Sunday, January 31, 2016

R is our Pup of the Week



(Picture used with permission of the Romping and Rolling in the Rockies blog)
There are so many friends I am praying for.  There is Paco our Italian friend who is 15 and showing more signs of his age every day, there is Charlie, a friend I just met, who crossed over the River of Life this morning leaving a heartbroken family behind.   They are both worthy of Pup of the Week honors but on this day Pup of the Week is brought to you by the letter R.
R is the name of a male chocolate lab who lives ‘8200 feet up on the Front Range of Colorado with his sister, Shyla, another chocolate lab, and his parents.  Their Mom is a photographer and dog blogger struggling everyday with crippling arthritis.  Their blog is filled with stories of their adventures and some of the most magnificent photos you will ever see.  You can find it here:  http://romp-roll-rockies.blogspot.com/
Much like our good friend Enzo R, Shyla and their family are surrounded by snow most of the year but there life is a lot like ours, except for the neighboring bears and mountain lions and the overprotective moose who has been lurking nearby making sure Shyla and her Mom don’t hurt her baby.
The blog is called Rolling and Romping in the Rockies because that is what R and Shyla do.  They roll and romp through the snow, up hills, over rocks, down trails, and through rivers.  This is more remarkable for R since her was born with a birth defect - elbow dysplasia.
Six years ago, when he was one year old, R had surgery that cleaned out the bad cartilage and bone chips.  That gave him an excellent five years.  But then the limping returned.  R had another surgery.  The surgeon had to clean out all the cartilage from the weight bearing surfaces in his leg.  But it did give R two more years of romping and rolling without pain.
R’s Mom was able to understand what he was going through.  Her spine degeneration started in her teen years.  She now suffers from the pain of bone on none vertebrae.  Little by little R’s elbow worsened.  He would, as all dogs do, try to hide his pain and limp from his Mom, but soon it became too much.  His parents discussed the possibility of surgery.
The operation is known as a CUE surgery.  Metal pieces are placed inside the knee to act as the cartilage to stop the bone on bone grinding.  There are very few doctors who perform this surgery and R does live 8200 feet above sea level in a remote area.
Their vet wants to do the surgery with the vet who originated the surgery and believes their schedules would permit them to perform the surgery on April 1 which doesn’t seem too far away but when you are a playful dog on the side of a snowy mountain it might as well be years.
In the meantime R continues to get a moderate amount of exercise.  He is on the highest amount of pain medication he can take.  R was born to run and his parents want to make sure that he is running for a long time.
So if you have a spare prayers say one for R that he has a quick and successful surgery and gets back to rolling and romping soon.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Tails from Rainbow Bridge: Local Heroes

