Thursday, June 30, 2016

Pocket Dog: Good on Top. Bad on the Bottom

We don’t mean to worry our parents, but some of us can’t help it.  Foley gave my parents only a few scares in thirteen years.  River Song has frightened them a couple of times.  Unfortunately, I make up for that by scaring them several times a month.
I am not to blame. The upper part of my body is very sweet.  I have a beautiful disposition, a sweet face, a lovely personality and a happy smile.  It is my lower end that is the culprit. I have an irritable bowel, an angry stomach, a quarrelsome colon, and a disagreeable intestine.  
My upper body is continuously good.  My lower body is intermittently bad.
Last week my lower body decided to be bad for some days.  My bowels become irritated when our schedule changes.  On Monday we had our typical day working in the yard, but our parents went out for a few hours afterward, and our supper was late.  Their leaving must have pissed off my bowels because they decided to become active at 4:00 AM. I got out of bed and did a messy poop on the pee pads.  (Irritable bowels aid alliteration.)  My parents were concerned and went into the Situation Room to discuss my condition, but since loose poops frequently happen, even if the timing was odd, they decided to monitor the situation.
The situation continued at 4:00 AM for the next two days. I was still eating, and I was active.  My parents were concerned, well, they are always concerned,  but they were more concerned than normal.  They decided since I was eating the continued to monitor my poops.
We dogs all have something in common: If we are going to get really sick, we are wait for the weekend when the regular vet is closed and the ultra-expensive vet it the only option.  On Friday my bowels turned into Gordon Ramsey with undercooked risotto.  It was angry, it was loud, and it was spreading bloody filth everywhere.
My mom thought a vet visit might make my tummy more livid.   Mommy decided to give my annoyed stomach a rest.  At night she made my special meal of pumpkin and chicken breast.  (I like this much more than my kibble.  Maybe I should reach an agreement with bitchy bowels, so we both win.)  It took a couple of days but thanks to my Mom’s good sense my intestines stopped stressing out.  Everyone in my house took a big sigh of relief.
Two nights later we had a wicked bad thunderstorm. Per usual in thunderstorms, I tried to climb on my daddy’s head. I don’t know why I do this.  Higher ground is not the best strategy. But I did.  Daddy held his left arm out, and I fell asleep on his shoulder with my arms stretched on his elbow.

The upper part of my body woke up feeling comforted.  My lower end woke up angrier than a bee stuck in a vacuum bag.

By the end of the day, I was back to normal and have been since.  My belly is sleeping.  I hope it has a long hibernation.  And I hope it doesn’t wake up on the wrong side of the intestine.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Pup of the Week: Blake and the Seizure Dogs

