Monday, January 3, 2011


MAXMOM here...

In my opinion...


Please bear with me today as I try and tackle a tricky subject:

Over my (almost) three years of blogging, I have discovered a truth:


Most of us will understand the amazing phenomenon in cyberspace which is known as

 For those who might not know about this:
The POWER OF THE PAW is a phenomenon which occurs when bloggers congregate around other bloggers who are struggling in one way or another. With their support they serve to uplift that particular blogger with prayers, comments, advice and amazing kindness

Many of us will also know that a lot of ‘blog activity’ takes place behind the actual blogposts in the form of emails and messages between bloggers. Effectively blogging has emerged as an amazing support system to many of us who sit behind our computers and interact (sometimes mainly) with the world.
(An Indian Minor...about to land)
(Fixing his feathers)

Sometimes in our community however a blogger will ‘suddenly disappear’. I have discovered that this is often a clear indication that the blogger is experiencing some or other form of difficulty in their lives. It could be work pressures, family turmoil, animals who are ill or sometimes a loved one who is on their death bed.
(Toby chasing a Hadedah Ibis)

Obviously it is a blogger’s right to retreat out of cyberspace to a more personal space, but by doing this it effectively eliminates the opportunity for others to support that person at a time of their greatest need. Sometimes their circumstances are simply too painful to share with the world and they choose to fade out of blogging.
(The little 'white' spider lies in wait...)
I experienced this myself during MAXDOG’s final days, but I somehow found the strength and the motivation to tell his story to the world whilst it was happening.

I was aware at the time that many others were facing similar difficulties to my own and my hope was that by sharing my own reality, I might be able to serve and uplift someone else. It was an incredibly painful decision, but looking back it wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be and I know that something good did emerge out of my pain.
(Indian Minor)

As I enter this New year, my own life has settled, but again I have become acutely aware of some bloggers who are really struggling with various difficulties in their lives and are feeling alone ‘out there’!
I also know that it is these very bloggers who will eventually become the 'most important' source of comfort to all of us in cyberspace when we go through a similar difficulty.
(It is this thought that prompts my post today.)

Often I feel helpless, because the only thing I can do is to email them and offer a shoulder of support.

But today I ask – in the spirit of THE POWER OF THE PAW – for you to pay a visit to these bloggers and to offer them your own
'garden of hope'. 

The three bloggers I am listing have recently become inactive. I am not going to share the details of their circumstances, but I can assure you that they
need to know that we really do care!

Could you please visit the following people:






I am sure that there are many more such bloggers, so perhaps you too would like to highlight them in your own blogs too
('bring them into your gardens!')
so that we can indeed serve to uplift the special people in our own community.

Have a wonderful Monday and remember...

Sending lotsaluv


Dexter said...

Max mom. You are so right. The power of the paw offers more than we realize until it is time for us to draw on it. I, too, suffer anxiety when bloggers just vanish, especially when they will not respond to gentle email queries.

Its OK to just say, "things are very stressful around here" with no details or even "I just don't want to blog anymore." Sunshade and Jaffa took over a year off but now they are back.

I will visit those friends that you listed and leave my thoughts.

Mango Momma

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

Very, VERY well put! We have been blogging for two and a half years and have experienced this phenomenon several times already. In fact, the bloggers who left the very first-ever comment on our blog suddenly disappeared one day, never to be heard from again. This caused considerable distress to many as, in that case, we had no alternative contact info. We eventually heard via another blogger that they had just stopped blogging, in their case for no clear reason. We do suspect, however, that in most cases, there are very good reasons and YES, people need to know that this community cares about them!

Many people have a tendency to withdraw when things become difficult, but we are all aware that whatever befalls others could just as well befall us, and it is terribly important to reach out.

Thanks again!

Deborah said...

WOW, I have goose bumps as I read your post because it is 100% true! I will most definitely visit these blogs. I also know some blogger who just dropped off the cyber world and never heard from them again, so it really makes you wonder what happened and I do think of them often hoping nothing went wrong in their lives.
People just don't understand the blogging community, not even my husband. Thank you for this post.
It is very uplifting.

