"MAXDOG" is now available on Amazon.com!!
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Dear Readers and faithful friends,

After a number of years of wonderful blogging, this blog has effectively become dormant - except for occasional updates regarding my book, MAXDOG. I have left this blog as a legacy to my dog and a place of sanctuary where we can reflect upon his life. Take your time, peruse the pages spanning Max's 18 months in cyberspace. Feel refreshed and uplifted because his story is an amazing one of..."LIVING LIFE TO THE MAX!"
My activities have now moved on to my new blog entitled "LIVING LIFE TO THE MAX". Please join me there where you can read about my family and canine companions. I also invite you to visit MAXDOG's FANPAGE on FACEBOOK. You can follow the specific links by clicking below:

* MAXDOG, the book: click HERE

If you would like to follow me on a deeper, spiritual level, then I invite you to visit my more personal blog:

May God bless you and thank you for following me!


Tuesday, November 3, 2009


MAXDOG here...

Today I am giving Mom a chance to share something with you all....enjoy!


Dear Friends,

Although Max’s blog is primarily a “DOG-BLOG”, whose purpose is to record his life as well as the lives of the other three pooches in our household, I feel that it is important to describe the environment, culture and people where his story takes shape. For this reason, I am responding to a suggestion from Khyra and am considering a Tuesday slot, called:


My idea is to break away slightly, once a week, from the usually Doggie focus and give you a snippet of other things which are important or interesting in our lives. Please tell us how you like this suggestion? I would really appreciate your comments!



Some of you might be aware of the fact that much of my childhood was spent on a farm in rural SOUTH AFRICA. Although I have lived in the city for over 30 years, my love for the bush has never dwindled. Here in South Africa, we have a heritage of amazing animals and birds. Each creature brings its special enrichment to our diverse world and, in turn, fuels my own awe of our wonderful creation.

There is a rather special "feathered friend" who resides in the bushveld of SOUTHERN AFRICA. These birds are one of my favourite types and today I'd like to tell you some of their secrets. Their story is one of incredible committment which we, as humans, could learn from. The name of this special friend is:...

Southern Yellowbilled Hornbill (Tocus leucomelas)

(Yes! That is a scorpion in it's beak!)

The hornbill is a medium sized bird which feeds on insects, rodents, fruit and seeds. It's special beauty is demonstrated in the manner in which it goes about nesting and producing chicks.

Here is it's story...

Hornbills, you see, pair up "until death parts them". When it is time to nest, the pair find a hollow tree and there they make their nest with dry grass and leaves. The female then settles into the nest while the male seals up the entrance with clay and sticks. He leaves a small hole through which he can feed her.

Inside the nest the female then plucks herself (to line her nest) and lays her eggs. She stays there throughout the incubation period of 3 weeks. During this time, while she is sitting on her eggs, she relies on the male to feed her. This partnership is precious because without the male she would probably die and she only leaves the nest after the first egg hatches.

I love taking lessons from nature and if you look at the Hornbill's story it is an excellent example of the value of personal sacrifice and committment. Their process of producing chicks relies on a strong partnership - each with specific roles to fulfill the ultimate objective. The sacrifice of the female as she makes herself vulnerable in order to do the best for her chicks will be recognised by mothers everywhere. The tireless role of that male hornbill as he hunts and brings food to his family is quite beautiful.

Some folk might look at this story as one of proposing gender roles. I am NOT saying this at all! My message is one of hope. Many of the answers to lifes deeper questions can be found by looking at the natural environment around us. Whether it is animal behavioural problems or human issues, sometimes the answers are but a glance away!

Have an awesome day and remember to STOP, look around and take in the beauty of the little things that nobody notices.



Anonymous said...

Hi Max's Mom - I am also from South Africa, and know first hand about your family farm, having been privileged to have had many a holiday there as a young adult. Your blogs are great, educational, and so interesting. Being a dog lover too (the Danes Obi & Saxy)I can't wait for the daily blog! How about some of your farm 'short stories' every now and again Caryl?
Lots of Love - Margie

Rocky Creek Scotties and Java said...

Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful, educational story about the hornbill. I look forward to more "Mom" days.

The Rocky Creek Scotties and Java's Mom, Lynn

Mango said...

Thank you for sharing about that most strange place in which you are living.

I cannot believe that bird eats scary scorpians!


The Thundering Herd said...

We love the feature. We are always fascinated about learning of places, their culture and their nature.

Thor said...

Thank you for sharing other interesting, beautiful story about the wonderful place you live. Mom´s Tuesday Tale is a great idea!
Have a pawsome day! =)


Cocorue said...

YES to mumsy's tues tales.....yes, yes, yes

thanks, as we love reading about your take on your fascinating country


KB said...

I love your snippet about the Hornbill. We don't have birds even remotely like the Hornbill here (in terms of looks). But, the story of their partnership is inspiring. Thanks so much for tell it!

I like the Tuesday Snippet idea. You live in a place that I'm very curious about so I'd love to learn more about it, like I did today!

And, I love that first photo of Max Dog.

Miley said...

What a great story!!! Can't say we have any of those birds around here!! Thx for sharing!!

lotsa licks,

Kira The BeaWootiful said...

