Surprisingly he was still very friendly . . . to me! When it came to men (including Lee) he was very unsure. Once in the beginning Lee had raised his voice at the TV and Max just started peeing, he was so scared. That was the first moment we realized how 'damaged' he was.
Another thing we had noticed was that he had NO idea what toys were. We would buy him cute little dog toys and he wouldn't even touch them. He never ran (unless he was scared), and he never played.
Another issue was eating, he wouldn't take food from us. We would have to walk away from him while he ate and he would very tentatively pick at his food. Clearly he has gotten over that issue:
Slowly but surely he got better, he stopped peeing in the house about 6 months after we got him, he stopped being scared at loud voices about a year after that (although he still hates it if Lee raises his arms into the air, seriously he jumps up and barks at him until he puts them back down). He's now obsessed with toys, and will steal food right out of your mouth if you're not looking. And very slowly his separation anxiety went away, once he realized that we'd always come back he stopping being upset!
I realize that not everyone is able to adopt a rescue right now (we aren't in a position to do it again right now) but there are still lots of things that you can do to help the cause. Here's 13 of mine:
- Donate old towels, and sheets to our local shelter.
- Donate old toys to local rescue groups for other small dogs like the rescue group we adopted Max from: Little Paws Rescue.
- Donate time to take photos of shelter dogs. Sometimes the difference between getting adopted and getting euthanized is a good photo.
- Buy a Puppy Mills Bite T-shirt from The Fleas Knees Tees.
- Instead of Christmas Cards, save that money, send out Christmas Emails and donate the money saved to a local shelter.
- Promote Project 13! ;)
- Share profiles of adoptable animals on facebook. You never know when a photo will result in a forever home.
- Take part in more adoption events at Petsmart and Bosley's.
- Continue to donate to Little Paws Silent Auctions and fundraising events.
- Never Ever shop at stores that sell puppies or Kittens! NEVER EVER! Not even to pick up a toy, not even to spend a penny.
- Consider fostering another dog. A few years ago we fostered the sweetest wire haired chihuahua named Chewy. We fell so madly in love with him it broke our hearts. We still talk about him at least once a week! We said we couldn't do it again, but time heals all wounds and we're thinking that for short term fosters we might be able to do it!
- Consider fostering a Bird. Dogs aren't the only animals that need help! We adopted our Canary, Carson, from Greyhaven Bird rescue when he was just a little chickadee. Greyhaven receives many many birds that need foster homes. We could definitely do that!
- Lastly, share Max's story! I will always consider Max a huge success story! He overcame so much to become the amazing dog he is today and I know that when he passes I will have no regrets about his final years with us.
*if you decide to do your own 13 list feel free to link up to Pretty Fluffy's Link Party!