My parents seldom meet famous people.  That is because they rarely leave the house and it is even rarer for famous people to pass through their living room.  But two weeks ago they met a famous couple in a local pet store.  They weren’t famous for acting, singing, or ball playing, but for rescuing.  They were the Burke family from East Bridgewater MA and they were buying food and other supplies for a dog they were rescuing.
The dog they were rescuing is named Moose.  He is a pit bull mix who had been in a shelter in the Virgin Islands for 1,628 days.  Dogs were surrendered to the shelter and found new homes but day after day Moose remained unrescued.  The workers in the shelter tried to keep him socialized by walking him and showing him love but he needed his own home.
They began a Facebook page for him (Help Moose Find a Family: 1,628 days in the shelter is too long)  and Moose went viral.  Soon the page had 1,800 likes.  People from across the nation followed his story.  There was hope when he went to a foster home but because of housing issues he could not stay there.  At that point the shelter teamed with Last Hope K9 Rescue in Boston to try and find him a home in the Boston area.  The Burke family of Bridgewater Ma had lost a 14 year old pitbull mix earlier in the year.   They had been following Moose’s story but weren’t sure they were ready for another dog.  But when they heard it was possible Moose would be coming to Boston they decided it was a sign from the Angels that Moose was the dog for them.
The Rescue quickly approved of the Burkes and then put Moose in training classes to help him lose those bad tendencies dog acquire in a shelter.  But another problem arose.  How to get Moose from the Virgin Islands to Massachusetts.  A dog Moose’s size would have to fly as checked luggage (the indignation!) and the trainers working with him felt all their work could be undone because of the stress of the plane ride.  Moose needed a private jet.  But who has a private jet?
The Riggi family of Albany New York that’s who.  They were on vacation on the Virgin Islands when they heard Moose needed a lift home.  They were very happy to accommodate him, and, as an added bonus, they paid for a limousine to take him from Albany to Massachusetts.  Now this is a story that make you believe in angels on Earth.  
Moose left the wonderful shelter where he had been so greatly cared for on Saturday.  He got to sit on the floor of the plane and he greatly enjoyed the entire ride.  When he landed he got in the limousine for his ride to Massachusetts.  Moose had a  stop to make before he moved into his new home.  All dogs new to the United States need to be quarantined for 48 hours.  The limo was driving Moose to the shelter where he would be quarantined when they got caught in the blizzard.  The limo got stuck in the snow but another good samaritan stopped and helped the limo get to the shelter where the Murray family awaited her him with hugs and kisses.  
On Tuesday Moose finally arrives in his new home where he fit right in.  He is the only dog, it has to be that way, and he is loving it.
We angels would like to thank all the human angels who cared for Moose, promoted him, helped him find a new home, transported him, fought through a blizzard to get him to his quarantine, cared for him there, and finally the Burkes who are getting a wonderful dog.  Us angels will be watching over him.

We so rarely get a happy ending this is one story we will never get tired of watching.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Safest Place in the World by Pocket Dog

Do you have a favorite spot?  Mine is the big bed.  Especially when it is cold.  There is nothing like snuggling with a human when it is cold.  Humans!  They are all purpose mammals.  Providing food, cleaning pooh, taking us on walks, giving us attention, they do so much for us.  And now I find they are wonderful sources of warmth on cold nights.  Indians are known for using the entire buffalo.  We dogs need to perfect using the entire human.  And that includes their body heat.
Not that this is a one way street.  Our parents like to sleep in a cold room under a nice comforter.  But some nights it get too cold.  They wake up and they don’t feel either my little body, or River’s little body, against them so they reach down and snatch us to use our body heat.  On especially cold night we get yanked several times.  Nothing disrupts a good night’s sleep like a yanking.
But I am not complaining.  It is a compliment to have two people fight over you in bed.  Even if the bed is the sight of a cuddle four way.
I start my sleep at the end of the bed on a special blanket.  River Song goes to sleep leaning up against Mommy’s shoulders.  But the more we sleep the colder we become.  River slips under the covers and I move up the covers to sleep next to Mommy.  River then moves over to sleep next to Daddy.  Mommy gives off heat but Daddy gives off fire.  
When River moves over to Daddy I move up to Mommy’s waist which is a wonderful snuggle spot.  Then Daddy gets too hot for River and she want to get back in Mommy’s wonderful snuggle spot and I won’t move so she sits at the top of the bed staring at me and mewing softly until everyone is awake.  Mommy and Daddy push River under the covers and she snuggles up by Mommy’s shoulders and I stay in the good snuggle spot.  Serves you right for moving.
Even better than bed is second bed.  This is when Daddy gets up and takes us out to do our business.  Then we come back in the house and go back to bed for an hour or two.  Second bed is heaven!  First we get cold outside so we are able to get warm and snuggled all over again.  Second we don’t have the “pressure” in our nether regions so we don’t have to worry about any accidental spillage or leaking.
When I am under the covers snuggled with my family I never feel safer.  Nothing bad can happen to me there.  I am protected by love and caring.  It is a peaceful, easy feeling.
I am going to stop now.  I hear the bed calling.





Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Beat This Caption

Crap. I left my towel on the toilet again. Mom hates when there are wet paw prints of the bathroom floorl

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Angel Simon and Loki are our Pups of the Week

Let me jump right off by saying this is not another sad story.  Many of my stories are sad because they are about separation.  That is bound to happen when you spend so much time telling the tales of newly anointed angels.  But sometimes I get to tell the story about connections.
This is such a story.  But first we start with an Angel.  Simon became an Angel in the waning days of 2014.  He was his Mom, Miss Emmy’s, best friend, confidant, and true love.  When Simon got called to the Bridge it left Miss Emmy heartbroken.  She did not know if she could open her heart to another pup.
Angel Simon knew he had two duties:  He had to get his Mom’s heart to accept another dog and he had to find the perfect dog.  But it was hard getting his Mom to that place.  He would often come to my house and lament that he didn’t think his Mom would ever let another dog in, and that he had yet to find the perfect dog for her.
Angel Simon began to lose hope as the anniversary of his Bridge date approached.  He didn’t think he could ever send enough signs, visit enough dreams, or send sweet suggestions on the breezes to convince his Mom that it was time.  But we told him to pay attention to the way his Mom lingered over dog pictures, or the way she would watch a pup.  We told him the day was coming and it was time to start interviewing dogs.
Little did we know Simon was ahead of us.  He had been meeting with Loki, who, like him, is a dachshund who needed a home, had sweet, loving eyes, and had been training for weeks to learn everything Miss Emmy loves.  A few weeks after Simon’s Bridge anniversary Loki and Miss Emmy connected and Loki was taken to his new home.
Before he got home Miss Emmy began nesting.  She bought everything she could think of to make a good home for Loki including a lot of blankets.  She wanted to make sure that Loki understood this was his forever home.   When Loki hit the front door there was no question in his mind that he was home.
Simon still has work to do with Loki.  He is so grateful to be in such a wonderful home that he gives his Mom a thousand kisses an hour which is about 900 too many.  There will be many adjustments on both Loki’s and Miss Emmy’s parts but  Angel Simon will be there for both of them make sure this connection is a successful one
But for now Angel Simon’s work is done and he can take a well deserved rest.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: Otie's Mom and the Cold Dog


On Monday I got finished with a hard day of judging and swearing in new arrivals.  I decided nothing would be better than a kibble split sundae with bacon sauce.  I flew over to Otie Campbell’s drug store and hopped up on a stool next to the counter.  Otie took my order but I could see he was upset.   
When he gave me my delicious sundae I asked him if anything was wrong with his Mom, Dad, or baby brother Briscoe.  He shook his head.  “It’s my parent’s neighbor’s dog.  Mommy was out last night with Briscoe and she saw this poor dog outside in nine degree weather.   My Mom felt so bad for him.”
“She tried calling the police but she got a recording.  She called the next day and was told as long as the dog had sufficient outdoor sleeping quarters and seemed to be taken care of there was nothing they could do.”  Otie took a sip of a vanilla shake. “Sufficient outdoor sleeping quarters,” he said shaking his head.  “Is there any sufficient outdoor sleeping quarters when it is nine degrees and snowing?”
I patted his paw in agreement.  I could feel his and his Mom’s sorrow.  She loves all dogs and to see one suffering in the cold breaks her heart.  When I was on the mortal side, sleeping snuggled up with my Mom, under the covers, on nine degree nights, Mommy would tell me that there were dogs who were left outside on cold nights but I never believed her.
But when I came here I met dogs who were left outside, and a few who even came to the Bridge because they were left outside to freeze.  I never appreciated being inside the house  more.   Daddy’s childhood dog Barney was an outside dog.  He hated being indoors and would howl to go out.  But on the coldest nights Grampie would open the cellar door and Barney would hurry down the stairs and spend the night in the cellar by the furnace.
I wish I could somehow get these terrible, cruel, uncaring parents to recognize the wonderful gifts they have in these dogs and let them inside.  Everyone who is reading this is already a wonderful dog parent.  Maybe I should stop linking this to Facebook and start linking this to Assbook.
All I can ask the humans is to do what Otie’s Mom did and if you see a dog being abused, whether it be outside in the cold or heat, or locked in a car on a hot day, or on a short chain, call the authorities.  You will probably end up as frustrated as Otie’s Mom did but someone might come out and save the dog.
Either way I promise when that far off day comes and you arrive here at the Bridge you will be rewarded for your love and concern for dogs who live without love.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Full Mclachlin by River Song

