Joey Maxwell and his wife have loved their dog Maverick from the moment they rescued him from a kill shelter in North Carolina just over eight years ago. So when he became ill with lymphoma, the couple have done whatever they can to help him fight the illness.
Recently, he had a crisis that left him unable to walk. What his parents subsequently did for him has quickly won the hearts of people all over the world and had a miraculous effect on his health!
Maxwell and his wife were determined to give Maverick one really special last day after they got terrible news from veterinarians.
“He was anemic, had an infection, and we really thought we were going to lose him,” Maxwell tells 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.”
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They knew they wanted to give Maverick a day filled with meeting people, as Maverick loves getting attention from humans. And Maverick has always had a special talent to make everyone fall in love with him, says Maxwell. “He is the kind of dog who, if we take him out, he barks at everyone who passes until they pet him because he thinks the whole world is there just to love on him.”
“We knew immediately [after rescuing him] that Maverick was a special boy. He has always had a way of touching people. Even those who don’t like dogs seemed to be drawn to him,” Maxwell writes on Facebook. “Kids who were scared of big dogs never hesitate to come right up to Mav and love on him. We have a saying in our house; ‘Everybody loves Maverick!'”
They decided to get Maverick a cart so that they could wheel him around town. They found the perfect wagon at Lowe’s but when they visited their local location in DeLand, Florida, they discovered the wagons were completely sold out in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.
But when the store’s general manager found out what they needed the wagon for, he immediately got on the phone and called other stores with the urgent request.
When Maxwell returned to the store an hour later, the staff had received and assembled the wagon for him and gave him a discount. Maxwell was overcome with emotion. He and his wife had been struggling financially (something Lowe’s didn’t know), so the unexpected gesture came as a welcome surprise.
When they got home, they made the wagon comfy for Maverick and took him out. “We ate burgers and dog-friendly ice cream, and everyone loved on Maverick,” Maxwell says. “And we really thought that would be his last day out, but every day since he’s gotten a little better.”
Maybe it was all the love and attention that Maverick got on his special outing. That’s what the Maxwells believe.
“My wife and I are convinced that, had we gone home last Tuesday and just said our last goodbyes and laid around the house being depressed, that Mav wouldn’t be here today,” he says. “I really believe that what has helped him improve more than anything is all this positivity and love he’s been receiving. He hasn’t had time to think about being sick because he’s been getting so much love from around the world.”
Even better, Maverick has regained the use of his front legs and his scary crisis seems to be behind them for now.
“He is doing amazingly well! Great news from the vet today. Cancer is still in remission, his back problems are unrelated to the cancer, and we’re hoping to make some progress on getting him walking again with massage and therapy,” he writes on Facebook. “He’s eating like a horse, and feeling great!”
Maverick has resumed his chemo treatments and his parents have gotten him a wheelchair to get around. “We don’t know if his hind legs will ever work again, but we will continue therapy in the wheelchair, and try to keep building his strength and muscle mass,” writes Maxwell.
That doesn’t mean Maverick’s wagon is going to be retired any time soon. Maxwell says they plan on continuing to use his wagon and continue their positive tours. “We will also most definitely continue our wagon tours of Deland! Looks like our baby (and now Deland’s baby) is here to stay.”
Pupdate: Maverick crossed the rainbow bridge in January 2017 surrounded by his loved ones. He lived another 3 months after this story was first published. His positive spirit will no doubt be remembered by everyone who met him. Rest in Peace, Maverick.