Sunday, February 28, 2016

Bella is our Pup of the Week


What kind of place is Rainbow Bridge?  It is a place of peace.  It is a place of beauty.  It is a place of joy.  It is a place where you are broken hearted to greet one of your closest friends.
Before I document her arrival let me transcribe the arrivals before the arrival:  People.  Not that it is strange for people to greet their pups.  But this wasn’t a person or two, this was dozens.  Some young, some old (you can pick your body type here like you can pick clothes off a rack) all of whom had been touched by the dog bounding up the final steps of Enzo’s escalator.
Bella summited the top of the Bridge and looked down at me with her big Husky eyes.  I was so happy to see my friend.  We waited for the dark cloud, filled with all the mortal tears sparked by her passing, to slip over us, then burst open, drenching us all.  Then I, with shaking paws, gave the oath of angeldom to my friend.  She then huddled with her long time friend Scooby who helped design her wings, legendary angel Ladybug who fitted the wings, and finally she, now in full angel regalia, turned to the humans waiting for her then opened her wings.  The humans ran to her and hugged her tightly.
Bella’s friend Meika, who had joined me waiting her arrival inquired who these people were.  “They were from the Senior Center that Bella visited every Tuesday.  Bella helped make their last days on the mortal side enjoyable.  She made them smile when they were at their lowest, made them feel loved when they were most lonely, and she never asked for anything in return.  All of them have come here to make her first days on the immortal side more enjoyable.”
I thought of the people left behind.  The ones at the Senior Center who won’t be seeing Bella’s smiling face this Tuesday.  And her wonderful Mom who trained Bella to be such a wonderful, beautiful, empathetic dog.  Bella’s Mom knew there was something wrong with the dog who she described as “my whole world.”  Bella wasn’t eating.  Last year she had a blockage and needed emergency surgery to get a part of a toy removed.  She thought Bella has something blocking her intestines again.  A scan showed that her Mom was right.  There was a blockage.  But this time, when they opened her up, they found the blockage was a tumor caused by liver cancer.  That very same day Bella came here.
When Bella was done meeting with the grateful humans she came over to Meika and me.  She wanted to check on her Mom.  She was very worried about her.  And she had reason to be.  Bella’s Mom wasn’t missing her dog, she was missing her heart, which Bella had taken with her, and because of the rules, Bella couldn’t return it.  But Bella does treasure her Mom’s heart, and she wants to help her rebuild a new one.
Bella wants her Mom to know that she is either watching over her, and taking care of her, or doing what her Mom taught her to do, visiting those on the immortal side who are lonely and filling their life with a little more joy.
Bella gave so much love to people in her life, and she took so much love with her when she left that the mortal side has a lot less love now.  It is up to Bella, the angels, and mortal pups to make up for that lost love and we need to start with healing her Mom.
So come on pup and angels, time to create some more love in the world.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: Apollo's Angels


Sometimes we Angels look down on humans and see the selfishness, the greed, the seven deadly sins as visible as volcanoes overflowing in anger.  But there are other lights too.  They can be harder to see because they get overwhelmed by the negative light but they do shine brighter.
This is the light emitted by the good people.  The ones who care about others, love others, and give everything they can to help other those in needs and dogs in needs.
At the beginning of February there was a great shining light coming from Enid Oklahoma where our friend Angel Apollo’s family lived, where his brother Bishop now runs the pack and where his Mom Miss Kimberli, no matter what tragedies she has suffered, or how much pain she is in, continues to take in, care for, manage the health of, and find home for, any stray dog who crosses her path.
And one light can inspire many more lights.  Romeo, Copper and Jax’s Mom Miss Karen and Roscoe’s Mom Miss Sandy were conversing one day when they decided to see if they could help Miss Kimberli and her rescues.  They contacted Pokey’s Mom Miss Laura and my Mom and they decided to form a secret Facebook Group called Apollo’s Angels and invite all their dog parent friends to the group except for Miss Kimberli to see if they could raise funds for her and help with the good work that you are doing.
And then we started to see a lot of lights from all across the country.  People sent money, food and gift cards.  And those who couldn’t do that sent cards with warm wishes.  No one did it for thanks, or for recognition, they did it to honor Miss Kimberli, and Angel Apollo, and to feel for just a bit the great joy that Miss Kimberli must feel in helping these dogs.
Today we invited Miss Kimberli into the group so she can see the wonderful points of lights that she inspired and will continue to inspire.  The hope is that she will take as much joy in seeing the respect and love people have for her as they people felt giving her love and respect.
Some days the bright light of the good people outshines the darkness of the bad people.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

