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VIDEO: Owner Teaches Dog to Recycle Human Trash

Animal lover puts Max, the Labrador, on mission to make Deerfield cleaner.

You’ve got your basic dog tricks: sit, stay, paw and roll over. But what if those got too easy?

“I thought, ‘Gee maybe we could do something else?’ ” Keith Sanderson said after his Labrador, Max, got tired of the basic game of fetch.

“He’s wired to be a retriever, so why not make him be a retriever,” the Deerfield resident said, noting that he had to take into account his suburban surroundings. “There’s no pheasants or ducks around, so we did bottles.”

During training, Sanderson switched a normal ball with a bottle; it didn’t take long for Max to catch on to his owner's objective. Now, the duo sets off every morning searching for trash.

“The old trite saying that every litter bit hurts is really true,” Sanderson said. “We have a 40-gallon trash can full of cans and bottles that it took us less than a week to fill.” That garbage is then transferred to a recycling bin. 

Max was originally adopted from , an animal shelter in Riverwoods. Sanderson and his wife took one look at then 6-month-old puppy and couldn’t resist taking him home.

Four years later, Sanderson knew Max would adapt well to the new trick.

“Part of this recycling is that Max is recycled,” Sanderson explained. “So recycling is sort of a theme with him--to remind people, lets not throw away things when there’s a lot of use left in them.”

To watch Max in action, click on the video link above.

Sara Thomson June 22, 2011 at 02:32 PM
The quote at the end about Max being recycled made me teary. Thanks for rescuing him!!
Chuck Spidell July 04, 2011 at 04:11 PM
Envirodog of the year!
NS July 05, 2011 at 03:48 PM
I'm certain that Envirodog should have his own column. Awesome...
Keith Sanderson July 09, 2011 at 04:07 AM
Evirodog does have his own website-www.maxapooch.com and he does have his own column at http://hubpages.com/profile/Max+A+Pooch
Keith Sanderson April 09, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Please vote for Max A Pooch so he can continue to fight litter! It will reduce the planet's waste line. http://www.herodogawards.org/vote/?nominee=61639598

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