When I first saw Max, he gave me pause.
I met Max when I started running the dogs at the local dog pound.
He was an intimidating looking Pit Bull mix; piercing eyes, bulging muscles, stoic face…not the happy go lucky wiggling butt that I was used to seeing at the dog pound.
Not that I buy into the Pittie hysteria, any breed of dog can be dangerous. Especially when you do what we do…interact with dogs without knowing much of their history. Sometimes without knowing ANY of their history. (Yeah…we are pretty badass.)
But back to Max…
Max had a wide range of expressions:
“I’m Mildly Annoyed”:
And “I’m Getting Sick of Your Shit, Bev”:
“This Treat will Feel My Wrath”:
One thing is certain, I never felt vulnerable when Max was my running partner. No unwanted cat calls and nobody ever asked me for my spare change.
Over time I discovered that Max was a trash hound. This guy could make a toy out of anything! Pop bottle? Yep…perfect chew toy. Beer can? Sure, why not! But once we started trekking toward the ball park, I discovered what Max had been pining for and what he had been in search of all along:
He didn’t discriminate:
You might be expecting that Max and I formed a wonderful bond and he became my best friend and we snuggled and loved each other…
Nope. It’s not that kind of story.
He never became overly affectionate with me. He just wasn’t cut from that cloth. Maybe over time he would have learned to trust and love me, but we just don’t have that much time with any of our running dogs.
Of course he did warm up to me:
And I certainly fell in love with his “I guess I sorta like you” face:
I only knew Max for a few weeks before he was adopted. And he was adopted without any ceremony…I didn’t get to say goodbye or meet his new family. I came in one day and he was gone.
So why was Max my teacher?
He taught me that what we do, what I do, isn’t about loving these dogs and being loved in return. Sure, I caught some feelings for him and he started wiggling his rear when he’d see me. But love? No..not from either side. And that was ok. It had to be. He disappeared from my life and to this day I don’t know where he is. Or how he is.
And I doubt that he thinks of me.
Is that sad? A little.
Max also taught me that what we do is about more than the running. Its also about learning these dogs. Learning if they like to pick up trash. Learning if they don’t like water or noisy traffic. These are things that a facility needs to know about their wards. And things that potential adopters need to know.
And while it was sad to see my buddy gone, it freed me up for….
And the cycle started all over again.
And yes…Jordan was my teacher too. But that’s another blog….