We are closed on July 3rd in observance of Independence Day.


“Max” is short for Maximilian (meaning “greatest”) and Maxwell (meaning “great spring”), I am not sure if that references the weather, or the jump, but either way these words fit Mr. Max quite well; even the fact that Max is short for Maximilian, because Max, is in fact, short.

Max is a Miniature Schnauzer. Purebred and pure white in color. Have you ever read up on these guys? Well, I have, and it is an interesting read.  They are not, as commonly believed, a small version of the Giant and Standard Schnauzers, though they do share common ancestors. In the US they are even classed as terriers (vs. Schnauzers as working dogs) in breed competitions.

Characteristics of the Miniature Schnauzer go right down the line of terrier descriptors: brave, mischievous, energetic, active, fearless, independent, playful, and cheerful. Max, even though he’s now considered ‘elderly’ at 14.5 years old, a little stiff, a lot slower and partially deaf, is still exhibiting those traits. His owners describe his entrance into their lives like this:

He came into our lives full of mischievous puppy energy.  He spent his days wrecking havoc; ripping up baseboards, tearing into kitchen towels, helping himself to any food left close to the edge of the kitchen counters and mastering selective hearing.  He kept us safe from strangers and animals with his loud, ferocious barks which also doubled as an alarm. alerting us of UPS trucks that were blocks away. In addition to walks, he would add endless miles by running up and down the stairs as fast as he could, just to mystify and entertain us.  He loved going on long hikes and snowshoeing.  He particularly loved going to dog parks, he was fast and would encourage big dogs to chase him, fortunately for him (and us), he always outran them. With several months of teaching and neighbors all watching the daily progress, he learned to fetch the paper, which came in handy when it was raining (who knew miniature schnauzers could fetch). 

When we added 2 kids to our family, he was so patient in enduring the tugging, pulling and riding that toddlers love to do to dogs. Or perhaps he thought it was a small price to pay because he quickly realized that the food they were enjoying varied deliciously from his own. He still seems like that puppy from the pet store to us.

Max is clearly a dog who is family, who has grown with them, changed with them, loved with them and grown old with them.  Everybody in the neighborhood knows Max, and Max clearly knows the neighborhood. Besides that; Max is just flat cute. So, there’s that.  When a dog like Max needs specialty care, that’s where VSCP comes in. Max needed specialty care.

 About a year ago, Max began to grow a lipoma near his right shoulder.  A lipoma is a term for a fatty tumor. Lipomas are common in older dogs.  Max’s vet checked it out and at that time it was small so it was left alone. Late last year, it started to grow and by the beginning of 2020, it began to grow rapidly; then COVID-19 happened and Max wasn’t able to see the vet until April, and by that time it was the size of a small melon. Because of its location, Max couldn’t turn his head to the right any longer, he bumped into things with it.  Because of the rapid growth and size, the vet thought that the lipoma might be malignant, however a biopsy showed it  to be non-cancerous.  Max’s vet then referred Max to the Veterinary Surgical Center of Portland to explore further options as the size of the lipoma was larger and more complex than what they felt comfortable with removing at their clinic; enter VSCP and Dr. Amelia M. Simpson.

Max’s records were brought in and Max’s owners and Dr. Simpson did a phone consultation (COVID-19 protocol!) regarding Max’s lipoma. Dr. Simpson thoroughly examined Max’s indications and health status, since his advanced age, and tolerating the procedure was a concern for his owners.  They agreed that Max would be scheduled for surgery. On May 19th, Max came wiggling in the door first thing in the morning. Dr. Simpson did a thorough examination and made certain that Max was a good candidate for surgery. The very large lipoma was removed carefully. Max did well with the surgery and recovered uneventfully from anesthesia. He had a very good night and went home the next day.

One week later Max came in for bandage change, happy as a…mini schnauzer…and he was doing so well that his bandage was removed for good. “Watch out for sunburn on his shaved spot”, said tech Renee as he was lovingly taken out to his family car to go home. Good boy Max. Your family loves you so much, and you can look to the right now, if you selectively choose to, because; terrier.