Spirituality According to Max, A work in progress

“Therefore I say that man must travel in the way of God. Day by day he must endeavor to become better . . .”*

When I drive my car into the garage to park I align my right headlight on Max’s right paw.  That leaves just enough room for me to get out on the right side and my husband’s car to get in on the left side. But  I’m ahead of myself . . .

We live in a small 3 bedroom home – The bedroom I use for my home office  has glass french doors that open to the hall way.

I looked everywhere for a screen to put up blocking the view into the room for when guests stayed.  It had to be 4 panels wide and extra high for privacy.  My father would tackle anything.  So years before we adopted Max, Dad made the screen to my specifications (with the exception of  the frame’s legs not being quite the same height and needing a bit of propping.

The screen’s frame stayed folded up in the garage for many years until I decided to cover it with canvas.  It stayed folded up in the garage for several more  years until I decided to paint Max’s picture on it.

It stayed folded up in the garage for several more years until I lightly penciled in (which you can’t see in the pictures) some corrections to his anatomy, his fluffy facial hair, and planned to create some interest around the outside edge.  There it stayed folded up in the garage.

A few months ago I drive in to find the unfinished screen blocking the view of  garage “stuff”.  My husband had been decorating.  At first, I’m disturbed. Max lost all his fluffy facial & body hair before he passed.  The picture I’d not finished was a reminder of the last painful month of Max’s life.

Now it turns out my husband is a great decorator, who knew.  When I drive in or drive out I can smile at the silly picture I started years ago.

I’ve decided not to “finish” the screen painting – It will remain a work in progress, just like Max, to remind me every time I travel, driving in and driving out, we are all eternal works in progress.

*The full Baha’i quote:

“Therefore I say that man must travel in the way of God. Day by day he must endeavor to become better, his belief must increase and become firmer, his good qualities and his turning to God must be greater, the fire of his love must flame more brightly; then day by day he will make progress, for to stop advancing is the means of going back. The bird when he flies soars ever higher and higher, for as soon as he stops flying he will come down. Every day, in the morning”. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá on the Journey of the Soul

If you missed the chapters I’ve written to date about Max here are the links (they need to be read in order):

Prologue & Epilogue
Chapter 1 – Instincts Rule
Chapter 2 – Love at First Lick
Chapter 3 – Chewsing Heaven
Chapter 4 – Unleashed
Chapter 5 – Our Little Angel
Chapter 6 – Favorite Flavors, Patience & Self Control
Chapter 7 – Love has No Bounds

Every Day is a New Year

DSCN0831As days pass it seems to have gotten harder, not having Max.  I try to hold tight to what he showed me every minute of every day and live my life just as he did:

Breathe it in right now

every day is a new year

 Gratitude and love

Spirituality According to Max, Chapter 6 – Favorite Flavors, Patience & Self Control

“God, verily, loveth those women and men who
show forth patience.”

Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 43

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

Galatians 5:22-23


If you missed previous chapters here are the links (they do need to be read in order to understand the thread):

Prologue & Epilogue

Chapter 1 – Instincts Rule

Chapter 2 – Love at First Lick

Chapter 3 – Chewsing Heaven

Chapter 4 – Unleashed

Chapter 5 – Our Little Angel

My husband is examining the gouged edges of the breakfast table wicker chairs. “There are no scraps of wicker anywhere.  Can you believe he swallowed it!.  Maybe we should take him to the vet?”
“Max!  That’s what I’ve decided. Max!”  Figured I’d better find an acceptable name quickly before Homer found himself back at the animal shelter.  “Max? Are you sure you want to call him Max?” My husband is now thrown off guard by my sudden decision and appropriately distracted from the gouged wicker chairs.  Max goes over to give him a lick.

I am beginning to worry about this dog’s seemingly insatiable appetite for all things previously thought to be inedible.  Wanting to avert further “incidents” and to appease my husband before Max is dog-meat,  I buy a spray , an EXPENSIVE spray “guaranteed to stop animals from chewing . Bitter apple.  Can’t be more freshly organic than that.  Do not want to harm my sweet little angel, just protect him from indigestion.

 Since he had already developed a taste for wicker in the dog shelter I spray the wicker chairs first. Max eagerly runs over to see what I’m doing, licks the bitter apple cleanly off the wicker legs, looks up at me angelically with big brown eyes, gives me a lick or two, trots back to the couch to soften up the coverlet by sucking on the tattered edge.

I re-read the fine print on the Bitter Apple.  It says chewing, no mention of eating.  No listing of wicker chairs, throws and comforters (oh yes, forgot to mention pillow cases).  Not wanting to spend more money  I try what’s on hand – cayenne pepper . . . wasabi powder  . . . tabasco  . . .  Each flavor being more tasty than the next.  We put the chairs up on the table. Throw the throw, comforter and pillow cases to the dogs, so to speak.  And wait for signs of acid indigestion.

This is a dog who now has a proper name that reflects his personality – distinct but cute, short but sweet, unique and memorable, independent but loving and a gourmand not a gourmet.

So far, so good.  He hasn’t peed in the house once.

Spirituality According to Max, chapter 5 – Our Little Angel

“The meaning of ‘angels’ is the confirmations of God and His celestial powers. Likewise angels are blessed beings who have severed all ties with this nether world, have been released from the chains of self and the desires of the flesh, and anchored their hearts to the heavenly realms of the Lord. These are of the Kingdom, heavenly; these are of God, spiritual; these are revealers of God’s abounding grace; these are dawning-points of His spiritual bestowals.”

(Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha – Baha’i)


If you missed previous chapters here are the links (which need to be read in order to follow the story line):

Prologue & Epilogue

Chapter 1 – Instincts Rule

Chapter 2 – Love at First Lick

Chapter 3 – Chewsing Heaven

Chapter 4 – Unleashed

“We are truly blessed” I tell my Husband.  He hasn’t peed in the house once.  He has a great appetite and look how cute he is!”  Our little angel adoringly looks up at me  with big brown eyes. My husband is examining the gouged edge of the cover protecting the couch from doggie hair.  “There are no scraps of material anywhere.  Can you believe he swallowed it?.  Maybe we should take him to the vet?”

I look up at my husband trying to appear not the least bit concerned, ” He’s just a bit anxious. OF COURSE he would chew it up.  If you were the one who was rescued an hour before you were to die only to be imprisoned in a horrible enclosure without any companionship and now find yourself in strange surroundings, you would do the same.”  My husband looks at me like I’m nuts. Homer looks at me lovingly, nudging my hand for more petting.  (It’s obvious that human men just don’t get it).

The bigger more pressing issue is doing something about that name.  HOMER!  It’s stressing me out to think he has a name that simply doesn’t fit his personality.  This is my priority right now, NOT an old throw cover.

“Call him Butchie”, suggests my Dad. “That was the name of my first dog.”  “Dad, that has been the name of every dog you have ever had. We’re not calling him Butchie. Look at that sweet little angelic face.  Butchie is for a bulldog.”  My Dad looks at me like I’m nuts.

This is a dog who deserves a proper name that reflects his personality – distinct but cute, short but sweet, unique but memorable, independent but loving – a doggie name?  a human name?

I get a baby book of names.  I read the dictionary of names.  I poll friends, family, colleagues.  I ask strangers on the street what their dog’s name is.  I call out different names to see what he might respond to.  He tilts his head and looks angelically at me with big brown eyes at every name I try.  He’s so cute.

“Take a look at this,” my husband waves the gouged edges of our bed comforter at me.  “There are no scraps of material anywhere.  Can you believe he’s eaten it?”

Just remember that we are so blessed.  He hasn’t peed in the house once.  He has a great appetite and look how cute he is!”  My little angel proceeds to lick my face, my arms my neck in a display of doggie love.

 (Maybe Dad is right. There has been a lot of fabric “butchered” in his first week home.)


Spirituality According to Max, Chapter 4 – Unleashed

“Happiness or sorrow – whatever befalls you, walk on untouched, unattached.” Buddha (563 – 483 BC)

Max, 1998 – 2012

If you missed any parts here are the links:

Prologue & Epilogue

Chapter 1 – Instincts Rule

Chapter 2 – Love at First Lick

Chapter 3 – Chewsing Heaven

The ride home took a needed detour to the pet store.  Dog food – only the best, doggie treats – only the tastiest and a walking halter so as not to hurt his precious neck when in his exuberance he powerfully strains forward on the collar producing rather unsettling choking sounds.  Choking doesn’t seem to bother Homer  in the least (we’ve got to do something about that name) but my uproarious laughter is disappearing in concern that we’ll end up with a dog with brain damage from lack of oxygen due to choking.  I’m no longer worried about the shelter-lady taking him back.  Now I’m worried animal control will jail us for cruelty to animals.

