Thursday, December 10, 2015


Communication is an ever evolving practice.  This, this is what I have learned in my now five years of life.  Effective communication with your puppy parents means constantly working at learning the cues they use to communication.  Because, you see, communication is not merely just words.

Myrtle has started waggling her fingers at me.  It took me a rather long time to realize that whenever she started to waggle, she was starting to communicate.  When she moves her fingers up and down, fluttering or as if playing the piano, this means that Myrtle wants my attention.  When she moves her hands from side to side, often bent at the wrist toward her body, this means that Myrtle wants my presence NOW!

I am such a good comfort puppy dog that my presence can calm Myrtle's deepest fears ... just a bit ... and ease her most wretched illness ... just a bit.  She wants me near her, nearer than I am at that particular moment when the waggling begins, because she needs me.

It is rather nice to be needed.

Much of the waggling has taken place in our bed at night.  This is because, for the past couple of weeks, at least, Myrtle has had to sleep on her right side.  She had a pacemaker put into her chest and she cannot sleep as she normally does.  The change and the pain Myrtle feels bothers her and so, in order to fall asleep, she wants me to tuck myself up against her side, head on her shoulder, so that she can then curl her body around me.  I don't mind.

Well, mostly I don't mind.  Mostly because Myrtle will waggle her fingers at me beneath the covers ... impatiently waiting to gain my attention from my sleep.  Yes, I am already asleep when Myrtle has the need for my greater presence.

We get into bed.  I frolic with the pillows.  Myrtle yells at me and tosses my chew bone at me.  I grab the bone and climb up on her torso for a chaw.  I finish and crawl beneath the covers to find some warmth.

Myrtle sleeps with her windows open.
The bedroom is often in the 40s.
One morning we even had snow inside.

Waggle.  Waggle.  WAGGLE.  Fingers and hand in furious motion, increasing in intensity the longer it takes for me to wake.  Why Myrtle doesn't just call my name to wake me is a mystery.  But I have learned that much about communication is mysterious.  A continual learning curve.

Of course, I have taken to my own form of waggling.  Trying to sit up more, Myrtle is spending lots of time on the couch.  I am not all that content to merely sit beside her.  No!  I want to be in my puppy momma's lap.  So, I waggle my paw at her and at the blanket in her lap until she makes room for me.

Interpreting the waggle.
An important combination skill.

This is my life with Myrtle.  Amos Adams signing off!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Babies are priceless...

Myrtle has written about baby surgery before, how she sometimes has to make repairs to my babies because of my overly enthusiastic loving of them.  Sometimes, she wearies of doing so.  I know, because my puppy momma has the bothersome habit of tossing an injured baby atop the bookcase in the living room and waiting to tend to it until the pile of injured babies become visible to the room.  That is not the IMMEDIATELY REPAIR MY BELOVED BABY approach I would prefer her to take.   However, since I have no skill with a needle and thread, I must wait upon Myrtle for help.

When browsing the Internet over my puppy momma's shoulder, I found the article below.  Myrtle had caught a lot of flack for the amount of babies she has bought for me.  Well, for one, a fellow just cannot have enough babies and frankly I think Myrtle has been dropping the ball in this area over the past few months.  For another, why in the world would anyone want to deprive a puppy dog of the comfort of his babies?  Should there be a limit on comfort??  I say, "NO!"

So, to honor my puppy momma in her provision for my comfort, I thought I would post the text of the article here and provide the link for passing on just in case other puppy dogs need a defense for their puppy mommas or ... (hopefully not) ... need proof for their need of babies!

One of the biggest complaints I hear when it comes to dog toys that they just don’t last and that they are a waste of money. I would like to address these complaints with the following 5 reasons you should feel good about spending $$ on toys for your dog.
  1. Playing with toys stimulates your dog’s mind and can help promote problem solving skills.
  2. Toys keep dogs busy. And guess what? Your busy dog doesn’t have as much time to get into trouble.
  3. Toys help fulfill instinctive drives including: shredding/ripping, hunting/finding food, chasing and herding.
  4. Toys help expend energy. Fetching/retrieving activities expend pent up energy. If you are a part of the fun, then you get the added bonus of additional “bonding” time. So go ahead and play a game of fetch with Fido!
  5. Toys help with emotional balance: dogs that get adequate physical and mental stimulation tend to be healthier and more emotionally balanced.
Please don’t deprive your dog of toys because you think it is a waste of money. Consider how many children’s toys need to be replaced because of damage over time. Toys are made to be played with….and with dogs, that often means annihilation . So, with that in mind, determine how much you can spend on toys each month and consider it an investment in your dog’s emotional well-being.
These are a few tips on making the toys you choose last a little longer:
1. Change out toys every week. Novelty seems to be something that many dogs love when it comes to toys.
2. Keep at least one interactive toy out of reach and use it for special occasions. Pull it down and use it for a reward during training or to help keep your interactions with Fido “amazing” in his eyes.
3. Some toys are tougher than others….Kongs, Marrow Bones, and many food dispensing toys should be around awhile.
4. Toys made from material will have a shorter life expectancy, especially if you have a “shredder” on your hands. Just sit back and enjoy watching your dog rip it to pieces (make sure he doesn’t ingest any of it) and properly dispose of any small pieces.
5. Appropriate chews will help fill the gap when it comes to expense…..back straps, pig ears, deer antlers, bully sticks, and Himalayan Chews are all great choices for filling your dog’s need to chew.
Some dogs need a little help when it comes to toys, so try a variety. You should eventually find something that your dog likes! And remember that the small investment in toys is worth a happy, mentally healthy dog!
by Amy Weeks

