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Man reunites with 'therapy dog' after two years

Posted December 26, 2013

— After being separated for two years, Chase Surles and his dog Max haven’t missed a beat.

Max, a black Labrador retriever, was given to Surles, 23, as a gift one month before Surles underwent brain surgery in 2011 to remove a tumor.

“I think he was instrumental in his healing, honestly,” said Donna Surles, Chase’s mother. “I called him Chase’s therapy dog.”

Max was just 9 months old when he disappeared. After two years of not giving up hope, Chase’s girlfriend came across a picture of a dog on a veterinarian’s Facebook page that looked like their black Lab. But something was different. The dog had only three legs.

“Chase was asked to describe a distinguishing feature Max had,” Donna Surles said. “He pointed out the white patch on his chest because he had no idea Max was missing a leg. We don’t know what happened to the leg, but it was amputated professionally.”

Chase Surles was shocked to see Max without one of his legs.

“I was speechless there for a few seconds,” he said.

When the pair reunited earlier this year, it was like they never left each other.

“We started playing fetch and just the same old Max, just like it was before,” he said. “He’s just missing one leg. You wouldn’t even notice, he was running so fast.”

Chase is thankful for those who took care of Max. A few weeks before they were reunited, Max showed up at someone’s house. That family looked after him and took him to the Lillington Veterinary Hospital, which posted Max’s picture on Facebook.

Chase and Max recently celebrated their first Christmas together since reuniting. Max was truly a Christmas gift – he wasn’t wearing a tag when he ran off and wasn’t micro-chipped.

Now he has both.


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  • andela Dec 27, 2013

    What a great story! Congrats!

  • SunAndSky Dec 27, 2013

    It's good to see a story with a happy ending. Lillington Veterinary Hospital is GREAT! We have used them for many years now and I am so proud of them for being a part of this!

  • anneonymousone Dec 26, 2013

    Congratulations to Max and his people!

    Eagle Eye award to Chase's girlfriend, too!

  • Obamacare for America Dec 26, 2013

    Great to hear Max is finally back home!!