For a dog, there’s nothing sweeter than the sound of your pet parent’s voice. When you’re Max Duran, millions of people across America agree with you, too!
That’s because the four-year-old Toy Schnauzer’s dad is Elvis Duran, host of the drive-time radio show Elvis Duran and the Morning Show. Duran is the most-listened to Top 40 morning program host in the country a recent Hollywood Walk of Fame star recipient. More than 10 million listeners in 80 markets hear his voice as the sun comes up each day.
“The whole point of radio is to be a companion, to make sure you’re going to have a good day even though there are awful things going on in this world,” says Duran. “People need uplifting. We make them feel good about who they are and what they’re doing in life.”
Companionship isn’t just a mission for the radio star: it’s a calling. Though he grew up with pets (cats mostly, but some dogs), Duran says he was a lone wolf as a child.
“I turned to the radio as one of my friends,” he says. “I loved listening to the DJs and how they played the music. I thought it was really cool that they got to give away trips and concert tickets. I spent a lot of time with radio. That’s how I found my calling.”
He may have been short on friends as a kid, but that’s all changed—especially now that he has his BFF, Max.
“[Max has] changed my life totally,” says Duran. “I hadn’t had a dog since I was a kid, and all of a sudden I’m raising this puppy! I had to learn quickly how to adapt to him as he was adapting to me.”
Fortunately, Max took to Duran’s jet-setting schedule. “He’s a great traveler: he never barks, he’s definitely a go-with-the-flow dog. Max is better behaved than most of the people on the airplane! He comes with me everywhere I go.”
When he’s not 40,000 feet in the air, Max enjoys the simpler things in life, like sweet potato treats, “sniffing every square inch of Manhattan,” canine play dates at Duran’s farm, and charming celebrities in the Morning Show studio.
“When celebrities go into interview sessions, they do get nervous,” says Duran. “Having Max here really calms them. He treats them just like everyone else. He’s a great equalizer and our secret weapon when it comes to celebrity guests. It’s funny how many guests threaten to steal him.”
They may try, but Max would have a hard time finding better pet parents than Duran and his longtime partner, Alex Carr. Besides providing for all of his material needs (and helping Max with his twitter account), they take no chances when it comes to their furry friend’s health.
“[Max turned] four in December, so he’s still young,” says Duran, “but every once in a while he will catch something, and I take him to the vet as a precaution because you never know—they can’t tell us anything. We have great relationship with his vet.”
Duran may take great care of Max, but it’s definitely not a one-way street. In fact, when you hear Duran talk about his four-legged friend, it’s clear that Max gives as much as he gets.
“[Max is] just a cool little dog,” says Duran. “If I’m having a bad day, he knows it. He’s always there to sit on my lap or try to be as close as possible if I need attention. He’s my best friend.”
Indeed, friendship seems to be the secret sauce that makes it all work for Duran, whether in his family life with Alex and Max or his professional life on the air.
“I am surrounded by people I love. Even without microphones, I’d love to come in here every morning and just talk to [the Morning Show cast]. They really are my best friends,” says Duran.
“We’re a family. Not only within the room, but with everyone outside listening as well. It’s a pretty fun job. My favorite thing is when we just open up and talk…and anytime I can sit here and talk about my favorite subject—Max—I’m all in.”
— published in fetch! magazine, the “Fun in the Sun” issue