#PocketMonkeyBaby


We weren’t even watching the Super Bowl.  We knew it was a historic game.  This would be the Dowager Countess’ last Super Bowl after a storied career.  No one could dispute that she is the greatest of all time.

Mommy doesn’t dislike football, she just finds it tedious.  She does like to watch the end of the game when there is a chance of drama worthy of the Dowager Countess.  My downfall was that Mommy likes to watch the commercials.  Usually she DVRs everything and fast forwards through the commercials but Super Bowl Sunday is opposite day and she only watches the commercials.

And that was my undoing.

A commercial came on for a sugary, highly caffeinated bottle of green soul rot that no one in their right mind would buy without a marketing hook.  I had my eyes shut paying no attention to the drivel when I heard the words “Puppy Monkey Baby” and felt a chill go down my spine.

I have been “Baby” since the day I walked into our house.  Two years ago, against my wishes, my Mom began calling me a monkey.  And Puppy and Pocket sound alike.  Mommy was on her computer.  She wasn’t paying attention.  Maybe it had slipped by.

I felt her warm hands wrap around me then lift me from my spot next to her leg.  “It’s Pocket Monkey Baby,” she said.  Darnit!  It hadn’t slipped by.  She turned me to face Daddy. “It’s Pocket Monkey Baby,” she said.  Oh man, this is how nickname catch on.

“Hello Pocket Monkey Baby!” he said.

Darnit it had caught on.

And that name, Pocket Monkey Baby, has stuck with me all winter like a nasty cold.  But unlike colds they don’t make an antibiotic for Pocket Monkey Babies.  I’m afraid this one is going to cling to me for many a day.

Yours truly
Pocket Monkey Baby

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Wishbone is our Pup of the Week


I have been blessed with great friends on both side of the River of Life but one of my favorite friends is Wishbone.
It seems like I have known him my entire life and afterlife.  I first met him when he was saved by superstar dog rescuer Paula Malatesta.  Wishbone was a southern coonhound who would not hunt and was marked for death.   Paula saved him and gave him a wonderful home.
But Wishbone was still a very scared dog and he escaped from Paula’s backyard.  He was gone for several days.  One Sunday morning as Paula was leaving church she saw Wishbone and ran after him.  She tumbled down a hill while in pursuit but she managed to get Wishbone back and returned him to his home.
Wishbone lived with the Malatesta pack until his Mom took ill and her family thought the large amount of dogs she was taking care of were the cause of her health issues.  They removed the dogs from the pack.  Wishbone, having already honed his instinct for danger, fled before he could be collected.  When Paula came home Wishbone returned.  She had no choice but to try and find another home for the yellow coonhound who had escaped certain extinction twice.  Tiffany Provost, a young lady who had proved herself to be a great dog Mom, offered to take Wishbone in, and very good people worked together to get Wishbone north to New Hampshire, where he was finally in his forever home.
He fit into his news family perfectly.  He loved his new Mom, his Dad and their wonderful children.  I was so jealous when Pocket and River got to meet Wishbone at Pokey Lunn’s house.  River was not aware of the details of Wishy’s life but Pocket made sure she knew that they were in the presence of legend.
Since then we haven’t heard much from Wishbone.  He has settled down to be just a beloved family dog.  But he, like all quiet, beloved dogs, has not been able to fight off the advances of time  Wishy is starting to slow down.  His Mom took him for an MRI and it showed that he had four compressive discs in his back which caused chronic intervertebral disc disease.  He can walk but he needs help standing.  If he gets to the point he can’t walk he will need surgery.  Since Wishbone doesn’t want to do much more than sit with his family this is not a big lifestyle change for him.
After all the close calls Wishy has had in his life he has the perfect Mom.  She waited at the doctor’s office all day and sat with him in between procedures so he wouldn’t think he had been abandoned.  When you are a rescue you are completely convinced they are coming back.  
And his Mom will begin helping him with his physical therapy which is fine with Wishbone.  The more Mom and Dad time he has the better.   And I think he has years of more Mom and Dad time coming.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: A Modest Proposal for the Supreme Court


