Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Dog in the Mirror by River Song

It was a normal Sunday night.   I was in bed with my parents.  Because they are (a) impatient and (b) kinky I was hooked up to a leash that was connected to the headboard.  This is because I have the top part of the bed and Pocket the bottom part. But sometimes, pre bondage, I would hear a noise, and charge at Pocket starting a fight, or, one time, knocking her right off the end of the bed like Yukon Cornelius and the Bumble.

So I get tied up, where I can go half way down the bed, and Pocket only dares to go halfway up the bed, and we have bed detente, until Sunday night when I stood up, looked to my right and saw another Brussels Griffon in the bedroom sitting on the same type of bed.

Well I could not have this.  A Yorkie at the bottom of the bed is one thing but having a Griffon in a duplicate bed wearing a duplicate leash and a duplicate harness was another.  And with her permanent frown and one snaggletooth it was obvious that this Griffon was mocking me.

I began to snarl at it.  Mommy and Daddy told me to quiet down, that it was just my reflection.  My reflection was right.  A reflection of my personality in a sarcastic way that I would not stand for it.

I settled down in the bed, then poked up, and that naughty Griffon was poking her head up at me too.  The &itch.  I climbed on to my Daddy’s expansive belly just as the mocking Griffon climbed on her Daddy’s expansive belly.  I wanted to leap at the interloper and destroy her but unfortunately I was bound to the bedpost, as was the River impersonator.  

My parents kept telling me to settle down but I couldn’t stop poking my head up to see the poking doppelganger until Daddy got frustrated and put me on the floor.  I ran head first into the bureau trying to get to that dog.  Then I did it again, and again which caused me to stumble around.
Mommy and Daddy have lost three dogs to neurological problems and they became very worried that there was something wrong with me besides wanting to fight my own reflection.  They brought me into the living room and watched me walk for awhile and determined that I was fine.  They decided to put me in bed and shut out the lights but I still wouldn’t settle down because I wanted that dog in the mirror.

So, even though he hates to do it, Daddy had to take me out of the bedroom, put me on the couch, and hold me in a submissive position, which is exactly how my babies were conceived, until I calmed down.

WHen we got back in bed I spent several minutes giving Daddy a face bath which calms me down and then fell asleep curled into the same position all night exhausted.  When I awoke in the morning Daddy held me up to the mirror and showed me that it was just me in the mirror.

So I promised I would not fight my reflection any longer.  But I am going to get that popping Griffon someday soon.



Sunday, August 25, 2013

Koda is Foley Monster's August 25, 2013 Pup of the Week


Last week I wrote about my wonderful friend Annie who had no choice but to become a triped when she was diagnosed with cancer in her leg.  Sadly Annie’s Mom found out yesterday the cancer had spread before the surgery and she is in need of major prayers.   And so does another dog who became a triped through stupid human error.

My friend Koda, while having one of the best families in all of the dog world, has not received a lot of breaks in the health department.  He is an oversized Lab with multiple health problems including bone problems in hips and his kness.  And then he hit a spot of much ill fortune.

Koda is on medication, as are some of the other members of his pack.  Koda’s vet made a mistake and put his name on pills meant for another member of his pack.  Koda’s Mom gave him the pills and he became loopy, then fell down, and when he did he shredded his ACL.

Both his Momma and I are very upset with the vetl.  His Mom called the vet and told her that she would never take her pet kids to  her office again.  I sent a huge flock a full geese to poop on the vet’s car and gave the vet fleas.  Not her office, just her.  Knock my friend down and hurt him and I am going to make you itch for a week.

Koda’s new vet gave him some pain meds to help him get through the day and to relieve the face swelling that was a side effect of the medication he should not have taken.  Before any of the physical problems that Koda developed because of his degenerative bone disease could be cured his thyroid problems would need to be treated pharmaceutically.

Once his thyroid problems are addressed then Koda is facing two more operations.  One is a hip replacement surgery as his degenerative bone disease has badly damaged his hip, and after that they can address his ACL caused by the know poo covered disgraced vet.

