Merida street dog learns to be comfort animal in Colorado

Mad Maxx was hit by a car in Merida, but is enjoying a fresh start in Colorado. Photo: CBS Denver
Mad Maxx was hit by a car in Merida, but is enjoying a fresh start in Colorado. Photo: CBS Denver

Mad Maxx, who lost two legs in a Merida road accident, was adopted and given a new purpose in life all the way up in Denver, Colorado.

Maxx now gets around on two legs and two wheels, and got his name because of his “mad driving skills,” said Alicia Cuello, first saw the terrier-mix rolling outside the MaxFund Animal Shelter.

After Maxx’s accident in Merida, he was abandoned by his owners. The animal protection society of Tulum arranged for Maxx to come to the States for treatment.

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“He dragged himself on the streets of Mexico until the point where his bones were showing. At night he’d sit on the porch of the family that threw him out on the street,” said Cuello.

At first, Cuello only planned to foster a dog, but ended up adopting Maxx and giving him a role as a comfort dog.

“He’s got such a sweet disposition; I realized he’s a comfort dog! They might be broken in body, but they’re not broken in spirit,” said Cuello in a CBS Denver report.

Comfort dogs help people get past traumas; one helped Cuello after she survived being in close proximity to a mass shooting.

For the last few months, she’s been driving Maxx to Colorado Springs where he’s training to become a disaster recover dog, or a comfort dog.

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“They watch and see what the dog’s disposition is and how he reacts in difference situations. From there the dogs have to get different certifications,” explained Cuello.

Maxx will soon begin the two-day, 20-hour long test to qualify for his certification. When he passes, Cuello and Max will travel with volunteers to locations of natural disasters and mass shootings to provide comfort to victims.

While Maxx can’t offer words of comfort, Cuello hopes they’ll see his message: keep “rolling” along.

“He has every right to be bitter and want to crawl up in a ball and melt away but he doesn’t. He embraces life and he reminds us that you’ve got to overcome obstacles and you’ve got to give back and help people feel better,” said Cuello.

Source: CBS Denver

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