Monday, April 28, 2014

Our parents are spying on us by Rivers Song

We are being spied upon my friends and those doing the spying are the ones closest to us, our parents.

Yup, thanks to Motorola Big Brother has turned into Big Mommy and Daddy and our privacy has been invaded more rudely than a small Ukrainian village.

Motorola is selling at Pet Smarts and other stores Pet Monitors.  At first I thought they were really big monitors where we could watch our kitty porn but no, we aren’t watching the monitors, the monitors are watching us.   They are placed around the house, and when we cross in front of the camera it picks up our image and sends it to a computer where our untrusting parents are watching (which, arguably is more exciting than whatever work they are supposed to do instead of watching us.)  

This infringes on our most basic rights:  To do whatever we want when our parents leave us.  It s our way of punishing them for leaving.   Then, when they return home, we sit amongst our living room of ruins, with a confused expression on our face, as if we had no idea how such a thing could have occurred.  Our freedom to do this preserves the delicate balance between dog and man.

The only way that we should agree to such a violation is if we can watch what our parents are doing too.  I mean who knows what is going on while they are out of the house?  Except for some guy named Obama and if this Obama knows then shouldn’t we?

So let’s make those cameras two way cameras.  What do you say humans?  No?  Didn’t think so.  When we are apart I think it is better we keep our dirty little secrets to ourselves and when you come home and everything is ripped apart, or we sniff you and discover some strange stank, let’s just chalk it up to that social compact between dogs and men.

No more private eyes watching you or me.  Agreed?

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Pup of the Week: For Our Moms


I know Mother’s Day is not for a few week but we should be celebrating our Moms every week, and I am going to do it today, especially for those Mom’s who are struggling right now.  
There are some, like my Mom, who struggle with pain every day.  Besides the pain from her worn artificial knees and bad neck her vertebrae is compressing giving her back pain.  She is also getting smaller.  Don’t tell Daddy.  He thinks he is getting taller (and larger.)  When it comes to humans men are much sillier.
When something is wrong with us our Moms go on the Humanbook and spill every little embarrassing detail of our illnesses.  Us dogs do a much better job of protecting our Mom’s privacy, and sometimes all we write is that our Mom needs prayers.  Pups don’t ask questions, we just pray.
This week, at the Bridge Cathedral on Tanner Brigade, Benjamin, Butkus, Barry and Pepper asked for prayers for their Mom,   We don’t know why, but we pray very hard that she is OK, for her, and for Benji and his pack.

I know some of you have not heard from Matilda for awhile.  And I know that many of you remember her big brother Moses.  Matilda’s Mom lost her Mom a short while ago and it hurt her very much. Matilda’s Mom is a wonderful dog Mom and a wonderful human 

being and she needs our prayers.  Pup prayers are the best and I know you will help out.  

Molly’s Mom has a problem that often occurs with us dogs.  She got bit by a tick and developed Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.  She is in need of prayers too.  I hate those ticks and I can attest that ticks are not allowed near the Bridge along with other bothersome insect life.  I think they all go to the bad place to bother bad humans.


Tupper, Boris and Max’s Mom has had terrible problems with a tooth.  She went to the dentist who would have fixed the problem, except the dentist worked on the wrong tooth!  So now she has two tooth problems and no money to fix either.  So you can add her to our ever expanding prayer list.


While Buddy Boy Smith’s Mom is fine, his Aunt is having a very difficult time, she recently put down her pup Sandy Girl after 14 years together.  I swore Sandy Girl in and she is doing very well but please say a prayer for her Mom.




Finally we have to give a shout out to a Dad, Buddy, Moose and Sydney’s Dad, who is in the hospital until tomorrow with spinal meningitis.  While this was quite scary for his family he should be fine.  Even though it left Moose very depressed while his Dad was in the hospital.
Moms (and Dads) say so many prayers for us they deserve a few of their own so let’s rally together and keep all our parents safe and healthy.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Ask Aunt Foley

Dear Aunt Foley:  We are puppies barely a few months old.  Why do we need baths?  How dirty could we have gotten in a matter of weeks? - Huck and Elvis

Dear Huck and Elvis:  First of all, it is always good when pups write in.  It keeps the column fresh.  I know you weren’t with us when I was on that mortal side of the Bridge but you should know I was kind of a big deal.  Now on to your question.

There are two schools of thought on this.  The first one is that we are dogs.  We are descended from wolves, we are meant to be outside, and anyone outside gets dirty.  We should be able to bathe on our own schedule and where we want:  Ponds, swamps, big puddles, whatever comes in handy.   But humans always think they know better than nature and insist on doing things their own way, bathing us to make us smell something other than our natural smell, which is God awful stank.  Humans do care for us, feed us, pick up our poo, and love us, so letting them bathe us now and then is a fair price to pay.  But if you feel they are overdoing it jump out of the tub and run around the house shaking.  That usually teaches them not to over bathe you.

