A few months ago we featured (aka Max), an adorable senior Pug who was found abandoned on the streets, starved, and in need of immediate medical attention. Little Max had survived a very tough life, most likely the victim of a puppy mill or backyard breeder, but still had a gentle, sweet nature and a great attitude towards people. Max’s story is one that demonstrates the possibilities of second chances and that dogs from all situations, in all conditions, can flourish with some TLC.
Back in February, Mutts Matter received an S.O.S. call from a shelter in Delaware who had found a senior pug dumped on the side of the road in the dead cold of winter. He was not eating, needed more medical attention than they could afford to give, and they didn’t think he was strong enough to survive life in the shelter. Mutts Matter and their network of volunteers stepped up to help this pup who had been so mistreated by people and deserved to know some love and kindness in his senior years.
Max required extensive medical care. He was rife with infections in his mouth, ears, and skin, and had atrophy in his legs from being kept in a small crate for years without the ability to move freely. He needed to have most of his teeth pulled and it was discovered that he had an enlarged heart from all the infections his body was fighting. Max was in rough shape and needed special attention. He was fostered by Brian and Melanie Samet, a founder of Mutts Matter Rescue, who took excellent care of him and nursed him back to health. He came into their home physically exhausted from his time on the streets, but after some expert TLC and the realization that he was in a safe, nurturing environment, he started to blossom, put on weight, and his energy level picked up.
Once we knew Max was on the mend, we featured him in the Patch and had a tremendous response to his story. One of the first people to respond was Autumn Clayton, who had seen Max in the Falls Church Patch and was immediately drawn to him. Autumn’s family was not looking to add another dog, but when she read his story, she knew she could give Max a better life and felt like he belonged in her family. Autumn shared Max’s story with her husband, who was instantly on board with the idea, and they started the adoption process.
Max now lives a pampered life in McLean, complete with a mom, dad, bother, sister, and a Pug named Fiona who all love him. I checked in with Autumn to see how little Max was settling in. “The transition has been so easy. He is such a good-natured dog; he’s great with the kids and Fiona, and it really feels like he’s always been here. It’s remarkable to me that his spirit is not broken after all he went through.”
Autumn describes Max as quite the character and says he has turned into a “mama’s boy.” He follows Autumn around everywhere - he walks when she walks, sits when she sits, loves to be held and pampered like a baby, and has even learned to give kisses. Autumn says his favorite thing in the world is food, and she laughs every morning when he squawks like a Pterodactyl in anticipation of breakfast.
Max has also embraced his daily walks and social outings. When it’s walk time, Max will put his paws up in the air and start to dance and prance around in excitement for his upcoming foray into the outside world, volunteering his head to speed up the process of putting on his harness. He’s also started going to work with Autumn at Covet, her Arlington gift boutique specializing in handmade products. He even did his Patch photo shoot there, and feels like a local celebrity now.
It’s not every family who is willing to take on an older dog with medical needs; the Claytons are special, and heroes in our book. Autumn describes Max as “such a happy little dog and a true gift to us. We feel lucky to be able to give him a great end of life.” Max is a true fighter, and is flourishing in their home. He’s put on weight and gets stronger and more energetic every day. Remarkably, his heart murmur is no longer there and the vet thinks he will have many more healthy years to come.
Mutts Matter is an all-volunteer, non-profit rescue that works with dogs of every breed, age, and condition, and we have a soft spot for senior pups and dogs in need of a little extra TLC. At the shelters, these dogs are often the last to be adopted and the first to be euthanized, but they deserve a second chance just like Max. Helping dogs like Max is a rewarding experience, but also requires a lot of resources from the rescue, and we rely on donations to continue to fund their veterinary care and rehabilitation.
If you want to sponsor or donate to help a senior pup or dog with medical needs click here. Or, you can contact Suzanne at email@example.com to learn about more ways you can help make a difference for a dog in need.
Follow Mutts Matter on Facebook to learn more about us and see new pups coming into the rescue