Friday, October 15, 2010


MAXMOM here...

Dear friends...
I woke up to a duet of sparrows and wind-chimes this morning. 
What a beautiful day! 
 Not only that, but the doves were cooing and the Hadedah Ibisis had discovered that the precious minutes, just before the sun comes up, are 'Tammy-free'in the garden.
Their safety is assured...

They strut around with their long beaks, searching for snails, earthworms and grubs, but all the time keeping one dithery eye open for the slow stalking of dear 'Aunt Tam'.  Her canine dream is to catch one of them one day...and her years are now frustrating her...not to mention her camoflage!

(I know it's an old picture, but I love it anyway!)

We are having absolutely glorious weather!

Our October sunshine shimmers off shiny green leaves and the building thunderheads spill their showers over the city in the late afternoon.  Last night we had a touch of hail - no damage - but this morning, the world was awash with exquisite colours.   The 'light' in Africa is something that one can't have to experience it!
Who couldn't be positive in this weather?
It's amazing what summer does for the soul!



Some of the alleged Rhino poachers have been arrested and another one was shot dead in Kruger Park yesterday.  Perhaps in time these small inroads will alleviate the scourge on our natural heritage!  I am sickened by the cruelty of what some humans can do. However I am pleased to say that a Hippo poacher has been arrested too...small, but important progress perhaps!


I have spent another week at my desk, making slow but steady progress with the editing of  "Maxdog"s manuscript .
 My mood is somewhat melanchonic...since I'm putting in the final editing touches prior to the next step (hopefully) of submitting it to publishers.  
These eight months of writing have been so similar to
The same sadness sometimes sweeps over me as I draw near to the end of this huge project. 
(It's almost like saying "good-bye" to him again - but this time, to his book!)
 Over the months, I have embraced the writing and have had to totally immerse myself in his amazing story again.  I have also had to relive all the sadness well as the joy of experiencing it all within the amazing
It has been emotionally wrenching, but hopefully the end result will be pleasing to all who read it and will serve to 'do good' wherever it goes.

I am so lucky to have an earthly angel helping me with the editing process.  Hopefully his experience and wealth of publishing knowledge will direct this book into the hands where it is meant to be.
For those of you who pray, I ask that you keep this in your prayers...
"That wherever Maxdog's book is read...good will be done!"
I am such a novice at these things, but I still have high hopes.
Only time will tell...


Some of you have asked me about this picture of Toby...

"What's up with Toby in the water bowl?"
Well, here's the answer...

One day after Toby's afternoon walk, he decided to 'dig' in the water bowl in our kitchen. After his exploits, the floor was a slippery mess, with muddy pawprints everwhere.
"Oh Toby, what have you done?"

It is always very funny to watch puppies discover things, but it is equally important to redirect their behaviour so that what appeares to be 'cute' now will not turn into a big problem when they are a little older.

At first, I couldn't fathom what this 'water bowl' thing was all about and then I remembered Max's habit...of climbing onto the top step of the pool to cool off after his afternoon walk.

After a little research during Max's era, I discovered that dogs cool off through their tongue and through their paw-pads.
Toby's feet in the water is simply...natural!

Anyway, I now give Toby the 'opportunity' to cool off after his walk - either in the pool, like Max did, or in one of those water bowls.


Some of you have also commented about "Aunt Tam's" haircut.
Yes, it is rather 'rough' - as one blogger put it.

The truth is that I have been strictly prohibited from any activities which involve "Aunt Tam's" appearance or the trimming/eavening out/ rectifying her look. 
Indeed, I am not allowed to touch her!
 Strict orders!

Since "Aunt Tam" doesn't actually belong to me, I am merely allowed to feed her, walk her, play with her, occasionally bath her and take her for her Vet's visits. I can brush her and cuddle her too, but in terms of her hairstyle,
I am ONLY allowed to take photos.!...
Oh dear!

The funny side of this is that 'Aunt Tam' was shaved during the first attempt. 
(I take it that you have worked out that I wasn't the one attempting the makeover!!!)
 Unfortunately the shaver packed up half way during the event, so the job had to be completed with a pair of scissors. 
This left "Aunt Tam" with one side smooth and one side rough! LOL!
...and now she has her own, unique, Albino Zebra style!
Her corrugated texture and her awkward tail have been declared
"More than suitable for the South African climate!!!"

