Yoo hoo out there…it’s me, Max Get Outta There. It’s been a few weeks since you’ve heard from me, so I hope you haven’t forgotten me. I know it’s been a busy time in Brookline land, with lots of puppers making safe landings in way cool foster homes. Yay!
I’ve been pretty busy recently too. I was tentatively matched with an adoptive family three weeks ago, but we needed to sort out some health questions before we could do an official introduction. While we were waiting on those issues we decided it would be a good idea for me to meet the resident dog in the family that had been matched with me. So we had a meeting two weeks ago. To FM’s great surprise and dismay, it wasn’t the success she had expected.
I must confess I wouldn’t have won any awards for congeniality that day. As FM put it, I was pretty bossy around that dog, who was supposed to become my fur-sister. She was very sweet and submissive and she quickly decided she should just try to avoid me. Her family decided I probably wouldn’t be a good fit for them, so my match became un-matched.
I’m not much inclined to explain myself, so FM isn’t quite sure why I didn’t hit it off with that nice dog who could have become my sister. She’ll be talking to some people who might have some ideas on that and she’s hoping to know more by the time I’m officially available again. She’s wondering whether I might be best suited for a home where I’m the only dog, but she thinks that’s sort of up in the air right now.
I was pretty excited to finally see some snow on the ground around here. FM has to walk me on a leash in this neighborhood, but she could tell I was excited about the snow. Must have something to do with the way I was running and bouncing around and acting generally silly. I really hope we’ll have a bunch more of that snow pretty soon. I could tell the FM liked it too. I think if there had been a little more of it, FM would have been doing some bouncing herself. Wouldn’t that be fun! Maybe next time…
I’ll be checking in again soon, to let you know when I’ll be officially available. Meanwhile, I will be at the Meet & Greet at the PetValu in Richboro, on Feb. 12. FM expects we will be there from about 11:30 till 3:00. Maybe I’ll see you there!
xoxo Max Get-Outta-There
January 15, 2017
First: We want to send out thanks to everyone who had any role in yesterday’s meet & greet. We both had a great time and we were bowled over by the amazing congeniality of every person and pupper from Brookline, every visitor, and Sue and her staff at Pabby’s. What a complete love fest!
Second: I want to close the loop on my earlier promise to identify a signature move of my very own. This is it: My habit of leaning and rubbing with great gusto against the legs of everyone I meet. Those who attended the meet & greet know how well I execute that move. (I’ve been practicing on FM since I arrived here.) Everyone who was there yesterday went home with a tangible reminder of me: a large accumulation of my fur on their clothing. I just wanted to be sure they would all remember me!
Third: We want to share photos from last evening. FM and I were hanging out having a nice conversation about the day’s events, but I just couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer and I conked out. FM says she wasn’t offended. She knows I did have a very busy day. And she thought my sleepy-time photos were a nice conclusion to a nice day.
And… saving the best for last: I am officially AVAILABLE.
FM has set my last call for 9:00 PM, Friday, January 20.
Post-script from FM: Many thanks to everyone who has taken an interest in Max GOT and his journey. He’s looking forward to starting the next chapter of his story. And I’m looking forward to receiving applications for him from now till Friday evening at 9:00.
Thank you so much!
Max Get-Outta-There and Coleen
January 12, 2017
Hello again, Brookline, from your Buddy Max GOT. I think I’m long overdue for an update to you, so I apologize in advance if this gets to be a long letter. (Ummm…maybe not… That advance apology is a nice formality, but really, don’t you wonder how sincere it is when someone apologizes in advance and then goes ahead and does whatever he wants to do anyway? And that’s what I’m doing with this update. But I digress…)
I have so much to tell you! First, you may remember that when I last wrote to you I was about to start doggie daycare. So FM and I showed up that first morning and quickly found out that there was a nasty little surprise in store: I was expected to start my day by spending some quiet time in one of those crates that’s built into the wall, like the ones in the vet’s office. All the other puppers there do that every day. Well!! I was having none of it. There was simply no way I intended to spend any time in that crate thing. FM even tried to coax me by getting into the crate herself. That just made me more determined: I saw how utterly silly and ridiculous she looked in there and I resolved that I would never permit such an assault on my dignity. So the daycare people realized I deserved better and they allowed me to spend my quiet time in a spacious kennel run.
