Thursday, September 30, 2010


Hello there everybody...

SATURDAY 2nd OCTOBER 2010 is...
Time is precious!!! I have decided to put up my post today and to leave it up for a few days...

It is a long post, but an important one, so I hope you will accept this.
With much love



A 'LIVE STRONG' Experience
...written by Caryl Moll

“Don’t go home! Change direction NOW!”

It was a hot summer morning in 1997 and I was en-route home from my weekly shopping errands. A little ‘voice’ in my head kept urging: “Don’t go home! Go to Mike’s office now!” It was a really strong gut feeling but it wasn’t something that generally happened to me and I was a bit taken-aback.

Ironically, I had never before been to my husband’s office as he’d only been working there for a short time period so the whole notion didn’t sit too well with me. I am a nervous driver at the best of times and really didn’t want to drive to a place where I wasn’t sure of the directions. But the desperation of my gut-feeling persisted.

One thing I have learned in life however is to always to trust my gut-feelings. They have never let me down and it is wise not to ignore them!

“Okay, I’ll go! What harm can there be? ” Despite having a busy day ahead of me, I decided to oblige the ‘voice’ so I turned the car towards the onramp of the highway.

It took me a while to work out where I was going and I had to consult the map book, but I finally located Mike’s office and pulled into the adjacent parking area.

“I wonder how he’s going to react with my sudden appearance.” I thought to myself as I grabbed my bag and locked my car. “Oh well, I’ll simply insist on a cup of tea - if it’s all been pointless and I’ve been mistaken!”

I was a little nervous, because Mike’s days were usually hectic and there generally wasn’t much time to spare for socializing. I was also reluctant to disturb his busy schedule, but I couldn’t ignore the ‘voice’ that seemed to be shouting at me with escalating urgency. However, I had to admit that this visit was a little out-of-character for someone like me.

A pleasant but rather bored-looking receptionist gave me directions to my husband’s office. He was head of the financial department and most people knew him.

“Just up that way…” she directed.

I walked along the corridor and nearly tumbled over my husband as I turned the corner. He was on his way to see one of his colleagues.

“Hello…? Wow! ” for a moment Mike was routed to the spot, but then he hugged me. “Geesh this is a surprise! What has brought you here?”

“I’m not sure, love! I just had this strong feeling that you need me! Are you okay?” I asked.

“Of course I’m okay! Are you okay? But, yes, this is a nice surprise!”

“I just had this strong feeling that I need to come to you. It might be nothing, but I thought I’d come anyway. Are you sure you are okay?”
“Everything is fine, but since you are here, why don’t we grab something to drink…it’s nearly tea time. You should do this more often!”

"Aren’t you busy?”

“Ummm…don’t worry! You are not inconveniencing me! I enjoy a surprise!”

He ushered me into his office, indicated a seat and disappeared for a few minutes to get us some coffee. He returned with two steaming mugs, gave one to me and walked around his desk, shuffled some papers and sat down. It felt rather strange to be sitting on opposite sides of a desk to my life’s partner. But he’d hardly settled when his phone rang.

“Mike, this is Dr Griffin speaking.” The voice on the other end of the line said. “I am sorry to trouble you at work, but I need to speak to you. Do you have a minute?”

“Yes doctor! What can I do for you?” my husband said tentatively.

“I have something important to tell you!” My husband gave me a questioning look.

“What is it?” I mouthed to him, but he shook his head and directed all his attention to the voice on the other end of the line.
“Are you aware that I have been treating your Mom for cancer?” the doctor asked.

“Yes, I am aware” Mike’s voice held a hint of concern

“I believe that you are also aware that we stopped her Chemotherapy in October last year?” the doctor continued.

“Yes, mom told me. She told us that the medical specialists had said that it was no longer necessary. We have believed that she is in remission”

“Well, I’m really sorry to tell you that your Mom hasn’t been entirely honest with you. She has asked me to phone you because she doesn’t want to do this herself.” My husband’s entire attention was now focused on the conversation.

The doctor continued, “You see, she isn’t in remission at all! The reality is that there is nothing more we can do for her and she is, in fact, dying. As you know, she is a very strong woman and she really didn’t want to worry her family unnecessarily, so she has kept the gravity of her condition a secret. But the reality is that she has very little time left and that is why I am phoning you.”

My husband’s face turned snow white as he tried to absorb the shock. From across the desk, all I noticed was that he was struggling to comprehend whatever it was that the doctor was telling him and was simply shaking his head as he looked at me.

“How much time does she have left?” my husband’s voice was shaky. Now I too was really concerned and suddenly I started to realize that there was indeed a reason why I had been brought to his office this morning.

“Well, we will be lucky if she makes it until the end of the month...” The doctor said gently.

“But that’s only two weeks!” Mike was struggling to keep calm.

