The Dog Who Wanted to Be a Boy

Max was a big dog who had a big wish. He wanted to be part of a family. But Max lived at the dog pound. And at the pound he had a big problem.

People always picked the small dogs and the medium dogs and even the almost-big dogs.

No one wanted the biggest dog: Max.


One afternoon, a couple visiting the pound stopped to look at Max. He wagged his tail happily.

The man pointed and laughed. “Look at that dog,” he said to his wife. “He’s so big! I bet he’d eat us out of house and home.”

They didn’t adopt Max.


Max was really sad. He curled into a tight ball. He tried to look as small as possible. Soon he drifted off to sleep and dreamed of being a boy.

When he woke up, he had an idea.


That night, Max snuck out of the pound. He trotted across the street to the New Leaf Adoption Center for Boys.

Max thought to himself, "I'm so big, I can pretend to be a boy. Then a family will adopt me!"


At New Leaf, Max acted just like the other boys.

He wore long blue shorts, a T-shirt, and a baseball cap. He combed his hair, brushed his teeth, and practiced walking on two legs.

He went to class, studied in the library, and learned to play the trumpet.


He tried playing tennis, but that really didn’t work out. When a ball flew through the air, he chased it. Just like all dogs do.

He joined the chess club instead. Soon he was the chess champion.


At night, while the other boys slept, Max practiced speaking. Soon his barks sounded like simple words, such as “hello,” “goodbye,” “please,” and “thank you.”


Max studied hard. The dogs across the street played fetch and chased each other’s tails. Max, on the other hand, wrote compound sentences and calculated square roots.

Max would do anything to have a family.


One day, a couple named Mary and George visited.

Max put on his best suit and tie. He held his chess tournament trophy in one hand. His report card— with straight A’s —was in the other. He tucked his trumpet under his arm.

Mary and George walked directly to him.


Mary and George spent the rest of the day with Max. They read him stories. They took him out to eat. Later, they helped Max pack his suitcase and buckled him into the car.

He was going home with Mary and George!

When the car stopped at the house, Max felt his tail begin to wag. He made it stop.


As they walked to the door, George looked at Mary. “There’s one thing that’s bothering me,” George said. He pulled a yellow tennis ball out of his pocket and threw it across the yard.

Max couldn’t help himself. Max dropped to all fours, raced across the grass, and scooped up the ball with his mouth.


Max trotted back to the couple and set the ball at George’s feet. He hung his head in misery— now they knew he was a dog.

“I see what you mean,” Mary said to George. “He’s not much of a boy.”

“You’re right,” said George. “I’m glad we already have a son. What we need is a dog!"


Just then, the door flew open and a little boy ran out. Max greeted the boy with a slobbery dog kiss.

Max and the boy spent everyday together. Max, the big dog, finally had his family!


FAZ Reading Level Detail

Lexile Score 520
Word Count 584

Ready to try
FarFaria for FREE?

Now available for iPad, iPhone and Android devices.

Get the App

Read Again

Read more stories in FarFaria today!

With the FarFaria app you get:

  • Unlimited access to over 1000 books.
  • New books each week.
  • Professional narration of each book, with word highlighting.
  • Offline access to up to 50 of your Favorite books.
Get the App

Get the App