Life to the Max Pose of the Week: Getting Doggone Excited for the Holidays!

December 23rd, 2009 by Robin Reynolds

I don’t know who’s worse when it comes to the anticipation of the holidays–kids or dogs. Yes, I do–it’s the dogs.  Every time I come in the house with a bag or package, I have Amber and Krissy glued to my heels until I put them down.  Then they have to stick their noses in the bags and if there is anything that could even remotely be considered a toy for them, out it comes in a flash.  My husband’s socks, a package of ribbon, a pair of slippers for my mom, a t-shirt for my son–have all been danced across the room with gleeful abandon and christened with a wee bit of slobber before being rescued.

And when the big night comes and everybody is supposed to be all nestled in their beds with no one stirring, not even a mouse–Amber is scheming under her stocking next to the fireplace.  Since more than once, she has crawled up and taken her stocking down by herself, we have taken to barricading off the fireplace and putting her filled stocking up high on the mantle once it’s filled.

It is small moments like these that make the holidays fun, memorable and special.  And when it comes down to it, it’s really the small moments in life that really mean the most. So enjoy your every moment of the holidays with your family, friends and dogs.  Appreciating the moment may be the most important lesson we can learn from our dogs, not just during the holidays, but every day.

Life to the Max Pose of the Week: Holiday Treats for Dogs

December 16th, 2009 by Robin Reynolds

Around the holidays, there’s no shortage of sweet treats-especially when it comes to us humans. But for dogs, it can be entirely another matter-just the same ol’ kibble.

While it is not safe to share your human treats with your furkids, you can whip up a batch of homemade dog cookies with this simple recipe:

Max’s AHHH-mmmm Morsels

Ingredients:
2 C       Organic Whole Wheat Flour
1 Tbsp  Baking Powder
1 C       Organic Peanut Butter (chunky or smooth)
1/2 C    Organic Chopped Carrot
1 C       Organic Milk
dash     Cinnamon

Instructions:
In one bowl, combine flour, baking powder and cinnamon. In another bowl, combine peanut butter, carrots and milk. Slowly add dry mixture to peanut butter/carrot/milk mixture and blend well into dough. Roll dough out to 1/4 inch thickness on lightly floured surface and cut out shapes using cookie cutters.  Place on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 375˚ F for 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Cookies can burn easily, so watch carefully.  Allow to cool and store in an airtight container.

You can get this recipe on your own keepsake postcard along with a 3 inch dog bone cookie cutter in Max’s store.  Or you copy it here.  Either way, it’s a great way to treat your dogs around the holidays!

Life to the Max Pose of the Week: Decking the Halls with Amber & Krissy

December 10th, 2009 by Robin Reynolds

We’re a little late with our Pose of the Week because I got the flu last weekend, but we hope the little Christmas story we’re about to tell will make up for it. This week we decided it was time to make things a bit more festive around the office and Santa’s little “helpers” were right there to make sure the job got done right. First, Amber checked to make sure we had all the decorations.

Robin spread out the tree skirt while Amber helped.

Krissy made sure the Christmas tree was assembled in the right order.

Krissy got so excited by everything, she almost had an accident!

When there was talking the fur-girls got bored!

Everyone is a critic!

Krissy is more supportive…

…though there was some confusion on her part!

Suddenly there was a noise outside …

…but it wasn’t Santa. Darn! When is he going to get here?

Remember it’s the small moments that make this season fun.  Enjoy!

Life to the Max Pose of the Week: Inspiring Lessons from Our Followers’ Dogs

December 2nd, 2009 by Robin Reynolds

Amber and I discuss some of the lessons Max taught us and how they inspired us to write our book.

No matter what holidays you celebrate, this is the season to share inspiration. While some may look to a star in the sky or a container of oil, some of us will also look to our dogs. Here are some of the lessons learned from the dogs of some of our followers. Some lessons are practical, some are heartfelt and some just make you laugh.

“Unconditional love, understanding and forgiveness” are three things @ReneeATNutro has learned from her dogs. @petinsurance101 says, “My dog, Sienna, taught me to live in the moment, smell the fresh air and enjoy the walk.” And @toasterbyte shares “From my dog, I’ve learned that running is a blessing, not a chore–and that every 2 hours, it’s time to take a break and go outside!” (Max would be so proud–all excellent maxims!)

@VegasRockDog credits her dog for teaching her “not to be scared of dogs–period. I was terrified before I got her.” (This reminds me of when I was a little girl. Apparently, I was also frightened by dogs and if I saw one-even if it was a block away and not looking at me-I would scream at the top of my lungs. Then one day, my dad came home with a little black cocker spaniel. At first, I looked at her warily from behind my mother’s skirt, but finally, I put my arms around her neck and said, “My dog.” I never screamed at the sight of another dog again.)

@Everwalking says she has learned “patience” from her dogs who when the day turns hectic, have to wait for their walks, but show love anyway”. However, she has also learned, “Being late in not a good thing!” (Confucius say, “Even police dog has to do his doody.”)

Dental hygiene for two and four-legged friends is on the mind of @TheGREENIESComp.
She warns, “Don’t let stinky pet breath come between you and your friend. Brush their teeth, and yours, to take life to the MAX!” (I appreciate the Life to the MAX tie-in!)

Some good advice for the holi-daze rush comes from @trohrs, “What I’ve learned from my dog: Give yourself some downtime after a big holiday PAWty!” (Shameless punning is its own reward!)

@NewportVet cautions you to be careful of what your dog eats around the holidays and any day for that matter, citing that “a doberman once swallowed an entire riding crop and a lab gulped a diaphragm.” (Now that’s a lesson in itself!)

The lessons learned from the dogs of @bnbak are that “a cuddle on the bed and a cookie are the best rewards. Also be nice to the basset; she can’t help how she looks at you.” ( It’s the crazy eye thing, isn’t it?)

Of course, our furkids also had to woof their own wisdom. From @HisRoyalDogness some useful advice for his canine counterparts: “If you bark too much, most people won’t be intimidated; they will just find you annoying.” (This is also true for people.)

In a Zen state, @gallantprince offered, “All I am is me!” (No doubt, he was doing downward dog!) Finally in true Life to the MAX fashion, he also recommendeded “Have a good time all the time and have a good sturdy leg to latch on to…” (Not so Zen, but very leader of the pack!)

I encourage you all to continue to tweet your lessons and maxims to us on #MaximMonday so that I may share more of them on this blog. Just when you think you know it all, there’s so much to learn–from your dog!