DELAND, Fla. — A 9-year-old golden retriever who won thousands of hearts with his sweet wagon rides throughout his Florida community as he battled cancer, has died, his owners announced Sunday.
Maverick died peacefully in his sleep Saturday night, owners Joey and Allison Maxwell, announced on his Facebook page, Everybody Loves Maverick.
“He gave no signs of being ill, and didn’t suffer at all. He simply went to sleep after dinner,” Joey Maxwell, of DeLand, wrote on the page. “Allison and I are absolutely heartbroken, yet we are at peace knowing that Maverick is now at rest.”
Maverick began making national headlines in October after workers at Maxwell's local Lowe's store helped make a wish for Maverick come true. Maxwell, who knew that his beloved dog's time was short, wanted to take him on a wagon ride through town to visit friends, but could not find a wagon.
The staff at Lowe’s called area stores until they found a wagon for Maverick, who was unable to walk because of his illness. They had it sent to the store and put it together for him.
Maverick’s joyful rides through DeLand, during which he made many new friends, didn’t just bring him a following of nearly 14,000 people on Facebook. They also helped him pull off a brief remission of his cancer, including regaining some movement in his hind legs.
He had a good checkup at the vet as recently as Jan. 10. Photos and videos on Maverick's Facebook page showed him eating, relaxing and playing with his toys.
The final video that Maxwell posted of Maverick was of him enjoying his breakfast on the morning of the day he died.
Maxwell thanked Maverick’s followers for their love, kindness and support.
“You have all loved Maverick as though he were your own, and we know that ours are not the only hearts breaking today,” Maxwell wrote. “Please know that Maverick heard and felt all of your comments, well wishes and love. We read him every one we could and gave him every hug and kiss you sent his way.
“Today is going to be hard for all of us. Allison and I are thoroughly convinced that Maverick more than served his purpose during his brief time with us, and know that his legacy will live on.”
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