For those of us who truly love our elderly pets, there’s nothing we wouldn’t do to make their golden years easier. After all, they are always there for us on our very best and worst days, and we all know that if the tables were turned, they would be there for us.
So when Doug Delony, a producer for KHOU.com was jogging through Discovery Green Park in Houston, Texas, on a spring day in 2016, he knew the scene unfolding in front of him was a special one, SoShareThis reports. And that it was something he wanted to share with KHOU viewers.
This Man, Caring For His Elderly Dog
So he snapped a photo of this charming scene and posted it on Facebook. Where it quickly, astoundingly went viral. To the tune of 490,000 shares on the social media. And perhaps it went viral because it shows Troy Griffin with Max, his 16-year-old Sheltie (and the aforementioned baby stroller) doing something incredibly kind for his elderly pooch.
And Max the elderly sheltie was clearly happy
It seems that for Max and his owners Troy and Edie Mayo, going to the park became a regular part of everyday life. Hobbled by arthritis and blind in one eye due to a torn retina caused by high blood pressure, and with a cataract in the other eye, he was on medications for all these ailments. Quite obviously, walking to the park would have been difficult for this sweet boy.
So why not bring him to the park in a baby stroller?
“He’s part of our family,” Edie said. “My best friend. He’s taught me life lessons that I will never forget.”
Mayo brought Max home when he was just three weeks old, and their bond has always been tight. Her loyal dog even at one point warned her about an oncoming tornado, Mayo said. Toys and a view of the park fill Max’s corner of the world in the couple’s apartment on the 10th-floor. And for Griffin and Mayo, that’s how things should be. After all, the couple knows their canine family member will always love them. So it’s only natural they also continue to love him.
Elderly pets are family
“I don’t think you should just turn your back on someone just because they’re elderly,” Edie said. “I think they deserve our love and our care and our attention.”
“I think we should do for him what we would do for our parents, our children,” Griffin said.
A worldwide outpouring of support
That message resonates with people all over the world. Since the story broke, the couple has heard from people in all 50 states, Vietnam, Venezuela, South Africa, and Ukraine, and dog lovers everywhere have sent photos of their aging pooches and have showered the couple with praise for providing Max with so much love.
Mayo and Griffin say the response is astounding.
“It’s overwhelming,” Troy said. “Just the sheer numbers.”
Max’s story is a heartwarming one
It’s a reminder that elderly pets deserve dignity, love, and respect, and Edie is happy that they have been able to share their love for their elderly dog with the world.
“It restores our faith that people are looking for the good in everyone,” Edie said. “We’ve helped other people feel like they’re not the ‘crazy dog lady,'” she said, smiling. “That they’re doing the right thing and should be proud of that fact.”
Gentle Max passed away just over a year ago, surrounded by his family.
“He is Heaven bound where no pain can touch him anymore,” Edie said. “I’m thankful he didn’t suffer but went peacefully and naturally surrounded by love. My heart is broken forever.”
But in the hearts of many, sweet elderly Max isn’t forgotten
Joy and happiness filled his life. He was a happy beautiful dog who didn’t let age or infirmity get him down. Two caring humans treasured him deeply and gave him and gave him a life all dogs deserve. What better way to love a dog?
Featured image by KHOU video