(September 25, 1990 - April 20,1999)
An autobiography by Dober, assisted by Jerry F. Adamson
I was born on September 25, 1990 in Belen, New Mexico. My parents were very busy with us kids. I don’t remember much except that I had four brothers and four sisters. At dinner time, food was definitely at a premium. At best as I can recall, life was a bore and uneventful.
I first met my master on December 7. He had come to get a puppy for his family. He looked like a nice man, so I paid attention to what was happening and gained his attention. He chose me and took me to his house. The first week at his house was a new experience for me. I met everybody, a woman that liked to pet me, four children who like to play, and another four legged animal named Oso. We became buddies. There also were cats around. I liked them, but Ozo didn’t. He was always in trouble for chasing them, and I learned that they could be friendly and I met a lot of cats that were friendly in my life.
During the first week, I also learned the things that can occur at a Veterinary Office. Some of them have serious effects on your habits and thinking. I found that getting your ears trimmed and shaped has a effect on your appearance. I remember well after I had ear surgery the vet wrapped them around a Popsickle stick, to make them stand up. Boy what a nuisance. The good part was that every night, My Master would pick me up and let me sit in his lap, and he would take the bandages off, apply some ointment and rub my ears. That really felt good and he would rub them for a long time. Afterward he re-wrapped the bandages, he would let me stay on his lap, and sometimes we both would take a nap while “watching” television.
Dad had a nice soft easy chair. After he went to bed at nights, I would crawl up into it and sleep in it all night. After I got bigger, I had to curl up, but it was my bed and I would enjoy it for my entire life. I bet Dad still has that chair because he liked it too. After several years, a bracket broke and the chair wouldn’t recline, but I never used the recliner anyway. Dad and I had this little saying. Either he watched TV while sitting in my bed, or I slept in his chair, just depended upon the perspective.
Sometime when Dad was watching TV and it was getting past my bedtime, I had to remind him that he was using my bed. Since he had held in his lap when I was a puppy, he didn’t seem to mind too much when I would get into his lap when I grew up. I did learned that his interest in TV would twindle after a few minutes of me laying in his lap. I could even curl up and almost get to sleep before he would ask me to get down so he could get up.
Dad worked in Albuquerque everyday, so Ozo and I would play in the backyard. Sometimes Ozo was a pest, so I would play with the cats. My best cat friend was Spook II. He is a long-haired Black that liked to catch birds and mice. He never ate them, just would drag them into the garage to show off his skills.
We moved to Oklahoma in late November 1993. Just after Christmas, Dad became very ill. He had emergency exploratory surgery and was in the hospital for 5 days. I really was lost without him. I had already gotten into the habit of checking on him throughout the night. I would sleep in the chair and if I couldn’t hear Dad snoring in the bedroom, I would go to his bed and check his breath. Sometimes Dad slept with his head covered so this required me to stick my head under the blankets. I always felt more conformable knowing that he was breathing well. I checked on him every night after that, even during the past years when were traveling around and staying in the camper or RV.
One night, we had some company. A young girl, kept teasing me. Sometime during the night, when I was asleep, she walked by and she slapped my ears. As I was asleep and I over-reacted and put a couple of teeth marks on her face and neck. I didn’t bite her, just a warning, but I had to be placed in detention for a week because of that. Dad really felt bad about me having to spend that time in the cold concrete quarters at the Vet’s office. When I got out, Dad and I had an agreement that it would not happen again.
In 1994, Dad got a divorce, so Spook II went to Dad’s Sisters (Sis) to live. Spook didn’t like the idea of travel or moving, so he got a new home where he had lots of room. Sis likes cats. She liked dogs too. She had a big lawn and Dad mowed it a lot. I help, and Sis fixed us dinner. She even let Dad and I have our own room in her house where Dad and I each have a bed, Dad has his computer and we have our TV. I liked to sit in my chair and watch TV while Dad works on the computer.
Dads’ human children were all grown and lived mostly in Out of State. We would go see them every year. Dad would take me around and treat me just like a son. All of his daughters liked me. One of his daughters had a whole bunch of dogs. I got to know them real well, but sometimes they wanted to fight. I am not a fighter.
In 1995, Dad went on his visit to see his daughters and he left me to stay with his sister. I was heart broken that I couldn’t go. Sis took good care of me and we became good friends, but I told Dad, I would rather be with him. After that, Dad took me everywhere he went. A lot of times I would have to stay in the truck and wait, but that was part of our agreement.
Dad was really nice to me. Sometimes when I was sleeping , he would very quietly try to put his shoes and shirt on without alarming me. He never fooled me once. I had a whole bunch of clues when certain things were happening. Putting on his shoes and shirt was an indicator that we were going outside or was going somewhere. If Dad put documents in his briefcase or computer case, meant we were going to the genealogical library. Putting his gloves on, meant that outside work or mowing the lawn was on the agenda. I was cautious about lawn mowing, but I had to be careful. Dad’s sister place has lots of rocks and sticks and sometimes the riding mower would throw them my way. I would watch for rabbits and other varmints.
If Dad went outside, I went with him, If he walked down to the mail box, I went with him. If he went outside to do chores, I went with him. When it was very cold, Dad would wear a coat. I didn’t have one, so I would encourage Dad to hurry. I learned when I was very young that Dad had a bad hand, so I always walked on his right. I occasionally would give Dad a lick and he would rub my ears. I enjoyed having my ears rubbed by him more than anything else in existence.