In the pet store, it’s Homer who is now in heaven.  Careening down the aisles, with me in tow, he’s a sniffing snorting, choking blur of dog.  Ah, finally find the halters.  Red, green, black.  I choose blue as it nicely sets off the color of his coat.  Halter size is a bit harder.  The length of his body puts him in the big dog size, his weight and girth put him in medium and his short legs put him in the small dog category. A fitting is required. Bending over to try a halter on for size  he exuberantly licks my face, my neck, my arms, setting me off, once again, into laughing ecstasy.  When the halter comes anywhere near his head he ducks and lurches away surprising me with his determination not to put on anything that isn’t his idea.

“Here’s the plan,” I tell my husband, “I’ll get down on the floor and restrain him while you slip the halter on”.  What sounds like a totally sensible plan turns into a wrestling match with all three of us on the floor.  Bursting into even more laughter, signals Homer we’re here to play.  And now that we’re at his level it’s even more fun for him as he jumps on both of us, over and over and over. and over and over and . . .  it’s a battle to the finish, everyone trying to establish alpha status, on the floor, arms, legs and paws flailing wildly in the middle of the leash and halter aisle.

Homer wins. With our tails between our legs my husband pays for all of Homer’s loot (minus a halter) while I, hanging on for dear life,  zig-zagging, sniffing and choking go back to the car.  Round #2 of the fight for alpha status begins again, as we cram all squirming, lurching and licking 29 pounds of dog into the back seat.

My husband now joins my Dad, “Why did you pick this dog?”.  I throw him a darted look while trying to control Homer from jumping from the back seat into the front to lick me. This dog really loves me.

Stay tuned . . .for More of Max’s Most Marvelous Adventure

Links to all the current chapters (they do need to be read in order to follow the story thread):
Prologue & Epilogue
Chapter 1 – Instincts Rule
Chapter 2 – Love at First Lick
Chapter 3 – Chewsing Heaven
Chapter 4 – Unleashed
Chapter 5 – Our Little Angel
Chapter 6 – Favorite Flavors, Patience & Self Control
Chapter 7 – Love has no Bounds

Spirituality According to Max, Chapter 3 – Heavenly Chewsing

“Jesus said: If your leaders say to you “Look! The Kingdom is in the sky!” Then the birds will be there before you are. If they say that the Kingdom is in the sea, then the fish will be there before you are. Rather, the Kingdom is within you and it is outside of you.” The Gospel of Thomas

Prologue & Epilogue

Chapter 1 – Instinct Rules

Chapter 2 – Love at First Lick

 Next time back I bring my Dad, a dog lover to the max. We are not allowed to take Homer into the play enclosure.  Does this mean another family is getting him?  A family with more money, more education, a better zip code?

More barks and humps. Dad’s not the least bit impressed.

I ask the shelter lady, trying to sound very nonchalant (so she can’t detect any desperation),  if they’ve made a decision about my adopting Homer.

“We’ll CALL to let you know if you’ve been chosen, MIZ Westerfield”.  She’s annoyed.  “Thank you”, I feebly respond,  steeling myself against the pain of ultimate rejection,  “WHY are you picking this dog?” Dad asks, clearly puzzled by my choice.

Ten (do you hear 10!) full days after falling in love I get the call, Homer is mine. I yank my husband into the car and tear down to the shelter before they change their minds.

Homer is, as always, DELIGHTED to see me, licking my hands, my arms, my neck, my face as I bend down to leash him.  I’m half-listening to the shelter lady, “Homer’s very friendly but not quite disciplined on walks.” Homer and I are already half way out the door, neither of us taking any chances that the shelter lady changes her mind. AAAAAAAAAnd Homer’s in the lead,  zig-zagging all over the place at full throttle.  Drowning in delight, I laugh louder and louder  which signals Homer to run faster and faster.

My husband finds us careening all over the front parking lot, both of us with tongues hanging out.

“I asked the shelter volunteer if there was anything else to know about him that would be helpful”, my husband says, as we cram all squirming, lurching and licking 29 pounds of dog into the back seat. “She really hesitated when I asked and said they put a wicker chair in his enclosure to see how he’d respond – he chewed it up”

“OF COURSE he would chew it up, rescued an hour before he was to die only to be imprisoned in that horrible enclosure without any companionship!  I would do the same.”, I snap, while trying to control Homer from jumping from the back seat to the front to lick me. This dog really loves me. I AM IN HEAVEN.

Links to all the current chapters (they do need to be read in order to follow the story thread):
Prologue & Epilogue
Chapter 1 – Instincts Rule
Chapter 2 – Love at First Lick
Chapter 3 – Chewsing Heaven
Chapter 4 – Unleashed
Chapter 5 – Our Little Angel
Chapter 6 – Favorite Flavors, Patience & Self Control
Chapter 7 – Love has no Bounds


Spirituality According to Max, Chapter 2 – Love at First Lick.

“Love is the one means that ensureth true felicity both in this world and the next.”

`Abdu’l-Bahá (Haifa: Bahá’í World Centre, 1982), p. 27.

Max, 1989 -2012

Missed the beginning?  Click here:

Prologue & Epilogue

Chapter 1 – Instincts Rule

I haven’t a clue why I decided he was mine.   I just remember turning around, pointing to his enclosure –  “I want that one.”

“You sure?”  My husband’s a bit stunned.

(Small decisions, like what color to paint the wall, incubate in my mind for a long time.  Whereas, buying my first new car, purchasing a house, picking a dog  – these kind of decisions are generally impetuous, emotional  with no basis in logic or fact.)  

“Yes, That one.”  There was no turning back.

The shelter was closing.  If I wanted to adopt I had to return and take him into the play yard to see IF HE LIKED ME  . . . or not.   IF he responded positively THEN  I could then fill out an application to adopt which they would THEN review.

Now I’m getting nervousWhat if he doesn’t like me? What if the shelter volunteers don’t think I am a fit dog owner?  What if someone better comes along and gets him?

The next day he and I have our first face to face.  Literally.  To enter the  large fenced in play yard there’s a very high steep step.  He has very short legs.  I’m told to lift him up the step.  Eyeball to eyeball , he licks  my face and I laugh in delight.  The more I laugh the more he licks.  This dog LOVES me!

In the play yard it’s a variation of “the pillow or me” –  He runs to the fence, barking at something unseen (at least to me)  that needs to be barked at,  runs back to me, licks whatever part of my body he can reach before dashing back to the fence for more barking.  Back and forth, back and forth, he’s as possessed with barking at the fence as he was humping the pillow. I can’t stop laughing and he can’t stop running back and forth, barking and licking, licking and barking.  I was in love.

Apparently the shelter volunteer decided I passed the “likeably test”.  I was allowed to fill out an application to adopt. Now I’m nervous again. Answering questions like:

  • Do I allow pets to sleep with me?” – if I answer “No” they’ll think I’m not a cuddly person.  “Yes”, I don’t care about hygiene.
  • Are there other pets in the household?  No – he’ll be lonely.  Yes – he won’t  get as much attention as he needs.
  • How many hours a day am I at home?  If I’m always at home I’m not interesting enough person to merit adopting such a wonderful dog –  If I work, he’ll be neglected.   If I don’t work I have no means to support him . . . . .

Suddenly truth doesn’t matter. What matters is figuring out what they are looking for so they won’t give MY dog to someone else. Takes me forever to answer the application.  Finally I go with the truth.  I don’t like myself if I lie.  But the truth is I am more  fearful they’ll make home visits, find I lied and take him away.  My mind was crazed with love.

My heart sinks when they announce my application will be REVIEWED. (This is no “APPLICATION”.  This is a life review for top-level security clearance)    He’s scheduled for neutering at the end of the week.  Nothing will  be decided until then.

Would you tell me a bit about him?”  I ask hesitatingly not wanting them to think I’m nosey.

  • About 10 months old.
  • Picked up by Animal Control roaming the streets in a far away city.
  • No identification.
  • Put in a kill-shelter.
  • Rescued the day before he was to be euthanized.
  • Shelter volunteers  named  him Homer.

HOMER! ! !  Trying to keep a blank expression on my face so as not to upset the shelter volunteer,  my mind races.  (I can’t call him HOMER!  He doesn’t look like a Homer, act like a Homer.  Homer is a loser name.  No Homer I’m aware of has ever made it big, except Homer of the Illiad and the Oddysey – ay yi yi – painful flashbacks to struggling with the classics in college.  Homer isn’t quirky, lively and no respectable Homer would EVER hump a pillow.)

Little did I know then how classic  “Homer” really was.

Coming! Homer and the Wicker chair – the plot thickens

Links to all the current chapters (they do need to be read in order to follow the story thread):
Prologue & Epilogue
Chapter 1 – Instincts Rule
Chapter 2 – Love at First Lick
Chapter 3 – Chewsing Heaven
Chapter 4 – Unleashed
Chapter 5 – Our Little Angel
Chapter 6 – Favorite Flavors, Patience & Self Control
Chapter 7 – Love has no Bounds

Spirituality According to Max, Chapter 1, Our First Meeting – Instinct Rules

“Whatever its [animal]  impulses and proclivities may be it has the liberty to gratify them; yet it is a captive of nature. It cannot deviate in the least degree from the road nature has established.”

