"MAXDOG" is now available on Amazon.com!!
Click HERE for the 'Print-on-Demand' version
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Caryl Moll's author page on Amazon, click HERE

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:

* 'LIVING LIFE TO THE MAX: click HERE
*MAXDOG'S FACEBOOK FAN PAGE: click HERE
* 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!
MAXMOM IN SOUTH AFRICA

MAXDOG's CHRISTMAS TRIBUTE

Thursday, February 25, 2010

THE WAVE OF PEAKS AND TROUGHS AND AN INEVITABLE SHORELINE...

GREETINGS FROM SOUTH AFRICA!!!
Dear Friends

You might have noticed that Max's blog has undergone a 'small' facelift. I would like to say a big "THANK YOU" to "Scout & Freyja's" Momma at "Loving for a living" for helping me out so graciously with the little things on this blog with which I struggle. She is an amazing lady who dispenses kindness by the bucket! It never fails to amaze me how our cyber-friends become such a real and practical help to us all in our daily lives. Thank you so much, dear friend!

---xXx---

Here is a question for us to consider today:...

'HOW LONG CAN A HUMAN BEING STAND BEFORE THEY GO TO SLEEP?"

Well, I could ask the same question about my MAXI-DOGGIE!
How long can a DOG stand before he goes to sleep?
MAXDOG seems determined to make the most of his life whilst living with an almost non-existent liver!

This journey is such an incredible one! Max is on his 19th day of grace today!
Yes, it is TRULY grace!
His outward appearance seems normal except for the tell-tale abdominal extension and his persistent sleepiness (although I think that is largely medically induced). He is eating normally, his stools are normal, his temperature is normal, his heart rate is normal, his lungs are normal but he is anything but healthy. He is a very sick poochie!

I took him to our GP vet yesterday because he has an ear infection and I wanted to get him some medication to assist with this. I also wanted to find out his status-quo.

It was a very strange experience to see the Veterinary staff's surprised faces when we arrived. Coupled with this was their knowing expressions. I knew they were thinking that I was there to euthanase my dog. BUT it isn't time yet and I quickly told them that Max is doing well!!!

Obviously they are really happy to see Max. Our Vet examined Max thoroughly. All his vitals are okay except that his abdomen is more significantly distended. Our vet suspects that the liver mass has grown significantly and now extends well into the abdominal cavity. Despite this expected news, I have an uncanny sense of euphoria - Max is defying expectations! The general Veterinary opinion is that he should have already left us. He is on borrowed time!

So I celebrate these gifted days but at the same time I am trying to help pave his way for an easy journey. He is so beautiful in the way he is handling this illness. He is still totally a dog - sniffing, assessing, enjoying, playing and living by the moment. He is none the wiser about the journey ahead except that I am sure he is aware that he isn't well. I know that he will be leaving us soon. I have accepted it. I will be sad, but I will move on...eventually.

Yesterday afternoon, we all went out again in the cool afternoon to simply sit on the lawn and be together. Here are some photos, which I believe display Max's dignity in both life and his eventual death...

If you look at the sequence of photographs carefully, I am positive that the "Behaviourist" in you will appreciate what I am conveying...














All I can say is that TAMMY too is quite incredible in the way she is dealing with this situation of MAX's deterioration! I am not the only one he has to say goodbye to..

---xXx---

PLEASE forgive me if I haven't been around to your blogs lately as much as I would like to. Things are a bit hectic here at the moment. I would also like to welcome both old and new readers! You are all important to me and it is becoming impossible for me to visit everyone at the moment.
Please bare with me.
With love
"C"

72 comments:

Ms. ~K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ms. ~K said...

Max is enjoying every day to its fullest, which is exactly what you need to do...don't concern yourself w/ blogging unless it is something you want to do. We understand and will be here, waiting with open arms to hug you and strong shoulders for you to lean on.
C, Max looks very happy, comfortable and peaceful...he is a lucky pup to have you during this, stage of his life.
Sending hugs to you all,
Kit

Priscilla said...

