"MAXDOG" is now available on Amazon.com!!
Click HERE for the 'Print-on-Demand' version
Click HERE for the Kindle (USA) version
Click HERE for the Kindle (UK) version
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:

* 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!


Thursday, March 18, 2010



MAXMOM here... 

Whenever I face any form of adversity I naturally lean towards finding role models who are potentially facing the same challenges which I am. These people become my inspiration and provide a vision for a path through the challenge. I don’t think I’m alone in this and am convinced that it is a natural human trait to seek out folk who are living the same thing. Perhaps most of us, as human beings, look to others for guidance and ideas – be it for big challenges or even the small things in life.

(Lance Mackey: Iditarod winner 2010)

Children often choose only one role model, taking pains to emulate them in every way – gestures, clothes, habits etc. As we advance to maturity, we learn to choose traits in others as our role models as we begin to realise that no human being is infallible yet all human beings have something to offer. We continually grow in ourselves as we learn about life and learn about others. I know I’m generalising, but that is the way I see it.

For me there are role “models” everywhere!!

These are also selective habits and traits in people and these are to be admired! ...

It might be a particular facial gesture – like the car guard who hasn’t received a tip, but accepts his rebuttal with grace (In South Africa Car Guards expect to be tipped!) or it might be a poor, poverty stricken man whose happy smiles show his strength of character.

In South Africa, the traits and character of Nelson Mandela, who spent 25 years behind bars, only to emerge in humility, are widely admired. So too are those of Bishop Tutu who has spent his life fighting for peace whilst also battling with cancer.

...and many others...!


The strength of character of people are echoed in songs of perserverence...like “Shoshaloza” – a song here in South Africa which emerged during slavery and became an iconic song during the 1995 Rugby world cup (sung in the movie, "Invictus").

And of course, there are alway objects which symbolise admiration:...

The point I am making is that although human beings are NOT icons (in my opinion), some traits in individuals can be admired...immensely!

(Lance Mackey: Iditarod winner 2010)

As many of you will know, Lance Mackey has just won the 2010 Iditarod...and I/we are in awe!!!

Our family, despite sitting on the opposite side of the globe, in temperatures and a climate in total contrast to Alaska, have been cheering him on every step of this 1500 mile journey across snow and ice. Although we have never experienced these conditions ourselves, nor the excitement of sled dogs teams and mushers, we can only admire their tenacity, resolve and pure strength of character!

You might ask “Why Lance Mackey, since there are many others in this event?”

Well, this is our first Iditarod experience and since his name is iconic, he was the first musher we researched. Ironically a few months previously, “Miss R” had called me to the computer to watch his incredible video. His battle with cancer, his relationships with his dogs and his incredible accomplishments affected her deeply in her own resolve to take on the long journey of becoming a Vet. As her mother, I was entranced too...mainly by the seeming humility which came across in Mr Mackey’s video.
This "humility, tenacity and strength of character to plod even further than a person ever thought possible” is something I greatly admire!

(A "snow dog" gift from Anna the GSD)

When I imagine the lonely paths of that vast frozen landscape of the Iditarod,
I think about two things:

• The dogs who are carrying their own heavy burden... excitedly and jubilantly!

• The Musher, in this case Lance Mackey, who has carried his cancer burden... humbly and tenaciously!

In our own battle with Max’s illness, the echo’s of this Musher’s traits stay with us as we watch our own Max echo the resolve of those amazing sled dogs to pull along their burden...
Iconic traits are here to stay...
and to be revered!

So today, I also say THANK YOU to my blogging friends...

... who have so graciously updated us with the events at the Iditarod.

Your own commitment to this amazing event has touched hearts that you would never have imagined!

(Photo  from Ina in Alaska)

to all the Mushers, Dog athletes, Volunteers, Organisers, Reporters and "Cheerers on"
for inspiring us!

With love


The Thundering Herd said...

Wow, thanks for the mention, but all I did was provide a few links. The race is a lot of fun to watch.