But I must admit that I was part of that small minority of dogs who loved getting baths.  I wasn’t crazy about being wet, but the pampering, the gentle massaging, the attention, and the clean smell were all for me.  I was a bit of a girly dog. Also I always wanted to please Mommy and she never wanted a dirty pup on her lap.  But I was in the minority and I certainly respect the dogs who hate their bath.

So once again humans, unless, like me, you have a bath loving dog, let dogs decide when and where to bathe.  We are much more attuned to our only hygienic needs than you are.

If you can’t clean your own genitalia you shouldn’t be deciding when to clean someone else.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Time to tend to my garden by Foley Monster

Finally my minions have melted the ice rink, most of the water has run off, and we even have some grass shoots coming up.  I do apologize for the long winter (and especially to Enzo. There is still lots of snow on Enzo mountain due to a leaky ice machine.  It was my first winter at the Bridge and I learned a late season hockey tournament was a bad idea.  I am going to make up for it with lots of heat lamps to help my garden grow here.  Lots and lots of heat lamps

Not only do I have to worry about the gardens I am planting up here (I am going to be doing lots of watering once I have planted my seeds so those of you who live along coastal areas or waterways I am issuing a flash flood warning until the beginning of June.  If this had been an actual emergency I would have appeared in your dreams and barked:  “Head for the hills!)

But  the Bridge garden is not the only one that I am concerned with.  I have to start planning my earthly gardens for the spring.  I have visited Mommy in her dreams and she is already buying flowers for my garden to make is look beautiful.  

Next to my garden was the wheelbarrow garden.  At the end of last season the wheelbarrow, which, against my advice, was bought on the cheap at Walgreens, predictably fell apart.  Mommy has money set aside for another cheap wheelbarrow, but in the interim Grampy passed, and Daddy took the St Anthony statue (he is the patron saint of lost things and no one loses more things than my forgetful parents) from his garden and put it in the wheelbarrow garden, which I do hope is going to be named he St Anthony garden because if you cross over the Bridge and on your questionnaire you state that you had a St Anthony statue in your garden but still named the garden after a cheap wheelbarrow you will be going to hell.

Mommy has told Daddy that they won’t be spending as much money on the gardens this year because of the number of perennials she planted.  HAH!  Mommy said the same thing about Christmas gifts for the grandchildren and his credit card still shows bruises.  My parents constant gardening produced multiple trash bags filled with landfill, weeds and grass, so much so that the management company is limiting the amount of trash bags residents can put out.  Although their gardens are much admired Mommy and Daddy aren’t the most popular duo in the Village of the Pruned.

They have already dipped into the kibble account to buy a rain barrel, something that would not have happened if I had any need for kibble.  They collect the rain from the roof and keep it in the barrel and then use it to water the yard where the rain would have gone anyway.  I swear the whole household has gone to hell since I departed.

But most importantly I want my garden, Foley’s garden, to be tended to properly.  The first step is to send a message to my sisters:  STOP PEEING IN MY GARDEN.  I mean it.  My buds are blooming, my crocuses are up, and while I didn’t mind when my flowers are dormant I don’t want your water waste amongst my blooms.

Once my sisters control their kidneys my flowers can begin to bloom and a little bit of my soul will be alive just outside my parents window.  

And they are on strict order not to let anyone pee in it.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Enzo is our Apri 20, 2014 Pup of the Week


It has been a terribly long winter for everyone on the mortal side of the Bridge.  On this Easter Sunday hopefully a hint of spring has appeared in all your yards but there is one pup who is stuck in the land of eternal winter.  His name is Enzo and he lives on Enzo Mountain in Colorado where all it ever does is snow.


Here at the Bridge we have heard Enzo’s prayers and we have lobbied to help him.  But we were told Enzo’s Mountain needs to be thawed slowly.  If we do it too quickly it will send water rushing down the hills toward the little village of Pompei Colorado, and we don’t want history repeating.


We must give credit to Enzo and his family.  A similar fate struck Walton’s Mountain in the 40’s   All that’s left is the diary of their eldest son John Boy.  The last entry reads:  “We finished off the last of Grandpa last night.  We pulled Pa out of the freezer and will start in one him tomorrow.  We hope to make stock out of Jim Bob for the summer.  I just burped.  Goodnight Grampa.” Thankfully Enzo and his family have handled their misfortune better.


