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Golden Retriever’s Cancer Inspires Outpouring of Love

This is a story about Maverick, a nine-year-old Golden Retriever with cancer who was unable to walk. A trip through town on his “death bed” prompted an incredible outpouring of love. Soon the cancer was gone, he began growing stronger every day by using a Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair, and he’ll be starring in a movie!

Golden Retriever with Cancer: Bracing for the End

Everybody Loves MaverickBack in October, Joey and Allison Maxwell, Maverick’s owners, were told that his end was very near – as in just a matter of days, or maybe even just one more night. Their beloved Golden was rescued from a high-kill shelter eight years earlier. Now, after spending three days in an ICU, he was being sent home. Joey and Allison were advised that they were bringing Maverick home for short-lived hospice care.

The couple decided to give Maverick a big send-off, filled with all the treats, sights, and sounds a dog would ever want. Their first stop was Lowe’s Home Improvement store to get a wagon for Maverick so they could wheel him around town.

Love on Wheels

A Lowe’s emploMaverick gets love in wagonyee outfitted Maverick with a discounted wagon, and the love train took off from there! Allison and Joey wheeled Maverick around their small town of Deland, Florida. They made stops to get Maverick a burger, pet-friendly ice cream, and lots and lots of greetings and affection from people who were drawn to the big-hearted dog.

Maverick did indeed make it through the night, and his story was quickly picked up by the local media. Then ABC picked up the story, and it was broadcast nationally. A 52-minute radio interview with Joey Maxwell can be found on Pet Radio Magazine.

But the REAL story – the outpouring of love – was just beginning!

Joey said,

“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 the time to think about being sick because he’s been getting so much love from around the world.”


Instead of dying, Maverick began to get better! The Maxwells continued their trips with Maverick around town, and he perked up more and more.

Someone donated a used wheelchair to Maverick. It was a little too big, but it got him on his feet. In short order, Hailey’s Wheels For Life, a nonprofit in Australia, sponsored a Walkin’ Wheels dog wheelchair for Maverick, which fit him perfectly.

Maverick drinking water

Meanwhile, Maverick is getting water treadmill hydrotherapy and physical therapy to strengthen his hind legs. Maverick’s cancer is now in remission, with no indication of cancer anywhere in his body. Consequently, Joey and Allison hope that Maverick might one day be completely on his feet again and no longer need the help of his wheelchair.

Everybody Loves Maverick!

Watch the New York Post’s video of Maverick, including footage of him doing hydrotherapy in his Walkin’ Wheels dog wheelchair:

A Star Is Born

Oh, and here’s the movie part! A documentary short called “Maverick’s Miracle” is being filmed, featuring you-know-who. Stay tuned, and visit YouTube to watch the movie trailer.

So Maverick’s “final” night turned into a brand new chapter of life for him, as well as for Joey and Allison. Maverick continues to be a conduit for love, serving as a catalyst for people to do good and feel good.

Everybody Loves Maverick

You can follow Maverick’s story on Facebook at Everybody Loves Maverick.
Photos courtesy of Everybody Loves Maverick’s Facebook page. 

dog wheelchair for retriever

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  1. I was having a really hard time when I first met on Facebook. But he was going through so much more than I was. It gives me so much joy to see Mav doing better everyday. I haven’t met him and I probably never will be able to but he is my favorite buddy. Love you bunches Mav.

  2. What a happy day! We have a wagon (aka Golden Chariot) we bought for our Lady Rianna back in 2004 to take her round in. We lost her to cancer in November that year (but we kept the chariot). Hearing this story about Maverick’s diagnosis and beating the cancer makes me smile so much. I’m so happy you guys have more time! I love you, Mav. Keep on shining that gold, buddy!!!!

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