Friday, July 12, 2013 | By: Jake

That Weird White Kid: My Son, Max

Down here in Nicaragua, dogs are not really seen as pets...

There are very few, if any, shelters, so you have numerous dogs running through the streets all the time. There are no leashes, as dogs rarely leave their house, recognizing their house as the only place that they will get food. If you were to take the dog for a walk, or take the dog to a vet, or even buy the dog a'd be seen as pretty odd.

Allow me to interest you to Max:

I know, I know...he isn't the cutest dog in the world. Max is one of those dogs that I like to describe as "cute in an ugly kind of way." Max is from the United States and was brought over to help keep the kids occupied, as well as to help newer children adjust to the new lifestyle here at New Hope. However, Max has yet to live up to his expectations. Most of the kids run around like crazy, jumping on top of each other and wrestling each obviously, Max gets a little hyper, which just makes all of the kids absolutely terrified of him.

Still, Max does a pretty good job of barking whenever there is a new visitor, so I guess he's useful for something. When I first got here, Max smelled absolutely awful, and he just kind of seemed to be around. My interactions with Max were limited to taking a few pictures of him every now and then.

However, for the past two and half weeks or so, Max and I have been pretty inseparable...

Two weeks ago, I gave Max a bath...probably his first bath in at least a year....I'm not going to lie and say that he smells like roses and cherries, but at least he doesn't smell bad anymore. And because he didn't smell bad anymore, I started letting Max sit next to me when we were sitting around in the living room.

But, being the first person that has given Max even a little bit of attention in quite a while, he has gotten a little attached. As you can see in the picture above, the high school stands fairly large in the center of our buildings. To the left of the high school is the children's home, and to the right of the high school is the mission center, where I have all of my things and where I sleep when I'm not sleeping at the children's home with Frankie and Leo.

Since the kids are currently on break from school, there's really no organized activities on this week, so clearly, I had a duty to start Boot Camp with the kids. On Monday, we ran back and forth down the street for quite some time, and by the end of it, you could say that I was a little drenched with sweat. 

Anyway, I took the girls back to the children's home and then walked back to the mission center to shower. I walked to my room, shut the door, got my towel and everything, and then started hearing a noise by the door. I opened my door to find Max outside scratching it...this might not seem like a big deal, but Max never goes in the mission center. Furthermore, the mission center has 14 different rooms...and my door was closed.

Either I really had some body odor, or Max really wanted to find me....or most likely, both. Now, Max follows me absolutely everywhere I my room, to the kitchen, to the dining room, to the backyard, to the field...and because I actually pick him up and pet him, the people here have started referring to Max as "my son".

Like father, like son!
In fact, whenever Max does anything bad...chews up a diaper, has a toy in his mouth, jumps on a kid...I'm always blamed. "Jake, your son is causing trouble again!" "Jake, do you know how to teach your dog manners?" The list goes on and on...

I just gave Max a second bath today, and now I'm wondering how he's going to be after I I'm leaving in less than three weeks! The director down here said that she's thinking about trying to find a family for Max that actually takes care of its pets...which, as I said, is quite rare down here. And sadly, el gringo raro can't really help out with this problem. Although I love Max, Notre Dame does not allow dogs in our dorms.

Regardless, Max is still an awesome dog, and as long as I keep taking care of him as much as I am, I'll still be seen as quite odd for treating the dog like a son...but I think I'm okay with that. :)


Post a Comment