Starting With Max
How a Wise Dog Gave me Strength and InspirationYing Ying
5 March 2015
Published by Allen & Unwin
My dog has demonstrated a grand theory about life’s simplest activities. He acts out the meaning of life by actively living it. Do not think so much about yourself, he tells me. Know where you’re going, and just get up and go. Be playful and joyous.
Starting a new life in a new city, in a new country, Ying Ying and her family adopt a stray dog, the much loved Max. As changes in Ying Ying’s life bring frustration and sadness as well as surprise and joy, quite unexpectedly she realises that what remains most constant in her life is her dog.
Starting With Max captures the journey of a migrant in mid-life crisis struggling to come to terms with her new identity in a foreign land. Ying Ying finds herself driven by her dog to pursue a life of action and meaning, persistence and determination. She must not just survive, but thrive and it is her faithful four-legged friend who has become her source of wisdom and strength at this most fragile period of her life.
This is not just another book about life with a dog, but a quest for deeper understanding of humans and their dogs. In her contemplation of her four-legged friend and all that he is, Ying Ying reflects on matters of significance such as love, faith, beauty, ageing, mortality and creation.