And I agree with your assessment of Lance. Love watching a musher who is so clearly in tune with his dogs. One of the mushers commented this year that Lance could take any other team and still win, because he can get the dogs to that level mentally.

Many of more role models, however, are found further back in the pack. People who know they stand no chance of winning this year (some - any year), yet race because they are competing for different reasons. Some suggested reads would be Dee Dee Jonrowe (a very classy lady) and Blake Freking (who holds and is trying to break the fastest speed for a pure Siberian Husky team).

The race is not over because the winners finished. The race is over when the Red Lantern (the winner who completes the course last) safely comes into Nome. How many sports have an award for finishing last? Why? Because they are awarding perseverance.

Sounds like a great award, huh, Max?

The Bumpass Hounds said...

Hey Maxdog and Maxmom,
It is GReat to know where you draw your inspiration because so many of us draw our inspiration from you. It's like finding our inspirational genealogy. We still pray so often throughout the day for your comfort and well being. You are always in our thoughts and hearts because we love you even if from afar.

Clare Mansell said...

Fascinating. I'd never heard about Lance. He's quite amazing!

Angel Ginger Jasper said...

Absolutely loved reading this.. I have never heard this story and will go and find out. I like the way you think and we have a saying that " there is always someone worse off than you " This is so true. I so admire your take on life. HUgs GJ x

houndstooth said...

It always warms my heart to see a great relationship between a human and their dogs! I heard he had a great run this year.

My Mind's Eye said...

Hi Max and Mom....your post are truly inspiring and so thought provoking. Our best to you and the pups today,
Madi and Mom

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

This is the first post I've read this morning and what an inspirational way to start my day! You are so right; we are so very fortunate to live in a time where there are people who provide our lives with such inspiration!! These heroes both in and out of the spotlight, and both 2 and four-legged are true champions in whatever "race" they are in, or cause they are fighting for! I put Maxdog & you among them! Your determination, grace and dignity as you and Max are on this final journey is an example to all of us and shows your depth of character!

Anonymous said...

Maxmom -

Mayzie's mom here. As always, your post made me stop and think. Interestingly, Mayzie posted today about someone who personally inspires ME - her rescuer. A woman who is running a rescue in a rural part of our state without any help from local animal control (because there isn't one). She could've left Mayzie where she was but she went back for her. I hope if the need arises, I find the courage and resolve she showed - and that you and Max show every day.

Have a lovely day,
Mayzie's Mom, Amber

♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥ said...

What a nice post!!! There are so many traits to be found and admired and imitated in others if only we take the time to look and appreciate. Lance Mackey is a wonderful role model - congrats to him on a well-deserved win!!

Sweet thoughts from here for you, Max, and the rest of the family.

Woos - Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

Unknown said...

Wooos Max Dog! Woo are always a inspiration fur us each and every day! Thanks fur reminding us of the joys of life!
-Kira The BeaWootiful

bea's blog said...

Hei Max and Maxmom!
What a lovely post again - it is a pleasure to read them and to see all the lovely photos!
Gizdad is fighting the same cancer fight now, with his blood being no good tody....
and we followed and still follow the Iditarod every year with the strong will to see it live next year!
Have a share with our blog where you can find some mushing pix as well!
Spring is finally here today - so lovely!!!
Woffsen from the North,
Beatrice and Gizmo

Smushie Ranch said...

We learned about Lance by following Ms. K's blog. All those mushers and dog teams are so inspirational. Just like you Max!

Shannon and the Gang

Stella said...

Dear Max: Is today your 40th Day of Grace? I lose track sometimes!

Brave strong mushers can provide strength to us, but I also think of the people that God has put in my path when I needed them. One, while waiting endlessly for a bus, told me what she had been through and knew that she could always overcome after it. It was Exactly what I needed to hear at that moment, having some health problems of my own. So we are blessed a thousand ways, aren't we, when we come across people who know just what to do and tell us when we need it. From a famous, hard working musher, to a woman at a bus stop. We just have to listen, don't we?


Jo (and Stella who sleep through my speeches!)

Andrea said...

