Parenting Expert Endorses “Life to the MAX!”

March 31st, 2009 by Max

This is so great!  Mom and I have always thought that our book reaches far beyond just dog lovers and now we have a review from parenting expert, Susan Heim, that confirms our intuition.  Susan has written books which include “Oh, Baby! 7 Ways a Baby Will Change Your Life the First Year”; “Twice the Love: Stories of Inspiration for Families with Twins, Multiples and Singletons”; “It’s Twins! Parent-to-Parent Advice from Infancy Through Adolescence”; “Boosting Your Baby’s Brain Power”; and, “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Twins and More.” She is also an editor for the bestselling “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series. Susan is the founder of TwinsTalk, a website for parents of twins and multiples. She writes a regular column called “Loving and Living with Twins and Multiples” on She is an expert on twins and multiples for and, and a parenting expert on

In her review of “Life to the Max,” Susan wrote, “Best of all, this book appeals to everyone, both children and adults.”  That’s why we say it’s perfect for dog lovers AND lovers of life!  Check out the whole review at Susan Heim on Parenting and sign up to win an autographed copy of our book!  What a great review!  This is gonna be a GREAT day!

Parenting Expert Endorses “Life to the MAX!”

March 30th, 2009 by Robin Reynolds

When an Airedale Terrier named Max entered the household of Robin Reynolds, he quickly made himself at home and taught Robin and her family many life lessons. In Life to the Max: Maxims for a Great Life by a Dog Named Max, Max narrates his own life (with the help of his “mom” Robin), from his adoption at the Humane Society to his eventual death. He describes his adventures with Bernie, the family’s other Airedale, along with Amber, the puppy they adopted after Bernie’s death. Max also “writes” about the adoption of his human brother, Andrew, as well as the many trials he goes through, such as melanoma and amputation, getting picked up by Animal Control, and the physical problems associated with aging. Through it all, Max always maintains his sunny disposition and teaches his family many “maxims,” such as:

When bad things happen, worrying won’t change anything. Trust you’ll get through it.
Trust that you’ll meet just the right people at just the right time.
Get the most out of life by doing things you enjoy!
Help someone else by sharing the gift of you.
No matter what happens, there are reasons to be happy and grateful.
Never miss a chance to tell those closest to you that you love them.
…And much more!

Life to the Max is extremely well-written and filled with beautiful photos of Max with his canine and human companions. Best of all, this book appeals to everyone, both children and adults. Not only is it inspirational, but it can be read to children to stimulate family conversations about caring for pets, illness, friendship, adoption, aging, and death. It’s not surprising that this book was named Best Gift Book in the 2008 AZ Book Awards and received an Award of Excellence from the Dog Writer Association of America. Twenty-five percent of the book’s sale price is donated to animal rescue organizations. Visit to learn more about Life to the Max and order a copy for all the animal lovers in your life!

By Susan Heim
Parenting author and “Chicken Soup for the Soul” editor

Life to the MAX Book/Peer Review

March 26th, 2009 by Robin Reynolds

Patricia L.  Brooks is an author, speaker, publishing consultant and associate faculty member of the Arizona State University Morrison School of Business.  She is also the founder and president of the Scottsdale Society of Women Writers.  Recently she tendered the following review of the book Max and I wrote:

Robin Reynolds is hardly the first woman to write the self-help, feel-good book for adults or children on life’s lessons, but this creative soul chose an unusual route to what appears to be publishing success. She has taken the “traditional” self-help, life lessons concept and written it from the voice of her late pet, Max who has personality to “the max” and keeps you turning pages.

Bypassing clichés, she writes clear and concise messages with one-liners on lessons for all ages along with the story and experience of this lovable dog that could have only been in Robin’s household. She has taken the children’s book genre to a new level by including the “big kids” like you and me. With the reminders we love to remember and the lessons we hold dear, Life to the Max is a journey back in time and you should not miss it.

Originally awarded the “best gift book award” by the AZ Book Publishers Association this past year, this book has transcended that arena and catapulted itself into self-help. By gently taking us on a path only a well-bred, sophisticated pooch like Max could take us, we travel all the way to his most critical lessons in life.

Many books about dogs are sappy, and I like dogs, many books for children are not educational, and I am a demanding teacher. Many books in the self-help genre are insulting and I read about one a month, but this book Robin has written takes all of that to task and shines through a different view – that of a lovable family pet.

Robin has found her niche in children’s books by utilizing the voice of an animal to tell “big kids” and children about life. Her work should be lauded for its fine writing, graceful lessons, good humor, beautiful illustrations, and fun photos and of course the philosophy behind it all.

I commend Robin and Max for doing an outstanding job, along with the other characters she developed to make this a family we would want to know and have as neighbors. I recommend this book to any of you as a gift giving idea for any “big kid” or smaller child on your list – self-help genre is a natural for gift giving.

