The Charlie Bravo Story

Vaya con Dios, Max E. Million

Dad here; I apologize for the lack of response for your overwhelming offering of condolences, but it’s been a somewhat of a blur.  Since the beginning of Charlie’s story, I have made it a point to read and acknowledge every comment with at least a “like”, as I figure  that’s the very least I can do to acknowledge the fact that each of you took time to comment. The problem I’m having now is that A; there are so many, and B: they are so heartfelt and well written than I can only get through a couple at a time before my pucker reflex activates, but I promise you that I will get through them all.

I’ve had many dogs, but Max was part of a cadre who’s loyalty defied description; Uki, Beebe, Max, and Charlie. He had the distinction of coming along at a time when there were no others to with which to share the attention, then had the misfortune to be here when his sun was partially eclipsed by the elemental force of nature  that is Charlie.

Max and I were inseparable through three surgeries, innumerable road trips, good times, very bad times. He loved to hang out with the boys when Zach and I would be tinkering with the bikes in the garage, always worrying that we were going to somehow sneak off without him.

And worrying? He carried a Ph D in fretting, the only real time that he would truly relax is when we were in the car together, as he knew there was no escaping him.

 When I would have to leave on motorcycle and/or business trips, he transferred this huge mass of loyalty to Mom and Alex, and everyone that visited the Casa was instantly adopted by Max as not a visitor but a sibling.

To be honest, I’ve always felt a twinge of guilt that Max’s thunder was partially diminished by Charlie’s lightning,  and now that the hairy little goober has passed, that twinge has grown into a stabbing pain. Think of Woody and Buzz from “The Toy Story”, and you’ll get a snapshot of the situation. Now the emptiness in my heart is only matched by the emptiness behind my knees, as the last thing I would see every night is Max’s hairy fanny disappearing under the covers en route to his favorite sleeping spot.

Over the last two days, I’ve wondered if Bultaco entered the scene to ease the sting of Max’s imminent departure, but if that was the cure, it sure isn’t working. Bull is a special dog, and no doubt will continue to grow into his own particular role, but there will never be another Max E Million. Just remembering him now makes it feel like a flare up of diverticulitis, as the pain in my gut is actually physical.

But life goes on, and this too shall pass. Charlie has been remarkably subdued, but I know with a certainty that will change. Mia has been acting a bit perplexed as well, as Max was the target of her particular brand of devilry every morning, and Bull? As long as he has a lap, front seat or motorcycle tank bag to occupy, Bull is chill with almost any situation.

So now the Casa crew is down to four; most normal people would think that this is more than enough, but in case you haven’t noticed, we’re anything but normal.

This is freaking miserable: miss you terribly, Max.

Join the discussion

  1. Bryan Morgan

    Oh Bret, so sorry to hear about Max, I can only imagine how bad this hurts.

  2. Sue Robilliard

    Will there be any justice for Max? Have those dogs been seized? The owners questioned? I’d love to come up to your hemisphere and bang a few heads!!

    • Linda Hubbard

      I, too, wonder about Justice for Max. Just reporting this attack to the police doesn’t seem adequate.. I am the kind of person who would need to get in this man’s face, to demand why he lets his dogs roam free. Have they done this before? Will they do it to another person’s dog? Will someone else have to suffer the pain the Casa is experiencing? I am still angry.

  3. Cathy Buro-Yauch

    No need to “like” everything <3 we know and we understand. Just know that we all apart of your distant family and we will be here for you and yours when you're all ready.

  4. Wendy Sims

    Just know that one day…you will see each other again and all will be well. My sympathies to you and your family during this time. There is nothing that can compare with the loss of a best friend and family member. One day, you will see one another and it will seem like old times and they will be FOREVER!. Love to you all….

  5. Carole Lucier

    I think your words will be my words if/when I may loose my Max A Million.

  6. Karin Schoultz

    My heart is breaking for you….

  7. Christine Smith

    I lost my beautiful Luther just over a week ago and I am still in shock as his death was completely unexpected. We collected his ashes yesterday. I am desperately sorry for your loss. Our dogs are not only companions but also our friends and confidante. To lose Max in such a tragic way must be devastating. My thoughts are with you from the UK. Xx

  8. Faith Kidwell

    Yes what is happening with the owner of those dogs ? … also have you thought about a fence? I

  9. Jannie Maxwell

    It breaks my heart to hear just how painful this is for you Bret. Your pain is thankfully matched by the love you had for Max. Love conquers all and it will eventually ease that pain❤.