I am known as a trailblazer on both the mortal and immortal sides 
of the River of Life.  Truthfully, I am not a trailblazer in my own family.  I was my parent’s second dog.  Their first was a Shih Tzu named Blake.
One morning, while Blake was still a single dog, and I was a glimmer in my dog dad’s eye, the alarm clock went off, and Blake had a seizure.
Seeing your beloved pet have a seizure is terrifying for any parent.  A seizure is like an alien being that has possessed your sweet pup,  There is no sign of the dog you raised.  Your baby is a trembling, shaking, drooling mess.  Their eyes are rolled back in their heads.  All their parents want is for the episode to end.  Every second seems like an hour.
My parents were inexperienced pet owners, and they did not have the social media friends they do now.  They were at a loss, and scared.  Their vet told them to keep an eye on Blake and see if the seizures continued.
They did, coming two months apart.  During this seizure cycle I arrived to keep Blake company.  We got along like peas and carrots.  She taught me everything I know about being a dog, and gave me a booster shot of sass.
During the year that I was under Blake’s tutelage, she had several seizures, many tests, and finally a terrible answer:  Tumors.  They were in her belly, her liver and her brain.   After that we did not have long together, but she did teach me how to take care of my parents, and hopefully, I passed on those important lessons, to Pocket and River Song.
Blake never blogs.  She passed before blogging became popular in the dog world.  She sits at her table each morning, reading the paper, and writing on a notepad, saying she has no time for this new fangled computer stuff.
But Blake doesn’t rest.  She became the patron saint for dogs suffering from seizures.  Lately she is very busy.
Blake knows that there are many causes for seizures, and most dogs, unlike her, live long lives with the help of medication to manage the symptoms.  She also knows how scared dogs are when they are having an episode.  Blake makes sure she is with every pup having a seizure.
She was there with Jasper this week when he has his first seizure.  He is doing better, but his mother now lives with the fear that all seizure moms live with.  Will there be another?  If there is Angel Blake will be there.
She was with Baby when she had a seizure while taking a nap next to her mom.  Angel Blake is personally flying prayers up the mountain for Baby.
She was there with Tinkerbell when she had the seizure that sent her to the Bridge.  She stayed with Tink for several days as she became adjusted to life on the immortal side.
She was there with Maverick when the little boy had his seizure.  She held him and talked to him.  She made sure he was not afraid and would recover.
She has been there with Ciara during her long and frustrating struggle with seizures.  Blake, Ciara, and her family, were hoping that the phenobarbital would end these dreaded episodes, and while they have occurred less frequently, they are still happening.  Blake has pledged to Ciara to be with her until they stop.
She has been with Sydney, who, despite being a tiny dog, has waged a great war with seizures.  Blake is very proud of Sydney.  Every time she gets knocked down by an episode she gets back up show the strength her brother Moose has exhibited during his fight with Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia.
And she has been with my good friend of close to nine years, and the sister of my long time friend and confidant Tanner Bub, Cocoa, as she had battled seizures for years.  Cocoa is a senior dog, and should be an inspiration to all dogs suffering from these terrifying episodes.  Hers has been a long life, and she has an abundance of time left.  Unlike Blake, Cocoa has managed her seizures into her senior years.  Seizures can be beaten.  Cocoa is proof of that.
I hope I have not missed recognizing any friends who suffer from seizures.  If I have I am sure Blake has not missed them.  If you baby does have a seizure know she will recover soon and should live a long life like Cocoa.
And l know that Blake will always be there with your pup.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: Foley Monster - Ambassador to Westeros

I have recently been appointed the Rainbow Bridge ambassador to a new territory:  Westeros.  It is the home of the Seven Kingdoms on the popular television series Game of Thrones.  If you don’t recognize the name, then this blog may confuse you, which is a state many of my reader's experience.
I had one request:  That I am allowed to fly a dragon on my initial visit to Westeros.  This desire was denied, but I was granted a dragonfly body to adopt for my voyage:  Quite a disappointment.
My first stop was to speak with Daenerys Targaryen   I had received a complaint that her dragons were chained in a cave in unsanitary conditions with little access to food and water.  I demanded access to the creatures.  When I gained entry to their habitat, I was hit with a foul smell. I immediately determined that the Queen of Dragons was the Mother of Messy.  I took out my citation book and began to write.  One of the dragons turned to me, breathed, burned my book and some paw hair.  I let Miss Stormborn off with a warning.  You can’t talk to a woman with three dragons in her cave.
From there I investigated the rash of dire wolf deaths.  After interviewing several people, I determined that the wolves owners, the Starks, are politically naive, horrible military strategists, and one son, Bran, is definitely on Crystal Meth.  Sadly, there is one one remaining Dire Wolf remaining, but it is at the Wall in the snow and Yorkies do not do endless winter.
Finally, I was tasked with finding new homes for Ramsey Bolton’s dogs.  At first, I thought this would be easy but surprisingly many people in Westeros do not want to adopt a dog who ate it’s previous owners face.   I decided to send the dogs to Braavos to be adopted.  If there are men there with no faces, they won’t mind have them eaten by dogs.
I returned to Meereen and sat on top of the pyramid with Tyrion drinking Foletyins, which he found delightful, and talking about how it is truly the small ones who rule the kingdoms.
I look forward to my next trip to Westeros.  I just hope there are less dragons

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Three Years by River Song

Yesterday was my third Gotcha Day.  I did not wish to celebrate it.  My Gotcha Day and birthday are within weeks of one another.  I did not wish to be over celebrated.  That is very tiring.