This was such a touching post about Max.

I'm so sorry he has to go through this illness. But I'm so glad he really knows how to live his life even though he knows it's coming to an end. Poor Tammy Girl is going to miss him so much. And so are you. But remember to enjoy every minute you spend with him, and to remember them forever. He seems like the most precious boy ever.

Sending my love and kisses to darling Max.

Angus said...

What a lovely update. The compassion and tenderness of your relationship with Max are a joy to read. To be valued and cared for at a time like this is the greatest gift possible.

Tom, Tama-Chan, Sei-Chan, Yuu-Chan said...

Thank you for all the lovely photos and the update. As #1 read us what you wrote she said that it reminded her of that extraordinary line by William Blake about holding "eternity in an hour". You are doing what is most important, living richly whatever days are yours.

Woofs, Purrs and Hugs,
The Poupounette Gang

Clive said...

Murray loved looking at those photos of Max before he went to school this morning. There is something very special about them certainly.

Enjoy these precious moments with Max!

lots of love
Clive, the NSLM and his Mom

The Animal Doctor said...

I visit this blog to learn, there is so much to learn here...

Max Mom, your strength inspires me so much.

Take care friends. :)

bea's blog said...

Hello again from the North!
Yes, you should really enjoy these precious moments!
We have been thru exactly the same and it is a great gift...
Max looks well and I am sure he knows about his situation and he can control what is going on and he will know by himself when it is the right time to move on...
Thanx for your kind words in regard of Gizmo's dad who is dealing with a fatal cancer, too!
❀~•~❀
Beatrice and Gizmo from
www.gizdog.blogspot.com

Sam said...

Max is fighting this with everything he has! The pictures are wonderful, especially the last two with his girl.

Sam

Martha and Bailey said...

Max's pics tell us all, just in case we have forgotten, that he is living his life one day at a time.
Wonderful pics. xxxx

Maggie and Mitch said...

Each and every picture of you is just gorgeous, Max! We are so glad you are enjoying your life.

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

The Thundering Herd said...

We loved the pictures and the clear sign that Max is enjoying his days. Keep defying, Max, with such great spirit.

Mango said...

It is super to see Max enjoying his days so much and how attentive Tammy is. Our paws are crossed that he will be happy until the final day when he tells you he has said his goodbyes and is ready.

Slobbers,
Mango

kks said...

thanks for the kind and thoughtful comments on my blog....
these pics of Max and his girl are very special! you have this time with Max and i know you are absorbing every moment with him.... you know the time will come,of course the hope is that it is much later.......sometimes it is the anticipation that is the toughest.....
you are making wonderful memories.....for all of us....and i know when it is Max's time he will let you know.....
until then, hang tough and keep enjoying the moments you are blessed with!!!
xoxox

Gill - That British Woman said...

you are so brave, and Max, well so dignified, he is lucky to have you as his owners, and you will no doubt feel blessed to have had him in your lives.........thank you for all those lovely photos,

Gill and her doggy friend Molly in Canada

KB said...

Max is handling this with the same grace and dignity as you are. The photos do tell the story - the story of a dog who plans to fully live every single day that he's given, loving his humans and his dog family.

Please don't worry about visiting blogs, especially mine. You have a MadDog to tend to, and nothing could be more important.

You have my admiration, love, and support. May Max keep defying all odds, and enjoying the green grass with his mom and Tammy.

KB

houndstooth said...

Max, you look as handsome as ever! You and Tammy take great pictures! I'm glad to see you still have your joie de vivre!

Your bloglift looks wonderful!

Bunny

Ina in Alaska said...

Dear Caryl you are bravely opening your heart and sharing with us very personal times. I hope it helps you to know we love you and your pack. Max looks great even now and it brought a tear to my eye to see Tammy who is about to lose her dear boy. When Suzie and Porter passed, we also had Ginger. The first few days they were gone, Ginger spent the night waiting in the bedroom hallway for them. And Ginger is the dog who sleeps with us in bed deeply under the covers. It broke my heart.