Deborah said...

Hi, I meant to say,,,some bloggers, not blogger!

SASS....Sammy Andy Shelly Sierra said...

Thank you for stopping by our blog today to wish our mama a happy birthday.

We remember and miss Max.


Becky Andrews said...

Oh how very sweet. I will go to their blogs right now. Thanks for being such an example of love and support. What a living tribute to your Max.

Piappies World said...

Hi Maxmom,

Thank you for sharing this with us. We have been wondering about Paco, Milo and Maya. We are unsure of what's going on but we are keeping them and their pawrents in our prayers.

We also have dropped by dear Luke and Scout and Freyja.

Happy New Year to you and your wonderful family!

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

♥I am Holly♥ said...

That is an excellent post!! Yesterday I was wondering once again what happened to an online friend of mine that just disappeared after writing me every day for 10 years. I never knew where she lived or even her last name so I can't track her down to see if she's okay or not. I will try and get in touch with the ones you listed..the last two on the list I was hearing from a lot and have become concerned about both of them. Thanks for the idea! Lots of love, Debbie and Holly

Chester said...

Hiya Toby! I'm so glad your Mom stopped by today and said hello. You may have noticed my sporadic bloggin' this year due to helpin' Mom with my GrandPUs. I almost didn't post today because I was a little down in the dumps but am so glad you did because after readin' this post I am uplifted and refreshed to keep puttin' one paw in front of the other. Your Mom is a wise woman and I am honored to call her my furiend.

I always love seein' the beautiful pics you choose to share with us but your words are what inspire me and they always seem to come at just the right time.

Congrats Toby on findin' yourself a pawsitively wonderful place and humans to live with.

I will stop by these blogs as you have suggested.

May 2011 be overflowin' with blessin's to you and yours!

Woofs and overflowin' slobbers,
Chester ;0=)

Angus said...

How true,tender and caring.

WFT Nobby said...

A very interesting and thoughtful post.
Gail (who delights in her blogging friends, but is unsure about the idea offering support to bloggers whose blogs she does not regularly read. When Hamish died, I will be honest and say that I found it a bit disconcerting to receive messages of comfort from people I hadn't heard of before and who never read his blog.

houndstooth said...

We've certainly experienced this phenomenon ourselves recently. When Blueberry suddenly had a lump on her head that turned out to be cancer, so many people reached out to us. It has made what we're going through a lot less scary, and it's nice to know that there are people and dogs out there pulling for you when times are rough.

We know two of the bloggers you mentioned, and we know the reason for one person's silence, but the other we hadn't realized was struggling. We'll have to drop in on them and let them know we're thinking about them!

Louisette said...

Happy New year from Belgium
Louisette+2 golden retriever
Cerise+ Zitablue.

Louisette said...

Lovely fotos

Molly the Airedale said...

You are such a wonderful person! We will stop by these blogs that you mentioned. Thank you for caring!

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much Caryl.

For me reading your blog as well as others is what gets me through my rough spots. Even if I cannot leave a comment, just reading your blog makes my heart beat with joy to know that someone out there is this big world cares.

Thank you for caring.

Blu, Tessa's Mom

Mrs. JP said...

Great post and so well put. We comfort others with the comfort we've received. It's a "pay it forward" kind of thing.
I'm glad you told us what that Minor bird was doing---I thought he was falling out of the sky.

Pip said...

Beautiful post, Caryl. You captured it purrfectly. We will visit your furends.
We also want to thank you for visiting our friends, Sammy and Andy, to wish their Mama a Happy Birthday.

Asta said...

Deawest MAxMom
How well you put it

I now the wisdom of youw wods and we have felt the powew of the paw in ouw lives too. I've missed those fwiends and will cewtainly go and leave them a message..sometimes we get caught up in ouw busy lives and fowget..thank you fow the wemindew
smoochie kisses and thank you fow shawing youw gawden of love
ASTA and Mommi

Two French Bulldogs said...