Maxx....you are amazing!
Praying for you and for mom!
Woofs and Wags,
Sitka and the perdue zoo

Unknown said...

Yet another beautiful post from you, Max. Your mom is truly amazing. Sleep well, dear Max. Keep fighting :)

Ina in Alaska said...

I see an opportunity for Iditarod 2011 for a Blogger Meet Up!!! The ceremonial start is always the first Saturday of March.....

As Lance Mackey approached the outskirts of Nome, Alaska, which is the end of the Iditarod, he stopped his team to hug and praise each and every one of the dogs in his team. He also shouted greetings to his many fans along the route. He is truly an inspiration and has quite a unique talent with his team.

I agree with another of the commenters, there are many wonderful mushers still on their way to Nome. For the latest updates, go to www.Iditarod.com

PS Maxmom I am so very happy that Max perked up when he heard my pups barking at the moose in the video over at my blog. xoxoxo

Ina in Alaska said...

Hi again Maxmom and Commenters.... I just updated my blog header and added a link with new footage of an interview with Lance Mackey. www.ina-offret.blogspot.com


Golden Samantha said...

Daily, we are inspired by you and Maxdog. And we too, followed some of the Iditarod through Dog Daze - truly an amazing finish for Lance. But on a hike with a pal and her dog yesterday, I thought of you, Max, about 4 or 5 times - you just popped into my head and were with us. (Not into any weird "out-there" stuff), but a picture of your wonderful self showed up and hung out. You have definitely touched our lives something big, Max - we love you so much. And we admire your mom tremedously for showing us how to take one moment at a time and stop to smell - well - that beautiful rose the other day.
Big Hugs to you and your Mum too, xoxoxoxo

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage said...

Pawesome post!

Woo sooooo get my fluffy tail up seal of aWOOOOOOval!

Seriously, Lance's interakhtion with his team as he neared Nome was inkhredible (thanks to Ina's link to the Anchorage TV station that started streaming from 630pm my time until he finished - and then some interviews)!

At one point, they interviewed Lance's dad - a tough fella in his own right. He khommented that he used to think he was tough but he and Lance's older brother realise that even the two of them together don't khome khlose to how tough Lance is -

Mom had been talking to Summiii's Mummi on her way home - Shelly was trying to get there in time to catch the end but she was a bit short so Mom khalled her bakhk so she khould hear the finish over the phone - Mom will admit how much she choked up saying he did it - as well as sharing all the special words he exchanged with the dogs as they neared the finish: it won't be much longer!

MaxDog and MaxMom are amongst OUR role models too!

Khyra & Khousin Merdie

Ms. ~K said...

This is a wonderful post and I'm going to forward to Lance and Tonya Mackey, He will be thrilled!

Speaking of role models...you are one of mine!
Hugs to you, Sweet Max and all the fur babies,

Mack and Mia said...

Maxdog, dear boy,

You carry your load and burden with such grace. All us young pups could stand to be a little more like woo.

We wubbing you tons and hope you have a fabulous day!

Wags and Woofs,
Mack and Mia

Mrs. JP said...

You are so right. Those four words are something to aspire to. Jubilant, excited, humble, and tenacious.
love from us in the holler.

Scout and Freyja said...

I just may make some people unhappy with this comment but it's me and if nothing else - I am me1

I have mixed feelings about the Iditarod. I see a tremendous bond between some of the mushers and their animals and I also have seen dogs who have run their hearts out only to die on the trail. Northern breeds LOVE to run. They live to run. And I sure admire that and get a giggle, too, when I hear of someone chasing their dog down the street and the dog just looking back and smiling - playing a "keep away game" of sorts.

But I have such a tough time really feeling thrilled about this race. Basically, I am happy when it is over and I know that no dogs have died or have become terribly injured as a result of the race.

OK, hit me now! Got my helmet on!☺

KB said...

I agree with everything that you've written here - about finding inspiration to meet challenges by learning about others who have had similar challenges. But, at the same time, I always remember that I'm "me", and will approach things in my own quirky ways - but with the inspiration of observing others who have insisted on being themselves in the face of adversity.