I am very lucky.  I have a beautiful family.  My first mom had lots of Griffs, and she knew I needed my own family.  She was right.  Now I have my one, the way Tony Soprano had his family.  It is mine, and I am the boss.  If you break, the rules expect the stink face.
I have been incredibly lucky when it comes to second moms.  I adore mine.  Her lap is perfect.  Her food is exquisite.  When she looks at me, there is so much love in her eyes.  Her voice makes my ears perk up.  She is superb at petting.  She gives the best belly rubs ever.
She does do one thing I cannot tolerate.  She leaves!  She doesn’t go often.  Some weeks she only leaves on Saturday, but that is too often for me.  If Pocket and I are left alone and are crated, I give out the most pitiful cries from my prison.  They are part desperation, part sadness, part manipulation.  My eyes fill with tears, my mouth droops, and I pour on the guilt, delivering the full McLachlan.  Somehow Mommy finds the strength to leave.  I immediately attempt a jailbreak.  Most days I am unsuccessful, but when I do get free I scamper around the house until she comes home and says: “Christ, how did you get loose?”
I love when she calls me Christ.
When she is leaving me and Pocket alone with daddy, I do everything I can to stop her. That means I wrap my paws around her leg and hold on for dear life.  Mommy has to break my grip with two hands and keep pushing me down to get out of the house.
I settle on down Daddy’s lap if there to wait for mom to come home. Unless I see a car go by, or there is a noise, or a person walks by, or a bird flaps her wing.  Then I get off the chair and run around the house barking.  That is 90 percent of the time.   Daddy yells “Christ,won’t you be quiet.”
I am so touched:  Christ is a term of great affection in the human language.
When she comes home, whether I am crated or with daddy, I jump up, give her my crazy smile, and wag my stumpy tail.  Then all is right with my world again.

My parents saved me and brought me to their home.  It isn’t strange that I never want them to leave.
Is it?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Pup of the Week: For Our Dads


There is a joke that was told by a comedian who no one wants to discuss anymore.  He said:  “Fathers take their sons outside, teach them how to play ball, take them to tryouts, drive them to practice, spend hours training them, drive them all over the world to games.  Then the son becomes famous, gets on television, the camera is on them and them: ‘Thanks, Mom.’”
I think the same is true with dogs.  In two-parent homes, our dads do a lot of the hard work like the walking, the training, and the poop picks up.  But moms get the credit because they feed the food, provide the laps, and, in the majority of cases, write these very blogs for us (which, somehow. paint moms in the best light.)
Dads become the butts of jokes.  They are the stupid ones who leave the gate open, forget to feed us, don’t take us out, or leave something out that we shouldn’t eat, and inevitably we do consume.  I have written many blogs where my Dad was run ragged during a K-9 Kamp challenge or ended up in trouble that should have been attributed to us, portraying him as the fool. , .
Truthfully I owe a lot to my Dad.  Twenty-two years ago this very day my parents were married. My mom knew dad was a dog lover.  She had one rule:  No dogs!  She had owned dogs in the past, but she never bonded with them.   Daddy wore her down, every day, for three years, until he finally talked her into getting a dog, Blake, who changed her life in incredible ways, brought her so much love, and led her to other dogs, including me.  From there came all the wonderful friends reading these words.  Me, Pocket, River Song, Blake and Mom owe it all to our Dad.
There are many dads who need to be recognized on this Father’s Day.  I do not have enough bandwidth at Rainbow Bridge to pay tribute to them all.  I have chosen some of my personal favorites.
Any dog and parent who have encountered Tommy Tunes and Freddy’s Dad Steve love both him and his dogs.  They have delighted us with their marvelous videos of our pup friends conversing, beautiful computer created photos to honor new Angels, ingenious games, and, most importantly, always being kind.  Dad Steve has shown everyone who has encountered him, Tommy, or Freddy, how to be a perfect online friend.  When one of those friends, Gina Busch, went to the Bridge, Dad Steve stepped up and took her beloved beagle, Freddy, who, despite some medical problems, is still thriving, because of Dad Steve’s good, calm, reasoned sense.
Reese, Kole, and Angel Meika have the privilege of having two Dads: Dad.Jeffrey and their silent Uncle Rob (the Penn and Teller of Missouri.)  The past few years have brought many hard times on our friends:  Meika went to the Bridge, Uncle Rob became very ill and spent weeks in the hospital, and Dad Jeffrey was afflicted with Bell’s Palsy, which he is still battling. Through it, all Dad Jeffrey, Kole, and Reese have not failed to be kind, caring, sweet and funny.   If you need a model to demonstrate how to act during the stressful times, look no further than this pack.
The picture at the top of this blog is one of my favorites:  It depicts Angel Cassie and her Dad Richard beginning one of their beloved hikes.  Angel Cassie won Dad Richard’s heart at a PetSmart adoption event.  At first, Dad Richard left Angel Cassie at the store, but Cassie was in his heart, and he had to go back and bring her home.  They took many a hike together, and Dad Richard chronicled their adventures together and those he experiences with Katie.
Finally, we need to single Hobo and Wylie’s Dad Walt.  He and his wife Bruny have made Hobo the main character in two books and a world famous pup.  Hobo is funny, kind, fiercely loyal, generous and adventurous.   The words describe Dad Walt as well.  According to those who have met him in person he, like Hobo, is a true gentleman.  Hobo is a senior dog, and like his dad, he is a father to all of us. 
To all these fine gentlemen, and to dad’s everywhere, I wish the happiest of Father’s Days. Thank you for all you do.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: On the River with Willie