We are in challenging times and many are seeking quiet and spiritual moments. I was moved to tears while reading this beautiful book and all the issues it addresses and all the lessons it reminded me were possible to revisit and love again.

Thank you, Robin, for rolling the dice and taking a shot at a new type of writing for you, we are all the better for it. We appreciate your courage in telling this very personal and heartfelt story that needed to be out there to be useful to many readers young and “forever young.”

It’s always nice when your writing touches someone’s life and they appreciate the work you do.  Max and I are grateful for the kind words!

Dog Poisonings in Mesa Remind Owners to Take the Lead

March 13th, 2009 by Robin Reynolds

It makes me sick to think that there is some creep out there who is placing strychnine-laced hamburger along the canal where owners frequently walk their dogs.   These attacks started last November and several dogs have been seriously sickened and at least, one has died.  As much as I really hope they catch this sicko, it is also a cautionary tale of why owners need to keep their dogs on a leash and to work with them to only eat something on the ground when told it’s okay.  I know getting dogs to only eat on command takes a lot of wok, but with what’s going on here, we pet parents/owners really need to take the lead.  According to a recent article in the Arizona Republic, if you have any information regarding the poisonings, you can contact Mesa Animal Control at 480-644-2268 and to find information on these poisonings, go online to

Life to the Max Author to Appear at Fountain Hills Book Festival

March 9th, 2009 by Robin Reynolds
We'll be signing our award-winning book at the Fountain Hills Book Festival this Saturday!

We'll be signing our award-winning book at the Fountain Hills Book Festival this Saturday!

This is kind of last minute thing, but Amber and I are going to be at the Fountain Hills Book Festival this weekend from 10 am to 4 pm. We’ll be signing and selling our award-winning book and also our silver “Live Life to the MAX” pet tag–both at special low Festival prices. This is not only a great time to come out and see us, but also to meet local authors and celebrities like Jim Paxon, the Fire Guy, Jana Bommersbach, Tony Mandarich, Betty Webb and Barry Goldwater, Jr.–just to name a few.

Amber and I will be sharing a booth with my Arizona Book Publishing colleague, Bill Trimble, who has written a great book called “Screw It: I’ll Be My Own Contractor”–a must-have for anyone who wants to save a good chunk of money on any home building or remodeling project.

The Book Festival will be held at the Fountain Hills Library, 12901 La Montana Drive, at El Lago Boulevard and La Montana. Booths will be outside on the paved circle area directly in front of the Library’s main entrance. Parking is available at the Library and in the adjacent Community Center parking lot. For more information visit: 25% of our book sales will go to support animal rescue, so come out and enjoy all the fun!

Here’s a press release about our signing:

Amber Celebrates 8 Years of Living Life to the Max!

March 9th, 2009 by Max

Last week was Amber’s 8th birthday!  It’s hard to believe since she still acts like such a puppy, but that’s the thing about Airedale Terriers.  No matter how old we get, we’re still just puppies at heart.  Here’s Amber waiting for her birthday present:

"C'mon, just give it to me!"

"C'mon, just give it to me!"

Now Mom is giving it to her!

"A nice fat chicken!  Just what I wanted!"

"A nice fat chicken! Just what I wanted!"

This chicken is going to be toast very shortly!

"I'm going to get that squeaker if it's the last thing I do tonight!"

"I'm going to get that squeaker if it's the last thing I do tonight!"

We can’t show you the last part–it’s too graphic– a severed head, amputated chicken feet and a heap of stuffing with Amber happily passed out in the middle of it.  Now that’s living Life to the MAX!  Happy Birthday, Amber!

Goodbye to Bogart’s Dad: You Lived Life to the MAX!

March 2nd, 2009 by Robin Reynolds

A little while ago, we read the sad news that Klaus, Bogart’s dad, had passed away.  We didn’t know Klaus well, but we came to share part of his journey through his posts from Lulu and Bogart.  From that, we learned that he was from Austria, liked to brew his own beer and enjoyed taking Bogart on his daily walkies.  We also learned that he and Lulu got married in Las Vegas by Elvis and that they were incredibly devoted to each other.  Although their hearts must be flying into a million pieces right now, Lulu and Bogart can take comfort in the fact that they experienced so much life together with Klaus even in a short time–they played together, they got into mischief together and they comforted each other when things were not easy.  Though he left this world too early, Klaus truly seemed to live his life to the MAX–with laughter, love and passion.  In the end, you really can’t ask for more.  To Klaus, godspeed, and to Lulu and Bogart, remember that he will always live on in your happiest memories.  To send your thoughts to Lulu and Bogart, visit To Aire is Divine.