Tuesday, October 18, 2011

ASTA, "Our Annie Adventure" and MAXDOG

MAXMOM here...
(ASTA and 'Aunt Tam': July 2010)


Hello there to all my friends around the world,
It's a pretty disjointed time of my life at the moment. 
There is so much happening - and so much not happening too. 

There are only 5 weeks to go before MAXDOG is in print and things are getting exciting - if not a little daunting.

All-in-all the rollout for my book is on track.  There are a few little snags here and there, but nothing major, so I am fairly happy. I have to constantly keep in mind my personal mantra:

"Wherever MAXDOG goes, let it do good."


Do you remember Lorraine's little guide-dog-in-training,

(Lorraine and ASTA: July 2011)
Well ASTA is no longer 'little'...

(Lorraine and ASTA: September 2011)

For the past 16 months, ASTA  has been carefully nurtured by my friend Lorraine, who volunteered to be her puppy-walker.  I have been privileged to watch their progress and Lorraine has done an absolutely amazing job with ASTA! Few people realise the dedication involved in this type of work.  I have been in awe of her patience, dedication and committment to producing a dog that will one day become a treasure to its owner.

ASTA and TOBY have also had a very special relationship.  The two of them arrived on our respective doorsteps at more-or-less the same time.  Over the past year, they have become wonderful playmates and really good canine buddies.

They have spent many hours playing and romping together - more recently at our local dogpark.

As puppies, ASTA and TOBY were utterly adorable, and Lorraine and I would watch them for hours as they played together: Bitey face, tug-o-war, romping like lunatics and frolicking in the swimming pool. Their energy never abated and they loved each other's company.   

Well, the good and sad news is that ASTA has finally received her "call-up papers".
It's somewhat a bittersweet moment, because next week, ASTA will be returned to the Guide Dog Training Centre to start her formal training to becoming a fully fledged Guide Dog for a blind person. It's time for all of us to say "Good-bye".

On the one hand, Lorraine has accomplished her personal goal - to help train up a pup for service.  I must admit, I have a bit of a lump in my own throat.  I don't think I could have done it and I really admire Lorraine for her resolve.

Congratulations Lorraine, you have trained up an awesome pup!

 ASTA is going to make someone extremely happy one day!
Thank you ASTA for being such a wonderful buddy to TOBY over the past year.
We sure are going to miss you!


The other news is that TOBY's article;
"Our Annie Adventure"
is in the November edition of

If you are in South Africa, please look out for it on your shelves in the next couple of days.
The article on page 40  looks great:

(Click on the picture to biggify...and read)
Thank you to ANIMAL TALK for giving MAXDOG a shout-out too!

That's all my news for now.
Sending lotsaluv to you all and wishing you a happy week.


STELLA and RORY from Down Under said...

What a wonderful choice to make to raise and educate a guide dog pup. Lorraine you are a star and Asta, you are going to make someones life so absolutely wonderful. Good luck sweetie.

Toby you will miss your buddy but knowing you, more friends will come into your life for sure.

Have a happy week too. No worries, and love, Stella and Rory

Anonymous said...

Daddy was looking at fostering for guide dog pups and customs pups today!

I can imagine it would be so sad to give them away but such an amazing feeling as well!

The article looks fantastic :D


MySpecialDoggies said...

Congratulations Toby & Caryl for the great magazine article - wish we could get it here in the US.

Best of luck to Asta - he'll make someone's life very special soon. Neeli knows what it's like to say goodbye to a guide puppy-in-training friend - she too wished Camille, Trista and Victoria the best. A bittersweet moment for Lorraine - but the ultimate payoff will be worth the tears now.

Nadine & golden Neeli

Milo and Alfie Marshall said...

How awesome that Asta is going to help someone by making their life easier and safer. We bet Lorraine is really gonna miss that pup though.

You must feel so proud about the book. Wonderful news.

Two French Bulldogs said...

How exciting your book will be in print before you know it. Asta turned out to be abrauty. And Toby!! Congratulations on your magazine article
Benny & Lily

My Dog Sam - Ruptured Disk said...

Hi Maxmom - it must be a tough thing to do, to let go of a dog that you've loved and nurtured. My dad says he couldn't do it. Great news on the magazine article and only a few weeks to go until the book is released.

Anonymous said...

It really is getting very close MaxMom! My Mom can hardly wait!

You are a good buddy Toby! Lots of luck to Asta!

A BIG Wooooo Hoooooo on your Animal Talk article and nod to THE book!

woos, Tessa

sprinkles said...

I teared up reading about Asta. She's such a cutie! I don't think I could put all that work into a dog for a year and a half and then just give it up. I'm just selfish that way. I have to admire her for that. But I know Asta will go to a good home.

Angel Junior, Orion and Sammy said...

Oh goodness! We could not imagine raising a pup, only to give it up, even though it is for the good. Bless both their hearts!!!

Boondocks Love Shack Pack said...

How wonderful for Asta!! What a privilege to be involved in such a noble task!!


Boondocks & The Love Shack Pack

Anonymous said...

Good luck Asta! The bond between any pet and their owner is so special but when that is accompanied by the incredible freedom that an assistance dog brings to someone it truly brings a lump to the throat.

H and the fabulously one year old Flo xx

Tweedles -- that's me said...

I had tears in my eyes as I read about Asta.. it would just be so hard.
But Asta will- as you said,,, make someone very happy someday!

How cool that Toby is in the magazine,,, that is awsome!

And we are READY for "the book" to be born!

Scout and Freyja said...

Asta is GORGEOUS! I know, it must be so sad to have them leave but so heartwarming to know that she and her new person are going to form a remarkable bond for life.

Caryl, each and every time I read those words from Max's back cover I cry. Thank you so much for taking what was in my heart and valuing it enough to give it life.

BTW, how about grabbing me a copy of that magazine and shooting it over here to me? Please, pretty please? I'll help with the postage.