Here is the link to the beginning:

Prologue & Epilogue

Instincts Rule

Looking to adopt a small dog, my husband and I went to every kill-shelter in and out of our area. Most dogs were large or super-sized (except those who barked incessantly, growled or snapped as I approached).

Giving in we went to a no-kill shelter.

He’s alone in his own large caged enclosure near the shelter’s entrance. Hard not to notice his unmatched pairs  – stubby short front legs, normal-sized back legs; raked down from back to front.

        Quirky little fellow, I think, bending down to get a better look. He has exactly the same idea running to the front bars to get a look at me. And then quickly running to the back of his pen where there’s a wicker chair and a pillow. I have a fleeting question of why he has a wicker chair in his enclosure. (Remember this wicker chair, the plot will unfold)  The pillow is more obvious as he vigorously humps it before running back to me. Back and forth, back and forth he goes, torn between the curiosity of who I am and the self-sacrificing pillow.

Finding this a bit amusing, a bit unsettling and not a compliment to be on a par with the pillow I move on to look at the other dogs.

Overwhelmed by all the furry creatures with the imploring eyes I have to leave. And on the way out there he is again running back and forth between mere possibility and immediate pleasure.

“The pathway of nature is the pathway of the animal realm. The animal acts in accordance with the requirements of nature,  follows its own instincts and desires. Whatever its impulses and proclivities may be it has the liberty to gratify them; yet it is a captive of nature. It cannot deviate in the least degree from the road nature has established.  It is utterly minus spiritual susceptibilities, ignorant of divine religion and without knowledge of the kingdom of God. The animal possesses no power of ideation or conscious intelligence; it is a captive of the senses and deprived of that which lies beyond them. It is subject to what the eye sees, the ear hears, the nostrils sense, the taste detects and touch reveals.”

MAN AND NATURE  Bahá’í World Faith—Selected Writings of Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá 

Stay tuned for solving the puzzle of the wicker chair . . .

Links to all the current chapters:
Prologue & Epilogue
Chapter 1 – Instincts Rule
Chapter 2 – Love at First Lick
Chapter 3 – Chewsing Heaven
Chapter 4 – Unleashed
Chapter 5 – Our Little Angel
Chapter 6 – Favorite Flavors, Patience & Self Control
Chapter 7 – Love has no Bounds


Max, Prologue & Epilogue

” . . . it is essential that ye show forth the utmost consideration to the animal, and that ye be even kinder to him than to your fellow man. 

Max, 1968 – 2012

I mourn the passing from my life of this incredible lively, quirky and wonderful spirit.  Max was a love – stubborn, incredibly stubborn, but a love.

December 2012,  he would have been 14 years old.  He was about 10 months old when he adopted us 1998. In his last week in both appearance and behaviour he wasn’t “Max”.

Before our eyes Max lost his hair, his pep, energy, stubbornness and his bearings.  He stopped greeting us at the door, giving hundreds of loving licks, he became completely disoriented, standing in space, starring at some unknowable sight, unable to move forward, backward or lie down.  Max’s body was here, his spirit was lost.  

We knew without question it was time,  on November 26, 2012,  to release him

I have turned even more to the Baha’i spiritual teachings and prayer to stay as graceful and loving as possible through my tears  and  rely on Max’s spirit to help me keep perspective.

I began writing this series of remembrances days before we euthanized him, unconsciously knowing he had not many days to live here on earth.   I want to share a bit of Max and my journey  together.  If you choose to accompany us on this spiritual path Max & I will be honored.



“It is not only their fellow human beings that the beloved of God must treat with mercy and compassion, rather must they show forth the utmost loving-kindness to every living creature. For in all physical respects, and where the animal spirit is concerned, the selfsame feelings are shared by animal and man The feelings are one and the same, whether ye inflict pain on man or on beast. There is no difference here whatever. And indeed ye do worse to harm an animal, for man hath a language, he can lodge a complaint, he can cry out and moan; if injured he can have recourse to the authorities and these will protect him from his aggressor. But the hapless beast is mute, able neither to express its hurt nor take its case to the authorities … Therefore it is essential that ye show forth the utmost consideration to the animal, and that ye be even kinder to him than to your fellow man. Train your children from their earliest days to be infinitely tender and loving to animals. If an animal be sick, let them try to heal it, if it be hungry, let them feed it, if thirsty, let them quench its thirst, if weary, let them see that it rests.” 

Bahá’í World Faith—Selected Writings of Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá 

Next, Chapter 1 – 

How Max picked me for adoption


Hair Today Gone Tomorrow, by Max

Hair Today Gone Tomorrow

by Max

There once was a dog named Max
who lost all his facial hair
he claims it was meds
that took the hair from his heads
and swears he never bought “Nair”

Me, well-groomed and handsome

Dear All My Best FANS & Friends,

Now that all* of you are asking why my picture hasn’t appeared with my Haiku, telling me you miss me (in addition, to the accolades I receive for my innate ability to wax poetic) I am coming “clean”, so to speak.

As you know, well maybe you don’t know, but now you will know, my doctor has put me on heart medication and a diuretic because I have a heart murmur.  

I suspect I caught my heart problem  from my Human, who as you know, well maybe you don’t know, but she’s talked about it enough so you should know  (don’t tell her I said that) she has heart problems. She and I are in close contact because she craves touch and attention (don’t tell her I said that) that it wouldn’t surprise me.

Well, I started taking the medication and my Human began to notice there were clumps of my beautiful hair all over the house.  She is not very fastidious (don’t tell her I said that).  And then, lo and behold, she looked at me one day and noticed that all my beautiful locks were no longer on my head, which of course had been all over the floor for days. In addition to not being very fastidious, she’s obviously not very observant (don’t tell her I said that).

So now, instead of all those girly words like adorable, cute, fluffy and precious I am now manly, handsome and well groomed.



P.S.  Please notice my beautiful big brown eyes are now the center of my handsomeness.

*Lexi-Pro & Laurie F, Hibernationnow

Sleeping on the Job

  1. Max’s cough is a bit better today.  No longer honking loudly like a goose and not as frequent.  He’s still not feeling very peppy and his stubbornness (don’t tell him I told you) is stronger than normal.
  2. After little sleep for the past four nights I am a bit more stubborn than usual too.
  3. Based on the study below I must make a DISCLAIMER:

To every client who saw me this week

I cannot be held accountable for anything I said as unbeknownst to me, my brain may have been asleep

even though we both thought I was awake.

by Christine Dell’Amore
National Geographic News
Published April 27, 2011

If you think you can function on minimal sleep, here’s a wake-up call: Parts of your brain may doze off even if you’re totally awake, according to a new study in rats.

Scientists observed the electrical activity of brains in rats forced to stay up longer than usual. Problem-solving brain regions fell into a kind of “local sleep”—a condition likely in sleep-deprived humans too, the study authors say.

Surprisingly, when sections of the rats’ brains entered these sleep like states, “you couldn’t tell that [the rats] are in any way in a different state of wakefulness,” said study co-author Giulio Tononi, a neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Despite these periods of local sleep, overall brain activity—and the rats’ behaviors—suggested the animals were fully awake.

This phenomenon of local sleep is “not just an interesting observation of unknown significance,” Tononi said. It “actually affects behavior—you make a mistake.”

For example, when the scientists had the rats perform a challenging task—using their paws to reach sugar pellets—the sleep-deprived animals had trouble completing it.

Sleep Allows Neurons to Reset?

Tononi and colleagues recorded the electrical activity of lab rats via electroencephalogram (EEG) sensors connected to the rodents’ heads.
As predicted, when the rats were awake, their neurons—nerve cells that collect and transmit signals in the brain—fired frequently and irregularly.

When the animals slept, their neurons fired less often, usually in a regular up-and-down pattern that manifests on the EEG as a “slow wave.” Called non-rapid eye movement, this sleep stage accounts for about 80 percent of all sleep in both rats and people.

The researchers used toys to distract the rats into staying awake for a few hours—normally “rats take lots of siestas,” Tononi noted.

The team discovered that neurons in two sections of these overtired rats’ cerebral cortexes entered a slow-wave stage that is essentially sleep.

Why Do We Sleep?

It’s unknown why parts of an awake brain nod off, though it may have something to do with why mammals sleep—still an open question, said Tononi, whose study appears tomorrow in the journal Nature. (Read about mysteries of why we sleep in National Geographic magazine.)

According to one leading theory, since neurons are constantly “recording” new information, at some point the neurons need to “turn off” in order to reset themselves and prepare to learn again.

“If this hypothesis is correct, that means that at some point [if you’re putting off sleep] you’re beginning to overwhelm your neurons—you are reaching the limit of how much input they can get.”

So the neurons “take the rest, even if they shouldn’t”—and there’s a price to pay in terms of making “stupid” errors, he said.

“Even if you may feel that you’re fit and fine and are holding up well,” he said, “some parts of your brain may not [be] … and those are the ones that make judgments and decisions.”

STUBBORN! Humph, that’s putting it mildly.

