Sunday, January 30, 2011

Buddy Boy is our January 30, 2011 Pup of the Week

Once again this week's Pup of the Week nomination lead to a disagreement between me and Pocket.  Pocket wanted to nominate the dog Secret Bub who has been sending presents to everyone.  While the Secret Bub has certainly been the center of the Tanner Brigade universe I don't know who this Bub is and I am going to have to do more research on them before I bestow this generous, yet mysterious pup our most highly esteemed honor.

No, this week we pick a dog who is going through what we all fear the most.  Missing our Mom.

Our good friend Buddy Boy has been without his Mom for awhile now.  He doesn't really know why she's not living with them.  From what I can tell reading my Mom's Facebook page his Mommy is sick because of their house.  Now my Mom is sick of our house, but it isn't making her sick.  I don't know my Human well enough to tell the difference, all I know is Mommy is here with me and Buddy Boy's isn't.

Poor Buddy Boy is stuck him with his Dad.  Now we all love our Dads.  But it's just not natural to be left home alone with one.  Plus, according to his Mom's posting on Facebook Buddy's Dad keeps house like a homeless man tends to his tent. 

Buddy Boy's Mom is at her Mom's house and Buddy Boy understands this.  He doesn't want her to be sick.  But he does miss her so.  And, if possible, she misses him even more, so we should all say a prayer that they are together very soon.

She calls him whenever she can.  His Daddy answers the phone, if he can find it.  He then puts down the phone and Mom and pup talk.  I will give Buddy credit because my Mom's voice on the phone freaks me out but Buddy doesn't let it bother him at all.  He gets the ball when he tells him to and brings it to the phone.

This weekend they were reunited for a marvelous day full of blueberry muffins and loving scratches and licks. 

We all hope and pray that this separation ends seen.

Buddy Boy you are our Pup of the Week because you have been so brave in facing life without her.  You are our Pup of the Week because we hope it will make your Mom smile.  And you are our Pup of the Week because you are as special a dog we know.Buddy

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Saving Private Skunk

When I was a wee pup my big sister Blake used to take me on adventures.  I'm sure being an inexperienced pup I got us into some troubling situations.  But I don't think I have ever got into more trouble then after Pocket became my sister.  I joined DS just after Pocket became part of our family. Many of you who have read my blogs there, and followed me to Blogger,  then the Tanner Brigade, and have read about all of our adventures.  But I don't think I have ever undertaken such a fool hardy endeavour as when Pocket decided we had to save that miserable skunk.

It started one cold night after the first snow.  Pocket likes to go with Daddy when he takes out the trash.  I don't know why.  Young pups like trash.  She usually walks with Daddy.  But with the snow, salt, and ice,  Daddy carries her in one arm and the trash in the other.  It was very dark and the only light came from the few working lamp posts.  Daddy heard it before he saw it, the scratching against the snow.  Then he saw it, between the snow bank and the dumpster, a big black and white skunk.  Pocket began to bark.

Daddy knows skunks.  He's never been skunked by a skunk but he knows them.  If you show them some backbone they scurry away.  But not this skunk.  It looked at them and  hissed.  Then it went back to scratching.  Daddy took another step forward but the skunk would not budge.  It just kept scratching.  Daddy moved to the right of the dumpster, trying to figure if he could throw the bag inside, but given the angle, and having his balance thrown off by five pounds of Yorkie on his opposite side, he did what Daddy has seldom had the sense to do, he retreated, bringing the trash back into the house.

He brought the trash out the next morning.  No sign of the skunk.  Daddy took Pocket out with him when he did trash that night. Still no sign of the skunk.  But Pocket told me she could sniff it.  That skunk was living in the snowbank right next to the dumpster.

Two nights later we had another buzzard.  The loud beasts came and they pushed all the snow off the road.  That night Daddy carried Pocket towards the dumpster (he took the trash too, Pocket's seepage hasn't pushed them that far.)  Pocket was sitting up sniffing.  Daddy knew she was sniffing for the skunk.  He thought she was sniffing to protect him.  But she was sniffing to see if the skunk was safe.

She could barely smell it..  When Daddy was tossed the bag in the dumpster Pocket barked out a "hello, are you there?"

"Hiss, yes, hiss, I am trapped, hiss, trapped in the snowbank, hiss, have your human shovel me out," the skunk said.

Pocket knew Daddy had a big heart, but he wasn't going to dig a skunk out of a snowbank. 

They came back inside.  Pocket climbed up on the couch next to me.  "You know that skunk I was telling you about?" she asked.  I nodded as I licked my paws.  "It's stuck in the snow bank by the dumpster."

"That's too bad," I said.  "But it's a wild animal, it should have known better then to live in a snow bank.  It's only a temporary home."

"It can't get out, it can't eat, it's cold, it's going to starve to death then it's going to freeze to death," Pocket pleaded.

"Pocket it's a skunk, it's like the scorpion and the frog.  You can't help a skunk," I said.

"What about the scorpion and the frog?" she asked.

I sighed.  "The scorpion asks the frog to give it a ride across the river.   The frog doesn't want to because it's afraid the scorpion will sting it and kill it.  The scorpion promises it won't.  It gets a ride across the river.  Once there on the other side, scorpion stings it and kills it."  I continued to lick my feet.

"What a terrible story," Pocket said.  "Why did you tell me that?"

I looked at her. "It means that things are what they are.  A scorpion stings, that's what it does.  A skunk sprays other animals.  A leopard can't change it's spots."

"A leopard?  A scorpion?  A frog?  There's just a skunk the the snow bank Foley.  It isn't Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom in there!"

I looked up again.  "Nice 70's reference Pocket, where are you learning this stuff?"

"I've been going on line at night and reading Pupapedia since Mommy blocked the kitty porn sites."

"Pocket," I said, my annoyance growing, "If we try to save the skunk we are going to end up smelling like skunk stank and Mommy is going to be mad at us.  This discussion is over.  We are not ging to try and save the skunk."  The next night, after Mommy and Daddy went to bed, we went out to try and save the skunk.

Mommy and Daddy were deep in their snores.  We hopped out of bed,.  Pocket nosed under the couch and pulled out a rope and a rock hammer.  She rolled on the rope until it was around her then picked up the hammer in her mouth.  "Why do you have a rock and hammer?" I asked.

"In case we have to summit," she said after dropping the hammer.  I shook my head.  We slipped out through the Teddy Bond Invisible Doggy Door.  It was the dead of night.  So cold even the bats were in the belfry.  We got to the big snow pile by the dumpster. 

I knocked on this exit less Igloo but there was no answer.  "This doesn't look good," I said to Pocket. 

"Foley it's a pile of snow not an ice sculpture," she said.

"I meant it doesn't look good for your skunk friend, he's been in there for days."

Pocket began barking:  "Hello?  Mr Skunk!  Are you in there?"

"Hiss, yes, hiss, I am here hiss.  Help me Ms. Pocket.  I am very cold and hungry, hiss," a weak voice said from inside the snow bank.

"She's alive Foley, she's alive," Pocket said excitedly   "Unless he's a he.  Do you think his Mommy got it neutered?"

"Skunks don't get neutered," I said.

"Does Bob Barker know about this?" she asked.

I gave Pocket my look of great annoyance.  "You gonna womit?" Pocket wondered.

As usual, she was no help.  "Look Mr Skunk, is there anyway you can scratch your way out?"

"Hiss, no, hiss, I have been trying, hiss, now too deep."

I turned to talk to Pocket but she wasn't there.  She had used to rope and hammer and now was standing on top of the snow bank.  "Look at me!" she said.  "I am Pocket.  Pocket of the Mountain."