“I have contacted Hospice on her behalf and they will be visiting her in the next few days …. and will be making contact with you too. They are wonderful people and will be available to answer any questions which your family might have in the days ahead… I am really sorry to be the bearer of this bad news, but I feel it important that the family know this. You are her family and she will be relying on your support in this last phase of her illness.”

“I really can’t believe this! How can this be? We really thought she was well again and that her recovery had been a miracle. Over Christmas she had told us that all was okay. I had no idea…..” his voice trailed off.

“Yes,” said the doctor. ”She is an amazing woman. I am really sorry!”

“Okay Doctor, thank you…” Mike eventually said.

“If you have any questions, just give me a call!”

“Okay Doctor, I will. Thank you for telling me.” Mike put the phone down and turned to me.

It was obvious that something was gravely wrong and I got up from my chair. I went around his desk and put my arms around him.

“What is it?” I asked as I’d not heard the conversation.

Mike repeated all the doctor had told him and together we hugged each other in a state of utter disbelief. Our mom was dying and there was nothing we could do to stop the process.


Later that day, our family congregated at Mom’s house. We were all experiencing a surreal world of shock, disbelief, denial, anger, heartbreak as well as the final realization that there was absolutely nothing more that we could do for her.

But perhaps there was?

Surely this was the opportunity to love our dear mother for all that it was worth?!

Since we were helpless to change the course of her illness, we were encouraged by the amazing people of Hospice to embrace every moment we had left with her. In essence we had also been given an opportunity to help each other face the gravity of our situation – together - and to find new meaning to our own lives and to our relationships.

In those few days, whilst my mom-in-law was dying, all of us – including her – were able to find new strength in our journey together. We spent our days together, chatting about old times, future hopes, her own wishes for after she had gone and we also spoke about how to make her comfortable in her final moments. We laughed together, we cried together, we ate together and we prayed together – we were one! Death itself had given us this gift – a realisation of the fragility of life and an urgency to live it to the max!

Initially it took incredible resolve to avoid falling into the dark crevasses of despair, but ironically those two weeks, were to become an amazingly enriching time in our lives. They also provided the foundation I personally would need, thirteen years later, when I received Maxdog’s terminal diagnosis. Yes, they were hard times and extremely painful days, but they gave us the opportunity to love one another to the absolute full!


The news of an inevitable death is something nobody wants to hear! But in all the sadness there is the hope that the devastation can be turned around into something positive.

*What a blessing it is to be able to take each day and celebrate it!

*What a blessing it is to be able to take each hour and celebrate the opportunity of fellowship with loved ones!

*What a blessing it is to be able to appreciate each minute, each moment, each second!

For a while time does seem to stand still – simply because you are absorbing, relishing and experiencing each millisecond for everything that it offers. It is the utmost expression of ‘Carpe Dieme’ and we were blessed to have that opportunity.

Nine months ago, when Maxdog also received his devastating diagnosis, I had already been primed to this paradigm. The memories of that special time we had spent with my mom-in-law came flooding back and it was a reminder that it was time to appreciate every moment again. Each of Maxdog’s 107 days of Grace was lived to the full and I can honestly say that we...
In the end we were blessed with far more days than we had ever anticipated and what a blessing that was too!

Both these ‘notice periods’ have led me to ask the questions:

 “Why can’t we treat every day of our lives like this anyway?”

“Why can’t we ALL live everyday as if it is our last?”

The answer is:

“There is no reason why we can’t!”

To the Cancer sufferers out there:

*Thank you for teaching me to seize the opportunity of each day!

*Thank you for allowing me to experience life to the Max!

*Thank you for being such incredible role models in what it means to

Together we can all reap life for all that it offers.
I love you all from the bottom of my heart and I am with you in this journey!

(*Kindly note that "Mike" is not my husband's real name*)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


MAXMOM here...
Hello there everybody!
I'm suffering a lot of 'blogger's guilt' at the moment and apologise for not getting around to as many blogs as I would like to.  Somehow, with a puppy around, I seem to have so much less time than previously!
Can someone please explain this to me?

Anyway, at least I'm getting to posting, so I hope you will bare with me..
As you can see...there are three happy furry stooges in our household, one of which has been imbued with far too much is simply impossible to sit still for photographs, LOL!

I will be eternally grateful to the TAMMY-GIRL for her natural leadership and ability to temper the exhuberance of youth...phew, she is a canine star of note!

As for TOBY-PUPPY......

Yeah, yeah! I can hear you all laughing!

We went out to watch a rugby match on Saturday afternoon and the dogs got locked up in the back yard.  It's quite a large area with ample space to run and generous shady spots. It 'should be' more than comfortble. Obviously Toby put on his mischief hat because, by the time we got home, the older dogs were clearly giving him the infamous 'cold shoulder'! In addition, he was so happy to see us when we arrived home that he inadvertently scrambled over "THE KING"  and used him as a stepping stone in his excitement. 
Bad idea Toby!