Heart Matters

Dear All My Best Friends,

I don’t have kennel cough.   My cough, it seems, is heart related.  Went to my Vet today and he gave me heart medication and said my coughing should be better in about 3 days.   My humans are a bit upset. I just hope that they don’t get my heart medication mixed up with theirs.

Lickingly LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL yours, (I’m not contagious!)


Cough it up

Dear All my best friends,

My Human is too tired to write a post tonight.  She stayed up with me all last night because I have a terrible cough.  She tried to sleep next to me on the floor but ended on the couch.  I sleep on the floor all the time so I don’t know what the big deal is with you humans needing all these cushy beds.

Me, sleeping on the floor

Me, sleeping on the floor

I only sleep on the bed so my Humans don’t think that I’m snobby and reject their lifestyle.  Humans are very sensitive.

Now I have to swallow these horse-pills before I get to eat.  I wonder if they give horses dog-pills?

Lickingly yours,




Max snapped at me.  Max is a weeeeeeeee bit stubborn. (He calls it determined being an attribute of both the terrier and hound that he is).  When he doesn’t want to do something he DOESN’T do it – even for cookie treats.  He also has a sensitive area on his spine.  I needed him to go to the other room and he needed to stay where he was.  When I tried to pick him up, after many an authoritative “command”, he snapped at me.  It was a “LEAVE-ME-ALONE, I-hurt”-snap as no skin contact was made.

It scared me (as it was meant to do). I forgave him for snapping at me.  I knew this was about him and his limitations to communicate and not about not loving me.  Max cannot exceed his capabilities anymore than you or I can exceed ours.

However, I’m not going to FORGET his “snapping” and will heed his warnings earlier.

Whatever she said, I’m Innocent

I am often asked by clients “How can I ever forgive  my family who inflicted horrible harm on me when I can never forget it”?  Forgiving and forgetting are two separate things.

We should never forget something/someone who has hurt us.  That’s a basic principle of survival. If it’s harmful remember it and avoid it.  BUT do NOT let other’s limitations define who we are. (I’m a loving human, not a dog abuser – Max knows as he regularly forgives me my limitations)

Forgiveness is the realization that those who have harmed us are limited by their capabilities.  Their harmful actions arise from their capabilities, who they are, not who we are.  

  • Forgiving is a mental decision which relieves us of emotional pain, anger, hurt etc.
  • Not forgiving is based on the belief that others are capable of different/better behavior than how they actually behave.

If I can’t forgive Max then I am assuming he was capable at that time of making a better choice and deliberately chose what I perceive as harmful.

If people truly are capable and choose the harmful response that is at best mean and at worst evil:  Most people are not evil; Most are not capable; Most are just immersed in themselves (in ego) and are incapable of taking another’s point of view.

When people’s limited capabilities create painful actions we can forgive them for being limited human beings. We just don’t forget.

 What do you think is unforgivable?

And take a look at:

Maureen’s post on Forgiveness quotes.


Sing a Song of Inspiration

Everyone knows that EXpirations – like sneezes – spread germs.  

Here’s an example of how INspirations are contagious.

Max and I just got back from our morning prayer walk.  I was singing to God while Max, well, Max was sniffing to the max.

A huge raven swooped by, landing just ahead on a light post.  It was sleek, shiny black and started calling loudly for other ravens to join him.  I wondered if that raven was the patriarch or just some young whippersnapper with a rousing call to action.

  • I wondered how you tell the age of a bird.  No tell-tail  (sorry couldn’t resist) age spots or wrinkles.
  • My mind flashed on a brilliant comment about God that Ramesh Sood had made – something about wrinkles – which I couldn’t precisely remember but I remember thinking, “How brilliant” at the time I read it.
  • When we got home I was inspired to re-read his comment and poem.
  • Ramesh was inspired to spontaneously write his poem in response to the post I wrote How to Appear Younger than You Are.
  • I was inspired to write that How to Appear Younger than You Are by that darling baby boy who came to visit me at my office.
  • And the baby was inspired by EVERYTHING!
“What an inspiring post this… yes, I have often prayed..May God never let my thoughts get wrinkled…May I continue to exude youthful energy and exuberance…And Judy, if one has to go by Photos on your page here..you don’t look 67..touch wood…let me try:”

A song waits to be written
And to be Sung
It’s so happy and joyous
To always stay young

Doesn’t matter if body belies
Let mind think fresh thoughts
Let heart with happier ones clung

 A song waits to be written
And to be sung

Be cheery always, have fun
Talk to Moon, stars and flowers
Taste the rising sun on your tongue
A song that waited to be written
I know you have just sung

Hey, stay happy and stay young..

“Judy this song didn’t exist just ten minutes back.. . . .that’s the power of inspiration.” Ramesh Sood, (author of Elephant & Ant, coming soon to a computer near you).  A Little More Than Ordinary.. 

INhale deeply where ever you are today.

I hope you catch an INspiration!

7 Things You Don’t Know About Me

Dear All My Best Friends.

My best friend Phylor and My best friend Wendy have both nominated CreativitytotheMAX for some kinda award.  To accept the award I have to divulge 7 things that all my best friends don’t know about me. You might be shocked so please sit down, but not on the toilet. I don’t want you to slip and I don’t want to be responsible for more humiliating behavior than I already have to endure.

7 (or 8) Things You Don’t Know About Me
by Max
1. I am a dog
2. I often pretend I’m asleep so humans will leave me alone.  They constantly engage in scratching and stroking and petting behaviors because humans have an insatiable need for love.
3. Everyone thinks it’s cute when I howl when humans sing but the reality is their voices hurt my ears and I’ll do anything to drown out their din.
4. I prefer to eat with chopsticks but all we have in the house are knives and forks.
5. I will drink water although I prefer beer.
6.  I prefer to pee in a toilet but because I’m so short I have to sit down and when I jump up the rim is very slippery and I don’t want to get wet so I have to resort to “going” outside in public and it is humiliating even though I cover my humiliation and no one suspects.
7.  My humans are not my real parents.
8.  I follow my humans into the bathroom because I am  afraid they will slip on the rim, get wet and they will have to pee outside and then I will REALLY be humiliated.

Wendy, Phylor, That’s 8.  Does that mean I have to nominate 8?  If so please ignore #1 as the rest are all universally experienced.

I nominate a few of My Best Friends:

Rosemary, Seeking Equilibrium

, Painandspirituality

Miss Creative , Chronicallycreative

Whyteferrets Blog, Ferretrunner

Ramesh Sood, A little More than Ordinary



P.S.  Wendy & Phylor, Thank you for my award (Dog cookies would be better but I gotta take what I’m given.  Cuz it’s a Dog’s Life)

P.P.S.  My Human had her eyeball lasered this evening and insisted I post because she said she needed to convalesce.  She’s just fine but such a drama queen. (don’t tell her I said that)

Howl-a-long with Max, 12 Days of Christmas-The first 6 Days

Can’t carry a tune?

It’s a Howl-a-Long  to croon

You’ll be smiling soon.

On the first day of Christmas my human made a flub
A baaaaath in the tub
On the second day of Christmas my human made it up.
2 tummy rubs
TO’OO tummy rubs and A baaa’ath in the tub
On the third day of Christmas my human gave to me
3 head scratches 
Thrrre’eee head scratches, 2 tummy rubs and A baaaa’ath in the tub
On the fourth day of Christmas my human gave to me
4 warm snuggles 
Fo’ore snuggles in bed, 3 scratches on my head, 2 tummy rubs and A baaa’ath in the tub
On the fifth day of Christmas my human gave to me
5 fetch the balls
Fi’ive  fetch the balls , 4 snuggles in bed, 3 scratches on my head, 2 tummy rubs and A baaa’ath in the tub
On the sixth day of Christmas my human gave to me
6 “Go’od boys”
Si’ix “Go’od boys”, 5 fetch the balls , 4 snuggles in bed, 3 scratches on my head, 2 tummy rubs and A baaa’ath in the tub

I’ll howl you the last 6 days later.  All this howling makes me thirsty.



Sing-a-Long, Let it snow, with Max

Dear All my best friends,
This is my annual “Snow Song”.  I post it every year because I want all my NEW FANS to have a sing-a-long and my OLD Fans are so old they don’t remember it from the previous year anyway.  

It’s snowing in WordPress land! If you look closely you can see the flakes on your screen. (That is NOT a reference to all my fans who take the time to leave comments)

My Snow Song, by Max
(With apologies to lyricist Sammy Cahn and composer Jule Styne).

Oh the WordPress app is delightful
But the tech info is frightful
And since I’ve no place to go
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
It doesn’t show signs of stopping
Because WordPress is popping
The apps are turned way down low
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
Please come back to see me soon
I’d hate loosing you for the tune!
For as long as you love me so
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!


P.S. You might have to wait for a moment for the snowfall. If you move your cursor the flakes follow!

How cool is that!

