OTTAWA -- It’s Calvin Maynard’s birthday this week and he’s been given the precious gift he was hoping for; the return of his best friend, Max.

After four agonizing months, the two were reunited at the Ottawa Humane Society.

“It feels so good. I‘m so happy,” said Maynard.

“I still can’t believe it. It’s such a great ending to this story,” said Detective Angela Robinson of the Ottawa Police Service.

Max went missing last Christmas when Maynard was visiting a friend on the ground floor of an apartment in Alta Vista. A smoke alarm went off and when the doors were opened to ventilate the apartment, the Shih Tzu slipped out.

Detective Robinson and several members of the community have been working tirelessly to find Max and bring him home. They organized search parties and raised reward money.

“All they had to do was bring back the dog and get $2,300 but nobody showed up,” said William Verhey.

“So, we thought it was done right. It was done.”

Verhey doesn’t know Maynard but wanted to help.

“So, I called the detective and said what can I do? And if for whatever reason you don’t find the dog, I’ll buy him a new one.”

Verhey put down a deposit on a puppy for Maynard. He and Detective Robinson also made arrangements for an adoption of a dog at the Ottawa Humane Society.

And then a surprise.

“Max the dog was found,” said an excited Verhey.

“We were able to call Calvin and let him know that his dog Max had been brought in to the shelter after almost four months of him calling almost every day,” said Dallas Steen of the Ottawa Humane Society.

“He said, ‘No way. Are you joking? My birthday’s in two days:”

“While the details are still unknown, Ottawa Bylaw officers recognized Max while on a call. They removed him from the home and brought him to the Ottawa Humane Society.

Detective Robinson picked Maynard up and drove him to the shelter. When staff brought Max out, emotions ran high.

“Max was spinning circles. He was so excited. Calvin was so happy. Max instantly jumped into his arms. They had a big hug and it was very emotional, very awesome to be a part of that,” said Steen. “Calvin had some struggles over the past four months.”

Detective Robinson could not have hoped for a happier ending. And she’s grateful to the community for showing so much love to a stranger.

“Calvin had some struggles over the past four months. Some sad times. This wonderful support really helped to bring him up,” said Robinson.

“I prayed every night that God could bring my dog back to me,” said Maynard.

Safe to say this is his best birthday ever.