Another clue was when Dad started arranging and packing the Camper or RV. That meant we were going on a trip. We traveled a lot on long trips where we would be gone for several weeks at a time. Just Dad and I. We spent many enjoyable hours driving and camping all over. We traveled about ten to twelve weeks every year traveling about 12,000 miles. In 1996, we traveled in 39 states, 20,000 miles in 12 weeks. We saw the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Was across the Rio Grande River from Mexico and drove within six miles of Canada. We didn’t like to camp where there were a lot of people, or if the place had fancy facilities, or leash laws.
On one trip to Pennsylvania, it rained for three days straight, so we would park overnight in truckstops or rest areas next to the big rigs. Everytime we got out, we got wet. Dad said, that when I got wet, I smelled like a dog. He never said that when he gave me a shower at home.
Some trips, it would be very cold at nights. I learned that Dad has several blankets and if I was very careful, I could sneak up lay next to him and keep warm. I guess when I got comfortable, I would get my long legs stiffen, and push on him, and he would arise and that would wake me up. But normally we worked things out.
Dad knew some great people. Everywhere we went, we met Adamsons. Although I wasn’t born at Adamson, being adopted and living with him, I sure learned to appreciate the Adamson Genealogy and searching. Many of them were also interested in genealogy, so they would visit for hours looking at their notes. Dad told me that we would visit the places and people where we were welcome. He meant “us” as a team.
In our travel’s we visited all sorts of historical sites, state parks, libraries, museums, but I liked the cemetery search the best. I could run and roam around the entire cemetery. I learned how to recognize the Adamson gravemarkers at some cemeteries, Dad would spent a long time studying his book, writing notes, and taking pictures. I got where I would get into at least one picture at most locations. Dad accused me of posing, but, he told me not to move when he was taking a picture. We went to hundreds, perhaps thousands. We would be driving down a road, and if I saw a cemetery, I would tell Dad that we should stop and see if we recognized any names. We did, and on some occasions we found Adamson’s that Dad didn’t have in his book or doesn’t know how we are related.
On one trip, Dad had a six passenger pickup pulling a fifth wheel trailer. I had lots of room in the back seat, but it was hard to visit with Dad. I told him, we ought to get a smaller pickup, so he got a compact pickup with an extended cab. I had the back seat. It was a little crowded but Dad leveled it with his tools and several pads for me. I could lay down or sit and still be near him. I could rest my elbows on the center armrest and could see where we were going. I have seen thousands of miles in that method.
We did a lot of traveling. Dad and I spent many a mile, just visiting about what or where we were going and some things we might do. I sure learned a lot about America geography and Adamson genealogy.
When traveling sometimes I would get bored. I had several tennis
that Sis gave me. I played with them and sometimes could get Dad to
while we were driving. I would toss the ball to him, and he would
toss it back. Sometimes the ball would fall to the floorboard and I
have retrieve it. With my long legs in a small pickup, that can be
I need to tell you that I am tall for my breed. I normally weighed about 93 to 96 pounds. Occasionally it would be higher. This was because, in the winter time, Dad and I would stay with Sis and she is a good cook. Everything she fixed is good to eat. I got to eat a lot of leftovers and eventually got to have a plate at the table. After the meal, I would visit with her while she did the dishes and in case she needed to get rid of the leftovers. I knew when she was done because she pulled the drain plug on the sink. That was my clue to go to my room and eat any dog food that I wanted. A lot of times after dinner, Sis and I would go for a walk. I especially needed this exercise when my weight got up to 102 pounds.
I liked to eat. I enjoyed all kinds of food. I always had a big dish of food in my room. I could eat whenever I wanted. In addition, Dad was always willing to share his food with me. I liked almost anything. I didn’t like lettuce, onion, salads, celery, or fried eggs, but everything else was OK. My favorites were trimmings from steaks and vegetables. Sometimes Dad or Sis would give me a helping of potato with a vegetable on top.
I always knew when January was close. Every year in January, I would get to visit the vet’s office, get a check up, get a couple of shots, a new tag for my collar and a bunch of pills for the next year. I knew the routine, and knew where the scales were in vet’s office. Sometimes, Dad would take Spook to the vet with me, but he was a poor traveler. He would hide behind the seat. Dad told me that Spook was not as scared when I was along.
At home and when traveling, one of my jobs was to protect my Master
from all sorts of dangers. I would warn him by whispering to him.
Sometimes if he was asleep or when I wanted to go out, I would have to
nudge him to awaken him. Sometimes the nudge would be firmer to
his attention. I was with him at all times. In exchange for
this he fed and cared for me with kindness and compassion. He was a
The last time I saw Dad was at the Boren Veterinary Medical Teaching
Hospital at Oklahoma State University. I had been admitted on Wednesday
the 14th of April, 1999. They did all kinds of tests,
and sonograms on me. I had tubes stuck in me which I didn’t like
much. I could hear the veterinarians talking about me having
Neuropathy, hypothyrodism and a tumor around or close to my spleen. I
really sick. On Thursday evening, the 15th , Dad came by
care to see me. He sat with me and rubbed my faces and ears. I
see and hear him talking to me. I could smell him, but I couldn’t lick
him. I tried but I was so dehydrated that my tongue was so
Dad told me to get well. He was going home to get the RV ready.
knew that I was ready for the next trip.