Maxaiku: Variations on an “Urn”

For flowers it’s great

or ashes to remember

Don’t yearn for an urn

Of all God’s creatures

I don’t need no urn-in-al

just a patch of ground




My Best Friend Nanka

I prefer prompts down to earth

Next time please choose “grass”

Lickingly yours, LLLLLLLLLLLLLL


Maxaiku by MAX – Mystery Prompt

Mysterious Max
Dog of a thousand faces
Who will he be next?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Dear My Best Friends,

If you’re new to my blog CreativitytotheMAX here’s a little bit of history to my career as a PoetDogeate and an explanation from My Best Friend Leo at Haiku Heights http://haiku-heights.blogspot.com who has a “LinkyLink Haiku Challenge” every Saturday for all you who want to be a poet like me. (He doesn’t call it “Linky Link” but I embellished a bit since it is reminiscent of how I sign off)

  • Some of my readers, and new writers at Haiku Heights http://haiku-heights.blogspot.com had asked me how to write a proper Haiku.
  • Haiku is Japanese poetry form that has three meaningful lines which are complete and reflecting nature. (Hey Leo, I’m as natural as they get, no clothes, no guile, no prejudice)
  • Haiku have syllabic limitations as well. A traditional one has eleven or seventeen syllables, in a strict 3-5-3 or 5-7-5 format.
  • This week’s prompt is MYSTERY!!!!  http://haiku-heights.blogspot.com

5 syllables —  Try it! Click on link

7 syllables — YOU can write a Haiku too

5 syllables — I will bet on you!

5 syllables — No need to rhyme it

7 syllables — YOU can count on your fingers

5 syllables —   Easier than paws

Lickingly yours, LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL (Get it?  “Linky Link”, Licky Lick !)


P.S.  Here’s some of my other masterful Maxaiku posts should you be enough of a scholar to appreciate this ancient Japanese form of CREATIVITY TO THE 



There are just too many others to choose from so type in haiku Max in the search box and you’ll see how prolific a poet I am.  Here’s one of my favorites:

Flawed Fleas by MAX

Lick their little lips

When taking a bite of me

Flawed and hungry fleas

A personal interview with THE MAX

My New Best Friend Wendy http://createtoheal.blogspot.com/2011/10/interviewing-me.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CreateToHeal+%28Create+To+Heal%29guesssent  sent me her interview that she got from http://butterscape.blogspot.com/2011/10/my-precious.html

Here’s MY interview.  You can do yours too.

1. what is your name and stuff? and any other good information.

My name is Max.  I’m penniless, flawless and flealess.  I own two Humans.  I would like a pet cat,

2. what is super hot about you? <— don’t you Dare skip this one. answer it.
My hair.  In the summer it falls out in clumps so I can be cool.

3. don’t lie or cheat: what is under your couch right now?
I have several couches and chairs and a bed or two.  Underneath all of them is dust and clumps of my super hot hair.  My Human is not what you’d call “fastidious”.

4. when was the last time you shaved your legs?
I never shave my legs.   I chew or lick them.

5. what did you have for breakfast?

Chicken, REAL chicken and lamb (fake lamb – it’s called Science diet- which I don’t get cuz I’m not overweight.)  I eat this for breakfast AND dinner every day —- borrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrring.

6. if you could choose a new name, what would you name yourself?

 MaxYES !

7. have you ever had plastic surgery?
I’ve eaten a lot of plastic in my day, but never plastic surgery.  Are you sure you don’t mean PLASTIC SUGARY?

8. are you afraid of the dark?
I can see in the dark.  And what I see I can’t repeat in a public blog.

9. are you a hermit?
Wendy or someone checked Wikipedia:
“In modern colloquial usage, the term “hermit” is sometimes used for anyone living a life apart from the rest of society, or who simply does not participate in social events as much as is common, regardless of their motivation in doing so.”

I do live life apart from the mundane masses.  I would participant in many more social events but I’m not allowed to drive.

10. why do you blog?
Because I have loyal fans who adore me.

The End.

 Read Amy’s blog and be  interviewed:


Read Wendy’s blog: 


Maxaiku by Max – charm

Me charming

Can’t help if I charm

It’s my personality

Comes naturally

Me contemplating

To get what I want

I give lots of licks to please

Sends them to their knees

Me napping

Treats and sleeps and walks

It is said it’s a dog’s life

Pretty true I’d say

Me eating

Maxaiku – Love Licks

Dear all my best friends,

WHY ALL THE Haikus some of you ask?   I insisted that my Human post my poetry.  It’s my metier.  And I love Leo’s Haiku-Heights challenges.

I’m allowing my Human to post her usual bits and pieces of life, love, weird, wacky creative expressions.

For My BEST FRIENDS who are not appreciative of poetry my Maxaiku posts will be clearly labeled and you can skip  my cultural leanings.  Of course knowing MY FANS you will be delighted by my erudition.  (I’m practicing my vocabulary to stimulate my Muse)

Here’s a Haiku ( 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables)  by my Human (I  let her go first as reward for letting me wax poetic for you)

Flourishing flower

bathed by sun rays, rain shower

wind and star power

Love Licks by The MAX

I brim with pure love

with bravado and flourish

shower you with licks

Welcome to Day 5 of The Height of Haiku Challenge, where your challenge is to write 30 haiku in 30 days, with the themes given here. The prompt today and #63 overall is FLOURISH suggested by Amity.

Ghostly Confession

Here’s my confession
The Max has a ghost writer
Because he can’t type

“I’m Casper the ghost
Give me lots of doggie treats
I’ll ghost write for you”
Quite good with the word
He’s as friendly as can be
 not as much as me!
LLLLLLL Lickingly yours,
The Max

Haiku prompt is CONFESSION.  Thank YOU! Fiducia.


Stoooooooopid is as Stooopid Does

GeeeeeeZ, you’d think my Human would learn: She taught the 4-day Interactive Imagery Intensive; Came home Sunday evening; Monday, Got up at 5 am and walked (WITHOUT ME!) for 45 minutes then saw 4 clients;  She did the same thing all over again today – got up at 5 am, walked WITHOUT ME! for 45 minutes then saw 6 clients; She came home and insisted we take a nap.  I humored her, thinking we could walk together later.   WRONG!  She says she’s still too tired . . .

I pointed out to her this post she wrote LAST YEAR:

Personal: Fog, written in the Stars!

1 Oct 2010

My Horoscope for today: Aquarius, By Rick Levine
“You may be overly confident now in your abilities to make everything work out just fine. But your unrealistic optimism can be exhausting, especially if you have to deliver all the goods that you previously promised. Be as objective as possible today when making plans for your future, for working too hard can take all the fun out of the rest of the year.”

I just returned from teaching a 4 day intensive Interactive Guided Imagery Workshop for The Academy for Guided Imagery (AGI) http://www.academyforguidedimagery.com/ .  9 am to 6 pm every day.  I had a great time.  I love to teach and meeting new people that I learn from.  So I returned back home on a high thinking I was back in the same great form as when I first started teaching for AGI in the late 1980′s.  I hit the ground running seeing clients the first two days back.

Delusional! When will I ever learn that I have fibromyalgia and have to pace myself . . .Today I crashed.. .sat around in a hazy exhausted fog.  No matter that I’ve had fibro since 1996. No matter how old I am. No matter my physical condition or situation. Inside, I experience “me” as young and vital

After all these many years why do I  continue to be surprised when my body doesn’t respond the way I perceive myself?

Any thoughts?  (Is that just an Aquarian trait?)

Me, looking askance

2011 – Any thoughts? (Is that just a STOOOOOOOPED trait?)



Pet Poets’ Prompts – Carry on Tuesday & Haiku Heights

Brown dog in the lake
Pushes the sky with his paws
The clouds float away

Haiku by Stephanie Lemieux


“Each week Carry On Tuesday (http://carryontuesdayprompt.blogspot.com/)  will publish either a famous quotation or a line from a book, song or poem and invite you to Carry On where words stop. You may use some of the words or all of them either at the start of your piece or within the body of your work.”http://beccagivens.wordpress.com/2011/07/05/my-candle-burns-at-both-ends/

“My candle burns at both ends”

I crave the taste

of human food my humans tend

I drool as I savor

the tasty flavor

then it’s out the other end.

by Max

Keeshonds are pretty
I don’t allow fleas on me
They are not allowed

Love Tootsie



http://haiku-heights.blogspot.com – which gives out word prompts for haikus.

Here’s Max’s Haiku at the new haiku prompt “INFATUATION”


No one can resist my kiss

Bragging, wagging Max

Helping my Human catch up with replies

As you’ve figured out by now my human Judy has been tooo pooooped tooooo pop.  She kept falling asleep ON the computer — not a pretty sight.  I offered her a rug that I don’t use – I prefer the couch or the bed.  

I think it rather rude of her not to respond to all your comments so I’m helping her catch up. I put the best comment first so you wouldn’t miss it.

just saw Max’s comment!! This is why I love, love, LOVE Max!!!!!!!!

Dear My Best FRIEND ROSE,  I think you are a woman of discriminating taste.  And I LOVE you!