That was the way things were handled during that first week, but then came another unpleasant surprise: During the weeks of the holidays the kennels were needed for the dogs who were boarding there, so I couldn’t be accommodated. So we ended up skipping day care for those weeks. We just haven’t gotten back to it. BUT I can tell you that I did well while I was there. I got along with the other dogs and the day care people enjoyed my company, and everyone just had a great time. So we know that day care would be a nice option in the future if my furever family decides to enroll me.
Oh, I do want to tell you that after my refusal to do the crate thing at daycare, FM set up her crate at home, to help me get used to the idea. Now THAT was a different story. I went into the crate immediately, snuggled up with a blankie and pillow she had given me, and didn’t even come out when it was bedtime. I stayed in that crate all night, went right back in after our morning walk, and just showed FM how WELL I can do the crate when it suits me. FM thinks the blankie and the pillow may have been the big attraction there. I’ll never tell… The important thing is that I am totally fine with the crate. It just has to meet my exacting standards!
About a week before Christmas I gave FM a little scare when I ate part of a soup bone. I had lots of bones and antlers and toys and Nylabones around, and I was chewing randomly on all of them when FM noticed that part of a small soup bone was missing. Uh oh. And when I started having some belly problems the next day AND I vomited up a piece of bone she decided we needed to check in with the vet. It turned into a bit of what you humans might call a fire drill, with a fair amount of driving around and consulting here and there, so here’s the abbreviated version: I had some xrays that showed I did indeed have some bone in my belly, including one fairly good-sized piece. But the five (yes, FIVE) vets who consulted on it agreed it could be managed with just some medicine. It turns out that in many cases the bone will be dissolved by the action of stomach acid. That was the case with me. So all was well.
My take-away for other puppers out there: If you want a day or so of LOTS of time and undivided attention from your humans, eat a bone. The results are nothing short of amazing. And you’ll probably end up with some nice meals of freshly-prepared chicken and rice as a bonus. Interestingly, it seems humans aren’t too crazy about that attention-getting scheme: there is not a single bone to be found in our house anymore. I’m having to settle for Nylabones and antlers and treat-dispensing toys now, but they’re not bad at all.
My newest little habit is one that makes FM laugh, so I’m encouraged to keep doing it: When we come in from our evening walk I know that dinner is the next item on the agenda. I’m so happy and excited I start dancing in circles and then take off for several laps of zoomies around the living room and dining room. It’s a great prelude to dinner and it guarantees that we’re both in a happy mood to start the evening. FM wishes she could show you on a video, but I move so fast it’s really hard to capture.
I haven’t abandoned my interest in exploring around the house. After all, I do have to uphold my name: Max Get-Outta-There. But FM thinks the exploring has tapered off quite a bit with the passage of time. That’s probably due in part to the more limited availability of stuff for me to explore, but she thinks I’ve gotten more settled too. I agree. I will, however, still steal things when the opportunity presents itself, especially smaller items that are easy to grab: mittens, socks, small towels, etc. Boy, do I LOVE socks!
I’ve recently reminded FM that I still intend to protect some stolen items, especially if I get on the bed or the sofa with them. She knows that, but a couple of weeks ago she tried to take something I was guarding while I was on the bed, and I grabbed for it. I nipped her wrist in the process. Ooohh, boy, did I ever feel bad about that. FM says she knows she broke her own rule about not trying to take things from me in those situations. Still, that was a really regrettable moment for both of us. FM says she remains convinced that my ideal furever family should not have young kids, because she thinks it will be too hard them to stick to The Rule, and the risk of another regrettable moment is too great. So, I guess I will be shopping for a family that won’t have young kids on the scene.
While we’re on the subject of shopping for my furever family, let me tell you my thoughts on what sort of family and home that might be:
First: It’s really, really important that my new family understand about my need to guard and protect certain stuff, under certain circumstances. That tends to be stuff that I’ve stolen, especially if I bring it with me onto the bed or sofa, which I consider “my” spaces. My family’s understanding about this will mean that I’m not living with younger kids and don’t have regular exposure to them at my house. It will mean that my family knows and sticks to The Rule about not trying to take things from me when I’m guarding them. It will also mean that we will work together with a professional trainer, to get guidance and direction so that we can avoid regrettable moments.
