Friday, June 11, 2010

Remembering MaxDog as the World Cup begins

Who could read or hear the words “2010 FIFA World Cup” and “South Africa” today without thinking of our dear friend Max. MaxDog kindly introduced so many of you to me, and he told us all about the World Cup, the stadiums, the build up, the souvenirs, those funny long things that make noise and so much more about what it is like to live in or visit South Africa through his blog The Adventures of Max Dog in South Africa.

Last April MaxMom posted these photos of Max and Tammy, on Max’s website.  

When I saw Max’s photo I realised that I wanted to be part of his team of animals around the world who celebrate this event. You see Max is my hero because of his attitude to life, his ability to share his world, and the way he and his mom handled tough times together, so I told Max back in April that I was going to post a picture of me supporting my team the day the world cup started.
I don’t often get dressed up, but I do keep my promises, so just for Max here I am.


Sadly Max crossed the Rainbow Bridge on the 24th of May, but MaxMom has continued to tell us about the build up to the 2010 World Cup and what it is like to be in South Africa through her own blog Living Life to the Max She has shared her excitement with us and it is contagious! My mum doesn’t usually follow sport, but by reading Max's blog and now MaxMom's blog my mum has become interested in this event. 
New things have appeared at our house like this ball for me to play with.


I have been having fun training while trying to work out the football rules for dogs - like can I use all four paws, as a Retriever is my task just to retrieve the ball or do I need to pass it on to another player, is it OK to use my mouth (or is that only allowed if I am the goal keeper, and why does the ball change shape when I use my mouth!) and what special food treats do I get if I score a goal?


In between my training photos are a few thing I would like to tell you about my team:


  • New Zealand are ranked 78th in the world by FIFA, but made it into the 32 teams that are in the World Cup!


  • This is the second time we have been in the World Cup. The first was 28 years ago in Spain.

  • We are in group F so play against Italy (ranked 5th), Slovakia (34th) and Paraguay (31st).

  • Our proudest moment, so far, was beating Serbia (ranked 15th) 1-0 last month in a friendly build-up game!

  • Our team is called “The All Whites” (mum thinks this is a strange name for a team going to play in a country with a history of apartheid).  


  • However the "All Whites" got their name in 1981 in the lead up to the 1982 World Cup, as black and white (and sometimes silver) are the national colours for our sporting teams. New Zealand's national team names often refer to these colours e.g. the All Blacks (rugby union), Tall Blacks (basketball), Blackcaps (cricket), Black Ferns (women’s rugby union), Silver Ferns (netball).




  • The fern is a symbol of our country, and the fern logo is often used on our sporting uniforms and appears on flags you will see being waved in the stadiums. There is the outline of a fern on the flag I'm holding.  

  • Out team usually plays in a white uniform with a small black fern logo (on the top and shorts), but our alternative away uniform is the reverse of this - so the All Whites sometimes play dressed in black.


  • New Zealand is ten hours ahead of South Africa, which means to watch our team play live I’ll have to be woken up at 11.30pm or 2am. This is going to be very confusing for me, as once I go to “bed” at night I’m normally only woken up when it is time for breakfast.

I have my paws crossed that our team will have some good games, and if they need an extra player I’m ready to help them! 

Thank you Max for getting mum and me interested in this, and as the World Cup starts I'd like to encourage anyone reading this to visit MaxMom's blog as she is doing something wonderful. She is celebrating the diversity of all the countries involved in the World Cup and encouraging us to learn more about each other. Click on the "Unity in Diversity" button top right of this web page or this link Living Life to the Max for instructions how to be involved.

Well Max I know you are watching over from above, and that you have a grandstand view as your country hosts this exciting event. We are thinking of you,




MAXMOM said...

Dearest Fran and Riley
What a beautiful and encouraging post! Thank you so much! And...thank you for honouring our dear MAXDOG in the way you have. It has been a real privilege to get to know you and to learn more about you and Riley and your amazing country! You echo the spirit of
"UNITY IN DIVERSITY". Riley is a fabulous Soccer player and your team should be very proud of him too. Good luck to your country and your team!
...and I say thanks again for your love and encouragement!
(I've put up a link to your blog in my sidebar today)
Sending lotsaluv to you all.

Sugar the Golden Retriever said...

Woof! Woof! Great Soccer action shots, Riley. Mmmm "All Whites". Yes I agree it is a strange team name but interesting n significant. Glad to know. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

Heather and Ellie said...

You look like a FANTASTIC soccer player, Riley! What a lot of great action shots. Looks like you are getting into the spirit!

Mrs. JP said...

Wow, Riley, you are a great soccer player. I think the only rule you need to worry about is what kind and when you'll get your treats. Those are great pictures! Have a great weekend.

Jacqueline said...

A wonderful post and fantastic photos!...Fun pictures of beautiful Max and Tammy and a sweet tribute to lovely Max...Riley, you are a fabulous and gorgeous soccer player; we are very impressed with all your action shots!...And thanks for the information about NZ and your team; it's nice to learn more about your great country!...Good luck in the World Cup and we will be thinking of you guys with every NZ game...Kisses sweet friend, we love you Riley!!...xo...Calle, Halle, Sukki

sprinkles said...

What a great post! I miss Max and love that you're honoring him in this way.

My little chihuahuas are a little too small to play with a soccer ball but they both love that play with their tennis balls. Maybe they can learn to play soccer with the tennis ball!

Scout 'n Freyja said...

Riley you are a stellar example of a good friend. We are remembering Maxdog today, as well, and can only hope that his Maxmom is finding happiness in all of the celebration taking place in her beloved country.

We must say - we think the colors of your country's flag are stunning☺

Good luck to your team!

Petey said...

Excellent photos, Riley, I especially like the leaping one in your header! As for my bike, check out some past posts and you'll see my nifty wicker bike basket!

Your pal,


Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

What inkhredible paw-work!!!

I'm sure MaxDog is furry proud of woo!

What a pawesome post!


Piappies World said...

Hi Riley,

Nice to meet you! We are excited to be part of the World Cup Activity of MaxMom. We look forward to seeing your team play!

Your post is great as it has lots of your great soccer moves, helpful info about your team and a lovely tribute to Max.

Looking forward to your other posts. Weeeee!

-Fudgie, Princess, Frappie, Mocha, Sugar, Wai-Pai, Wai-Max & the Piappies

Bouncing Bertie said...

Hi Riley
Well we hear a lot about the All Blacks here in the UK but the All Whites are new to me. Love the photos, you are quite a footballer Riley!
Cheers, Gail and Bertie.
PS Apologies for the earlier technical hitch. You should be able to see my latest blog post fine now.

Katie said...

That new ball looks like loads of fun!

Minna Krebs said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog today, Riley. I just had to comes see your fur myself! What a handsome....and you are! And that is so cool that you haves actually met a Large Munsterlander!

your new furrend, MinnaK

PeeS....what a pawsome tribute you posted about Maxdog.

Sue said...

You do a great job with that ball. Good luck to your team.

Cloud the Wonder Dog said...

Hi Riley! What a wonderful, wonderful post!! :-)


meowmeowmans said...

Hi Riley,

You have very impressive soccer skills! We know Maxdog is watching over you, with his tail wagging. What a lovely tribute to him.

Good luck at the World Cup!