You’ve probably heard all the suggestions, including neti pot; elimination diets (google low histamine diet — it’s kinda interesting, very european, and takes a slightly different approach and if you were allergic, might be a good thing).
As strange as this may sound, maybe you need a sleep study? Usually, it’s to see if folks are getting REM sleep, deep sleep, etc. But, maybe being hooked up to monitors might show if there is something physiological going on. How long do you have to be lying down before it happens? Will it happen if you lay down for a nap? Something is triggering your sinus to let go; mine drips all the time; just can be worse when I’m lying down.
I find a good cry cleans out my sinuses; don’t recommend it, but if you need a good cry, there might be some medicinal effects. (as opposed to a bad cry, lol)
PS: haven’t forgotten to collage/poem; been trying to get so much done that I haven’t had time for “fun.” Actually plan on two collages for you; one using your great method; and one of my own devising.

Dear my best friend Phylor

My Human needs more than a sleep study.  She needs to have her head examined!  She had 2 sleep studies.  Those were a joke cuz she didn’t sleep!  You are My Good friend but please don’t tell her to cry because she’s a big enough cry baby as it is.  I’m no cry baby,  I’ve never cried in my entire life.  She needs to learn how to suck it up and be a dog.

Who is singing the song on the hummingbird video?  https://judithwesterfield.wordpress.com/2011/02/23/all-gods-creatures-rescue-of-a-baby-hummingbird/
Dear my New Best Friend Julie,

I double checked but there was no credit for the singer or the song.  Maybe someone will recognize the singer and tell us?


I think there’s a little part of us that is a tad superstitious and we don’t like to take the chance! I agree with you though…….I hate forwarding threats………it’s creepy!!!
Dear my best friend Rose,

Humans are REALLY WEIRD.  I’ve never had a superstitious day in my life.  Human’s should be dogs.

Wish there were a magic trick … but alas, I do not know of one … so instead I am sending you healing energies to get you through this! I am glad to hear you are not allergic to Max … :-) but I am sure, not as much as he is! Happy Sunday and here’s to a better week ahead!!

Dear my Best FRiend Becca,

You are right on!  If my human were allergic to me I’d have to turn her in for a new human.  


hey, the year plus age works: 111 (if I added correctly, and since I transpose numbers, this could be incorrect). Does this mean I will find 111 pennies or dollars or 100 dollar or 1000 dollar bills? Will the loot come by email? Not sure the CD slot in my laptop is big enough for large bills to shoot out of.
Hey Max: maybe you should forward the email with your human isn’t looking; the money that comes in might pay for my vacation with you in sunny CA. I have relatives in Tustin, CA who might even let me stay in their guest room (or their bath pavilion with the big screen tv — they’re rich — bet they forwarded all the emails they got! {LOL})

Dear my Best Friend Lorraine,

Tustin is very close to where I live.  When you come please bring doggie treats.  We can go for a walk. And your rich relatives can bring me RICH doggie treats.  As soon as you get your loot buy doggie treats and a ticket to California.  I’ll send my Human to the airport to pick you up.  

Grandma-for-a day . . . is pooped

Spent Sunday with Dylen.  He’s 5.  Pardon me, he’s 5 1/2.   I learned a lot:

  1. How to focus on being in the present moment by playing computer games for hours on end, remaining engaged.
  2. How to look at Max in a completely different way.

  1. Turkey sandwiches can be eaten dry because nothing else tastes good.
  2. Max can consume more than his weight in doggie treats.
  3. I’m waaaaaaaaaaay older than 5 1/2.

I love to post the pictures that Dylen took of himself but I don’t have his parent’s permission.

Dylen is fluent in Spanish and English, smart, friendly and totally at ease with himself.  I’ve got more to learn (after I take another nap).

P.S.  For those of you who are suspecting that Dylen might be a dog: Dylen is a real human 5/1/2 year old little boy.  Max liked him a lot because Dylen had fun giving Max treats.


Weight Gain Bedtime Story

by Max
Don’t stay up too late
Get up out of bed early
You won’t be burly.
My Human is always complaining that she can’t lose weight.  So I brought her a study about people who stayed up late (I have to stay up late to make sure I get my treats) ate more calories later at night (every night she eats and eats) than the humans who went to bed early.  My Human’s  a night owl and they also tended to be heavier. I told her humans with later bedtimes choose food that isn’t good – they ate twice the junk food as the early-to-bed humans and ate half the fruits and vegetables.  (Half!  She’s lucky if she eats 1/4th)

I made her read this: “Researchers think that a late sleep-wake cycle may encourage the packing on of pounds because it throws the body out of its natural circadian rhythm of sleeping at night and eating during the day, when bodies are more active. Doing the opposite — eating at night and sleeping more during the day — may boost weight gain by altering appetite, eating behavior, and metabolism”

NOW she won’t give me cookie treats at night so I “won’t get fat and live a long life”.  I say, if I can’t have cookie treats what’s the sense of living?  She agreed.

New Poem

by Max

Late to Bed, Late to Rise
Eating cookies is wise.
Makes  Me Heavy and Happy,
No surprise.

The Second Best Husband in the World, inching up.

New Paint Waiting for a Home

Progress on converting the “den” area into MY NEW STUDIO!

Pile of shelving getting smaller

Storage Cabinets: One down, two to go!

bookcase moved to new wall


M = Max’s Most Excellent Adventure

It’s M for MAX

(You thought there would be anything other than M=Max!!!!????)

My Human made me edit out 26 minutes of my walk.

If you’re not in good enough shape to take the 14 min walk with me, you can take a short-cut to the end where I get scratched on the “end” and my credits roll.

We’re Baaaaaaaaaaaaaack on-Line!


Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you respond to it”.
Unknown author.
My Human is D=Discombobolated.  She’s not sure if today is J, K or L.  in the Blogging Challenge, A – Z . So I picked “L“.

I LOVE to LICK anything I LIKE
I LIKE to LICK everyone I LOVE.
and I LOVE ALL OF YOU cuz you LOVE me Too!

I Ain’t No Fool Day, Commentary by Max

Dear ALL My Best Friends,

You human’s have no shame and warped senses of humor.   We’d be fed up with you if we weren’t fed by you.

On April 1st for “fun” you play terrible jokes on each other, too terrible to mention.


On the other paw, We understand that you have many limitations (as evidenced by the fact that you are not easily trainable) and do the best you can.

Ozzy & Duffy

I propose that April 1st from here on be declared


I Ain’t No Fool Day.

Here are the 3 rules for I Ain’t No Fool Day

  1. Only Humane acts of loving-kindness are allowed. NOTHING CRUEL or MISLEADING.
  2. You are to spread love.  If you aren’t sure how to do this anymore watch us.
  3. You are to be grateful that we know how to give and receive love (and continually model it for you hoping you will catch on) by rewarding us profusely with our favorite treats.
  1. Lily


Mr H



The Max

P.S.  We’re waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaiting for #3

10,500 – I’m FAMOUS!

Me, Singing with Glee

Happy ten thousand fiiiiiiiiiive hunnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnndred tooooooooo meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Happy ten thousand five hunnnnnnnnndred tooooooooooooooooo meeeeeeeeeeee

Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaapppppppy ten thouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuusand fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive hundrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrred

Deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa’aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAX

Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaapy teeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen thousand fiiiiiiiiiiiiiive hundred tooooooooooooooo


10,500 people have seen me, read my articles, told their friends about me, can’t wait to find out what I have to say every day, think I’m cool, think I”m smart, think I’m cute, love me.

I have proof.

You’re reading this NOW!



No One Can Tell Me that I’m Doing Wrong Today

“Whenever I see your smiling face
I have to smile myself
Because I love you (Yes, I do)
And when you give me that pretty little pout
It turns me inside out
There’s something about you, baby (I don’t know)

No one can tell me that I’m doing wrong today
Whenever I see you smile at me
No one can tell me that I’m doing wrong today
Whenever I see your smiling face my way
No one can tell me that I’m doing wrong today
No one can tell me that I’m doing wrong today”

James Taylor

MeMeTastic Award! Will the REAL Me Please Stand Up?

And now the Truth about ME! If you are just tuning in and missed the first episode of I’m Fantastic.  It’s All About MemeTastic Award

click here


When I was growing up there was a TV show called “To Tell the Truth”.

Celebrity panelists questioned  three contestants who all claimed to be the same person  (The real person usually had a VERY interesting background).  The two impostors were allowed to lie but the real person was sworn “to tell the truth”. After questioning, the panel attempted to identify which of the three was telling the truth. . .

To Tell The Truth show Logo

At the end of the show the host would ask

“Would the Real (Judith Westerfield) Please Stand up”?

TA DA!!  Here’s the truth, the whole truth and nothing but

THE Unadulterated TRUTH!

