As I have mentioned in previous posts about Max, he was very protective of our household. No one was allowed inside our domain and if family members came to visit he had to be locked out of the house to stop him from eating them whole. It wasn’t a real problem because once he was locked out of the house he just sat outside happy in the knowledge that he would probably get an extra walk that day for putting up with the ignominy of being locked out of his own home.
The real problems started when my son’s girlfriend came to live with us.
Angela lived way up in Hartlepool and they were trying to save up the money to get a house together. This was hampered by them spending a fortune travelling up and down the country most weekends to see each other. So Angela moved in with us and Max was just going to have to get used to the idea – or so we thought.
I was convinced Max would take a little while to get used to his new housemate but once he had everything would be hunky dory. After all, she was someone new to give him treats and play ball with him, he was bound to accept a new friend.
So the eventful day arrived when she travelled down and moved in. I suggested that my son take Angela to the beach and I would bring Max along and he could meet her outside of the house he guarded so fiercely. She could throw the ball for him and generally get to know him. All went well, Max was made up to have someone extra to play with. Angela threw the ball and Max would return it to her for more action.
Everything went well until we returned home.
As we walked back into the house, Max looked at Angela with a kind of “Oh no you don’t, you don’t live in my house,” look on his face. I told Max to get inside and he did as he was told. I then walked into the house and Angela followed me. All of a sudden it was like the hound of the Baskervilles had been set loose. Max was barking and snarling for all he was worth.
I told Max to go and lie in his spot underneath the front room window and then walked in with Angela. He kicked off again. This time I shouted at him to be quiet and sat on the couch with Angela next to me. We pretended Max wasn’t there and just had a little chat or at least we tried to over the sounds of snarling from underneath the window.
At teatime I gave Angela some dog treats to feed Max while she sat at the dining table and he loved that while he was getting something. Poor Angela couldn’t get up though because Max would kick off again. In fact, there wasn’t anything the unfortunate girl could do without having protection from a member of the family.
I remember thinking, she must be fond of my son if she was willing to put up with all these shenanigans.
This situation continued for quite a while but just when I was about to admit defeat he suddenly decided Angela was okay and treated her like one of the family. It was like a switch had been turned on in his head. The problem was, it had only taken him SIX MONTHS to come round.
Even then he was the boss. He would bully poor Angela to give him treats or even part of her meals. He would sit next to her at meal times and head-butt her leg as if to say, “don’t forget me, I am down here waiting for tit-bits!”
The surprising thing was that when the pair of them finally moved out into their own place I think Max actually missed her. They used to come for the dinner every Sunday and Max always ran to greet her like she was his long lost friend.
Tried to kill her one minute, loved her the next. He was one mixed up dog!
More stories of Max next time, including his misadventures with our long-suffering vet.