"What's with you, Maxmom? You are far too vain! Your bloggers shouldn't worry so much about appearances!"

So bloggers....keep your comments affable please...
....for the sake of my own life! LOL!
I am "walking on thin ice" (I-I-Ifff you know what I m-mean!)

I am pleased to report that "Aunt Tam" is indeed delighted with her new look.
She has much more energy and loves puppyhood...

I am pleased to report that I have total jurisdiction on what I post about

Since tomorrow is another "PUPPY CLASS" day,
here is a picture from two weeks ago...

(Thank you, Margie!)

I am looking forward to a weekend with my own human pups...
If this blogpost suddenly gets know why!

To those who are struggling in any way,

I pray that
will embrace you and give you comfort!

Sending lotsaluv for a wonderful weekend!
See you Monday!


Dexter said...

PeeWee used to dig in his water bowl too. What a mess. Mercifully, he outgrew that.


MySpecialDoggies said...

Hi Caryl
Where does one begin to comment on such a great post!

First of all, we're all waiting for your MaxDog manuscript/book. I pray that it gets published so we can all share in re-reading about his wonderful life by his human mommy. I can understand the melancholy - I feel those moments when I re-read my journal about Keelee (especially when significant dates occur such as her birthday on 10/10).

Toby - you are just too gorgeous and sweet of a puppy. Caryl, your pictures of him with Tam are amazing! Have you thought about photography as a career? The two of them laying side by side shot is just awesome and incredible. How on earth did Toby sit so quietly next to his Aunt Tam and allow you to catch the moment! Good luck at school this weekend! Neeli says have some fun too.

We're coming into cold weather into Philadelphia - wish we could change seasons with you!

Big hugs to Tammy & Toby from Nadine and woofs/licks from Apples & Neeli.

Take care
Nadine Apples & Neeli

Becky Andrews said...

What a beautiful post and full of uplift. Thank you and so beautiful that you are in the process of publishing and sharing the story of your Max. I have read his journey and touched by his and yours love. My sweet Pantera, my first guide who worked for 9 years -- died last year has such a tender place in my heart. Always. Love to you in your journey.

KB said...

I love your photo of Aunt Tam and Toby with their front legs crossed. That's a very special one... The playing ones are wonderful too. Toby is very lucky that Aunt Tam likes playing with him!

BTW, Aunt Tam's haircut is the style here in America! :)

Finally, my husband doesn't follow blogs but he glanced over my shoulder as I opened your blog. He immediately knew that Toby was somehow related to Max when he saw the photos. Max's spirit lives on.

Ms. ~K said...

I love seeing Tam and Toby enjoying each other...
Happy Weekend to you My Friend,

♥I am Holly♥ said...

What a wonderful post!! I love the pictures of Tammy and Toby together. They really look like mother and pup to me! It sounds like the weather there is so beautiful. Have a wonderful weekend! Lots of love, Holly and mom

Anna the GSD said...

Wow, you have A LOT going on!!

I put my feet in the water bowl too...just to spash around, but I'll use the "my feet are hot" excuse with mom and see if it flies!

Don't worry Tammy, I haven't caught a squirrel yet, but it will happen! You get that big scary bird!

kisses ~ Anna

Mrs. JP said...

I love the pictures of Tammy and Toby. She is a good role model and baby sitter too. She's a dear.
Happy weekend and puppy classes too.

YD, sometimes with ♥June and ♥Angel Samantha said...

Love those pictures of Tammy and Toby together!
Has Toby discover the pool yet?

WFT Nobby said...

Hi MaxMom
Great to read all your news from SA. If only we had your weather here in Scotland. Your story about Tammy's haircut reminds me of the one and only time I tried to trim Hamish myself. I got about half was through when he decided he was bored with the whole process and withdrew cooperation. Result - one very uneven looking dog!
Toby is looking just fantastic.
Looking forward so much to the Max book.
Have a great weekend.
Cheers, Gail.
PS So glad Toby enjoyed the field trip!

Two French Bulldogs said...

