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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:

* '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

Friday, May 21, 2010

MAX IS A MYSTERY

GREETINGS FROM SOUTH AFRICA!!!
MAXMOM here...
 
Hello there to all our friends across this amazing world of ours!
 
I hope you are all having a happy day and getting ready for the weekend.
Miss R is home for the weekend and KING TOFFEE is besides himself with glee. As far as he is concerned, you can't have too many subjects.


Thank you so much for your continued support regarding Max's illness.  It means so much to me to have such a wonderful group of cyber friends who so generously offer their encouragement and upliftment during these trying times.
 
Today is Max's 104th Day of Grace.
 
 
When I look at that number I must admit that I am incredibly grateful for this borrowed time, but I also feel saddened by the fact that there are so many fur-friends in the world who have been given less 'notice', about the inevitable rainbow crossing of their companions. For some of my friends, the loss of their canine companion has come along suddenly and without notice whilst Maxdog, on the other hand, has enjoyed such Amazing Grace.
The answer to 'WHY?" this is, is unfathomable!
 
But in all this, I know that there must be a bigger plan...that my role at the moment is to simply tell it like it is.  Hopefully others will find strength in the tale of our own journey, as they too confront the realities of the illnesses of the special animals (and humans) in their lives.
 
So here is a MAXDOG UPDATE:
 
 
It is indeed a rollercoaster.  Some days he is not well and other days he displays the energy of a dog who is embracing all that life has to offer. There have been moments during the past three months where I have wondered, "Is this it? Should I put him to sleep now?", only to find that he springs back to life in the next half hour. It is then that I wonder, "How could I have considered to put him to sleep now?".
 
This journey is so unsettling. Like most things in life his condition is unpredictable and I am having to learn how to love in patience and trust.
 
This morning was another of those times when I thought, "Perhaps it's time!?".

 
He is lethargic, he doesn't want to eat and he prefers to simply drop to the floor and snooze. I sat for a long while with him on his bed in the bedroom praying for direction as he lay comfortably and silently sleeping by my side.
 
The contrast came again - not 10 minutes later - when I had to duck out the room. 
 
When I came back, he was gone.
I found him in the garden.
 
He'd dug up one of his old hide bones and was carrying it around.  He brought it inside the house, with his pack following him, to the bedroom.
Then he went outside again.

 
There he was focussed on circumnavigating the pool and must have gone around it at least three times. 




 
 I realised that perhaps I was intruding on his private space.
(Max doesn't often ask for private space)
 So I returned into the house and peeped out through the bedroom window.
 


Yes, he buried it again - like he does with most of his food nowadays. He chose a spot behind some plants and shovelled the sand on top of his buried treasure with his nose. It was a personal and private time for him.
 
Obviously he was filthy after his efforts. I left him outside for a while.
 
I find his behaviour extraordinary. What does it mean? Is this instinctive behaviour to buryALL your food when you can no longer stomach it?
(At the moment he is burying everything I give him- his liver cakes and anything he takes from me.  Either that or he'll keep it inside his mouth and spit it out later)
 
Anyway, thank you for being by my side as I travel this journey. Thank you for your encouragement and uplifting thoughts.  I am sorry that I don't have all the answers.
Max remains a mystery!...and at my feet.
 
 
Sending lotsaluv to you all and good wishes for a happy weekend.
MAXMOM IN SOUTH AFRICA

43 comments:

Andrea said...

You have no idea how much encouragement we find from maxx's extended stay on this earth. Our Macy is hanging in there, too. We thought last week was going to be it, but she perked back up. We too are very thankful for the extra time GOD is giving us with her.
We continue to pray for Maxx and all of you.
Hugs, andrea

JC said...

I am thinking of you and hope he has many days to come.

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

Max is doing what he does best - living for the moment. We have no idea why he is hiding all his food, but if it makes him happy. . . .

Hugs and Woos - Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

TK said...

It is a very painful yet blessed thing to watch the transition of a loved one. Every emotion ever felt can be experienced in a single hour.
We are purring for all of you.

Benny and Lily said...

Gosh nothing worse than a rollercoaster ride with your companion. We sure do feel your pain, terrible. One day at a time. Enjoy the Max boy. Toffee are you loving those hugs? Have a worry free day
Benny & Lily

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

We feel privileged to make this journey with you, MaxMom, although we realise that you are the one bearing the brunt of all the difficult moments. It certainly looks like Max continues to have lots of fun, and we love today's dirty Max" pic!

Mrs. JP said...

