Amish fiction, Shipshewana Characters, Shipshewana Series Comments: 46

Material Witness and Max

One of my favorite characters from my Shipshewana Amish Mystery series is MAX. When Callie first shows up in Shipshe (Falling to Pieces), she finds she has inherited a quilt shop and a dog.

Max goes a long way toward helping Callie find her way. He provides her stability, unconditional love, and he protects her. He’s everything that we want our pets to be.

In Material Witness, Max is once again a main character. From page one when Aaron witnesses a murder to the dramatic conclusion, I included Max. He’s often at Callie’s side, but he also befriends Aaron. The boy learns to depend on him in the same way that Callie has.

This Wednesday I’ll have a very special give a way that has something to do with Max. (No, I’m not giving away a real dog.)

So what about it? What does your pet mean to you? And if you don’t have one right now, tell me about one you had in the past.



p.s. — Material Witness is now available! Also, you can still sign up for last Wednesday’s give away. Simply click home and then scan down to the post before this one.

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46 thoughts on “Max

  1. Alecia Ernst

    Vannetta my dog means everything to me. My husband and I are dealing with some very stressful health issues of his. When the days are long and sometimes bleak my Penny girl is right by my side and my husbands side also. She definitely gives us unconditional love and stress relief when we need it most and she is there just to listen.

    Alecia E.

  2. Geri Kelley

    I have my big black lab and he has been my steady companion since I have been home sick right by my side, my protector, his name is Samson we call him Sam. He reminds me alot of Max such a gentle loving and loyal friend we would be lost without him. 🙂

    Geri Kelley

  3. Barbara Michels

    My dog that I had growing up meant the world to me. His name was Shep, an old english sheep dog. He was everywhere in the farm with my brothers and sister. He was a true friend and a protector. I could sit for hours and talk to him about problems and he would just look at me and then lick my face. Then he was injured in a farming incident and had to be put down. I have never forgot “OLe Shep”

    1. vannettachapman

      Barbara, he sounds like the perfect childhood friend. We had a dog named Gus who was part German Shepherd. I’m ashamed to say I used to ride him like a horse. : ) I was smaller then …

  4. pag36

    I have had lots of dogs over my almost 76 yrs, Sugar was a Rat Terrier, Shiro (Snow in Japanese) was an adorable Spitz which when we rotated back home had to leave in Japan. I cried for days would not speak to Dad, blamed him. Tho’ after I got older I understood the reasons. Sheaba a Shepard, Tedi a St Bernard to name a few of yesterdays dogs. I now have the sweetest Pug, she is Panda and is 7 yrs old. My constant companion. When my #2 grand son moved to Michigan he said he would not take her as he knew how much she meant to me and me to her. So I thank God for his love for me to do that. So Panda means even more to me. She is sitting her watching me as I type. God has blessed me with her. Thank you for the chance to win this. God bless all of y ou and your dogs, Patti in VA—

  5. Juanita Cook

    Didn’t have a dog as a child,but we have two of them now. Toby (4 yrs) is a cock a poo and cricket (7 Yrs) is a Maltese. They look like Mutt & Jeff when standing side by side. They are both like our children to us. They are both such sweet dogs. Toby .is always by my side and is very playful all the time. Cricket is a rescue dag who has come a long ways since we’ve had her, she sill like to sleep a lot, but does play more than she used to.

  6. Carol Wong

    We were livng in apartments that would not allow a dog so I got cockatiels. Squeaky and Speckles are not like dogs in that they are birds.. They don’t really want to be petted but if Speckles is sitting on my shoulder, he will lean on my cheek. They were very concerned when I had an operation last year. They kept flying to me to check me out. They do things are so funny, When a package comes in the Squamail, they get very excited and get close to see what is inside. They love being sung to.

    Their personality are so different, Squeaky is the patient old man who loves to display all his feathers when he feels happy. Speckles is the mischievous one who often gets into trouble. They have such distinct personalities. I would really miss them if they were not here any more. One of favorite things to do is a video games. They tells me when I am successful and grrr when I am not. I think the best thing that they do is make laugh!

  7. Melissa L

    I have had many dogs (and cats) in my life. Our very first was so docile. She came into my life when I was five. Then came Max. He was a cocker spaniel which came with the house we bought. Then came Trouble. Next was Calliegh, Sable and Ghost at the same time. Two german shephards and an Austrialian shephard. Now we have Dexter and Dixie. A boxer rat terrier mix and a pit bull mix. These two are constant companions to my daughters. All of my dogs have been special and have seen me through hard times in my life. Sable was my companion through two very difficult pregnancies. She was much larger than I was used to (120 lbs) larger. I was actually scared of her. My husband told me that he had gotten me a surprise since Calligh treated me like a was a trespasser on her territory(she was my husband’s dog before we got married LOL). When Sable came running up I actually stepped back inside the house. She proved to be the most loving and gentle dog. All of our dogs have been RESCUE dogs. At one point we had 3 dogs, 2 cats and 2 ferrets in our life and SMALL house. I don’t think I would be happy without a dog or other animal companion in my life. I know my girls feel the same way. Each has already said that when they move out they are going to have a houseful of animals LOL!

