MWD Max L386
Patrol Explosives Detection Dog
U.S Air Force Ret.
Sponsored Since September 2013
**EOW: 22 November 2013**
On Sep. 18, 2013 I adopted Max L386 a retired explosives detection/patrol dog and brought him to his new family and home. Our story is a bit unique in that we did not have a wait before adopting.
After a considerable amount of decision making, by My wife and I we submitted an application to adopt a Retired MWD. Included in our application was our history of caring for Medically needy animals and a willingness to adopt a dog knowing it was in need of extra care. The next day I received a call from Lackland AFB that there was just such an animal and that although he still needed behavioral testing he would be ours if we would have him. We were surprised and ecstatic.
After some communications and a clearance, we were finally told that I could come to Texas to pick up Max. I made arrangements to fly to Austin on Tuesday Sept 17, rent a car and drive to San Antonio where I would go to a local Pet Store and buy the necessary gear for taking max back home in California. I checked into a hotel close to Lackland AFB and attempted a night of sleep. On Wednesday Morning I went on base, picked up my pass and drove out to the 341st and met with the great folks who would process the paperwork and introduce me to Max. I also was asked to meet with Max’s Veterinarian so I could get some more details on his history and was handed his records. After the meeting with the vet, Max was brought out to meet me and we finished the paperwork.
One of the issues Max is dealing with is Lameness in his rear legs and it makes it effectively impossible to jump so he ended up finding a comfortable position in the foot wells of the back seat in the rental car for the drive back to Austin Airport. We got to the cargo area, and got him prepared to travel back to San Francisco Airport. I picked up my car, max and off to home where we got set up to surprise the kids with a new household pet. When The rest of the family got home. Max was very interested in searching the house and clearing it for entry so I let him walk the whole inside on leash before he felt comfortable. I’m not sure he knew what to make of the whole thing, but when the family got home he started to get the idea. The whole family has fallen in love with max. He’s big and acts a bit like a cranky old man, but melts once we have a chance to pet and scratch him. He loves going for walks with all of us, but neither of the kids even weighs as much as he does much less is strong enough to lead him so it’s always with one of the adults. Max does have a number of problems, some we knew about on adoption, and some we didn’t. We knew he had Hypothyroidism and some Arthritis.
One of his first stops was to the Vet we used when we had cats (one was Hypothyroidic also) for an assessment and it was clear there was more attention he needed so he went back on Friday, Sep. 20 for X-Rays and Bloodwork. We now know that Max has a metal plate in his right hind leg that was part of a TPLO (Tibial-plateau-leveling osteotomy) procedure to fix a Ruptured CCL (Cranial CruciateLigament) he received on duty. (This came along with other related injuries such as muscle tearing and a damaged meniscus.) Sadly, The Radiographs shows that max has the same injury in his left knee and probably needs a similar procedure on his left side that he’s already had on the right.
These injuries has lead to some pretty severe Arthritis in both knees which causes him considerable pain, although he refuses to show it most of the time. His blood work is being checked to see what kind of pain medication he can tolerate.
It’s only been a week, but he’s starting to feel at home now, and is enjoying some much deserved rest and relaxation