Oh baby Toby what are you doing to Tammy? BOL the picture of you guys is so adorable. Play play play are the best plans ever.
Benny & Lily
Pee S those poachers are bad humans

Jacqueline said...

So many precious, adorable photos of your babies (is Tammy one of your children's dogs?)...Tammy and Toby look so wonderful and happy together!...Blessings to you as you write the bittersweet story of your Max; those memories are wonderful, but also tough to revisit while the grief is still so fresh...Max's beautiful legacy can only bring goodness and light to all who read it...Happy weekend, lovely friend.

Piappies World said...

We love Tammy and Toby's photo. We look forward to the day that we get to see King Toffee snuggle with them too. Tammy's new do sure looks zebra-like! Weeeee

We are praying for the Maxdog book to work out well. We are sure to line up for one! There is no doubt it will do lots of good and will continue to touch more lives.

We join you in keeping our paws crossed for Wilf. LiveStrong!

Piappies Fudgie, Princess, Frappie, Mocha, Sugar, Wai-Pai & Wai-Max

Scout and Freyja said...

Uhm, you feed and walk and doctor and generally provide for all of Tam's needs and she's not yours? In the US you would be seen as the owner!

It's always so much fun to see Toby and Tammy playing together. I think that Toby was just the elixir that she needed to get back some of the happiness she lost since Max passed away.

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! said...


My name is Khyra...

I'm a waterbowl digger...


Tama-Chan, Benny, Vidock, Violette, Ollie, Hotesse & Heloise said...

So many wonderful photos, Toby! We always particularly love the one of you and Aunt Tam!

#1 says she understands a little about that emotionally wrenching feeling...

Oh, and in answer to your question, the "do" #1 is going to is a mega-feast for North-American Percheron Horses. It will be horses all the way!


Anonymous said...

Oh, I think Aunt Tam always looks super beautiful! And her new hair cut might be trendsetting. Who knows!

I am most especially fond of that picture of Aunt Tam and Toby. They are so very much sweet together.

Good luck on your book! We'll be some of the first to read it WHEN it's published!

Wiggles & Wags,

Martine said...

Dear Caryl,
The photos of Toby and Aunt Tammy are so cute. Glad to hear that the weather is fine in SA. Here in Alsace,it's foggy.
I wish you a happy weekend.

Molly the Airedale said...

What a wonderful post and what great pictures of Tammy and Toby together!

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

Tweedles -- that's me said...

We love, love, love the photos of Toby puppy and Aunt Tam,,,
Look at that smile on Tammys face.
Yes she has new life keeping up with and laughing with the sweet hooligan.
What adorable photos.... thank you so much for always sharing..
We can understand all the feelings that you are reliving as you write Max's story,,,,
It must be so hard,,, but we all know that Max had something to say,,, and we need to hear and feel the words- that he has given to you. We are ready for the masterpiece.
And now there is sooo much of Max in Toby puppy,,,Max's legacy lives on.

Angus said...

Thanks for your thoughts and comments. Every day extra we're given I can't but help think of you and Max dog. Little did either of us know at the start of the year what new friends we'd make and which old friends we'd say au revoir to. Like the idea of the book - a tribute to one of lifes nobler spirits.

kks said...

i love Tam's haircut, very puppyish! and i can't believe how big Toby is getting!!
i can see how much they love each other...

Scout and Freyja said...

We are thinking of you today, Toby, because we know that you went to school. We hear that doggies only do as well as their humans learn. We hope that your momma is a good learner so you can graduate #1 in your class!

Milo and Alfie Marshall said...

I can understand why writing the book is painful ~ it's bound to be, because you are re-living Max's life in all it's sad and happy detail. But he was a beautiful soul and you are right to share his story with the world ~ however painful the telling of it is. ((((((hugs)))))

It probably seems impossible at the moment that you could ever recall Max without pain and sadness ~ but things will improve. I still cry over the loss of my beloved siamese cat Henry (1985 ~2004) who shared my life for over 19 years ~ but it is less painful now and I am more easily able to focus on the happy memories.

And in a funny way I don't mind the pain ~ because it is in equal measure to the pleasure and love Henry gave me when he was alive. They are two sides of the same coin ~ the more you love, the more your hurt at the time of loss.

Jan xx
Purrs from Milo and Alfie too.