This fall, around the time of Baron Fest, Koda’s Mom and Dad are going to hold Farm Fest.  Unfortunately Koda, the leader of his pack, won’t be able to frolic with the other dogs.  But he was still be there to give his wise counsel, his leadership, and his friendship.

So please keep Koda, and Annie. in your prayers.  He has been one of our best friends for a long time and want him with his family for even longer.  He has a hard road ahead some of it as an oversized dog with three legs, but his heart is so big we know it will get him there.

Love you our besite, long may your adventures continue.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Queasy is the Stomach that Wears the Crown

I’ve got to tell you guys I am under a lot of stress.  Like many of you I never thought Foley would go to the Bridge.  At least not until she was 17 or 18, blind, deaf, gassy and senile.  But Foley slipped away in her prime leaving me totally unprepared to succeed her.

Foley passing to the Bridge at 18 would have put me in double digits agewise.  Her passing would be like Queen Elizabeth dying in a year or two.  And I would be Prince Charles.  A little too long in the tooth to assume the throne.  I figured by then there would be a third dog living with us, a right smart whipper snapper who could assume the law practice, Tanner Brigade reigns ,and chief blogger, while I lived out my days like a dowager princess.

But no, I, unlike Foley, who always chased greatness, have spent my life trying to avoid having it thrust upon me but now I find myself thrusted.  I do have a new family member, River, but she has a scandalous past, single mother, Miss Griffon Pump of Florida, and needs to have her image reformed before she even gets a whiff of greatness.

And, truthfully River is a cause of great stress.  I went back and read Foley’s blogs about when I first entered her life, a wild, untamable beast with unlimited energy that turned me into a total pest.  But I could not be as bad as River, who likes to attack me while I am sleeping, attack me while I am sitting with Mom, steal my ball from me, and being a cause of general unrest.

Plus there is Mommy who still gets hit with rogue waves of grief from Foley’s passing.  I hate to see her cry.  I try to comfort her and lick her tears but when a rogue wave hits you there is nothing to do but ride it out and that takes time.

Then there is Foley who keeps popping into my dreams, or maybe my nightmares.  Why aren’t I doing more blogs?  Why don’t we have any new law clients?  Are we meeting the needs of the Brigade members?  Why aren’t you being more comforting to Mommy?  Why, why, why?  Some nights I try to stay awake all night so I can get some rest.

But all these stresses seem to hit me in the tummy.  I think I may be developing a little doggy ulcer.  At least once a week I wake Daddy up and go outside and have the most vicious little doggy poo.  It is the kind you need to clean up with a straw.  Then I don’t eat breakfast.

By midday my tummy is better and I eat my breakfast, and then eat my supper and produce a perfect Pocket poo, and continue to do so until something else or someone else (River) causes me stomach unrest and I am waking Daddy up again.

I have done all the things I am supposed to, eating the chicken, the rice, the pumpkin.  But when my tummy gets rumbly from tension nothing helps but some calm time.

When I have runny poos it always makes Mommy and Daddy worry about me which makes me worry.  It’s kind of a vicious circle of poo.  And I lose all sense of privacy.  Both my parents watch my poo come out to see if it is solid.  Mommy looks at it like one of the royal family looking up Princess Kate’s whowho to make sure that the Royal Baby is actually coming out and Daddy watches like a crab fisherman pulling a pot on board on Deadliest Catch.

So I am trying to do exercises to keep calm, keep my thundershirt handy, try to stock up on pheromones, and hope in time I will adjust to my position and our pain at Foley’s passing will ease.

I am sure I will get there because I have such great help from my friends.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Enzo is Foley Monster's August 18, 2013 Pup of the Week


We dogs, whether we live on Earth or at the Bridge have a part of us, our spirits, that live in cyberspace where everything is equal and all looks the same.  Here at the Bridge it is just endless rivers, streams, hills, meadows, grass, mountains and clouds.

But on Earth everything is different.  Some areas are very hot all the time, some are cold, some get lots of snow, some get none.  Where I lived in the Northeast there are hundreds of vets to pick from and at one time or another I think my  Mom has picked them all.

