Have you ever heard or read a story that just unexpectedly touches your heart? This recently happened to Lynda Feierabend, a local artist.
Recently, Feierabend was sifting through social media posts on the Nextdoor website, catching up on neighborhood news. She came across several posts about a dog named Max who had recently been rescued by Kingwood resident Lisa Dixon. Feierabend now calls her “Max’s angel.”
Dixon was driving one day when she saw Max in the road. She stopped her car to try to get him out of the road, but noticed that he walked right into the front of her car. When she opened her car door, Max bumped into the door. Dixon, who has a blind dog, realized that Max could not see. Max and her other dogs did not get along, so she took him to the Montgomery County Animal Shelter while she continued to search for Max’s owner. After several posts on Nextdoor, she discovered Max’s address and went to visit Max’s owner. The man told her that while he loved Max dearly, he could not afford the veterinary care needed for regular checkups and asked her to adopt Max.
A veterinary ophthalmologist confirmed that nothing could be done to restore the dog’s sight.
Together, Dixon and the shelter soon found a loving foster home with the Williams family. Max was at the Williams’ home for about three days when Mr. Williams, who has a debilitating back injury, fell in the shower. Max sensed that something was wrong.
“Max knew that something had happened, but our other dogs were clueless, and my daughter was upstairs so she couldn’t hear it,” Katherine Williams said. Max pushed through the bathroom door and the dog positioned his own body so that Mr. Williams could use him as a support to stand up.
The Williams family was already considering permanently adopting Max, but the dog’s bravery that day sealed the deal. Now, Max never leaves Mr. Williams’ side. The dog is not in the way, but has learned to listen for his cane and stays about 2 inches to the left of the cane at all times.
As Feierabend read this incredible story on Nextdoor, she decided to contact the Williams to ask to meet Max and paint his portrait. Feierabend specializes in paintings of wildlife and animals, and began painting about five years ago after she retired from her career as a master hair stylist. She also volunteers as the community relations director for Lake Houston Area Artists (LHAA.) Feierabend says that hair artistry and watercolor artistry are similar. “After all, they use the same color wheel,” Feierabend said.
The Williams family was excited to meet Feierabend and have her paint Max’s picture. “Have you seen Lynda’s painting?” Katherine asked. “Isn’t she amazing?”
Feierabend says Max is the one who is amazing. “This is an incredible dog who unfortunately went blind and who is so sweet, kind and quick to learn how to live blind,” she said.
Max is adjusting to his new home just fine. He is able to navigate in the house, and all the Williams’ cats and dogs are living in harmony.
Williams said that Max really wanted to play fetch but he couldn’t due to his lack of eyesight. One day, as she shopped for a baby shower gift, she ran across a child’s ball that makes noise when thrown. It is perfect for Max, who chases the sound and now plays fetch along with the other dogs.
Feierabend displayed Max’s portrait at the LHAA fall art show at the Kingwood Community Center in October. She said that many visitors at the October art show had positive things to say about Max’s painting, and were astounded to hear about his incredible story.
Max has definitely had many angels along his journey to his forever home at the Williams’ residence. They describe him as the “sweetest, best dog ever.” Williams encourages anyone who is looking to adopt a pet to consider an older animal like they considered Max. He is certainly one lucky dog.