Susan invited my Alpha Male into our lives when MattieT had held court for a couple of years. He made himself right at home, but learned to give Mattie lots of room. As I pointed out a couple of blogs ago, he is just over seven-times her size and could snap her in two, but she has him convinced that he’d rather go ‘bear hunting with a switch’ than mess with her. He came “Crate-trained” and that was the case for about six-months. We determined that he would behave, so we sold the original crate, besides he was out-growing it. Having him roam the house didn’t work because he is a ‘chewer’. Not only a chewer, but a ‘swallower’.(not healthy) After several trips to the Vet to assist his ‘voiding’ process, we determined to cover both with a Pet Insurance Policy. That truly was a most intelligent decision. I found that MattieT was extremely skittish with sudden noise from the kitchen. MAX is only affected by thunder storms and fireworks. His bark sounds like it comes from an elephant-size mastiff and our landscapers approach our house when trimming, reluctantly. UPS, FedEX and our Postman quietly walk to within tossing distance with packages. MAX gives a very specific bark when they approach, so I usually go out to them for whatever they bring. Visitors are greeted with exuberance by both pups. MattieT has discovered that she can set the BigRedDog off into hysterics by simply ‘yapping’ once and then sits back, looking at him with scorn. You would think that they would never accept staying in the same enclosed area, but the only time we left them together at a boarding kennel, they were fine being close. MAX is large enough to back up his growl and is pretty much convincing not to do whatever, unless he decides to do so. That kennel where they stayed for a week complemented MattieT, but asked that we not bring MAX back. It seems he backed into a corner, hackles up and snarled at the over-night attendant when it was time for his “outdoor business”. The attendant finally got him to come out by putting MattieT back into the cage. She needed to go out and MAX then followed her. The only time MAX would mix with others was when close to MattieT, so I suppose there is some degree of affection or tolerance there. Speaking of tolerence; I am the ‘interloper’ when it comes to Susan. He has a fit whenever I get close to her. We’ve learned to ignore him, but he will still try to separate us when ‘too close’. I’ve thought many times that our two would be excellent challenges for the ‘Dog Whisperer’, but since he is no longer with us, que sera. Now we are going day-to-day with MAX. He ruptured his “ACL” on his right-rear leg and has very little support there. We thought we would have to put him down, but even our Vet is amazed at his recovery. He will never have strength in that leg, but he limps around and seems to accept his handicap. He loves to lie on a hassock(in the photo) that requires him to jump up a bit. He handles that with ease. MAX has done just as my wife hoped. He keeps me company and moving around. I don’t spend as much time in my lift-chair anymore. With all the problems and noise, we wouldn’t trade our ‘twosome’ for anything. I’ve said, “GOD knew what HE was doing when HE made a dog”, but sometimes I am uncertain that was the case when HE made a human, donchaknow. I have one discomfort about MAX. I spend a lot of time talking to him and he seems to understand and respond. Awkward.