I was walking in the woods enjoying nature yesterday when I heard a gunshot.  I turned around to see Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia shooting at some rabbits (don’t worry about the rabbits, they just play dead for the humans.  Rabbits are angels too.)  He was happy as a clam.  
I gracefully interrupted him and introduced myself as a fellow member of the Bench.  He told me that of course he had heard of me although I think he may have been being polite.  I asked him who he thought should replace him and he said it no longer mattered to him.  He was happy to be hunting without any distractions.  He saw another rabbit and he slowly moved forward.  “Why don’t you do it?” he suggested before he disappeared behind a blind.
“Why not indeed?” I thought.  I know that the conservatives in the Senate do not want the President to nominate a candidate for the Supreme Court and if he does they do not want to vote for the candidate because that would be doing something and the Senate has not done anything for more than a decade but perhaps all that is needed is the perfect candidate.
And who is more perfect than I?  I am smart, beautiful, sexy, and accomplished.  I have been a trailblazer in dog law since pup hood.  I do recognize my faults chief among them being my no longer living.  But like any politician I plan to make my negatives positives.
Some legislative bodies allow what is commonly referred to as “ghost voting.”  If a member is not present for a vote their peers may vote for them:  Hence ghost voting.  I think me not being technically alive would make me the lead candidate for ghost voters.
Many Senate members have gone on record to say they would not vote for either a man or woman nominated by the President.  Well I am neither.  Others say:  “There is not a soul alive whose nomination we would support.”  Those a more votes for me.
Lincoln said the America needed to heed the “better angels of our nature.”  There are few better angels than I  
So here I am:  Not a man, not a woman, not alive, and a better angel.  Who dares say no?
Time to start shopping for a new robe.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

River Song Escape Artist


This is my crate as it was found on Saturday February 12, 2016.

 I had been placed inside this crate when my Mom went out shopping with me Dad that afternoon.  When my parents got home I was standing at the kitchen window barking my head off.  They went into the bedroom and found the crate looking exactly it looked when I was placed into it.  The question is:  How did I manage to escape?

The only explanation is that I am the Harry Houdini of dogs (which should not be a surprise since we are both from European countries that no one can find on a map.)  I was placed in a crate, with the doors locked and bungeed tightly shut and I escaped leaving no evidence of the point of escape.  As a magician I am bound by our code not to tell you how I did it.  

But if you really want to know OK.

I will now take you inside the mind of the world’s greatest dog magician as she attempts to make her escape.

“OK back legs push, push, I got my head through and oops  I’m choking…..I’m choking….I didn’t think this through….Push...Push….Ok I got my neck out and keep pushing, OK it is above my shoulders and now lift my legs and uh oh….uh oh...I got nothing left to push with…..Let me reach with my front paws…..I got the the edge of the crate….Now pull…..pull….OK I am past my ribs and ouch!!!!!Oh boy that metal is cold on my tummy…..OK I can do this….pull….pull….Good things I have been doing 10 minute abs….pull…..pull….I am almost out….All that’s left is my…..Oh my!!!!!Oh that is not part of my body I want sandwiched between two pieces of metal….One more pull.”

And I was free.  I will let Pocket take it from here.

“In 2016, River Song escaped from her crate. All they found of her was a set of paw prints, some stretched bungee, and a wedged door, damn near worn down to the nub. I remember thinking it would take a dog six hundred years to crawl through an opening like that. Old River did it in less than twenty minutes. Oh, River loved crawling. AI imagine it appealed to her grumpy nature. An ice age here, million years of mountain building there. Forcing a door open is the study of pressure and time. That's all it takes really, pressure, and time. That, and a big goddamn head. Like I said, in crate a dog will do most anything to keep her mind occupied. Turns out River's favorite hobby was banging her wall with her head, a little bit at a time. I guess after Foley went to the Bridge, River decided she'd been here just about crate enough.  River did likes she was told, crawled into her crate with a big smile. Her parents simply didn't notice. Neither did I... I mean, seriously, how often do you really look at a dog’s crate ? River crawled to freedom through five feet of metal smelling foulness I can't even imagine, or maybe I just don't want to. Five feet... that's the length of no football fields, not even a mile.”