OH, my very special new found friend, PLEASE remember, we will not have the answers until we need them. I know that you are in a perpetual state of questions? But, I also know that you have direct access to THE ONE who loves you and He has the answers and will provide the answers to you in HIS time. Until then, enjoy your life and Max's. Remember that God is the God of comfort and since He is For you, what can be against you. We pray for a great weekend for you and yours. Love from all of us in the holler in Tennessee.

Sheila and Bob said...

MaxMom,
Yes Max does remain a mystery and we are sure God is watching over him and your family as you savor these precious days.


Sheila & Bob

KT and Lady said...

The pool parade with the bone is such a Golden thing to do. All of my beau-beaus have done that kind of thing. Max is indeed living in those moments when his zest for being himself overpowers his condition. You and your family's love and support insures he has the strength.
We are watching and thinking about Max.

KT and Lady

Jake of Florida said...

Caryl,

I've been reading a book abut trust -- something that seems to be sorely lacking in today's world and whose lack exacts a terrible price that we all pay.

The book doesn't mention dogs - or the relationship between dogs and their human companions. But in reading your post today, I was struck by the fact that there is so much trust between you and Maxdog -- and that, while his bahavior may be a mystery, you are living up to the bonds of trust you've created over the years.

Yep, we're with you on this journey, and are grateful for your insights and sharing such heart-wrenching moments.

xx Joan (by permission of the Barkalots)

Heather and Ellie said...

This post has touched me more than any others, it made me cry.
To see Max with his bone looking so perky--after he was doing so badly.
I don't know why it got to me, but it really did.

The Maxdog is a mystery, and we're all fascinated by him. Because he's a miracle.

Thank you for sharing your Max with all of us. It means a lot.

Ina in Alaska said...

Thank you so much for this comforting post from one who has experienced sudden loss without notice last week. We agree, we don't understand but there must be a plan.... We love you. xoxo

Cat Mandu said...

Loving purrs going your way.
Cat Mandu

houndstooth said...

Perhaps Max just likes to keep you on your toes, and maybe the ritual of burying the food is comforting to him in some way. Some things we're just not meant to know or understand, I suppose.

I am thrilled for you for every day you get to spend with Max. I know that five weeks with Treat was not nearly enough when she became ill, but those five weeks were very special. Every day was a treasure and I honestly believe that she held on and fought the fight in large part for me. When she thought I was ready, she was ready to go.

Sugar the Golden Retriever said...

Woof! Woof! You sure a GOLDEN, MAX!!! Have a great weekend. Continuing to send my Golden Healing Thoughts. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

Ms. ~K said...

C, We're riding the roller coaster with you. The picture of Max with the rawhide bone made me laugh out loud! He is indeed a mystery and a miracle!
Hugs to you all and enjoy Ms. R this weekend,
Kit

PS...Have you checked out Lance's website lately? There's a great picture of Lance, Tonya and Jimmy Buffett in Jamaica.

http://www.mackeyscomebackkennel.com/

Piappies World said...

Hello there Max,

You truly are full of surprises. Living each day to the fullest is one of the precious lessons we have learned from you, your pack and Maxdog Mom & Mr. Boss.

Happy 104th day of Grace!

Love lots,
-Fudgie, Princess, Frappie, Mocha, Sugar, Wai-Pai, Wai-Max & the Piappies

sprinkles said...

Thank you for the regular updates.

I don't know why Max is still with us but I'm thankful he is and appreciate each day that he's with us. I sometimes kind of hold my breath a little bit when I click on your blog not knowing what I'll find but I've come to love Max as much as my own dogs and will be devestated when his time comes, yet don't want to miss knowing when that time has come. If that makes any sense!

I agree, God has a bigger plan for Max and that's why he's still here with us!

Sending lots of love to you and your family! Have a wonderful weekend.

Scout 'n Freyja said...

Now this is going to be a really WILD guess but I wonder if he isn't burying the food because he thinks that one day he'll be hungry enough to eat it.

Of course, wolves will bury food to 'save for a rainy day' - for those lean times when no nourishment is available. Whatever guides him to do what he is doing with the food - my guess it is something deep in his soul - something that was placed there thousands of years ago that has endured over the ages.

Most likely Max isn't hungry because he either has a sick tummy or his tummy 'feels' full due to the pressure on it by the liver growth.