  8. Eileen Tarpy

    Just finished reading Material Witness. Couldn’t put it down. Finished it in 2 days. Max just shows how faithful our dogs can be. When is the next in the series, it just can’t end now.

    1. vannettachapman

      Eileen, I’m so glad you enjoyed MW and Max’s role in it. I’m attached to this dog! Feel free to put what you just wrote in a review on Amazon, B&N, and/or CBD. Reviews help a lot. As far as what is next in the Amish mystery category … I’ll reveal that very soon.

  9. Vera Godley

    Haven’t read Material Witness but it and Max sound great. Pets in my life? Well, growing up we raised Collies and the mama and papa dogs were always out pets. I remember their following us around the neighborhood (historical Wilmington, NC) and going to the beach with us. Oh, how they loved the water! I also remember an earlier collie that literally save my little brother’s life. He was riding his tricycle around the block (it was safe to do so then) and “Lady” was following him. When he didn’t show up at home when he should have, Mom went looking for him. My little brother was sitting on his tricycle in a driveway headed toward the street and “Lady” was blocking his way. She simply wouldn’t let him past her to get to the street. Let’s just say she earned treats that day!!!

  10. janie

    Vannetta, I like this post about Max, and his role in this series-I have really enjoyed his company. Shepherd/Chow-only dog I’ve had. She was a great companion, was there in good times and bad, and so perceptive of people feelings.Once,when I felt so down,after the funeral of one of my brothers,I was laying down on the couch,crying-she did something silly to make me laugh-like, toss her rope toy around until she got it to land just between her 2 ears,and down her nose,and hold her head so it wouldn’t fall, LOL!
    I do hope you continue this book series with Max in it…maybe one that takes place at Christmas time? I also tend to agree with Dean Koontz-I believe that dogs are angels.
    I thought it was soo funny that you rode your dog like a horse when you were a child,and that you consider Brown Cat, part blessing/part trail,LOL!

  11. mary ellen ashenfelder

    My favorite pet was a sweet little cockapoo named Gizmo, We got him at the SPCA when he was around 3 years old and had him for 8 wonderful years. He was the best dog ever — well, we thought so. He loved cold cuts and cheese cut up into bite size pieces and was never a fan of dog food, He would stand and beg and would often fall backwards to our amusement. He loved to pose for photos and would always sit still when I got out my camera.I worked in an emergency room when we had Gizmo and one morning I took him to work for a friend to dog sit for us. Gizmo somehow got out of my office and began running around the ER having a good time — it was very funny to see. One day I took him with me to get newspapers and when I got out of the car, Gizmo stood up in the drivers seat with his paws on the wheel to the delight of onlookers. We had a very difficul time when he became ill and had to be put to sleep.We have never gotten another dog and I don’t think we ever will.

  12. Mary K Troyer Rabatin

    Our dog Muffy was a lonely doggy running the street behind us . Some one brought her to us so she wouldn’t starve . No one knew where she belonged . We checked every where to no avail . We were told to wait 10 days & if no one claimed her we could get her tags & keep her . She was matted very badly and looked like no one had cared for her . We got here tags after 10 days , hair cut & Trip to the Vet . We have had her for 12 years . She’s the most loving doggy we could ever hope for . Thinks she owns my Hubby’s truck & my Hubby . She gets her vet trips & hair cuts . People love seeing her with my Hubby when ever he’s out & about . Muffy is good for all of us .

  13. Shelia Wade

    We just lost our best friend (Black Lab) Ralph a week ago. He was 13 years old and was my constant companion. He loved my husband too very much, especially when Don got home from work and went to the Barn, Ralph went right with him. Ralph developed very quickly (with-in the last 2 months) a tumor in his lymph nodes in his groin and our Vet (who is Wonderful) kept him comfortable until we knew it was too much for Ralph to bear. So we did the Humane thing to do and had him put to sleep. We had him creamated, so he is still with us so to speak. We loved and miss Ralph so much. Rest In Peace Ralph.

  14. Lisa Wine

    I love that Max has been a very important part of this series. I love dogs and have had some very special ones in my life. Right now I have two that are wonderful one is a shepherd mix that we rescued. The other is a white boxer that was an anniversary present from my wonderful husband.