1. When I turned 21 my Mother told me that I  was adopted and that my bio Mother was a famous Movie star who had me out of wed-lock and wasn’t allowed to keep me because she would not be able to get roles if the public knew she had a child.  My mother helped me blackmail my bio-movie-star mother for a lot of money.  We used the money wisely, buying a new house, new cars, new wardrobe, vacation cottage on the shore, 3 trips abroad, tummy tucks, and war bonds.  To this day I do not have to work – I work by choice – because I have enough money to live lavishly for the rest of my life.  My bio mother is so grateful that I never, to THIS day, divulged who she is that she now voluntarily supports me.  I am very grateful she gave me away.

My mother who raised me would never admit that I was adopted no matter how many times I asked.  So there was a lost opportunity to live lavishly for the rest of my life.  And to this day I have to work for a living.  My Mother, obviously, is to blame.

2.  I graduated Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature.  I turned down a full scholarship to attend Yale as a Masters/Ph.D. candidate in Medieval Literature because I was young and stupid.  Now I’m old and stupid because I would do the same thing again because I find Chaucer boring and it snows in Connecticut. I have always regretted that I didn’t follow in my bio-Movie-Star Mother’s footsteps and study drama instead of English Literature so I could be a movie star. I could have been Meryl Streep.

I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Berkeley.  I never picked up my




transcript, afraid to see my grade point average. I was young and thought I was stupid so it never occurred to me to go to an Ivy League School, much less apply for scholarship.  Now that I’m old and smarter I realize that I wasn’t as stupid as I thought I was.  It IS true that not only did I find Chaucer boring, I found the language incomprehensible and barely passed the course.  Since my Mother wouldn’t admit that I was adopted I never had the chance to be Meryl Streep.  My Mother, obviously, was to blame.

3.  Following in my bio-Movie Star-Mother’s footsteps and 3-upping her, I have 3 illegitimate children who are now very famous.  I gave them away so they would have a better life than I could provide as a single, promiscuous mother.  My first child is a famous movie star who looks just like me and my bio-Movie Star Mother.  My second child is a famous opera singer who sings like a bird, just like me.  My third child is a famous physicist who thinks just like me.  They are very grateful I gave them away.

Buddy Ebsen

Since my Mother wouldn’t admit I was adopted I thankfully did not have to 3-up anyone and have illegitimate children.  I do look like a movie star – Buddy Ebsen.  I do sing like a bird – Crow and I like to read about string theory and quantum mechanics even tho I can’t understand it.  This is all inherited from my Father who has been blameless until now.

4.  Max is not my dog. Originally He was a fictitious marketing strategy. I borrowed him from our next door neighbor to take pictures of him when people  began to believe he was real.  I do not have any pets because I do not like to clean up their poop.   Max’s real name is Homer and not only is he illegitimate, he is illiterate.  All of the posts and comments from “Max” are written by a ghost writer named Rover.  I am ashamed to admit this but am also relieved that the truth is finally out.  And my neighbor can no longer blackmail me to support her with the money I get from my bio-movie-star Mother.

I am Max’s human.  He originally adopted me as a way to get credibility since he was under age when he began his career.  Neither of us are borrowed.  Neither of us like to clean up poop but Max is smarter than I am, and probably could get into Yale, since I pick up his poop while he watches.  I am ashamed to admit that ALL of my posts are written by Rover but am relieved that the truth is finally out.  Max writes his own, refusing input or editing from anyone, including Rover.

5. My bio-Movie-Star Mother set me up in show business in college hoping I wouldn’t blackmail her.  I started out as a go-go dancer and got gigs dancing GO-Go with the Grateful Dead, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Moby Grape and at the first “Trips Festival” (produced by the famous Bill Graham) at the wharf in San Francisco.  There were three of us Go-Goers and we called ourselves Go-Go Unlimited. We advertised in a San Francisco paper and couldn’t figure out why we kept getting calls from men who wanted us to dance in their hotel rooms.  We decided to turn down the hotel room gigs because we wanted larger venues. We made $50 an hour each which was a lot of money in the 60’s.  I regret to this day that I didn’t continue dancing because I would be a lot thinner and in much better shape than I am now.

I was a Go-Go dancer in college.  It was my room-mate’s idea since I didn’t know how to dance. We did get many calls from men with strange foreign accents who wanted us to “dance” in their hotel rooms.  It took us awhile to figure out that Go-Go Unlimited could be interpreted in several ways before we stopped advertising in the paper.
Having to put myself through school I figured I could gyrate at fraternity parties, where everyone was drunk anyway, long enough to collect my $50/hour. This was a LOT more than the money I made during daylight hours in a work-study program. We danced with bands who later became big names in the music industry. The bands also started their careers at drunken fraternity parties.  I absolutely regret that I’m not thinner and in better shape. This post is true and I am sure it must be my Mother’s fault.

Now, I’d better sit down . . .

Why Men & Me are never depressed.

My best friends Sharon and Norris sent this:

WHY MEN ARE NEVER DEPRESSED:  Men Are Just Happier People –What do you expect from such simple creatures?”

I have comments.

Your last name stays put.  I’m THE MAX.
The garage is all yours. Who needs a garage when you have the run of the house.
Wedding plans take care of themselves. Who needs marriage
You can be President. I can live in the White House without having to run for office.
You can never be pregnant. True  (but I’ve suffered other indignities too private to talk about.)
You can wear NO shirt to a water park. I can wear NO shirt where ever I go
The world is your urinal. That’s the truth.
You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky. Same here!
Same work, more pay. I don’t even have to work.
New shoes don’t cut, blister, or mangle your feet. Who wears shoes?
One mood all the time. Loving and loving
You can open all your own jars.  (I wish)
You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness. That’s ME.
If someone forgets to invite you, He or she can still be your friend. Everyone is always my friend
Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack.  Who needs underwear?
The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades. Try a lifetime.
You only have to shave your face and neck. (NO shaving please – it’s humiliating.)
You can play with toys all your life. Yup
You can ‘do’ your nails with a pocket knife or nail clippers. I have my nails done.
You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache. And beard
Wrinkles add character. I am a character. 


Me, laughing uncontrollably

And that’s why MEN and ME are happier.

Burning the Candle at Both Ends

Did you miss me?

My Human has been rather neglectful of me lately.  I’ve not been able to post because  she has monopolized the computer; I’ve not been on very many walks because she has  been on the computer, I’ve had to eat at irregular times because she has been on the  computer. I’ve hardly been scratched or petted or held because she’s been on the  computer.

I’ve had to resort to  begging for biscuits.  Can you imagine! Begging! Humiliating!  If it weren’t for my  compassion and patience I would have reported her to the Inhumane Society.

She claims she’s been working and putting the final touches on the Finding Passion  Presentation and Workshop she and my Aunt Laurie Miller are doing together.  I’ve  caught her looking at craft web-sites . . .  Thank goodness the workshop is next Saturday and she can’t use that anymore as an excuse for being neglectful.

I say she’d better put down the matches cuz I don’t want my fame to go up in flames.

Lickingly yours, LLLLLLLLLLLL THE MAX.

Send a Surprise Happy Birthday Present to MAX!

My Worried Look

Dear ALL My BEST Friends

I’m worried.  My Human’s Sweet 16 (+ 50 ) is TODAY and I am afraid that you will give her presents I don’t need.  Her things have already taken over this house.

I barely have room to stretch out on the bed. I have to jump over things to get to my water.  She has stuffed all my possessions  in one tiny basket.

I’m thinking about submitting her name to the hoarders’ show on TV.

So I’ve decided that the best present you can give her is to


It won’t take up space and I’ll be even more famous than I am now.

This is what I want you to do!
Ask your human friends and relatives to subscribe to MY blog –CreativitytotheMAX, the blog. (I’m perplexed why it’s not http;//Max.workpress.com).

My puzzled look, having no idea why MY blog doesn't have my URL Name

My Perplexed Look


It’s very easy:
1. Click on the link above to access MY blog.
2. Click on the E-Mail Subscription on the top of the side-bar
or the RSS feed in the header.
3. Put in subscription data

(At the very least, a nice present would be if you subscribe YOURSELF  – if you haven’t already! – are you listening J, D, B, S, H, D – initials used to protect the GUILTY)

Lickingly yours, LLLLLLLLL


P.S. No other kinds of presents please or I’ll have to sleep outside!

PP.S. You are still a BEST friend if you don’t send a subscriber-present. (Well maybe not “best friend”, perhaps “good friend”)

PPP.S. Don’t tell my human.  I want to surprise her.

My Surprised Look



PPPP.S. You can e-mail this post to your human friends by clicking on e-mail below here.  How cool is that!

What to Send Man’s Best Friend for Valentine’s Day

I wrote this column for my Max-E-zine 5 years ago!  Would you believe – nothing has changed. Things never change with my Humans.  They just are more and more untrainable the older they get.  Maybe it’s not too late for YOU to learn how to treat your best friend:

What’s in a Name, By Max

“My human asked me to write a special column for Valentines Day.  Is that chutzbah or what!  Valentine’s day is NOT for dogs.

First everyone, but ME, gets to eat chocolate.  My Human says that if I eat chocolate I’ll die.  I think she is lying so she can eat it all, which she does.