"Well Pocket," I said, looking up at her, "I knew you were not going to able to resist climbing up there, so I took some silent fireworks and put them in the trash.   Now all you have to do is jump from the snow pile into the dumpster, find our trash, pull the fireworks and matches out of the bag, and we'll blow this snow pile up."

"Excuse me," the Skunk said, "But I would rather not be blown up, I have plans to go to the coast this summer."

"We're not going to blow you, probably," I said.  "It will just blow apart the snow bank so you can escape, more than likely.  By the way, in case of accident, is there anyone we should notify?"

"You don't have to worry, Mr Skunk because I am not jumping into the dumpster," Pocket said tremblling.

"This was your idea Pocket, you said you would do anything, so here you are, prove it.  You want to save the skunk you need to go dumpster diving."

Pocket kept trembling.  But she knew she had committed herself to this adventure, so she shook her heiny, and then jumped just as pretty as anything you ever saw, into the dumpster.  I became concerned when I didn't hear from her for almost a minute.  I called out her name.  "Somebody threw out pizza!" she answered.

"Pocket," I scolded, we are lap dogs, we do not eat out of the dumpster.

"It's OK I brought a fork," she said.  "Oh look, someone threw out a Lance Bass poster, how do you think it would look in my crate?"

"Pocket, the skunk!" I reminded her.

"Hiss, that is good pizza, hiss, I used to eat it before I got trapped," the skunk said.

"I'll make sure they know it's the pizza preferred by skunks," I said.  "Find our trash and get the fireworks and matches!" I yelled to Pocket.

"How am I to know it's our trash?" she asked.

"It will probably smell like paper towels used to soak up your pee," I said. 

"Found it!" she said.  She then jumped down with the silent fireworks and the matches in her mouth.  We then stuck the fireworks around the snow pile.  I then told her to hold the match in her mouth while I struck it against the book cover.  "Why don't you hold it in your mouth, I always get my whiskers burned," she said. I reminded her this was her mission.  She sighed, and I struck the match against the book.  It caught on fire.  Pocket dropped it and said "ow, ow, oww," and then we realized the fireworks were lit and we both ran and hid behind the dumpster. 

The fireworks went off lighting up cold mid-winter sky.  There were group of animals watching from the edge of the woods.  "Look at that, it's beautiful," a chipmunk said.

"Must be the fourth of July," a coyote said.  "And it's cold and snowing.  That's the last time I rent an Al Gore video."

While the fireworks were a thrilling site they did not blow up the snow bank.  A worried Pocket called out for skunk.  "Hiss, it melted the snow a little, hiss, bit I still can't get out," it reported.

"Maybe we can dig it out," Pocket said.  We both began to scratch against the snow.

"Darn," I said looking at my paw.

"What happened?" Pocket asked

"Oh I broke a nail," I said.  "And I just got them done."   I pulled out my Droid phone from under my tail.  "I know a fabulous Japanese Chin who can do wonders with nails, let me give her a call."

"But what about digging out the skunk?" Pocke asked.

"Oh I can't," I said.  "I don't have the kibble to get more than one nail done."

"What more important to you Foley the life of this skunk or your nails?"

"Hey, I spent a lot of kibble on these nails," I said.  "Oh wait, I got the Chin's machine.  Nice message."  I asked her to call me.

Pocket was depressed, and she did what she always did when she was depressed, or excited, or bored.  She peed.  I watched as the snow melted under her.

"That's it Pocket.  When you pee you melt the snow.  You are going to pee the skunk out of the snowbank!" I said.

"Hiss, that sounds kinds of disgusting hiss," the skunk said and I responded "look whose talking."

"It would take lots of pee to melt that snowbank," Pocket said.  I told her that meant we needed lots of water, and with everything frozen that would take some thinking.

"I know where there is an endless supply of water," I said.

"Where?" Pocket asked excited.

"At home in the toilet bowl!" I said.


"I'm not drinking out of the toilet bowl!"

"You'll eat my poo but you won't drink out of the toilet bowl?" I asked.

"Oh please nice Puppy can't you go home and get some water and help me hiss?" the skunk hissed.

Pocket sighed again.  "Can't you spray your spray and melt the snow?" she asked.

"Oh no hiss, it would smell to much hiss."

"Really, I thought they would be like your farts, your own never smell bad," Pocket said.

"Oh I don't mind my farts," the skunk said.

"Well this is all fascinating," Pocket replied.

"Yes it is," I said, not meaning it.  "But we need to get back home, you need to get toilet bowl drinking, and I need some supplies, so let's go."

"Hiss, hiss, are you sure you are coming back for me?" the skunk asked. 

"I promise Mr. Skunk.  I give you my word as a Terrier from Yorkshire," Pocket said before I gave her a nip to get her moving.

We got back into the house.  Pocket was taken to the toilet bowl but was reluctant until I told her about the freezing skunk.  She held her nose while licking, which is quite the feat when you are balancing yourself on a toilet seat.  Pocket told me she couldn't drink anymore but I knew she would need more to pee the skunk out.  To get her to drink more at first we played toilet bowl pong and then quarters.  Pocket was quiet blotted and barely fit back through the doggy door.,  When we hit the cold Pocket was afraid she was going to start leaking and I had to drag her by her harness to the snow pile.  I told the skunk that Pocket was ready to pee.  I suggested the skunk peed if she had them.  I had drank a big bowl of water too and I contributed.

But it was Pocket, peeing and peeing on the snow who created a big enough hole that we could see the skunks paw.  Then Pocket and I each bit a paw and dragged the skunk out of the snowbank.

We got it out of the hole.  We all hugged one another and then joined hands and did the dance of joy.  Then the skunk stepped back.  "And now, as a citizen of France, I shall say to you Ni and spray stink in your general direction in the name of Napoleon."

"But we just saved you!" Pocket said.

"Yes, but it is like the story of the scorpion and the frog hiss," the skunk said raising it's tail.

"The scorpion and the frog are in there.  I am going to have to drink more toilet water," Pocket said as the tail rose.  I grabbed Pocket and we ran back to the house.

"Ni, let loose my spray!" the skunk said.

We were about to get skunked  Then we saw Daddy, walking towards us.  "What are you two doing out here this late at night....SKUNK."

The skunk sprayed just as we skidded behind Daddy and he got skunked.  The skunk hopped up on the bank and ran into the woods.  Daddy stood there smelling really bad.  Then he yelled at us to get back in the house.  We got upstairs and the smell made Mommy wake up.

"What have you done you smell like skunk?" she asked.

Daddy began to tell her about us being outside with the skunk.  "Oh that is ridiculous, blaming this on the dogs.  You always blame these two babies."  We jumped up on the bed and snuggled with her. "You tried freeing that skunk you told me about, I told you that you'd get spray," Mommy said angrily.  "Go sleep in the tub and we will figure this out in the morning,"  Poor Daddy turned and walked into the bathroom to sleep.

We snuggled close to Mommy.  "Well that worked out well,:" I said to Pocket.

"Yes, but tomorrow night we need to free the scorpion," Pocket said.  I just pretended to be asleep.  Sisters. 

But neither of us slept well that night.  We have good sniffers and boy did Daddy smell.  All in all I think it was very inconsiderate of him.  But he got his reward.  A naked tomato soup bath.  Serves him right for getting involved in animals, business.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Puppy, Wishbone, Zafaria, Duke, and the Paula Malatesta Pack are our January 23, 2011 Pups of the Week


I would like to tell you all that I remember every blog you have all written.  Of course, no one can.  Not even humans.  Humans stand in bookstores studying the back covers of books trying to determine if they have read these 440 pages before.  But there are certain blogs:  Moses, Tanner, and others going to the bridge that stick with you, plus some very special stories.  One such story concerns one of the members of the Pack the make up our Pups of the Week:  The Malatesta Clan.

