Introducing: Maxx Malone!

My constant companion

This is my dog, Max (short for Maxx). He's been living with me for four months. I know the first year of medical school isn't the best time to make a long term, life changing commitment, but I decided that if I wanted something badly enough, I could make it work. Max is a pitbull mix that I rescued from the Brooklyn branch of New York Animal Care and Control. When I had decided to look for a friend, I wanted a small, full grown dog. I ended up coming home with a 30 lb ten month old. Now that we've been living together, I truly understand the meaning of the term companion animal. If nothing else, Max is my constant companion. As I type, he is lying under my desk. He has more comfortable places to nap, but nowhere else that's as close to my feet. He stays in the kitchen when I cook. Most of the time he lays across the floor. I actually think he's trying to trip me so that I spill a tasty morsel for him to devour. He waits by the bathroom door when I shower. He also waits by the front door when I step outside for a short time. Although I love dog ownership, I have had to make some sacrifices. I can't stay at school as late as I want to because I need to come home to walk the dog. Weekend or overnight trips now require advanced planning so I can get a dogsitter. I have to wake up earlier in the mornings to make sure he gets his morning walk and "relief." He's destroyed headphones, papers, and half of a couch cushion. He has learned that he can knock the trash can over to get at the treasure inside. While all of these things are nuisances, he has been able to outgrow some of them due to training. I also know that I have to be careful about irresistible items like electronics with thin cords. Overall, I love him. He's great at cuddling, he loves food as much as I do, and he shows his affection non-stop. One of my room mates jokes that he must have no sensory nerve endings in his tail because when that thing wags, it is a force to be reckoned with! I find the rewards of dog ownership to be well worth the sacrifices. I'm sure Max is happy about that too.


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