Saturday, July 30, 2011


MAXMOM here...

Hello there everybody!


 What a cold week it's been, with snow blanketing large parts of the country, a shortage of gas (for our heaters),the lingering fuel crisis and an embarrassing defeat of our Rugby team by the mighty All Blacks today!
Congratulations, New Zealand, on your victory today in the Tri-Nations.

Most of these things have largely passed me by though.  I've had my nose solidly in my work.  In the past 48hours, I have been busy with one of the largest edits yet for MAXDOG's book.  That's finished now, thank goodness, and I feel a lot more satisfied.  The next step - a professional edit. Things are slowly moving forward towards publication and I now have a number of options on my plate. So everything is on track.
 (Unfortunately I can't tell you much more than that, but watch this space :))

The dogs have been snuggled up next to me for most of the week. They've had to settle for very short jaunts down the road - not the lengthy excursions which they usually enjoy.  I've just been too busy.  Today, however, I took a break, grabbed my camera and went outside into the garden.  The dogs followed me eagerly and took the opportunity for a fun game of bitey-face. 

Toby is growing in leaps and bounds.  He's a big dog now - 40 kgs, but he's such a sweety.  I know that he sometimes appears to look stern in the photographs, but I can assure you that he's still filled with the joys of puppyhood. 

He's such a sweet hooligan, and most of the time he's begging for a game from his faithful Aunt Tam'. Either that or he is lying on his back, waiting for someone to rub his tummy. 
Toby continues to be our 'Sweet Hooligan'.

Aunt Tam is beginning to exude the gracefulness of the elderly.  She's a little more sedate nowadays and tends to avoid the hooligan's boisterousness, but every now and again, she springs to life...

She's always loved being outside and relishes this cold weather.  We often find her under the Carob tree, staring into nothingness and simply enjoying the moment. 
"It's never too cold for a Golden Retriever!"  she seems to say.

As for "THE KING"....

Well, he's still happy on his comfortable throne - or should I say throneS?
He's established a number of them throughout the house - couches, chairs, beds, laps...
Everything depends on the moment - which lap is most inviting and which bed is the softest.
King Toffee still reigns from his lofty pedestals!

I'm sorry I've not been blogging much lately.  It's largely due to my distraction with the book. 
Please remember to keep an eye on the Twitter feed - you can look us up if you like. 
It's... 'MaxdogM'
(or simply follow the feed at the top of this blog.)

Wishing you all a very happy weekend and, if you are in South Africa...
Sending lotsaluv

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


MAXMOM here...


Hello there everybody,

Over the last 24 hours a cold front has gripped the eastern part of our country, leaving national highways closed and people stranded.  It's one of the heaviest snowfalls here in South Africa since the 1990's.  Temperatures tonight are likely to fall well  below zero in many parts of the country. We'll all have to wrap up warm.

Here in Johannesburg, the skies are partly cloudy - fluffy puffs of white against a bright blue sky.  Thankfully we're not quite as cold as some places in the country.   But the weather is really strange.  Take a look at the sunrise yesterday...I've never seen a sunrise this colour before:

Somehow these weather conditions always go along with aggravating circumstances.  Our metal workers have been on strike for a number of weeks, leaving filling stations dry and motorists frustrated.  There are gas shortages too, which means that our own heaters in the house stand idle. I took a trip to at least four outlets this morning, but to no avail.  We're in for a cold night.

The good news though, is that my flu has eased.  Hopefully I'll soon be as good as new again.
The dogs are wondering what is walks?
Just thinking about a walk has Toby on his feet:

Patience, dogs, patience!

That's all my news for the moment, except that our resident weaver bird has read the weather all wrong. He thinks it's nesting season:
Then again, perhaps he's built it for himself.

Since I don't have much news, please can I divert your attention to
a very sweet and fairly new blogger on the block.
A little spaniel called STELLA

She really is a sweety-pie and I know she'd appreciate a few more visitors and followers.
How about going to say hello?

Sending lotsaluv

Monday, July 25, 2011


MAXMOM here...

What is it about having the flu that makes one feel so rotten?

It's like being weeded out of the world’s garden – confined to a place reserved for untouchables. Running nose, blocked sinuses, aching muscles and streaming eyes. Not a pretty sight at all!  I’m not surprised nobody wants to come near me. The dogs, however, don’t mind a bit. Like shadows, they mimic my moves. Their fondness - unconditional!

After much resistance, I eventually slump onto my bed and tuck my toes under the warmth of the feather duvet. The dogs settle in the corner. Brrrr, I could do with a hot-water bottle, I think. But that means I have to get up again. Oh dear.

“So, I’m miserable…so what?”

My laptop is a good companion. Self-imposed isolation never has to be so dramatic nowadays. In fact, it doesn’t have to be isolation at all. Thanks to modern technology, I will remain connected to the world’s spinning wheel. That knowledge, in itself, makes me feel better.

It doesn’t last long. The attraction of cyberspace is finally swamped by fatigue and I finally submit to slumber.  I dream of comforting smiles and understanding demeanours; and of course the hope that, by some remote chance, my childhood treat of soft porridge and cinnamon sugar will simply materialise before my eyes.


But, thank goodness for cyberspace.

  If you, too, are under-the-weather at the moment, join me in marvelling at of our beautiful Namaqualand daisies. (photograph above) They're blooming in our country at the moment -  arisen from the dormancy of their own hibernation. They offer us the reassurance that our afflictions are only temporary.  Soon, we'll once again be...

Sending lotsaluv to you all,

Sunday, July 24, 2011


MAXMOM here...