Wishbone was rescued from a hunter who found him worthless because he was not a good hunting dog.  Well, the Pack's Mom, Ms. Paula, had a different plan, and she rescued Wishbone from that bad man.   But Wishbone, being a free spirit, made a run for it one day.  Ms. Paula was heartbroken.  But she never gave up hunting down this hound.  On a Sunday, leaving church, she saw Wishbone, ran after him, tackled him, and rolled down a hill with him, holding on, then safely got him in the car and home.  After reading that story I said wow, now that's a Mom.

Ms. Paula is a superhero for dogs.  If you are trapped in a puppy mill you dream of Ms. Paula coming zooming through the night, taking out those bad people who are holding you in a small cage filled with fecal matter next to stale water, taking you with her, staying with you, and finding you your forever home.  She doesn't make it to every dog.  But she wants to, and that is what matters the most.

You could say that we could just name this Mom of the Week, and it would be fitting.  But bark yourself this.  Why?  Why would a woman devote her life to this?  All I can figure is that somewhere in this special woman's life she must of had a least one, but more than likely dozens, of wonderful pups who inspired her.

One of the dogs she named The Dude perhaps after Jeff Bridges' pot smoking slacker from the Big Lebowski.  This pup had no chance of surviving the kill shelter it was in.  But Super Paula swooped in and saved The Dude.  For two years she fostered The Dude, never giving up on him, even when two families brought him back.  Finally The Dude has a new home..  Who has such patience to never give up on a dog even after two years?

In the first week of the year she drove to Greenville N.C. and rescued 14 dogs.  That's 14.  Some were puppies: but 14, that's more than a football team.  She put them in her van and took them home.  My parents can't manage 14 fish in a tank.  14 dogs?  But what do you expect from a superwoman?

Then she got called out to rescue a Pit Bull named Skunk.  That doesn't seem like a good combination.  She got there but the pit bull had been rescued.  So she still rescued some Boston Terriers who had their tickets punched for the bridge.  Two more dogs rescued by Super Paula.

Just how special is Super Paula?  She went to a farm to rescue some pups to find only two of them not killed by their owner.  One of the two, Zafaria was terminally ill.  Instead of having the pup put down she put her on chemotherapy to save her life, then took her to senior citizen homes so she could pay forward the love and life she got from Paula.  She doesn't just save pups, she brings joy to the elderly through these pups.

And she is having a wonderful effect on our Moms and Dads.  I am seeing more and more of them sign up for doing transports or fostering pups.  Even Daddy has signed up for transports although he hasn't done any yet.  Of course, given our Daddy's driving, the pups may be better off taking their chances with the farmer and the gun

Last week, in my recommended blogs of the week, I linked to a site about the dogs of Brazil.  The authors of this blog have been severely effected by the floods in Brazil.  They have been traveling around their neighborhood trying to help the dogs who were abandoned or lost their families and are starving or sick.  The streets are full of them.  It is a truly tragic situation.  I know if she could, Miss Paula would be down there fighting for those dogs too.  If you would like to read the blog click HERE

So let's raise a paw to the pack that we respect the most, the pack we would like to be when we grow up, the pack that we wish we had the strength and passion to be, the pack of the week, Puppy, Wishbone, Zafaria, Duke, Khan, all the other wonderful dogs who are, or have been part of their pack, and the wonderful Mom Ms. Paula.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Foley and Pocket want to thank their secret bub

Wednesday afternoon we had a house showing at 5:30.  Mommy was going to be at the hairdressers which left Daddy home.  This was worrisome enough.  But our realtor thinks that we are a distraction when she is showing the house.  That I can believe.  We are the most beautiful part of he house.  We promised to be good.  Then Daddy got the mail.

Our secret Bub gifts had arrived.  "Open it.  Open it.  Open it.  Open it.  Open it," we barked.  But Daddy said no.  I was in a snit.  I planned my revenge.   Ten minutes before the showing I took a giant shadoobie on the dining room floor.  Seldom alert Daddy saw it an cleaned it up, so there wasn't much payoff to my bang bang.  But I think my point was made. 

The realtor and the potential buyers came in and Pocket and I acted very responsibly.  We don't know if the woman is going to make an offer on the house.  We just wanted it made clear we weren't part of the deal.  As soon as she was gone we hopped on the back of the couch and waited for Mommy to get home.  When she arrived we were more excited than usual.  Not only was Mommy home safe but we could open our gift.

Daddy pulled out the box and ripped it open.  There were two beautiful, plush squeak toys.  One was an olyphant and the other a heffalump.  Here are the pictures of me enjoying the toys.





Then there were the treats.  There were healthy hearts mini chicken treats, and another package of yummy chicken treats.  And here is the best part of the treats.  Pocket has become convinced that whenever Mommy give her a new treat it is medicine and she won't eat it.  So unless Mommy can convince Pocket otherwise all the new treats are for me.  HA!

So a big thank you to my Secret Bub.  Your gifts were perfect.  I gave the heffalump and oliphant a good shaking last night and am planning my attack for this evening.  Over time I may even let Pocket play with themThanks again.  We love you Secret Bub.  Foley and Pocket.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pocket is a trembler and proud of it

From the desk of Pocket Dog:

I am a trembler and I am not afraid to admit it.  When it appears that Mommy and Daddy will be going out I start to tremble.  One of them will see me, and sometimes they will pick me up, whisper to me, and try to calm me, but it does no good, I continue to tremble.  Even Foley tells me not to worry, they always come back to us, but even wise Foley, behind those dark brown eyes, betrays her worries. 

Shortly over a week ago, in Arizona, a Mom or Dad picked up their trembling dog and told him or her they would be home soon, they were just going down the street to see their Congresswoman speak at the supermarket, and they'd be right home.  That pup is still waiting for the parent to return.

So I understand that Moms and Dads want to come back home to us.  But they can't control what happens to them when they go out that door.  And that scares me.  A lot.

Recently Hobo's Mom wrote an article about how Moms and Dads should make sure they provide for us in their wills.  I didn't want to read it.  I knew what it was about.  I know I have so many wonderful friends who would never let Foley or me be without a good home, and I so appreciate that.  But I don't know if I could ever really be happy again without Mommy and Daddy.

I don't mind when Daddy is out of the house.  I am certain Mommy knows how to take care of us.  I'm not crazy about being left alone with Daddy.  Mommy is in charge of so much.  Making us food.  Snuggling with us.  Well that's about it.  But it meets our needs.  Daddy is fun.  He seems to have the need to play ball a lot so I play with him even if I am tired.  And he walks us.  But I prefer to be snuggled up with Mom in a chair wondering where Daddy is then being home with Daddy wondering where Mommy is and why he spends so much time looking at the computer screen.

But I mind very much when they go out together.  Why must they go out together?  There have been two Presidents in my lifetime and neither has gone on a plane with the Vice-President so they both wouldn't be hurt (although I believe Bush did not want to fly with Chaney because he did not wants to be shot in the face mid flight and nobody wants to sit next to Joe Biden on a nine hour flight to the Sudan.)

I have seen on the computer where some parents set up a web cam so they can watch us pups when we are home alone.  Well this is just about the silliest darn thing I have ever heard.  We're home.  Why do they need to know what we are doing?  What humans should do is, where ever they go, hold a web cam in front of them so we can see what they are doing.  We know what we're doing. We're sitting at home worrying about them.  I have no idea why anyone finds this compelling television.

Thanks to sneaky human parents worried about their human children phones are made with GPS in them.  They can go on the computer and find out where their children are.  I could tell them where their children were if they would listen.  Somewhere they shouldn't be.  Us pups should have GPS access to know where our humans are all the time.  "Hey Foley where's Daddy?"  Foley could look at the Internet and find out that he is at the Red Star Hotel.   Not only would our minds be at ease because we knew where Daddy was, but we could blackmail him for extra kibble over a period of months because he is not supposed to be at the Red Star Hotel.