I was lazing on my floatie, riding the waves of the River of Life, and sipping a Foleytini, when Angel Willie, who was enjoying his morning swim, emerged next to me.  He put his front paws of my floatie.  I held my Foleytini, and he took a big gulp.  I inquired about his family.

“My Mom is still having a hard time,” Willie said as he slid off my floatie and tread water.  “Last year she fell, and she shattered her knee.  She could not walk at all.  We thought that I had a hard time on the mortal side as a tripaw but that is nothing like being a one leg.”

I knew about this, having flown many prayers up the mountain for Mama Sandy, but we dogs can be wordy, and he was worried, so I let him talk.

“You would think after all the time my mom spent helping me walk, caring for me so that I could live a normal life, and acting as my fourth leg, that she would be rewarded with knees that would support her until she was 100.  For my mom to lose her mobility, because she broke her knee, isn’t fair.”

I reminded Willie that there were many things unfair about the mortal life.  “But nothing can stop my Mom.  She is a very determined lady.  I don’t know if she got that from me, or if I got it from her, or if it is something our love created, and we shared.  She always said I was determined to walk and be with her after I got the tumor in my leg.  My mom has been adamant throughout her ordeal that she would continue working hard for the Darlington County Animal Rescue from where she adopted my sister Jessie.”

And that she had.  She has faded from some social networks became her top priority, after her family, and beloved Jessie and Roscoe is the Darlington County Animal Rescue.  Not only has she worked to helped to get pups adopted, but she has been ceaseless in her work to raise money for the Rescue.  She has even designed a t-shirt that the rescue sold.

Willie had begun swimming around my floatie.  “This spring she had knee replacement surgery.  She doesn’t remember, but I was with when she was asleep during surgery.  She has had some tough days during her recovery.  But she is getting better.  She even went to the shore this weekend.  Hopefully by the middle of July she will be like herself.”
Willie went under the water, then came back up, and playfully blew water on me.  “Hey Foley?” he asked.  I asked him what.  “Can you tell my Mom how proud I am of her.”

I smiled at my wet friend.

“I don’t think I have to,” I said.  “You just did.”

