This is adorable Max enjoying a day by the sea. We have had him 3 years now. Poor Max was just skin and bone - he had been tied to a farm gate along with his buddy, a smaller Rottweiler and left for a number of days :( Then it was off to the pound and unless claimed within 7 days, he would have been put down. Happily a rescue organisation (link is here) placed him in kennels and advertised him on their website. We came by a few days later.
I was finding it hard to be happy after my mum had died a year earlier and came up with the idea of getting a pet to cheer us all up. (We had a cat when we were first married and a succession of caged creatures when the kids were little.) A dog though? Neither of us had any experience of dogs but we both remembered a wonderful German Shepherd in our childhoods belonging to friends and neighbours. When we met him at the kennels, I could tell from his eyes that we could save each other and David and I waived any doubts of our capabilities to cope with this large bouncy bear who had suffered and no one seemed to want.
We stepped up to the plate and have made him our enfant terrible (emphasis on the enfant of course). He still has issues with visitors and other dogs sometimes but he is a brilliant family dog. His love is not about food but an attachment which will never break or fade. He lets me brush his teeth, clip his claws, examine his ears and tease out his matted fur. He is always so pleased to see me even if I've just gone upstairs. Walking Max is fun, taking him to his training club is fun and having him at home is fun - he's not just a pet he is a wonderful friend.