Some parents like to call home because they believe us pups want to hear their voice on the answering machine:  "Hi girls, how are you?  It's Mommy.  I miss you.  Are you being good girls?  OK.  Mommy loves you.  I will see you soon.  Bye-bye,"  I imagine that Mommies think us left alone pups will be soothed by hearing our Mommy's voice.  In actuality it causes us run around in a panic going "I heard her, did you hear her?  I heard her.  She's somewhere in the house.  Did you hear her?  I heard her!"  Yes, there is nothing more soothing than the disembodied voice of Mommy suddenly appearing out of thin air.  (And don't tell us we should have heard the phone ring.  We don't pay attention to the phone.  Do you want to know why?  Because it has never once been for us.)

What would be nice is if Mommy could leave a message that says "Hello dogs.  This is Mommy.  I am talking to you from work so don't go look for me.   I will be here until 5:00.  I should be home by 5:30 so don't worry.  I may have to drive by the Red Star Hotel and emasculate Daddy so don't be worried if I am late."

That way we would be informed.  But they don't do that.  Part of it is because anti-canites find it silly that humans talk to their dogs on the phone.  This is exactly the type of person we worry about our parents falling under the influence of when they leave the house.  But it is the polite thing to do.  Not knowing where you are is why we eat things we shouldn't, like couches, pee where we shouldn't, which is why I am crated, and raise general havoc.

This is what the human professors of dogology call "Separation Anxiety."  It's not "Separation Anxiety" it's "Oh my gosh I don't know where Mommy is I don't know if she is ever coming home, I don't know when I am going to get fed, I don't know if I am going to end up living on the street anxiety."  We don't so much mind being separated from our humans.  That's why sometimes we get off your laps and go lie in the sun for awhile.  Occasionally we need our space.

Some foolish dogolists think that, to combat separation anxiety you should leave on the television or radio.  Let me tell you parents something.  Fox News and AM talk radio do not make soothing noise.  We do not hear the voices and think it's our parents berating a first time caller long time listener from Kansas.  And no ESPN doesn't do any good either.  They yell a lot too.  And if you're worried about us don't leave on classical music.  If you play classical music you should be worried about us.  After a half hour of that we are trying to climb the curtains, willing to take our chances with the window and the fall to the ground.

Part of the problem is that us dogs can't really get a grasp on time.  You leave us, the parting is so difficult, honestly, it's exhausting, and we fall asleep.  Then we wake up and we don't know how long we have been napping for.  Ten minutes?  Ten days?  Who knows.  All we know is that we woke up and there is no Mommy.  Some humans say we can tell time from the sun in sky.  Sun in the sky?  We can't even make fire and you want us to use our tail as a sun dial.

Then, when you finally get home, you act like it's no big deal and you don't know why we are so excited.  Why are we excited?  We thought you were never coming home.  We're like the families of the survivors on the Titanic waiting for them at the dock in New York.  Did you expect those people just to give them a slight peck on the cheek and ask them if they had a nice trip?   No they rejoice that their loved ones are still alive, and that's what us dogs do when you come home.

Of course when you come home we have to pee a river.  Have you ever met a worried person who doesn't have to pee?  It is a dogology fact that when you are left alone more than 75% of pee is worry juice.

So remember, when you're going out the door, just to go to work, or go to the store, that there are lots of bad people out there, and lots of bad things happening, and there are no guarantees that anyone is coming home.  So, when you do walk in the door, and we dance and jump, dance and jump for joy with us.  Rejoice, bark and sing that we're all alive. 

And don't take a second of it for granted.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Hobo Hudson is our January 16, 2011 pup of the week


Some of us pups have very important events occur in our lives:  illness, parent's illness, natural disasters, near unnatural disaster, some do remarkable feats with their parents to help other pups or humans; some show great compassion; and some leave us for the bridge.

But then there are the dogs who are consistent.  No highs.  No lows.  They stay on an even keel.  Every day they are consistent in one thing:  They are there with a helpful paw, through thick and thin, illness and health.  They are like every paws older sibling, in this case, older brother.

That is why we gather here today to recognize the big brother to us all, Hobo Hudson.

Hobo is an American success story.  Born to a family of uncaring humans he was left tied to a tree for the early part of his life.  Each day he was passed by a gentleman.  Hobo gave his best poor, poor, pitiful me look until the man brought him into their home and they became best friends.  And his Mom, who is a real writer, because she gets paid for what she writes (every time you click on her column she is delivered a brand new shiny penny by the monkeys who work for her editor) has, with Hobo's help. written hundreds of helpful pup columns.

Hobo has also shown us that we can do more than just lay around the house.  Hobo is a puppy entrepreneur.  He always has a scheme to make millions of dollars:  the selling of excess bell peppers; a brilliant trading of peas for ham plan, and cucumbers for meatballs; a worm farm; an ill conceived but none the less brilliant idea for a steak tree; a scheme to win the lottery; a squirrel cafeteria; making a handsome profit in kibbles from selling his businesses; teaching us all the recipe for deep fried bugs; bravely discovering the wherebouts of the old DS castle; and publishing the history of the first Doggyspace vs Tanner Brigade war.

Then there is Hobo the devoted friend.  He was the lead pup in convincing the wonderful Hattie Mae clan to join us at the Brigade, when Ladybug first became ill he was there to fill us in when her Mom couldn't, right up to the time she went to the bridge; his pleas to help a poor dog names Soco who he had never even met; asking us to watch over Ladybug's Mom when she passed, offering to help with any pups looking to confuse their secret bub by having you send him the gifts and he will mail them with his postmark; and keeping us aware of the need to vote for Erin and me in the top 100 dog blog contest.,

Plus the countless wonderful articles he had inspired his Mom to do including the story of Freddy Girl and Sota  and her latest on how our parents should make sure that we are provided for in their wills so we don't become part of the "system."

Then there are the wonderful things he inspires his parents to do that you might not hear about.  He helped his parents send a beautiful bouquet of flowers to my Nana's funeral which meant so much to everyone in the Monster family,

He also started one of our most popular forum features "What's Your Town Like?" that drew 105 responses. If you haven't responded yet, you should.  You can also send him clues about your home town, he will post them, and we will try to guess which town it is.  If this was the Suite Life of Foley and Pocket on Deck then Hobo would be the cruise director.

While he goes to Doggy Camp he sends his parents out visit his Tanner Brigade friends.  They went and met Hattie Mae and came back home with Hattie Mae's scent all over them.  And Hobo got to smell it.  Imagine having parents kind enough to travel 1,000 miles just so we'd know what our friends smell like.  Why they are the ambassadors of scent.

Hobo was an important part of our lives when we were in The Castle.  He left shortly after Tanner and I did and was one of the founding fathers of the Brigade.  Pus he must have some bloodhound in him because there was no better dog at sneaking across enemy lines and bringing back their secrets so we could use them against our enemy.  A more brave and loyal dog you will never meet.  Plus, having Hobo exclusively on TB brought us more members.  Everyone loved Hobo at the castle, he was one of our first friends, and when he left they were more than happy to join this small new group knowing it must be the real deal if Hobo was here.

Whenever a new pup joins the Brigade, no matter how quickly I try to get there, when I arrive, there are Hobo's paw print, having already arrived and given our newest arrival a tour of our playground.

While Hobo has had many businesses, employing cats and squirrels (and having to put up with, literally, wild cat strikes when I wrote something that made the kitties picket), the true business that Hobo trades in is smiles.  There are seldom blogs or comments from him that do not bring a smile to all pups faces.

