ATLANTA - Max the dog and his forever person, Leigh, stopped by FOX 5 Thursday morning for the first time since being matched together at Canine Assistants over the summer.
“Operation Max” was established in 2016 when FOX 5 began a partnership with Canine Assistants, which is a non-profit organization based out of Milton, Georgia. They pair 75-100 dogs annually with people who have difficulty with mobility, epilepsy, Type 1 diabetes as well as dogs in pediatric hospitals and rehab centers.
Max's first day "on the job" at FOX 5 was January 17, 2017. He was just 12-weeks-old at the time and weighed less than 20 pounds.
Max spent the first 12 weeks of his life at Canine Assistants before moving in with his small team of FOX 5 fosters. His core foster team consisted of three FOX 5 employees, including Donna Bell, Katie Muse Burk, and Susan Kicak. Donna works as an account executive in our sales department, Katie is a digital producer for FOX 5 News, and Susan also works in the news department as a producer for Good Day Atlanta. Throughout Operation Max, his fosters worked closely with his Canine Assistants instructor, Kristen Hill.
Max departed from FOX 5 back in June and started working as Leigh's seizure response dog after a special graduation ceremony at Canine Assistants. Then, they began their new life together.
Thursday was an extra special morning as Max returned to FOX 5 for the first time since his departure in June - especially for his FOX 5 fosters who loved seeing their sweet boy again! Max's fosters also loved getting to spend time with Leigh and her parents.
As soon as Max walked back into the FOX 5 Newsroom, his infamous "golden grunt" was out in full force. He saw many familiar faces, and his tail never stopped wagging.
Leigh, who suffers from epilepsy, appeared on Good Day Atlanta at 9 a.m. with Max and shared how everything has been great since he came into her life.
Leigh also shared more about her journey with Max on our FOX 5 Atlanta Facebook page, calling him her angel and saying he's given her a boost of confidence as well as a new sense of security.
"He's truly a blessing," Leigh said.