Oh, how I wish I could wave a wand and take all of this away. Just send it out into the Universe never to return to earth. It would be so wonderful if all dogs ended their lives like my Savannah Leigh. She had some full circle and it was her time at age 15.5 years. I mourned her loss but I understood her loss - it was her time. This illness of Max's is taking him from this earth - not his time at all...sigh.

Charlie said...

Max is so lucky to have such a good and sensitive mom watching over him! Hang in there.
- Anne

Wild Dingo said...

As you know, Maggie, my dingo, had liver cancer. She acted pretty much the same way, up and down, for 3.5 years! She had MOSTLY good days in the beginning, then they alternated. Trust me, you will know. There's no harm in being uncertain. Especially when he has lovely days like this!

Scout 'n Freyja said...

MUST do a PEE-ESS! Scout saw that Max was digging and said that I needed to come back to the bloggy so he could have me tell Max that he, Scout, is currently busy digging a hole to China! Mom isn't too thrilled but Scout says that this hole happens to be one of his best pieces of work!

Jacqueline said...

Your journey with Max now is a special time of bonding and letting go; such a tough, daily realization for everyone, especially you, Caryl, who holds his heart so closely to your own...He is a strong and brave and loving soul; his courageous inspiration is a gift to all of us...Wishing you all the very best and a wonderful weekend together...love and hugs.

Ginger Jasper said...

I think perhaps Max is showing you himself the way to go. You are having some realy loving times with Max and he with you. It is heartening to see how Max goes from lethargic to springing up for a walk.There is life in Max yet and he is letting you know.. Enjoy your weekend.. Hugs GJ xx

Junior and Orion said...

Maybe MaxDog is saving food for his family for after he is gone.

Whatever he is doing, we are glad he is up and about and still enjoying life.

Hugs to you all!!!

Samantha said...

I just feel for you as you ride this rollercoaster with Max. I think it must be so hard to gain any perspective when living with Max, but for us here, he inspires us so much and generates hope. I think of Max at least once every day - he may be a mystery, but he is also just totally extraordinary. Thank you for sharing so much of his life with us!
Big Hugs xoxo
Sammie and family

Khyra, Khousin Merdie, And Sometimes Her Mom said...

One hour at a time...

Thanks fur sharing!

Hugz&Khysses,
Khyra & Khousin Merdie

Sally Ann said...

Dear Max's Mommy,
We have been there, and we know exactly what you are going through. The only think we can say is that when he is ready, in his own way, he will let you know. I remember on Monday morning, the vet leg for the "medicine;" and , I will never forget the look in his eyes. He was tired, and his body was broken. He was ready. Max will tell you the time. We are so sorry that this is happening.
Welshie hugs,
Sally Ann(and Mommy)

the booker man said...

it is a mystery, indeed, but i am so glad that max is still there with you! he is such a special dog!

the booker man and asa's mama

The Life of Riley said...

Max's mystery is a mystery that you should just enjoy one moment at a time - however mum and I have been wondering what the story is with Tommy as Tommy has disappeared from the sidebar of Max's blog (only the King is there - is this a sign that Toffee really rules!) and lateley there only seems to be one Maltese in your photos - however we have always had trouble telling Tommy and Toffee apart. We hope all is well, and Tommy is just taking a rest from public life.

Thinking of you Max (and your hidden food supply!!!!),
Riley

Honey the Great Dane said...

I really feel for you and your dilemma - it must be the hardest thing to go through - wanting to do the best for you beloved dog, not wanting him to suffer and yet wanting to give him every last minute he's got in this world...I don't have any personaly experience of this but I have been told by many others that you will *know* when it is time.

Hsin-Yi

Cloud the Wonder Dog said...

We love you, Max!!! Mysteries are some of the most wonderful things in this world...


Love,
Cloud and his mom

Sunny,Scooter(sometimes Jamie) said...

I perpously read none of the comments.
I do not envy you in this ride. Second guessing, thinking, this is it, thinking is this the time for me to help. It is hell . Because we are only people, we think, we look ahead at what can happen, we see our beloved looks unlike his self but mere months ago. We are incapabble of just living in the here and now. Man it sux.
Personally, for me(because I guess I am just a big old WUSS) For my peeps=dad was an accident and was instant. Shock? yes. Mom- geez. Wish I did NOT have the pics in my head. Sudden-I will take it everytime
Dogs. Same for me cuz I have no guts, shock I prefer.
This kind of thing teaches the lessons(shock too, but not as much I think)
Another day of grace. yeah. Another day of hell, yeah.
i'm, soooo sorry Caryl. Really.
I sent you one thing via e-mail. I will send you the final if you want. (I only wish all could give us the gift of passing on their own.)
Let me know.
Sending all the love and support I can
Jamie and the 2 Texas Sundogs
ps I too remember about the loss of your Mom God Bless

caboval said...

