This the real Max. A neighbor down the street of over twenty years has made a life of rescuing big, black German Shepherds, each in succession named Max.
I lost track, and can not tell for the life of me which this one is. Doesn't really matter. They were all big and black, loved to lick your hand, friendly to kids and other dogs, but ferocious if he even suspected anyone was threatening his owner.
I always him offered a dog treat, and stayed his (through the generations) friend.
In the original edition of MISSING Sticks, the German guard dog Dawson rescued was named "Dawg," then was named "Max" in ONE STICK AND A WACO.
I decided to give him a real background and fix his name throughout the STICK series, so invented a scene in the revised edition of MISSING STICKS where Dawson names him Max. Here's the back story that justifies (at least in my mind) the name change:
Quality's National Comics #5, cover dated November 1940, introduced the character Quicksilver. Almost nothing was revealed about Quicksilver except that he possessed super-speed and his secret identity had the first name "Max." Due to the character's indistinct background, decades later writer Mark Waid was free to reinvent the character in The Flash without contradicting anything. When the character reappeared in early 1990s issues of The Flash, his name had to be changed from "Quicksilver" to "Mercury" to avoid confusion with Marvel Comics' Quicksilver.
In Waid's origin of the character, the man, "Max," who later became "The Flash" was originally a scout with the US Cavalry in the 1830s. A friend of the local Indian tribes, he was shocked and dismayed to find them massacred on the orders of his commanding officer. Enchanted by a dying Indian shaman, he gained super-speed. In the years that followed, he became known to the Indians as Ahwehota ("He Who Runs Beyond The Wind"), and to everyone else as Windrunner.
Later in the comic world he was known as Mercury and has repeatedly traveled through time, seeking to enter the so-called Speed Force. He usually bounces off and finds himself decades in the future. His first attempt left him in the 1890s, where he created a new identity for himself as Whip Whirlwind. Later, he travelled ahead again, and was active in the 1930s and 1940s as Quicksilver when he acted as a mentor to the fledgling Golden Age Flash and Johnny Quick.
Dawson was struck by the lighten-fast reflexes of his new friend, the ex-German guard dog, so he named the dog Max, after his favorite comic book character.
As you might imagine, Dawson, as I, was a comic book fan in the 1940’s.