There is nothing like the sweet taste of freedom.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Pups of the Week: Paco, Smoochy, Hannah Banana, Bella, Hattie Mae, Rabbit and Whitley

I am asking for prayers for some friends.  I am among an army of angels waiting to fly these prayers up to the Big Guy so pitch in with prayers for the following friends.
 
You should know Paco by now:  My dear Italian friend.  Last week I wrote about Kiera whose name, thanks to Angel Apollo, disappeared from my list of new Bridge members.  Paco’s name has not appeared on my list because Paco fights every day to keep his name off that list.
He has been suffering from serious respiratory attacks.  Poor Paco has gone through several of these in the last month.  With each attack his Mom becomes more concerned that she is witnessing his final breaths.  She treats him with Lasix which has stopped the attacks.  She just wants more time with her little man, and that is not too much to ask.  A little more time.  Please say a prayer that gets lots more days in the Italian sunshine.
This week we received a terrible shock.  Our friend Smoochy has bone cancer in his leg.  He is a big boy and the doctor does not think it is advisable to remove the leg.  So now his beloved Mom Kay must “keep him comfortable.”  She loves Smoochy so much.  (Everyone who has ever Smoochy feels the same way.  He is the Sweetest boy.)  
I hate the term “Keep him comfortable.”  A parent always keeps us comfortable.  And no parent needs to be told to love their beloved pet every day, or to count every day as precious.  The doctor needs to say “go home and pray for many more comfortable days” and I ask you to do the same.  Pray for many more comfortable days for Smoochy.  His family and friends would have a hole ripped in their hearts if anything happened to him.  He  is one precious pup
.
Last night I found out that our dear friend Hannah Banana has to have a mass removed.  I don’t know where it is located, how big it is, or how serious it is.  I just know I hate to hear “has to have a mass removed” as much as “keep him comfortable.”  Hannah helps her Mom run the http://www.iloveyourdog.net/ page where you can buy, or gift, reasonably priced pet toys and home made treats and where Hannah and her Momma Kim give part of their profits to unrescued dogs.  She is the most special best friend in the world, warm and giving, and we need prayers that she comes through the operation safely and all tests come back negative.
Our wonderful friend Bella, who does such good work visiting the elderly every week and has so many humans who count on her companionship, is going through stomach problems again.  Last year she had to have emergency surgery because, after weeks of tests, the vet discovered that Bella had a bit of stuff bunny stuck in her intestines.  So far all her tests have come back clear but Bella is showing the same symptoms she showed this time last year and Mama Susan is very concerned about her baby and she would greatly appreciate your prayers, as would I.
 
Speaking of tummy troubles our great friend, advisor, fashion designer, seamstress and inspiration Hattie Mae has had tummy problems this week.  Her Mommy is hoping that it is just a food problem but whenever Hattie isn’t feeling well we put on extra angels because we know we are going to be overwhelmed with prayer requests and we encourage them.  We want Hattie to be 100 percent OK.  
Angel Apollo’s newest rescue, a puppy named Rabbit, might have Parvo.  He has been with Apollo’s pack less than a week.  Once Apollo’s Momma Kim fosters a dog that pup becomes part of her family so Apollo needs prayers for a new family member.  I know you will come through.

