Uncle Max was welcomed to Old Dog Heaven on January 31st, 2021 as a perky 11-year-old Border Collie mix. His family in Utah became unable to care for him. I arranged transportation with the amazing people at Simply Diego's who helped shuttle Uncle Max to Old Dog Heaven!
Uncle Max is an unusual adoption for Old Dog Heaven in that, apart from some skin allergies and joint issues, he appears to be in good health. Instead, Uncle Max has behavior issues. He must have been traumatized at one point when riding in a car because he cries and howls in fear as soon as the car starts until the engine cuts off. It is also clear that Uncle Max was hit. He is always flinching and cowering at sudden movements, and he expresses his fear or displeasure through biting. Also, whoever had Uncle Max as a young dog did not work with him: he is extremely smart, but not obedient as Border Collies tend to be. We are working on things and he has made great progress!
Uncle Max loves to go on walks, chase tennis balls, and snuggle at night. His favorite toy is a fishing line with nothing on it: he loves to grab at it! He is a quirky little thing with his funny-looking ears and his getting worked up at the skateboards riding by in the neighborhood. He is a kooky boy who just wants to go-go-go. Uncle Max keeps me on my toes and he teaches me a lot about patience and love. He always makes me laugh and his gentlest little kisses make my day. He is a welcome addition to Old Dog Heaven!
Max has come a long way since coming to Old Dog Heaven. When I first brought him home, he wouldn't let me pet him anywhere but his head; he wouldn't let me kiss his face; and he would never kiss me. Now he lets me (carefully) scratch him all over, smooch up and down his snout, and he loves to give the sweetest, most gentle kisses over my cheeks and nose to show his affection. We have bonded deeply and he has blessed Old Dog Heaven with his love.
In January 2022, Uncle Max was diagnosed with stage II kidney disease after just one year at Old Dog Heaven. The good news is that he held steady until October 2023, when he was diagnosed with mitral valve dysfunction which leads to congestive heart failure. This is a very serious condition, giving him only a few months to live. I had to cease playing fetch with him because it would be too stressful on his heart. He went on two very powerful drugs, one to make his heart beat harder to overcome fluid build up, and the other to drain the fluid from his lungs. That second drug was very hard on his already-diseased kidneys. Toward the end, he was up all night coughing and having to urinate constantly, which required that he wear a diaper. Through it all, he maintained his upbeat Border Collie vibes. With his death imminent, we reintroduced fetch so that he could enjoy his favorite pastime once again.
Uncle Max died on March 27th at 12:01 pm. He is deeply, deeply missed.