Rescue Journal

saints welcomes max

Carol  ·  Jul. 21, 2007

a young and STUNNINGLY beautiful retriever chocolate lab x...imagine a chocolate retriever, or a chocolate setter, wow, he is lovely. he came up from VAS today, he was close to euth. as he had a meltdown in the kennels...a trembling mass of terrified jelly fish fur...not very adoptable and a city wide strike is looming so the staff asked if we could help him out here.

so max has arrived. he has been here for less than an hour, he is no longer terrified altho he is somewhat stressed and wondering what is happening now. he has had his first field run, off leash with me and deb and kenzie...he ran around, came when he was called, had a couple of swims, (ohhhh a pond, wahoo!!!!) briefly tried to engage kenzie in a game and is giving very great kisses. he is now segregated in the middle dog room til after his neuter which i already booked for wednsday and then there is an absolutely beautiful and wonderful dog for adoption jointly from VAS and saints (they keep him on their site and refer people on to him and i get to say yay or nay on the home.)

here is the thing about situational is self perpetuating and can eat anyone alive in the wrong place, in the wrong circumstances. dogs like max, panic in kennels...they are literally lost inside of their fear. the answer...get them out. give them some normality or whatever it is that makes them feel normal and good and safe. let them heal, it takes time, and then start introducing the things that frighten them when they have the strength and the trust and the problem solving skills borne of past success to be able to deal with what frightens them. it is not about teaching them to not be afraid, it is about giving them the trust in themselves and their caregivers and the skills they need to weather the storms of life. and that is exactly what we are good at here. none of our dogs are normal really, except here they are, and here anything that they happen to be is absolutely fine. there is a freedom in this for them, the pressure is off. and once that pressure is gone, they mostly with few exceptions, do fine.

welcome max, you are lovely and hopefully soon you will have a very great and perfect home.



You are so right about the situational fear. I went and got the "scared dog" at CAC a couple of weeks ago and she is a wonderful girl! She told me her name is Tess. She is such a very good dog... she was just scared.


anytime deb, he is a good dog. that sounds so mundane, but it is the best and most respectful compliment i can give them. when the saints dogs pass, i always tell them as they go that they are good dogs because that is what they are meant to be. he is playing with a little stuffie tonight, he will be just fine.


Max was a different dog when he walked through the gate at SAINTS. I had promised him that he was going to a place where nobody would hurt him, a place where he would be loved and protected, but this is a dog I had to carry from the tree to which he was tethered by a 3 foot rope and a chain directly around his neck to my truck when he was impounded, because he was trembling too hard to walk. He was absolutely overcome by terror. I knew that Max could recover if Carol could find room for him at SAINTS. I know that almost any animal can overcome almost any hurdle if he/she is one of the lucky ones, but I did not think, could not have imagined that Max would change so dramatically just by walking through the gate. He swam, and I saw the puppy he must have been. He ran, and I saw the dog he will become. I saw him look at Carol, I saw him make eye contact, and I saw him relax. I saw Carol look at him with compassion, and my heart felt lighter than it has any day since I brought Max into the shelter.
Max is a beautiful, magical dog. He has landed in the very best place I could have chosen for him. I promised him that things would be better, that not every human is a bastard, that terror is not the only emotion he would ever know. He believed me. Thanks for giving this gorgeous boy a chance at life, Carol.


to go to a place like saints untill they find a perfect forever home.


yay Max. at saints you will learn that not everyone and everything is big and scary. you will learn who you really are and eventually you will start to trust yourself and others.

all homeless dogs should be so lucky to be able


Welcome Max, you sound like beautiful fella. What a wondeful place you've landed in. I can't wait to see pictures.

Chris T

Thank you so much for taking him Carol. I know he will thrive at SAINTS!!