7/20/13|Submitted by Nanamel Kaucher

MAX's Story

When i woke up today I received the usual loving cold nose kisses and nudges. That is how life has been with our Max for the past six years now, always woken up with love.

Sitting here now I can remember our very first encounter. My husband and I had been trying to buy a dog, We figured it could keep me company while he worked on the road. But every pet store we visited, breeder we dealt with didn't have the magic personality we were seeking from a new pet. We wanted a dog that was energetic, but gentle, that would bark so i knew some one was around. Being Deaf i needed a dog that would be not just a pet but a companion, a best friend, that would stay by my side and watch over me.

We just were not finding the right match until that beautiful warm day, six years ago when a dog trainer friend of ours called us and said I have a dog I rescued from a shelter and i am sponsoring and training him at my home i think he would be a great match for you. We agreed to meet at a park by the river in Pa where we then lived. When we walked up he sat with our friend on leash alert and friendly, he had freckles all over him, we never saw a dog like this before. He had the most beautiful expressive eyes, soulful and loving.

I do not know why i said this to him as I knelt down to meet him, but I said hi there would you like to take a walk with me? His ears perked up, he cocked his head and let out a soulful response, sort of like a hound dog howling. I reached down and took his leash, we walked together alone by the river for almost an hour , talking casually like old friends. While my husband and our friend watched us from a distance. I knew instantly He was the one , after a few hours of talking together she filled us in on all his personality traits , all we knew for sure was he was part american bulldog, he had a loving, affectionate, and goofy personality. He was very loyal and seemed to be about nine months old. She said tell you what you can take him home for a few weeks and if you decide he is not the one, he comes back to me, if you decide he is the one I will bring the adoption papers with my stipulations enclosed and he will be yours forever. So as we went to our 4x4 opened the door and said would you like to come home with us, he jumped right in. He had big paws and was a bit clumsy at first but as time went by he perfected his motions.

Well he just loved the car ride home to our apartment, once home we settled in for our first night together, he surprised us by instantly doing a dance at the door each time he needed to go out. At bedtime we laid a comfy blanket on the floor, and went back to bed together . Laying in bed we tossed names around , he didn't have a name just yet . As i said what about Max much to our surprise he head laid upon the side of our bed looking at us with those soulful eyes as if to say can i come up and join you. So we said hey Max come on up and he did . he has been sleeping with us ever since at the foot of our bed every night .

There some moments i must tell you about like two days during his trial stay i was walking with him when a man wearing a hoodie carrying a huge knife attacked me in the alley behind our apartment. Max disarmed him, and sat on his chest until the police arrived. We were told the man had just robbed a C store and injured the clerk. Max became a local hero, he became my hero and I called our friend that night and said, Max is staying with us, we want to adopt him as soon as possible. If Max had not been with me I never would have known this man was coming up behind me to hurt me. Max became my ears, my protector, my very best friend.

By the way we signed His adoption papers the next day. But then we found out during his first health check up that Max was a very special breed of dog. He was a Catahoula Bulldog, a specially bred cross breed from the south a cattle dog. So as we made sure he go all his shots and his identification chip the Max was going to be a lot bigger than we anticipated. So as he grew we began a search to find a bigger home to live in with a yard of his own instead of a dog park. We moved about a year and half later to Lehigh County PA into a 2 bedroom home.

But our story gets wilder in 2009 my husband decided to take our of state work in Texas by this time Max and I had completed several training courses together including alerts to tell me when someone was around and at the door. My husband was out of town one night when Max and i fell asleep together on the sofa watching TV. Suddenly i felt him growling, as i opened my eyes i saw a man was cutting my window screen and attempting to crawl in. In one swift motion Max jumped over me and drove the man out of the window full force and chased him right off our property. He had once again saved my life and this time prevented a home invasion robbery.

I owe my life to Max through the years in more ways than I could ever express to all of you in my story. Max loves our family and our Grand Children , In six years he grew from a 77 pound nine month old puppy to a a very large 125 pound Bully Dog, i am five feet tall and he stands on all fours just below my waist . He is this Gentle loving giant who takes care of me every day. We relocated 1800 hundred miles to Texas in 2009, now in 2013 he goes everywhere with me. He is my courage , my best friend , he loves my husband and they are buddies . He never misses a thing. Every sound, every moment i need to be aware Max tells me about it. He has made me feel safe as a deaf person in a hearing world, has dried my tears during lonely nights and even saved me when we got hit by an F2 twister just last year in the middle of the night at our home. and kept me safe . He cuddles me when i go to sleep each night with his head across my legs, always watching and wakes me each day with cold nose kisses and nudges.

In closing as far as I am concerned "We Rescued Each Other " six years ago, this Aug i will be getting a tattoo saying this on my right hand with a paw print to celebrate our sixth anniversary together. So if your looking for a Dog , go to shelter not a pet store or a breeder. Max is Our forever Friend, and he gave me independence, as a deaf woman I can now live with out fear. After six years he is still a Certified Deaf Alert Service Dog in Texas responding now to over 40 commands happily for a treat and a pat on the head. He is the Heart beat at My feet, many people say to me my that is big dog and i respond yes he is, would you like to meet him, with that i say sit Max and he does, then extends his paw to say hello. I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful, loyal and loving Best Friend. I hope all of you find your best friend someday. This is Our story, God bless Ya'll, Nanamel and Max.