When I was four years old, my family moved to Hawaii. My mother had just given birth to my baby sister and my father wanted to start fresh. Despite the countless number of boxes that that filled the new rooms, our house still seemed empty, so we went to the Humane Society. As we walked past the cages, dogs barked and jumped, yelped and growled. As my sister grew tired and began to cry, my parents began to lose hope. There was nothing here for a new family, there were only run down mutts who must have done SOMETHING wrong to land themselves within those cages. In the last cage before the exit a bald dog, young in age but old in experience, looked up at my sister. He did not show his teeth or get up to bark at us, he simply wagged his tail. My baby sister’s tears stopped as she reached out her tiny hand to him. That day, he went home with us.
Three years later, we packed up our lives once again and moved back to the main land. That’s when we ran into trouble. Cancerous tumors were found in several places on Maxx’s stomach, which we later found out were due to internal scaring of his organs. The vet needed to take x-rays to see if everything else inside of him was healthy. Lodged somewhere in his skull was a bb from a bb gun. Things stared to fall into place for my family. When we got Maxx, he was bald, which we found out was because of his previous owners. They shaved him so that they could use him as an ash-tray, constantly putting their cigarettes out of his bare skin. We wondered why he never wanted to go under the covers. The same abusive family he once had tried to suffocate him. A groomer was always needed when Maxx needed a bath since he would turn violent if he were to be submerged in water; they tried to drown him. The bb gun seemed to be the last resort. But Maxx was a survivor. A year ago, after being a part of our family for 14 years, we had to put him to sleep.
I believe that all things, be it human or animal, deserves a second chance. Who knows what might have become of Maxx had we not gone to the humane society that day? No one goes out looking for a mutt. What if no one had adopted him, and he was euthinized after only two years of life? Or worse, what if he was adopted by another family who abused him? This dog was so much a part of our family, I often wonder what our house would be like had he not impacted us so greatly. Maxx’s second chance was not just a fresh start for him, but the beginning of a wonderful life with my family.