Now Hobo is not a fashion plate like Hattie Mae or Tabaatha, he does not advise us on our future like Shiloh, or travel the Northwest like Northwest Shiloh, he doesn't raid puppy mills like Puppy, he doesn't write about wild, semi-erotic adventures like me and Pocket, but he is the support that makes all that possible.  He is Sam in Lord of the Rings, the best friend who keeps pushing Frodo forward.  He is Louie to Rick in Casablanca, Trapper John to Hawkeye in M*A*S*H, Clyde Tolson to J. Edgar Hoover (hmmm....not sure of that one, Pocket is my chief researcher. 

I think every member of the Brigade counts Hobo as one of their closest friends.  We don't think we would have even attempted setting up a site like this without knooing we would have Hobo's wise council to count on.  He is our Tom Hayden, our Benjamin Franklin, our wise council.

So, while Hobo never seeks the spotlight, for today, and this week, no matter how much he shies from it, it is on him because Hobo Hudson is our much deserved pup of the week.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Pocket and the Buzzard

From the desk of Pocket Dog

We got visited by another buzzard again Wednesday  Why do these buzzards keep coming to our neighborhood?

I don't know much about these birds.  They just keep circling over our head, and dumping this white, wet, cold stuff on our grass and our walkways.  Tthe snow was very hard to move, wet and heavy.  It was very difficult laying under the covers in our warm bed with Mommy while Daddy dug out the cars and large spaces for little dogs to pee.  That laying all snuggled up was very difficult.  The scraping noises from Daddy's shovel, the sound of his head boinking off the walkway when he slips, his loud gasping for breath as he leans against the car trying to determine if he is having a heart attack, the whack of his shin on the car as he slips under it, all very distracting when you're trying to snuggle.

Then I hear the door open, and the phone rings.  The phone is on Daddy's side of the bed which means Mommy has to go to the other side of the bed to answer it, which disturbs Foley and me.  And it's Daddy calling from his cell phone.  How rude!  He asked for us to be brought down stairs so we could pee.  I don't know why he couldn't have just taken off his coat, his gloves, his boots, his hat, his wet pants (Mommy doesn't like the dripping on the floor), come upstairs and get us, then take us downstairs, and while holding me so my small bladder does not squirt all over the floor, put on his wet pants, his hat, his boots, his glove, his coat, then take us out to pee.  How selfish.

Now we had to get out of bed, and Mommy had to bring us upstairs so Mr. Paleface because his heart was not pumping enough to his major organs.  He took us outside.  I don't like to complain.  But I was not happy with is shoveling job.  I prefer there to be no snow.  If I get just a bit of snow in my paw I become as immobile as Stephan Hawkings at a triathlon.

We both peed, and then I took a Vick outside, not because I'm a good dog, but it was a comment on his shoveling ability and got brought back inside.  We got a treat, and Foley and I climbed up on the couch to watch Daddy shovel.  We began to make bets on when Daddy would collapse.  I said when he tried to clean up the snow between his car and the curbing he was parked next to.  Foley said it would be when he tried to remove all the wet heavy snow from in front of his car.  But he didn't collapse. So it was a push.  We'll continue the bet at the next Buzzard.

This big white vicking bird came at a really bad time for me.  Monday I made it through the day without peeing inside.  But when you have to pee 16 times a day a Buzzard is your enemy.  It's not just the crippling snow in your pads, or the fact that Daddy gets lazy about putting on his coat and boots 16 times a day to take me outside, but that the workers where we live came by  a while ago throwing about 100 pounds of this salt on our walkway and steps and Mommy doesn't like us near this stuff, afraid we'll eat it or it will get stuck in our paws, so we have to wait for Daddy to sweep it up, and as we mentioned, lazy.

When Mommy was showering I climbed up on the recliner with Daddy and noticed that he wasn't breathing, so I stood on his chest, with my back legs over his heart, and began licking him performing CPR:  Cardiac Pulimnary Pupificaton.  It wasn't working.  Daddy had the computer on his lap.  Foley removed plug from the computer yelled "clear" then zapped him in the heart.  Daddy came around which we were very happy about because Mommy would have been so mad if we had just let him expire on our watch.  (Plus I owed him.  When he was in the shower I waited outside the bathroom door.  I decided to check out the useless room across from the bathroom.  I forgot that the door always closes behind me.  So I got trapped.  When I get trapped I do the sensible thing.  I just sit there and wait for someone to find me.  Daddy came back upstairs.  he knocked at the door.  I scratched at the door.  He freed me.

I hope the buzzard doesn't come back to visit us this year.  I just don't understand what is up with the big bird.  They always seem so nice on Sesame Street.


Hoping this buzzard doesn't come visit you this year.  Let is stay up in the North Pole with Santa where he belongs.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Pocket Change(s)

It has been a busy time here in Monster Town.

It has been almost three weeks that I have been crated for five hours or more because Mommy and Daddy were working. Since December 23 one of our parents has been home with us except for three or four hours at the longest.  This has been a big boon to small businesses in the house, like ball chasing, squirrel harassing, and barking at passing cars out the window.

(An interlude, from Daddy's first dog Barney from the Bridge:  "Why, when I was a pup we didn't sit in the house and watch cars go by, we chased them.  We ran right next to them, smelling the rubber hitting the road, nipping at their bumpers with our teeth.  Sure, we often got swerved into, knocked over, or killed, but we were glad, glad to be killed, because that's the way it was back then.  You young pups and your barking at cars from the window, you're just a bunch of wussy lap dogs that's all".)

You may remember that Mommy got sick earlier this month.  If not I can replay the video.  What?  No?  OK.  Well she's back at work but Daddy is home with us.  Daddy has worked a very long time in a very bad place and it has had some effects on his health and he at least needs a break, or possibly a new job.  But Daddy is going to be out of work until at least March and Mommy may be retiring as early as April so there's a possibility that our days of being abandoned while both our parents are out earning the kibble are over (as long as it doesn't effect the kind of kibble we get.)

That of course means more time roaming where ever we want in the house and not being confined.  I am working very hard on getting Daddy on a schedule while Mommy is out.  He is working very hard on finally potty training me.  I believe I am doing an excellent job in training him.  As for his training me, well he still needs to work on some things.

Our early mornings are the same.  But Daddy doesn't wear the shirt with the buttons and the ribbon around his neck.  When Mommy goes to work Daddy goes for a walk at the loony bin.  We are all worried when he leaves because Daddy is a loon and if they catch him in their big net they won't let him come back.  He walks all over that place, in the woods where they bury they experimental babies and everything.

He gets home after an hour and I bark to him to let me out.   This part of my training is failing.  He doesn't come upstairs to get me right away.  He does the laundry, and shampoos the floor, sometimes he put away groceries, this morning he straightened up the house and emptied the dish washer.  I don't know why he can't do this while we're downstairs.  There are still some kinks in the system.

He finally takes us, after waiting forever, out of our crate and outside for my third pee of the day.  He then sets the alarm on his phone for 15 minutes and sets up the computer on the couch, sits on the floor, and throws the ball for me, until the alarm goes off, then he takes me out for pee number four.  Fifteen more minutes and pee number five, and sometimes, if I have it in me, 15 more minutes then pee number six.

Then Daddy sits down after 45 minutes of ball throwing for some work on the computer and to wait for Mommy to come home. There is usually one more pee in there to make seven.  When Mommy comes home I get taken out for pee number eight.  Then three more fifteen minutes sessions of ball with pee break numbers nine, ten, and 11.

We snuggle down with Mommy before supper, maybe play a little more ball, have a couple of more pees, then  three more after supper to bring my pee number up to 16 a day.  So, I am doing a very good job of teaching Daddy to take me out to pee 16 hours a day.
 
