Thank you Christian for taking the time to write Max’s Happy Tail and so we can share it with our Deaf Dogs Rock readers. Thank you also for giving deaf dog Max a chance and letting him take the time to decompress and learn to trust humans again. Many people just give up the first week they adopt a deaf dog, but not you. You hung in there with Max and because of your love, patience, and positive reinforcement training, you now live with a awesome (rockin) deaf dog named Max. According to our Deaf Dogs Rock executive team deaf dogs Nitro, Bud, Bowie, and Cornell, you and Max totally Rock! ~ Christina Lee – Deaf Dogs Rock

Christian and Max

Max’s Happy Tail written by Christian Cummings

My name is Christian Cummings and my aunt showed me this site. I rescued a beautiful blue heeler named Max from the Pensacola Humane Society about a year and a half ago. Max was abused by his previous owners so he had major trust issues. They said he had a hearing problem but didn’t say he was completely deaf, I found that out when we got Max home.


Goober head Max! 

It took months of sitting on the floor with poor Max after work and slowly petting him, he’d show his teeth, I’d stop, he’d stop, repeat. Fast forward a few months and I had gained his trust. We started training use sign language and Max took to it very quickly. Actually he was surprisingly easy to teach. From there we started going on hikes together. Max and I got passes to all the state parks in Florida and every weekend we took advantage of it and went hiking together.

Max always stayed close to me and was well behaved on the leash so I decided we were far enough away from the main roads or any danger so I decided to let him off the leash. He immediately took off! I thought to myself “oh dang there’s no way I can call him what can I do?” Soon after he went out of eyesight, he came sprinting back to me super happy, borderline bouncing back. So we kept hiking and he’ll run around but always keeps me in eyesight. That made hiking all the more fun watching how happy Max is when we are out enjoying the wilderness. Since then, we have hiked over a hundred miles of Florida state parks and coastline. Max and I have also spent hours playing in the Gulf of Mexico. We recently got stationed in North Carolina so now we’re hitting all the state parks here. We’ve already visited the Atlanta ocean and the gorgeous Blue Ridge mountains! Max has been a blast to have around and he is by far one of the best choices I’ve made.

Photo above – Max hanging out at camp – Camping in the Blue Ridge mountains. 

A huge benefit to deaf dogs is when I lived in Florida we lived in an apartment complex full of noisy little lap dogs. One would start barking which would set off a chain reaction and within minutes eight different little dogs be going crazy and yapping up a storm.  Since Max is deaf, he wouldn’t ever bark. It was really nice having a dog that doesn’t get riled up by other dogs barking. In fact, he hardly barks at all which is so nice.


Pictured from Left to Right: Christian Cummings, Max, Grace Morrison and with doggy sister Macie