But there are several places where there are only one vet, and when that vet goes on vacation, and your dog gets sick, things become very dire, which is what happened to my friend Enzo, who became sick this week, and apparently lives in the 1800’s.

There are all sorts of things on Enzo’s property and apparently there are plenty of bad things to eat there, bear droppings, geese droppings, wildflowers, mushrooms, the Donner Party.  Our friend Enzo ate one of those things, and he did so at the worst possible time because the only vet within 45 miles was on vacation.

The first night his parents stayed up as he pooped all night long, never able to lie down and get comfortable.  The next night it started coming out his other end, vomiting all night long.  His Mom, living in her little house in little mountain town, had learned how to become an emergency vet when needed.  She found a syringe and got Enzo to drink four ounces of water.  Later in the day his Dad got him to eat a little chicken and rice.  

The next night Enzo went to sleep, although he had some bad dreams, then woke up at 2:00 AM to poop,  He went back to sleep, even spending some time in his usual spot by his parent’s bed, and in the morning ate a little more and got some of his toys out of the bed.  His parents were hoping he was getting better.

But you know how it is with us dogs, even when we are not doing well we are always trying to convince our parents that we are fine and that is what Enzo was doing.  Usually the illness overcomes our best efforts and we accelerate downhill quickly which is what happened to Enzo.

His condition went beyond what his Mom called her “country doctoring” skills.  He spent that night awake, needed to go out every hour.  By morning Mom knew they had to make the long trip to Leadville, which is very dangerous with a dog leaking poo every hour.  He was diagnosed with a bad bacterial infection in the intestines most likely caused by eating something he shouldn’t have.  Enzo was put on powerful antibiotics which let him sleep, and then cured him of the need to leak every hour.  So far the medicine seems to be working but Enzo is going to be in need of prayers so he can get back to normal.  

Once Enzo gets back to normal he can reopen his garage that helps the DS racing team and provides us with so much fun.  He is the clown prince of cyber dogs and we need our prince doing well.



Friday, August 16, 2013

River Song Takes Her Parents To Training

After two weeks living with my family I came to realize something:  These humans needed training.  I told Pocket how surprised I was that Foley had not had her parents professionally trained.  Pocket told me Foley had her own unconventional training methods but she was afraid without Foley’s reinforcement they had fallen behind on their training.

Human training is very basic and very easy.  You want them to give you treats for things that you would do naturally.  Like sit.  Everyone sits.  When we get tired we can’t help it.  But, when working with another cooperative human, we can actually train our humans to give us treats when we do this very natural act.

The first thing you have to do to train your human is not listen to a word they say.  If you act like you have no idea what they are saying not only will they enroll in training classes, they will pay for it.  My parents took me for training at a Petco.  But I had to let them know that I was in control from the start of this adventure, so the first thing I did  as part of my “training” was take a crap on the floor.

And of course my humans cleaned it, which Foley taught me is the essence of the dog “master”, parent “pet” relationship.   They buy us food and prepare it for us and when we digest it and leave crap on the floor they clean it.  So crapping on the floor and having them clean it establishes my dominance before the training begins.

Also crapping is a very exhausting act.  That is why most humans do it sitting down.  Even after doing it sometimes they get off the toilet and say “Wow, I need to sit down.”  And if they are in one of those countries that you have to squat, well a human is sitting for a good hour after that.  So, after crapping, the first thing I want to do is sit, and the first command I get after crapping is “sit”, which I was about to do anyway from exhaustion, and I got a treat.

Then we keep doing it, and I keep sitting because if there is one thing about sitting it’s exhausting and sometimes after sitting a dozen times you really need to sit.  After sit is down, which seems like a good idea when the trainer said it.  Yes, thank you, if you don’t mind, I would like to lie down for awhile, and then I got a treat.

Then the trainer gave my parents the treats and this is where the important part happened.  They started giving me treats for basically getting tired and falling down.  And then they did it so much all my blood rushed to my digestive tract which made me dizzy and I started falling down, and getting treats.

