Teen Reviews for Life to the Max

July 31st, 2009 by Max

We have gotten some excellent reviews of our book, Life to the Max: Maxims for a Great Life by a Dog named Max, by parents, librarians, and of course, dog lovers. But some of my favorites are those we’ve received from kids. Here is one from 14-yeard-old, Kate Burney who suggests that it is a great summertime reading:

“Life To The Max is a wonderful book for teenagers to read over the summer, because it combines a clever writing style, touching proverbs and a cute dog all in one book. I would read Max over the summer, not only because it’s short, but also because it shares important life lessons, like “When bad things happen, worrying won’t change anything. Trust you’ll get through it.” Life To The Max looks like a children’s book, but is truly a story every teenager should read.”

So parents, even though summer vacation may be ending soon, there’s still time for your kids to read a book because as Kate points out, “it’s short.”

Just to prove we are in a new social media world, here is another quick review that Life to the Max illustrator, Terry Rohrs, got from her 16 year old niece via a Facebook chat:

12:28pm Terry
Hey Sydney, did you ever read the book about Max that I gave you?

12:30pm Sydney
i finished that book a while ago and then i let my friend read it so she could tell me what she thought

12:32pm Sydney
we both really liked it

12:34pm Sydney
we think that it would be good for elementary school students

12:43pm Terry
Excellent Sydney. Did you cry? Do you think the kids will find it too sad?

12:43pm Sydney
it was sad but i think it will be okay

12:44pm Sydney
especially the higher level kids i remember when i was in sage and a bunch of the kids cried when they read but they were okay with it you know?

12:45pm Terry
gotcha, smart kids understand what “bittersweet” means! ;-) Love that you did this for me!!

12:47pm Sydney
no problem it was a good book
i think even little kids could read it with their parents

Thanks to Kate and Sydney for the great reviews.  If you know any other kids who have read our book and would like to share a review, please have them send it to max@nicecreative.com.  Please have them include their ages and where they’re from.

Life to the Max Pose of the Week: Krissy (Oh sigh!)

July 29th, 2009 by Robin Reynolds

When our administrative assistant, Danessy, came to work for us, she offered to take the dogs for walks.  Now Krissy has gotten quite used to the idea and waits by the door, wistfully looking outside.  When Danessy is delayed by a phone call or project, Krissy sighs and moans loudly just to make sure Danessy has not forgotten.  If Danessy takes too long, Krissy comes to me and “tells” on her by grabbing my hand and pulling me over to Danessy’s desk.  Danessy, you’ve spoiled them.  Oh sigh!

Life to the Max Pose of the Week – Amber

July 22nd, 2009 by Robin Reynolds

Amber and Krissy are always playing a game of cat and mouse with each other – here’s this week’s “pose”:

Just wait 'til Krissy get's close, then I'll pounce!

Remember – we will post these photos in conjunction with Twitter’s #woofwednesday hashmark campaign. Readers, submit your own captioned pet photo for a chance to be selected for the “Pose of the Week” and to win a “Live Life to the Max” silver/pewter pet tag. Send your photos, along with a caption, to max@nicecreative.com.

Life to the Max Pose of the Week: Krissy Goes Wacky

July 15th, 2009 by Robin Reynolds

Krissy, our two-year-old Airedale rescue, is always entertaining and finds interesting ways to relax.  Here’s her latest resting position:

Life to the Max Pose of the Week – Krissy

July 8th, 2009 by Robin Reynolds

As most of you know, our Airedales, Amber and Krissy, come to work with us every day.  Their funny expressions, antics and positions embody the spirit of living Life to the Max and have inspired us to start a “Pose of the Week.”  This will be a photo that we have taken and captioned.  We will post these photos in conjunction with Twitter’s #woofwednesday and if this becomes popular among our readers, we will ask all of you to submit your own captioned pet photo for a chance for it to be selected for the “Pose of the Week” and to win a “Live Life to the Max” silver/pewter pet tag.

This week’s “Pose of the Week” is of Krissy:

Max is one smart dog!