On Friday we went to the vets where we were prodded, poked, and completely humiliated.  May I ask you who squeezes your anal glands and then decides to check on your teeth.  I mean I know I eat poo but I want to be the one who makes that decision.  I shall not have poo thrust upon me. 

They found the usual tarter on Foley's teeth and made an appointment for her to get her teeth clean.  Then they said there was some tarter on my teeth.  What?  I'm perfect.  Then he pointed to some discharge around my eyes that needed to be cleaned daily.   How rude?  So now I get my teeth brush and my eyes cleaned.  Everyone said what a good pup I was taking my shots but truthfully I was just in shock from the eye and teeth news.

So now I get brushed, and I get the fur around my eyes combed and it pulls and it hurts.  Mommy says the important thing is that we are healthy.  Then again no one is brushing the hair under her eyes.

Starting today my parents are going to keep track of how many days I can go without an accident in the house and if I do go the circumstances.  I think that this will become a very popular game on the Tanner Brigade with lots of kibble going back and forth.  Wish me luck.  I'm so happy I am doing the happy dance.  Oops.  OK, we'll start tomorrow.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Baron (Bear) and Freddy are our January 9, 2011

Two of our dogs went to their forever homes this week.  After a long journey Freddy finally made it to Steve and Tommy's house, and our sweet friend Baron the Bear (the dog so nice they had to name him twice) went to his forever home at Rainbow Bridge to join his friends and wait for the rest of us and his beloved Mom.

Both trips required flying.  Freddy flew on pet airlines.  Bear grew wings and flew to the path that led to Rainbow Bridge.  Freddy flew in a crate, looking down at the friends he flew over, giving out a "HAROOO I am going home" bark that could barely be heard over the plane's engines.  Bear used his wings to fly, stopping by to softly lick the tears from his Mom's face, something she barely felt, before flying off to the Bridge.

It took a tremendous amount of hard work and cooperation between a great group of TB and DS Moms and Dads to get Freddy to her home.  It took the incredible will of Bear's loving Mom Monica to delay his flight to the Bridge for as long as possible.  Bear's body had given out a year ago,  but his heart, that strong heart of his, would not quit.  It was super powered because like all soul mates, his heart, and his Mom's heart beat as one.

There were many obstacles to get Freddy to her home.  There were people to be lined up to foster her, to drive her from home to home.  The forces of nature even tried to interfere with her trip by throwing a blizzard in her way but that could not deter the people determined to get her home.  It took his Mom, doctors, and all sorts of pills to keep Bear with us.  He even got wheels to help him move around.  There wasn't a single obstacle too great to keep Freddy from reaching her forever home and help Bear postponing his trip away from his Mom.

This week Bear's trip home to the bridge and Freddy's trip to her home with Tommy Tunes had began to unfold on parallel lines.   On Wednesday both Freddy and Bear began to make arrangement for their long, final trips.  Freddy got on her plane and went on her chartered flight home.  As the DS sand Tanner Brigade communities began to celebrate sad news began to arise from the North.

Our good friend Bear, who had been sick so many times before, had a good night that Wednesday, but while Steve and Tommy were picking up Freddy at the airport, Bear began to have labored breathing, and needed a vet visit.

As Freddy was walking into her new, loving home, Bear was  having labored breathing and a temperature of 104.

On Friday as Freddy was moving all her personal effects into her new home, arranging her room, and hanging her picture of her Mom Gina, Bear was at the vets, where they found that he had pneumonia, a serious diagnosis for older dogs.

Maybe, just maybe, Bear stayed to make sure Freddy got to her new home before he decided to grow wings.  If no one else could find a set of wheels to get Freddy there Bear's back leg wheels would do the trick.  When he was sure they weren't needed he decided it was time.

And I do believe Bear knew it was time.  His Mom took him to the vet.  He got some antibiotics and his fever broke but he didn't respond well.  His breathing was still labored.  His mind drifted down to Florida where Freddy was running freely and he remembered the days when he could do that.  Freddy was safe, and his Mom was now there.  He looked up in her eyes and she knew it was time to let him go.

Now understand Bear was no ordinary dog.  Loyal, strong, loving, friendly, compassionate, admired by all who saw him or read about him.  His passing to the bridge left a huge whole in the dog world.   There is no replacing Baron Bear.

Before going to the bridge he stopped by Florida, ran up behind Freddy and gave her a friendly pull on the ear.  Then Bear soared to the Bridge, and rumor is, for the first day, all he did is run, run like he was a pup.

Two dogs, one with a story that fills our hearts with joy, the other with sorrow.  One entering his forever home on Earth, one leaving his Earthly home for his forever life in the next life.  One parent laughing at the joy a new dog brings, another heartbroken at the pain an old dog passing leaves.

It is a short history of humans lives with dogs.  The excitement of a new pup, the compassion and love they inspire during their lives, and the heartache when they go.

So here is to our Pups of the Week Baron Bear and Freddy.  Long may they both run.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

And Down goes Mommy

Oh my gosh, Sunday night, what an awful night.

Saturday night Mommy went out to eat with her children, grandchildren, and the ones who put the thingee in the bujeengee that makes babies.  She had gone on Thursday for a birthday dinner with Daddy and her brother and sister-in-law and on Friday for a birthday lunch with Daddy and her son.  I can't say for sure if what happened on Sunday was because the birthday angels were punishing her for over indulging in her birthday, or if the dog angels were punishing her for leaving us for a few hours over three days, like the talent angels have punished Lindsay Lohan after her totally awesome performance in Herbie Fully Loaded by making her sick, but whatever it was it wasn't good.

Early Sunday morning Mommy got out of bed and hurried to the bathroom.  Now, if you know my Mommy and her bad artificial knees you know she hurries like a penguin being chased across the ice by a polar bear.  She made it to the bathroom and womited,  She crawled back into bed, then, a short while later, gave an encore performance. then kept on going all morning until I woke up Daddy, nudging him, and saying "dude your wife has been puking all morning, you might want to check it out."

Daddy got up and Mommy said she did not feel good at all.  Daddy went out and got her some Ginger Ale and Saltines and some Charlemagne tea.  I don't know why.  We still have chicken and rice from the last time I got sick.  I told Mommy I could make her some but she said she didn't want it.  Well guess what?  Neither do I.  But when I'm sick it's all "it doesn't matter if you want to eat it it's good for you."  Geesh.

Daddy gave her some Ginger Ale and she sipped it.  I sat in the chair watching her because that's what Mommy does when I'm sick.  She sits there.  And looks at me.  Waiting for me to finish what I'm eating.  The difference?  I can't pick Mommy up, spin her butt around, make her face the other way, and tell her to stay.

Both Pocket and I could tell Mommy wasn't feeling well so we stayed close to her all day.  She kept womiting and continued to slowly rush to the bathroom.  She also had terrible back pain.  Daddy tried to put heat on it  but nothing worked.  I Googled back pain and vomiting.  I found a site that stated to relax, it would give me a reasonable answer to her health problems.  Then it told me Mommy was going to die.  I was quite frightened but Pocket typed in swollen toe and eye lash shedding and got the same answer.

Mommy, despite her illness, continued her Tanner duties.  Luckily she had Pup of the Week almost done Saturday.  But there are some subtle clues to her illness.  The beat this caption contest for this week is titled beat this question.  The question of the week is dated for January 2, 2012,  She made a comment on Hattie's page that was "Baaaaruuuuuggggggghhhhh!"

By night time it seemed like Mommy's tummy had settled down so we went to bed.  Mommy fell asleep, Daddy stayed up reading, I stayed on top of the covers.  My sensitive ears could hear the rumbling in Mommy's tummy and knew something bad was coming.  At 12:30 she awoke, looked at Daddy, said "I have to go mumble sideways in the underhill," stood, and moved quickly, walking into the TV, then on to the dresser, clearing the pictures from the shelf as she tumbled forwards, landing on my blanket.

