Maxwell’s Story

It’s funny that I have hardly mentioned Maxwell on this blog, because our lives seem to revolve around him a lot of the time.  I’ve been meaning to tell the story of how Maxwell came to be ours (or rather, how we came to be Maxwell’s), so here goes:



When David and I first got married, we lived on the first floor of an old white house in South Jersey. David was working nights at that point and I was looking for a job.  I didn’t really know anyone in NJ, so I was lonely a lot of the time.  After watching all the movies we owned (twice), I started to think of how nice it might be to have a dog around the house.  Growing up, David and I had both always had dogs, so it seemed like a good idea. 



I started searching on petfinder*, where they put up all the sad pictures of pound puppies in the area.  It is a dangerous place.  Well, I found a few cuties with good descriptions and finally, about a month later, convinced David to go to the Camden County Animal Shelter with me**.  When we got there, the noise of the dogs barking was deafening, but there was one little brindle pit-mix who stayed quiet.  He was just sort of leaning on the wall; looking up at us, saying “can’t you see I really don’t belong here??”  So, we took him outside, where he replaced the wall with my legs, leaning against them so fully that if I had stepped away, he would have just fallen over.  We came back the next day to take him home.  “Sure he’s housetrained and crate-trained!  Of course, he knows basic commands!” the shelter employees assured us.  Lies. We found out real quick that Maxwell definitely needed to be housetrained and basic commands?  Please.  We are still working on crate training—it’s been 4 years and I think he’s more resigned to his fate than he is trained…


My whole life, I have always wanted a cuddly dog.  Growing up, I had two dogs that should have been okay with cuddling—a Golden Retriever (Sandy) and a Maltese (Ziggy).  Sadly, they weren’t really into that sort of thing.  But now I have a pit bull, and he’s the cuddliest dog I have ever seen.  He will drape his body over your lap, curl up behind your knees while you sleep, or nuzzle his way under your blanket on the couch.  It’s really ridiculous, sometimes, but I love it. Also, it makes up for all the bad things he does, like the time he killed a cat***, or how he can escape from every crate ever made, or how he freaks out at other dogs when we walk him, only to play happily with them once they come close, or how, just last week, he got out on the balcony and caught a pigeon and wanted to bring it inside. Cuddling is basically the only reason we haven’t given him back to the pound. 



I will add this short disclaimer, though: Having a pit bull is a big responsibility.  One that we didn’t really think through all the way before taking him home.  They are great dogs and we’ve never had a problem with him, but we are EXTREMELY CAUTIOUS around kids and we always let people know about him before they come to our house—he loves company, but some people have strong feelings about pit bulls. He’s wonderful and we love him, but the perception people have of this breed, along with the fact that all dogs can be somewhat unpredictable, can be problematic. 


* If you have feelings, you should probably not go on petfinder until you’re ready to get a dog because you’ll want one.  Immediately.  Like I said, it’s a dangerous place…


** If you have feelings and you’re not ready to bring a dog home with you, you should AVOID ANIMAL SHELTERS AT ALL COSTS.  You will physically not be able to leave without an animal.

*** It was actually a kitten, but I just can’t write that sentence out because it was too horrific.


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