Max and a betrayal of Ceiba), I cannot even imagine how awful I would feel right now without him. 

Beau (aka Bobo, Bowie, Beau Dameron) is amazing, by the way. He's just...the canine embodiment of the phrase I CAN'T EVEN. 

We don't even know half of what this dog has been through, and yet from the moment we brought him into our home he was just like, "Okay, you are all my people now. I will love you and protect you and do whatever I can to please you. Please to let me crawl up your body to lick your entire head for the next 20 minutes." His sweet resilience and capacity to love and trust again makes my chest ache, in a good way, a healing way. 

He certainly has his quirks (he's a runnnnnnner, OMFG, invisible fence here we come), and we are getting little hints here and there about what his early situation was possibly like. (If he is sleeping on one of the boys' beds, only I can order him off or pick him up; Jason triggers an aggressive and protective reflex. He loves Jason and doesn't have any problems with other men in general, but there's just something about that particular sleeping-kids-in-the-bed scenario. Which. Shudder.) He gets super upset when any of us leave, and anxious if I'm out of his sight for even a second. And while he does very well in his crate at night, he's my little shaggy shadow most of the day.

But he's learning, slowly, that we always come back. We're always happy to see him and cuddle and play with him. He will always have food and toys and treats and no one is going to steal any of it from him. This is your forever home, and we promise it's gonna be a good one. 

Otherwise, he is very smart and playful and super well-behaved. If you have a lap, he would like to sit on it, please. Our vet gave him a clean bill of health, confirmed his age as likely three, his mix as probably all various terrier breeds, and his current weight (16, up from barely 13 when rescued) as pretty much ideal. House-training and general obedience? Perfection. Interactions with new people, kids and dogs? Unbelievable. 

Who is a good dog? Beau is a good dog. 






Beau is a very, VERY good dog. 



I'm so sorry about Max.

And thank you... You talk of the joy and healing Beau is bringing to your family affirms a timing decision we made about a new pet while dealing with an older pet's health problems.


I'm so, so sorry about Max. What a wonderful balm and buddy you have in Beau.


I'm so sorry about Max. You guys have been through the wringer lately. He and Ceiba were lucky to have such wonderful, well-loved lives with you. Lucky little boy Beau to be coming into a family with so much love to give!


Oh man, the protectiveness of sleeping children in bed is really a huge dagger to my heart.

Amy A

Oh boy! Oh Beau! Sounds like you found each other--enjoy that cutie :)


And so cute too!!! I am currently riding out the final days with my old Siamese cat. My house is full with two more cats, but I am 100% behind the new pet immediately train of thought. It is what I have always done, it does makes everything easier.


My heart is breaking for you so much. I am so sorry for your losses...I can't even....

However, have you seen that face? Because that face with the ear action? That's a healing loving kind amazing face. He was meant to be with you.


All the hugs and good thoughts. I'm just so very, very, very sorry about Max. I love your posts about him and I know from experience what a treasure a cat who loves kids is.

I'm so happy you have Beau to help you heal. Him's a cute pupper! I'm so glad you are able to help each other.


I am so sorry about Max. We had to put down our beloved cat 4 years ago and I still miss him. He was lucky to have you guys to love him so much.

I am so happy that you rescued sweet Beau! His behavior sounds a lot like my own little rescue dog. Sounds like you guys are going to have a lot of fun trying to out love one another!


Awwww. Your family has been through SO MUCH in such a short time that you truly deserve the perfection that is Beau. Canine karma! Our cat is named Beau, and some of his monikers include Bowie, Beaufy, Beauf-man, Beaufmeister, Beaufetti, and Beaufurree.


So sorry about Max; you guys have had a really rough go.

I have a wire-hair Jack Russell Terrier and a Rat terrier beagle mix, and I can see both of my dogs in Beau :) He's SO CUTE. THOSE EYES

Amy X

I'm so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine losing two pets so close to each other. Two beloved, precious little souls. Your family has been through so much and I'm so glad that Beau could be there to help make you smile through the sad. Much love.


So so very sorry about Max. It must be horrible for you all to lose both Ceiba and Max in such a short time. I'm happy that Beau is bringing some joy to your home and can hopefully help to heal your broken hearts.


Such a sweet post. I'm so sorry about your losses, Amy. Giving Beau love provides a healing salve to your hearts - there's no shame in that.

Samantha Leslie

I just wanted to say how sorry I am about Max. I am a cat person (well, really an all-around animal person but I've never had any other pets besides cats) so I was super sad for you about Ceiba as well. Anyway, you and your family gave Max an extra special and happy 17+ years, and that's what is most important. And having a cutie like Beau to keep you preoccupied and to know that you've now given him the same kind of home you gave Max and Ceiba, can only be therapeutic. <3


So glad you all have Beau there to help you through. xoxox


Don't be too hard on yourself. Sometimes pets do what they can to give us what we want. Max always knew how much he was loved.
Hugs. And I'm glad the Bobo dog is helping.


Oh Amy, I am so so sorry about Ceiba and Max. They were clearly awesome and well-loved and y'all did the best for both of them. And I am so so glad you have a new friend to make things a little better. We had a dog named Beau when I was growing up and I hope your Beau is as good for your family as ours was.


