Four years ago this weekend, somewhere in Texas, a black and white puppy squirmed into a cold, scary world. Not long after that, he found himself in a rural Texas kill-shelter.
When we met him nine weeks later, in February, 2009, we weren’t looking for a third dog, and we certainly weren’t looking for a puppy, but something about this black and white boy, all alone in the world, curled itself around our hearts. A week later, he was sleeping in a crate in our bedroom by night, and leading our first foster-dog, a heeler named Blue, around our house by holding the hand-loop of a leash in his mouth.
At ten weeks old, he was already a problem-solving dog.
A week after that, Blue found his forever home, and our Zorro-dog died. Max knew something was ‘different,’ but he wasn’t yet terribly affectionate, more inclined to gnaw on our fingers or chew on our necks than give kisses.
Within five months Max had outgrown his first crate, and was rapidly expanding in all directions, to fill his second. At one point, I went to Mexico, leaving behind a puppy, and coming home to a DOG.
Over time, as Max grew into his current 70-pound (plus or minus) frame, he also became the sweetest, most affectionate dog ever. Sure, we’re still trying to curb his counter-surfing habits, and he’s picked up our nocturnal habits to the point where he won’t eat before ten in the morning, but otherwise, he’s a great dog.
And now…now he’s FOUR.
Happy birthday, Maximus. You came with that name, and we let you keep it, but you took our hearts in exchange.