Friday, September 30, 2011

LIVESTRONG 2011 preparations

TOBY here...

Hello there every-furry buddy!
As you all know, Sunday 2nd October 2011 is...
Aunt Tam and I (and Maxmom) have been putting our heads together to prepare a bumper LIVESTONG POST.
We are going to be honoring some pretty amazing people, so please be sure to pop by and read our SPECIAL POST!!!
 In the meantime, we continue to put our heads together to come up with a way to beat Cancer - or at least to inspire others to rise to this challenge.
We are united in this endeavour...

and to

 Keeping our heads together...
Sharing the same dreams...

A world without Cancer!

We both "noses" it is possible!

Please join us on Sunday, as we turn our blog yellow and pay our most highest respects to the icons of this struggle who inspire us so much.

Sending lotsalicks

Thursday, September 29, 2011


MAXMOM here...

Hello there to all my friends across the world.
You will notice that this blog has suddenly become
Well, on Sunday the 2nd October 2011, the blogging community is coming together to unite in...

We will be taking the opportunity to honour those special people in our lives who battle and have battled with the big "C".

Cancer is prominent in the world, but it can be beaten!

We would like you to join us on Sunday, by turning your blog
and by putting up special tributes to those who inspire us to


Please join us and DIARISE: Sunday 2nd October 2011

Sending lotsaluv to you all,

Monday, September 26, 2011

EDITING = heart-surgery.

MAXMOM here...
(My editor's beautiful cat....CLEOPATRA)

It's been a really full weekend. 
As they say, "No rest for the wicked.!"


Our attempt to find Salvio a home has networked his plight to hundreds of concerned readers around South Africa.  I am really grateful to those who have helped get the word out about this beautiful dog. 
 As I write this, Salvio still hasn't found his forever home. (Yet!)
Please, if you haven't read his story, please scroll down to the previous blogpost.

If you can, and if you are in South Africa, please would you open up your heart to help this special dog.  I would love to see this happen.   In the meantime, I pray that something will come up and that he will be able to find a home.


(One of my editor's dogs...also named TOBY!)

It has been said that the difference between a good editor and a bad editor is crystal clear: 
 A good editor won't try and put Band-aid on the wounds of your manuscript. 
Instead, he/she will engage in full blown heart-surgery! 
MAXDOG has a good editor!

Saturday afternoon was the first time that I met with MAXDOG's editor Joan.  I was really nervous - as all authors presumably are on their first meeting - but it was really unnecessary.  Our time together was candid, professional, intense and enriching. 

As many of you know, MAXDOG is an intensely personal story and has required that I revisit some excrutiatingly painful memories.  I have spent nearly two years on the manuscript and, as time has progressed, it has become increasingly harder for me to keep looking for any flaws in the story.  My defence mechanisms constantly challenge my desire to turn this story into a masterpiece. 

 Since I am one of the main characters in the book, and since it is a true story, I have to open up my heart and soul to places I never dreamt about.  Constant instrospection is extremely difficult, particularly if you have to get to grips with your own 'character'.  It's even more difficult if you have to search for your own, personal cracks and confront your 'not-so-nice' self.

Well, why do I do it?  What is the purpose of sharing so much personal stuff?

My reasons are four-fold:

* I want to bring tribute to this amazing dog who touched my life so deeply.
* I want to show that there is, indeed,  hope for people who suffer from depression.
* I want to pay tribute to the amazing cyber-support-community of dog and cat-bloggers around the world
* I want to give voice to the incredibly powerful bond which can develop between human beings and their animal companions.

In order to truly accomplish these goals, I have to look deep inside my own personality and be totally forthcoming with what I find.  It's been really difficult.

So this past weekend, I spent my time adding further dimension to the first three chapters of MAXDOG.  I think the narrative is looking rich and engaging.  I hope my editor likes it too. 

