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Life story
April 26, 2000
 

The day Max arrived on our doorstep.

May 1, 2000
 

PUPPY PLAY

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!
Caryl Moll

October 1, 2000
 

Maxdog entered his first 'breed' show in October 2000.  Although 'showing' wasn't our personal passion, he did well in those he entered...

September 1, 2001
 

In September 2001, Max appeared on the front page of 'THE SATURDAY STAR' in Johannesburg, South Africa with the Miss South Africa of the time...

2002
 

Max at a school visit.

April 1, 2002
 

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.

January 1, 2003
 

Max spent two years in formal obedience training.

2003
 

Max learned to 'rescue' Toffee and would drag him across the swimming pool on a surf board...yes, sometimes Toffee lost his balance.

2004
 

Max's favourite pastime...

SWIMMING!!!

January , 2005
 

Max sired only one litter of six beautiful Golden puppies.

One of the puppies, "Indianna" eventually became 'Best Golden Bitch' for two years running.  Sadly Indianna passed away in 2010. The "Sprinkling" of Max continues in my new pup - TOBY.

March 12, 2005
 

Maxdog attended many public functions...like the various organised 'walks' in the city of Johannesburg. This picture shows him and "Tammy" with the representatives from Royal Canin

December 26, 2008
 

 

  

 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)

December 26, 2008
 

On the 26th December 2008, Maxdog enterred the world of 'Dogs with Blogs' with his first post on his blog:

THE ADVENTURES OF MAXDOG...IN SOUTH AFRICA

May 23, 2009
 

Max jumping through the hoop (one of his favourite tricks) on my 50th birthday.

May 23, 2009
 

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
deaths...

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.

July 1, 2009
 
YOU’LL BE A DOG, MY PUP!

If you can find a household that is a happy home
And adopt its styles and ways,
And honour all its human hands
So that you will be there for many days,

If you can find the Master of that home
And sniff out exactly what He needs,
And learn His cues and all His tasks
To purposefully carry out His deeds,

If you can “Fetch!” on His command,
And “Down!”...and “Stay!”...and “Wait!”
Or jump through hoops on His demand
Or bark at strangers at the gate,

If you can tune your ears to sounds
Which maybe have no place,
And puckle your nose to stay alert,
Or wag your tail to start the race,

If you can sniff the air for a change of scene
Or read the news on a trunk of a tree,
And guard your bones, but share your treats
And celebrate when you are free,

If you can growl or huff and call His bluff
And ask to soon be fed,
Or lie at His feet when the day is done
And know that it’s time for bed,

If you can bare a bath – to clean your fur –
To make you spruce and bright,
To accompany Him with a heart assured
To show off His delight,

If you can do all this without a slouch
And know your Master’s thumb is up,
Yours is the Earth and everything in it
And – what’s more – YOU’LL BE A DOG, MY PUP!

Caryl Moll (July 2009)

September 1, 2009
 

Most of our international cyber-friends were made during

"MANGO'S ADVENTURE TO SOUTH AFRICA"

You can visit Mango:
HERE

September 16, 2009
 

 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!

Caryl Moll
16 September 2009

October 1, 2009
 

Max got 'lost' in 'Stuffieland'

November 1, 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!!!

2010
 

Max spent two years in formal obedience training whereafter he came home to become my personal therapy dog.

2010
 

Maxdog had a very special relationship with "Murray" and his service dog, "Clive"...

You can visit them by clicking

HERE

2010
 

A picture which always evoked a response...

'MAXDOG IN TOFFEE'S BED'

2010
 

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

HERE

2010
 

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"!

February 1, 2010
 

"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

HERE

February 7, 2010
 

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.


March 11, 2010
 
LIFE LESSONS ACCORDING TO MAXDOG

• WORK HARD !...
...by doing what you can for your owner. Whether it’s picking up socks, underwear or simply being with them, do it with devotion and enthusiasm!


• PLAY HARD!...
...this provides entertainment to the peeps, enjoyment for yourself
and keeps them focussed on you!


• TEST THE BOUNDARIES and CELEBRATE YOUR HEALTH!...
...see how far you can run, how high you can jump, how loud you can bark and how long you can sleep...and be grateful!