My ideal family will remember that there’s a reason I’m named Max Get-Outta-There. They will know that I do like to explore and I love to take things that don’t belong to me. FM thinks I do that mostly to get attention, since I’m usually more active with my explorations when she’s around. I can tell you this: it works. It does get FM’s attention! My next “ideal family” item is related to this:
My ideal family will understand how much it means to me to have physical and mental stimulation. That could come from doggie daycare, or someone who’s at home a lot (and willing to provide the play and exercise I need), or regular playdates with other dogs. Or maybe another dog living with me. My FM says she has no specific information about how well I might do living with another dog, but I will tell you that I’m good with dogs we meet on my walks and I did well in doggie daycare.
Speaking of my walks, FM thinks I should mention that I walk nicely on a leash, with my Freedom harness, except when I see a rabbit. Then I will pull hard if the rabbit is sitting still, and I’ll lunge and try to bolt if the rabbit is moving. Whoever is on the other end of my leash will need to able to hang on tight and make sure their feet are firmly planted. That will be especially important at night, as I can see those bunnies when a mere human can’t see them!
So, with all that said, FM wants to chime in here…
Max has a lot to say, as usual (hee hee), but here are a couple of things he hasn’t told you about himself: He’s very, very sweet and he really loves his people. He did mention about being affectionate, and that is certainly true. He’s a lover! He’s funny and smart and has so many endearing little behaviors and facial expressions (yes, truly!) it’s easy to fall under his spell. He is a character! I will be sad to send him on his way to his new family, but I know he’ll be a wonderful companion and a constant source of amusement and amazement. He will be officially available in the next couple of days, and I’ll be seeking applications from all who are interested in adopting him.
December 12, 2016
Good evening to my fellow Brookline pups and peeps! I have a little news to share with you: I passed my entrance exam for doggie daycare today. Yay! I must say I’m feeling pretty proud of myself.
So the exam started with a math section. It was laughably easy: just some basic counting and some really simple calculations. I think it must have been designed for those with very minimal ability. I think even a cat could have managed it pretty well. I have developed some more advanced math skills, which enable me to keep track of how many treats FM still has up her sleeve when she’s doling them out one by one. So the math section was a breeze.
Then came the vocabulary and reading comprehension sections. Ha! I know it sounds boastful, but I totally crushed those parts of the test. As you might know, words and language arts are my strong suit. I actually enjoyed the opportunity to show off my abilities. The daycare people were clearly impressed. I told them that some credit would have to go to my FM, as she really does encourage my development in this area. She tells me she enjoys our conversations about favorite books and interesting, unusual words. It’s paying off!
Then we moved on to the logic games part of the exam. Ugh! That was by far my least favorite part. FM tells me she’s always found those tests the most challenging herself. I really wondered whether that section would hurt me, but I think my strong performance in the other areas must have carried me.
And THEN: The social skills section. I’m glad that came last, because it was totally a party! What fun! I got to meet the other dogs, and show off my butt-sniffing technique, and do a little running around, chasing toys, and just enjoying myself. The daycare people told me that my days will be filled with social interactions with other dogs and with some people too. Woo hoo! This will be awesome.
So bright and early tomorrow I’ll show up for my first day in day care. FM says the plan is for me to spend Tuesdays and Thursdays at daycare. I can’t wait! I will need to get to bed on time tonight, so I’m fresh for my big day tomorrow.
The photo I’ve attached here is one that captures my pensive side very nicely, I think. I brought it along with me today for my entrance exam, so the daycare people could see my seriousness of purpose. I thought they should know I’m no lightweight!
Wish me luck tomorrow! This is the start of something important. I think FM is pretty excited about it too, though she’s trying to play it cool. I’ll be sure to keep everyone posted…
xoxo Max G-O-T
December 7, 2016 Max is very proud of his recent endeavors in the field of interior design. In the first photo he’s hard at work. In the second he’s resting from his labors. He wants you to know he did this all by himself, with no help from anyone.