I am so grateful for Joan's help.  She is simply amazing.  Her gentleness, and candid discernment, enables me to see MAXDOG from a reader's perspective - a skill that I have so desperately needed.

Thank you Joan, for agreeing to take this project on. Thank you for helping me to make MAXDOG a masterpiece!  I am so grateful for your special talent and to be working with you.


Joan has graciously allowed me to share a short video clip of one of her four animal companions.  The fact that she is also an animal lover, as well as my editor, is not lost on me...It's yet another blessing.

MAXDOG...we are nearly there!
only 9 weeks to go!!!
"Wherever MAXDOG goes, let it do good!"
Sending lotsaluv

Friday, September 23, 2011


MAXMOM here...

Sometimes, something comes along that you simply cannot ignore...
My heart was extremely touched by

A few weeks ago, during a meeting with the designer of the cover of my book,
I heard about 'SALVIO' and his desperate need to find a forever home!!!

 I am sure that, via this blog, we can perhaps help this little guy.

Here is Nolene's plea:


Salvio came into my life when I needed him most, now he needs me...

Four months later and I am still looking for a good home for this stunning young dog.

A while back, I had two beautiful Jack Russells: Sebastian and Arial, whom I was totally besotted with.  They were my life. Unfortunately, on the 11 June I came home late at night only to find my house burgled and my dogs poisoned. Arial was dead already and Sebastian died in my arms at the vet the next morning.

As you can imagine I was totally devastated. 
To help with my healing process, I phoned CLAW and asked them if I could foster a dog for a month. Jennifer sent me photos of Salvio - a stray that they found - and I immediately felt so sorry for him.

He was so thin and his skin had the worst case of mange I have ever seen.
Jennifer said that he would heal much faster in a home environment than at the vet.  So off I went to go and fetch him. I decided to name him Salvio which comes from the Latin word meaning


... which was what the people at CLAW had done for him.

Salvio was a pleasure to have from the first day. He is fully house trained and extremely intelligent. Within the first week, I had taught him to sit, go down, wait, give his paw, and wait for his food. We are still working on roll-over :)

He is such a good companion, does not bark excessively and he loves playtime.  He's not too fond of kids and I don't know how he is with cats. He is fine with other dogs. He has been neutered, micro-chipped and is up to date with all his vaccinations.
An adoption fee and strict home checks will apply."


To my dear SOUTH AFRICAN friends...

Please would you look deep into your hearts to see if you can come up with a plan for sweet Salvio. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could help this sweet little guy to find a caring forever home?
Our paws are crossed here - for Salvio's plight. 

Please help...if you can...
Sending lotsaluv

Thursday, September 22, 2011

LIVESTRONG 2011 - 2nd October 2011

MAXMOM here...

Dear friends,

As many of you know, my heart-dog, Max, succumbed to cancer on the 24th May 2010.  His battle took place over 107 'Days of Grace'.  His story - of the amazing dog, behind the blog -  is soon to be told, in my book, 'MAXDOG', to be released in early December 2011.

This is not the first time, I have been exposed to the devastating effects of cancer.  It affects us all - humans, dogs, cats, all species! Like many of us, I have had to say goodbye to a number of my friends who have succumbed to its dreaded clutches...


Many people, around the world, continue to fight this disease and have decided to live each moment, each second, each day to its absolute max.

Last year, I was privilege to be involved in our community of bloggers' awe-inspiring
 LIVESTRONG campaign. 
This year, I am doing the same and invite you to join fellow bloggers on the
2nd OCTOBER 2011
by putting up a special post on your blog, or simply converting your blog to YELLOW on that day.

This campaign (amongst dog and cat-bloggers) has been graciously co-ordinated by some of my inspiring blogger-friends.  You can find all the details about what is involved by clicking:

A visit to the

reveals their LIVESTRONG's mission:


We believe everyone has the power to make their life better. Our members are people who want to take responsibility and give 100 percent to achieve everyday victories to help themselves and then help others."

