Aviator Kennel

Aviator Kennels

In Loving Memory

Max Davis

Aviator Flying
Home Page
Who We Are
Aviator Store
Available Puppies
Stud Dogs
Owner Application
Current Events
Contact Aviator
In Memory


In Memory of Max
Max Davis (aka “Aviator’s Mystery of the Mountain”) passed away peacefully at his home on May 4, 2009.  Max was 15 and half years old.  Max is survived by his guardians, Chris and John Davis, and his partner Pongo Davis.

Max began life in elegant surroundings.  He was bred by Aviator Kennels, and his parents were both champion show dogs.  Max was adopted when he was 4 months old.  He was Chris and John’s first dog.  Chris taught Max to pee and poop in a box on the patio.  John decided to try Max on a short run right away.  John returned with a silly grin on his face. At this tender age Max was a runner.  Max gradually increased his miles.  At 8 months he was running more than 50 miles a week and had good speed and stamina. By the time Max was a year old it was clear that there were very few human runners who could match his skills.  For 14 years Max averaged more than 60 miles a week.  Max had a perfect gait and the steady determination of a great distance runner.

Perhaps due to his elegant beginning, Max was an elitist snob.  He had little interest in meeting dogs or people.  He was perfectly content to remain with his small family and a few close friends.  When Max was 3 he became a champion show dog.  He acquired his points to be a champion in Alaska.

Max travelled a lot.  He vacationed in Montana, Virginia, Tennessee, British Columbia, North Carolina, Ontario, and Alaska.  He was capable of taking long airplane flights and enjoyed his stay in these vacation spots.  He was careful to get in his runs to keep calm and in shape when he traveled.  Max was also an avid hiker.  He hiked on most of his vacations.  He hiked in the Sierras. He had great trail finding skills and was a big help in finding the end of the trail head.  He climbed Mount Whitney twice.  On the second ascent he managed to get to the top of Mount Muir, which is a 14,000 foot mountain near Mount Whitney.  Mount Muir is covered in volcanic waste and there was treacherous footing.  Dogs don’t wear vibram boots. 

Max took 5 years of obedience and agility classes.  Max was outstanding.  His owner, John was below average.  It was very embarrassing for Max.  He frequently would stand patiently and wait for John to try to get the command straight.  All of the other dogs and their owners felt sorry for Max.

Max met Pongo when he was11.  She fell for him instantly.  He was a celebrity in the neighborhood.  He was handsome and had great manners.  Pongo was fat, had mottled fur, drooled a lot and ran sideways.  Max and Pongo started doing long runs together.  Soon it was clear that both of them were having a blast.  They ran mile after mile in tandem.  Pongo lost weight, straightened out her gait, and got her fur in shape.  Max and Pongo then engineered a deal where she switched families.  Pongo’s love for Max transformed her into the beautiful, elegant dog she is today. 

Max ran regularly in local runs with John.  He was careful never to make fun of John’s lack of leg speed.  He placed regularly in John’s age category and had a blast with the competition.  He loved to pick off a line of runners late in the run.  When Max was 12 John decided to take Pongo to her first competitive run.  It was a fairly large run, more than 1000 runners, and John was worried about how Pongo would do with all of the distractions—other dogs, cats, squirrels and intense runners.  John let Max off his leash after 100 yards of the 4 mile race.  At mile 2 it became clear that Pongo was going to do well. She was running steady on her leash and the trio was passing good runners.  Max stayed less than 2 feet from John’s side.  200 yards from the finish there was a sharp curve.  Max swung wide and sprinted for the finish line.  He finished about 10 feet in front of John and Pongo.  Max easily won in John’s category. John was in tears.   Think of how he would have done in his dog age category.

Max is greatly missed by the few of us that he decided to share his live with.

© Aviator Kennel 2008 Return To Top