When birthdays come around, young boys will most likely ask for bikes, scooters, action figures or games.
But Dundee schoolboy Max Pow bucked that trend by asking his family to forget giving him birthday gifts and instead donate to some of the most lonely animals in the city.
The youngster, who has autism, turned 10 on February 25. When mum Karienne asked what gifts he wanted, he said he’d rather hand treats and toys to dogs at Dundee’s Brown Street Kennels.
Max said he was inspired to do the good deed by his own dog TJ, a rescue dog taken in by the family four years ago who was described as his “best friend”.
He arrived at the Brown Street Kennels on the Friday before his birthday armed with a big stash of dog goodies, meeting resident pooch Peppie while doing so.
Max said: “This was my birthday present. I wanted to do something different for my birthday. I wanted it to be nice at the same time. I thought of donations. I looked at TJ, our dog, and I thought ‘why not donate to the kennels?’
Meet Max (the human 😜) who came in today with all these wonderful treats that he donated from his own birthday money….
“It was the first time I have been (to the kennels). It kind of made me feel proud of myself. It was toys and treats and food.”
Brown Street Kennels re-homes stray dogs and others which can no longer be cared for by owners.
Max — who has three siblings in Robbie, Ollie and Amberley — said he hopes his actions will inspire adults to do the same on their own birthdays.
And he wants to continue the trend on his 11th birthday by reaching out to Dundee’s homeless.
Karienne, 35, said: “I am very proud. He is already talking about his next birthday and how he is going to do something to help the homeless.
“He has just always been really kind — that is just Max. He just does what he wants regardless of what other people think.
“I wasn’t surprised that he wanted them (the dogs) to be looked after but I was surprised he wanted his own birthday to do it. Because he wanted to do that, I couldn’t say no. It is such an inspirational thing to do really.
“We only got to meet Peppie, but Max loved that. The kennels looked really good. It raises a wee bit of awareness for them as well. There is more dogs and they all need a home.
“TJ was rescued from the Scottish SPCA in Petterden about four years ago now. He’s his best friend.”
She added they were delighted that Peppie, a Bichon Frise, found a new home not long after Max’s story was shared across social media.
Brown Street Kennels posted: “When a wee boy swaps his birthday money for doggy treats you know you’re in the presence of an exceptional human. Max we salute you.”