  10. Diane Brannon-Keech

    Words very befitting for the circumstances. How do these hairy li’l ones manage to take up so much space in our hearts, then leave a hole that was 3 times the size? After yesterday’s shocking news, a day of many tears shed for you and your family, I realized I too will be facing the fate of an empty heart. My man dog has been my everything for the last almost 15 years. Like you, he has gotten me through the good, bad and ugly that life threw at me. What stuck with me was that the heartache was so paralyzing that no words could come to express your loss at that moment except that “Max was Gone”! So I found myself asking, what would I be able to stutter out at the moment my life changes? I sat quietly channeling your pain and suffering and wrote my beloveds eulogy. I read it to my daughter with her reply of….I don’t think you love us as much as you do Freeway. I couldnt deny my love is grand! Love hugs and licks from me and my man dog Freeway

  11. Katy McCourt

    I am so, so sorry for the loss of your Max. My heart breaks for all of you.

  12. Nancy McIntyre Lohnes

    very sorry for your loss…I’ve been there….they’re family and no one will tell me any different….R.I.P. Max <3

  13. Sherrie Graves Tokarz

    Grieve as you need to. You’ve lost a family member and best friend. I’m sure we all understand your pain of not responding and only talking about it, as your heart allows.

  14. Deborah Ferguson

    Remember the love with affection. For it is better to have love for a week, a year, etc. than to have never known that love at all.

  15. Margie Webb

    Your words always bring me to tears and this, much more tears than usual. Max had a wonderful life of love with you. And I’ll think of that and not the irresponsible owner who caused his death. Bc I don’t live far from the Casa and I really want to give the neighbor a piece of my mind!

  16. Angela Sutton

    So sorry that this happened…your pup was lucky to have all of you for his pack!!

  17. Rae-Anne Culp

    I seem to read your posts with tears streaming down my face. The loss of Stevie and now Max is hard, but I can’t imagine the pain you are enduring. I remember after I got my pup, my cat got sick and had to be put to sleep. I’ll never know if the pup had anything to do with it or if it was just her time to go. If it wasn’t for Charlie’s spot light we wouldn’t have “met” you, Max and the rest of the crew. Everything happens for a reason and Charlie was brought to you for a reason. Max knew you loved him unconditionally and accepted Charlie because he was secure in that love. Sending you comfort and peace.

  18. Linda Simeone

    My love and heart are with you and your family, and of course, Max. <3

  19. Toni Paredes

    A dear friend, recently lost her beloved German shepherd, also named Max, sadly, her dog was poisoned, inside her yard. I am so sorry for your loss, I am a cat person, who happens to love dogs, too. My brother has 2 dogs and I am their godmother!

  20. Marybeth Ann Traut

    That stabbing pain you are feeling… it is called Love and Max (and all your “troop) are so very lucky to have you in their hearts and that is exactly where you are FOREVER …. In Max’s heart ….just watch for shooting stars…that is Max flying high above – holding your heart near and dear!! Praying that the pain subsides and is replaced with smiles and laughter when remembering a furry little burrowing butt. <3

  21. Jodi Aucoin

    Do not fret over not reading every post. We all know hard it is to lose one of our fur babies. We all grieve with the casa as Max was part of our extended family too. May time heal everyone at the casa’s heart. Max is in good hands with Stevie.

  22. Pam Rollins

    My heart goes out to you and the residents of the casa. A special baby like Max takes a piece of your heart with him & he will always be in your memory. RIP dear Max❤

  23. Debra Nyman Hirsch

    I am so sorry. I know that sounds lame, but I am at a loss for words. RIP sweet Max.

  24. Carol Naylor

    It’s been 4 months for me. It does get better. It does . but I have to keep my days full or the hurt sneaks in. My August Rose. My heart.

  25. Kim Conner

    Justice for Max !! Love to the Casa.

  26. Sam Howard

    Aweee Darlin Man, we know you care about everyone that tunes into this page; take your time and let the Wackos help heal. We don’t need a personal “like” at this time, we know you care as we do.

  27. Rita Wise

    Our hearts are with you, us who have shared your joy and share your sorrow. Some of us have known the sadness of parting of the best friend brings so we don’t expect your heart to be any different then ours. Time makes it easier but never erases memories. You and your family have been the only kindness these little critters have ever known and God sees that.

