My Halloween Pet Peeve

October 31st, 2008 by Max

Today is the day that people will start circulating all those pictures of their pets dressed up in Halloween costumes. Well, while all you humans are howling with laughter, let me tell you how your pet is probably feeling:

1) Confused.

Why does making your pet uncomfortable bring you so much happiness? I mean, look at this guy, does he look happy? Confucius says, “Dog in costume is distress in disguise!”

Now that makes me howl!

2) Freaked Out.

Don’t expect this cat to stay at home after this. When this cat goes out to “Oui Oui,” it’s going to be au revoir, fools.

3) Humiliated.

This bulldog is so embarrassed, he had to close his eyes. Seriously, would you wear a costume like this? No? Well, then don’t make your dog do it either!

4) Pitiful.

The Force is not a good thing here. If you force your dog to look like something from outer space, expect the War of the Worlds later.

5. Annoyed.

I thought when you were talking about doing corn rows, you were talking about running in the field!

5) Pissed off.

I wouldn’t want to tangle with this cat after he gets this costume off. In fact, I’d move my hand right now.

Ok, maybe people who dress their pets up are not going to put them in the backyard and let them starve, but it just reinforces your pets’ view that you are crazy. Call me a party pooper, but I think this is why dogs bite people!

Look for Life to the Max books at St. Francis Festival This Weekend

October 24th, 2008 by Robin Reynolds

This weekend you can find Life to the Max books for sale at the PACC911 booth at the St. Francis Festival. This annual festival at the Franciscan Renewal Center, 5802 E. Lincoln Dr., Scottsdale, features a Blessing of the Animals at Noon and 2 PM as well as fun activities from 10 am to 4 pm both Saturday and Sunday for your two and four-legged family members. For more information about the festival, click here.

25% of the book price will be donated to PACC911 to support its animal rescue efforts. PACC911 assists animal rescue groups throughout Maricopa County in four distinct ways–adoption events, fundraising, education and medical assistance through the new PACC911 Emergency Medical Fund.

We won’t be doing a booksigning at this event, but if your look around, you might catch a glimpse of the author, Robin Reynolds with Max’s little sisters, Amber and Krissy.

On this special weekend when we celebrate the special relationship we have with the animals in our lives, there’s no better way to do than when you give someone Life to the MAX!

“Max”– Still the Most Popular Male Dog Name?

October 22nd, 2008 by Max

When you do an Internet search for the most popular dog names, the name Max usually tops the list. (What exceptional taste, people!) I’m not always sure how some sites do their research. However, in a recent search, I ran across an October 2008 post by Gary Bogue who maintains that according to the American Kennel Club, Max is now the third most popular name for a male dog.

What????? Don’t people know that “Max” means “the greatest” and “Bear” which now tops this list means “big, dumb and clumsy?” Ok, I think my mom says it really means “big, lovable and sometimes clumsy,” but my point is Maxes are smart, fun and full of life. So what would you rather have a big ole oafish Bear rug or a dog who lives Life to the MAX!!! Let me know what you think. Isn’t Max still the number one name for a dog? Or has it been usurped by some un-Bearable alternative?

In Celebration of Teachers: A Dog Can Teach Us New Tricks

October 13th, 2008 by Robin Reynolds

I used to say that the number of good teachers that I’ve had, I could count on one hand. There was Miss Kirby from the second grade who taught me that reading opens a door to the world. There was Mr. Opland, our school band, chorus and music teacher who taught me to sing and play some of the world’s most beautiful music, even though I lacked the natural talent to be great. There was Miss Heath, my high school English teacher and drama coach who taught me about passion and gave me the will to try things outside my comfort zone. There was Mr. Morowitz, my journalism teacher who taught me that good writing could ease someone’s pain or inspire someone else to action. There was Eugene Lyons, my college theatre professor who taught me that remaining silent to injustice was unfair to myself. These were the teachers who truly inspired me and who made an indelible mark on my future.

But that was when I was only counting the teachers I had in school. Once I realized that every person and every situation had the opportunity to teach me something, my roster of good teachers grew considerably. Many of those teachers came in unexpected forms-the bankruptcy of the company I was working for, a 4-year-old girl in my son’s preschool class, Russian-born comedian, Yakov Smirnoff and our dog, Max.

Max, was a seven-month-old Airedale Terrier, we adopted from the local humane society as a companion for our female Airedale, Bernie. When we helped Max pass 11 years later, I looked for books to help ease the grief of our family and that would especially speak to our 10-year old son. What I found were either chapter books or young reader picture books. Instead I decided to write a story which remembered the major episodes of Max’s life paired with the lessons we learned from him.

Over the years, when a friend’s dogs would pass, I would often share the typewritten manuscript. The manuscript got passed around so much that it became (pardon the pun) dog-eared. Afterwards, the response was always the same, “You should publish this.” It took me six years to finally find the design style, book format and time to do it and the result is my book, “Life to the Max: Maxims for a Great Life by a Dog named Max.”

What I wanted to accomplish with my book was to provide not only a vehicle for dog lovers to deal with the loss of a much-loved family pet, but also to give families a means to talk about important life issues-disappointment, adoption, friendship, love, family, illness and death. It also deals with the importance of a positive attitude when dealing with life’s challenges. Even though it deals with the important stuff of life, it really is a joyous romp. It provides a gateway for remembrance, reflection and inspiration.

I also think it gives people of all ages an opportunity to appreciate what we learn from the experiences we have in life and to recognize the value of the teachers who come into our lives-no matter in what form they present themselves. What we come to realize is that teachers are all around us. The trick is whether or not we choose to learn from them.

Another Airedale Terrier named Max lives Life to the MAX!

October 6th, 2008 by Max

I don’t know if you saw this story on the news, but a little over three weeks ago, another Airedale named Max was out for a ride with his owner, Bill Clark, in his convertible. 45 miles from their home in Coventry, Rhode Island, the two were involved in a car accident and Max, who was probably spooked by the crash, jumped out of the car and ran into the woods. Though Mr. Clark looked every where, he could not find Max until he came home last week and found Max waiting for him in the backyard. Max had walked 45 miles from Sterling Connecticut to Coventry to get home. Experts don’t know how he did it, but I do: “Love always finds a way,” right, Max? Just another example of living Life to the Max! To see the video of this story, go to this link.