The Dog Blog – Strings Attached, The Story of Max, the Ho Hum Husky

Meet Max, the Ho Hum Husky

Posted by on Dec 13, 2017 in Dog Blog | 0 comments

Meet Max, the Ho Hum Husky

If you think Marley was difficult, you should have met Max.  A rescue dog with a difficult past, his antics kept us on our toes, and many people dined out on ‘Max’ stories over the years.  “Max and the Christmas “Light-bulb”, “Max and the Work-sock”, Max and the Fish Guts”, “Max Swims Out to Sea”, “Max Busts out from Backstage”—the list goes on and on.  Needless to say, he was a dog who had adventures.

LITTLECHAPMax was a husky, shepherd cross with some wolf in the mix, not to mention an Alpha male personality, and we soon discovered that our new pet was more than we could handle.  He wasn’t a big dog—more husky than shepherd, with short, stubby legs and a barrel chest—but he was strong as the proverbial ox.  After our first walk, where I found myself towed behind Max and facing the alternative of either breaking into a sprint or having a dislocated shoulder, I realized that I needed a trainer—a dog trainer, that is, not a personal trainer to improve my running skills.  Fortunately, I found the person I needed in Gary Gibson, who very quickly taught me some techniques to show Max who was boss.  It was so appropriate that Gary and his wife Kathy’s company was named “Canine Corrections”.  The title was a reference to the wonderful dog-training program that Kathy established with the inmates of the women’s prison at the Fraser Foreshore, but it was certainly an appropriate title when it came to training Max.  Gary very quickly established some ground rules that brought my feisty white husky into line, but he also acknowledged that, with Max, there would always be some degree of negotiation.

INLET THEATREGary was the one who told us that Max needed a job, and after a while, we realized we had the perfect role for him within our puppet company. Once the Max marionette was created and became the star of many of our shows, Max became part of the show, waiting backstage during performances, and then joyously coming out to bow or demonstrate his tricks with his puppet after the final curtain. Feisty, he was, but how he loved being part of the show.  As Gary said, many years later, after Max had passed away: “He was more dog than most.”


mBecause of his unpredictable nature, Max demanded far more of my time and attention than any other dog I’ve ever owned, but because of this, the two of us became very closely bonded over the years.  I still miss him, and I take pleasure in having his personality live on through my artistic endeavours.  Not only was he the inspiration for Max, the Ho Hum Husky, the lovable star of 14 of our 20 marionette musicals, but he also lives on as MacPuff in my Beary Mysteries Series, even if his appearances there are often as fleeting as the movie cameos of Alfred Hitchcock.

maxI have always wanted to write Max’s story, and I have the perfect title—Strings Attached —which reflects how close we were and the part he played in our marionette company.  However, since my plays and mystery stories bumped this project to the back of the line for several years, the ‘dog blog’ served in the interim to tell the tale of my rescue dog with an attitude, Max, the Ho Hum Husky. Finally, this summer, Max’s project came to the front of the line and I’m now polishing up manuscript that will tell his story in book form. Watch for updates early next year.


Merry Christmas from Max and the Elwoodettes Marionettes!

Posted by on Dec 22, 2014 in Dog Blog | 0 comments

Merry Christmas from Max and the Elwoodettes Marionettes!

King John’s Christmas

Max was not the only pet who was recreated as an Elwoodettes Marionette. His friend, Miss Brandy, who stars in many shows with him, was also a real dog. The two walked together daily and shared many exciting adventures together, both off stage and on, including a grand romp to rescue Santa Claus in our production of King John’s Christmas.

Minx the Manx

Minx the Manx

Max’s arch foe, Minx, the Manx, is alive and kicking, and her feud with Max was as lively off stage as on.  Minx was a stray who was determined to live with us in spite of the feisty husky who occupied the premises.

The Christmas Present of Christmas Past

The Christmas Present of Christmas Past

Any cat willing to take on Max had to be tough, and we had great fun recreating their antics in our shows. Minx even played a double role in The Christmas Present of Christmas Past – her feisty self in the ‘Present’ and the empress’s cat, I Clawdia, in the scenes from Ancient Rome.

THE CINDERELLA CAPER: Max meets his predecessors.

The Cinderella Caper

Max and Minx’s predecessors, George and Beanie, appear as the pets’ guardian angels in The Cinderella Caper. The real-life George and Beanie were amiable and well behaved pets, unlike the real-life Max and Minx, so the contrast made for great fun with their onstage counterparts.

The Highwayman's Christmas

The Highwayman’s Christmas

Caesar, the mean tabby who appears in Guard Dog on the Spot and Guard Dog on Show,  was also a real cat and really did whack Max on the nose. In puppet form, Caesar was a perfect villain, and even branched out to play Puss, Bad Dick’s pantomime cat, in The Highwayman’s Christmas.

The Magical Christmas Forest

The Magical Christmas Forest

Last, but not least, Christmas Bunny from The Magical Christmas Forest and Egg Detector was a real live rabbit that belonged to Brandy’s owner, Edna Lotocky. CB was a cute brown lop-eared bunny who derived his name from being found in a snowpile on Christmas Day and adopted into Edna’s home. Lucky rabbit!


Best friends

Over his lifetime, Max was the star of fifteen of the twenty Elwoodettes shows and made more than 100 bows with his puppet on the stage of the Bernie Legge Theatre. Nine of the Max shows were Christmas productions, some illustrated here, along with our wishes for a Merry Christmas and a happy festive season!

xmas card