Second, everyone, but ME, gets flowers.  So  I  go out into the yard and eat as many flowers as I can.  They don’t taste as good as lawn grass.  I love it freshly mowed.   But don’t  send me flowers or grass on Valentines’ day.  Send dog cookies, they don’t wilt.

Third everyone, but ME, gets valentine cards.  I like to eat cards but I prefer the envelopes which are seasoned with paste. You can send me cards with envelopes.

I love YOU

Ok, ok you are wondering why I titled this What’s in a Name.  Well, it is STILL happening even tho my humans have been in training for over a decade.

My name is Max right!  Of course you know that. EVERYONE knows that. This blog is called CreativitytotheMAX,the blog, my web-sites are called HypnosistotheMAX and CreativitytotheMAX. Well, my humans STILL are calling me Sweetie Dog, Honey (can you believe how emasculating that is), Maxie, Good Dog and Sweetie Boy.  The only time I’m called Max is when my humans are upset over nothing –  Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ‘AAAAX

Even though I ‘m an excellent trainer they still insist on those embarrassing names.  So I show them.  When I’m called to come inside I take my tiiiiii ‘iiime.  Drives them crazy.

May your valentines day be filled with licks of love and please call your Sweetie a name that isn’t humiliating.

Lickingly yours, LLLLLLLLLLLL


P.S.  Address your valentine cards with envelopes and dog cookies to Max Westerfield c/o Sweetie Girl Judy,

I deserve 58 bags of Dog Treats!

Dear All My Best Friends,

Have I got good news for you!

8,000, EIGHT THOUSAND! !!!  My blog – CreativitytotheMAX, the blog, has been viewed 8,000 times.

One bag of Charlie Bear Dog treats has 138 treats.  That would be 58 bags of treats.  Each treat is 3 calories.  That would be about 24,000 calories.  If I burn 200 calories per walk.  That means I need to go on 1200 walks.

When you put it into numbers that make sense . . . I’m FAMOUS!

Happy Eight Thousand to meeeeeeeeeeee

Happy Eight Thousand to meeeeeeeee

Happy Eight Thousand dearrrrrrrrrr Maaaaaaaaaa ‘aaaaax

Happy Eight Thousand tooooooooooooooooooo meeeeeeeeeeeee

Please let my human know (she doesn’t always read my blog posts) that she better start on my 1200 walks and 58 bags of treats . . .

. . . cuz MORE clicks are on their way!

Human Training Gone to the Dogs

Dear All My Best Friends,

I’ve noticed that you humans let us off the hook more than you do your own kind. That pleases me.

When my Humans get upset with me, extremely infrequently I might add,  I’ve trained them to feel bad for getting upset so they give me cookies to make sure MY feelings aren’t hurt.

Now when human’s get upset at other humans they never seem to feel bad.  As a matter of fact they feel rather righteous even when the other human cocks his head and doesn’t say a word.  (An advanced nuance of training is the head cock)

Here’s the basic principles of Human Training by me, Max

  • Never pay attention to what humans say.  Only pay attention to what humans do.  Most of the time their words and behavior don’t match anyway.
  • When your humans do something you like reward them with a cookie. ( Humans seem to reward each other with what they want, not what the other humans want – so give them a taste of their own medicine!)   If there are no cookies immediately available wag your tail (some respond well to tail wagging).
  • When your humans do something you can’t stand ignore them – go outside and look for lizards.  If it is raining you can bring a ball for them to play with as a distraction.  Whatever you do, don’t punish them.  Humans thrive on negative attention

That’s it for now.  My humans are due for their daily reinforcement training.  Have you ever noticed what short attention spans humans’ have?


P.S.  Here are some of my friends who have already trained their Human Maureen.

Maureen wrote this on her blog:   http://moisbloggingithink.wordpress.com/

“I will tell you about my pets…people with fur…as Oprah calls her pets.

  • Bootsie:  Tuxedo cat, great hunter of dang twist ties and rings off the milk bottles.  She will fetch for as long as SHE wants.  Entertaining for her Humans.  After we all go to bed she begins her howling, running through the house.  I think it is hysterical. She sounds like she is in heat.” (Bootsie has Maureen WELL trained.  A sign of GREAT human training is when you do something so disturbing to the senses  humans think it’s funny.) .
  • “Tootsie:  Keeshond.  Not the most athletic breed.  They call the breed “Low energy”.  Yep, if the fireplace is going she is there.  She plays for about five minutes and she is done.  Her main job she thinks is to bark at anything and just look good”.  (Tootsie, is my hero.  She has Maureen SO WELL trained that she doesn’t have to do ANYTHING but bark and look good! Wanna be one of my trainers Tootsie?)

You’d think that humans would have figured out by now that they should TRAIN each other instead of TRYING to TALK to each other.

2010 in review by WordPress & Max

Dear My Best Friends,

Unexpectedly I received this report from the stats helper monkeys at WordPress. (Their term, not mine) I am very pleased that they took time out of their busy schedule to send me this report which is below in black.

HOWEVER, because they are of a different genus-species I found discrepancies and errors in their report which I’ve corrected below.  My corrections and translations from Monkey talk to Max-Talk are in red, just like this paragraph.

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how CreativitytotheMAX, the blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Translation:  WOWF!

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 6,100 times in 2010. That’s about 15 full 747s.

Translation: A bag can hold 538 doggie treats.  Max has earned 747 bags of doggie treats, to be delivered upon demand.

In 2010, there were 222 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 239 posts. There were 1037 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 954mb. That’s about 3 pictures per day.

Translation:  747 of those pictures were of me.  That’s 747 times I was required to pose.  Earning 747 bags of doggie cookies.

The busiest day of the year was October 4th with 316 views. The most popular post that day was Contest: The Seasons of our Lives.

ERROR!  ERROR!  ERROR!:  The busiest day of the year was on any day I was the author of the post.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, alphainventions.com, mail.yahoo.com, digg.com, and mail.live.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for fish with eye spots, fish eye spots, kathe caldwell, eyespot butterflies, and judithwesterfield blog.

Error!  Error! Error!  The visitors came searching for ME, MAX  

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Contest: The Seasons of our Lives October 2010


Judy Judith January 2010


Workshops, Groups and Retreats February 2010


What’s Therapeutic about Creative Expression January 2010


21 Ways to Keep Your Sanity for the Holidays November 2010
5 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com,

ERROR!  ERROR!  ERROR!:  These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010 (and that’s just the last 2 months of the year!):

1.  3 or 6 Wishes for the New Year Dec 30th

2.  Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Dec 24th

3.  From Mae’s Mouth to My Ears, Dec 17th

4.  Purple tothe MAX, Dec 15th

5.  Fan Mail from My Max-A-Natics, Dec 10th

6.  Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Dec 5th

7.  The Most Stupid Dog in the World, Nov 24th

8.  Max-E-Mizing, November 21st

9.  MEET MAX AND FRIENDS https://judithwesterfield.wordpress.com/max/

Thank you  WordPress Helper Monkeys.  You tried your best even tho your report was full of errors.   Can’t  have too high a level of expectation from the species that gave birth to humans anyway.

3 or 6 wishes for the New Year, from Max

Dear all my Best Friends,

Here are some NEXT YEAR’s wishes for you.  I could only think of 3 wishes but I liked 6 pictures.

May you have as much fun as you can before someone makes you stop.

May your human feed you what you want to eat.

May all your friends bring you love.

Maybe you can write me what the other 3 wishes could be?



P.S.  Thank you Carolyn for the inspiration for my wishes. LLLLL Max

“Look your best – who said love is blind? ” — Mae West

Thank you My Little Chickadees for such wonderful compliments!  You are deserving of have “Much Mae” in your lives.



Max: you look great in the Mae West wig.

She was always a favo(u)rite of mine, including the great exchange between her and W.C. Fields in a movie that I can’t remember the name of! She said “My little chickadee,” and he said “Come up and see me sometime.” Just too funny to see two of my favo(u)rites using each other’s “catch phrase” as they say today.
Glad to hear the Mae West is your muse: you’ve chosen well!



It’s too early in the morning for me to laugh so hard!! Love Laurie

P.S. Trixie sends her love to Max. Having never met she thinks the world of him and hopes he thinks the world of her!

From Mae’s Mouth to My Ears

My Mae

Dear all my best friends,

Mae West is my muse. My Human has a very limited human understanding of what it’s like to be a dog.  Mae, on the other hand, Mae knows dogs.  Here’s proof, straight from Mae’s Mouth:

A dog can be short and dumpy and getting bald but if he has fire, women will like him.
— Mae West, edited by Max

A dog’s kiss is his signature.
— Mae West, edited by Max

A woman in love with a dog can’t be reasonable – or she probably wouldn’t be in love.
— Mae West, edited by Max

Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly, except eating.
— Mae West, edited by Max

I believe that it’s better to be looked over than it is to be overlooked.
— Mae West

I don’t like myself, I’m crazy about myself.
— Mae West

I generally avoid temptation unless I can’t resist it.