According to Montini, Dogs Lead the Way

April 28th, 2009 by Robin Reynolds

For those you who have followed the column written by E. J. Montini of the Arizona Republic over the years, you know that his point-of-view has often sparked some controversy.  For me, I tend to agree with him more often than not and today’s column, “Dog is politicians’ best guide through life” just proves how insightful he is.  In his article, he quotes Cesar Milan’s advice to the Obamas to establish themselves as “pack leaders” and take a leadership role with the new 1st pup, Bo.  As Montini points out, “He couldn’t have given worse advice. You don’t teach dogs; you learn from them.”

When Max and I wrote our book, Life to the Max, that was one of the main points we tried to convey–our teachers in life can come in some surprising forms and can even be the one at the end of the leash! It is so easy to get caught up in our human dramas and lose our perspective, but as one of our reviewers wrote, “Life to the Max reminds us of the joys of life and who or what matters in life.”  Montini echoed this sentiment when he wrote, “Professional demands and petty desires cause each of us – politician or not – to lose sight of what is important.  That’s when it’s most valuable to take hold of a dog’s leash and head outside. Not to lead, but to be guided.”

I wonder if Montini read our book?  Read Montini’s entire column.

Going Green Can Be a Pet Project

April 21st, 2009 by Robin Reynolds

In anticipation of Earth Day tomorrow, there has been a lot of buzz this week about ways to go green. You already know that you can reduce waste by changing light bulbs to longer-lasting, more energy-efficient CFL’s.  You can reuse plastic containers rather than using disposable plastic bags.  You are also probably an old hand at recycling old newspapers, glass and cans.

When it comes to a adding a new pet to the household, you have another opportunity to apply the 3 R’s in one more way.  It starts with:

Rescue. If you’re worried that a rescue won’t bond to you, you shouldn’t. After all, this is an animal that has been in some way disappointed by another human. Given the chance, this pet will do everything in its power not to disappoint you and make sure you don’t disappear like the previous owner.

When we rescued our Airedale Terrier, Max, he immediately interjected himself into everything we did.  We have pictures from birthdays, holidays and other family events where he is ever present even if it is only a head, tail or paw.  Rescues are profoundly loyal and loving.

Reduce. Whether poor shelter management or irresponsible owners coupled with a lack of qualified homes for homeless pets is the primary cause of pet euthanasia in this country is a matter of some debate in the animal community.  Regardless of the position you take, pet euthanasia of healthy, adoptable pets is a real problem in this country.  The Humane Society of the United States estimates that between six to eight million dogs and cats are turned into shelters each year and that over half of that population is euthanized annually.  When you make a commitment to rescue and neuter your pet, you make a real impact on reducing pet euthanasia.

When we were in the process of adopting Max, we had to go through the kennels at the local animal control center.  It broke my heart to see not only so many healthy, happy dogs begging for a forever family, but especially to see a homeless mother nursing a litter of 8 tiny pups.  The intake officer told us that a family had dropped the litter off earlier after their children had been “able to witness the miracle of birth.” The officer had been polite enough not to ask if they now wanted to witness the phenomenon of death. Really, shouldn’t some people be neutered?

Renew. When you rescue an animal, you have renewed a life and I think the pet knows it.  With Max, we were always impressed that no matter what life handed him, he was always happy.  It’s like he knew he had gotten a second chance at life and he was going to make the most of every minute.

Contrary to popular belief, dogs and cats who come into rescue are not all wild, sick or abused.  For example, currently more animals are being turned into shelters because of the economic downturn and rising foreclosures. Usually a little older, these pets are often calmer, more focused when it comes to obedience training and many are already housetrained.

So when you’re ready to add a new pet to your household, consider going green with the 3 R’s-rescue, reduce, renew. No doubt there’s a pet out there looking for greener pastures.

Life to the Max Becomes an Affliated Merchant for National Airedale Rescue

April 8th, 2009 by Max

Since we launched our book, we have been committed to helping the efforts of animal rescue.  One of our primary recepients of our donations has been National Airedale Rescue.  Now that organization is returning the favor by adding us to their Affliliated Merchants tab on their website.  The site has just undergone a spiffy new update and you should find a lot of great information about how you can volunteer, stay updated and buy great Airedale stuff–like our book!  When you buy our book here on our Life to Max website, 25% of the book price goes to National Airedale Rescue when you designate it at check-out.  So buy a great book (if I do say so myself!) and do something even better for an Airedale in need.