A multilingual dog

By Spencer Fowler Steen

Meet Max, the multilingual golden retriever who many city workers know well. 

Karen Zhou, who works locally at ANZ, has been minding Max, seven, for the past half-year while his owner is away in China.

She walks him every day at Flagstaff Gardens where city workers nearby know him by name and say “hi”.
“He’s the nicest dog I’ve ever met, he never barks and he’s friendly towards everyone,” Karen said.
“But he can’t really take care of the house because he’s too friendly.”
Karen said Max responded to Mandarin, English, and more recently, “a little Korean” because her Korean housemate spoke it to him.

She also said Max helped his owner chat to girls at Flagstaff Gardens.
“If he sees a pretty girl in the park, he says ‘Max go to her’ in Mandarin,” she said.
Very much a dog of the people, Max was picked from a litter of golden retriever puppies on a farm.
“His owner wasn’t planning on getting him – he was planning on getting a husky,” Karen said.
“But when he saw baby Max, who put a paw on his shoulder and looked at him, he thought ‘this dog is the right one.’”
Although Max has never been on a plane, he’ll be heading to Los Angeles in December once his owner returns to Australia.
It’s a fair way from his usual Flagstaff Gardens, but Karen’s positive he’ll be just as popular over there.

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