Max-in-a-Million Saint-George, Duke of Denver, royal ambassador of the noble breed of golden retrievers, the Platonic Form of Canine, the sweetest, gentlest, most loving, most giving, most joyous of creatures, who moved with a perfection of grace and beauty that one rarely finds in this world, whose sole purpose in life was bringing joy to all he met, and the more joy the more you knew him, and the utmost joy to us -- our dog Max was swiftly and cruelly taken from us yesterday, not even eight years old, he who deserved to experience so many more bright days of joy, but who was fated not to live out his natural span of years. Although there were virtually no signs of his disease, we discovered yesterday that Max had hemangiosarcoma, a particularly aggressive form of cancer. He was hemorrhaging by the time we got him to the hospital, and he did not survive surgery; but even if he had, he would not have been granted much more time.

We got Max soon after Peter's father died, and his sunny disposition and boundless energy helped Peter to heal. Despite the fact that Peter was a "dog skeptic" when Max arrived, Max won Peter over with his irrepressible enthusiasm, his irresistible charm, his unshakeable loyalty, and his overflowing love -- just as he did with everyone else. Max spent many patient years helping Elisa through her Ph.D. studies, and we sometimes joke that he should have gone up to the podium to receive the diploma with her. He was always there for us, ready with a wag and a smile, eager for a walk, happiest on the hiking trail or when romping and rolling in the snow. Every precious day that he was with us, he made us realize the truth of the phrase "man's best friend". He stole our hearts. Now suddenly he is gone, and we are left with a big gaping hole in our lives in the place where our dear big-hearted dog once stood.

Goodbye, Max.

Peter Saint-Andre > Journal