Max, Rest in Peace

Some shelter animals and their stories stick with me like gorilla glue. Max is one of them. 

Nine years ago I got a call that the SBI needed me to come get 3 dogs at a murder scene. I could not tell anyone where I was going and why. A man had admitted to murdering his girlfriend in her home. He then bound her body in ropes and tape to stuff her in a garbage bag and hide her under trash on the back porch. It had taken 2 hours for law enforcement to get in the fenced yard and now her three dogs would not let them in the house.

There was a Rottweiler and two Australian Cattle Dogs staring down the officers. It was obvious they were protecting their master to the end. Andie McKinney and I had to sign ourselves in with the SBI. We asked the officers to step out of the fence. We caught two dogs easily but the dog we later learned was Max had to be trapped. All the dogs were exhausted from being on duty for weeks.  

We learned the victim would not remain at SafePlace because she could not bring her dogs. MCAR placed a dog kennel in days at SafePlace and offered our help.

Friends of the murderer checked on the dogs while with us. The Rotty and female Cattle Dog were easily adopted but not Max. Max was grieving and not friendly. He disliked men. He had a stare that would make anyone hesitate. Cattle Dogs are known as a one person dog. Max had lost his one person. 

Donna Collis asked her friend Lloyd Glenn to come see Max. Lloyd was hesitant. What if the killer got out and came after the dog? And him? He didn't think Max liked him. We pleaded for Lloyd to just try him. Max became Lloyd's shadow. Max shopped at Wal-Mart and helped Lloyd maintain summer homes in Little Switzerland. Max attended fire dept meetings every Monday night. Lloyd would not go on vacation for years because Max had to stay home. He finally trusted Donna to feed him for a few days. 

Max was not popular with Lloyd's friends. It was apparent to everyone that Max was not going to lose his person this time and Lloyd was not going to lose his truck. Max did his job very well. 

A new kennel was built at Safeplace. Max and Lloyd attended the dedication. Max's story of devotion was told as we talked how domestic violence hurts everyone. Lloyd was so proud of Max, who was well behaved. 

Donna let me know Max died last night. Unless you have been owned by a Cattle Dog, it would be hard to know just how Lloyd feels. I told Donna to tell him he gave Max nine good years. Lloyd replied Max gave him nine good years and for me to find him another shelter Cattle Dog. And I will. We get lots of Cattle Dogs at MCAR. R.I.P. Max. You are a good dog.

—Patricia Beam

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