  15. Jeannie Blethen-Rigod

    Princess (a 13+yr old Black Labby,) is one of our personal Earth Angels. She is the heartbeat of the family. Princess even saved my life once. I sat on the sofa and realized that I could see her and my husband playing right in front of me. Only, there was complete silence. It dawned on me that my heart was stopped. I quickly realized ESP wouldn’t work on Louis but…Princess? So, as I felt myself leave my heavy body..I shouted out to Princess “Run at Mommy and hit my chest!” She did. My defibrillator kicked in almost immediately and I am here to tell you my tale. I know it sounds unreal but I have witnesses. I have a condition related to my rare cancer known as Sudden Cardiac Death disorder. As I say…Princess is an ‘Earth Angel.’

  16. Judy B

    I had a Golden Retriever/Lab mix named “Max.” Max was my baby. I loved that dog to pieces and sobbed like a baby when the vet had to put him down. He was a constant companion and loved me unconditionally. Max made me laugh. The expressions on his face were priceless. He stood by me through my illnesses and was there during my breast cancer journey. He knew something wasn’t right with me and stuck to me like glue. He has been gone 11 years now and he can never be replaced. Boy, I get teary eyed just thinking about him.

    1. Jamie Davis bryan

      Max sounds like a faithful companion. Dogs really do know when their owners are I’ll. I suffered terrible stomach pains for months, and my dog pressli would always come and sniff. Certain spot on my side. One day she was particularly sniffy, and later that night I was in surgery from my condition, that was clearly nsuspected by me, but very much detected by my baby boo!

  17. Linda D. McFarland

    Vanetta, I just finished Material Witness. My sleep quotient is a little out-of-whack due to the fact that I couldn’t stop reading ’til I finished. I loved all three books and loved Max,too! I have a four-pound white toy poodle named ‘Bitsy’. Little size, BIG attitude! She is the joy of our family and there is not enough time nor space to tell you all her cute stuff! My little fur baby stays close and never lets me out of her sight. Just like Max! Am curious about the contest, too!

  18. Jackie Tessnair

    I have three dogs in the house and two outside,and two cats.I love them so much,they are my babies.They are so much company to me.I have been hurt by people in my lifetime,but never by my pets.This past January and April I lost two dogs that we had a long time.I still miss them so much.I am just an animal lover….

  19. O Norman

    We have two cats and a part time dog. The dog was given to us by a friend and was happy with us until his old neighbor moved in next to us and now he belongs to both of us! Since my neighbor is a vet, it works out good for all of us!

  20. Donita Corman

    We had a tabby cat named Squishy for 13 years.She was just like a member of the fact it was 3 years ago today that she passed.She is still deeply missed. Whenever we were eating she would be your best friend because she was always trying to steal your food.My son was her favorite and she would sleep with him . Since she has been gone my allergies have eased up and its been confirmed that I’m allergic to cats so no more pets.allergies or not that cat is forever in my heart.

  21. Jamie Davis bryan

    M boxer/lab mix, pressli blossom Bryan, is the light of my life. I’ve not been blessed with children, so her undying devoted and companionship fills that void. I read a quote recently saying that your dog is your love, your life, your friend, and your protector and you owe it to be worthy of such devotion. Something like that. Like Callie, I immediately seek solace in my dog. Panic and anxiety attacks are eased with her by my side. She does everything with me! I’ve even taken her to school with me and my students just love her. Dogs remind you of the simple things that are important, like showing affection and sharing love, slowing down on a walk and enjoying the world around you. Pressli encourages me to show appreciation everyday! If people were half as good as my dog, the world would be a peaceful place! Max and Callie really touched my heart in falling to pieces, so closely reflecting my own love for pressli, and teaching us that animals have great healing power for those of us who Are a little uneasy in the world! I encourage everyone to do something special for their local shelters and rescue efforts…these creatures depend on us And we owe it to them to take care of them!

  22. Debbie

    Vannetta, l love my animals which are cats. I have 2 of them, 1 boy and 1 girl, and the girl is here with me. Their names are Simon and Patches. I love them so much, they mean so much to me. They follow me around a lot. In fact, Patches is here with me while I am typing this. She does want the attention. Hehe. 🙂

  23. Maxie Lloyd-Hamilton Anderson

    I really don’t have anything spectatular to say, but the last dog we had was a Chiwauwau and she was my husbands shadow. When he was sick and I had to leave him in the hosp. for 5 days guess she thought I threw him away, because she wouldn’t have anything to do with me until I brought him home. Then she wanted to get him in my lap all happy! After he passed away she then depended on me and kept me company.
    Maxie ( )

  24. Pamela Toczylowski

    My adorable cat Sweet Pea is the baby of the family. She’s always there to greet me when I get home and is always happy to see me. She make me feel wanted and needed (again) since I’m going through the empty nest syndrome. Whenever I’m upset I feel like Sweet Pea calms me down, she’s almost like therapy for me. She definitely is a member of the family and I don’t know what I’d do without her. She really is a Sweet Pea. I will post of FB and share with others in hopes of winning the complete series. Thanks for all that you do, you truly are a special and talented individual. Keep up the good work.