This is Max in his intimidating watchdog pose.  In actuality, he's a housedog with a refined taste for good (warm) living.  He thrives on mutual affection with people.  He has a very discerning palate for sirloin steak and smoked pigs' ears.  Playing ball is his favorite sport.

His mother is a Kelpie and his father a Border Collie.  Other than the floppy ears, he most closely resembles his Kelpie lineage in appearance and temperament.  Kelpies are Australian sheep dogs bred for their working capability.  Kelpie (Gaelic for "watersprite") is said to be the name of the first member of that breed.  A plethora of conflicting stories of the development of the breed exist including persistent claims that the breed was originated by mating wild Dingoes with English sheep-herding dogs.  Although Max is not employed in his native role, he possesses the high energy, speed, and maneuverability for which the breed is famous.  He also has "the eye" which they reputedly use to hypnotize their charges.  All these skills are kept honed by herding the neighborhood cats.


If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die, I want to go where they went. - Will Rogers


Max was born on November 19, 2004, on a dairy farm between Arago and Coquille, Oregon.  His mother Jazzie, shown at left had a litter of 8 pups.  This picture was taken when the pups were 7 days old.


We had a position open for a dog at the time (after the loss of a good friend).  I was tipped off by a vet to the impending birth of Max and his siblings and made arrangements to visit the farm.  As I presented myself for my second visit when they were 3 weeks old, the pups had a brief conversation and Max crawled out of the enclosure they were in and came over to claim me.  His mother Jazzie also gave her approval of me.

I visited them again when they were a month old and Max confirmed that he found me acceptable.


The farm where Max was born had already been flooded once since his birth, causing Jazzie's owner to evacuate lock, stock,  barrel, and livestock.  A second impending winter storm was approaching when Max was 6 weeks old.  Since he had already weaned himself, and fearing an accident might happen during a second evacuation, I drove out and picked him up.  After lots of semi-underwater driving, I returned home with Max.  Here he is checking out his new quarters.


I had built Max an elaborate chicken wire enclosure in my office which he defeated and nullified after 3 days.  The house shoe (and foot) he's chewing on here survived.  Some other things (like my desk chair) didn't survive his teething.



At 2 months old, the long legs started growing and he started scouting out his new domain.  Right away he found the lily pond and learned after a couple of attempts that he could not walk on water.



Here he is at 3 months old and those legs are continuing to grow.  His blue eyes darkened a bit but are still bright blue in the sunlight.



At 4 1/2  months old, Max was pretty much grown, weighing in at 35 lb.  I share my home office with Max, who has his sleeping kennel there.  



Max at 5 months old.  After a prolonged disagreement, I compromised with him and allowed him to use the smaller of the two couches in the living room as his own, providing he leaves the blanket in place.  He insists on a pillow under his head for naps.



At 5 months old still.  Max assumed the roll of perimeter guard for the yard.  Some of the neighborhood cats have been bluffed away but others have his number and come in and play with him.


Just after his first birthday, we revealed to Max that he was an uncle and had guests coming to visit.  Here he poses with Elise (7 years old) and Jack (4 years old) near the front gate.


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