Max the poodle at post office

Caroline Golon, the human behind popular humor blog Romeo the Cat, will share the stories of pet owners who have gone the extra mile for their pets in this series, The Things We Do for Love.

Max, a Standard Poodle who lives in Ojai, Calif., doesn’t want for much. His owners dote on him, he has toys galore, he visits the groomer once a month and he drinks filtered water. But car rides are one of Max’s favorite things. His owners, Susan Hart Hellman and her partner, are happy to oblige, even planning their shopping trips, visits to the post office and other excursions so Max can go along.

Everywhere They Go, Max Goes Too

Max usually gets several rides in the car each day. “A minimum of one time per day,” says Hellman. “And sometimes up to three, four, even five times,” she reveals with a laugh. Hellman says they often plan their errands around Max.

Hellman says it’s not usually an issue taking Max into stores or public places. “We just march right in with him and act like it’s fine. But if they ask him to leave, no problem.” The conscientious pet owners are careful about establishments that serve food, and they never take Max where they already know he’s not allowed.

But, if Max isn’t permitted in a store or other establishment, he’s never left waiting alone in the car. “Someone always stays with him,” Hellman says. “You wouldn’t leave a toddler in the car alone, so why would you leave your dog?”

Car Setup

Max never travels without his entourage of toys and equipment. When Max hears, “Want to go? Want to go in the car?” Hellman says, “he leaps and twirls, yodels a sound that closely resembles ‘whoooooo hooooo,’ and gathers toys to take on the ride.”

Max the poodle at the groomer

The 70-pound dog is always safely harnessed in the backseat, surrounded by his toys and other traveling gear like a blanket, ball, water bowl and a gallon of filtered water. “Needless to say, his personal bulk and his paraphernalia require the entire backseat of any given car,” Hellman says. Max loves watching the scenery whiz by and gets especially excited when he sees other dogs or cats.

Sometimes They Just Go for Max

Since Hellman and her partner both work from home, sometimes there’s technically no need to leave the house — except to take Max on a drive. “On very busy days, there have been drives around the block. On slower work days, we go further,” Hellman says. She also admits, “I’ve taken him on 15- to 20-mile round trips so he gets to go out in the car.”

Even when he’s not cruising the highways with them, Max is never far from his owners. “He likes to be where we are,” Hellman says. And, she adds, Max “is what you might refer to as a 70-pound baby, truly a pampered Poodle.”