  28. Vickie Saddler

    I’m sorry sorry, praying for you

  29. Rita Wise

    We have said goodbye to Princie, Bear, Rascal, Maggie, And Jessie. After Jessie I said ‘no more’ but the came Bonnie. Too much love ❤️ in my heart not to share. Max was loved as was Stevie and even tho the hole in your heart is so big because of the loss as with me, we can’t deny love to and for them. Hold your head up and know your love did and will make a difference.

  30. Kirstine Jones

    It’s awful when we lose our hairballs in such a tragic way but know that we are all crying along with you.. He’s snuggled up with stevie, waiting til that time when you are all together again xx (and now I’m off to get a loo roll as I’m crying over a little dude I never met in the real world, but felt I knew, thanks to you and the rest of the casa inmates xxxxx)

  31. Elisa Charleston Robertson

    I do know the feeling. I still mourn 5 years later and have nightmares. you guys have so much love to give others

  32. Trina Mara

    Hugs my friend.. Lots and lots of hugs.. <3 <3 <3

  33. Patsy Patten

    The other “inmates of the Casa” will give you comfort and company, but Max will have that special place in your heart. He knew he was loved greatly. I lost my 17 yr old Jack Russell 5 years ago but she will always have a big hunk of my heart. The pain does subside but it takes time, give yourself that time to grieve for that sweet little guy.

  34. Sherry Noblett

    No response is needed at this time. Most of us understand the loss you are dealing with and just want you to know we hurt for you too…

  35. Mary Hicks

    You have so much support and love out here! You are enduring so much right now so if you can’t like or respond we all understand. We all share in this with you and want you to know that. They all become a part of our lives even through an fb page.

  36. Debbie Carr Holley

    I hope in some small way the love that fills each of these comments wraps around your broken hearts and brings some comfort and peace to you all, and that in time when you think of Max it will be happy memories that bring smiles instead of tears. (((HUGS))) <3

  37. Paula Foresman

    Just so heartbroken for you all.

  38. Corrine Borman

    Brought tears to my eyes again. God Bless You.

  39. Valerie Joyce Kerr

    No offence taken – I’m sure we all understand how traumatic a situation you are in. You do what you have to do to process your grief and know that I for one am sending you +ve thoughts to aid you all through it. Take care of yourself ❤

  40. Sandy Runyon Lough

    No acknowledgement or “like” needed, dad. Being of one blood, we just know. And are right there with you. What a party we’re all going to have some sweet day, by and by.

  41. Brenda Payton

    I know your & Jo Ann’s pain is unbearable right now. My heart hurts for both of you.

  42. Francesca Borowski

    You’re understandably grieving, traumatized and heartbroken. No apologies required. Keep on writing about your memories …get out your grief.

  43. Cindy Stewart-Cartwright

    What a great little soul he was ❤((hugs))

  44. Chrystenn Kammerer

    Oh my heart truly aches for you. The love we feel for our companions is a love so deep it’s hard for a lot of people to understand. Life does go on, and we simply adapt. I don’t think we personally ever move on though. It’s just another piece of our heart taken to Heaven.

  45. Jody Hess-Franey

    Max will always be with you in your heart. RIP Max.

  46. Laura Dixon Goldsmith

    it has been 6 yrs since my Larry has passed and I can still cry at the thought of him to this day, he truley was my best friend like max was yours. Its gets easier but they are never gone far from your heart.

  47. Angie Parr

    So beautifully said. I have a dog , son jack.. the pain and loss and sorrow you feel is real. I could not imagine if that happens to him. Look up in the heavens for strength. Max a million is looking down on you happy and playing but still watching your every move!

  48. Jane Leffman

    No need to respond. We know and understand your grief and its enough that you know this. X

  49. Mikki Calm

    Pain is time for reflection and remembrance. You’ll never get over it, but your thoughts will drift to happier memories more often than the loss eventually. Don’t worry about responding to all of us that are here to pour healing love your way, ……we are all owned by a four legger, we understand! ❤️

  50. Marlene Petsche

    There is that one dog in our life that will always own our total heart forever. Mine was also named Max. I rescued him when he was 9 mos and lost him suddenly last Feb. When he was only 11 yrs old. I to, have had dogs all my life who I have loved and loved me but never like my Max. He also loved to go under the covers and sleep against my knees. My heart aches for you my friend because after a yr I still cry over him as I am doing right now.

  51. Michelle Melvin

    This is my Princess peanut I thought I would never get another dog after my Rex but, she needed me as much as I needed her. I am so sorry about Max my heart breaks for you and your family.

