A Dog’s Hanukkah Lament

December 8th, 2010 by Robin Reynolds

Krissy really wants to light the menorah, but she just doesn’t have the opposable thumbs to strike the matches.

Cheer her up with a holiday greeting and you could win a Life to the Max bandana. Share your greetings here or on our Life to the Max Gift Book page on Facebook.

Make a Date to Buy Your Airedale Terrier Rescue Calendar!

November 17th, 2010 by Robin Reynolds

One of the animal rescue organizations that we support with our sales in Max’s Store is Southwest Airedale Terrier Rescue.  Anyone who has worked with Sidney, Rose or any of the other dedicated volunteers knows just how hard this group works to ensure that every rescued Airedale gets a loving home.

We are so grateful to them for placing Krissy with us. She is such an affectionate, playful and happy girl, and she has helped our now empty nest seem not so empty.

To help raise funds for their efforts again this year, SWAT has created a 2011 Engagement Calendar that is packed with stories and pictures of Airedales adopted through the hard work of the volunteers who network throughout the southwestern United States.

Krissy is not featured in the calendar (not that she isn’t pin-up material; I just didn’t get around to submitting anything) and we get no fees for promoting this.  We just think this group and this project are definitely worth supporting and these calendars will be treasured by anyone who receives one.  Don’t wait because these calendars are bound to sell out quick.  Go to www.airedaleterriers.org/swatto order your copy today!

And speaking of great holiday gift items, check out our Life to the Max holiday cards in Max’s Storethey’re now 50% off!

Life to the Max: Back on the Aire!

October 13th, 2010 by Robin Reynolds

It’s been a while since I wrote my blog and I apologize to my faithful followers for my absence. Like most of you, I have had a lot on my mind and by the time I left for a short vacation this summer, I was simply exhausted by trying to do too much in too little time. I needed some time to decide what ideas I was going to pursue and which projects I would need to let go.

As I have in the past, I looked to my dogs for inspiration. In their world, their priorities are simple, driven by single-minded needs: “Let’s play!” “Give me a belly rub!” “Feed me!” They are not preoccupied by complex emotions, family dynamics or office politics. Their purpose is pure and singular.  Still, they too have their occasional distractions—“Squirrel!”—but they are quick to refocus on their original intent. Of course, we humans will always experience more drama in our lives. It is simply our nature. But if we follow the wisdom that comes from the end of the leash, we also will realize that whatever challenges we are facing at the moment are just a “Squirrel!” and we can either choose to get caught up in analyzing the chase or simply let it pass and then return to what really gives our lives joy and meaning.

Besides my family, what gives me joy and meaning is when I can help others celebrate life’s everyday moments, promote healthy grieving and help animal rescue. The way I have done that is through the creation of my book Life to the Max: Maxims for a Great Life by a Dog named Max.

Since we launched our book at the end of 2007, we have been trying to raise awareness and funds for animal rescue and in particular, Airedale Terrier rescue. We donate 25% of our sales on our website to help rescue and we have done well.  But because we are small, we have had an uphill battle for awareness and distribution. What’s more, I’ve come to understand that in the book industry, a book has the life of a gnat and it is totally up to the author to keep its promotion alive.

That’s why this holiday season we are rolling out a national advertising campaign; rededicating ourselves to be more active in social media and holding more contests for some great prizes on our blog. But we need your help. If you have read and enjoyed our book and want to help animal rescue, please join the fun on our blog, retweet our posts and/or send emails to your family and friends to let them know about Max’s Store.  The more books we sell, the more we promote healthy grieving and the more we help rescue. I know it will take some of your time and we all have “Squirrels!” to interrupt our lives, but the other thing I’ve learned from my dogs is they don’t do it alone. They need us to throw the ball. They depend on us to fill their water bowls. And they want us to find that perfect place to scratch that makes them bicycle their legs. We know you’re busy and we’re wagging our tails in appreciation. Now here’s the ball, let’s have some fun. Go fetch!

Life to the Max Pose of the Week: Dressing for School Aire-ors

March 4th, 2010 by Robin Reynolds

I have to apologize to my readers–this week’s pose of the week is late.  It’s been a very busy week at work and I was going to do it Tuesday night, but my son and I got caught up in watching “The Biggest Loser” and ” Lost”  (Amazing how one can so caught up in the psychology of it all!) and I forgot totally about it. Then, yesterday I was out all day, touring the garden spots of our state–Buckeye and Yuma–doing a photo shoots for one of our clients.  No offense to the lovely people we met there, but there’s a reason why these places are not a part of the commercial for tourism in Arizona.  But I digress…

This week’s “Pose of the Week” comes from Hector Grubear and the petulant, Sybil.  From the look on Sybil’s face, you tell she just doesn’t think she’s too cool for school.

Hector, you have too much time on your hands, but congratulations, on having this week’s winning pose!  What crazy things are you doing with your dog? Send us your funny dog photos and maybe you can win a free copy of our book!

Another Great Holiday Gift Idea to Benefit Airedale Rescue!

November 9th, 2009 by Robin Reynolds

We connected with a Twitter friend (@christinebvotel) who has another holiday gift idea that will benefit Airedale Rescue of Western NY, a regional affiliate ATCA’s Rescue & Adoption Committee. It’s a 2010 Daily Planner which features photos of some of the most adorable Airedale puppies and stately Airedale adults.  The spiral bound planner is just $20 and 100% of the proceeds support the regional Airedale rescue group.   Check it out at their blog.

Life to the Max Poses of the Week: Oh Boy, Oh Boy! A New Toy!

September 30th, 2009 by Robin Reynolds

A few weeks ago, I met Peta Love, another dog lover and author of Beef Casserole for a Dog’s Soul on Twitter.  After striking up a friendship through our exchanges, I suggested that we trade books. To my delight, I found that my new friend resides in Scotland and her charming Beef Casserole book is quite the tasty treat!

During one of our subsequent emails, she mentioned that she was knitting a piggy lovey for my Airedale, Amber.  “A piggy,” I thought to myself, “Is that some sort of Scottish colloquialism for “booties” or “hat?”  Well, as they say, better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt, so I waited for the package to arrive which it did yesterday and it was–a PIGGY!  A purple piggy that had been beautifully knitted and stuffed with all natural, pure wool.  It was so soft, so lovely, so perfect–OH NO! It is going to die a horrible death!! Not knowing for sure that this was going to be a stuffed animal, I had not told sweet Peta that Amber would unknit and unstuff that pig in a matter of minutes.  But there was no keeping it from her. She sniffed it the minute she bounded into my office.

Amber can no longer talk or think. She is determined to get rid of that pig's ear!

She has some leverage now!
Now she uses both paws to hold it down!
Now for the great unstuffing!
Oh-oh! Krissy’s jealous!
Oh the humanity! Oh the horror! The entrails are everywhere!!

Well, Amber really did love her little piggy–even though its guts are now all over the floor. But remember it’s the thought that counts!

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.