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The First Bark by Pocket Dog

My Mom and Dad’s first dog together was a little black and white Shih Tzu named Blake.  That was 20 years ago.  There were no Internet groups to help to raise a pup as there are now.  Mom and Dad made a lot of mistakes with Blake including feeding her so much she was five pounds overweight at her first vet visit.
They loved little Blake very much.  When she was a puppy, they taught her all the tricks:  sit, stay, come, paw.  There was one thing Blake was very stubborn about doing.  She did not like to bark.  She had a very cute little bark, and my parents loved hearing her little arf.
My parents would hold a treat in front of her and say, “speak!  Speak!”  After several days, Blake realized what they meant.  They wanted her to bark.  So she started barking.  Our parents were very happy.  So she kept barking.
And they grew less happy.
A few months after Blake turned five Foley came to live with them.  On the first night, Blake told Foley “I don’t know why but these two really like dogs who bark a lot.”  Foley did not want to anger her new parents on her first day she started barking that night, and she did not stop for 13 years.
She did not welcome me with the opened paws that Blake greeted her.  She said to me “Look, kid, nothing against you, but I’ve seen them come and go and frankly if you stay or go, well, I got no skin in the game if you know what  I mean, but, if you want to impress our parents, bark your simple, little head off.
I did not want to displease them, so I barked.  I barked when I heard a noise; I barked I thought I heard a noise, I barked when I saw people, I barked when I saw a dog, I started barking and for eight years I have not stopped barking.
When River Song came to live with us, I told her how much our parents loved the barking.  She does well at barking inside the house but sometimes when she walks she forgets to bark.  I am very concerned she might not work out.  Come on River:  Bark more!

I know my parents love our barking.  My mom tells me I am driving her crazy.

Crazy with happiness, I bet.  Boy, I am sure mom and dad are glad they taught Blake how to bark.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Beat This Caption

                                         I am forever blowing bubbles, pretty                                      bubbles in the air

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Pup of the Week: Blue, Whiskey and Jasper

A pack is a very delicate organism.  One small change in the family can change the entire balance.  
When I began my social networking life the pack of 12, Chappy and Whiskey was the strongest unit l I knew.  Then 12 went to the Bridge, followed by Chappy, and now the pack is Whiskey, Blue, and Jasper.  That organism is not thriving as it once was.
My pack has not suffered from these issues.  I went to the Bridge and passed pack leader to Pocket.  River Song came to live with us.  Pocket said, “I am the pack leader.”  River said, “The hell you are!” and Pocket was back to being number two.  But she was all right with being second.  She has been her whole life.
The problems with Whiskey’s pack began when Blue’s herding instinct took effect, and he insisted on corralling Jasper and Whiskey, who had no desire to cooperate.  Whiskey became frustrated and stopped eating unless he was alone in a room with his mom.  Blue continued to try to herd the pack which started fights.  Jasper began marking in the house.  
Things came to a head when Whiskey started biting, Blue, which led to stitches.  Blue was separated from the pack when their parents weren’t home.  Their mom was crying about their broken family.   But she and her husband are the real pack leaders in their family, and they took steps to bring balance back to their family.  
They hired a dog behaviorist who told their parents that pack problems were common in multi-dog households.  She believed that working together the pack could be a working organism again.  Rule number one was to keep Blue and Whiskey apart for two months.  All three dogs would get individual training sessions multiple times a day.   There were personal problems to overcome:  Whiskey’s barking, Blue’s herding, and Jasper’s selective listening.  
Each dog learned at their own pace.  Whiskey and Jasper took to the training easily but Blue, a herding dog, was used to being the boss and has been resistant to change.  
It has been a long process, and it is ongoing, but the behaviorist is very impressed with the pack’s progression.  She told the pack’s parents that she didn’t think that Blue and Whiskey could be alone together, but would be an excellent pair while supervised.  Blue and Whiskey, on their own, have become oil and water.  
The pack is moving in the right direction.  They may not always be peaceful, but they will be a family again.  Their parents will make sure of that through their dedication to training.
While this blog recognizes Whiskey, Blue, and Jasper as pups of the week, it should recognize their parents for their ceaseless devotion to keeping their pack together.


