Celebrity canine supports Marshall

Max+poses+in+front+of+the+Memorial+Fountain.

@Charlestonmax | Instagram

Max poses in front of the Memorial Fountain.

After taking photographs with children, helping the homeless in Charleston, S.C. and making strangers smile, Max, a four-year-old Yellow Lab, shows off his Marshall University gear in his free time.  

“Every day is a good day to support the Herd,” Max’s owner, Nic Porter, said on social media. 

Max is mostly wearing his sunglasses or reading glasses, occasionally a Rolex watch, and sometimes his Marshall jersey when walking in Charleston, S.C., and Huntington W.Va., to represent his owner.  

As a Marshall alumnus, Porter said he likes to visit Huntington with Max for the homecoming game and tries to visit two games to spend some time with his college friends and support the football team. Porter will be at the homecoming game with Max this year. 

With 5,000 calories to eat in one day to maintain 81 pounds, Max, while sitting in a chair, is hand-fed bacon and chicken, which gets the attention of strangers. Porter said Max won’t eat without his assistance. 

“It’s almost like “America’s Funniest Home Videos” because there’s a dog with glasses on, not touching his food and when no one else is around him—People just lose it,” Porter said. “I take a conscious effort to help and try to make people smile.”  

Porter said Max is not the only sociable dog he has had. When Porter was enrolled at Marshall University, he was known for keeping a Yellow Lab, TEKE, in the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity house he lived in and taking the dog to work with him. 

Since Max has to stay active daily, Porter said he also brings Max to work with him and will decline meetings if Max is not allowed to attend. 

To support small businesses, Porter will post photos of Max at the business on his Instagram that reaches to more than 4,000 people, but as a Charleston resident, Max’s fame also helps local homeless charities.  

Max and Porter started visiting a shelter in downtown Charleston every Thursday, one summer to provide resources by responding to the weekly 20 to 30 messages sent to Max’s social media. Porter said if someone wanted a photo with Max, they can visit him at the shelter with water to donate.  

“I am the luckiest 40-year-old alive,” Porter said. “I am very fortunate and appreciative, so I do everything I can to give back. Pay it forward, that’s what we do with him [Max].” 

Xena Bunton can be contacted at [email protected]