One Up Max might be known for his signature ears, with one flopped over and the other standing at attention, but his incredible story is one you don't hear every day. This sweet pooch was rescued in 2011 by his dog-mom, Lisa. After being adopted, Lisa knew that Max had energy that needed to be burned off, so she signed him up for agility classes. The rest is history, and now Max is an ultra competitor in the dog world, as well as a spokesdog spreading the word about the joys of pet adoption.
Max took a few minutes out of his busy day training for his next competition to talk to us about his signature ears, how he keeps the peace with his 5 cat siblings, and what he would say to convince you to adopt a pet.
We absolutely love your asymmetrical ears, Max! Is there any particular reason why you hold them that way?
As Lady Gaga says, I was born this way! One ear just happens to be floppy, but mom says it makes me unique! It's actually how I got my nickname, OneUpMax! Get it? One ear up, one ear down! If you want to see both my ears up, I have to run real fast.
We understand that you rescued your human mom, Lisa, in 2011. Was it love at first sight? What was the first indication that you and she were the perfect match?
When mom found me, she immediately tried to find me a home. She put the word out to a few friends that I was in need of a family. Fortunately, nobody showed up in a timely manner. In less than a week, Mom and I were inseparable. Mom always tells people that I rescued her, but we can't forget that she rescued me too! After all, if it weren't for her, I might still be roaming the streets.
Tell us a bit about your five adorable kitty siblings! Do you have any words of advice for any other dogs out there who are also greatly outnumbered by feline family members?
My cat sibs are definitely a paw-ful! But I do have a favorite; his name is Buddy. And I do have to admit, we sleep together right next to Mom. Other than that and the occasional cat and mouse game, I try to give them their space though. Probably the best advice out there for my fellow outnumbered dogs is mind their space or be prepared for them to give up one of their nine lives trying to give you some payback. Felines are feisty!
We also hear that you were a "wild child" prior to meeting Lisa. What made the most impact when it came to taming your wild ways?
I've always loved to run! And with so much energy to burn, Mom knew I needed an outlet so she took me to an agility class. It didn't take long before I was competing. She even set up an agility course at home. It's a perfect outlet for me to "run wild" and burn off all my pent up energy.
What was the first indication that you were going to be such an amazing agility dog?
Well it definitely wasn't my height! That kind of works against me. So I think Mom knew I would be great when I didn't let my short stature stop me! I like to keep Dory (from Finding Nemo) in mind during my trials and I tell myself to "just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming!"
What are your favorite agility exercises?
I love everything about agility. My absolute favorite is the A-Frame with the Dog Walk and Teeter as close seconds. Being vertically challenged, the A-Frame, in particular, gives me the opportunity to enjoy the view from way up high. Mom thinks my best obstacle is the Weave Poles. It might just be me, but I think my asymmetrical ears help me glide around the poles faster!
What accomplishments are you most proud of, and what are you striving to achieve in the future?
I have reached the Master level in AKC agility and the Championship level in CPE agility. I am currently working on qualifying for the CPE Nationals 2017.
What would you and your mom tell someone who may be on the fence about adopting a rescue dog?
You can make a really big impact on the population of animals without fur-ever homes by adopting just one. It's that simple. And really, what's better than opening up the door to a furry best friend ready to show you love after a hard day's work? (Hint: the answer is, nothing!)