December 1, 2016
Let me start with my exciting trip to the Orvis event in Marlton on November 19. That was so much fun I could hardly contain myself. We began with a great car ride on two turnpikes: one in PA and one in NJ. We ended up at this fabulous shopping place where the stores are all outdoors, with lots of walking-around areas and trees and stuff. It was the most beautiful day, there were hordes of people around and our event drew beaucoup BLRR dogs and their peeps. (How do you like that little French I tossed in there?)
We were set up directly outside the Orvis store, where there was a nice big area with benches and stuff. We had an amazing number of visitors. They were able to hang out and get to know all of us BLRR fur-kids, and find out more about Brookline. So here’s what they found out about ME: I love everyone. And I love doing what labs like best: retrieving. I had a great time retrieving things from people’s shopping bags. While they were standing around talking or even just walking by, I was able to zero in on their bags and very skillfully latch onto whatever was on top. Luckily for FM I was very cooperative about not keeping the things I “found.” And the shoppers were laughing about it. The other thing people discovered about me was that I’m obsessed with the BLRR fleece tug toys. There were plenty of pilfering opportunities and I took full advantage!
FM and I took a stroll around the shopping center (The Promenade, s’il vous plait!) and had a chance to meet shoppers everywhere we went. So it turns out the people who shop at L.L. Bean really like big yellow labs. I had some great visits with those shoppers, and some of them then headed down to Orvis, to meet the rest of the crew. What a great time! What a great day!
Then we fast forward to Thanksgiving day, when FM had some family members over for dinner. I started out thinking it would be a bummer of a day, because FM had put up baby gates at the doorways to the kitchen. But it turned out there was no shortage of amusement for me. FM got out a nice new tablecloth for the dining room table. As she was putting it on the table I just jumped right up there (all four paws, naturally) to inspect the scene. FM made this little shriek I had never heard before, and I figured I’d better get down. She told me I was channeling another foster who lived here a few years back, named Jackie. Apparently Jackie achieved some notoriety for her table-jumping antics. So my little athletic feat wasn’t quite the novelty one would think.
After the company arrived I made a terrific discovery: the sofa! It has been there all along, but I never paid any attention to it until FM’s family sat on it. That’s when I realized what a treasure it is! I now spend every spare minute there, and I sleep there at night, rather than joining FM in her bed. I’ve discovered that the most efficient way to get on and off is to just leap over the back. It’s faster, and so much more graceful than dashing around to the front to get to the best spot. FM tells me I’m channeling ANOTHER foster, Rocky, in that little maneuver. So-o-o my objective now is to come up with a special “move” that is all my own. Brookline puppers: feel free to share any ideas you may have. I know FM is just holding her breath in anticipation of what I might do. Hee hee!
A couple of words from FM: Max seems to have settled into a nice routine. He’s not getting into so many things, but I don’t know whether that’s because he’s a little more chill or because I have taken so much of the “fun stuff” and stashed it out of reach.
I have noticed that his explorations have started to include tabletops and countertops. In the last several days before the baby gates went up he was beginning to check out the kitchen table and take maybe one item each day while I was out. I think he would have started raiding the counters if the gates hadn’t gone up.
I’m planning on starting Max in day care pretty soon. I’ll be eager to see what effect that has on his explorations. I’m hoping the physical and mental exercise will be beneficial. Stay tuned…!
xoxo from Max GOT and FM
November 13, 2016
Yoo hoo-o-o Brookline Buddies! It’s me, Max Get-Outta-There. Here’s an interesting little tidbit for you: the short form for my special name is Max GOT. Foster Mom thinks that fits me just as well as the longer, more formal version. Really, I can’t imagine why she would think so.
At one point during the week she was talking about making my name even longer:
She changed her mind, but she said the only reason was that the folks who make those doggy ID tags would never be willing put such a long name on a tag. Can you imagine the size of a tag big enough for such a name? It would be like a small license plate. Of course my big, blocky head would have no trouble handling that!… Anyway, back to more newsworthy stuff…
Dana the trainer came to visit with us yesterday. I really like her. She kept telling me how handsome I am, and she told FM that I’m very smart. Of course it’s a good thing I’m smart (and no surprise to me), but what’s really needed here is a smart foster mom. After all, Dana was here because FM needs training. So it went well. FM is working on the “leave it” concept, and I’m helping her, by playing along and taking the treats she dispenses. Yesterday it was string cheese. Today it was Jarlsberg. Who knows what tomorrow may bring??
