Max, The Sea-Dog

Max, the Sea-Dog is a story for children of all ages. It is based on what happened one memorable day off the shore of  an island in Wellfleet Harbor on Cape Cod, when 12-year old Sam’s Golden Retriever, Max, got caught in an incoming tide and was lost at sea.  The story is told in alternating chapters revealing what the boy is feeling and the dog is experiencing during the day-long  period of loss, search and rescue. In the novella, designed by Barry Moser, the narrative is richly enhanced by stunning illustrations by Evanleigh Davis.

Max, the Sea-Dog
Published by
Sea House Books
Box 406
South Wellfleet, MA 02663
[email protected] March, 2018
ISBN 978-1-5323-6617-8

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Early commentary on Max, the Sea-Dog
Max, the Sea-Dog is a page turner. In an impressive display of story-telling, Peter Rose gives us a boy and two dogs, one of whom, Max, gets himself lost at sea. This is a book so convincing in character, detail and build up that you may feel, as I did, that it’s actually happening at the moment you read it.

—Jules Feiffer

“Drawing on his many summers on Cape Cod, Peter Rose has written his first book for children.  Max, a lost dog;  a boy who loves Max;  a foggy day and rough seas  — who can resist?”

—Norma Simon, Wellfleet, MA

“Book Bag: ‘Max, the Sea-Dog’ by Peter Rose
Former Smith College sociology and anthropology professor Peter Rose had written widely on those topics over the years, and in his retirement he’s also become a busy travel writer for a number of publications.

But in his new book, Rose, who splits time between Northampton and Cape Cod, has fashioned something different: “Max, the Sea-dog” is a children’s story about an aging but still adventurous canine who somehow finds himself lost at sea.

At the start of the tale, Max joins a young boy, Sam, and another dog, Dante, as the trio investigates the tidal flats on a small island off the coast of Cape Cod. Thick fog obscures everything, giving their walk a little tinge of adventure.

Max in particular is enjoying himself: “He was excited and he began to do something he hadn’t done in a long time — he started running. Although he was still pretty slow, he felt like a young puppy.”

But Max somehow gets lost, wandering out into the foggy ocean where he’s forced to swim; he can’t find his way back to land. Sam and Dante search for their friend; Sam even paddles around in his kayak until he’s forced to seek help from a fishing boat and worries that his pal Max is gone for good.

The story, told partly from Max’s perspective — “Max had a vivid imagination and a great memory” Rose writes — is illustrated by Evanleigh Davis, a recent Smith College graduate who was a student of acclaimed illustrator and printmaker Barry Moser, who designed “Max, the Sea-dog.”

-Steve Pfarrer
Daily Hampshire Gazette

“What a terrific book. I smiled all over when it was finished. Sure to be a hit for years to come, and read as a bedtime story again and again.”
-Patricia Crow, Orleans, MA

December 10, 2018

This is a wonderful children’s story by Peter Rose about a boy called Sam who saves his old dog Max. They walk on the beach and get lost. Max starts swimming and is “lost at sea.” The book is written in a clear and accessible style, teaching us much of the vocabulary of seacoast language.