I first saw Max chilling out in the quiet and dark horse stable barn, away from the hustle and bustle of the other dogs, at our local rescue vet’s home (Julie). It had rained heavily previously so he was muddy and a little smelly -but those eyes! He gives the most piercing stares as if there is an older man in there weighing you up!

Max is supposed to be an older dog, judging by his teeth. However, once I brought him home I saw the wild, playful, confused and willful Mad Max emerge. He’s posed a few challenges but, knowing his background and given a little time, in the last six months he’s become a loved member of the pack and my animal family. My Mom frequently comments that she’d adopt him from me if she could. Ummm… sorry Mom, no chance!!!

Max has short legs, our favourite game now as we walk down the dog paddock is for me to sing out “Max! Let’s find the rest of your legs!”. Off he races to chase something in great excitement that we’re going for a search ‘n hunt walk!

It’s a far cry from the night that Julie found and rescued him. She’d been alerted to an abandoned dog and went out into the dark to look for him.

You can see the distended belly from severe malnutrition (like Cindy’s).

It appears that people around here intentionally dump their dogs with a rope leash. The idea is to make it look like the dog escaped. In reality the rope was intentionally severed. A dog that gets free of a rope it’s tied to knows how to get back home – especially when starving and dying from parasites. Max was starving and being eating alive from the inside and outside by severe parasite infestations. They were so severe that it’s obvious to anyone he had them a long time. The cretin that dumped him simply couldn’t be bothered to use very simple and cheap (even free!) methods to rid him of them. It a very slow, painful and cruel death for a dog.

Some of the parasites Julie removed while Max was under anesthetic. His left ear was so bad partial amputation was needed to leave a clean edge. His treatment continued for weeks.

Max lived with Julie’s rescue dogs for a long time. Someone adopted him but he ran back to Julie’s home. Though he wasn’t happy being around so many dogs (which is why he was chilling in the quiet dark stable alone with only one other shy dog) he preferred the rescue home. That’s why Julie suggested him to me and although I didn’t know his back story I said “Yes!” immediately. She later sent me the above photo and video – it was clear he needed a real home.

Max recovering at the rescue home under Julie’s care. The stitches in his left ear are visible.

Today Max lives by three rules:

1. Pee on a tree, not my outdoor furniture!

2. Play with your buddies.

3. Chill on our sofa in the doggy sun lounge.

He’s a really sweet dog and has figured out how to wrestle with the others according to their size and limitations. He’ll often mouth-wrestle with Trixie who can’t play as energetically as she’d like due to her limited mobility. Then rough and tumble with highly energetic little Amber. He loves affection but also his own space. To me that proves he’s never been a problem animal and has always been a doggo worth being decently cared for.