Like all dogs I hate when I am left alone.  And like most parents mine feel guilty when they leave me alone.  I suppose a good dog would act like they didn’t mind when their parents went out.  But no one has accused me of being a good dog.  
Everyone agrees that I am a smart dog.  When my parents are watching TV they think I am just staring off into eternity but I am watching everything that happens to learn more about the human condition.  During the commercials I often see very sad dogs in cages while a tear jerking Sarah Mclachlan song plays breaking even the strongest of hearts.
While I do feel terrible for these dogs I also see these commercials as an opportunity to learn.  I put these lessons to good use on Saturday.  When my parents were going out and I was being crated I used my newly learned tactic:  The Full Mclachlin.
I first want you to know that this works better when you are locked in a crate.  There are aspects of this technique you can use if you are uncrated but you need to be crated to do the Full Mclachlin.
If you want to break your parents’ hearts each time they leave you follow thiese steps.
  1. When you are placed in the crate look down at your paws.  Without lifting your head look up at your parents with tear filled eyes.  
  2. Let out a very low whimper of despair.
  3. Lift one of your front paws up and put it on the wire cage.  Keep your head down and your eyes looking upwards and teary.
  4. As your Mom moves to the door let your whimpers increase in intensity.
  5. When she reaches the door begin to hum “When She Loved Me” from Toy Story 2.
And that is the Full Mclachlin.  It hasn’t stopped Mommy from leaving me but I know it has made her feel very guilty  I am hoping it will work soon and Mommy won’t leave me again.
Who can fight the Full Mclachlin?


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Shadow is our Pup of the Week

“There are places I remember / All my life though some have changed /Some forever not for better / Some have gone and some remain / All these places have their moments / With lovers and friends I still can recall / Some are dead and some are living / In my life I've loved them all.”
That was written by John Lennon.  Talented chap.  Great storyteller too.  Now that his friend George is here they are making great music together.  Angel Simon is playing drums for them.  John and George agree he is a better drummer than some dog named Ringo.
I have been very lucky.  I have been able to stay in touch with so many friends both mortal and immortal.  But sometimes our friends disappear from our lives and we never hear from them again.  They are just gone.  This is what happened with our friend Shadow.  He was part of our little online group one day and then, without a word, he was gone.
But no dog can hide from the world’s greatest dog detective Hobo Hudson.  He put his cats and his brother Wiley on the case, and he scoured the Internet until he saw in a far corner of the World Wide Web a small Shadow and he knew it was our friend.
It took some prodding to get Shadow to talk.  When he did he told Hobo a sad story.  His family had fallen on hard times.
While Shadow was still in contact with us his father had been quite ill.  Shadow’s on line time was curtailed because his Dad had four surgeries and was in and out of the hospital.  Thankfully it was his Mom who helped Shadow with his correspondence.  But last year his Mom took ill and Shadow disappeared from our lives.
She had been plagued with intestinal issues for a long time.  Last last year Shadow’s Mom got a bad attack which caused internal bleeding.  The internal bleeding caused her potassium levels to drop which put her in danger of having a heart attack.  She was in the hospital until just before Thanksgiving.
She began to recover during the holiday season but the Monday before Christmas Shadow’s Mom fell near her pool.  She split open her eye and needed four stitches, took the skin off her arms and legs, and worse of all she broke her hip in three places and needed to be hospitalized again.
She was also diagnosed with blood on brain.  The doctors were able to take care of that problem but she faces months of physical therapy and time away from Shadow before she gets home.  I don’t think she had given any thought to getting back on social media but maybe it we send them good healing thoughts we will hear from our friend Shadow again.
So let’s send some prayers to Shadow and his family so they can recover fully and maybe someday we will hear from them again.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: Virgil the Affluenza Dog