• CELEBRATE LIFE!...
...Smell the wind! Read the news! Soak up the sun and enjoy good company!


• MAKE FRIENDS!...
...Remember the only thing you will eventually leave behind when you leave this earth
is a legacy of your relationships!

• LIVE IN THE PRESENT MOMENT!...
...Don’t let the worries of others get you down or the worries of what is yet to come. Your worries will only diminish the joys of the present! Consider simply lying in the sun!


• DON’T PASS OFF THE OPPORTUNITY OF DOING GOOD FOR OTHERS!....
...pick up that sock, or sit quietly with the peeps whilst they share their troubles.

• DIG HOLES!...
...Lots of them...and sit in them! They provide your enjoyment and you must recognise this!


• DROOL A LOT!...
...So that they will give you more treats than they bargained for.


• PRACTICE your “PLEADING –EYES” look....
...it works!



• WORK ON BEHALF OF THE PACK TOO!...
...Together you will be more than on your own!

• RELISH THE LOVE THAT COMES YOUR WAY!...
...It is precious and one of the most genuine things in life!


• DEFY ALL EXPECTATIONS!...
...Including the Vet’s if need be!
Never let anyone tell you that you “Can’t” do something!


• BUT...TAKE YOUR MEDICATION!..
...the wisdom of others is important to recognise!


• INSIST ON YOUR DAILY WALK!...
...and learn to read the human signs that it is time for that walk!


• LEARN YOUR COMMANDS!...
...To be obedient to the rules so that you will be regarded as a valuable dog and an important addition to the household!



• BARK AT INTRUDERS!....

...don’t make my mistake and show them the silverware!



• REMEMBER... FARTING AND SNORTING IN PUBLIC IS NOT SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE!...
...You lose friends that way and the humans scatter!


• SLEEP IN EVERYONE’S BED!...
(This doesn't apply to humans!)
... including the smallest, to show that you are boss!


• DON’T WINE!...
...It’s unbecoming!



• USE YOUR OPPORTUNITIES WHEN YOU GET THEM!...
...like that extra walk in the park!


• ROLL IN THE MUD!..
...I promise you, you will eventually be clean!
...and if you roll in the mud...

LEARN TO TOLERATE YOUR BATH!


• DON’T MOAN WHEN THEY GROOM YOU!...
...It’s their act of love! Show them your appreciation instead, look adorable and they WILL give you biscuits!

• If you are an abandoned or struggling doggie...
KEEP FOCUSSED! ALLOW SOMEONE TO HELP YOU! TOLERATE THE DISCOMFORT
...so that you can achieve a better life!

• STEAL THE HUMAN’s TREATS
(Also NOT for humans!)
when they aren’t looking... but avoid the chocolate!!!...
...it plays havoc with your sleep and makes the humans grumpy!

• LEARN TO ENJOY THE CAR!...
...smile at motorists but don’t distract them...they might ride into your human’s vehicle!


• SHARE YOU FOOD!
...but eat your fill first! You can’t give if your own food bowl is empty!

• ACCEPT THAT YOU WILL MAKE MISTAKES!...
...They make you stronger and give you the necessary wisdom for life!


• REMEMBER: CHASING CATS MAKES YOU UNPOPULAR! ...
...Catching lizards and squirrels however has a totally different reaction!


• SMELL OUT THE PROBLEMS OF LIFE!...
...and deal with them!

•BE PATIENT!...
...When things don’t happen fast enough, lie down and wait!


• SHARE THINGS ABOUT YOURSELF
which others aren’t aware of!...
...like scooting on the carpet to make them take you to the Vet!
Yes, sometimes it’s necessary to take extraordinary measures!


• AT TIMES YOU NEED TO KEEP QUIET AND LIE LOW!...
...It allows you to assess the situation and for them to calm down.

• REMEMBER: THE MOST VALUABLE GIFT YOU CAN GIVE ANYONE IS TIME!!!
(Us dogs know this, right!?!)



• WELCOME PEOPLE TO YOUR HOME!...
...It makes them happy and you get their attention!

• READ THE NEWS!...
...It’s good preparation.