Even buried under snow with as little hope of seeing green as an Uruguayn rugby team Enzo and his Mom are still able to bring smiles to the faces of her friends, either through very good and very clever drawings or humorous comments on our pages.  Of course this is a sign that Enzo’s Mom has gone completely insane from being snowed in but she does make us smile,


Even if we can’t thaw them out us angels are still trying to help them.  A planned kibble drop went awry when we hit eagles in the noggin’ pissing them off and causing them to mount a counterattack.  We are now trying to convince the United States Government to move the capitol to Enzo’s Mountain hoping all the hot air will melt the snow.


In Ecclesiastes it is written that To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:  So Enzo and his family is going to have to be patient.  There is as season for everything and their season of winter is taking a very long to end but it is all for a purpose under heaven.


If I had my way I would like to join them on Enzo Mountain.  I have even written a ditty about it


Oh to live on Enzo Mountain
With the snowfall and the six foot drifts
It never reaches twenty on Enzo Mountain
But when you go there you won’t want to leave too soon
You won’t want to leave too soon

Friday, April 18, 2014

Ask Aunt Foley

Dear Aunt Foley:  Last week I read “Ask Aunt Foley” and you answered why us dogs are not considered tax deductions and why this is wrong.  I decided to see if there were any documents in my Daddy’s desk that would support him claiming us as deduction.  After it was done the room looked like this: Daddy was quite upset.  Did I do the wrong thing?  - Jasper

Dear Jasper:  Of course you did the right thing in looking for receipts.  Any time you can facilitate more kibble being brought in the house it is a good thing.  But, as the former top dog attorney in the country I must admonish you for what you did wrong.  Barking about it.

Again, totally support the searching for receipts, but, when your Daddy came home, you should have been sniffing around, not even looking at your Dad, intently sniffing, even when he is yelling at you.  After he is tired of listening to himself yell he might notice you sniffing.  At that moment you look at the door and whine, then run to the front door, then back in the room, then to the front door, then back in the room, whining all the way.

After a while your Dad will become curious about your running.  Was it possible someone broke in the house?  Is that what you are trying to tell us boy?  Did someone go through my papers?  Honey, where is the bank book and our social security cards? Suddenly everything is about their papers and they have forgotten you, and your supposed misdeeds.  

So, before your rip apart your Dad’s office have a plan to blame someone else, even if it is Sumudderdawg.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

River Thinks Her Breed is Under Represented

Sniffing around the house I have found lots of Yorkie things:  Writing paper, calendars, statues, bottle covers, pens, mugs, checkbook covers, just about everything.  I understood when I arrived here that there would be lots of Yorkie things but now that this is a half Griffon household I want to know where the Griffon stuff is.

I have been told that Mommy has sought such items but hasn’t been able to find any.  What is the meaning of this?  Look at me!  I am freaking adorable!  My entire breed is.  Why aren’t there Griffon themed items?  I am being discriminated against by the big anti-cute movement.

Part of the problem is that we don’t have big litters.  I only produced two myself.  So there are not a lot of us Griffons running around, not like Labs that have 20 or 30 pups a pop , or so I have heard.  We are a rare commodity, like diamonds.  but we are also a Mom’s best friend.

But I think us Griffons should be as represented as other breeds so I need your parents because they are the ones who buy all these dog themed items to request their local merchant get some Griffon things, even if they have to go all the way to Brussels.  If there is enough of a movement then us Griffons can take our proper place with the rest of the showy breeds.

I mean at least a freaking key chain.  Is that too much to ask?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Hattie Mae is our April 13, 2014 pup of the week


This week the Internet was rocked with news that shook the country and roiled the oceans.   Hattie Mae announced her retirement from social life.  She is stepping aside to spend more time with her Mom and Dad, her handmaiden Jackie Lynn (sorry Jackie, it’s true) and her husband Leo (who will still post but is under orders from his wife not to speak of her.).

Hattie has spent the last few years on the small, private, Tanner Brigade site.  But before that she was the single most influential dogs on social media.  A trailblazer in a summer dress and yellow sun hat.  The web designers and investors may have created Doggyspace but it was Hattie Mae who showed us how to use it.

Under her bewitching touch we all learned how to get our secretaries to both take, and post, pictures of us in the most adorable clothes.  She taught us how to take our everyday life and spin it into entertaining and often moving stories.  Hattie Mae was the first to be able to convey a dog’s existence in a way humans could understand.

What she taught us most of all is how to personify compassion.   When one of us goes to the Bridge or gets sick Hattie always knows the right thing to say, whether they be words of kindness or prayer.  Whenever a post is made on our page that brings us comfort we see Hattie’s paw prints leading the pup there.