Which she womited on while she lay on the floor.  My blanket!  Where I sleep!  Where my Pocket comes and plays with her toys!  Daddy stood up and ran to her.  I jumped off the bed and jointed him.  Pocket stood on the bed and went "HARRRRUUFFFF!  I am alone on the bed, I am the bed queen!"

Daddy used his tiny, emaciated man like strength to sit Mommy up with her back to the bed.  He asked her if she was all right.  She slumped down and womited some more.  Daddy said he was going to call 911.  I was against it.  If calling 911 couldn't get Guiliani elected President how could it help Mommy?  Mommy said no.  She actually said "No, horsie, sit, fog cue.,"  Daddy lifted her up and put her on the bed.  She slid off like a fish on a see saw.

Daddy caught Mommy and told her if she couldn't stand up right now he was calling 911.  He then grabbed her and yanked her up.  He put his feet under her feet, and pushed her forward slowly, like Tessio dancing with the little girl at the wedding (Two Godfather references in one blog, Zoe Boe:  Bazinga!)

He got her into the bathroom.  He eased her down to the floor next to the toilet with her back against the tub.  He then leaned her forward like priming a pump and then wham came the womit.

Daddy held her, and when she was done he asked her how many fingers he was and she correctly guessed three.  He then asked her if she knew what day it was and she said to calm down and get his s**t together.  Daddy knew she would be all right.

He grabbed my blanket, and the comforter, and put them in the washing machine.  I stayed with Mommy.  Daddy got the steam cleaner and went to work on the rugs.  He then went back to Mommy.  He helped her up and walked her back to the bed.  He put her in bed and tucked her in, he put me next to her to watch over her, then looked around.  No Pocket.  He went downstairs where Pocket had peed on the rug.  "Hey, I figured while you have the vacuum out....."  Daddy scooped her up, put her in bed, brought the vacuum downstairs and cleaned up her mess too.

Mommy was fast asleep when he got back upstairs.  Daddy didn't want her waking up so he tried to stay up, with his IPod cranked on loud, a book to read, and a Smart Phone to keep track of the world's activities.  He even had the gall to respond to something Otis had written as me!  Mommy womiting on my blanket!  Daddy posing as me on Tanner Brigade?  The entire system was breaking down.

I have vowed to keep an eye on him while he's on the computer for now on.

By morning Mommy was weak, and mortified, but not womiting.  She had some more Saltines.  On Tuesday Mommy went to the doctor.  She said she thought Mommy had either got a bug or eaten something that disagreed with her.  I don't know why she ordered bug in an Italian restaurant.

On Wednesday she went back to work.  Daddy drove her and we got to go with him when he picked her up.


We hope things are getting back to normal.  But let me tell you that was one scary night.

We don't have any video of the incident.  This is the closest we could find. Just say a prayer for Mom and for us that this doesn't happen again.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Shakira and Napa are our January 2, 2011 pups of the week

Bullies!

They are everywhere.  If you surf the Internet like I do you will read how concerned adults are about little humans being bullied by mean kids.  But when are humans going to start getting concerned about us, their best and most loyal friends getting bullied?

For example there are the first two doggies recognized as pups of the week in 2011, Napa and Shakira.  They suffered the worst type of dog park bullying.

Their Mom took them to the dog park a few weeks ago on a perfectly sunny day.   There were two Great Danes roaming uncontrollably.  I have met plenty of this breed and, while even if their heads are larger then my entire body, they seemed perfectly nice.  But these weren't Great Danes, these were Zombie Danes.

And they weren't just bullies.  They were humping bullies, which are the worse kind.  One Humping Zombie Dane mounted Napa.  Our sweet friend was not in the mood to be sexually assaulted in a dog park and growled at the creepy Hamlet to back off.  Well, this Zombie Dane, instead of putting it's perverted head down in shame, attacked Napa.  A long time member of the Brigade, Napa can more than defend herself, but this was a big Dane and our brave little friend was knocked to the ground.  Her fearless Mom ran  towards her to protect Napa as the Dane went Zombie on her trying to bite into her neck.  Then another Zombie Dane joined in.

Shakira was on the other side of the park hanging when her friends when she heard Napa cry out as a Zombie Dane bit into her leg.  Shakira opened a can of whoop ass and began darting back and forth biting the Zombies trying to get them off her sister.  But the only way to stop a Zombie Dane is by cutting their heads off and their Mommy did not let either Shakira and Napa pack heat at the dog park, so, despite brave Shakira's best efforts she too was taken down.

Finally the Zombie Danes Zombie Dad decided letting his dogs commit pupacide would be a bad thing.  He began to pull the Zombie dogs off our friends, as did other concerned dog parents.  Now we are all very fortunate that Shakira's and Napa's Mom knows when to keep it together and when it's time to let it go.  She picked up her wounded warriors and got them to the dogtors immediately.  Thank dog got quick thinking Mom.

Thanks to Angel Apollo who looked over his sisters they both were able to recover from their wounds, although it's unclear if Napa will ever get full use of the leg the Zombie Dane chomped into.  But I am betting she will.  Because she has her Mom on her side:  Her Mom who threw herself into a four dog fight to save the pups she loved; her Mom who got them to the vets before she collapsed in tears; her Mom who tracked down the Moronic owner of the Zombie Danes and made sure they paid for the medical bills of her pups.  Her Mom is like an Oklahoma sand storm, a force of nature, and you do not want to get in her way.

Congrats to Shakira and Napa, our pups of the week, of to their Mom.  A wonderful story of love of humans and pups, of their bravery, of their loyalty, of their unwillingness to ever give up on one another, to start off 2011.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010; A Doggyspace Christmas Carol

It was a bitterly cold Christmas Eve in Northern Virginia as we peer down on a young man hurrying through the festive crowd, who are wishing each other the best of the holidays.  The young man ignored them all, staring down at his blackberry.  He was stopped by an elderly man who asked him if he could donate money to poor children on Christmas.  The young man scribbled the http address of a web site and continued onward.

He came to his front door and searched for his keys.  When he found them he looked at the door and his heart skipped a beat.  His beautiful door knocker had turned into the face of a yellow lab.  "Tanner Bub?" he asked, his voice squeaking in despair.  But the knocker turned back into the @ symbol he had paid an extravagant amount on e-bay to obtain.  He shook his head and wondered if he had too much punch at the Christmas party, which was entirely possible, since he was the only person there.

He entered the house, put down his blackberry and switched to his laptop .  He checked his rating and saw his new site was ranked near the bottom for hits.  The space he created for advertisers was bare.  He went to the refrigerator to get a Corona with a slice of lemon and a Promax bar then sat back down.  His instant message icon was flashing.

He clicked it on a window opened saying he had an instant message from Tanner Bub.  He clicked ignore but the window opened anyway.  "Merry Christmas Levi, it is Tanner Bub from Rainbow Bridge."

"Humbug," Levi said and began to bang on his mouse trying to close the window.  But it would not close.  He tried rebooting his computer but it would not shut down.  His calls to his service provider were rerouted to dogs singing Jingle Bells.  It became obvious to Levi the only way to clear the message from the screen was to answer it.

"Why are you cuntackting me Tanner?" he typed in his unique verbiage.


"One day at Christmas all us pups were gathered under one roof, a roof called Doggyspace.  We were, peaceful, happy and content.  But then your greed took over Levi.  Your need to control all around you.  Happy pups were either driven off or packed up and left on their own.  Soon you packed up and left too leaving those behind at the mercy of the mean and evil profiles who moved in."

"That's caled capittooisim Tanner," Levi typed. "Buy low, sell high, and move on."