There were some other things we went over.  There was stay, which means do absolutely nothing and get paid for it.  At first I got confused because I thought I just got elected to Congress but once I got the hang of doing nothing I got lots of treats.

There was one thing I didn’t like called “leave it.”  I don’t know why the trainer had us do that.  I thought the entire point was getting my parents to give me treats.  Leave it didn’t have them give me treats.  But then I realized that this was just an exercise in making my parents think they were in control.  But I am still too stubborn to “leave it,” so I just walked away from it and barked at some people.  

We still have some classes to go to but Mommy and Daddy are learning.  Now I just have to learn how to make them give me a treat for napping. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Annie is Foley Monster's August 11, 2013 Pup of the Week


Those of you who have followed my blog know of my newest Angel friend Willie and his long battle with cancer of the leg.  There is only two choices when you get this cancer.  One is to, through a combination of will, prayers, being stubborn, miracles, and loyalty to survive as long as you can.  The other choice, which was not possible for Willie, is to sacrifice the leg to save the body.

But it was a choice for this week’s pup of the week, Annie.  She had a large mass on her leg, had it tested, and it came back as a tumor.  It had wrapped itself around muscle, bone, nerves, and was growing.  There was only one thing that could save her life:  amputation.

So her Mom made the only decision she could make (but still a very difficult decision) to have the leg removed.  The first step was for Annie to go to the vet and get a pain patch put on.  Her Mom did a lot of reading on dogs who have had their leg amputated, some of it provided by Willie’s Mom Sandy.   Annie’s Mom vowed not to seem nervous around Annie, sure she would pick up on her vibes, and not to cry in front of her children.  Annie’s Mom had a lot of weight to carry but she can handle it because, for those of you who don’t know her, she is the Mom who adopted one of the surviving Malatesta dogs, Wishbone, so that should tell you what a great dog Mom she is.

Annie’s Mom had planned on keeping Annie home the night before the surgery but decided it would be better for her precious angel to stay at the vet where they could watch her and keep her comfortable.   That night the doctors ran a battery of tests on her and found that everything, except for the tumor, was normal.  

Early the next morning she had her surgery and she came through like a real trooper.  The doctor said it was a very invasive tumor that could not have been removed so taking the leg was the right decision.  

Annie’s Mom had planned to pick her up in the following morning but the physical therapists wanted to do more work with her.  She was happy because Annie’s Dad could go with her to help get Annie into their car.   Her neighbor was taking care of Annie’s human sibling so her Mom could make her house ready for her.

Annie’s Mom got another call from the vet saying that she was up and walking on her three legs.  Annie was having a little trouble figuring out how to do her bathroom business without a back leg but the physical therapist said that Annie would adjust.  Since the leg was gone, even if the tumor was malignant Annie was in no danger.  

Of course the thing about humans is that they think they prepare themselves for what they are going to encounter but they really can’t and seeing Annie with the missing leg as quite a shock to her parents.  Annie is an older pup, her remaining back leg is weak, and she was struggling walking.  As all dogs do, she put up a brave front for her Mom, going to her bowl, trying to go upstairs.  Annie was adjusting to the new normal but for her parents adjusting to it was going to take a long time.  They let it be know that the family, and Annie, needed lots of prayers for her pet and pet parent friends, which, of course, everyone was ready to provided.

By Friday morning her parents realized that Annie’s every move did not need to be watched.   When they removed Annie’s pain patch she handled it like a trooper.  Annie scared her parents when she wouldn’t drink water, but she started to drink that morning.  She was not eating but her pain patch had an appetite suppressant so that was normal.  There was swelling at the amputation point and her parents kept it iced when Annie would let them.  Annie had some PT scheduled and some exercises at home to strengthen her leg.  Annie’s Mom had thought the sight of the wound would scare her children, and had bought some boxer shorts, but they family accepted Annie’s surgery and the boxer shorts were never used.

