I have owned Cockers since 1989: Max, Muffin, Maggie, Murphy, & Mollie, most of them until death. Shortly after becoming a wife, I knew my husband’s Beagle, Jester would out live my aging animals and I just couldn’t have that. So, we rescued a 4-mos Tri-Color Cocker from Fountain, CO and renamed him Marty. We unexpectedly lost Jester to lung cancer & we decided that Marty, age 5, would be the last animal we would own. Marty appeared happy being solo.
For several weeks, Marty and I surfed Cocker rescue websites. Not wanting to adopt, just tracking those who disappeared from the week before; celebrating those who found forever homes. We saw a picture of a brown dog named Max who showed up for many weeks. I gently told my husband I have never owned a Chocolate Cocker and since his name began with an “M” – need I say more? I think my husband was en route to get Max before I could get my shoes on. Four months after losing Jester, Maxx, now a 4-letter name, was welcomed by Marty in Feb 2012.
Maxx’s first week with us was a challenge with his dominant personality and struggles with various things – the sound of plastic grocery bags, going under tables, shoes out of place, laundry in disarray – but he knew how to use a doggie-door, walked okay on a leash, and always had an inquisitive look with his deep brown eyes and bubble-gum colored tongue. Sure, he has some OCD issues, but who doesn’t? Microchip numbers are now 15 digits, but since Maxx’s was only 10, I concluded he must have been chipped as a puppy. So, my mission was to learn of his past, which was not easy, but successful. I found his former owners and here is our story.
Maxx and his biological sister, Molly, were purchased together at 8-weeks old. Six years later, their lives changed when their retired owners moved into a smaller home/yard and their doggie door was no more. Molly adapted well, but Maxx: not so much. After his personality changed and he started marking inside the house, his owners worked with a trainer and their vet, but Maxx was not having any of that nonsense. His owners drove him to a local animal shelter, but their heart hurt too much and they couldn’t let him go so they all went back home. Some time later, Maxx’s attempt to attack & bite another dog caused his owners to succeed on their second attempt. Since being in a noisy shelter and sleeping on a concrete floor is different than the warmth and love found in a home, Maxx became undesirable to the lookie-loos. A worker at the shelter placed a call to RMCR and he was soon in a foster home.
When his former owners and I first spoke early in 2012, I could hear how my call brightened their day – and changed both of our lives for many future months. His former owner said, “My husband and I cried when we had to give him up, he was one of our babies. We were so excited to hear that he found a wonderful home and a doggie-brother to live with. Maxx definitely needs running room and we could no longer provide that since downsizing after retirement. It was such a blessing to hear from Maxx’s new owners and it makes us feel so good knowing he found a perfect home for his needs.”
They still have Molly, who is solid Black. We talk at least 4-5 times a month and share pictures/stories of our boy. I found out Maxx’s real birthdate and was notified last year when his doggie daddy died due to a spinal problem. His dad was Chocolate but his mom was not a full Cocker. Since Maxx is 17” at the shoulders, I wanted to know more. I performed a DNA Breed test and found an ancestry of Australian Terrier, Collie, and Malamute.
My husband and I have taught Maxx a few things, e.g., how to sit for his dinner, “high five”, & “leave it”. On the other side, he has taught us about his daily trancing routine, he will get into the tomato garden no matter how Fort Knox-like it is, his nightly neighborhood watch shift is 7p-8p, and he can do a several 360-degree spins in a row to scare away anything outside the yard’s concrete wall, which usually results in icing his ankle later that evening. He must have known he was taking the place of a Beagle, because he will break out in song with 2 hound-like howls when it’s time for dinner. Regardless of how he came into our life, he left a loving home as a young boy and was welcomed as an adult dog into another. Although Marty was okay being solo, he is happier having an older “brother from another mother.”