Under previous ownership DS was like the old west. Anyone, friend or not, could post a comment on your post or page.  There were many dogs on the site, including the owner’s, that were not dogs at all, but humans trolling for arguments.  Hattie Mae, a pup who wears her heart on her fur, was ripe pickings for these trolls, and they soon chased her from the site like uncontrolled mutts at the dog park.  One by one her friends, including us, followed.

After we founded the Tanner Brigade the members spent weeks enticing the reluctant Hattie Mae to join.  When she finally relented she became the heart of our little group.  Every day she made us smile, or she touched our hearts, or stunned us with her beauty.  She was all of ours’ best friend.

We all came together on DS as a group seven years ago, and they have been a wonderful seven years.  But many friends, both dog and human have been lost in that time, and it has taken a toll on all of us.  When you are a loving, sensitive pup like Hattie each passing takes a bit of your soul, and visiting pages that once filled you with joy now becomes a sad reminder of friends lost.  Somewhere, over time, she lost her smile, and she needs time to get her smile back.

We can’t say for sure how long she will be gone.  She may disappear like Garbo, rumored to be at some opulent location, leaving dogs whispering of her imminent return, or, like Sinatra, this may be the first of many retirements.  We hope it’s the latter.

I wonder when I will hear from her again.  I have two thoughts in my mind:  One is getting a postcard from  Fort Hancock, Texas. Fort Hancock... right on the border. That's where Hattie crossed. When I picture her heading south in her own car with the top down, it always makes me laugh. Hattie Mae... who crawled through a river of sith and came out clean on the other side. Hattie Mae... headed for the Pacific.

The other is her sitting at her villa, getting a drink from Jackie, in a chair next to Leo, watching the water.  Leo asks her if the Internet got too big for her.  Hattie takes a drag of her cigarello and says “I am still big, it’s the Internet that got small.”

Whereever you are this one is for you my sister, with love:

I took my love and took it down
I climbed a mountain and I turned around
And I saw my reflection in the snow-covered hills
Till the landslide brought me down

Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?

Well, I've been afraid of changing
'Cause I've built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I'm getting older too

Well, I've been afraid of changing
'Cause I've built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I'm getting older too
Oh, I'm getting older too

I take my love, take it down
I climb a mountain and turn around
And if you see my reflection in the snow-covered hills
Will the landslide bring you down
And if you see my reflection in the snow-covered hills
Will the landslide bring you down, oh, oh
The landslide bring you down


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Not Liking the New Normal By Pocket

I am not sure what’s been going on around here lately but I know it’s not good.  One morning while we were all cuddled in bed Daddy’s phone made that funny noise, not the one that rings but that other weirder one where he has to read, not talk.  It took him a few seconds for his eyes to adjust and then he said  “Oh Christ he fell again.”  I wasn’t sure who he was.  The last “he” who fell down and bothered Daddy was Will Middlebrooks but I don’t think it was him.

Daddy was gone for a long time that day, and when he came home he was quiet.  Later that night his phone rang.  I watched him and the aura that surrounded him and I saw everything ease.  I put my head down and no longer worried.

The next day, Daddy must have done something before grocery shopping because he was between aggravated and nervous with a touch of weariness when he got home.  When Daddy came home from work on Thursday besides the stank of strange dog on his clothes, the aura and demeanor had become quieter, more nervous, less aggravated and still quite weary.  

Things grew worse each day after that until Tuesday morning his phone made the real ringing sound, and I could hear a very serious voice on the other side.  Daddy’s voice was very even, and they spoke briefly.  Then, just as he had a week before, Daddy hurried me, than River outside, and he was gone.

It had been a week since we got the call.  This time Daddy was gone about an hour.  He was soft spoken when he returned home and he had many phone calls to make.  Mommy was quiet too  River and I curled up on the back of the sofa, sensing it was the right time to stay quiet.

Later that day River and I were crated while “arrangements” were made.  River and I discussed what we should do in between River trying to break her way out of her crate.  I thought snuggly, she thought goofy, and, because that is both what we do best, we decided to do each.

The next couple of days we acted between goofy and cuddly.  On Friday Daddy and Mommy got all dressed up and Daddy wore a ribbon around his neck which he hardly ever does anymore.  They were gone for about four hours, and then, the next day, early in the morning, they left, wearing the same clothes.

They got home later in the day, quiet and tired and we gave them some good snuggle time so they could sleep.  River told me I had to adjust to the new normal.  That’s the third time in a year:  First Foley, then when River came in to live with us, and finally whatever this was.

I don’t like the new normal, I like normal normal, but Mommy told me the new normal would become the normal normal soon enough.

I hope so, I really want things to return to normal.