First Time (that I know of) Dad

I’d like to introduce the newest member of my family – Maximus (I did not choose the name, but he responds to it already, so he’s keeping it).

He was found wandering the streets of Chicago by a friend of my coworker. He had tags on, so my coworker called the owners to see how he ended up here. They moved to Indiana a short time ago, and left the dog in the care of their friend. They had been trying to sell him on Craigslist for some time, but nobody took them up on the offer. Their friend, apparently, was not able to keep him contained.

After some convincing, the original owners let my coworker hang on to him so he didn’t end up in the shelter. He arrived at the animal hospital where I work around the same time I did. He was dog reactive and endlessly barked and howled every time he was put into a kennel. He got used to the hospital after a while, but never quite adjusted to being put into a small run. He’d bark at me when I came through doors, presumably because he just didn’t know what was up with me. I looked right at him, I wasn’t scared of him, and I was male (with the exception of one doctor, the entirety of the staff is female).

After weeks of him being at the hospital, he was put onto an adoption site. Around the same time, he became interested in me. He’d check in on whatever I was doing any time he was wondering the hospital. At some point, he started to run up to me and nuzzle his face into my side until I pet him. I bent down, and he pushed his head into my shoulder. I heard about potential homes for him, and I felt saddened by the thought of him leaving.

“Alright,” I thought, “Let’s take you home and see how you do.”

I took him home three nights ago, and he seemed immediately relieved to be home. I don’t have any other animals living with me besides my cousin, so he has run of the place when we’re not home. He’s neutered, vaccinated, and house trained. He’s a little over one, 72.6 pounds of muscle, has tons of energy, and is easily frightened as a result of his shitty upbringing. He loves to snuggle, but he assumes you (and that safety cone and that water spigot and that dog over there) are out to get him. He goes fucking nuts for squirrels.

He is a lot. He is too much. He just enough. He is mine, and I love him.

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