Finally we must mention our friend Whitley from the Whitley Westie blog (http://whitleywestie.blogspot.com/)  Like many of our friends she has had problems with her legs lately, first her back, and now her front.  Her Mom had her outside to do her business.  She was wearing her sling.  While she was there a man drove by and saw her then viciously informed Whitley’s Mom that she should do Whitley a favor and put her out of her misery.   You can imagine how much that hurt Whitley and her Mom.   It makes us howling mad.  Whitley’s Mom shot back what she called some HBO words and good for her.  We need you all to send some hugs Whitley’s and some prayers that her legs get healthy enough that she runs down that man and gives him a good bite on the butt.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: IQ Test

Oh humans.  How we love you.  And how you study us.  You can’t just accept us for being your wonderful angels on both sides of the Bridge.  You need to know what makes us tick.  The newest study released is about how intelligent we are.  How intelligent we are?  Well we get you to clean up our poop so maybe the question is how intelligent are you?
That is our intelligence tests for humans.  How do you pick up our poo?  Do you grab it with one swift movement?  Do you fumble it and get it on your fingers?  Do you forget the bags and have to go back for them?  Or, most ignorant of all, do you leave it on someone else’s yard or the pavement where it becomes part of someone’s shoe prints.  It is very embarrassing for us dogs when our human fails this test.
Then there is the food test.  This one is simple.  Feed us!  Now!  We don’t care what it is.  If you hand it to us it will be eaten.  But so many human get stuck feeding us like Dr. Ben Carson stuck off stage before a debate.  They just can’t hand us the food.  You want your pups to think you are smart?  Put the food down and back away.
The humans are studying us and they have found that we have measurable IQ’s and some dogs are smarter than others.  Heck when I was on the mortal side I proved that when Mommy opened the cabinet door to get a treat.  I ran to the cabinet door and Pocket ran to the front door thinking someone was here.  Obviously I have the higher IQ and all it cost to prove it was a treat.
The real reason they are studying our intelligence is because they want to test the IQ’s of mammals who don’t smoke, drink or use recreational drugs.  Well that’s one hell of an assumption now isn’t it?  Have you ever wondered what happened to that last cigarette, beer or Quaalude?  Of course you haven’t, you humans are either in a cloud of tobacco smoke or too drunk or too high to notice what we are doing.
I do predict that this study will peter out without any findings as soon as the scientists realize that we are so much smarter than they are and then they will quietly go away to pick up our poo and feed us.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

A Small Dog's Lament By Pocket Dog

Most days I enjoy being a little dog.  Laps are bigger when you are little.  I can be picked up and snuggled.  I don’t scare anyone (although my barking and failure to curb my enthusiasm does annoy people.)  But there is one time I don’t like being small.  That is when it snows.

I love seeing you big dogs romping in the snow.  You stand so tall with your torso high above the crisp white topping while your feet are kept cold and fresh.  Then you start to jump up and down and the snow is flying.  My gosh that looks like fun!

I wish I could have a day like that but snow is the enemy of the small dog.  While the rest of you are romping and rolling I come to a big pile of snow, three times my size, and I look up at it, an insurmountable mountain.  Occasionally a kind hand will lift me up and put me on the snow, and I can take several steps but the snow cracks, my legs go through and I get stuck.

Just give me a day.  One day to experience the snow like a big dog.  To run and not get hot, the coolness on my belly, my feet landing softly, and then, when I push forward, the snow defies gravity, moving upwards around me, falling towards the heaven, as I bull forward, creating my own path.  Making my own way in the world.

The closest I can come to that magical experience is when there is a paltry three inches on the ground.  Three inches of snow can’t defy gravity, and I don’t forge a path like Lewis and Clark, I leave a trail like Hansel and Gretel.  A forged trail is a show of power.  A paw print trail is cute.  Cute.  Oh how us little dogs wishing to be big dogs hate cute.

When it snows, and we go out, River and I look at the big banks, turn, and ask to go back to the pads on the porch.  My parents think it is because we are too wimpy to go in the snow.  But it is because of disappointment that we cannot enjoy the ride like the other dogs.

And we will never be tall enough to go on that ride.


Sunday, February 7, 2016

Kiera is our Pup of the Week


I was lying in bed resting while reading some of my favorite blogs when a little blue bird flew onto my window sill. “Angel Apollo has requested you join him on his cloud,” the bird chirped then flew off towards the sun.  “What now?” I thought.  Angel Apollo’s Dad had recently moved onto Apollo’s cloud with his sister Shakira, his vet Dr. Joel, and a huge weeping willow tree.

