I’ve neglected to mention a very important member of our family.  Here are ten random things about him:

1.  His name is Maxwell (Max for short).  He is named after Neal A. Maxwell who sent help my way when I most needed it without ever meeting me.  I will always be grateful for that help.  Max is a Welsh Corgi/Border Collie mix.  Quite funny looking, but the look grows on you.

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2.  We had tried having dogs before, but always had to get rid of them because of my ex’s allergies.  Once that factor was removed after the divorce, I got the kids a puppy.  It was my small and simple way of getting revenge on the ex–providing something for the kids that he couldn’t (mwah ha ha ha).  I didn’t count on all of the trouble a puppy can bring.  He bit holes into straight drywall!  Not the corners, or along the baseboard where he could get a grip on the edge, but right in the middle of random walls!  It is a good thing the kids fell in love with him immediately, because that is all that saved him from losing his happy home.

3.  He does not like his food threatened.  All you have to say is, “Max, I’m going to get your food!” and he runs barking and snarling to his food dish to protect his food.  The local neighbor kids have learned this fact and love to come over for a visit just to tell Max they want his food.  If they aren’t threatening Max’s food they are making the sounds of flatulence because…

4.  Max hates the sound of flatulence.  If he hears it, he runs at the offending person barking in protest.  The neighbor kids think this is hilarious.

5.  Corgis and border collies are natural herders.  Because of this, Max’s herding instinct is very strong.  He herds our kids.  If we go to the park or to my parents’ cabin he wears himself out trying to keep track of his “herd.” 

6.  Last summer Max developed a soft, squishy growth near his tail.  Our kids couldn’t resist renaming him:  Blister Bum, Tumor Tush, and Bubble Butt became Max’s new names.  When the growth came back after the vet drained it, we had it surgically removed.  Max got to be just “Max” again.

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7.  Max seems to know how to mock others.  Hub knew Max was part of the package when he married me, but was secretly hoping I would give in and make Max live outside.  Of course it didn’t happen.  Max knows he’s not allowed on our bed, but every chance he gets he jumps up and lays on HUB’S side of the bed, even putting his head on Hub’s pillow.  When Hub walks into the room Max flashes the “puppy” eyes.  It never works, he’s ordered off of the bed.  He jumps down, only to jump right back up as soon as Hub leaves the room.  There are some neighbors who have made it clear that they don’t like Max.  Guess whose yard Max makes a beeline for whenever he escapes the backyard?  He seems to take pleasure in “doing his business” in that yard and that yard only.  Once, he ran into their open garage and lifted his leg on the guy’s toolbox.  Needless to say, we have to be extra vigilant in ensuring that Max is not able to mock those neighbors any longer.

8.  Max hates lightning and thunder.  He hides under Hub’s desk whenever a storm approaches.  He now equates the flash of a camera with lightning and will run and hide under the desk whenever we try to take his picture with a flash.  Max also hates the vacuum.  I’ll say, “Max, I’m going to vacuum,” and he  jumps up and goes to the patio door to be let out until I am finished vacuuming.  Squid likes to put the vacuum right next to Max’s food dish.  Max sees the vacuum next to his food, leaves the kitchen via the dining room, comes back through the hall, creeping along the wall.  He slowly pokes his head around the corner and then jumps when he sees the vacuum is still there.

9.  Max loves to go in the car and he’s learned that most of the time when my cell phone rings it means one of the kids needs a ride home.  As soon as my phone rings Max is by the front door begging to go.  Most of the time I let him go.  He pushes the screen door open on his own and is out to the car in a flash.

10.  Max knows he always gets a new toy at Christmas.  He waits patiently for the kids to finish unwrapping their gifts and then starts sniffing around until we pull out his present.  He tears into the paper until he has his new toy and then runs off gleefully with it clutched tightly in his mouth.

That’s our Max!

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