By Friday afternoon Annie was ready to eat, accepting the crust of bread from her Mom’s sandwich. She tried offering Annie some scrambled egg and Annie turned her nose up until her Mom tossed it to Wishbone.  Annie made her coonhound sound letting her Mom know she was upset.  Her Mom, excited to see her baby wanting to eat, jumped up, got some wet food with her medication, and Annie scoffed it down.   She then went out on the deck to get some sun.  Annie’s Mom had done a lot of research before the surgery and knew the first two days were the hardest but Annie was doing great

By Sunday our first tripod member was amazing her family.  Her spunk and coonhound power was back in full  She had solved the going to the bathroom mystery, although her parents still preferred to carry her up and down the stairs.  When Annie’s Mom woke up Saturday night Annie was standing on her three legs looking at her lovingly.  The next morning Annie  made it up to the bedroom and she was helped on the bed and managed to walk on it, which is quite an achievement for a dog who lost a leg.  Then her Mom laid down on the bed together.  They had made an amazing journey together, and now they lay together, Annie’s Mom’s hand on her harness, and they slept together, two survivors, ready to face many more dawns.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Pocket Moves in With Taylor Swift - They Break Up - She Writes A Song

A couple of weeks ago, to take a break from River and all the pressure of taking over the management of the Brigade I took a short vacation.  I went to Newport to relax in the sun.  There I met a seemingly nice, Southern, blonde haired lady named Taylor.  We hit it off right away and she invited me to her mansion.  While I was there I had one little accident and she threw me out of the house.  I thought that was the end of it but then I heard a song on the radio and I knew it was about me.  I was shocked and ashamed.  I couldn’t download the song but I did transcribe the lyrics for you to read.

You, with your pees and your urine
And piddles and pisses that you do on my rugs
You have pissed on my feet again
Got me feeling like I'm nothing
You, with your wet stains under the cupboard
Making my feet wet when I’m barefooted
You peeing on the drier girl

You can take me down with just one single piss
But you don't know, what you don't know...

Someday I'll be living in a big ol' city
And all you're ever gonna do is pee
Someday I'll be big enough so you can't wet me
And all you're ever gonna do is pee
Why you gotta pee so much?

You, with your white pee pads
And your diaper liners and your disposable onesies
You have urinated on my flowers again
As if they needed watering
I walk with my head down
Trying to keep an eye open for your puddles
I just wanna have dry feet again

I bet you just pissed on
Not wanting to go out in the cold
But the cycle ends right now
'Cause you need to learn to piss by the road
And you don't know, what you don't know...

Someday I'll be living in a big ol' city
And all you're ever gonna do is pee
Someday I'll be big enough so you can't wet me
And all you're ever gonna do is pee
Why you gotta pee so much?

And I can see you years from now on the floor
As your parent watch  a football game
With that same big spreading pee stain
But nobody's watching
As you keep peeing on the same old dirty rugs
Wet and smelly because you never learned to go outside
Because all you ever do is pee

All you do is pee
And urinate, and piss, and have a wet bottom
And pee, and pee, and pee, and pee

Someday I'll be living in a big ol' city
And all you're ever gonna do is pee
Someday I'll be big enough so you can't wet me
And all you're ever gonna do is pee
Why you gotta pee so much?

Someday I'll be living in a big ol' city (Why you gotta pee so much?..)
And all you're ever gonna do is pee (Why you gotta pee so much?..)
Someday I'll be big enough so you can't piss on me (Why you gotta pee so much?..)
And all you're ever gonna do is pee
Why you gotta pee so much?

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Willlie, the Dog Who Said No, is Foley Monster's August 4, 2013 Pup of the Week


(It is 50 years in the future.  Judge Foley is sitting in a rocking chair.  She .has a shawl on her lap and is slowly rocking back and forth.  She isn’t any older, but she is meeting with young pups fresh to the Bridge, and she finds she gets more respect when she appears older.  She has told the young pups she will tell them a story and they jump up and down excitedly.  She picks one scruffy little pup out of the pile and asks him what story he wants to hear.  He says he wants to hear about the Willie the Dog Who Said No  Foley smiles, rocks back a little more, picks up a small pipe, blows some bubbles, and begins.)

