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Max – Our Loyal Golden Retriever Does Houdini Acts

by Malini
(Bangalore, India)

Max with his favourite t-shirt

Max with his favourite t-shirt

Our golden retriever dog Max came to us as a one-month old pup in a small basket, looking so adorable with those button eyes, that one could not help but cuddle him. Golden retrievers are very affectionate and docile by nature. They are pets and cannot be ferocious watch dogs.

Max hardly barked in the first few months. We got a dog trainer to train him the basic commands, and he learnt them quite fast. But as much as he tried, the trainer didn’t succeed in making Max growl at strangers, or attack when commanded.

Now, as he has grown into an adult dog of 8 years old, he has become the friendliest dog in the neighbourhood - much pampered and petted by everyone. Starting from the milkman, newspaper boy, the daily visitors - Max not only welcomes them with his long wagging tail, but circles them, whimpering as if we had starved him – just to get their attention!

When my husband takes him for his evening walk, he gets vegetables and fruits from the nearby shop. Max marches right inside, like royalty, to get tomatoes from the friendly salesman! Being a vegetarian family, our dog eats home-made vegetarian food too, and he loves it!

One interesting trick Max does is what we call the "Houdini Act". If we tie a towel or any cloth around his body, it is really a sight to see him free himself in just a few seconds, no matter how tight it may be!

When we call him,

our dog refuses to come at first, but the moment we say "Max here is a chew stick for you", he comes running upstairs! The poor fellow is prepared to do anything for the chew stick! My husband has trained him to raise his four legs and balance on his hind feet when commanded "wish good morning" or "do namaste". So when he yearns for his favourite eats, he will start showing off all his stunts without asking!

A dog in the house keeps everyone entertained with his reactions to all the teasing by family members. Who says that all animal behaviour is only by instinct? You have to see our Max to believe that he understands what we say, and that even bilingual - in both our native language Kannada and English!

After his morning walk and meal, Max settles himself in the drawing room for a snooze. As I mentioned, he is the least bit of a watch dog, and no sound wakes him up. We would have to shake him up in case of an emergency! But the moment I say "Max see who has come", he just leaps up and runs out barking. Disappointed to see no one is there, he settles down again and sulks a little.

Our dog Max has become so much a part of our family, that my son insists on including his name when we pray at the temple, and when we write our email salutations.

We cannot imagine our life without this lovable four-legged creature called Max!

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