So, all your puppy mommas and puppy papas out there, feel free to pick up a baby (or three) for your puppy dog in good conscience this week, knowing the purchase is priceless!

This is my life with Myrtle.  Amos Adams signing off!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Just rewards...

Frankly, I do not like it when my puppy dog momma leaves.  I know many of my fellow canines out there are not so fortunate as I to have their puppy parents around all the time, but I am.  Myrtle may be ill much of the time, but she's here.  With me!

Today, she got an email and leapt up from the couch and left me high and dry.  She does this, occasionally, when a warning about a gas price hike comes.  Here, in Fort Wayne, gas can swing upwards of 30 cents in mere minutes.  My point is not that I mind Myrtle going out to fill up her tank before the price hike. I mind that she does so without me.

You see, Myrtle and I have a rather strong disagreement about my place in the car.  In the house, my place is nearly always next to or draped upon my puppy momma.  However, in the car, she insists that I stay in the other front seat, a whole THREE feet from her.  When we go to the vet, Myrtle is so mean that she ties me up just to keep me out of her lap or off her shoulders.  She also grows upset with me when I vocally protest the presence of dangers nearby ... dangers such as people and vehicles.  All I am trying to do is help!

So, when Myrtle went into the kitchen to do some of her freezer meals cooking, I thought I would stay on the couch just to teach her a lesson. I thought that I would show her how it feels to be left behind.

Only my stomach betrayed me.

You see, Myrtle's hands are growing weaker, which means she is more clumsy.  Clumsy in the kitchen means the possibility of more food falling on the floor.  Food that is most certainly meant for me!

I tried to stick to my principles.  I tried to stand up for equal rights.  However, I failed.  The tantalizing aroma wafting from the kitchen felled my resolve and off I went to curl up at Myrtle's feet.   Things worked out well for me, though.  Myrtle didn't spill any of the Black Bean Soup with Roasted Bell Peppers that she was cooking, but she did knock over her container of Honey Nut Cheerios!  Instead of just having one or two that fall when she walks to the living room with her mug of cereal, I had the equivalent of an entire bowl myself!

This is my life with Myrtle.  Amos Adams signing off!

Monday, June 8, 2015

A new game...

My puppy momma has come up with a new "game."  Sometimes I wonder if her games are really games.

This one is called:  "What about your baby?"  Myrtle knows that I desire to be by her side when she is moving from place to place in the house.  Being the puppy son of a Southern Woman, I was raised with good manners.  Now, whenever she leaves the living room, she waits to for me to follow her almost to her location before asking, "What about your baby?"  Such a question strikes terror into my canine heart.  After all, a good puppy dog always tends to his babies.  So, I will go racing back to the living room and look them all over before bringing one ... or three ... to wherever Myrtle was going.

I suspect that the game is more trickster activity than play.  After all, I'm the one doing all the racing about and the work.  Myrtle?  She just stand there and watches me ... and then chuckles over my huffing and puffing canine self.  Shouldn't a "game" involve participation on both players' part?

I tell you, all this game playing leaves me in need of extra naps.  Good thing that my babies don't mind if I tend to them whilst I am sleeping.

This is my life with Myrtle.  Amos Adams signing off!

Friday, May 29, 2015


Myrtle's wicked glee turned into mine today.  She was talking with me about how silly it is that even when all my fears of the Out of Doors have been abated, I still am not quick about taking care of major business.  You know, when there is a nice solid snow back covering the terrifying grass and it is the middle of the night so there are no vehicles, people, or other pets about trying my frayed nerves.  To make her point, she clicked on an article that she was most certain would put me in my place:  Why is My Dog Such a Picky Pooper?  Actually, my dearest puppy momma ended up with a bit of egg on her face.