Back in the day, before my Mommy and Daddy got here, and all my pup brothers and sisters, there was a dog who lived down by the Jersey Shore.  His name is Willie.  Now you all know, you have all been through it, that the Lord only give us so many heartbeats, then he sends an angel down for us to tell us we have to go.  Some of us, like me, are able to work a deal and get something extra from the angels, but Willie, well Willie was the only dog who ever looked the grim angel in the face when his time came and said “No thank you, I’m not going.”

First, because Willie’s song was ending, the angels sent cancer that took hold in his leg.  It was treatable for awhile.  Some pups have cancer and get cured.  They live for years.  And others can only manage the cancer until the angels come down and tell the pup it’s their time.  That’s the kind Willie had.

Willie, his Mom, and their family, fought this cancer with everything they had, spent thousands of kibbles, said a million prayers, wrapped and rewrapped the legs endlessly, made countless vet trips, and still one day the angels went down to Willie and told him it was his time to go to the Bridge.

“No thank you,” Willie said.  

The angels looked at one another.  This was unprecedented.  A dog had never said no before.  “You really have to go now Willie, there is no choice, the boss said it was time, so you have to come.”

“I’m sorry, I can’t right now,” Willie said then to snuggle with his Mom.

The angels went back to the Bridge and they told the bosses that Willie said no.

“Said no?” a boss asked.  “He can’t say no.”

“Apparently he can,” one of the Angels said.

“Well we can’t have this,” the boss said.  “The entire system will collapse if dogs say no.  We are going to have to keep making him sicker until he is begging to come here.”

And they did.  They gave him huge tumors on his leg that had to be cut off and then got infected.  They wouldn’t let him walk, or swim.  They made him lose his appetite and make his tummy sick.  They made the vet look sadly at his Mom and give a grim prognosis.

They sent the angels back down to Willie and said “Now are you ready to go to the Bridge.”

“No, not yet,” Willie said.  “Thank you for making such an effort, but I’m good.”

The bosses were furious.  “It is about time that Willie learns we means business,” they said.  So they sent a hurricane.

It ripped apart the Jersey Shore, ruined Willie’s neighbors’ houses, cut off his electricity for more than a week, flooded his beach house, caused millions of dollars of damage, trapped his family in his home, and afterwards, when Willie had seen the might the bosses could wield, they sent the angels back, to once again ask if he was finally ready.

“No,” Willie said.  “I’m good here.  You folks sure went to a lot of trouble to convince me otherwise.  You caused a lot of trouble for people around here just to get me to join you but I’m not going.”

The bosses were not happy at all when the angels returned without Willie.  So every few weeks they threw more at him, kept sending the angels, and Willie, very politely, kept telling them no.

When I got to the Bridge and was made a Judge one of the first duties they assigned me was to tell Willie he had to go to the Bridge.  I floated down to him at his Beach House.

“Hi Foley,” he said.

“Hi Willie, you know why I’m here, the Angels say that you have to go to the Bridge now.”

Willie smiled at me, tapped me on the paw, smiled his big smile, and told me no.  I told him that they were serious about him going to the Bridge and I couldn’t control what they would do.  He then stood on his back legs and began singing very pretty:

And I am telling you
I'm not going
She’s the best Mom I'll ever know

There's no way I can ever go
No, no, there's no way
No, no, no, no way I'm living without her
I'm not living without her
I don't wanna be free
I'm staying
I'm staying
And you, and you
You're gonna leave , oh ooh mm mm
You're gonna leave me

Well that was unexpected.  And very beautiful.  And persuasive.  So I went back to the bosses with an idea.  “So what do you think of this?  We let Willie stay.  Just Willie.  One dog.  Let him live until he’s 50.  Then, after his Mom comes to this side, he will follow like a good boy.”

But they said no.  And then they hit him with all sorts of cancers, just every organ, and he still said tried to say no, but he knew his existence was too painful.  He talked it over with his Mom and they agreed that he would pass over to the Bridge, and he finally did.

And when he did every single dog, every angel, every boss from every District was there to cheer him as he climbed the stairs as I awaited to swear him in.  The ovation went on for the longest time for the toughest, bravest, sweetest, dog we had ever known.

For the dog who said no.