The first rule of being a dog is to honor your owner, protect them from all evil, comfort them, love them and be their companion for all the days of a dog’s life.  But in very rare instances our owners become so evil that a dog has to turn on their owners for the good of all mankind.
This brings me to Virgil.  He belonged to the family of teenaged Ethan Couch who was arrested for drunk driving, and killing four people.  The judge in Texas gave Ethan probation because his lawyer argued when Virgil’s affluent parents raised him they neglected to teach him right from wrong because their wealthy lifestyle runs counter to our traditional values like not getting drunk and killing people.  The media termed it the “Affluenza” defense in a groundbreaking use of language.  It was the first time since 1974 that the media did not label a scandal by sticking the word gate at the end of it and moving on.
When Ethan came home Virgil stuck by him as all dogs do.  Sure, Ethan was a selfish, ungrateful, dangerous doofus but he was Virgil’s selfish, ungrateful, dangerous doofus.  When Virgil heard that Ethan was planning to break his probation by drinking again Virgil, the closest life form to a parent he had, tried to stop him by holding his leg, then lying down behind the car.  He narrowly escaped being backed over.
Virgil was right to try and protect Ethan from his bad impulses.  Thanks to social media the court learned that Ethan had been drinking and was ready to send Ethan to jail.  Ethan’s Mom told him that they had to flee and Virgil, still a loyal dog, went with them, even though he was worried if they went to Mexico a wall would be constructed during their time in country and he would never get home.
Ethan’s bad behavior continued at a resort in Mexico.  That is when Virgil realized that sometimes protecting your best friend means going against his wishes.  He put out prayers to the Angels and we did our best to get Ethan found and protected from himself.  At first our efforts were futile.  Sean Penn was busy and Johnny Depp had his own dog problem.  But then we got into the computers at Ethan’s probation office and left a trail of evidence pointing to where he was.  Soon he was discovered.
But so far Ethan has fought returning home.   And, having done all he could Virgil has left his family and is on his own in Mexico.  Hopefully a kind family has taken him in ,is treating him well. and he has not become another one of his affluent best friend’s victims.
So say a prayer for Virgil tonight and all of Ethan’s victims.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

My Vet Trip By Pocket Dog

I know our morning routine and when it changes I begin to shake because a change means something bad is about to happen.  Monday morning started out fine.  Got up, went outside, did our business and bothered my parents while they made the bed.  Then Mommy didn’t shower.  Daddy didn’t get on the floor to play ball with me.  No one started breakfast.  Something was happening.
River was picked up and put in her crate.  Oh no!  Whatever was happening was happening to me!  I was picked up.  My leash was hooked to my collar.  Mommy carried me out and we got in the car.  The front seat of the car!  There is only one place I go alone in the front seat of the car.  I was going to the vet!
Daddy drove and I sat on Mommy’s lap barking.  I was trying to convince Daddy to pullover.  To turn around!  To let me steer so I could go back home.  But he ignored me.  I ended up just whining.
We got to the vet’s.  Thankfully there were no dogs in the waiting room.  Daddy reached into his jacket pocket.  He pulled out a bag of my pooh that he had pilfered that morning.  I thought the taking of my own bodily waste without my permission was the last indignity I would face that day but I was wrong
They took me over to the scale.  If I was a good dog I would have sat on the scale.  And if they had any patience I would have sat on the scale eventually.  But they took my weight while I was nervously padding around the scale and decided I gained a pound.  That may not be a lot to you but I weigh five pounds and it said six.  It was like if you weigh 50 pounds and then they tell you that you weighed 60 pounds.  I eat right.  I exercise.  I don’t have sweets or soda.  This was an outrage!  And how can you trust a vet who can’t weight you?
Then I was put on the table.  The vet came in and felt me everywhere and I do mean everywhere.  (Indignity alert.)  They discussed a couple of meaningless little bumps and then my teeth.  My mouth is tiny and a brush doesn’t fit inside.  After trying many different products my parents found a gel that seems to be working.  So they vet didn’t see a need to do any dental work which made me momentarily happy.
And then wham! bam! slam! cajam! Four shoots in a row.  Now that was uncalled for.  The good news is that I was free.
While we were waiting for my freedom papers to be processed a woman came in with a 15 year old Chihuahua named Taco.  He had been vomiting, not eating, had pale gums and was lame.  He looked at us with sunken eyes.  The vet tech examined him and told his owner that she needed to take him to the emergency vet for x-rays and blood work.  We don’t know if it was for financial reasons, or that the owner could not accept how sick Taco was, but when we left she was arguing with the tech that Taco did not need to go to the expensive emergency vet.  The owner said she was sure Taco would be fine.  I barked at Taco that, if his Mom was wrong, he should look up a dog named Foley Monster, and she would take care of him.

