Thursday, December 8, 2011


Dear friends and readers across the world,
  last night we celebrated the OFFICIAL LAUNCH of my book MAXDOG.  Many of my blogging-buddies around the world were there 'in-spirit' and for this reason, I would love to share my daughter's amazing speech with you all.  This speech was interspersed with the reading of snippets from the book. (Which I have excluded in this blogpost)


Good evening Ladies and Gentleman and thank you so much for sharing this very special evening with my mom and my family. For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Robyn or “Emma” as I’m referred to in the book, and I am Caryl’s youngest daughter.

Tonight we are celebrating my mom’s very special achievement of publishing her first book, Maxdog. In her book, my mom shares her truly inspiring story of how a slobbery, boisterous, bad breathed golden retriever changed her life.

Now, I’m a vet student, and as somebody going into the veterinary profession, I see a lot of people, such as vets, changing the lives of animals. But it is a really special occasion, when I get to witness how an animal can change their owner’s life, particularly when the owner, like my mom, adamantly refused to want the pet in the first place.

I remember the day when Max came into our lives. As a young ten year old I had a passion for animals, something I share with my mom, and it was particularly exciting for me that we would be getting a new puppy. This excitement, however, was one my mother refused to share. She was absolutely and truly determined that this would not be her dog, that it would be under the complete responsibility of my dad and that she would have very little to do with it, even to the point of refusing to come and fetch the little puppy with the rest of the family.

So.. standing tonight at the launch of her book about her beautiful golden boy, its obvious how that plan turned out.


So the golden boy managed to work his way into my mother’s heart, and managed to find a solid, comfy place to settle down there. Within months, it was obvious that Max was no longer my dad’s dog- as originally intended, but rather the devoted shadow of my mother.


Having a Golden Retriever in the house wasn’t without its quirks. We had become accustomed to the thick layer of golden hair that now coated the furniture; to the slobber that artistically covered our legs and arms after any encounter with Max and to the rather embarrassing occasions of having our underwear strewn across the lawn for all our guests to see - because Max had made it his personal mission in life to redistribute our laundry.

But despite his many quirks, Max was a family dog and dealing with his idiosyncrasies was well worth it for being able to see the light that Max brought to the darkness of my mother’s depression. My mom described her experience perfectly…


The golden boy had brought a silver lining to the hard times in my mother’s life and had touched her heart and the hearts of my family. It seemed the fluffy monster had too much love to give and it wasn’t long before my mom was using him to reach out and touch the lives of people across the world.

Now as the youngest in my family, there are certain pressures of being the most technologically advanced so it was a bit of an interesting moment when I came home to find my excited mother typing extravagantly on her computer where she had created a new blog dedicated to the life of her dog.

I knew that my mom loved her dog more than most owners do, and I knew that she had dedicated a lot of her time and energy into spoiling him rotten, so I won’t lie when I tell you that this new adventure initially seemed a bit extreme. I mean I barely knew anyone in my 'technology- driven' generation that had a blog, let alone a blog dedicated entirely to their dog.

But despite my reservations on the idea, I saw how much my mom enjoyed writing and sharing her pooch with the world. Reading over her blog, I admit I had to swallow my fair share of humble pie when I saw just how inspired people across the world were to share in my mother’s stories, even the heart wrenching ones of when our special dog became inflicted with cancer.

One young person, an autistic boy in Ireland had taken a liking to my mom’ s blog, and it was so inspiring to see the good it had brought him, by allowing his parents to help him deal with life and death issues (which are particularly difficult for an autistic boy to understand).


I had never believed that a dog could reach out and touch hearts in the way that Max and my mom’s personification of Max through her blog did. It was a sad, sad day when we lost our dear boy after all the struggles, but even in his last “Days of Grace” he continued to be a very special boy, lovingly committed to my mom and those around him.

It may seem strange for someone who has never experienced a furry friend to understand the deep relationship that an owner can have with a dog. But through looking at this amazing story that’s described in MAXDOG, its clear that animals can touch human’s lives in an unbelievable way - just as Max touched all of our lives.

To end off I’d like to say a very special congratulations to my mother on this amazing achievement. I know you have worked so hard and it has been a rough ride to share this personal story. I am really proud of you and I know that 'MAXDOG'Maxdog” will continue to reach out and teach people to “live life to the Max”


Should you wish to purchase a copy of MAXDOG,
Please click HERE
or email me at:

Sending lotsaluv

ps. Sorry that there are no pictures today...things are hectic here...:)


Bouncing Bertie said...

Great speech Robyn/Emma!
So now the book is well and truly launched. We are awaiting the announcement about international sales with bated breath.
Toodle pip!
Bertie (and Gail).
PS But, talking about breath, I want to protest on behalf of Max's friend Hamish, about the suggestion that MaxDog could possibly have had anything but the most agreeable and fragrant of odours emanating from his mouth at all times.....

Molly the Airedale said...

What a wonderful speech, Robyn!

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

How Sam Sees It said...

How beautiful! Your daughter wrote a very touching speech!


Amber DaWeenie said...

So beautiful. A truly wonderful speech. {And a tear-jerker too}. We also plan to get a copy of the book.

Mrs. JP said...

Wow, there couldn't have been a dry eye in the place. I love the insights of your girl. She's so gifted, like her mom, in communicating a story we all can picture.
I'm checking every day on amazon to find the book and will post the link to it on our blog. I can't hardly wait to get my hands on a copy.

Mrs. JP said...

Oh, hello to Toby, Tammy and Toffee

Angus said...

Your overseas audience awaits !

My Dog Sam - Ruptured Disk said...

Very touching :)

Scout and Freyja said...

Her words are nothing less than PURRfect.

NanaNor's said...

Hi dear friend, What a wonderful speech your daughter made, in fact I'm emailing the link to Avril. I continue to be so touched by Max's story and yours-I'm so proud to have gotten to know you via our blogs. Sending much love to you and yours.
Noreen & Reggie-dog

kks said...

Congratulations! And you must be very proud of your daughter! Wonderful!

STELLA and RORY from Down Under said...

Oh Caryl, you have the most supportive and wonderful family. My eyes have welled up just reading this speech. I so look forward to reading your full story. Special hugs to you all. No worries, and love, Carol (and Stella and Rory)

Two French Bulldogs said...

what a great speech'
Benny & Lily

Anonymous said...

Woooo Hoooo!

That was like the bestest speech EVER Robyn!


woos, Tessa

Becky Andrews said...

wow. such a beautiful speech and remarkable story. thanks so much for sharing with us all. much love

rottrover said...

I, too have teary eyes! Well done!!

Baby Rocket Dog and Hootie said...

Your girl's speech was perfect. We told our mama we want to get a copy of your book to remember Max by. Congrats on the realization of your dream MaxMommmy!
Smooches from pooches,
BabyRD & Hootie

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With Khattledog said...

Your younger daughter pawed it furry furry well!