Yes, I bought him from a pet store at the mall.
It’s not for lack of research, but it was an intentional decision. I know it’s not a great place to buy a dog. But it’s a place where dogs lie in wait, in puppy purgatory, and those dogs need families too.
Max’s tale is a classic story of The Puppy Nobody Wanted. He had a cold for a few of his early weeks, and this took him off the market for a bit, since very few people want to get a dog with a snotty nose. When he was well and ready to go back on the selling block, he was too big to be the itty-bitty, pocket-size puppy that most new owners want.
Some might say he was lethargic in his kennel, but I say he was lonely. Because when I asked to hold him, he came to life in my arms. He just needed somebody to say, “Hey, we like you.”
The boys pleaded with me as we visited him in the dressing room that is a puppy meet ‘n greet, or they could call it Cupid’s Corner where you’re destined to fall in love. I pretended that they were convincing me, although I had decided as soon as I saw him: that boy is coming home with us today.
I have this theory. Employees at an animal shelter work there because they have such compassion that cannot be contained, and they simply must spend their days caring for orphaned pets, because anything else would be a crime against nature.
In a pet store at the mall, the employee is typically poorly trained, hates his job, and will just as likely wear a different uniform and offer me a piece of Japanese chicken on a toothpick in the food court next week. So I venture to say that animals in the pet store need love even more than those in an animal shelter.
Dogs at an animal shelter have names and friends. Dogs at the mall have a serial number and price tag.
Sure, he could have some health problems we don’t know about. But that is true of any breathing thing you commit to love, even those who come with certificates and guarantees.
So, did we buy Max, or did we adopt him, or rescue him? Yes.
And he is the most perfect creature for our family. His kind was bred to sit at the feet of the queen, so he has a gentle, docile disposition, he’s content for little boys to hand him back and forth, and if you’re thinking of a game of fetch, he’s likely to look at you like, “What. You threw it, you go get it.”
Even now, he’s sitting next to me as I write, lying on his side between my lap and the couch.
Max spent most of last evening climbing from one lap to another, feeling like maybe he had really arrived in heaven. If dog heaven is about food and love and a warm place to rest your head, then yes, Max. You’ve arrived.
“Mommy, thank you so, so, so much for letting us get a dog.”
You’re welcome, guys. But actually, I think I got him for me.
p.s. H. is for House.
You may own Maxwell now, but he will soon own you…he’s one of God’s created, given the unconditional love, forgiveness, and loyal friendship qualities that God also wishes His created humans to display on His behalf. Dogs do it so much better though. Love him well as one of God’s own-one day you will worship your Creator together. Revelations 5:13-14.
My daughter and I actually got to see this scene from a sitting area outside the pet shop! We saw you and your boys walk into the pet shop and I told my daughter, ” hey, I follow her blog” and then we saw you looking at.a dog and wondered if he would go home with you that day:
We went inside the pet shop to look at the puppies and saw you in the “cozy corner” enjoying your new found lo ve. The smile on the boys’ face said it all!!:)
Enjoy your new family member.
Love his middle name
There could be so many sermons and stories written about the “unconditional love” and “patience” a pet brings to you. So happy for you, Tricia…..
omg…i laughed out loud at your “p.s.” :) what an adorable, lucky dog :)
You are such a great writer! I am in love with Max just by reading about him!
Dogs aren’t cheap, no matter where you get them from. But I love a house with a warm furry body in it. This summer our family is living with our in-laws while we look for a house (thanks for the rec for Trelora, btw). But our puppy, Penny, has to stay with my parents. We miss her a lot. Just a couple more weeks!
Welcome to the Williford family, Maxwell!