Every time a jogger ran through a park in Houston, he would usually see a man with a stroller—but was puzzled to see no sign of a baby. One day, he finally learned what was sitting inside the stroller, and the man’s heartwarming story.
Doug Delony, a KHOU.com digital producer, often takes a run through Discovery Green and sees a man with a stroller. One day in May 2016, he finally found out that the stroller was not meant for a baby, but for a dog.
“He brings this beautiful… what appears to be… disabled pup to the park,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “He lets it sit in the grass and take in the smell and the sound.”
Seeing this heartwarming scene in front of him, Delony snapped a photo of them with his cell phone and captioned it with: “Here he is giving it water out of a small cup he brings with him.”
The man was Troy Griffin, who has been caring for his 16-year-old Sheltie, named Maximilian, with his wife, Edie Mayo, and they live in an apartment that is across the street from the park.
Maximilian, or Max, has been with the couple since he was 3 weeks old.
“He’s part of our family,” Mayo told KHOU.com.
“He’s taught me life lessons that I will never forget,” Griffin added.
Mayo said that Max had once warned her of an approaching tornado when they were at her former home near Lake Livingston.
Though the aging dog has arthritis and is blind due to medical conditions, the couple are dedicated to giving him the best care.
“But I don’t think you should just turn your back on someone just because they’re elderly,” Mayo said. “I think they deserve our love and our care and our attention. And there is so much we can learn from them even as they get older.
“Never do I get the feeling that he’s sad or depressed. He seems happy to be with us, to be loved, and we feel the same way getting love from him.”
“I think we should do for him what we would do for our parents, or our children,” Griffin added.
Max loves it whenever he gets brought outside.
“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,” Griffin said. And he loves being out there, meeting people, especially female dogs. He loves the little poodles.”
The couple hopes their story will inspire others to care for their dogs, even in their old age and ill health.
“It’s all about dignity and respect,” Griffin said.
Mayo added, “And how not to give up.”
“And it’s not just for him it’s how you treat everybody. And he’s no different. He’s part of the family,” Griffin continued.
“And that’s why when I say Max has taught me so many life lessons, that’s one of them,” Mayo concluded.