SNIFF NOTES: A Best Friend Like Max


They’re best friends. Have been since the day they met so many years ago.

They go everywhere together and have so much fun. They take walks and play and kiss and hug.

Her best friend has four legs and a tail and is named Max. She couldn’t ask for a more loyal, devoted companion and has no idea what her life would be like without him.

She thinks it’s funny sometimes that her best friend is a dog, but she and Max just get each other. He knows when she’s having a bad day and just needs someone to snuggle. He never berates her or judges and he waits at the door when she comes home to greet her with a happy look and a tail wag.

She’d heard about it before – the connection people make with pets – but she never believed it would happen to her until she looked into Max’s brown eyes and something – some indefinable thing – just seemed to click.

He hasn’t left her side since that moment.

When she started dating “that guy her sister knew,” it was Max she told about the success of their dinners. Max heard all about the guy’s green eyes and awesome laugh and open mind. When that guy proposed, Max saw the ring before any other family member.

It was Max who sat by her side as they both watched “Say Yes to the Dress” countless times and she tried to determine what style would best suit her figure. Sometimes she swore when Max didn’t like a dress, he’d curl up his lip in disdain.

On the big day, Max wore a special jacket and tie and sat so regally for the pictures – it was like he knew it was a truly special occasion.

When she became pregnant with her first child, Max would lay his head against her belly at night – almost like he was guarding the child, even before she was born.

He did the same with the next two children and when each one came home from the hospital, Max would rest underneath the baby’s bassinet and alert the adults to every cry or whimper.

When the children grew, Max took turns in each bedroom at night and would be the one to wake them for school in the morning.

She never had to worry about an alarm clock with Max around.

When the oldest went to a birthday party by herself for the first time, Max waited at the door until she came home. It was almost as though he knew all the family wasn’t together and he would not rest until everyone was safe under one roof once more.

She still tells Max about her day and her troubles and worries, and like always, he cocks his head and perks his ears and seems to not only be listening, but actually understanding her.

She adores her human family so much and she and her husband and her kids have built a wonderful life, but sometimes it feels like Max can actually read her mind.

He’s there when she needs a hug and he makes her laugh at least once a day. Her heart still gets a little wobbly when she kisses him on his now-graying head before she falls asleep at night.

She loves him just as much as she did when she first saw him.

She and Max met at the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter almost eleven years ago. Stopping into the shelter “just to look” that day was the best decision she ever made and she’s grateful beyond words for the joy Max brings to her life.

Could a best friend like Max be waiting for you?


Jennifer Vanderau is the Publications and Promotions Consultant for the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter and can be reached at [email protected]. The shelter accepts both monetary and pet supply donations. For more information, call the shelter at 263-5791 or visit the website CVAS also operates thrift stores in Chambersburg and Shippensburg. Help support the animals at the shelter by donating to or shopping at the stores

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