If you are a puppy dog or a puppy dog parent, the article makes some rather cogent statements on the whys of the seemingly strange way a canine goes about taking care of business and does so in a humorous fashion at times.  The author clearly understands the puppy dog perspective.  For example:

While these social signaling behaviors can and do inform the places and amount of time it takes your dog to do his or her business, it’s also important to remember that, like humans, dogs are individuals with their own personality quirks and preferences.

Put another way, physical distractions and certain predispositions can have the same effect on dogs as they do on us. That big, loud waste management truck with the terrifying trashcan-grabbing arm? What living thing could poop with that thing lurching down the road?

You know, Myrtle has never once taken her business out of doors with myriad distractions and great fearsomeness pressing in on all sides.  Anyway, it's really all about perspective.  Or maybe walking a mile in the other person's pads.

I do happen to think that Myrtle has been working on understanding my perspective a bit lately.  For example, she now feeds me when she takes her 6:00 AM medicine and takes me outside.  Then, she tries to sleep, since the wee-hours-of-the-morning violent nausea she's been battling most days is abating.  Knowing how wretched she feels, I let her sleep as long as she wants, even if she is more tossing and turning than actually sleeping.  I'm a patient fellow.  Anyway, now, when Myrtle is ready to get out of bed, she first asks me, "Do you want to get up?"  Most days, I do.  If I don't, yet, Myrtle waits.  Then, when I answer with "good morning" (really good afternoon) kisses, wagging my tail most enthusiastically to show my puppy momma how much I love her, Myrtle plays with my curls and thanks me for letting her sleep.

Every day.
"Thank you, Amos, for letting me sleep."
I think the world would be a better place if everyone started their day with thanks.

Okay, maybe Myrtle is making an effort because she's oft raised her voice at me lately and then ended up weeping and apologizing, which means that I've been doing a lot of tear removal from her cheeks.  Now, I never raise my voice with her.  But I am not ill like she is.  I do not understand how her mind works or what drives her choices.  Okay, well, I do some.  We both share PTSD and the fear and anxiety that accompanies it.  But I am not nauseous or fainting or shaky or cold or confused or vomiting or in agony or all of the above every day as is my beloved puppy momma.

I am, however, just a wee bit happy that, for once, she got schooled on the whys and wherefores of a canine mind.  I believe that the upsettedness that Myrtle heaps upon me whilst I am working on my major business will not be forthcoming now that she's done a bit of learning on the subject matter.  Broadening perspective helps everybody.  Even a puppy dog and his puppy momma.

This is my life with Myrtle.  Amos Adams signing off!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

New words...

My puppy momma has taught me two more words.  She doesn't want to me to share them, but this is my blog, not hers.

Oh, crap:  This means that she's just come from the basement and has forgotten to bring up that which she went to fetch and has to turn around and go back down and then up the stairs all over again.

Stop:  This is an abbreviation for WHAT-DO-YOU-THINK-YOU-ARE-DOING-IMMEDIATELY-CEASE-WHAT-YOU-ARE-DOING!  Mostly, that is.  "Stop" is also a reminder that I am not to go running to the fence to bark fearfully (digging my paws into the mulch and getting all dirty) at the huge dog sitting at the fence two yards over.  "Stop" also means to not water the bottom post of the new back steps.  I guess, really, "Stop" means to not do the things I want to do that Myrtle believes I shouldn't be doing even though I think I should.

Frankly, I would like to teach Myrtle some new words.  I mean, she wants me to take all of my business—major and minor—out of doors.  I let her know of my dire needs by whining for minor things and gurgle-growling for major needs.  However, sometimes my puppy momma is so tired that she does not hear me.

The other night, well, I just couldn't get her attention.  I was left with no other option than to conduct my major business right there in her lap.  Myrtle is still miffed at me.

Why is it that I am the one who got blamed for her not listening to me??????

This is my life with Myrtle.  Amos Adams signing off!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Please explain...

Last night, I was taking my ease on the sidewalk, sitting straight up, but with my backside off of my legs.  I turned around to look at my puppy momma sitting in her GREEN rocking chair on the back porch.  And what does she do?  That silly Myrtle just bursts into tears.

Being a kind puppy gentleman, I raced over to her and hopped up on her lap to start washing away her tears.  I asked her what was wrong.  When she finally calmed down, Myrtle told me that I was so  adorable and that she didn't deserve to get to admire me day after day after day.  Or something like that.  She was still sniffing a lot.


I am an adorable fellow, I must admit, adorable even when I was just a little pup.  But still.  Can someone please explain puppy mommas to me???????

This is my life with Myrtle.  Amos Adams signing off!