Max, the Amazing Therapy Dog

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! It’s almost Thursday. Do you know what that means? That means I’ll be taking my owner, Gary, to Give Kids The World Village! I’m more excited than when I get a new squeaky chew toy!

My name’s Max. I’m a Miniature Schnauzer with a great, big heart. On Thursday nights, my owner, Gary, and I come to the Village to play with the Village’s kids! Can you guess why?

Okay, I’ll tell you. I mean, not trying to wag my own tail or anything, but I’m a real, genuine, certified therapy dog. It even says so on the red badge I wear proudly on my blue collar. Being a therapy dog means I give comfort and affection to the people I meet.

And I love everyone! Especially kids at the Village.

I’m only two years old (that’s 14 in people years), and after I learned how to sit, stay and a whole bunch of other cool tricks, Gary got me certified. Gary and I worked in nursing homes for a little while, but we soon found that Give Kids The World was the place for me!

Some dogs spend their time chasing squirrels up trees or digging holes in the backyard, but not me. I’d rather be around the kids. They sometimes have the energy of squirrels, but they are a lot more fun and interesting. And sometimes they drop their ice cream!

Since I got certified in November, I’ve met 2,000 kids at the Village! Kids like me because I’m happy, friendly and relaxed, and I like to think that I help them relax, too. They also like that I’m small and have a soft coat of brown and white fur (which is great for me because I sure do love to be petted).

I understand a little bit of people language, and sometimes kids tell Gary and me that I remind them of their dog back home.

Being here is great. I love the back rubs and belly scratches, but the best part of being here is hearing the kids laughing and seeing their faces light up when we play together. I wouldn’t trade my job for all of the dog treats in the whole world!

If you’d like to pet me (and you know you want to), come volunteer at the Village and you can feel the same tail-wagging excitement that I do when I make these special kids smile.

Written by Amelia Klug


9 comments… add one
  • Colette

    This story just warmed my heart. I have never owned a dog (my parents only allowed felines in our house), but I hope to someday own a dog like Max that will bring joy to kids who are sick. Thanks for giving a voice to those who cannot speak for themselves. 😉

  • It’s hard to pick a favorite day at Give Kids The World (they’re all so wonderful!), but Thursdays are definitely up there on my list because I love visiting with Max and Gary! Max is full of energy and spunk, and he’s always on the look-out for new friends to give puppy kisses to!

  • Evelyn

    Oh Max how did we miss seeing you during our visit?! You are such a sweet boy <3 To be honest, I was terrified of dogs, even little ones, because I was bitten by one a few years ago. BUT, I overcame my fears and adopted two beagles exactly two weeks ago today from our local shelter! They are the sweetest girls ever, and my children are over the moon with them. They would make great therapy dogs, they love everyone all they want to do is be petted all day =) I have got to find out about the certification process. Thank you so much for bringing comfort and joy to our GKTW children…. sure wish to meet you one day! Ms. Evelyn in Virginia =)

  • Gary

    What is really amazing is that Max can write his very own blog!!! We both love our work at GKTW so much and have truly found our volunteer calling!

  • Gary, he is a wonderful writer with a wonderful owner. You both truly deserve the recent flurry of press! The Osceola News Gazette is also celebrating this four-legged Angel!

  • Gary

    Thanks so much, Jaclyn. With all the recent attention, I have to be careful that he doesn’t get the big head. After writing the blog, now he wants to start driving from home to GKTW himself! Pretty soon, he’ll be wanting to leave me at home on Thursday nights!!!!!! All the very best, Gary

  • diane

    I had a Miniature Schnauzer named Max also who was the love of my life. He passed over the Rainbow Bridge in 2010 at the old age of 13 after a brave struggle with cancer. He, too, loved his people, expecially kids. We were like a petting zoo everywhere we went. I miss him everyday and seeing the story of Max at GKTW made me smile. God Bless you for the work you are doing. Maybe someday I will get to meet your MAx at GKTW.

    • Schnauzers rock! They’re adorable! We’re glad you enjoyed the story, Diane!

  • Belinda

    Hello Max, I love Dogs & so does my daughter Brooklin. We were at the village in May of 2011, we are hoping to come back for a visit in Febuary, we hope to see you there. We would love to come for the Christmas parade on thursday, while we are in the area.

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