The Oz Project

The Autumn Leaves- Maple

    One crisp sunny day in October of 2007, the Autumn Leaves drifted into Oz. There were two young males, Maple and Oak, both under a year old, Linden, a 14 week old little girl, and Sumac an adult female.

           MAPLE AKA MARTY

    Maple was eleven and a half months old when he arrived at Oz. He had the most beautiful and unusual coat that I have ever seen. His name fit him perfectly. His coat was the color of a stack of golden brown pancakes, with a darker golden brown, the color of maple syrup dribbled over it. He was quick to learn everything, including that bigger was better. He quickly learned that all he had to do to force his will on the two younger Cairns was to bunt them with his front shoulder.  Sometimes he would bunt them hard enough that he would make them yelp, or even fall down. He quickly learned that he could force them to give up their toy, and even the ground that they were standing on, if he so decided. Soon he appointed himself King of the kennel. He was in fact a bit of a bully. He first picked Oak to rule over, then with little Oak following, he decided it was time to teach the little girl that he ruled the world. He bothered her all the time. He would never bite her, but he would run in and bunt her with his shoulder and then run away. Then he would wait for Oak to follow his lead. Usually little Oak didn't bump little Linden. He just ran by her and barked and growled, as he snapped the air. It was only a display, but enough that Maple was satisfied. Oak didn't want a fight but he was smart enough to know that it was better to join Maple, and taunt little Linden than it was to stand up to him. One day Maple would learn that Kings that lead with force, are usually dethroned with force.  Maple was smart enough not to bother the older female...for he knew that she had her own problems, and most likely wouldn't tolerate his foolishness. So Maple ruled uncontested...for awhile.






   One day while Maple was at Oz he celebrated his first birthday. It was a glorious day indeed. Maple celebrated his first birthday in freedom. He wouldn't spend his life standing in a dirty crate in a puppy mill. He would spend the rest of his life living with a family surrounded with love. Maple had already received the greatest gift of all, but I couldn't let the day pass without a party of some kind. So while the kids took their afternoon naps I made Maple a birthday cake. It wasn't cake with frosting and such...but it was the perfect cake for Maple! I made ground turkey into the shape of a dog bone and microwaved it. I had also gotten him his first birthday present. It was a big rubber chicken. So while he napped I took his cake and his present out to the outdoor kennel. I sat them on the kennel platform along with my camera. I would get pictures of Maple celebrating his first birthday! Then I went into the crate room and got little Maple. I took him out and sat him down in front of his cake while I reached for my camera. I know that my eyes popped and my mouth dropped open, because before I could even get my camera to my face, Maple had gulped down his birthday cake, snatched his rubber chicken, and was happily bounding around the outdoor kennel carrying his rubber chicken in his mouth. Then I started laughing, not at Maple but at myself. What made me think that he was going to sit and pose in front of his cake?  Then I threw out a ton of toys and went in and got the other two Ozkids. I didn't think either of them would bother Maple and his new toy and they didn't. Each time either of them would come anywhere near Maple's chicken he would grab it and run with it.  Maple was soon to learn a new lesson. When you own something it comes with a price. You have something to take care of, something to worry about. He carried that rubber chicken in his mouth for days. It was so big that he couldn't close his mouth around it, so for days he ran around drooling all down the front of himself, even his chest was wet. Poor Maple. 



 UPDATE: Maple, now Rocky, is living in the upper peninsula of Michigan with his foster mommy's daughter and son-in-law. He now carries  ball with him everywhere, but not the same one everyday-and he knows the difference!

Watch for Oak's story.