The day Max arrived on our doorstep.
Make way, make way, it’s puppy play!
A paw, a bark, a growl and a huff...
Hindquarters turned: It’s about to get rough!
Tail up high, twinkle in the eye,
Darting, shaking and difficulty braking.
Legs stretched, jaw low,
Dark eyes in a feverish glow.
A ball, a claw, a little leaf,
Long ears, wet nose and prickle-sharp teeth.
MAKE WAY! MAKE WAY! IT’S PUPPY PLAY!
In April 2002, Max was invited to be part of the 'Animal Carnival' at the Rand Easter Show in Johannesburg, South Africa. There he performed a few of his tricks to the public: Jumping through hoops, Playing 'dead', 'talking on command', heel, sit, stay, down. He got the opportunity to interact with the public and really enjoyed the chance to spend time with his favourite little human beings...the children.
A POEM: "MY MAX"
An overwhelming Love I feel,
For this manificent creature at my heel.
Golden coat, tail held free,
Dark, beautiful eyes, all focused on me.
The excitement of his walk, he can hardly contain:
Pawing every step, his leash under strain.
"Free", I say: In a flash he bounds
Gurgling with pleasure, as he makes his rounds.
A sniff here, a 'point' there
A dart to the stream, a backward stare.
His coat is alight with silvery streaks
His stance so expressive, it almost speaks.
In contrast, he hurtles to the darkest of ponds:
Sticky slush and rotting fronds.
And then, he sits in it and stares in glee,
Knowing full well, the fury in me.
A final dip in that filthy lake,
Onto the bank and begins his "shake".
I shudder to think of the bath that must follow
To rid him of the gunge his fur had to swallow.
He stares at me as if nothing was done,
Now it's bathtime, for the smell is not fun.
Apologetically, reluctantly he climbs in the bath
He's so unhappy, I just have to laugh.
I bribe him with treats as I shampoo up his fur
And he answers my pleas with a soapy slurrrr.
Finally rinsed out, he's as good as new,
Running trenches in my passage - the bath was the cue.
As hunger strikes, he's at my side,
Innocence again; nothing to hide.
I fill his bowl as he patiently watches,
The drool from his jowls, just falling in blotches.
The meal is his best, it seems to be
His very existence as he trusts in me.
As the night falls, so does he - at my feet
Our two spirits tied - always to meet.
He'd die for me, and I for him,
His short life; a concept too grim.
My companion, my friend, nothing he lacks.
My beautiful dog................
THAT'S MY MAX!!(CAM)
A BIRTHDAY POEM:
"TO MOM, FROM MAX"
You’re the essence of my existence,
The script of my fate.
At your side
I watch...I wait:
A tilt of Your finger,
A turn of Your head,
The sound of our bowls –
I know we’re being fed,
The jingle of leashes,
We rush for our walk,
A little command and
I’ll willingly “talk!”
I feel the wind in Your heart,
I know You are mine,
You’re the tapestry of my life,
As I tow Your line.
The exuberance of Your kitchen,
The healing of Your rest,
A nuzzle in Your side
When I know that it’s best.
Snugly, in the corner of Your room,
I listen for your breaths...
And ponder – the ebb and tide
Of our inevitable
But Mom, not to worry...
I’ll prepare a place for You
A happy hunting ground
For just...us two!
Where our leashes are off,
We’ll roam the hills,
We’ll sniff the rivers,
And soak up the stills.
Since I have become Yours –
You are also mine,
Together we’ll dance
To the ends of Time.
Most of our international cyber-friends were made during
"MANGO'S ADVENTURE TO SOUTH AFRICA"
You can visit Mango:
A POEM: "MY DREAM"
I have a dream...
Of friends far and wide
I have a dream...
They will be at my side...
Where I can show my country: its bountiful delights:
The animals, the plants and so many sites!
To take in its cultures, it’s food, it’s sun,
To show my guests that Africa is fun!
I dream of laughter, of happiness, of care
I dream my joy in my country – they can share.
I dream of dancing, music and good
Of one big family... One big brood.
They came, they saw, they shared my dream
A dream that was all of ours... or so it would seem.
So THANK YOU, my guests, for just being you
My dream for Africa... has just came true!
16 September 2009
In November 2009, "The Adventures of Maxdog" was awarded the prestigious "Dogs With Blogs Award"...ironically the announcement came on the same day as Max received the news of his Mast Cell Tumour.
Thank you to all our friends who voted for us!!!
Max spent two years in formal obedience training whereafter he came home to become my personal therapy dog.
Maxdog had a very special relationship with "Murray" and his service dog, "Clive"...
You can visit them by clicking
On the 14th February 2010 (Valentines Day), the dog-blog world colluded to present
"Max's World Tour".
