I have had golden retrivers all my adult life and always thought them to be as near an ideal dog as it was possible to have. In fact, I never even considered the possiblility of having any other breed until a little ball of black and white fur presented herself to me one very cold, rainy November afternoon. T-Max was about ten weeks old when she crawled out from under my truck and attached herself to my leg. Never being able to decline the invitation of a dogs beautiful brown eyes and sweet puppy breath she quickly became a part of our family and forever embedded in our hearts.

She is by far the most active dog I had ever known to that point. (she has since been eclipsed by EmmaJune, a border collie-something mix). This sweet natured little border collie wore a path in the carpet in our hallway, through the carpet, through the pad and into the floor beneath. Her obsession with tennis balls, really anything that is round and might be a ball, including tomatoes, footballs, soccer balls, basketballs etc make her a great playmate.

However she really came into her own when we answered an ad in our local newspaper. We knew she needed a job and in the process of seeking employment for her we became aware of the “Therapy Dog Program” in the local convolescent homes and hospital. T-Max qualified for the canine good citizen title through AKC and passed the testing for Therapy Dog International with ease.
When we entered the first hospital with her it was as if she knew exactly what was expected of her. Upon entering the first room she greeted the patient and after receiving clearance from her mama she launched erself onto the foot of the bed and very gently crept up to the chest of the patient and rested her beautiful black and white head on the chest of the person. Time after time she repeated this performance adminstering her medication of trust and affection. She became a regular guest of our local hospital. the nurses all knew her and kept cookies at their station for her. I don’t know who she did more good for, the nurses or the patients. In fact, in the hospital I am known as T-Max’s papa; not by my name!

Eleven winters have come and gone since that little ball of black and white fur crawled out from under my truck. She has given much more to us than we ever could give to her; absolute un questioning love and devotion.

Her soft muzzle is turning gray, and it is more difficult for her to get up onto our bed for her afternoon nap. In fact she seems to prefer and warm shaft of afternoon sunlight on the living room floor. If it didn’t move she wouldn’t either! But age earns privilege and she is allowed to sleep where she wants.

I jokingly tell people that when she passes we will have to conduct a public viewing. I am not looking forward to that event at all but recognize the inevitability of her passing. She is favorite wherever she goes, whether it si at the vets or at my photographic studio. She gives much more to humans than they’ll ever be able to give back to her.


Nathan from NM