Tuesday, September 25, 2012

MaxDog by Caryl Moll

Note - This review originally appeared on my dogs' blog. Here's a link to that blog. 
DWB stands for Dogs With Blogs (yes there is a whole world out there of dogs that blog).

MaxDog by Caryl Moll
5 stars
would read it again!

Mango Momma review (short version)

Loved it! Buy it!

Go to Maxmom's blog here and look for the image of the book in the sidebar for instructions on how to buy it.

Mango Momma Review (long version)

I delayed buying this book. Why? Because I have come to know Maxmom through DWB and I was worried that I wouldn't like it. Then what? But I did finally send her an email, made my payment via PayPal and about a week later, my autographed copy arrived.

I'm not too proud to admit that I read the chapter entitled "Mango, Muiris and Maxdog" first. In fact I read it twice. And after I read the forward, I went back and read chapter 22 again. With that out of my system, back I went to chapter one.

I was worried during the first few chapters. "Oh no! Maxmom isn't like me at all!" Right up front she was bemoaning the idea of getting a "big" dog (Golden Retriever) and I was writhing with envy over the way her entire family participated in training and the fact that she was able to spend so much time with Max.

That didn't last long. As the story progressed, I related more and more with Maxmom and her journey getting to know Max. Maxmom is honest about her personal struggle with depression and loneliness. I doubt I am the only DWB mom who can identify with that.

I don't want to spoil the story. Let's just say that "life happened" to Maxmom, as it does to all of us, and sometimes she didn't handle it well. Sometimes my heart ached over her struggles and I wanted to make the story stop.

When Maxmom discovers the Internet, and DWBs in particular, I was totally there! She was telling my story! Her journey into blog land, finding all the other crazy DWB people, feeling part of something... "hey! that's me!"

I confess that when Max was sick, I found continued reading of the blog almost unbearable. I even stopped commenting. "How many times can I say 'I'm thinking of you?' " I regret that now. I didn't really understand the power of the DWB community and how important each and every comment is when our beloved pets are ill. Not two months after Max made his final journey, Mango had his first seizure and I learned for myself how much comfort there is in even the briefest comment.

At the end of the day, I think that is what this book is about. It's about how life can really be difficult for all of us and how the Internet has allowed us to connect with each other from around the world to share the good times and the bad with like minded people.

Some readers will recall Mango's big adventure in South Africa (see below). When I contacted Maxmom to ask if Mango and his pals could go and visit Maxdog the only thing I was thinking was "Hey, Maxdog looks pretty cool and wouldn't it be fun to do an adventure with Mango and his pals in an exotic location like South Africa?"

It wasn't until Maxmom sent me a copy of chapter 22 to proof read that it dawned on me that she had been worried about how I might depict her country (which has certainly had its share of turmoil and controversy). But that's emblematic of the DWB circle for me. I know that I don't share political or religious views with lots of my Internet friends. I know that I have different values and ethics than some of them. But we share a love and devotion to our pets that overrides those differences.

If you are interested in Mango's big adventure in South Africa, here are links to each installment:


  1. It's nice to read a book by someone you sort of know, especially when you can relate to it! And that Mango had a guest role in the book is just icing on the cake. I think all of your Mango adventures are tastefully done. I have to say that after "knowing" you for several years now, I don't really know your positions on politics, world events or whatnot. And that's a very good thing. People force their opinions on others much too harshly these days, and judge those who think differently. I'm glad that Maxmom was pleased by Mango's adventures in South Africa, and that she wrote a book showing that we're all more alike than different.

  2. Have approached the edge of buying and reading this, but I have a permanent Old Yeller psychological scar that keeps me away from books where animals die. Guess that's why I liked "Jack: A Book Where The Dog Doesn't Die In The End" so much. That and the words of one syllable. I'm sure this would be a challenging and deeply rewarding book, like Kiss of the Spider Woman, once I commit myself to the plunge. Reliving Mango's African adventure was pure pleasure [ok, tinged with melancholy].