  52. Maria Dawybida Minerley

    Please don’t feel like you have to respond to it all! Just let the loving feelings we all are sending be of the tiniest bit of comfort to you and yours. Max will be in all our hearts. It’s a worthy legacy.

  53. Leigh Pevreal

    Please don’t concern yourself with us. You have enough to do with just trying to get by. It is our turn to be here for you and your family, to try and bring you some form of comfort even though that is impossible right now. You do what you need to do, we aren’t going anywhere xx

  54. Shawn Suriano-Wellden

    I understand the hurt in you feel physically. I know many of us do. I hope that at least is some sort of help. Max knew how special he was or he wouldn’t have been the family member he was.

  55. Alaena Conner Petersen

    My heart just breaks for you. I’m so sorry this has happened. Max was so loved and he will forever be a part of your family. I love seeing your posts and all the adventures you take your sweet dogs on!

  56. Julie Scheiderer Underwood

    I am so very sorry for the loss of your precious Max. It is a deep feeling that takes a long time to heal. Keeping you and your family in my prayers.

  57. Sherri Crimmings Vincent

    Max was so blessed to have found you and visa versa. That goes for all your two and four legged family. You are a special person with a huge heart that will never let you forget all your fur babies.

  58. Mary Lou Force

    I think that regretting Charlie’s partial overshadowing of Max is just another way of turning your angry grief on yourself. We all do it. I’ve come to believe that it’s an inevitable part of processing a terrible loss. But I do urge you to fight it. You need to be gentle and kind to yourself, as Max would want you to. We all love and support you and, to the extent possible, share in your pain and sorrow. I hope that helps a little.

  59. Carol Lingster

    sending you positive vibes of healing for your broken heart —-))))))))))))))))))))❤️

  60. Diane A. Weakley

    Sorry for your loss. I had a Rottie named Maximillion …

  61. Nancy Ann Babyak

    Heal yourself… Rest… Thinking of the Casa as our pack bunkers down for more snow.

  62. Theresa Thomas

    Ahhh, gosh darn..this just made me cry. No doubt he was loved beyond the words. Again, I’m truly sorry for the loss of your little dude! He sure was a cute fella!

  63. Tracy Wamboldt

    Likes aren’t necessary….everyone feels a bit of your pain and can relate…everyone has had their own little goober and felt the devastating pain of loss. It’s the unrelenting loyalty and love they provide…..

  64. Ginger Crowe Harper

    Very well said, as always. Most of us here don’t need any sort of response, but only want you and your dear family to know that each of us are sharing a small bit of your grief and sorrow at this terrible loss. Sweet, fretful Max frets no more. ❤

  65. Christine Daugherty Ponder

    But of all the pictures taken and moments I tried to save,
    when you are gone I’ll remember most the happiness that you gave.
    In my mind’s eye, I see you ahead on the trail, looking over your shoulder, waiting for me, wagging your tail. Unknown <3

  66. Margo Meyer

    We feel your pain. We have all lost fur babies and each one holds a special place in our heart. Luckily your heart is HUGE and will be able to love lots more fur babes. And each one will be wedged into your heart and you will remember them all as they will remember you. Hugs during your time of loss….

  67. Gloria Filippi

    ..It was very hard to read it all .. as it became blurry and more blurry from tars in my eyes .. it must be really hard .. I can just send you lot of love and a big hug .. be strong! Max will be always looking over you and the Casa, I am sure!

  68. Robin Lindell Coe

    My heart aches for you and your loss. Your words ands posts are monumental. Max is with you….altho, you feel the pain more right now. I wish you solace and love from the other fur babies, too. We all have our special ones that hit the soft spot. Gaia was mine. Sending hugs your way from Michigan, my friend. Trust that the words you write can help heal, if not you, one of your followers. ❤

  69. Pam Miles

    I can’t imagine the horrible gut wrenching pain and terror when you found him. He hung on until you were able to get to him, because he loved you so much and wanted you with him most of all. I’m so sorry this has happened. Sending you prayers and love for you and your family. You will be together again, and just remember what a wonderful life you gave the little guy.

  70. Heather Shaw

    My heart bleeds for you, I’m so sorry this happened.

  71. Louise Howe

    No need to apologise for being in pain….. I’m sure most of your followers are fellow animal lovers and completely understand how easy it is to get those watery eyes going again… <3

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