July 4th, 2009 by Robin Reynolds

Simple lessons for a well-lived life are shared with warmth and humor from a dog’s perspective. Max’s innocent and optimistic wisdom guides the reader through all the ups and downs of life with Max-imum joy and enthusiasm. Max’s story covers a variety of themes including how to get through tough times, what it means to be family, the importance of forgiveness, trust and gratitude, and how to let go. We should all be so wise as this haaand-some Airedale! This colorful, beautifully designed book will appeal to children and adults alike, and especially to animal lovers. Paws up for Life to the Max!

By Claire M. Perkins
Author, “Deep Water Leaf Society”

It’s Crazy Not To Grieve: 10 Tips for Coping with Pet Loss

July 2nd, 2009 by Robin Reynolds

There was a very good article about the growing trend toward pet memorial services in the Arizona Republic today.  I know there are people out there that think that holding a pet funeral is crazy, but I think it is important to appreciate significant relationships in our lives—especially ones in which we are so unconditionally loved.

In my life, I have experienced deaths of both important people and important pets. The first was the sudden death of my father from a heart attack when I was only 9. In the consuming sadness that followed my Siamese cat, Miryah, became my solace. Later that same year-ironically on what would have been my dad’s 53rd birthday-the Chief of Police hit my beloved Miryah with his police vehicle and left her dead in the gutter. In my experience, the difference between these two sudden deaths was just a matter of degrees. There was more chaos for a longer period of time after I lost my dad, but the deep sorrow and stages of grief-the denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance-were very much the same. The real difference was in how other people saw these losses. The more people discounted Miryah as “just a cat,” the more my grief and pain were exacerbated by feelings of isolation and loneliness.

As a parent of my own family now, I want to handle our grief differently and this is the central reason why I wrote my book about Max. I wanted to give healthy expression to my family’s loss by celebrating the real significance he had in our lives. Of course, not everyone wants to write a book to channel grief, but here are some tips if you or someone you know has suffered the recent passing of a pet:


  1. Plan ahead. When you first bring home that ball of fur, it’s hard to imagine that there will come a day when you have to say goodbye. The reality is pets just don’t live as long as humans, so if you decide ahead of time how you want to handle end of life issues, such as euthanasia, dealing with remains and how to memorialize your pet, it is easier than when you are in the midst of grief and you are being pressed for decisions. It is also important to have advance directives in your will that will ensure your pets are provided for in the event of your untimely death.
  2. Tell yourself you’re not crazy. The loss of a relationship that has been a constant and significant part of your life may feel devastating – whether animal or human. After all, this relationship has been a source of comfort and companionship, unconditional love and acceptance, fun and joy. Your intense grief over this loss is normal and natural.
  3. Don’t let others tell you you’re crazy. People who do not understand the human/animal bond may say things like, “It’s just a dog (or cat).” The most important thing is to recognize that the loss of a beloved pet is a serious event that society does not always respect. You and your family have a right to your feelings which may include denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
  4. Seek out support to deal with your loss. You are not alone. Thousands of other pet owners have been in the same position. Veterinarians, pet service professionals or other pet owners can provide the resources and outlets you need to express your feelings.
  5. Celebrate your pet’s life. Some people find it helpful to write about their pet, put together a scrapbook or to hold a funeral service to mark the passing of their pet. You can put together your own ceremony or consult a professional pet funeral service. This doesn’t make you a wacko; it gives you healthy expression for your grief.
  6. Help your children cope. Every person deals with grief in a different way and at a different pace. You know how much information your children are ready to handle about death and loss of a pet, but don’t underestimate their ability to understand. If you are honest about your own sorrow, it gives children the permission to express their own sadness.
  7. Help your other pets with the transition. Pets are very observant and no doubt they will notice the absence of a companion to whom they have grown attached. Give the surviving pets lots of extra attention and love to help them through this period. The love of these survivors will also help you heal.
  8. Give yourself time before getting a new pet. There will be no other pet like the one you’ve lost. A new pet should be obtained because you are ready to move forward and build a new relationship, not because you are mourning your loss and trying to fill the gap in your life.
  9. Help other people who are faced with the same loss. Join a pet loss support group to help others, help a rescue group with a gift to memorialize your pet or join a forum online to share your experiences.
  10. Read a book that helps you laugh, reflect and remember the great things about your pet. Sometimes reading about how other pets have touched people’s lives can validate your feelings.

Remember it is not crazy to grieve the loss of your pet. It’s only crazy not to.