I try NOT to open e-mails from our past 4-H Dog club leader. She has lots of contacts in the animal rescue circles, and always has a story of some cute, adoptable critter needing a home because of special circumstances. If I read it, my heart hurts and I’ve learned it’s just a situation I’d just rather avoid.
Well, Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend, I didn’t follow my own rule, and opened Annette’s message, and there I saw the list of Tacoma Animal Shelter dogs that were about to be put down. For some reason I got fixated on the first dog on the list, MAX, a 12 yr old Shepard Retriever, and didn’t read much further. “This is nuts,” I thought. We already have 3 dogs, 4 cats and two horses. I’m not looking to rescue another dog, we have saved enough. But, I reasoned, the balance was rather off, with three spayed females, also shelter dogs. Our only male, a 9 yr old Shepard Retriever had died in his sleep a few yrs earlier. Well, I thought, I’ll find out more about Max, could be he won’t fit with other dogs and cats.
So, I tracked him down, and Ginger’s Death Row Pets had taken him into foster care and I was soon in touch with Cathi, one of their faithful foster homes. There I found Max did just fine with other dogs, ignored the cats, comfortable around the horses and even behaved around chickens (I don’t have chickens, but I might!). Well, I hadn’t even met him yet, and already I was falling in love…..who could have turned this perfectly behaved sweetie into the shelter at age 12. We arranged to go meet him, and already I knew the ending of the story.
Cathi said bring a stuffed toy for Max to carry home, and we noted a picture where Max carries around and stuffed animal and falls asleep with it in his mouth!! Oh my, my heart is really gone now.
So, New Year’s Eve morning was Max’s last without a home. We drove to Cathi’s with a stuffed toy, which he took willingly and jumped in the back of the car. At home, the girls did about a week of bristling up and testing him, which he took with grace and dignity, and now they clean his face and share sleeping space with him as it he’d been here for years. We live on 11 acres, but he never strays far from the house except when with someone. I think the poor guy is afraid of being lost again. He is almost deaf but hears whistles and claps, and of course, when it’s dinner time, he hears that!!
Max’s ears were a major problem, and his first visit to the vet, she couldn’t even examine, much less treat his ears. So he got put under and after a thorough cleaning, two prescriptions and ear drops, and he is no longer shaking his head and scratching his ears, but years of neglect have left him with very altered hearing.
Max’s only fault…..he’s a thief! My husband works for the Lewis Co. Sheriff’s office, and always has a stuffed animal in his duty car, in case of situations needing to comfort a child. Well he was unloading something from the backseat of the car and walked away leaving the door open. Max saw the stuffed animal, and made no hesitation to dive into the car and grab the stuffed animal. By the time my husband returned to the car, Max was prancing around with the stuffed bear in his mouth, wagging his tail, as if to say, “I found the toy you brought me!!” Well, needless to say, it was so cute, we could take it away from him. So Max, you stole from the cops and got away with it!!
Below are pictures of Max sleeping with his original “Baby”, just hanging out with one of the girls, and with his prize stolen bear!
Thanks for saving Max.