The night that BJ proposed to me, we went to the Applebee's at the mall. While waiting for our table, we wandered the mall, and ended up at the pet store. BJ said, "I want a puppy!"
"You can have a puppy when I have a ring!" I replied. Little did I know that the ring was in his pocket.
That's how Maxine came into our lives.
They told us, at the shelter, that she was a German Shepherd/Lab mix, and that she'd weigh between 40 and 50 pounds. She topped out at 90 pounds. We think she's actually German Shepherd/Chow (black tongue)/Greyhound (that orangy color, the shape of her body) but who knows? All I know is that she is the best damn dog in the history of the universe. She makes Lassie look like a couch potato.
She speaks English, for one thing, which is convenient. I counted one time, and she knows over 75 words and phrases. Not that she always listens, but she knows them.
I once had an argument about guns with our friend John Paul. He carried a gun. I told him that Max was a better crime deterrent than his gun, because everyone knew that we had Max, but no one knew he had a gun. He laughed, and said, "Max? She's harmless. She wouldn't hurt a fly!" I said, "Oh yeah? Hit me." "What?" "Hit me." So he did.
It took me 20 minutes to calm her down. She was ready to take him apart.
She also protects the kids, particularly when she thinks that Daddy is playing too rough. She'll bark and growl and basically draw his attention to herself, giving the kids an opportunity to escape, maybe? Who knows? When we were at the farm on the fourth of July, she growled at Rocky, my brother in law's basset hound, when she thought he was being too rough with Mary Grace.
So, BJ is gone for a couple of days, at a conference, and we're home alone. Last night around 4 am, I heard a noise. I woke up suddenly and froze, terrified, the girls asleep on either side of me. Max growled, low in her throat. We waited. Silence.
Then I heard Max sigh, and go back to sleep. And I realized that if there had been anything to fear, Max would've let me know (in no uncertain terms - she has a wicked bark). And if someone ever was stupid enough to come in the house, she would take them apart if they threatened us.
I slept really well. Max had eggs and toast for breakfast.
Good dog, Max. Good dog.