You may know that the original reason for asking Dana to come over was the concern about resource guarding. That hasn’t been much of an issue at all. Apart from one instance of a small grumble last weekend, there’s been no sign of it. FM is glad about that, but she thinks (and Dana agrees) that it would still be best if my furever family doesn’t include kids younger than about 12. An additional reason for that is that I am pretty big and strong, and there would definitely be a knock-down factor with little people.
My goodie box from Brookline arrived on Tuesday. That Carolyn sure has a knack for picking out great things for foster dogs! She sent this beautiful golden leash and matching collar. They are quite exceptional! And a fleece scarf, and a bandana, and a bowtie(!), a rope toy and a fleece tug, and a busy buddy and several balls. And an amazing bowl that has all these weird lumps on the inside, to keep me from eating too fast. Probably the most immediately exciting thing was a baggie filled with the most scrumptious peanut butter treats. I found it at the bottom of the box and I pulled it out right away and ran with it into the living room. FM was concerned that I might not respond well if she tried to take it, so she allowed me to keep it. I ate the whole thing, except for one piece that dropped out during my mad dash. FM kept that as a consolation prize. Or something.
After that I was pretty charged up. I came back to the box and I found that FM had taken out a bunch of the things, but she left the tugs and toys. So I grabbed the rope toy and tore up the cardboard tag that was attached to it. Then, onto bigger things: I tore up the box itself, along with the packing paper. I guess I should confess I do have this compulsion to tear things up. FM is hoping to re-direct that energy into other kinds of amusement, like the interactive toys. I think she has the right idea. I expect I’ll be seeing more of those in the near future! And I do want to make it clear that my mischief happens only when FM is around. I’m still a very good boy all day when FM is at work. I just sleep on her bed. All day.
Take a look at my picture! FM took that one today. I know I look pretty serious, but it was serious business: I was waiting for a treat! It was worth it: Jarlsberg cheese! So I’m ready to sign off for now, but FM has a couple of comments of her own…
So about the potential extension to Max’s name…it has been a fairly challenging week, but we’re improving. I think. He is in some ways very puppy-like in his unceasing explorations, meaning he is almost constantly on the prowl for things that fit (more or less) into his mouth. Dana gave me some tips for the situations that will continue to arise when he gets into things he shouldn’t have. The biggie is to keep some excellent treats available at various places in the house, so we can trade a treat for whatever Max happens to have in his mouth. And for now, it’s wise to continue removing the temptations and putting them someplace where he can’t get them.
She pointed out that some of these behaviors improve as the dog becomes more settled and secure. Max hasn’t had much stability lately, and hasn’t lived any length of time in a home setting since he was surrendered a couple of months ago. So we’re giving him time to settle and find a routine. He is truly a love. I am looking forward to seeing him continue to blossom.
November 7, 2016
Hi, Brookline Buddies! It’s me Max. Guess what? I have an additional name now! FM thought that since my first name is so short I should have a middle name too. So here’s my new combined name: Max Get-Outta-There!! Yay! I think I like the sound of it.
I had a good day today. We got off to a slow start. We woke up pretty early but FM decided she didn’t feel like going running, so we just had a leisurely couple of hours, including a nice walk. I was feeling pretty well refreshed after my early walk and my good sleep last night (on FM’s bed) so I resumed my indoor exploring. FM’s master bedroom turned out to be a great place for that. And as it happens, we had lots of opportunities to try out my new name. I think FM likes that name even more than I do. Eventually FM left for church. I headed back to bed (FM’s bed) and she found me there, still sleeping, when she came home from church. Good thing I wasn’t hired to be a watch-dog!
