I am the proud owner of a rescue dog. Max, my German Shepherd and Labrador mix was in a local city shelter the day my father and I went to go pick out a dog for my 9th birthday. I had always been around animals, especially dogs, and loved them to death but I had never had the opportunity to own one until then. After entering the shelter and seeing the plethora of dogs barking and yapping to get our attention, I came across the last kennel in the far corner of the hall. There was the sweetest looking dog sitting there, the only one not barking at me. The staff members said the dog, Maxo, was a sweetheart but a little shy at times. I took up the offer to play with him in one of the “get acquainted” yards and needless to say I fell in love. Maxo was found on the streets by animal control officials with no tag, collar, or chip. He had been kept in the shelter with the hopes that his owners if any would return for him but they never did, providing him with a first in line spot to be adopted by me. We made the decision final and took Maxo home with us that evening, surprising my mother who had no idea we were bringing a third party. Since that incredible day, my life has truly never been the same. Max (we didn’t stray far off from his shelter name) instantly became part of the family, and my best friend. I have grown up with max and he has been there through every situation, stepping stone, important event in my life, all of it. Fast forward 9 years and Max is approaching his 10th birthday on January 6th, 2016. He has plenty of stories he can tell you about his crazy family, and I can honestly say that I’m utterly blessed to have a best friend to go through the adventures of life with me, each and every day.