Friday, June 10, 2016

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: The Final Hero Arrivess


I have seen some extraordinary ceremonies at the Rainbow Bridge, but I have never seen one like the festivity that happened earlier this week.
There were hundreds of dogs, all dressed in uniforms, with many ribbons, waiting for Bretagne, a beautiful Golden Retriever, the last rescue dog to work at the Twin Towers after the attack on September 11, 2001, to remain on the mortal side.  Every dog stood, one paw in the air saluting, while the Corgis played a slow drumroll, and Bretagne approached me to take the oath of angeldom.
This year, for the first time in since 2000, people will cast votes for President who are too young to remember that day. I wish I could forget it.   I could sense that something very bad had happened that morning but I had no idea of the magnitude.  Daddy came home from work and took Blake and I over to the State Mental Hospital across the street from our house, where he watched us frolic in the sunshine.  Blake and I played very hard.  We didn’t know why, but we knew it brought daddy a sense of peace.
There were fearful times after the attacks.  Everyday Blake and I got a walk at the hospital with our parents.  We always stopped to watch the sun setting, the sky turning orange and blue.  Small incidents like a sunset met a lot to parents at that time.
Meanwhile, at  Ground Zero, other dogs were sniffing through the wreckage, looking for survivors:  One of those dogs was Bretagne.  While they did not find any survivors they accomplished something that comes naturally to all dogs:  They provided emotional support to those digging in the ruins, doing the world’s hardest work.  They did not save any who had been lost, but they helped save the saviors.
Over the next 15 years Bretagne continued her public service.  She, and her human partner, Denise Corliss, rescued people after Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita, and many other storms.  
Bretagne retired from her assignment with Texas Task Force One. but she did not retire from public service.  She went to schools to work with children who found it difficult to read out loud. Those students read to Bretagne until they got the confidence to read in front of the class.
When the day came that Bretagne had to pass over the River of Life, the Cy-Fair Fire Department, of Harris Texas, lined the walkway to the veterinarian's office, to pay their final respects to Bretagne.  They stayed until she passed to the immortal side.  A casket with her mortal remains was covered with an American flag, and pushed past the honor guard, who gave one final mortal salute.
A short time later, Bretagne was receiving her first immortal salute from her fellow angel dogs.  She proudly saluted back.
Bretagne will continue to watch over people.  She will be an angel for all rescue workers, and all those who need rescuing.
Every dog is a hero in their own way, but no dog I have encountered is a hero in as many ways as Bretagne.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

River Song and the Living Mink Coat

Pocket and Odie have been holding top level meetings every day.  They discuss ideas to raise kibble.  They developed a million cookie plan and put me in charge.
Humans, if they are like our parents, get very upset when they see people wearing coats made from animal fur.  But other humans find them luxurious.  Pocket and Odie have discovered a compromise:  Live animal fur coats.
Because they are thinkers and I am a dog of action I was put in charge of this exciting project.  My first step was to hire my dog friends to catch, but not kill, cute little vermin with shiny fur.  
In our first two weeks we went zero days without an accident.  It is terribly difficult to teach dogs, who are bred to catch and kill, to catch and release, in a cage, where the vermin can happily live.  Each day we increased the numbers of captures and decreased the number of fatalities.  I had the dogs upload their catch to me.
When the vermin would downloaded to mommy’s computer she was very displeased to have a furry lap.  Mommy insisted that we set them free but Pocket convinced her to give me a chance training them.  We herded the vermin into our shed
That is where I put my expertise to use.  I had taken a course in vermin training at Trump University.  I ordered dozen of corduroy jackets and over several weeks I trained the vermin to stay on the jackets like that thing stays on Trump’s head.
Before we launched the jacket on the market we needed real life experience.  We asked Mommy to wear the jacket on our walk.  She balked because it was 86 degrees and the jacket was covered with rats.  But she believes in our endeavours and, after several shots of tequila, we were on our way.
The first day things did not go as planned.  Two minutes into our walk a group of dogs saw Mommy’s jacket, jumped her, removed the jacket, and carried it off.
I really a going to miss those rats.
The second day Mr. Whitikar was sitting on a bench in his yard sorting his nuts when the vermin left the jacket and attacked Mr. Whitikar.  Neither he, nor his nuts, will be the same again.
I was very upset.  Maybe the problem wasn’t with my Trump University education.  Another class action suit I have to withdraw from.  
Please send me more vermin.  I have to train them how not to smell.  And how not to be smelled.  I know I can do it.
Look for our line sometime around Christmas.
(Which Christmas is still in question.)