Woooos! Really cool birdie! Mom loves all of this stuff, very educational, makes my brain hurt, but she does not care. She says continue with Mom Tuesdays and she will read and learn. Have a Magical day!
-Kira The BeaWootiful

Anna the GSD said...

Man, that's a giant bird!! I wonder if we could train them to attack squirrels...hmmm....


Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...


We are thrilled to see this feature and will so be looking furward to many many more!

Mom understands the message woo are trying to khommunikhate - many issues SO transcent gender roles and/or other fakhtors! All species need to do what pawmits them to survive and evolve.

Tank woo so furry much fur sharing this!


Benny and Lily said...

Thanks momma. That bird is pretty cool looking. Most of our birds here in California only have little noses
Benny & Lily

Ina in Alaska said...

Oh that is very interesting! I like the Tuesday series!! We often take Mother Nature for granted. This will make me sharply observe my surroundings on my next walk! PS thank you for the information on the Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow flowers... that is so sweet.... my dogs are such happy little critters, having been previously abused, abandoned and dumped in their previous lives (before coming to live with us) xoxo

Clive said...

Hi Max's Mom - thanks a million for the great comment on our last post - much appreciated. We're very happy to be back too.

We really enjoyed reading your post today about the Hornbill. It was fascinating to find out more about these great birds. The only time we get to see them is when we visit them at Dublin Zoo and somehow it seems most unfair to them caged in a zoo environment.

One of Sorcha's pals has just moved back to Cape Town from Dublin and while Sorcha talks to her on MSN every day it is lovely for Murray and us to read about your exploits as well. We're getting to know so much about SA.

take care
Clive and gang

Rufus and Indie said...

Hi Max's mom!
We think it's a great idea, our mom loves to know more about your country and you're a great storyteller!
Rufus and Indie

smrp said...

I love this idea :) What a gorgeous bird...and a great lesson. You are so right...nature can teach us some of the best lessons about living our life to the fullest and with the most integrity.
Thanks for sharing! I look forward to next week's tale!
Sue and the crew

The OP Pack said...

We so loved your post. As we mentioned in a comment the other day, it is always so interesting to learn of life in other countries. We hope you continue to share your Tuesday Tales with us. And we bet Max enjoyed his dsy of rest.

Tail wags, the OP Pack

Anonymous said...

Oh that was sooo cool! Love your new feature! Def want to hear more!!!

Hamish Westie said...

Hi Max's Mom
We love learning about other parts of the world this way. Please do continue.
Hamish and Gail.

SGR said...

Woof! LOVE your MOM's Tuesday Tale. What a great information - thanks for sharing. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

Barb said...

The Tuesday slot is a great idea. I look forward to learning more about my old country.

Pam said...

What a great idea, Caryl for your Tuesday slot. Although I live in SA too I still have so much to learn about our great country and look forward to Tuesdays from now on. Thanks so much. Love Pam XXX

Dory and the Mama said...

We love this idea...and we love hearing about your tales in South Africa!!!

Dory and Beth (the Mama)

YD, sometimes with Samantha and June said...

That's a great idea Max's mom! We would love to read about Mom's Tuesday Tales.

Anonymous said...

Hi Max's Mom,

We think Mom on Tuesday is a FANTASTIC idea!!!!


We love the pics, the story and your writing!

Hugs, Tessa

The Army of Four said...

What a cool bird! And we love that "mating for life" thing! :)
Tail wags,

Honey the Great Dane said...

I think your new thing is a great idea! Always love learning more about life in your fascinating country! And that story about the hornbills was wonderful...


Tanuki Maxx said...

Hi Max's mom! Those are fantastic pics, it's like watching the National Geographic channel! Mommy especially like the one with the scorpion and we learned so much from this post! It's definitely an awesome one!! thanks for sharing and say hi to Max and the rest of the gang!

Maxx & Mommy

BRUTUS said...

Nice post! Mom says animals can teach us an awful lot about being better humans, if we just take the time to look. SHe remembers seeing a nature show on hornbills long ago, so she really could picture their devotion to one another!!

Brutus the Frenchie

Lorenza said...

Hi, Max's Mom!
Thanks for sharing the story of the hornbills. It is amazing what they do!
Kisses and hugs

Tweedles -- that's me... said...

Thank you for taking the time to share some of your world and life with us. We loved the little story of the Hornbill bird. I am going to look into nature and see if it talks to me- like it does to you.
Very beautiful post.
Thank you again

KK said...

What an amazing bird.

Cheyenne -Millie said...

The hornbill is certainly interesting! We like your photos! Yikes! A scorpion!

Cloud the Wonder Dog said...

What a beautiful post! Animals can certainly be wonderful teachers. :-)

Cloud and his mom

Maggie and Mitch said...

What a beautiful birdie! We love Mom's Tuesday Tale on your blog, Max!

Love ya lots
Maggie and MItch

Kryna said...

Thanks for that, I love to see bits of South Africa! Hope you are all well,

ocmist said...

If this is an example of Tuesday Tales, we will LOVE reading more of them! My Mom loves nature too, and feels that we can learn so much from God's World!

We have scorpions here, too, and the birds that get them are Road Runners. They also eat snakes and lizards.

Thanks for sharing such interesting info! OC and Mom