In Memory of Maverick Roberts
Maverick may not have been born October 26, 2002, but that is the day his life began. That is the day that Rhonda Roberts, all decked out in her finery, showed up at our Fedex Libertyland Family Day adoption event. She had seen Maverick on the website and was drawn to him because he reminded her of her beloved companion, Nugget, who had passed away after 18 and a half years. She showed up that fall day and plopped down on the floor by his cage and sat the rest of the afternoon. She wanted to take him home with her, but knew she traveled a lot with her job. But as we were packing up at the end of the day, with tears in her eyes, she decided to give her a husband a call and ask his opinion. And as most husbands do, he said no. So, Rhonda filled out the paperwork, wrote us a check, piled him into her little convertible sports car, and away they went. Now, at this time Maverick was a young, gorgeous white lab puppy with absolutely no manners. He was buck wild. I had rescued him as he was being surrendered at Memphis Animal Shelter because he “wouldn’t do what his owners wanted him to do”. As Rhonda drove away, we all looked at each other and said, “We will be getting that dog back.” Rhonda enrolled Mav in obedience school and took him religiously. They would show up at adoption events from time to time to show us what he had learned. And just like most children, he would not mind anything she said. Now, you have to picture this – Maverick had collars and leashes to match Rhonda’s outfits. They were a sight to see! And as they would leave, we would still look at each other and say, “We will be getting that dog back.” But we never did. I think the first year there were a lot of trials and tribulations. The Roberts didn’t have a fence, so he kept running off. I think he destroyed a lot household goods. But Rhonda always had a smile on her face when she was giving me an account of his latest antics. He had his picture in catalogues and in the newspaper. She taught him all kinds of tricks. He rang a bell at the door when he wanted to go out to potty. He went out and brought the paper in each morning. Through the years he was a beloved friend and companion. Friday of last week Maverick became ill with Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia. After a week of fighting for his life, this beloved companion who had been such a wonderful friend to Rhonda passed away at noon on June 7, 2007. He was taken home and buried next to Nugget. They built him a casket and put his favorite things inside, along with a picture of his playmate Delilah. Maverick had five of the most wonderful years in the loving home of the Roberts family. And what he gave in return was an unconditional love and treasured memories that will last forever.
This past week our family lost our most precious companion to a dreadful disease called Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia. We exhausted all our resources to try and save Maverick but he just couldn’t fight anymore. 6 days he put up a good fight. I carried him home at night after a daily IV of fluid or a blood transfusion so I could be with him daily. We slept on the floor together on our white sheepskin rug. The last night I finally told him it was ok if he wanted to go home if he was to tired to fight anymore. He reached over with his paw and laid it on my arm. He passed away 12 hours later. My heart is so sad, I’ve never loved a dog like I loved Maverick. He was the love of my life. He was the first to meet me at the door when I arrived home. He slept at the side of my bed each night. He laid near my suitcase each and every time he knew I was leaving on a trip knowing it would be days until I returned. He showered me with kisses. I’ll miss my rides in the convertible with him. He was proud as he sat in his seatbelt with the wind pressing against his face. He got his picture in the commercial appeal for a dog of character. I had the opportunity to LOVE him for only 5 1/2 years but those were the BEST years of my life. He was laid to rest in our yard under the big shade tree next to our other lab of 18 1/2 years. Thank-you Guardian Angel for this wonderful dog and to Debbie for fostering him long enough until his found his forever family in the ROBERTS home. We all cherished, adored, and loved this wonderful friend.