KING TOFFEE was having none of it and told him off in no uncertain terms, so TOBY slunk into a corner for the evening whilst THE KING  sat in various lap thrones.

By Sunday morning, my vegetable patch was history!

I suppose it wasn't really his fault because I didn't seal it off correctly.
The joys of puppyhood!

Back to our playful self!
 Asta came to visit again yesterday. 
Together, the duo made mince-meat out of some of the beautiful foliage in my garden. 
I thought Toby was a hooligan, but you should see the 5 week older, Asta!
Asta is constantly on the move - a shiny black pogo-stick with a mouthful of sharp needles!  She has been blessed with uncontained and jittery energy - a real cracker-dog! My poor friend Lorraine is as dreary-eyed as me, LOL!
Good news is that Asta served to dissipate all of Toby's energy reserves and in no time got him to seek refuge in the bushes. However, she was clearly overjoyed with his game of 'hide-and-seek' and the two pups set about making scrambled eggs of my shrubs.

Toby was clearly 'pooped 'afterwards...not to mention us!

So, as you can see, I am being kept relatively busy
...but it's fun!!!  It really is!!!

Please don't forget about the
(This Saturday)

We have all been encouraged to put up special posts on that day, in honour or rememberance of those amazing people and animals who fight this heartbreaking disease. 
You can check out the official website
Please participate...together we can create phenomenal awareness!
Sending lotsaluv to you all.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


MAXMOM here...

Hello there to all my friends across the globe...
It’s been another invigorating week!

Toby was 9 weeks old on Thursday and is using every gram of his being to refurbish and reorganise our household.

I can’t believe how the time has flown. It seems like yesterday when I held my little one-week-old Golden sausage in my hands; a little bundle of canine potential which time itself would graciously unwrap.

Our energised “white lightning” now weighs in at 7.7kg and gets up to all sorts of puppy mischief. Our household is in a state of rapid transformation! 

 “7.7kgs” has certainly changed my own sleeping habits. Not only do I sleep soundly when I can (from utter physical fatigue), but we are all dragged up at the crack of dawn for an early sunrise "rumble in the jungle".
This energy can usually be dissipated with Toby’s regular ‘puppy-play-sessions’ with Asta. She is a good match and generally allows him to understand his limitations. At home however, Tammy-Girl is best...

Thankfully, we have had few accidents of elimination - he’s been marvellous with his housetraining! Indeed we’ve not had to ‘train’ him much – Toby’s choice of newsstands has been instinctive – he is polite and I am eternally grateful! 

However all is not calm. Overnight our laundry is usually redistributed around the rooms of the house, shoes are extricated from solitary corners and items that have been abandoned for eons have suddenly come to light. It’s been interesting to see what strange treasures have been unearthed. Toby has proved himself to be a ‘retriever’ of note!

King Toffee – the wise one – has stayed out of harm’s way.  The wisdom of old-age has descended on his royal crown and he has finally learnt that the best form of defence against youth is simply to stare into the blue yonder and pretend that nothing has changed.

Toffee's rank as ‘King of Laps’ remains unchanged. One of the blessings of life is that retrievers grow fast and their occupation of the ultimate ‘lap space’ is short lived. In essence...King Toffee’s throne is intact! He remains small, cute and pampered.

Tammy-Girl, on the other hand, has discovered the elixir of youth. This fountain has thrown all its glory her way – she has another bubbly partner to accompany and the world is good again!

She has introduced Toby to the tantalising taste of Carob pods, encouraged him to bark for his food and shown him the ropes of alerting us to front-door activity. “Toy-boys have their advantage!” she says, “Especially when you are the apple of their eye!”

As for me:  My family is home for a long weekend, the weather is glorious, the garden is Eden, the swimming pool is calling and I am getting puppy-fitter by the day.

Life is good...and Toby continues to grow in leaps and bounds!

 One week to go and then his all-important “Puppy Classes” commence. Oh Boy!

Sending lotsaluv to you all.
Have a wonderful,happy and energised weekend!

Friday, September 24, 2010




Hello there to all my friends across the globe...

Maxdog lived life to the absolute MAX!
Despite being given only 2 weeks to live, he went on to live a further 107 wonderful days of grace.
May his legacy encourage those who fight the battle against cancer.
Please remember
I have been asked by some of the cats in the cat blogosphere to ask our doggie-pals to join in this awareness campaign...

12 MARCH 2000 - 24 MAY 2010


Sending lotsaluv to you all and strength to all our friends who are fighting this battle so bravely.

Thursday, September 23, 2010



Sending lotsaluv to all our friends across the world.