I found Apollo and his Dad under the weeping willow playing fetch.  Apollo dropped the stick and ran towards me.  “Do you have a dog named Kiera from Oklahoma due today?” he asked.  I reached into my wings, took out my phone, clicked my app, found my schedule and saw that indeed there was a Kiera from Oklahoma due soon.

“Call it off!” Angel Apollo barked.  “Right now!  Do something.”  I began telling Apollo that I have tried doing this several times and it never worked when my phone beeped.  I looked down and the name Kiera had disappeared from my list.  This had never happened before.

“Thank the Big Guy.” Apollo said.  He could tell I was confused.  “Come with me and I will show you why Kiera is no longer on your list.”  He brought me into his living room with the wall of TVS that showed his family and friends and all the unrescued dogs in his area who needed homes.  

I should have known where Kiera would be.  She was supposed to have passed over after an uncaring and thoughtless human dumped her on the side of the road.  Luckily Apollo spotted her on one of his unrescued channels.  He popped into the minds of the people who work with his Mom in their rescue and alerted them that Kiera was close to passing over the River of Life before her time.

Kiera was brought to Dr. Leslie who did a thorough examination and found out that Keria had cancer that had spread throughout her body (probably the reason she was dumped in the road, but don’t worry, we angels will find the humans who dumped this poor sick dog and we will turn into avenging angels and give the dumpers stomach flu, crop failure and flat tires, Kiera will be avenged.) 

Who is the person to call when you find an abandoned ten year old dog with cancer?  Apollo didn’t need to pop into Dr Leslie’s mind to let him know. Everyone knows.  It’s Apollo’s Mom Kimberli.
Kiera has a fast spreading cancer.  Her time with Apollo’s family will be short.   Mom Kimberli thinks Kiera was a working dog but for her last months she will be a family dog and get more love and attention in that time then she got her entire life.  Her last days will be her best days as she officially becomes part of Apollo’s family.

And when she passes over the Bridge she will come live in the house on Apollo’s cloud with the father she has yet to meet and her sibling dogs.  In the last months of her life she has become one of the luckiest dogs alive.

She has become part of Apollo’s family  What could be luckier?

Friday, February 5, 2016

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: Catching Up With Baron

Five years is a long time.  Many things change over that time.  Countless marriages have collapsed, young lovers have drifted apart, children have become estranged from their parents, but one thing doesn’t change: The love that parents have for their pups that have gone to the Bridge.
Five years ago we lost a giant:  Baron, also known as Bear, the dog so great he had to be named twice.  He was the model of a German Shepherd Dog:  Strong, loyal, handsome and brave.  He lived most of his life pre dog social media but when Baron joined a lost site known as Doggyspace and pups began to dominate the online world we knew we were in the presence of royalty.
Baron was an inspiration the first time we met him.  We knew if we could instill in our parents the love Baron inspired in his Mom we would have accomplished our mission on Earth.  As Baron aged his legs began to bother him and he was the first dog I met who was brave enough to go to acupuncture to keep himself healthy.
By the end Baron no longer had use of his back legs but he still had the spirit to keep moving forward.  But his lungs filled with fluid, his breathing became labored, and, under a great cloud of shared grief Baron passed to the Bridge where he immediately began running like he had when he was a puppy and was assigned a beautiful set of wings.
Meanwhile on the mortal side of the Bridge Baron’s Mom Monica keeps his spirit alive by having Baronfest gatherings at her house where the mortal dogs come together to romp, play, and remember their spiritual leader and friend.  His mortal siblings:  Kaiser and Cheyenne are doing their best to carry on his legacy as the model German Shephard Dog.
At the Bridge Baron has his own Baronfest.  He opens his magnificent home to all dogs.  The walls are lined with television screens where pups can watch over their parents.  If a parent needs help, and the angel pup doesn’t know how to help them, Baron is there with a kind paw and a word of advice.
No one devotes more time to the needs of mortal dogs than Baron.  He spends hours a day running prayer messages up the mountain to the Big Guy for his friends and Mom.  He is now the model of the perfect Angel dog and gives us all something to aspire to, just like his Mom raised him to be.