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Pup of the Week: Tommy and Rickey - The New


We angels have been inundated with prayers, of late:  For Leo, Josie, Paco, Dot, Junior, and so many more.  Life holds one terrible promise:  All mortal dogs will join me on the immortal side when it is their time.  When that happens hearts will be shattered.  I know of only one cure:  The New.
I have a couple of friends who are The New.  One is Tommy, named for the legendary Tommy Tunes.  He is a puppy.  Puppy breath is an elixir for broken hearts.  It is the new car smell of the dog world.
 

We have gleefully witnessed Tommy grow up.  We met him in the middle of March at seven weeks old.  We watched him as he grew from a constant pee machine and a chewer to learning the sound of the kibble bag and can opener.   Then through his toilet training, his invite to sleep in the big bed, his shots and gradual weight gain, and the loss of his baby teeth.  Watching, and reading about Tommy growing up has done us all good,  Puppies are hope and Tommy has given us hope.
The New don’t have to be puppies.  The New can be older.  These are the rescues.  Rickey is one such Rescue.  He was chosen by Angels Tupper and Max to live with his Mom, Boris, and new adoptee Macie.  But Tupper and Max were quite worried.  They had not properly vetted Rickey.  He was brought into their home on a seven day trial period.
Rescues bring a different set of problems than puppies but they are equally as taxing  He had food aggression, boundary issues, (anything on the counter was fair game to Rickey), not used to walking on a leash and had bad seperation issues.  He also tore a dew claw playing and he did not trust his Mom to treat it.  Adding a third dog to a family can be problematic and his Mom has wrestled, during this seven day trial period,  with what would be best for Rickey and  her own pups.   We do hope it works out for everyone.  Every family needs A New now and then.
It is very peaceful here, but sometimes, when the wind is thick and air delicate we can hear mortal, human, chatter rising from across the River.  These voices are angry and divisive.  Mostly say, hooray for our side.  
But there is also an undercurrent of words about love.  Many of these words were devoted to dogs (and some to cats.)  They were the same voices who spoke unkind words about one another.  That is when I realized an undeniable truth.
We dogs (and other pets, but I shall use the word dog, if a cat wants to write a blog they can use cat) bind people together.  Politically, culturally, racially, religiously, people are divided, but the love of dogs bring them together.
My parents are baseball fans.  They met at a baseball field.  In a movie a character talks about baseball and America.  It is a good speech, but it is better when you change the subject to dogs.
“The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been dogs. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers.  Love has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But dogs have marked the time. These dogs, these blessed creatures are part of our past, Ray. They remind us of all that once was good, and it could be again. Ohhhhhhhh, people need dogs, Ray. People will most definitely need dogs.”
I could not have said it better myself. If you don’t have one, got get yourself A New.
Now who is this Ray?

