Mums the word
Well we had completely gone mad… hadn’t we?
We’d had George 3 months and decided it would be good for him to have a pal to spend his days with while we were working as well as a playmate.
I searched the internet and almost immediately saw an advert on a website called epupz for Max. He was only 2 months older, salt and pepper and came from
Liverpool. I rang and left messages on the phone but was worried we’d missed our opportunity. The owner returned my call and we went to meet him Friday 23 March 2007.
We took George with us to decide if the two would be compatible, after all they were going to spend the rest of their life together. As soon as the lady opened the door, George started crying, a habit he has when he can smell another dog or animal. Then Max came running through from the back of the house. They were bonkers! Jumping and running around. We talked, they played, we asked questions about him and then we all went for a short walk. When we were all satisfied that George and Max were going to get on and Max was going to a good home, we exchanged money, pedigree certificate and booster card to show he was up to date.
We got in the car, I decided to sit in the back with Max and George and as George hadn’t had anything to eat, I put a little food in the bowl. Max as usual delved straight in, George snapped at Max and I parted them. I spent the rest of the journey with George and Max sat on either side of my lap.
When we arrived home, we took them another short walk and showed Max his new home. He had a look around but he was more interested in playing with George and they ‘boxed’ till the early hours of the morning, clearly a dominance issue. When we went to bed, we left them both in the kitchen, as we had always done with George. Max cried! something George hadn’t done. We left him for quite a while until I heard him scratch, went to settle him and then back to bed. After a couple of times more we all had a good nights sleep.
Next morning we took them for their morning walk but hadn’t anticipated that Max was going to pull so much. We had forgotten how bad George was when we got him. Later my hubby was going to a football match and before he did, dropped my off somewhere and we were ‘walked’ back, Max was horrendous! He was like a hyena on speed. I ached all over and George was getting increasingly fed up with Max. When we got home, George went out of the way and wouldn’t let Max settle near him. I sat and burst into tears until OH came home.
‘Had a good day?’ he asked when he came home. ‘No, he’s going back, I’ve had enough and George doesn’t like him’, I replied. ‘You know you don’t mean it, they’ll settle in time’, he smiled. Well I didn’t smile. I couldn’t believe I felt this way about him. For days George wouldn’t have anything to do with Max. If Max went to lay with him, he moved away, when we walked he wouldn’t interact with him, if I cuddled Max, George would either sulk or squeeze him off my knee. (even though they are both still jealous to a degree).
The Monday after we got him, I took him to the vets to be chipped although I still had my doubts. I didn’t want to give in. He was and still is a lovely dog and well behaved in the house and garden. We persevered and eventually George started bouncing up to Max with toys wanting to interact. I don’t think Max knew how to, and still only has small bursts of play now. He’ll pick up a toy and run round with it to tease George, occasionally fetch balls (George permitting), loves his walks and definitely his runs. I couldn’t believe after only a few days he had leaned all the tricks George did just by copying, and we even taught them both how to wave.
Now I look back, I feel guilty that I could think about him in this way, he’s so adorable! He loves attention, loves to cuddle up with George, loves to cuddle up with us and loves being part of a pack. To see his face on a walk when he can run free off his lead, keep coming back to me and waiting for approval brings a smile to my face. He can be a cheeky little devil, mouth (but not touch) a piece of furniture with that glint in his eye, as if to say, ‘if you don’t pay me attention now, the chair gets it’.
Over three years on, I think Max has come on leaps and bounds. He’s improved tremendously on the lead, can be trusted to come back off the lead and is a really loving dog. He’ll always have a mad streak but we love it and wouldn’t have him any other way.