It seems lately many of our dog and human friends have crossed. We know Max will have some great company at the Bridge. Our hearts are with you and your family.

Madi and Mom said...

Max....I for one thank you and your Mom for the effort is must take to document your days of GRACE....you are both very much admired. Max you are enjoying quality time with your people and your buddies Good for you.
What wonderful pictures of Tammy giving you smooches and enticing you to play and romp. It seems to us that all of your furry friends have sent you little slices of their existence for you to use during your GRACE days. We stay in awe of you and your family and have learned so much.
Many hugs Madi and Mom

Kira The BeaWootiful said...

Wooos Max Dog and Mom! I think woo are handling this in the most gracious way, and bless woo all for going through this difficult time.
I think we are all on borrowed time, one never knows what will happen next in life, but Max's attitude and sheer enjoyment of life makes it easier to remember to stop and smell the roses, and

enjoy each day, it is a gift!

~Husky Kisses~

-Kira The BeaWootiful

Heather and Ellie said...

What beautiful photos of Max and Tammy! It's amazing how well they capture the spirit of the dogs.

Scout 'n Freyja said...

What we, as human beings, need to take away from Max's experience - facing the winter of his life - is that our days are to be treasured and lived and used up. We can't save them and our time for some event in the future where we will spend our resources. We must grasp each and every moment in time to reach out and to make memories.

In the end all of us have what our dear Max has - this very moment in time. Young or old, none of us has the guarantee of another sunrise or sunset.

I've spent time with animals who are facing their winter storm. They are filled with such dignity and grace - yes, grace, and you, darling Max have an abundance of grace.

I hold you close to my heart today and know that you and your mom will face together whatever our universe lays before you...

Mrs. JP said...

I sit here in tears of joy and love for Max and Tammy (of course I love King Toffee too!) But Max and Tammy are close and your lovely sequence of pictures shows it. I say Praise God for HIs mercies every day.

The Bumpass Hounds said...

Hey Guys,
What a GReat set of photographs. We're all sure that the vet's staff is more than amazed at Max's condition. We went through the exact same thing when our brother Chance had his cancer. His hit his spleen first and the vet removed it hoping for the best but when the biopsy came back the prognosis was the same as Max's. If you get a chance to read our very first blog post in our archives it will explain how Chance's situation developed. It is a gift from good that you can all enjoy Max's grace period. When Max's time does come it will probably be very sudden and abrupt. That's how Chance was, and even being as prepared as we were didn't lessen the blow to our hearts. We are very grateful to have had our very extended Grace period with Chance. Tammy will be devastated when Max leaves her. When dad brought Chance back from Dr. Witter's after that final fateful emergency visit, he placed him on the deck so that we could all say goodbye and know that he wouldn't be playing with us anymore in this life. Then dad took him out to be in his furever place that we can easily see from our paddock. About 6 months later when Gordon unexpectedly left us, dad did the same thing for him. So we can see Chance and Gordon's places together but we realize that they are really up at The Rainbow Bridge looking down on the rest of us and helping us along our way in life.
As always, we hold Max and youse guys close in our hearts and prayers and wish you all many more happy days together with Max in an extended Grace period. We love you Max Dog, very much big guy.
- TBH&K

Andrea said...

Continuing to pray for Maxx. I know this is a difficult time.
Hugs, andrea and sitka

BRUTUS said...

If only it were as easy for us humans to live each day to it's fullest, without expectations or disappointments! Max is a role model for us as (as are you, mom!!) with how he conducts himself. I've always said that animals can teach us a lot about being a good human, and this is a perfect example! OUr continued love and good wishes for all of you there :)

Michelle & Brutus

Piappies World said...

Hello Max,

We are so thankful for each day that we see you smiling and spending happy moments with your family and pack. Truly, his every day is a blessing and we are here to support you, your pack and Maxdog Mom.

We will continue our prayers for more beautiful days for Max.

We cherish your fun photos today. Tammy is so sweet for staying by Max' side through all this.

-Fudgie, Princess & the Piappies

Jacqueline said...

