When a couple in Florida learned that their beloved dog didn’t have much time left to live, they knew not to mope around. They wanted to make their dog’s last days a memorable one.
Joey Maxwell and his wife, Allison, had been leading a happy life with their pet dog, Maverick, for eight years. Then in 2016, their golden retriever was diagnosed with cancer.
“He was anemic, had an infection, and we really thought we were going to lose him,” Joey told CBS News. “He spent two nights and three days in the ICU, then they told us that we were bringing him home for hospice care.”
Instead of crying over the devastating news, the couple wanted to take Maverick out to make his last day a special one, but he was too weak to walk. After finding a wagon model they needed at Lowe’s, Joey headed to the store.
Upon arriving at Lowe’s, the wagon was out of stock much to Joey’s dismay. However, after hearing Maverick’s story, the manager helped locate one, and when the Maxwells came to pick it up, staff had assembled it for them. Maverick was ready to go out and about.
“We took him to our small little town and had a big beautiful day out,” Joey recalled. “We ate burgers and dog-friendly ice cream, and everyone loved on Maverick.”
Maverick enjoyed the wagon rides and started to get better—the cancer went into remission. Unfortunately, the cancer returned, but Maverick still kept his cheerful spirit.
“He was just magical,” Joey told PEOPLE. “He really was.”
The couple set up a Facebook page about Maverick, and in no time, Maverick was touching many people.
“Maverick was a magical pup that touched the hearts of literally millions of people all over the world,” a Facebook post read.
Maverick is home and resting comfortably. He loves you all.
The happy days lasted for nearly four months until January 2017. The couple returned home to see Maverick waiting for them.
“We fed him dinner and played with him and left the room for a few minutes,” Joey said. “I came back in to get him to carry him to bed and he had just laid down and simply gone to sleep.
“He was Maverick right up until the end. He didn’t suffer, and that meant a lot.”
After the news of Maverick’s passing spread, the Maxwells received thousands of condolence messages.
“While Maverick is no longer with us, he continues to be an inspiration and a reminder of how we should all love one another each and every day,” Joey said.
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