You, yourself, are an inspiration to many of us, and I hope that you realize it. You have a unique perspective on life and its hurdles that affects me deeply. So, remember that *you* are an inspiration just by living life in the way that you do.

Jacqueline said...

We are always inspired by you and your Mom, Max, for your strengh of character, optimistic, courageous attitudes and loving hearts!...It's always nice to see people who are in tune to animals; to me, it says so much about the depth of their soul...Blessings.

Angel Junior, Orion and Sammy said...

There is definitely lots of inspiration everywhere...if you care to see it. Your positive attitude thru all this inspires us!

Piappies World said...

Hi Max,

Great post today, thanks a lot! As many here have said, you have been our role model and inspiration.

Keep safe and do enjoy more walkies and lots of treats.

-Fudgie, Princess & the Piappies

Anonymous said...

Your post are always inspiring and thought provoking.

Thanks for that.

Hugs, Tessa

Amy & the house of cats said...

Maxdog and Maxmom, we definitely think you are quite inspiring!

Happy 40th day of grace Max! Keep it up!!

Unknown said...

Speaking of role models, I too seek them out and see them everywhere. That's why I keep coming back to your blog. I decided you were my role models the day I read your post about Max's situation. It was your attitude that got me. Thank you
Twinkie and family

the booker man said...

mama says thanks for always posting things on your bloggie that make us think. as you can see, you and mr. max are role models to many of us!
the booker man

pee s -- thanks so much for coming by to visit my bloggie! it was totally awesome to see you'd stopped by. :)

Clive said...


We had never heard about that amazing race and Lance. Thank you so much for informing us about him.

We are so happy to be back after a few days and see that you are still doing so well.

The whole of Disneyland Paris knows about you now, Max! Certainly Pluto anyway - who we met a lot! Every time Murray met him, he introduced his Dug toy (from the Disney Pixar film UP) and told him about his special friend Max in SA! Pluto everytime was so kind to Murray - listening and understanding and empathising with Murray!

Likewise everytime we heard those magic words "when you wish upon a star" and it was the song at the beginning of every parade - Murray immediately pleaded with the star to look after you Max!

So, we never forgot about you Max and we are so happy that you are still with your family.

with love from us all
Clive and Murray

ps-we left a message on the BBC blogsite - hope its posted up soon.


Hi Max and Mom,

Beautiful post today. Thank you!

Riley and Star.

Lorenza said...

Yes! Your post is beautiful!
And Lance is amazing too!
Take care
Kisses and hugs

T. Maxx said...

Hi Max and Mom!
Living in tropical Singapore, we couldnt imagine about sledding or have any idea of Iditarod. But through your beautiful post, we we are able to do so. thanks for sharing it with us!!
Stay cheery and strong!!

Maxx & Mommy

Huskee and Hershey said...


Thank you for leaving that nice supportive message on our blog.. Our mom has been going through a bad patch lately... There is no trigger, but she just feels unhappy and frustrated with life, so THANK YOU for your message, it came at a perfect time.

Also, thanks for this great post. We hope our mom can find the strength to continue with life's journey...

Wishing all of you a most wonderful weekend in your beautiful country!!


Tweedles -- that's me said...

Dear Max and Maxmom
Your words have left an imprint
on our heart-
words that have meaning
and that we will choose
to never forget.
So many couragous 4 legged and 2 legged heros that are fighting the fight of their life and with dignity to push on - they continue.
Traits that I admire and sometimes wonder how can they do it.
Courage and devotion is the answer.
I see courage in so many-
but I truly see it in you Max- and your mom.
thank you for saying all these words.

ocmist said...

We don't have fast enough internet to watch vids of any real length and our TV doesn't get channels that show things like this, but it has been interesting to read the comments about what's been happening and the preparations.

As always, your post has been an inspiring one to read and reminds me that it is MY CHOICE to either take garbage in, which will result in garbage out or to take in "gold" and have something of worth to give out. Linda (OC's Mom)