Visiting with Max and your family in these posts has become an important part of my day...His regal appearance and loving, sweet nature have made falling in love with him quite easy; through only internet access, his character shines through as radiant and resilient, even during these hardest of times...In the end, your other babies will grieve with you and I am grateful you will have each other for comfort and support...You are a strong and wonderfully loving Mom to Max and your boy has created miracles with the love he generates and receives; I truly feel a deep bond here with you all that is hard to describe and I think Max's essence has had that amazing effect on people from all over the world...Love and prayers to all of you.

MySpecialDoggies said...

God bless you Max & your human & canine family. You're all gorgeous doggies.
My 15 year old rescue doggie Apples is at a similar point in her life (mammary tumors), and her 18 month old Golden sister Neeli is like Tammy.
Hugs & kisses,
Nadine, Apples & Neeli
Doggie angels Keelee (1995-2008) Nikki (1987-1995) and Kimba (1972-1987)

Kea said...

When the time comes, I pray Max passes peacefully, without pain and suffering, and that those who are left behind find some comfort from the world-wide love and support you have.

Blessings and Peace to all.

TwoSpecialWires said...

We should all live life as Max does. One day at a time. As if each is our last.

We're pleased to hear that he, and you, Caryl, are doing well. We think about you often.

With love
Jake and Fergi xxoo

The OP Pack said...

Max just isn't ready yet. He has things to do and he is going to do them. And as you know, when it is time, he will let you know. Amazing photos, such tenderness and love between the pups.

Hugs, the OP Pack

Pee Ess, thanks for visiting us to meet Ciara - no need to apologize, we very much understand. We think of you all often.

Amy and The House of Cats said...

We love that both you and Max are trying to get as much joy and fun out of his remaining time as possible. That is very important! And we understand about not visiting - we think you should spend and much time as you can enjoying Max and not worry about visiting for now!

As always we are sending tons of purrs and prayers for Max!

~Kim~ said...

Max is a true inspiration!!

dewdana said...

So glad he is still well enough to frolic with his girl! The photos are great. I love the one where she is just a flying blur!
Hugs,
Moose & Momma

YD, sometimes with Samantha and June said...

We humans should really learn from dogs. They always live life to their fullest. They always express how they feel. They love you no matter what. They always stop and smell the roses. We humans think that we are the smart ones but truly we have a lot to learn from the dogs.

YD

Stella, Gunther and Betty said...

We love to see Max enjoying life to the fullest. One day at a time.

xoxo
Shannon and the Gang

sprinkles said...

I always cross my fingers and hold my breath when I visit hoping there is nothing but good news about Max.

Looking about these pictures, I can see he loves life. I think that's why he's held on all this time.

I don't know Max but I love him just the same.

doyle and mollie said...

my momma has tears streaming down her face, those photos of max's afternoon in the shade are so full of love and life... max is so happy, he is one lucky boy and we think he is staying longer in appreciation of all the love that surrounds him!! when he goes he will take so much with him but will leave a lot also something for you to always cherish...

Augie and Ti's mom said...

I always come here with the hopes of a miraculous recovery for Max, even though I know it's not meant to be. I'm sure Max is drawing on your strength. Hugs!

Jan's Funny Farm said...

Love the new look to your blog! Pet bloggers are terrific!

We are so glad you have having this time with Max. You will always remember it and the memory will make you smile.

Mommyof2girlz said...

Max looks wonderful, the pictures are terrific and I love to see him playing so happily with Tammy. He truly loves his life and we have come to love him in the short time we have been following you. Keep playing Max :)

Twinkietinydog said...

Max is indeed beautiful in the way he handles this, but it's mainly because of your approach. I believe in the bottom of my tiny heart that he's defying the odds because of the attitude you, his momma, had from the start. As for the Vet staff... I would have loved to see a glimpse os the stupefied expressions. ;)
Cheers Max! To day 19, bud. Up to you.
Twink!

Melody said...

Im so grateful that Max has had 19 days of grace. Your correct it is grace. I pray at nite for Max. I believe God is taking care of things as he should. I also pray for you that god will give you strength to get through this.

I hope you have many more days of grace.

Paws & Whiskers
Jude,Poo,Babybella,Piper& Marley

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

Dear Max -

I only hope that when my day khomes, my mom handles it with the same grace and khlass as yours -

Hugz&Khysses,
Khyra
PeeEssWoo: Please tell her no worries about visiting - her time is YOUR time now!

Tessa the Maltese said...

Max and the Gang just look HAPPY!

So very HAPPY!

Hugs, Tessa

Dog Foster Mom said...

Your photos are a great example of how Max is taking each moment as it comes and enjoying it for what it is. Thank you for sharing that with us.

Junior and Orion said...

He really is just being a woofie and enjoying every day he has! We are still purring for him!!!

ABBY said...

Thank you for sharing these daily adventures of Max...as time passes you will be so glad that you have kept each of these beautiful memories immortalize...I believe animals handle their lives and their deaths much better than we mere humans....

purry purrs
Abby

Sallie said...

I love Max!

ocmist said...

All I can say is Praise God for His Mercy. I thank Him that He has been answering so many prayers that have gone up for you and for Max to give you this time of "Grace." Max is still looking great and these shots are so beautiful and full of life!

No one is going to have a problem if you take some time off. Everyone is there with you in our hearts and spirits anyway! Our Love to you, Max and the family! The Corgi Country Crew and their Mom!

Ben said...

Max-
You are an inspiration to us all - you smile through it all and enjoy the offerings of life. More people should be like you.
Ben and the fellas

Tanuki Maxx said...

Hi Max!!
Soo happy to see you enjoying life!!
You're the greatest!!

Cheers,
Maxx

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Well said... I just love this - "He is so beautiful in the way he is handling this illness. He is still totally a dog....He is none the wiser about the journey ahead "

Pibble said...

Max, you and your mom are just incredible. Please give her a kiss for all of us!

Honey the Great Dane said...

Oh Max - so sorry I haven't been able to come round for a while! My humans has been so busy and hasn't been able to help me with blog stuff much but I have just gone back and caught up on the posts I missed - I loved the pictures of you in the bath!

And I'm so happy to see you playing with Tammy and enjoying life. Yes, I do think us doggies really know the secret to happiness which is to enjoy every moment as much as possible and to only live in that moment and not waste time thinking about the future! I am sure that it is why you are defying all expectations - as well as because you are a fighter and we are all fighting for you too!

Anywya, I just wanted to let you know that we're thinking of you every day - even if I don't get a chance to leave a comment - you are in our thoughts,

Slobbers,
Honey the Great Dane

caboval said...

Still sending you warm thoughts and hugs Max, We love you so much! JOey and Kealani

Emma Rose said...

Dear Max,

The series of pictures was so heartwarming it made my duchess get all teary eyed. We are so glad you are still doing so well.

Kisses,
Emma Rose

Tweedles -- that's me said...

My heart has been so sad.
I read between the lines. I can see what Tammy and Max have for each other.
Max is tring to help Tammy understand the circle of life- just like he is trying to help me understand. It is hard.
Max is saying to Tammy- "lets have fun today- and right now.
I miss how I felt when Max was well.
Thank you Max for trying to help us understand, and to live for the moment.
love
tweedles

kissa-bull said...

oh please momma max dont you worry about vishiting out bloggys
we shall visit you evewy day so we can keeps in touch that way
you must concentrate on bewootiful max the warrior
thatsh what he is to ush
so furry shpecial baby
we love you too much already sweet cupcake max
extra pibble sugars from ush
the houston pittie pack

Olive said...

Don't worry about not being by...you just enjoy Max right now.. we are so happy to see him happy ..keep smiling :)

Licks from Olive

Kasha said...

My heart hurts every time I visit sweet Max. I'm so glad he is hanging in there. What a trooper. Your blog looks great!

Huskee and Hershey said...

