Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Dear Friends, new readers and seasoned readers...

This is just a short note to say that I'll be
for a few days.

We are in the midst of an "Easter break", here in South Africa. Most working folk are on leave - having taken full advantage of the numerous public holidays at this time of the year.  
  I am spending some good quality with my family.

In other words, there is nothing to worry about.
We are all perfectly fine. 

Sending lotsaluv to you all.
We'll be back soon!

Friday, April 22, 2011



Wishing all our readers...

A wonderful, happy and treat-filled weekend!

Happy Easter!

With lots and lots of licks


...in South Africa

Thursday, April 21, 2011

BUMPER EASTER REFLECTION: A new life's beginnings...

MAXMOM here...

 Hello there to all my friends across the world.

Everyday, in the world of blogging, we make new friends and welcome new readers.  So often, many of the 'foundations' which we took pains to lay, in earlier blogposts, are lost in the archives.

For the benefit of ALL my readers, I thought I'd take some time today to reflect on the life of my beautiful
...this amazing dog who has come into our lives, only nine months ago.

On the 24th July 2010 this little pup made its way into the world.
This tiny little creature had a sprinkling of the great Maxdog in this genes, and was registered under the name:


Eventually however, we decided to call him:
... after a character in one of my childhood story books.
What a tiny little mite he was who favoured his sweet mothers front right hand teat.
(Molly and her puppies.  Toby - far left)
He was one of a litter of seven pups and was the lightest in the litter. 
Despite my hurting heart  at the time - from the recent loss of Maxdog - I was drawn to this little pup instantly.
Thanks of the generosity of his breeder, I was able to visit him often and our bond began.  I even got to see him within the first 24 hours of his birth.  Thereafter I visited him every week: 
One week...
Two weeks...
Three weeks...
Four weeks...
Five weeks...
Six weeks..
Seven weeks..
At the end of the seventh week we were able to bring TOBY home...

He was destined to be nurtured by 'Aunt Tam' - our 10 year old Golden Retriever.  Having never had pups herself, she adopted him and imbued his sweet little personality with her gentle and affable spirit.  The two of them have been inseperable.

Toby started his 'Puppy Socialisation' classes in October 2010 at the age of 12 weeks, at 
 McKaynine Training Centre
here in Johannesburg, South Africa.

  He was a quick and willing learner. 

When he was still small, I taught him to 'stand' in the correct manner, in order to try him in the Breed Show ring.
Toby attended his first show in January 2011.
...and then another Breed show in February:...

After becoming a 'Puppy Graduate', I enrolled him for his 'elementary obedience' classes. from which he has recently graduated.

In the beginning of February 2011, I was invited to train Toby up for the role of 'Sandy' in the musical production of 'Annie' to take place from the 25-28th May 2011.
I set about familiarising him with different types of settings.  Together, we visited our local primary school as well as the high school.  I have tried to accustomise him to various noises, people, dogs, conditions, and he caught on quickly.  With the fantastic help of

he is almost ready to take on this big role. 
He has been attending rehearsals regularly and simply LOVES being amongst the young cast members of the
He is equally comfortable on the beautiful stage of the theatre at the

Toby also loves swimming and has become an excellent 'dock-diver'...

The past 9 months have been both fun and challenging.  Our 'Sweet Hooligan' has survived our household and is now a fully-fledged and greatly loved member.  Despite his foolish antics during his puppy stage - stealing cooksisters, digging up my potplants, running trenches in my passage with his wet paws, chewing up our alarm system and bugging us at all hours of the night - he is much loved by all of us. His energy has no bounds and his eagerness to learn makes him a pleasure to teach.

Training up a pup is hard work, but each effort is an investment and brings abundant rewards.  

I am just so grateful for this amazing dog who, beyond all expectations, has filled the deep void I felt after the passing of my

I would like to give special thankw his breeder - Zeena - at
as well as the amazing trainers at
for helping shape this amazing dog.

What a blessing Toby is to our family!

He is a daily reminder that, no matter what loss we go through, there is always a new beginning around the next corner.

Wishing all my readers a

With love


Monday, April 18, 2011


MAXMOM here...

It's been cold, raining and miserable for three days now. 
Everyone is dressed up warmly with simmering pots on the stove.  Anything to revive the gloomy mood which has settled on our city. The general small-talk is fixated on the weather.
 I must admit, I do miss my South African sunshine... 
(The beautiful Karoo landscape - sent to me by a friend. 
Thank you, Bob!)

Our temperature at the moment, is hovering around 13C - the coldest yet this year. With this rain, we are probably facing a very cold winter.

We spent most of the weekend indoors - the shops were the main attraction of the weekend...

Our shops are filled with Easter offerings ...

We have a number of public holidays scheduled in the next two weeks, so many people are taking leave to get the full benefit of the season.
For what its worth, Toby and his compatriots don't care!

Dogs don't bother about the weather...or Easter. 

To them, each day is a present - to be lived to the Max! 

Toby has taken up the game of soccer - it appears that I will have to become his eager opponent
(or team-mate, depending on his mood).

Since he can't put this ball in his mouth, he skirts up and down the passage, pushing the ball along, like a professional striker. It's rather funny to watch.
The cooler climate is an excuse for dogs to pump up their energy levels.  Their wakeful and exuberant playfulness is directly contrasted with their attempts at finding warm, snug spots, where they can snooze. Afternoon walks, however, are non-negotiable. Treats too are actively and continuously solicited. Phew, dogs are exausting!

Some general local news:

The Garbage workers' strike is into its third week and there are growing environmental and health concerns. In the past month, I've discovered what it is like to be a garbage worker. The putrid smell of dump sites is definitely not pleasant.  I've had to make numerous trips there to rid ourselves of our own refuse. Our  city is looking dreadful at the moment.  Piles of garbage bags line most streets and the smell hangs in the air. Uurrrgh!  Hopefully the parties will come to an agreement soon and our city can be cleaned up quickly.

* The Julius Malema (ANC Youth Leader) "Hate-speech" trial is in full swing.  It has law-students, around the country, rivetted to their television sets. From what I've seen, it appears that racism is still rife in our sensitive country.  I am fascinated with the trial - it will be a landmark judgement because it deals with freedom of speech, expression and how the judiciary interprets 'hate speech'.  We have live streaming from the courtroom onto our tv sets.

* Police brutality is in the spotlight again, sadly. A number of police officers have been arrested after a demonstrator/community leader in Ficksburg was beaten, shot and killed during a services-delivery protest. The gruesome video footage of his death has been all over the media.

* Local election fever has politians scampering for votes - "Service delivery", or the lack thereof,  seems to be on top of everyones' minds.  Various public demonstrations have broken out around the country.

Anyway, this blog is a dog-blog, not a news-blog!
But if you are interested in following some of our South African news, my recommended news website is:
 hosted by one of our local radio stations.
I still have had no response from any publishers for my book,


  Hopefully someone will nibble my bait soon. I am beginning to understand and appreciate the frustrations of writers and authors in general.  Rejection comes with the territory, but they tell me it's still early days. Please hold thumbs that someone will want to run with it. It really is an incredible story that needs to be told.
   Hopefully the sun will come out soon, so that we can enjoy this holiday period in the true South African way!
I leave you with a picture (graciously sent to me by a friend) of a beautiful Karoo sunset.
(Thank you, Bob!)

no matter what your circumstances
Sending lotsaluv from us all,