I got home and after the walk I spent as much time as I could on Mommy’s lap.  As bad as my day was it wasn’t as bad as Taco’s and I hope I don’t have a day like hers for a very long time.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Peaches is our Pup of the Week

This week my friend Peaches’ Mom, Miss Lily, had to make the hardest decision:  When to let Peaches go to the Bridge.  My friend and Miss Lily only had five years together.  Peaches had a tumor on her heart and lung cancer, a diagnosis so unfair Miss Lily had trouble accepting it but when she saw her beloved friend struggling to breath she knew their duet would come to a close much too early.
When a human reaches the end of their life, as long as they can breathe on their own, their is no decision for loved ones to make.  The dying live in unbelievable pain, they struggle for every breath, their dignity is swept away, until they draw their last torturous breath.  Dogs are much luckier.  We avoid all that suffering.  But our last breath is still torture for humans.
Peaches mother was so tormented by one decision:  When is it time?  Peaches wasn’t eating her food, but was eating treats.  Her breath was heavy and labored.  She had little energy.  Just enough to go out and potty.  Her eyes were sunken but they were still filled with love and devotion.  Miss Lily hated to see her best friend suffer.  But she did not want to send her to the Bridge too early.
My Mom had a lot of experience with Miss Lily’s issue.  I too went to the Bridge because of a tumor in my lung.  My last night at home I could only breathe standing up.  If I laid  down it was too painful.  I ended up sleeping leaning against Mommy.  My Mommy told Miss Lily if Peaches could not lie down it was too painful for Peaches to breathe it could be time.
Miss Lily wanted to make sure that she did not rob Peaches from time they could have together but the truth is that we dogs want to be with you so badly, and we honor the bond to be your devoted friends and angels on the Earth that we do everything we can to mask our pain.  If our pain becomes too much for us to hide then we are in terrible pain.  Many time we can get better, but when we can’t, well, then it is never too soon.
We dogs are ready and willing to meet the same hideous end that so many humans endure.  We will put up with any suffering just to be with you.  And we will hide the pain so we don’t leave you.  So, in the end, we need you to save us.  To save us from ourselves.
Peaches is with us angels at the Bridge now.  She has no physical pain.  She is breathing easily, running freely, and has her appetite back.  She wants me to tell Miss Lily thank you for taking away the terrible pain.  She loves her Mom, and misses her, and is very grateful to the woman who saved her.
So when a parent looks at their pup and know they are suffering know that pup is only showing one tenth of the pain they are truly experiencing, and when you realize that it can never been too soon.  

Friday, January 8, 2016

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: Clint and the Difficult Discussion