A total of 42 bloggers took the time to present blogposts where "Maxdog" was photoshopped into their posts. They told tales of how he visited their homes, their countries, their towns and how they had become 'tour guide' to them for the day...effectively echoing his own role as
"Self Appointed Tour Guide to South Africa"
You can read all the stories
Although the Vets predicted on the 7th February 2010 that Max only had two weeks to live, he went on to live another
107 DAYS OF GRACE!
and taught us that there are things beyond our own understanding that determine the course of this life...it is rather our role to simply...
"LIVE LIFE TO THE MAX"!
"THE ADVENTURES OF MAXDOG"
was featured on the BBC as part of their series of programmes relating to "THE POWER OF THE INTERNET"
You can read about it
Max was an energetic, healthy and wonderful Golden Retriever during the 10 years of his life. He was mainly a family dog and leader of his pack and was MAXMOM's ♥Heart Dog♥. There were four dogs in this household -MAX, TAMMY, TOFFEE and a very aged doggie - TOMMY.
In November 2009, MAX had a Mast Cell Tumor successfully removed. However on the 6th FEBRUARY 2010, after falling ill again and after extensive Veterinary tests, MAX was sent home with nothing more they could do for him. He was diagnosed with a large liver mass and was told that he had about two weeks to live.
What nobody realised was that...
MAXDOG WAS A FIGHTER! HE WENT ON TO ENJOY ANOTHER 107 DAYS OF GRACE!
Isn't that a miracle?!
During his life, Max was highly obedient, well trained and well exercised. He was a retired show-dog and had previously performed 'tricks' for a number of functions. He 'talked' on command, 'begged' on command, 'played dead' on command and he posed for photographs at every opportunity. Max was an absolute blessing to all who met him. He loved people and especially children.
• BARK AT INTRUDERS!....
...don’t make my mistake and show them the silverware!
• IT TAKES A LIFETIME TO LEARN THE LESSONS OF LIFE!...
THE STORY OF THE "MAX-TERPIECE" by KATHLEEN COY
(29th Msarch 2010)
Once in a while, something comes along that touches you so deeply, you can't help but reach out. That's the story behind this painting...
I started a blog for my dog Cloud last year, after seeing some dog blogs and thinking how much fun it looked. Little did I know how much fun it really was! There's something so satisfyingly fun and silly about writing about life from your dog's point of view.
I was blown away to be so welcomed into the world of dog bloggers, of the friendships I've made, and the kindness of the "two-leggers" "moms" and "dads" behind the dog (and cat!) blogs. From the common ground of loving your pet enough to give them their own blog, they are always there for each other with kind words, encouragement, and humor. What a sense of community!
There was one blog in particular that stood out to me from the first moment I read it, and quickly became a favorite. Maxdog, a Golden Retriever in South Africa exemplified everything that is good and true. The kindness and devotion of his "mom" shone through every word and photo. He appointed himself "Official Tour Guide" of South Africa, and delights in sharing the beauty of his country with his blogging friends.
Max's "mom" Caryl writes in a way that speaks dearly to my heart. She says with words what I try to convey with my art...about love and connection. I always look forward to reading Max's blog, and always leave it feeling uplifted and even moved to happy tears.
Not long ago, Max received a frightening diagnosis, and his family were told there was nothing to be done. He was not expected to live much longer. My heart ached for Caryl, knowing how deep her connection is with Max, and since Max is so relatively young, to be so unprepared to loose him.
I knew I wanted to surprise her with a painting of her dear friend. I truly believe there is a "spark" of life, of that dog's spirit in each portrait, and is a way to keep a part of your dog with you always. I've felt this first hand with the portrait I painted of my dog Benny, who passed away last year. It is such a comfort to me, and I wanted to give that same feeling to Caryl, to return some of the joy I've gotten from her over the last year.
Max is dearly loved among his blogging friends, and I knew many of them were feeling the same longing to do something for Caryl, to help ease her pain. I asked another dear dog blog friend if she could "test the waters" for me, to see if there was interest among the dog bloggers in being a part of this gift. The response was overwhelming! I can't thank Khyra's "mom" Phyllis enough for organizing "The Max Project," as we lovingly called it.
I'm so humbled to have been able to provide an opportunity for Max's friends around the world to show how much they love him.
Caryl called me today from South Africa. What a joy to hear her voice, to laugh and talk and cry together. What a beautiful world we live in, what a global village!
You can visit Max's blog to see pictures of Caryl opening her gift, and Max with his portrait, and links to all his blog friends who contributed to The Max Project. You may want to have a cup of tea and plan to stay awhile, as you will probably fall in love with her blog just as I did...
Max continues to astonish his vet. His family and blog friends have been counting each "Day of Grace" with Max as he awakens each morning. Today is his 51st "Day of Grace."
Between the announcement of Maxdog's terminal prognosis and his eventual passing (107 days), his blog received over 4000 comments...an incredible testimony to the
"POWER OF THE PAW"
My heartfelt thanks goes to all my cyber-blogging-friends for their amazing encouragement and support! You guys are really special!
MAXDOG'S CHRISTMAS TRIBUTE
can be viewed
For detailed information relating to Maxdog's life, please go to: