Akers, a dog lover, thought bringing in the authorities would dampen the party spirit, so he called his wife for help and watched Max until she arrived. "He did great. He would follow directions, sit and stay on command,” Akers said.
When Akers’ wife arrived, she brought Max to a local veterinarian to check for a microchip.
"He was chipped," Akers said. "'Thank God,' we thought.”
They contacted the owners, and the conversation, Akers said, didn't end with the holiday magic they had hoped. "They responded with, 'Take him to the pound, and we will think about it,'" he said.
Bummed and worried about Max, Akers and other runners started spreading the word about the 1-year-old running sensation on social media.