Friday, June 3, 2016

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: Meeting Harambe

Rainbow Bridge has no end.  Next to where we dogs live is the humans’ area, and beyond that horses, and farm animals, and further out the truly wild animals like the lions and gorillas.  We dogs never visit the wild animal area and they never visit ours.
Until Monday.
I was curled up on a bank watching Romey, the fish.  He was reeling in a fish, swallowing it whole, then looking down into the water where the same fish magically appeared and bit his hook ready to be reeled up again.
“You know that’s the same fish,” I told him.
“I don’t care,” Romey says.  “Tastes good.
Then the ground began to shake.  We heard paws rapidly pounding on the ground.  We looked up to see a giant beast walking towards us.
“Big monkey,” Romey said.  “I am going to tell Smoochy.”
Before I could stop Romey, he was scampering towards Smoochy’s house.  The other dog were giving the gorilla a wide berth, but I refused to show I was afraid.  I walked up to him and asked him if I could help him
“I am new here,” the gorilla said.  “I am lost.”
“You want to head North, past the mountains, that is where you will find the jungle.”
He thanked me and turned to leave, but he had sparked my Yorkie inquisitive nature.  I asked him how he arrived.
He scratched his head.  “I was in jail,” he said.  “I don’t know why I was in prison.  I never did anything wrong.  But they still locked me up, in a terrible place, called Cincinnati.  My jailers were very friendly.  I ate healthy food regularly, I was treated kindly, and I had two female gorillas for conjugals, but I still dreamt of being in the jungle.
The worst part of my sentence was the humans who would come and stare at me.  Some would make monkey sounds; some would point and laugh:  It was cruel and unusual punishment.  There were some nice people, but I hated being watched all the time.
“Sunday a family was watching me.  The mother should have been watching her son.  I sure was.  The kid climbs through the barriers, and he falls into my pod.  At first, I thought he was going to break me out, but he just laid there crying.  All the people were screaming.  I grabbed the kid and tried to protect him with my body, but the child was crying, and the people were screaming.  I grabbed the child.  I walked him towards where he fell.  I was going to throw him back up.  It wasn’t my fault the kid couldn’t keep up with me.  I have no babysitting experience.  Then my keepers showed up with guns.   I thought they were going to shoot the whiney kid, but they didn’t.  They shot me and here I am.”
I told him how sorry I was and that he should not have been shot.  He laughed.
“I’m free!” he said.  “No more prison, no more keepers.  I can go wherever I want, eat whatever I want; it is paradise.  Those keepers did me a favor, little dog.  Now I just need to find the jungle.”
I began to give directions again when I saw Smoochy and Romey running towards me.  Smoochy grabbed the gorilla by the hand.  “I have monkeys, stay with me, you can play with monkeys!”
I chuckled, expecting the gorilla to say not but he smiled and said that sounded like a lot of fun.  I was going to tell him no but who am I to deny a gorilla?  I watched as Smoochy and the gorilla left hand in hand.
So now we have a gorilla in the neighborhood.
It could be worse.
He could be in prison.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Pocket Takes on the Ning Weasels

In 2009 when Foley founded the Tanner Brigade neither of us had the room in our kitty condo’s) for the servers to support the traffic created by our friends.  We needed partners.
Foley investigated various services and decided to pair with a group called Ning.  Ning stood for Nice Internet (Not Great.) I was skeptical because weasels ran the site Foley said cost wise this was the best solution, and she could handle the weasels.  She scheduled a meeting.  We met in a dumpster behind the 7-11.  We met with three weasels, all wearing raincoats and fedoras, I began shaking.
They told Foley their service worked intermittently, that they seldom had representatives to handle complaints, and they were only in it for the money.  Foley calmly explained that she represented a conglomerate of dogs who would hunt them down and bite them in their tails if they did not cooperate. To my surprise, the weasels capitulated to a little Yorkie.
The site functioned for years with little problem.  If one of our members was dissatisfied Foley was not afraid to go to the weasel dumpster and set them straight;  Out of respect to her legacy, the weasels keep the site running with the same proficiency when she went to the Bridge.
Lately, the site has not run correctly.   Several of my friends can not get on the site, or were only allowed on to certain parts.  I sent the weasels several sweet notes telling them about our issues with no response.  I had to go to the dumpster.
I met them at midnight on a rainy night.  They were smoking cigarettes and drinking cheap gin.  I told them about our dissatisfaction with their recent efforts.   They snickered.  “Is that right pussycat?” one of them growled.
I stressed the problems we were having, and we would very much appreciate their investigating the matter.  This was met with the suggestion that I am taken out behind the dumpster and drowned in a puddle.
The weasels grabbed me.  I knew I shouldn’t have come here without Foley.  I not only had let my friend down, but now I was going to get a puddle bath.  Then I heard a growling sound from the dumpster lid.  We turned, and we saw this face:
The weasels let me go  The tallest one peed a little  The other two promised that they would upgrade their servers and solve all our problems.  They made me promise they would never have to see that face again.
Somedays I am so happy I have sisters.