Slanc - Max - Colorado Springs, CO

Max’s story begins Labor Day weekend 2005. At age 2 ½ this puppy mill rescue and I began our journey together. From the beginning I learned that things needed to be done his way and on his timeline, not ours. Meals weren’t eaten in the kitchen but in the bedroom where he had peace and quiet. He didn’t potty when we wanted him to. We opened the door and waited for him to come out. Since he was afraid of doorways, this sometimes meant a 20-30 minute wait. Gaining his trust was the biggest issue. The first few months were spent sitting on the floor waiting, both ignoring him and finding ways to entice him to come and say hello. Nothing worked. I started to wonder if it was ever going to happen. He’d either be by the front door, peering around the corner or laying in the bedroom, just watching me.

Finally, curiosity got the better of him and he was suddenly standing next to me. I made the mistake of getting too excited and he ran right back into the bedroom. He’d come out a bit and then go back in. I started throwing treats on the floor but otherwise totally ignored him. It worked! I could tell he was still afraid because every time I raised my hand to pet him, he took off. All I could do was wonder what was his life like before being rescued.

Over time, trust developed. It always amazed me at what he was and wasn’t afraid of. I could walk him down the street and loud cars would go by and he’d have no problem. Kids laughing and coming towards us, big problem. Or a ball rolling across the lawn, he’d go running. You just never knew.

His confidence grew and I was amazed at the dog he became. He still had his quirky fears and habits but his personality also blossomed. He was a real character. He LOVED to go for walks and would goose you if he had the chance. Once he learned what to do with toys he played with them constantly.

Max didn’t like riding in cars. Our move cross country was an adventure. Every time we stopped to stretch out legs I could never get him back in again. Many a time I had to ask a stranger to help,

It was out west that Max met his “girlfriend” Jazzy, who showed him how much fun a dog can have. She taught him how to bark, which he had never done before, as well as how to doggie wrestle.

Even though Max went to The Bridge on New Year’s Even 2012 and didn’t quite make it to his 10th birthday, with the love of both his 2 and 4-legged friends I believe he did experience the joy of just being a dog.

Tina Slanc
Colorado Springs, CO
Max Berner-Garde #21824