She went out again for a little while and when she came home the second time I was on the main level of the house. And I was awake. FM was happy to see that I hadn’t messed with anything while she was out either time during the morning. Here’s an odd thing: I’m noticing that, bit by bit, things are disappearing around here. The hanging towels are all gone. Three big dog beds have disappeared–pffft–into thin air. (I am really disappointed about that, as those were excellent for my chewing and tearing exercise.) Some open boxes and baskets had looked very inviting, but those are gone too. It’s getting to be more of a challenge to find stuff to explore, but I want FM to know I’m up to the challenge. It just takes FOCUS and good powers of observation.
Anyway, we had another nice walk after FM came back the second time. Once again I was a good walker, taking care of business with no muss, no fuss. Then we hung around in the house a while before FM went out for a third time. She was gone almost three hours (I know because I was listening to the clock chiming) and I spent that time snoozing on her bed. Luckily I was awake when she came in. We had yet another nice walk, and then dinner. And I’ve spent a good chunk of the evening chewing on the bones and antlers that are now scattered all over the living room and dining room. A bonus: I found a nice trove of kindling and thoroughly enjoyed breaking one stick into little bitty pieces. Somehow the rest of them seem to have disappeared.
So here’s what I learned today: 1. I can get the hamper lid off and get a bunch of socks out, without much trouble. 2. Socks seem to be a high-value treat for FM. She’s always willing to offer me something good in exchange for even one sock. And I like to deal in multiples. 3. The best way to get FM to use my new extra-long name is to keep working on my exploring skills. I’m not sure why those things are connected, but I think they are. 4. Life is good!
xoxo Max Get-Outta-There
November 5, 2016
I picked up Max first thing this morning from Pabby’s. They were truly sorry to see him go. We’ve had a tiring day, even with a nap in the middle. The end of Daylight Saving Time is well-timed. I think we’ll both appreciate the extra hour of sleep tonight. Max is napping now, but he dictated his report before he dozed off:
Hi to all my Brookline buddies! I have started a new chapter in my journey, after a very good stay at Pabby’s. My FM brought me to her house early today. We stopped at Starbucks on the way home. At the drive-through window there was a nice lady who commented about how cute and handsome I am. You know, I never get tired of hearing things like that! She went on to say she has a yellow lab, and it turns out his name is Max too! I guess my name is not exactly rare in the dog world.
Right after we arrived at FM’s we went for a walk, about a mile. We met several of the neighborhood dogs and their people. They had all known Gracie and they were happy to meet me. FM thought I may have been just a tad over-eager in meeting all those puppers, but it went really well. I was very good with my leash-walking. The only times I pulled hard were when I was trying to meet one of the new dogs. I’m using Gracie’s old Freedom harness, but it’s really too small…apparently I’m a good bit bigger than she was. A new harness of my very own is on its way to me now.
We went for a second one-mile walk around lunchtime, and then after our nap we took a ride in the car, with a couple of stops at the dry cleaner and the Acme. We went for a third walk right before dinner. It was great, even though I didn’t see so many dogs on the later walks. I had my dinner and did some major lurking at the table while FM was eating her own dinner. I did eventually just lie down nearby, and I could tell FM was very pleased about that.
FM is noticing that I’m happiest when I have something in my mouth. My favorite things are textiles. (Who knew??) I love towels, all the stuffed toys, FM’s sweatshirt, socks, and one of the dog beds. Really, anything fabric is right up my alley. Failing that, plastic bags, plastic caps and lids, plastic flower pots and a spool of thread are decent substitutes. FM has persuaded me to give them up to her every time I’ve grabbed them. I have forced her to take every last thing off the coffee table, which she says was a long overdue job. And all of the stuffed toys have somehow disappeared. Hmm… too bad! I was busy tearing them apart, and it was quite enjoyable.
I do have an impressive supply of bones and antlers and hard chew toys, and I have a tug toy, which I’m trying hard to destroy. I’m really pretty happy with the toys, which is a lucky thing, since FM is quickly eliminating a lot of the other stuff I was sampling around here. I think she’s a bit of a kill-joy that way.
So that’s it for now. I will make sure FM shares some more info sometime tomorrow.
Final note from FM: Max is snoring here in the dining room. He has been go-go-go all day, and I guess he’s worn out. I will take him out again now, as he’s been drinking a lot and I know he’ll need to pee. He is a love, with a very expressive face. I’ll be trying to capture that in some photos, but not tonight!
-Foster Mom and Max