I'm still crying for Max - I'm so sorry for all your losses. But sweet Beau is also beautiful and perfect. I'm so glad your family found him.


I recently had to put my cat Angel down, she was 24 years old... I've had that cat since elementary school. She was very similar to Max, she seemed great but you could tell she was fading and then one day I woke up and it was happening before my eyes within hours. I had to scramble myself and all 3 kids to the only vet who would stay open for us so that I could say goodbye. It was and still is the hardest decision I've ever had to make. I am so sorry you have lost both Ceiba and Max so close together. I can tell you that it gets better, but that it will also grip you suddenly at strange times and you'll find yourself fighting back tears. Beau is gorgeous and I hope that he brings so many many years of happiness to your family during this hard time.


You have had a real motherfucker of a time lately and I am so sorry for your losses.

We recently had to put down our elderly cat. And then I had a baby the next day. I understand the confusing mixture of crushing grief and amazing joy of which you speak.

Take care, Amy.


I'm so sorry that you had to say goodbye to Max so quickly but I'm awfully glad you have the distraction that is Beau to help you and your boys process these big losses in spoonfuls rather than in a deluge. I can see why you feel in love at first sight and I'm not really a dog person. I'm also sure from your photos that he feels just as lucky to have you as his family--I hope you have many happy years together.


we lost our 7 year old dog and 18 year old cat last year. I think the only reason that cats and dogs don't live long enough is because there are so many cats and dogs to love and to add to our families. I am a total proponent of finding another animal to give all the love. it's not diminishing the love we had for the previous pets, it's continuing the love.


Oh my god. I am so sorry. Big big hug from a random Internet stranger.


That's so hard to say goodbye to a pet! Especially two in a row. Sending you all good vibes.

Sue W.

Max and Ceiba are together again. I am so glad you brought Beau home when you did. He is there to heal your hearts. A good dog, indeed!


Furries like Beau and my own fur babes tend to save us as much if not more than we save them


I am so sorry about Max.

I clicked on the Maximilian Thunderdome tag, and read back post after post, and I laughed 'til I cried. Your furry crew had good times with you all, and someday the boys will be able to read those posts and be reminded of them both.

-- Max and Ceiba will be missed.

Oh, and a heartfelt welcome to Beau!


Love love love to you all. I'm so glad you have Beau.


Please reconsider the invisible fence.


So sorry to hear about Max. Cats, when they start the downward spiral, go shockingly fast. At least he and Ceiba are together again.

Enjoy your time with Beau!! He is lucky to have you.

Fraulein N

RIP, Max. I had a similarly terrible time letting go of my oldest cat. One minute I was asking the vet what was going on, and the next they were telling me it was Time. Damn stoic cats. So glad you have a sweet little face like that to get all up in yours and DEMAND that you let him make you feel a bit better.


Oh, but our pets can heal us, can't they? So glad you and Beau have each other!


Also, you were wondering why Beau was still available, but lots of people see "Jack Russell" and shy away from the high activity level. Good thing, because he was obviously meant for you guys!


Like I always believe - a rescue animal always finds you, not the other way around :)


Sorry to hear about Max, it is gut wrenching to be sure. I will say this - Beau sounds a lot like our pound puppy. We lost our first dog to cancer (we have a 2nd dog, Lucy, whom I love dearly but she was getting old - 10 at the time.) I swore up and down that I was done with dogs - the pee and the hair and the barking - and my poor broken heart after Santana (the 1st dog) died. Of course, nine months later, I was gazing longingly at the humane society website daily. We brought Bolt home and he is SO amazing. He helped to mend my broken heart and he is the best little dog. However, he was super weird about my husband and the kids at bed time. He would snarl and growl at him if he walked in their rooms at night and try to bite him if he went in to kiss the kiddos good night but had he had no issues with me. He is better now, he no longer growls or tries to bite my husband but I too would shudder over that. He is also deathly afraid of belts :( Hopefully Beau comes to know you all and trust you with each day! He is adorbs!


Lifesaver Beau. LifeBeau. I'm sorry his presence is required but I'm glad his presence exists.


I'm so sorry about Max.

Costco Cook

I'm so so sorry about Max. And Ceiba. And so happy for Beau and your family.

I know that this might be a bit much, but is there anyway to contact....someone? And find out who Beau came from and have them look into the protective behavior he's showing for the kids in bed? I can't stand the idea that Beau got out, but the kids didn't.


I'm so sorry about both Max and Ceiba. It's so hard to have to make these decisions concerning our sweet pets. It's so lovely that Beau has come along at exactly the right time. I love that he's a rescue - all our dogs have been too. He's a lucky boy to come to such a wonderful family.


Hugs from an internet stranger.

I am so sorry about Max. And Ceiba. It is so hard to watch pets fade because they are special in ways that human kids aren't. (I have 3 boys and my youngest is Ike because of this blog.) I love my boys to the moon, but my cats are special too.


i am incredibly sad about Max. That sucks.

do not, however, get your dog an "invisible" (e.g. SHOCK) fence.

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