Nice post. We sure do agree about that power of our paw thing.We will visit those other kids
Benny & Lily

sprinkles said...

I've experienced the Power of the Paw as well. I didn't experience it probably to the extent you did but it was enough to let me know I wasn't alone.

I don't even really know why I started blogging, I'm just glad that I did. I've made some wonderful friends and would miss them all terribly if I decided to take a break from it all for whatever reason.

Tweedles -- that's me said...

This is an example of where caring begins. This is where love begins..
I went and left a message on each site. It makes me sad to think someone could be hurting,,, and even though I cannot help,, I can offer a paw for them to reach out to, in case they felt like grabbing hold.
There are times when I too,, have felt like running away,,, and then like a sun beam shining on my shoulders,, I feel love,,, yesm even from strangers,,
this is where love begins.
What beautiful thoughts and feeling that you put into this post, so unselfish...and took much thought,
thank you and for the photos too.

Elizabeth Bergesen said...

I do hope everyone is okay!

rottrover said...

Maxmom - It was your courage during your difficult time with Maxdog that initially drew me to Blogville. I was so touched by the outpouring of compassion and the mutuality of feeling. We had something to give which came from our own experience of grief and loss. I had suddenly found a community that understood that part of my life. Thanks for this gentle reminder.

Stella said...

It was my understanding (from another blogger) that the Luke was having a difficult relapse and his Mom did not have time or emotions to deal with a lot of mail right now . Thats why I just mentioned how upsetting it was in my January 1 post. I am sure you must have got the OK from these people before posting them on your blog, in the event they found mail kind of disconcerting at this time, rather than helpful.

Jo and Stella

HoundDogMom said...

Just found your post. New to blogging this year. But sure had the support of all the bloggers when we lost our bloodhound in June. It is a comfort to have people out there that can fully understand what we go through when we loss a fur-kid. Each one is so different in their own ways. Sherri

Pepsi Bum said...

Very well put, MaxMom! I totally agree with you. Before I started this blog, I just read blogs and thought to myself, "what a wonderful group of people these guys are." and sometimes cry when I read about the loss of loved one.

It's always comforting to know that there are people out there who care genuinely.

Pepsi's A (Alice).

Angel Junior, Orion and Sammy said...

We went and visited! We know the "Power of the Paw" and "Purring" helps, and we like to help even if they are some we don't visit all the time!

How Sam Sees It said...

We have been keeping tabs on our friends, but will remind them that we are thinking of them.


Jed and Abby in MerryLand said...

An interesting post. The need to balance the desire for community and the instinct for empathy with respect for the wishes of those with real troubles who may - or may not - really want the comfort of others. Sometimes it's a matter of timing, too: we may not want the presence of others at one stage of the process, and may crave it at others. Mama has only been reading blogs for a couple of months, and she wonders about some who have just disappeared. The people, but also the dogs. As is usual in life, all we can do is our best: be there if and when we're wanted and stay out of the way when we're not, even if we don't agree with the decision. But mama does agree it is incumbent on us to offer and not to make them ask.

We are aware of Luke and have feared the absence of updates is not a good sign. We're not familiar with the other two you mentioned, but we will certainly visit. And we'd like to add another: Hero the Shar Pei, who certainly needs and deserves the Power of the Paw.

Jed & Abby

D.K. Wall said...

Sorry for my tardiness in responding. We had a great vacation and then work has been incredibly busy, so I am very behind on blog reading.

But I had to take the time to comment. I started my website (and then blog) because I wanted to get some of my thoughts down about the wonderful Nikita, who was aging. When I lost her, I was really hurting but had not enter this great blogging community.

I had absolutely no idea that anyone would care about reading about the dogs, or what we did. More surprising, I had no idea that I would care so much for the people that I have met only on the internet (though I have been blessed with meeting a few in real life).

I hope I do not need the rallying of bloggers for a very long time - but whenever it occurs, I will take comfort knowing that others are there.

As for some of those who withdraw - we all have our reasons for how we react. As someone said, we can only be there for them when they come back - when they are ready. And we will be right here for them.