Max taught me another lesson... it is a blessing every single time you open your eyes to another sunrise.. Life sucks sometimes, but the way Max deals with it is a true inspiration.

The love/ bond between Max and Tammy is so sweet (and strong). Those pics are lovely...

Lorenza said...

It made me very happy to see Max enjoying a great time with Tammy today!
Take care
Kisses and hugs
Lorenza

Hero said...

Thank you for keeping us updated with how our friend Max is doing. Even though we know that Max will leave us soon it's comforting to see how happy and content he is. In the photos you took, Max possesses such an air of quiet dignity. Even in his final days with us, Max is proving to be a model and guide for us all in the adventure that is life.

KBL 2 ORD 2 SAN 2 LUV said...

Hello C,

I've come to let you know just how much I respect you for sharing your Max and his courageous will with us. Writing is cathartic and it is also public. I thank you for allowing us to know your private world with Max. He is an incredibly noble creature.

I've been a "lurker" on your blog for a very long time and have always enjoyed your writing, and of course, your beautiful furbabies. You always leave wonderful comments on the blogs of my fellow favorite bloggers, Sue/Random Ramblings, KKS/chitchatroom, Scout & Freyja, Simona & her gang of 3, Pipa, and many, many others. I am sorry I haven't commented before tonight.

Your Max's struggles have hit very close to home with me. I lost my sweet Achilles to a liver mass on June 6th last year. We rescue "Olden Goldens" and we brought Achilles home to us when he was 13 years old. He died just one month shy of his 15th birthday. Everytime I read Max's posts, I remember my sweet boy and I dissolve into tears. Goldens are tender, special creatures.

You are blessed to have Max and I pray that you will continue to have him happy & healthy for as long as his strong spirit will carry him. He is a warrior. Max is blessed to have you as his mama, and he knows you will do all that is right and good by him. You are a wonderful mama to your furkids.

If it is ok with you, I wanted to share my last two posts of my Achilles with you. I reread them tonight and am sitting here with tears running down my face. Treasure your Max even more tonight, give him 100 kisses for me, and let him know how many of us out here are pulling for him.

Please don't feel obligated to read these posts about Achilles. I just wanted to share them since it seems he and Max share the same legacy of the treacherous liver.

Warm hugs and our Golden love from San Diego,
KBL, and Milo, Laverne & Shirley, and Captain Morgan (our parrot)

http://kbl2ord2san2luv.blogspot.com/2009/06/saying-goodbye-to-our-achilles.html#comments

http://kbl2ord2san2luv.blogspot.com/2009/06/sunday-photo-farewell-to-achilles.html#comments

Hi! I'm Sierra-Dog! said...

Dearest Max,
Your momma is so right, it is grace. And I am so glad that it has been extended to you.
You and your sweet girl Tammy are very special to us and we are so glad that you are taking time to just be together.
Maybe your "grace period" be long and happy. Please know that you are loved, and will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers.
Your friends in the Desert,
Sierra-dog and the peeps

Asta said...

AS Mommi and I look at these bootiful pictoowes and wead youw wowds and the wowds youw fwiends awe leaving, we wish we could be eloquent too. All that I feel and think has been said with wowds that I wish I had. Max's moments and days awe full..full of love and joy and gwace. I hope I will know how to sy goodby, but not yet pleez
smoochie kisses
ASTA and mommi

Milo and Alfie Marshall said...

We couldn't get the comments to work again today, so here we are on yesterdays post.

We just wanted to remind yoo, that although we don't visit daily, we do think about Max daily and pray for him. We think your strength is bringing him great comfort too ~ as yoo all say your goodbyes. Max knows just how loved he is, of that we are sure.

Lacy said...

w00fs, those two pups are always sooo loving..just cause me dont comment all the time, dont mean i not got u on me mind...and wishing u the bestest ever..

b safe,
~rocky~

Cheryl, Indiana, Shingo and Molly said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mr Koda MD said...

Borrowed time is treasured time! Great to hear Max is happy!!

Thinking of you all

Koda and his Ma