Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tales of Amos and Lucy and some fun baseball stuff

It's been a week since Amos came home with us. Mostly it's been a week of learning.  Lorri and I are trying to learn what Amos needs and how best to provide it for him.  Amos is trying to learn . . . pretty much everything.  Imagine that your memory is very short, very, very short.  The only place, people and dog friends are ripped away from you.  You've been planted from a pretty rural space to suburbia.  You're stuck with a couple of 50something parents who talk too much and don't give very clear directions.
Amos has decided his safest place is under the computer desk.  Somebody is often there anyway, so it's probably not a bad choice.
Despite all this Amos is doing an amazing job of fitting in.  He started by being really afraid of almost everything. He didn't much care for leashes, cars, or backyard, all of which were going to be a problem.  He was uncertain about Lorri and me, and for the first few days we didn't know if we were going to get friendly, affectionate Amos or frightened, uncertain Amos.  He was not wild about getting ready for his morning walks, about going potty outside.  He ate his food, but didn't like any kind of chew toy. He had accidents in the house
The real Amos in all his glory.  He's really a sweet, beautiful dog and an important member of our family.

But Amos did endear himself to us by being generally obedient.  He liked his walks when the leash was finally on.  He came when we called him.  We loved the way Amos ate-violently, briefly, and totally-all the while seeking approval from mom and dad. Amos is a terribly affectionate boy, and loves to be pet and scratched, happily rolling over on his back to get love.  He sidles up very close to be near.  He smiles broadly with his mouth half open and his tongue eagerly exposed, a characteristic of his breed, when he is very happy.

After a few days at Chez Smyth, things began to break loose.  He was more comfortable outside.  He seemed less afraid and more confident.  He began to explore the house, which is pretty small, on his own, and especially loved the layout of the living space, which is circular.  Amos loves to circumnavigate the space, leaving through the kitchen and appearing through the bathroom, usually with his enthusiastic grin. Maybe we should change his name to Magellan. Amos likes to hang out under our computer space, but will accompany me to my den when I'm painting figures, rolls on the bed asking for a scratch when I'm getting ready to shower or dress, and loves to lay on the couch next to us if we're watching television.  He loves people. He's still not a denizen of the backyard, but knows when he needs to go, and does so willingly.  Amos herds me as I'm mowing the back lawn, running wide circles around me, puzzled by the monotonous back and forth.

But what about Lucy, you may be thinking?  They don't have a bad relationship, they just don't have much relationship at all. Lucy has always been about Lucy, and Amos is pretty much about Amos.  We hoped they'd play together a bit more, but Lucy has snapped at her new brother a few times which probably keeps him away.  They compete for attention, for treats.  Lucy is always anxious to assert her ownership of any chew toys, which Amos affably cedes to her. Today, however, was interesting.  I was working in the backyard, when Amos began barking.  Amos never barks. Well, almost never barks.  He did bark twice when I was chasing him around the yard once.  The neighbor girl was clearly visible near the back fence and he barked at her several times, setting off the Lucy bark.  Lucy doesn't bark frequently, but when she does start, she's like Cook County voters: does it early and often. An interesting and unusual case of cooperation.

All in all, we're still getting to know Amos and he's still trying to learn about us.  I think he fits right in. 

The article foretells the likely outcome of a pitcher throwing 90% of the speed of light.  Picture pilfered from the page Relativistic Baseball

Dave Schueler sent me this interesting link to a physics site.  He was complaining, as so many others are, about the Mariners, and thought this might liven up our baseball taste buds. The article is of the what if nature, and asks "What if a pitcher could pitch at 90% of the speed of light.  Whoa.  Interesting conclusions drawn, but really the fun is in the read.  My thoughts were, that this was very cool, but would be most effective during a Yankees-Red Sox series. It does give a whole new meaning to the name Nuke LaLoosh.
Let's just say it's a really bad day for those in the park, the surrounding neighborhood, and the city in general.  It makes placing a stadium in the downtown area seem like a bad idea.

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