• BE HAPPY AND THE WHOLE WORLD WILL BE HAPPY WITH YOU!...
...If you pine and are grumpy... most dogs will be left in a corner!


• BE GRATEFUL FOR WHAT YOU HAVE!...
...and don’t be shy to show it!


• BE CREATIVE!...
...rearrange the furniture and get rid of superfluous stuffies!...enjoy the clean-out!

• EAT WITH RELISH!
...no problem here, I am sure!

• TELL YOUR HUMANS NOT TO WORRY WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE!...
...we love them anyway!


• REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE AND WHERE YOU FIT IN!...
...Our world is big and we each have a role to play!


• SHARE YOUR WISDOM!...
...Those who really need it will take it and use it for the greater good.
...Those who don’t need it, will leave it and you won’t have lost anything yourself!


• TELL PEOPLE WHEN YOU ARE AILING!...
...You might need all the help you can get!


• BUT...DON’T WEAR YOUR WOES ON YOUR SHOULDERS!...
...it will merely weigh you down, making you an unpleasant dog for others.



• HORDING THINGS IS POINTLESS! LIVE FRUGALLY!....
...Dogs don’t go to the grave with cupboards!


• SHARE YOUR WARMTH WITH OTHERS!...
...You weren’t given fur for nothing!

• DON’T LOOK A GIFT DOG IN THE MOUTH!...
...he’ll turn and bite you!


• BE KIND TO PUPPIES AND KITTIES ALIKE!


• GIVE THE "SHOW DOGS" SOME SPACE TO PRACTICE THEIR ART
AND STRUT THEIR STUFF!...
...WE all know that it’s the ‘heart’ that really counts!

• LET YOUR PARENTS DRESS YOU UP!...
...it makes them happy and you will get extra
attention!


• EVERYONE HAS A MASTER!...
...Choose yours well!


LOVE YOUR FRIENDS WITH ABSOLUTE ABANDON!!!
...and they will multiply!


And lastly but most importantly...


• IT TAKES A LIFETIME TO LEARN THE LESSONS OF LIFE!...

...Don’t pretend to know it all!
March 29, 2010
 

 

 

THE STORY OF THE "MAX-TERPIECE" by KATHLEEN COY

(29th Msarch 2010)

http://kathleen-coy.blogspot.com/2010/03/max-in-south-africa.html

 

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."

May , 2010
 

Despite being gravely ill, Max remained a wonderful packleader and lined his canine companions up for the numerous photographs.

May , 2010
 

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!

May 24, 2010
 
HEART-DOG’S-CROSSING by Caryl Moll.
 
Ship passes in the night
touching dreams. “Behold the Light!”
Stops only a little while
to take aboard a Golden smile.

Sails waft in gentle breeze
waits the dog to be at ease.
Boards the ship, the sun descending,
to greater mission perhaps pending.


Sniffing salty air of preservation,
drops to deck to take his station.
Captain smiles, “Dog’s day is done!"
"But come, my boy, to another one!”


I feel the weight of a leaded heart
to say farewell, for now we part.
Seagulls cry, “Oh! What a glow!
His brilliant light, don’t we know!”

In the distance, ears alert,
his eye focussed, away from hurt
to a bridge, to be sailed across,
a rainbow to behold, NOT a loss!

Barks say “Enter!” Up he stands.
Sounds of welcome from distant lands.
The sea sends back his gentle soul
to touch my heart, to make me whole
May 24, 2010
 
THE PASSING OF MAXDOG...

The decision having been made, I found his lead and called him with me. He had been sleeping silently next to me and got up, shook himself off and went to the car with me. Together we rode the 8kms to the Vet. He sat in the back of the car, staring out the window as he’s always done. Golden sunlight was streaming through the windows, framing his features, giving him a heavenly glow. I could see the tiredness in his eyes and knew that it was time to say goodbye.

Max, the fighter that he is, would have fought to the bitter end. Had I not taken the decision, he’d have fought on, becoming more emaciated by the day. The liver tumour took up most of his abdominal cavity, yet he pushed on and lived life to the absolute overflowing.

