Monday, August 8, 2011

MAXDOG: Home is a journey...

MAXMOM here...


Do you know the saying; “Your home is where your heart is”?
Well, when your heart begins to soar, you suddenly realised that you are finally home. In my case, my current journey feels like home and, yes, my heart is soaring!

With the prospective publication of MAXDOG, I have had this immense feeling of elation – a surreal certainly that what I am about to do, was somehow always meant to be. I didn’t plan it this way – it simply happened. In 2000, Maxdog was gifted to me. I didn’t ask for him. I didn’t even want him. But he happened – with all the vigour that life can offer. It’s somewhat strange to finally be here – on my own ‘home’ journey.

I was thinking about it last night - how, for the better part of my life, I’ve been hankering after doing ‘something good’. I’m sure we all have that feeling at some stage – a need to make a difference to this world, a need to contribute in some way. But most often, we are faced with the question “How exactly do I make a worthwhile contribution?” In my case, this question has been realised with the writing of MAXDOG.

When Max finally succumbed to his cancer last year, I realised what a difference he, in his own short life, had made to mine. This amazing dog had touched me like no other. He’d contributed to this world in his own special way. Indeed, he’d been on his own ‘home journey’ ever since he arrived on my doorstep. His life had already been mapped out for him in all the mystery of the universe. He had been placed with us, perfectly, for a specific purpose.

It was the beginning of last year, that I came to the point of realisation, when I suddenly felt ‘compelled’ to write his story. Max was offering me the opportunity of making my own contribution to the world – by sharing his story – the story about the dog, behind the blog, and how he’d changed my life so dramatically.

Well, I completed Max’s story in September 2010 and have been patiently tending to it since then. The creative process has not been without its many hurdles. But this story has been my own ‘home journey’ – my opportunity to do something for the greater good. I know that his story echoes that of millions of others out there – those dogs who have touched the lives of their owners, but who have silently slipped away, undocumented.

Although Max’s story is an intimate and unique account of his and my life together, I know that the feelings and emotions which I experienced along our journey are shared by many other people and their canine companions. I have never been alone in this – even if I thought so at the time!

So, at last I am ‘home’! I am finally on the path that I was meant to follow. When this book eventually goes out to print, I will finally be able to sit back and know, with absolute certainty, that I’ve done something truly good. In a way, this whole journey has been an extreme act of faith – I have simply followed the hunch that this is truly meant to be. Once published, Maxdog’s story will finally be immortal.

Yes, I have to accept that my journey has been charted for me all along. The only thing that I feared along the way (and which stopped me at times) was fear itself. It was the fear of being made vulnerable to the world, once my story was out. It is the fear of laying out my soul, for all to see. But, if I sit back and think about it, I can honestly say “This is good!” What more could I possibly I ask for?

Perhaps the answer lies in this question. Will you, perhaps join me in my own silent prayer:


Sending lotsaluv and wishing you all a happy week!

If you would like to follow MAXDOG's journey on the road to publication, please keep reading this blog or follow him on

If all goes well, the book will be out by Christmas! :)


~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

Caryl, I'm reading your post this morning and am feeling a bit choked up by it. You are right. You have followed your heart and have dared to step into the unknown and have taken a chance...I so admire you for not giving up, for telling such a personal story, for wanting to make a difference and for sharing your beloved Maxdog with everyone.

verobirdie said...

I'm so glad this book is becoming a reality, I know how important it is for you.

STELLA and RORY from Down Under said...

Hi Caryl, I suppose we have all been made a better person by the dogs and other pets who have loved us and expected nothing in return. They bring out the best in us. I admire your ability to write a book about Max. I'm sure it will remind us all of a special pet, loved and passed on. No worries, and love, Carol

Angus said...

Well done for staying the course.

Curt Rogers said...

Well said. I understand that relentless drive to tell a story, the need that arises above all others. It is a courageous thing you do, regardless of whether or not you ever imagined you'd be doing it. You've thrown yourself into the act, persevered and will find yourself a better person on the other side. As Annie Dillard said, "You can't test courage cautiously."

And if you ever feel lost or confused or frightened, please know that all of us out here have your back.

Jake of Florida said...


What you've said rings true on so many levels! Those of us who shared Max's last months with you know only part of the story -- so we'll be looking forward to seeing MAXDOG in print and sharing the rest of your journey together with you!

Until then, we echo your prayer!


Scout and Freyja said...

Caryl, you have always done good. You raised two, beautiful children who are on career paths that will give back to society. You are a dear and generous friend. You were a wonderful daughter and daughter-in-law. You are an excellent dog trainer. You, my dear friend, are a good person right down to your core.

I am so pleased that sweet Maxdog will have his story told and that his life, and your journey together, will be 'in the world' doing good wherever it travels. But, please know, that since the day you were born you have been doing good - you just have to see yourself through the eyes of your friends and family who find you to be priceless.

My Dog Sam - Ruptured Disk said...

Hi Maxmom - my dad said that he'll read some parts of it to us when it comes out. I think that's really good.

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

And what a wonderful journey!

Two French Bulldogs said...

This sure is exciting. Can't wait for the adventure
Benny & Lily

Chester said...

There is a peace like none other when you finally know what God's purpose is for your life. Congrats on following through with what will bring comfort and healing to others who have suffered the loss of a close friend.

Chester's Mom ;0-)

Boondocks Love Shack Pack said...

You put this so beautifully. We look forward to reading MAXDOG and will certainly put it on our Christmas wish list.

And.. AMEN!

Boondocks & The Love Shack Pack

Angel Ginger Jasper said...

I cant tell you how much I was happy to see that maxdog will be printed and I will be at the front of the queue to buy it. Your post today is so lovely and tells a lot. Good luck.. Hugs GJ xx

sprinkles said...

Will you let us know where we can buy copies of the book when it becomes available? I'd love to read his story!

My word verification today: stori

NanaNor's said...

Hi there, I echo Kim's words in her comment and know that many will be comforted by this story; I certainly have been. Sending much love to you today and can't wait until it is in my hands.
Hugs, Noreen & Reggie

Anonymous said...

Congrats MaxMom!

Just keep us updated!

woos, Tessa

♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥ said...

We are sure your long journey was filled with both joy and sadness. We send you wishes for good luck and success with MaxDog's journey.

Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

♥I am Holly♥ said...

Congratulations!!! I am so happy that MaxDog is going to be printed!!! Lots of love, Debbie & Holly

Berts Blog said...

Yeah....Congratulations. We can't wait to have a copy for ourselves. Christmas is not that far away.

Bert and My Vickie

Becky Andrews said...

What a beautiful tribute. Can't wait to get our copy.

Mrs. JP said...

There are few who know why God put them here in this time and place but you do. That is a great gift from your loving Father. I'm glad the book is going so well.

Suka said...

hi MaxMom,

Thank you for expressing yourself so honestly and openly. Your words really touched me, and I am so very happy for the near completion of your book. I look forward to its great success!

I appreciated reading of your journey and the process you have gone through. I, too, have felt like you, but seem lost sometimes as to how to express my contribution to society, to giving back. And, like you, fear sometimes takes over, when I know it shouldn't. You are fortunate that your path came to you with such clarity, and flowed so easily through you.

Maxdog was a blessing, and his book will be a must read, I am sure. :->


houndstooth said...

I'm so happy for you that you've been able to record his story and have it go into print! Congratulations to you!