Exactly a year ago, a little pup arrived in our lives.  A soft, cuddly little creature, endowed with an abundance of wrinkles and who reminded me of a frothy, foamy, soft, cream-cake.

 Although my heart was still heavy from the loss of Maxdog - two months earlier - I decided to open myself up to the experience of another dog in my life.  This particular litter presented a unique opportunity - a pup with a direct genetic link to my Angel Maxdog. 

He was a beautiful pup, but so tiny - weighing in at only 300g at birth.  He was the lightest of the litter of seven pups.  I saw him for the first time when he was only 24hours.  He attracted me like a little magnet and, as I held him in my hands and got that first wiff of puppy-breath, I knew that he'd eventually be mine. Somehow, Maxdog had passed on this special gift to me.

The little pup was registered, the following week, as


What an apt name, I thought - from 'Out of Africa' , there would come another dog, possibly like Maxdog, which I could share with my blogging friends around the world! These little ironies don't get lost on me.  Never-the-less, we decided to call him by the every-day name of..


It was a carefully selected name, from one of the characters in my childhood story books and it reminded me of the innocence of youth and the hope of what is still to come.

TOBY came to live with us at the age of seven weeks.

Like all puppies, he filled our lives with yapping, joyful energy, sleepness nights, poo's all over the place and unbridled joy.  Our home was alive again and this infiltrated through to AUNT TAM' - who had suddenly brightened up at the possibility of a brand new playmate. KING TOFFEE was also suitably impressed and opted to climb off his throne for a while to experience some of the fun. 

But it was AUNT TAM who took him under her paw and instilled a measure of canine discipline.  This tempered his spirit and provided some secure boundaries.  Simply put - she adopted him and taught him her gentle ways.

Puppy classes were fun.  TOBY thrived in the companionship of canine company, as well as the small challenges which were put to him. His social skills were fabulous and he caught on quickly.  I applied myself to teaching him well - early obedience - which complimented our home and our pack.

 He graduated from puppy classes and went on to complete his elementary obedience too.

At the age of six months, I was asked if I would like to train TOBY up for the role of SANDY in the production of ANNIE.  I jumped at the opportunity.  Under the careful tuition of Shannon McKay, we  achieved our goal and at the age of 9 months TOBY took to the stage. He loved the children and performed like a little star.  I was so proud of him and knew that this experience could only serve to enhance his social skills and his obedience.

We've had fun this year! We've attended dog shows, swam a lot, gone on excursions, enjoyed our daily walks and got on with the day-to-day demands of our lives. 

TOBY has fitted beautifully into our household.  All the dogs get on well together.  He continues to be a blessing in my life.

So, on this day - 24th July 2011 - I would like to wish my special, 'Sweet Hooligan...


Live well!  Learn well!  Be healthy too!

But most of all, make the most of every day and...


Sending lotsaluv to all our friends across the world!

Friday, July 22, 2011


MAXMOM here...

Dear friends,
Since it's weekend, I thought I'd show you a little of my country. I know that some of you have seen this video before, so this really is for my new readers as well as for my other friends who, perhaps, want to see it again.

Wishing you all a wonderful, happy weekend.


Thursday, July 21, 2011


TOBY, the 'SWEET HOOLIGAN' here...

“No!” she shouts.

I look up in surprise.

“No!” she repeats, looking at me sternly. “Give that back to me!”

The slipper, I wonder? You want the slipper?

 I open my mouth and drop it to the floor. I’ve spent the whole night absorbing its interesting secrets, but now she wants it back.

“Look what you’ve done, Toby! Now what am I supposed to do?”

I recoil in surprise at the tone of her voice. She looms over me and reaches down to pick up my special booty. Her expression is one of unguarded fury. I lie on my side and ease onto my back, looking up at her, appealing for explanation - or perhaps a game?

“This was my Christmas present!” she bellows. “This cost the Boss a fortune! How must I explain this to him? Damn Dog!”


She turns away. I’m obviously in disfavour. What have I done wrong?

But this was the most interesting treasure in the house. During the dark hours, while she slept, I unearthed it. Retrieved it. Took it to my bed – to unravel its yards and yards of inviting and riveting stories. Yummy, absorbing information. Answers that were just waiting to be revealed. Like the onions she so enjoys peeling…

“Read them, Maxmom! Read them!” my eyes urge

She has no idea of the value of the information she holds in her hand.

She ignores me and places the one slipper on the table – high up and away from me. Her face is turned away and her mood - dark. She’s not happy. I thought I was doing her a favour.

Does she realise that it tells the secret of the dark bird which landed in our garden? Does she realise that it reveals what she had eaten yesterday, where she had wandered and what she had felt? Her entire life history was in my jaw. Her emotions – trust, fear, love, dreams – all bundled up in one package. I want to know everything about her but now my text book has been removed.

I walk up behind her and sit at her heels. She turns and glares at me..

“Can I have the other one, perhaps?” I ask tentatively.
 She shrugs her shoulders and goes off to make her tea.
Humans! They are just so confusing!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


TOBY here...

Hello there fur-buddies!

Maxmom has been so busy lately that I've left her with her work and have come to ask you guys a question.

You see, I was strolling around the garden - looking for something to do.  This place can be boring sometimes!  Guess what I found?...take a look:

Beautiful big tennis balls...and LOTS of them!!!


I couldn't believe my luck...mmm...for a while.

They smell different!
And they taste different too!
Most frustrating!
I decided to chew up the tree instead.

KING TOFFEE wasn't in the least bit interested...

AUNT TAM' watched gracefully from a distance. 
Wisdom just drips off her.

Me? I chose a stick instead.  Much tastier!

So tell me....

Just asking.

Sending lotsalicks