I parked the car outside the Vet’s surgery, retrieved my handbag and went around to open the boot of the car. With ears alert and eyes alive he jumped out of the back. His first point of call was the bush on the lawn. This is where he left his last news of the day.

Thankfully there was only one other person in the waiting room – a lady whom I’d rubbed shoulders with many years back. Max immediately went to greet her, wagging his tail the way he always did with new people. She responded in the way people always responded to Max – rubbing his fur and telling him what a handsome boy he was. His tail said it all. He loved people!

She stopped chatting with him for a while and went to settle the administration she had come to settle. Then she turned back to me, sat down and told me all about how she had recently lost a Golden retriever of her own. Then she asked, “What is he here for”. There was no other way of saying it, but honestly.

“I’m here to put him to sleep” I said.
Her face turned ashen as she struggled to comprehend what I was saying. You see, Max always looked good, even when he was dying. He hid his illness well, refusing to accede to it. When not soundly asleep (which had been most of the time in his 107days of grace) he was reaping life for all that it offered except for his eating. He had taken to refusing to eat. In his last few days he'd accept nibbles form me, but would keep them in his mouth and spit them out later. Either that, or he'd bury them. But he remained comfortable with an affectionate disposition.  My prediction was that he would have wagged his tail to the end, no matter how ill he had become. His tail would be the last to leave him, I am sure of that.

“Shall I stay?” she offered.

“Don’t worry!” I said, “I’ll be okay”, but my tears had started.

My usual Vet was otherwise occupied, but the new Vet – a young, gentle and beautiful woman – came out to meet me. I called Max to come and he obediently followed me into the consulting room. Again he was wagging his tail in greeting and started making friends with this new person. She petted him, looked to me and asked me what she could do for me.

I recapped Max’s history, the successful removal of the Mast Cell tumour in November 2009 and then the heartbreaking news in February this year (2010) that his liver was compromised with a large tumour. I went on to explain all that had happened to him recently. She then examined him and was taken aback at the size of the tumour. It occupied most of his abdominal cavity. Underneath his thick fur, he’d become obviously emaciated.

Together we decided that it would be best to put Max to sleep. His condition was both irreversible and fatal and there was no guarantee of a pleasant passing. It was time to say good-bye. She left me with Max and said she would return soon. I asked him to “Down” and he did. I told him to “Dead” and he lay on his side like he'd been taught. I sat on the floor and told him it would be okay, that we would all be okay, that it was time to go. I hugged him and spoke to him while he thumped his tail on the floor. That was the most heartbreaking moment for me.

“Nicolle” returned and set up the needle. She wanted to call someone else, but I refused and told her I would help her. I held Max’s arm whilst she administered the final dose. I tucked my other hand under his chest so that I could feel his heartbeat. All the time, he thumped his tail on the floor. My Max was going to be a thumper to the last. He let out his last audible sound and then he was gone. His heart had stopped under my palm. She confirmed this with her stethoscope. Then she gently consoled me and said that I could stay with him until I was ready to leave. It had been quick and painless.

I held him as my tears flowed. I could feel his warm but lifeless body in my arms. His spirit had left his body, yet it was still present in the room. I held him like that for what seemed ages and then I gathered up his lead and opened the inter-leading door to indicate that I was finished. That beautiful, gentle Vet, with her soft, acknowledging manner reaffirmed that what I had done was an act of love. A very difficult act yes, but an act of love nevertheless. I had granted Max the dignity which he deserved.

When I entered the waiting room, I fell into the arms of that same woman who had met Max. Together, this stranger and I cried in each other’s arms. Then she left.

...and sadly I didn't get her name!

Thank you, ‘stranger’ for being my angel when I needed it. You have no idea how much your gesture meant to me.

Fly free, my sweet Max!
November , 2010
 

MAXDOG'S CHRISTMAS TRIBUTE

can be viewed

HERE

November 1, 2010
 

"As I look to the sunrise, I now know...

That you are there, in its glorious glow...

Chasing bunnies, playing with balls,

sniffing in the fields... No more walls!"

       Fly free, sweet Max!

...with love, "Maxmom"

December 1, 2011
 

For detailed information relating to Maxdog's life, please go to:

http:///www.theadventuresofmaxdog.blogspot.com