This is such a noble which I fully support.
Do you?

2nd October 2011

Sending lotsaluv to you all...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

TOURGUIDE TOBY'S "TOP 10" TOURIST ATTRACTIONS... a bumper photographic post!

MAXMOM and TOBY here...
As you know...
we are patriotic SOUTH AFRICANS...VERY patriotic SOUTH AFRICANS!
So, today your TOURGUIDE TOBY thought he'd share his...

if you happen to be embarking on a whirlwind tour to

Here goes...


Many international visitors fly into the business heartland of Johannesburg, South Africa. They land at our world-class Oliver Tambo international airport and usually make their way to one of the beautiful hotels in our city. 

(Some are lucky, and stay at the Maxmom household...but that's another story...)
The first thing a tourist usually says is, "I wanna see a lion!", so their hosts will whisk them off to our LION PARK - on the outskirts of our city.  There, they will get to experience some of our wildlife - within a confined setting of course.
Afterall, this is NOT the African bush (yet). 

Lions are top of the agenda, but the cubs soon become a favourite. 

Yes, you get to pet the cubs too!



Then, it's off to the APARTHEID MUSEUM... become acquainted with our turbulent past, and to appreciate the road we've travelled to build our beautiful nation.


...But the bug to experience the BIG 5 has usually bitten our tourists by this stage, so a trip to our ELEPHANT SANCTUARY is next on the programme. 

 It's an opportunity to get up close personal with these gentle giants and to relish the chance to walk 'hand-in-trunk' with them.



A trip to our coastal city of Durban is next on the cards. 

 ...and a visit to our internationally acclaimed stadium - either to see some sporting events or to try out the bungee jumping -  off the top of our world class MOSES MABHIDA STADIUM

 If the adrenalin is too much, then one can simply admire (or visit) our beautiful coastline of beaches.



Cape Town is next on our programme... 

The harbour is worth a visit, with leisurely drinks at the the many venues along its famous V & A WATERFRONT.  Refreshed, one is led to the cable-way of the city's iconic TABLE MOUNTAIN CABLE CAR. enjoy an incredible African sunset.

#6. MPUMALANGA and sites

Tourists relish our sunsets, so we have to seek out more... 

...but this time, we offer them a sunrise in the spectacular Mpumalanga region of our country. 

 It's not only the sunsets that beckon, but also the waterfalls...

... quaint towns...
 and many wonderous geographical landscapes...

No visit to our country is complete without a visit to our KRUGER NATIONAL PARK - a sanctuary for wild animals - bigger than Switzerland. 

 Here you can experience the BIG FIVE in all their natural glory - Elephant, Lion, Buffalo, Leopard and Rhino. 

BUT....If we're not careful, however, our big 5 will soon become the big 4. The prevalence of Rhino poaching is reaching unprecedented levels and, without serious intervention, we will soon have none left!!

While you are in the Northern part of our country, take a visit to the largest Baobab tree in the world - the Sunland Baobab. 

This spectacular tree is carbon dated to be over 6000 years old and has a 47m circumference. You can quench your thirst by visiting the pub INSIDE THE TREE!!!



Back in Johannesburg, a trip to MONTECASINO and its famous bird park should definitely be considered. 

The picturesque indoor experience of outdoor Italy is quite disconcerting.  If that gets too much for you, you can simply escape to outdoor reality and become better acquainted with thousands of beautiful birds.

#10. ORDER 'MAXDOG'!!!
And finally; last, but not least...

A trip to South Africa, will not be complete without ensuring that you order your personal copy of

... a book, to be released in early December, of a South African Golden Retriever, who touched hearts across the world, through his blog:
"The Adventures of South Africa!"
Ensure you order your copy by emailing Maxmom
For more information about this book,

We certainly hoped you enjoyed your

Sending lotsaluv to our readers.
"Wherever MAXDOG goes, let it do good!"