one more in the reliably sporadic series of yuletide Celebritology short articles on the Unsung Heroes of holiday Pop Culture.


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The Grinch, helped by his loyal dog, Max, in “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” (ABC/AMERICAN broadcasting COMPANIES, INC.)

Despite being a cranky shut-in, a burglar and a liar, the Grinch often tends to dominate all the attention in “Dr. Seuss’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

Why? because that starters, because the Grinch’s surname is in the title and also he’s the protagonist that the story. Also because the redeems self in the final five minutes of this 1966 half-hour animated classic, i m sorry reairs tomorrow and also Thursday on Cartoon Network and also Christmas night top top ABC.

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Yes, Mr. Anti-Whos-Down-in-Whoville — the creature whom most of united state would not touch v a 39 1/2-foot pole — walk what so countless heroes in enduring holiday stories do: lock become far better people by finally enabling the Christmas heart to teach castle kindness.

But there is one more character in “The Grinch” who already knows what it way to it is in loyal and kind, that willingly wears a tree branch ~ above his head without one whimper of complaint and who already recognizes the Christmas work is in our grasp, as long as we have actually hands (or paws) to clasp.

That character, the course, is Max the dog.

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just how did the Grinch become Max’s master? neither the chuck Jones holiday unique nor the publication ever define this. It appears unlikely the the bloated old troll would certainly have adopted him native a shelter. It seems equally implausible that Max to be a stray that simply happened come wander every the method up come the Grinch’s hermit lair overlooking Whoville, a place, by the way, in desperate require of an extreme home makeover.

However the happened, one point is clear: Max puts up through some major abuse.

By my estimation, throughout the around 26-minute runtime of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” Max endures the following:

—The put on of uncomfortable antler-esque head equipment that strips that of his own pet identity, which will certainly undoubtedly an outcome in irreversible dog/reindeer confusion. (That’s a real mental condition. Look the up.)

—Being a victim of animal abuse as well as bullying, a instance that involves merciless whipping, dragging a sleigh that nearly runs him end on several occasions and also getting squashed through packages lobbed native the top of who houses.


—Serving together an unwitting accomplice in number of of the Grinch’s crimes, which include yet are not restricted to: breaking and also entering; burglary; trespassing; violating a restraining bespeak that calls for the Grinch to remain at least 25 feet away from Cindy Lou that at every times; and also the theft of Santa Claus’s and Dasher’s (or possibly Dancer’s?) identities.

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—Having to hang out through the Grinch, who, as established by the show’s theme song, stinks in every conceivable verb tense. (Stink, stank and also stunk.)

But Max handle it all with great cheer due to the fact that Max is a dog — perhaps a beagle, maybe simply a mutt, we’re quiet not sure — with spunk and also grace. Perform you think a cat would placed up with all this? Hell no. If the Grinch to be the equivalent of a cat-lady shut-in, this show would be 5 minutes long and also would consists the Grinch trying to to convince his mewing diva come wear reindeer antlers till he ultimately gave up and also decided come lob snowballs in ~ the whos instead.

The an excellent news for Max is that the Grinch go transform, so much so that he carves the very first, freshest slice of roast beast for his sweet, ridiculously tolerant pup. And since the Grinch’s heart thrived three sizes the day, we have to assume the life for Max additionally got gentler, warmer and also better.

We choose to think so. ~ all, Max deserves that. As a matter of fact, he just can deserve that even more than the Grinch.