It was early in the morning and I was lying in my bed snuggled under the covers when there was a soft knocking on my door.  I lay very still trying not to make a sound.  But the knocking continued.  I got out of bed, picked up a log in my mouth and tossed it on the fire, and opened the door.
Clint was sitting by the door waiting patiently.  I felt guilty about taking my time.  I invited him in and asked him if he wanted a slice of never ending bacon.  He said yes and I broke him off some and mouthed it to him then we both put it between our paws and chewed silently.   Finally I asked him what brought him to my door.
“I know we come here, and there are so many friends, and so much to do, and even endless bacon, but I am still having a hard time adjusting to being without my parents.”
I  got off my bed and went over to sit with Clint.  I was looking for the right words to say but sometimes a warm body next to you goes much further than words.  But words would still be needed.
“We all do Clint,” I said.  “We hide it well.  And we don’t like our parents to know about it.  We like to have them think of us doing the things we couldn’t do on the mortal side and that makes them feel better.”
“I couldn’t pee,” Clint said.  “I don’t think the thought of me peeing freely will fill them with comfort.”
I have him a hug.  “But you weren’t running like you are now, and playing like you are now.  You may not have known it.  I watch you run and play.  If they could see you doing that then they would be very happy.”
“So when will I stop missing them?”
“About the same time they will stop missing you.”
“So never?”
“It will lessen in time, we will help you and your parents have friends there who will help them.  What you both have is time.  Lots of time.  So, to honor one another you have to do your very best to enjoy that time, by running, playing, and doing what makes you happy.”
“Like endless bacon?” Clint asked.
I nodded and ripped off another piece of it.  Thank the Big Guy we have endless bacon.  We have a lot of time to try and enjoy.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

River Song takes Pocket to Laurie Anderson's Concert for Dogs

Our parents are always going out to movies, concerts or shows and leaving us behind so when I heard about avant garde artist Laurie Anderson performing a concert in Time Square on Monday evening just for dogs it was my chance to turn the tables.  I dug out Foley’s codes for dogs to upload and download themselves to different locations via the Internet, found a unmanned laptop at a Chipotle near the concert, took a reluctant Pocket by the paw and we zipped our way through the Internet.
We landed at the Chipotle and the place smelled like the other side of Donald Trump’s wall.  I took care of my big sister with the sensitive stomach making sure she did not eat anything on the floor.  We then went outside in the very cold winter air.  We saw lots of dogs all huddled together in a big pack and joined them.  It was warm in the middle of the pack as we awaited the concert to start.
Miss Anderson came out on stage to the howls of her appreciative audience and opened up with a wonderful version of  “The Tracks of my Pees” about the way that we leave messages for one another on walkways.  This was followed by the soul classic “Pooping in the Street” which describes the protests against leash laws in the 70’s.
Next she played a wonderful version of “You Lost that Loving Feeling” which is an ode to every dog who has ever awoken in the hospital and realized they had been spayed or neutered.  All the dogs joined together to sing the chorus in lamented voices:  “Now it’s gone, gone, gone.”
The concert picked up with a rousing version of “Hound Dog,” followed by “Werewolves of London.”  We howled our way through both songs.  And we knew when she sang “You Ain’t Nothing But a Hound Dog” she meant that being a Hound Dog was a very important thing to be.
Then came a tribute to our great scent sense with a rollicking version of “Smells like Shih Tzu.”  Finally she closed with “Born to Run,” as we all stopped snuggling and ran back and forth across the stage in celebration.
When the concert ended Pocket and I went back to the Chipotles only occupied by people who lost bar bets and downloaded ourselves home.  We snuck back into bed but Mommy woke up wondering why the room smelled like someone had died and been left unattended at a Taco Bell.  
Pocket and I just laughed and then dreamed we were at our first concert again.
You can read what humans thought about the concert here.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Angel Apollo is our Pup of the Week