"There is more to life then that Levi," Tanner typed.  "Tonight you will be visited by three ghosts showing you Doggyspace past, present, and future.  They will show you the error of your ways."

"Can't do it dude," Levi typed.  "I got a partee tonite at Flashdansers.  Strippin' elfs dude, you should czech it out."

"I'm afraid not," Tanner answered.  "Soon you will be fast asleep and then the ghosts will visit you."

Levi scoffed at the idea as Tanner's IM disappeared to be replaced by Levi's Linkden profile. "Oh this should be interesting," he said.  He was asleep within seconds.

He awoke to the feeling of his pants leg being pulled.  He looked down to see a familiar beagle.  "Do I know you?" he asked.

"It's Pepsi, bitch," the dog said.  "And I'm back."



"Pepsi, what are you doing in my apartment?" he asked.

"I'm the ghost of Doggyspace past, I'm here to bite ankles and chew  rawhide and I'm fresh out of rawhide."

Levi lifted his legs. "Are you going to take me on a tour of my past Christmases to show me the error of my ways?"

"Yeah, that's exactly what I'm going to do," Pepsi said.  "Because you're the Grinch and I'm Max the dog, you moron.  Just look at the computer screen"

The screen went back to Doggyspace on Christmas Eve in 2008.  "Read the posts, see how everyone is wisihng each other Merry Christmas.  There is Hattie Mae's profile, and Tanner Bub's.  There is Foley and Pocket, Luca, Sam and Junior, Hobo Hudson.  Everyone is laughing and sharing stories.   Then it all changed."

"Yes, but they lacked discipline, the site needed it, you can't eat your pudding until you've finished your meat.  How can you have your pudding when you haven't finished  your meat?"

"You let the power of running the site go to your head." Pepsi said.  "You began to ban members, including the beloved Tanner Bub.  That began a decline in membership and less hits on your site.   If you had not let all the power over take you Levi, every Christmas would have been like that."

"They needed monitoring, they needed expelling Pepsi!" he said looking down.  But Pepsi was no longer there.  On the screen were some of the writings he had recently done for his new web site.  It put him to sleep instantly.

He awoke to see a dog in a dress and cap checking herself in a mirror.  "I just can't get this hat right," she said adjusting it on her head.

"Is that you Hattie Mae?" Levi asked.

She turned around.  "Well of course Levi, we haven't spoken in so long.  Oh, but tonight I am not Hattie Mae, I am the gift of Christmas Present because I'm the best Christmas present anyone could wish for."



"I thought that was Peruvian gold."

"Oh Levi, you're like an old painting you never change," she said.  "Now get ready for a thrill.  For the first time ever you are going to get to view the Tanner Brigade web site."

"Oh, oh, can Princess get a membership?" he asked.

"You have a better chance getting a membership in Mensa,  Now you read some of the posts, I know it will be like waiting for a third grader to read Moby Dick but I've got all night."

Levi read the comments of a close community of dogs wishing each other the best of the holiday season, of those reaching out to help heal both hurt and sick humans and pups, of those trying to get Miss Gina's dogs to their new home.  He got done and looked down at Hattie.  "Where are the ads?" he asked.

"The ads?" Hattie responded.

"How are you making any money from this if there are no ads? There was a woman I took for $8,000 for an ad on DS.  I spent that money on jeans."

Hattie sighed.  "Why don't you look at the comments on DS this Christmas Eve," she said.

The DS screen appeared.  He began reading, slowly.  "They seem quite similar to TB, well wishes and good cheer."

"Let me help you," Hattie said and the screen scrolled until it stopped.  "See these comments, a dog bragging about the number of guns he owns, two dogs arguing about a boy in school, young pups insulting each other, bullying other dogs about their profiles, what do you think of that?"

"I would have to see how much they paid for their membership fee before I decide," Levi said.  Hattie growled at him.

"This may take more than three ghosts," she said.

"This activity has nothing do with me," Levi said.  "I have already sold the site before it occurred."

"And let's check in on what the new owners are doing this Christmas Eve in Texas," Hattie said.

The screen showed a You Tube video of a man eating pretzels and watching TV.  "Laura," the ex-president yelled "the kid has his tongue stuck to the pole again!  That's the fourth time tonight he's done that.  How stupid can you be?"

"George, come in here for dinner right now," his wife said.  "And did you check on that all dog social network I bought you for Christmas?  You promised me if I got it for you that you would watch it.

"I don't need to check on it.  We will be treated as liberators.  What could go wrong?" he said as the You Tube clip faded from the screen.

Levi looked down but Hattie Mae was gone.  He then looked back up at his computer screen.  "Oh,. the lost Princess blogs from Doggyspace, I shall entertain myself all night by reading these."  Ten seconds later he was fast asleep again.

He woke up to a little dog tugging at his pants leg.  "Who are you little dog?' he asked.

"My name is Fuzzy Bacon," the little dog said.



"Fuzzy Bacon?  I think that was the name of one of the strippers I ordered."

The little dog sunk her teeth into Levi's leg making him yelp.  "Sorry, I'm just a puppy, I haven't learned my manners yet.  OK.  Now I have to remember what 12 taught me to say.  I am the Future of Doggyspace ghosts.  No wait, that wasn't it.  I am the Doggyspace Ghost Future. No, that's not right either.  Darn."

"Is it possible you are the ghost of Doggyspace future?" Levi asked.

"That's the ticket," Fuzzy said.  "Because I am the newest member of the Brigade I have been chose to show you the future."

"Well I have had enough of my night wasted, let me see it."

"First let me show you Doggyspace," he said.  But all that came up on the screen was a notice that the domain name was for sale.

"Well they didn't have a sound business plan," Levi said.

"And maybe you got pups to join the group under false pretenses and then abandoned them all.  I don't know, I'm a new pup, but I don't like what I'm hearing.  Now let's switch to a Facebook account."

Levi was speechless as he stared at his profile.  "Friends zero?  No friends?  What kind of idiot has no friends?" he asked trembling.

"It seems, you," Fuzzy said.

"This is terrible, how did this happen, where are all my friends?" he asked.

"There is one more video you need to see, it's from a surveillance camera across the street from a drive-thru."

Levi saw the man working in the drive-thru.  "Look at that smuck, working on Christmas Eve.  Wait a second," he peers further into the screen.  "Who is the man in that window?  Tell me spirit who is handing out that bag of fries?"  His voice grew more excited.  "Who is that putting ketchup into bags?  Who?  Who?"

Fuzzy held up her skinny paw and the camera zoomed in to see Levi bagging the fries.  "It is me?  Me?  Working in retail fast food?  No friends on Facebook?  Tell me spirit, are these thing to be, or can they be changed?"

Levi slumped down in his chair.  He fell asleep shaking in fear.  He awoke with the first morning light.  He rebooted he computer and saw that it was Christmas day.

He knew the first thing he was going to do.  He went on Pea Pod and ordered a large Christmas Goose.  He then began to hurridly run around the house making plans.  "I will buy back Doggyspace and make it a user friendly site.  I will let the dogs have the freedom to bark what they want to one another.  I won't charge for premium  memberships, in fact I won't charge at all.  I will ask for contributions.  And if I get too many I will put it back in the site.  I will take no money for myself.  Well, maybe a little, for food.  And expenses.  And a car, in fact a few premium memberships won't hurt.  Or all premium memberships, and lots of ads, and dogs who don't pay, can get out.   Yeah.  Lots of money for me.  Letting three ghosts change me.  Nah!"

In a dusty corner of the apartment a recently downloaded Foley sat with Pocket licking her paws.  "What are we going to do now Foley our plan didn't work?" Pocket asked.

"Next year get bigger dogs," she said as she hit the return button and down loaded herself back home











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