When sent home to care for their dying dog, one Florida couple decided to take him on a tour to say goodbye. And that changed everything.
Maverick is the kind of dog that everyone loves. The Golden Retriever has been with Joey Maxwell and his wife for just over eight years. Maverick is friendly, and is skilled in making anyone fall in love with him.
Maverick is also battling lymphoma. His owners treated the cancer with chemotherapy, and while the first round appeared to work, the cancer reappeared, sending Maverick into a health crisis. The dog spent three days in an ICU, and when he was released, veterinarians advised Maverick's owners to take him home on hospice care.
It's a devastating situation that no dog owner ever wants to be in; how do you bring your dog home and prepare for him to die? Maverick's owners knew that they couldn't just sit in the house mourning and waiting for Maverick to pass. So, they decided that they would give Maverick a really special day. They planned to take Maverick to the town center of DeLand, Florida, so he could greet people, which he so enjoyed, while also saying goodbye at the same time.
The only problem was that Maverick couldn't walk because of how sick he was. So, Joey started looking for a wagon large enough to accommodate Maverick. The couple had very little money left over after Maverick's care, but found a wagon listed on the Lowe's website for $130. Joey set out to buy it.
When he arrived at his local Lowe's, Joey learned that the wagon he needed was out of stock. After explaining to a general manager why he needed the wagon, the manager immediately phoned other stores and had a wagon delivered within an hour. When Joey came back, he discovered that staff had taken the wagon out of the box and had it fully assembled, ready and waiting for him. When he went to pay, Joey learned that Lowe's had lowered the wagon's price to just $73 for him.
Once he arrived home, Joey and his wife placed Maverick's mattress on the wagon and set out to tour downtown DeLand. Maverick enjoyed a burger and some dog-friendly ice cream, and he got to meet plenty of people. Maverick had a very special day, made possible partly thanks to the generous work of the Lowe's staff.
While Marverick's owners put so much effort into giving him a chance to say goodbye, Maverick actually improved after his outing.
According to updates on his Facebook page, Maverick shows no clinical signs of cancer at the moment, though his chemotherapy has been discontinued, and he is having issues with his hind legs. However, Maverick is using a pet wheelchair and his owners are looking at longer-term care options like physical therapy.
Maverick's owners credit the uplifting nature of his wagon ride with helping to keep him alive. They plan to take Maverick on many more wagon rides in the future.
All images: Everybody Loves Maverick via Facebook