apollo March 18, 2014.JPG
I have been writing tributes for newly winged angels since 2009.  With my parents helps I have been editing them and some time next year will present them all in book form.  The first story will tell the tale of  Apollo who passed to the Bridge in December of that year.  In the seven years since he last trod on the mortal side of the realm no pup has made his presence felt on the mortal side more than Apollo.  
His mother, Miss Kimberli, has devoted her life to saving dogs.  She rescues them from shelters or other hopeless situations.  Through patience and love she prepares these abused, scared dogs for new homes and then finds the perfect one for each of them.  Through the entire process she is guided by the brilliant, noble Angel Apollo.
Apollo has been tasked with bringing family member home too.  He oversaw his sister Shakira passing over, and even a willow tree.  But this morning he had his most difficult journey.  Today he had to help his Dad cross the River of Life to the immortal side leaving Apollo’s superstar dog saving Mom behind.
His Dad took very ill late last year.  He was in the ICU on a ventilator.  Like me in my oxygen tent before I passed over the river Apollo’s Dad Dennis could not breathe on his own.  Apollo and Shakira rallied lots of angels to fly prayers up the mountain for Dad Dennis but prayers are too often answered no.
While I am often present when a dog passes over the River of Life I am seldom there for humans so I must relate the story that Apollo told me.  Apollo was given the ability to go to his Dad’s hospital room in his dog form after getting special permission from the Big Guy (who Apollo refers to as The Head Dude.  When you are an angel like Apollo you can get away with that.)
Apollo bounded into the room shortly after his Mom had removed his Dad’s ventilator.  One of Apollo’s wings hit the IV knocking it down.  Apollo scurried under the bed as the nurse questioned what could have made the IV fall over.  Mom Kimberli smiled knowing it was Apollo.  After the nurse left she told Apollo it would take a while so he cuddled up on a cabinet.  And there they silently waited for Dad Dennis’ time to cross the River of Life to come.
At 3;15 AM on Sunday Dad Dennis’ allotted number of heartbeats expired and his spirit arose from his mortal form.  Apollo’s Mom turned to him, knowing her husband was gone, and told her faithful dog to take Dad Dennis home and that she would follow when her heartbeats expired.  
Dad Dennis was ready for the long climb up the stairs and the paperwork needed to be done to join the Immortal side but Apollo had cleared everything with the Big Guy and Dad Dennis was able to hop on Apollo’s back and ride straight to the Bridge.  He moved into a big house the Big Guy had built for him where thousands of dogs who never knew love could live with a man who showed so much love for dogs who never had homes.  He is sharing the house with Apollo’s vet, Dr. Joel.
Soon after he arrived Dr. Joel and Dad Dan were under the spreading weeping willow tree with thousands of dogs around them throwing balls and frisbees as the loving dogs scampered after every toss  Dad Dan and wife Kimberli spent their lives taking care of dogs and now Dad Dan will spend the afterlife taking care of dogs until his beloved wife joins him and they can do it together again.
But Angel Apollo was not amongst them.  He had gone back to the mortal side to sit with his Mom, one of the best people, and greatest friends to dogs in the world, who now has more souls connected to her heart living at The Bridge than anyone I know.
It isn’t fair.  Not much on the mortal side of life is fair.  But those living with her will give her love and support and she will always have Angel Apollo, the most powerful angel at the Bridge.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: Happy New Year

It is a New Year here at Rainbow Bridge and we just got done celebrating.  On the mortal side of the Bridge people celebrate making it through the year, happy to be gathered with their loved one.  But for us on the immortal side of the river we celebrate who is not with us because that means they are still with you.
All the dogs who are in their mid teens, or who are sick, or recovering, and all the humans who got diagnosed with the dreaded C word last year and are battling to stay on the mortal side, or have had injuries or other illnesses, we give thanks that we have not seen you last year and pray we don’t see you this year.
One of our favorite traditions here is to gather around the giant Willow Tree that was in Apollo’s yard and at the stroke of midnight we sing our version of Auld Lang Syne:  “Should mortal acquaintances become sick/ And need medical treatment/ Should mortal acquaintances become sick / Stay the hell away from here / Please stay the hell away from here my dear/ Stay they hell away from here / We’ll drink a glass of Foleytinis my friends / If you stay the hell away from here.”
We do look over you (you have no right to privacy as far as we are concerned) and we are worried by what we see.  Besides nature becoming exceedingly angry we also see people becoming more ruled by hate and fear and making rash decisions.  I may have done too nice  a job of describing our existence here.  You don’t really want to come until your body is too worn out to carry you through your days, and if you send someone else here who isn’t harming you then there really is a wall to keep you out.
My advice to humans is if you find yourself in a situation where you are disagreeing with someone and you are losing your temper mention your dog.  There isn’t a lot that humans agree on but they do agree that dogs (and in some cases cats) are wonderful.  We are life’s great equalizers.   Use us.
We wish we could tell you what the New Year will bring.  We can’t. We can only pray it will be a lot better than the last one.