It has now been a year and a half since Max came into our lives and it seems to have passed in an instant. We have honestly never had a moment of regret about having sprung this big ole dog from the slammer.
Max, our English Shepherd and a few other things cross is a handsome brute with a pretty face and a disposition to match his fine looks. He charms the pants off all he meets and Wendy has said that it was too bad, considering that ‘charming the pants off’ power, I didn’t have Max when I was single as he wins very special attentions from females. And indeed he does.
Max, who at times is known by other names by us (Max was the name he came with, by the way) such as Maximilian von Dog, Mr. Max, Maximum Bob or quaintly by one of the female clerks at Bosley’s Pet Food store (Max’s favorite place in the world after home as the girls there fawn all over him) as ‘Maxie-Pad’. Who am I to quibble? Wendy’s chosen loving name is ‘Baby Dog’. No, I don’t know why, but he’s not offended.
When we rescued him Wendy had never owned a dog before and she was a bit intimidated by the prospect. She’d always had cats in the past. She isn’t a flaky cat-lady, it was just that she likes pets and had found cats more convenient because they make fewer demands. That is true, but they’re also much less fun. So, she wasn’t quite sure what she had gotten herself into. I’d had dogs in the past so she relied on me in the early days. It’s nice to be relied on for something, at least.
An aspect of my criteria in selecting a dog when we’d made the decision that we wanted to go that way, was to find an animal that made me feel like the late and always great ‘Murphy’ (pictured) had made me feel. Max did and continues to do so. Such a bonus to have owned two such wonder-canines.
As the time has passed we’ve gotten to know the guy quite well in all his traits. Well, at least those traits he has chosen to share with us.
He has an interesting personality. He is very much (due to his size; he’s big) an alpha male. He’s not at all aggressive (which is a relief) and has never been in a fight since we got him. On the other hand, if another dog gets too pushy he, with bared teeth and a snarl lets it be known he don’t take no shit from nobody. The beta dog usually backs off and not even a nip is exchanged.
He’s trim and almost athletic with his long legs and virtually boundless energy and he’s very well-behaved if we are out walking.
Some other things:
– He is not a retriever at all at any time. In that he differs from Murphy who was almost pathological about chasing stuff, to the point he’d actually throw sticks for himself. With Max, if you throw a ball or Frisbee he will run after it. Get to it. Look at it. Sniff it, then walk away. Zero interest and confusing about why other dogs engage in such an inane activity.
– He is not predatory, either. We have a lot of rabbits in the area. More often than not if he passes a bunny he and the rabbit will look at each other, then Max will walk on. Should the rabbit run he would take off after it, with no intent of catching it. He wouldn’t know what to do with it if he did catch it. Likewise, with cats, he actually shows no interest at all. Our vet has a cat that is often lying on the counter. Max has never shown a scintilla of curiosity about it.
– He’s not crazy about little dogs, and he is especially lacking in enchantment for noisy little dogs.
– He has a girlfriend. Her name is Abby and she lives a couple of doors down. Max adores her. Abby adores Max. They are in heaven when they are together, and when we walk in the park and Abby is not out, he devotes half his time to staring at her house, much as a teenage boy (or middle aged man) will stare at the house of a crushee.
– He never steals food – ever. Bags of dog kibble and cookies sit open in the utility room and he could have very easy access. He never has partaken of anything that hasn’t been offered to him.
– He doesn’t get on the furniture, except at night when we know he sneaks up onto the couch. Initially I decided to be very firm about that, and then I asked myself, why? He doesn’t hurt anything. He thinks we don’t know he gets up there and we leave him with that delusion.
– He never has any desire to sleep in our bedroom. He’ll come in if we’re lying there watching TV, but as soon as the TV is turned off and lights go out, he wanders down the hall to the living room.
– He always growls when the newspaper lady comes by the morning, even though he has met her and likes her. And he barks at one of the carriers of our two local papers, and truly seems to detest the poor boy, even though he’s never met him. On the other hand, he is cool with the young girl that delivers the other paper. Maybe he has a thing about teenage boys. Maybe that’s wise.
So there you have our 1 1/2 year update of our Max world, and all I can say is if you are toying with getting a dog, eschew those pricey fancy-ass pedigreed things and get yourself to the shelter and rescue a dog. You’ll never regret it, and the dog will be grateful to you for all his or her life.