Hi Maxmom!!! Its been such and incredible experience to be with you through this journey with Max!!! He is truly amazing and we truly LOVE him!!! Im sure it must be so hard for you wondering if each day is THE day! I can not even imagine that I would have that kind of strength. But we know the day will come...and.... we will be here for you. I think when the time comes....Max may tell you somehow. I dont know. You are in our thoughts and prayers, just know that! Hugs Valerie Joey and Kealani

The Thundering Herd said...

Wish I could answer the mystery for you, but it is impossible. I have been through this too many times and know only one thing - it is unknowing. From the fast (Ginger), slow (Nikita), exactly as vet predicated (Cocoa), to tragic accident (Poco - who is not even on my website because she was a childhood dog), I have experienced the parting. I can't tell you which is better, worse (ok - maybe tragic accident), or comforting. Only that you have to live each moment to the fullest. But you already know that.

Love seeing you on your task today, Max.

Priscilla said...

Dear Maxmom, I do feel for you as it's a very tough time for you and your family and you're in the dilemma of wanting to give Max the best and have him with you as well. We did hope we could borrow a little time for our dearest Hana while she was sick. Everything happened too soon before we could digest it and the worst thing was we were overseas when all these fell onto her. I was so blessed to have my sister to take care of her and she gave her the best care ever after. It is still a sharp pain whenever I'm thinking of Hana, feeling so sorry that we're not there when she needed us. It was so hard for us when we're home at last and didn't see her welcome us home. It's a great loss and we still miss her so much. Whenever I read about Max, I'm happy for you and I really envy you that Max is still with you and he's staying strong. You are a great mom! May god bless you all and my prayers and thoughts are always with you and Max.

Melody said...

God is Blessing you and Max with this extra time. I think god knows who of us out here who need the precious time with our pets. I've had to put two kitties down in the last few years...I promise you will know when its time...I think Max will let you know somehow or someway..He is such a special dog.
I pray you will be blessed with more happy days with Max.

Sally said...

We are glad Max has an extended stay here - we hope he is here for a lot longer.

Lots of licks
Sally and Paddy

Tweedles -- that's me said...

So many of my friends are going through these heart wreching decisions. Sometimes things change moment by moment. It leaves our souls so uneasy as we look into each others eyes and plead, what do you want me to do? What are you saying.?
Yes, why Max is burying his food- that is a mystery. (unless he is saving it for his friends.
I wish I had answers, but I cannot even find the words to speak.
I hope you understand what I say
love
tweedles

MadameMoiselle said...

Hi Maxdog and Maxmom

We just want to drop by to say Hi and we have enjoyed every post you have posted up here.. It has been a very emotional journey for us here too as we are also in the same dilemma.The 2 other puppies at home is about to cross the bridge.. and we are trying to be very strong to let go..

We just want to say that your posts has given us the courage and strength that we need until today..

And for that, we have decided you totally deserve an award from us.. please get it fromhttp://boxermoiselle.blogspot.com/2010/05/award-from-me-from-dear-friend.html

Maxdog, you are one lucky dog that has been blessed with such wonderful family and moments with them..

Do drop by to visit us once in a while..

lots of love
Moiselle and mom

Angus said...

Boy do we understand what you're writing about. You know that Max pops up in conversation here every day. The great thing is that you're gifted with amazing sensitivity . This double edged gift will tell you, loud and clear, what to do when the time comes. Can't claim it will be easy - that's the downside toensitivity and creativity - but you will know.

KB said...

You are right - we are with you, through the downs and ups of this journey. Many of us have gone through similar oddysees with our beloved dogs. I remember, as clear as can be, how unsettling the rollercoaster is. But, as Angus said, you are blessed with a sensitivity and intuition that will help you to know when it's the 'right' time. Your deep and unwavering love for Max will also guide you.

I don't know why he's burying his food - or digging up old treats to rebury - but it does bring a smile to my face. He still has a mission - even if we can't figure out the purpose all the time!

Please find strength in all of us who are thinking of you, Max, and your family.

BRUTUS said...

An amazing journey, no doubt. I can see how it must be both joyful and terrifying, often moments apart from one another! MAX is such a special guy. I'm sure he will tell you and your heart will hear exactly what he needs!

Michelle & Brutus