After a news producer shared a touching photograph, thousands of people all had the same question.
Dough Delony from KHOU Houston shared a photo back in 2016 of a man leaning over an elderly dog in the park. He included a caption that read,
"Most afternoons I take a run through Discovery Green, and most afternoons I see this guy with a stroller but no baby. He brings this beautiful... what appears to be... disabled pup to the park. He lets it sit in the grass and take in the smell and the sound. Here he is giving it water out of a small cup he brings with him. An adorable dog and a nice guy- God bless 'em."
It was meant as a quick tribute to a man's relationship with his dog, but the public wasn't satisfied. People wanted to know more about the man who went to the park every day with his disabled dog. As the story spread, more and more people joined the cause. Soon, the post had been shared hundreds of thousands of times, but still, no one knew who the man was.
With an overwhelming curiosity for more information, Delony decided to investigate. What he found out was both inspiring and heartbreaking.
The TV producer learned the dog's name was Maximilian, but his owners, Edie Mayo and her husband, Troy Griffith, called him Max. The elderly Sheltie was 16 years old, and he lived in a 10th floor apartment across from the park.
A torn retina left him blind in one eye, and a cataract clouded his vision in the other. His movements were slow and painful because of arthritis, but the senior dog lived the good life surrounded by toys and people who loved him.
Edie told KHOU:
"He's part of our family."
It's that sentiment that explains Max's twice daily trips to the park. Griffith packed the ailing dog into his special doggie stroller to make the trip across the street and into the park. And everyday, Griffith saw his old dog come alive. He said;
"When we take him outside, you can tell he's having a good time. You can tell he's just enjoying himself. And if we can do that for him, why not."
About a year after Delony shared Max's original story, Newsner has reported the senior dog has passed away. He lived a long and happy life with people who loved him, and his story touched the hearts of dog lovers everywhere.
People are inspired by the family's resiliency and determination to care for the old dog despite difficulties. Max is no longer around to take his daily trips to the park, but his viral story ensures the world won't forget him.
What do you think about Max's story? Let us know in the comments below.
Images via KHOU
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