Monday, December 11, 2017

Monday Question

Do you exchange Christmas cards with your dog friends and how many more cards do you get if you do?

Pocket:  We do.  This year we sent out close to 70 cards to eight different counties.  If it wasn't for dog friends my parents would send out a dozen cards.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Lily is our December 10, 2017 Pup of the Week

There is never a good time to send a beloved pup to Rainbow Bridge, but December is the worst.  During the holidays we count our blessings and hold our loved ones tighter.  Losing a family member not only casts a dark shadow on the upcoming festivities but a cloud reappears each subsequent holiday season as a sad reminder.

Recently we wrote the unimaginable tale of Jasper and Sophie-Rae.  Jasper’s parents knew he was ill, but they had no idea Sophie-Rae was running out of heartbeats too.  The same is true of my blogger friends Lily and Muffin who write the Doxie Life blog.  Their parents knew Muffin had congestive heart failure, but they had no signal that Lily was ill as well.

Lily and Muffin’s parents were at the doctor’s waiting for Muffin to have a follow-up exam when suddenly Lily went into full respiratory distress.   She was immediately placed in an oxygen tent.  Subsequent x-rays showed that Lily had fluid around her heart and her liver was twice the normal size.

An oxygen tent is a very bad place to be.  I went in on a Friday and didn’t come out for more than a minute until my parents sent me here on a Sunday.  The tents are necessary:  Without them, neither Lily or I could have lived another five minutes.  But, we both became dependent on it to live and someday you have to come out of the tent.

Lily departed for the Bridge the day after she was placed in the tent.  There were tear clouds from across the world leaving wide puddles on the ground as Lily climbed the steps to start her immortal life. Her grandparents were there to greet her and to tell her she would never be without a human touch.  She gave the hundreds of kisses.

I got a moment alone with her and asked her why she didn’t let her parents know that she wasn’t feeling well.  “My parents were already worried about Muffin,” she explained.  “They say dogs don’t like to show pain because it is a sign of weakness.  It is not weakness it is worry.  We don’t want to show pain because it makes our parents nervous.  They were nervous enough with Muffin.”

Lily does hope she did not ruin her parents’ Christmas forever.  She loved every Christmas they spent together and hoped this Christmas they will only have good memories of her.  She has vowed to become Muffin’s angel and give her plenty of heartbeats, so her parents do not go through this pain again for a long time.

She wants them to know she will be there this Christmas and everyone to come, twinkling like lights on the tree, singing along with the carolers on the radio, and in their hearts.

Hopefully, Lily’s parents can keep that knowledge in their hearts and their heads and don’t let Christmas be a sad reminder of her but a joyous remembrance.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: Welcoming Penny, Charlotte and Noelle

When a pup comes to Rainbow Bridge, they don’t come empty-pawed.  They bring their parent’s hearts with them.  This is unfortunate because humans need their hearts.  Without them they stumble through the day, tears flowing from their eyes, they lose interest in life, barely eating and are in constant pain.  It isn’t our fault that we take their hearts.  They are just returning what they received.

There are three ways for our parents to get their hearts back.  Hearts will slowly grow inside of them unaided, but it can take months or even years.  If the pup who went to the Bridge left a sibling behind, they could help with the rebuilding.  The quickest way is to get a heart transplant is a new pup.

When a dog comes to the Bridge, they immediately begin looking for a new pup for their parents.  The hard part is getting mom and dad to open their lives to a new dog because they know at the end of the road their hearts will be ripped out again.  They have to be reminded that sharing your life with a dog is a ride that is so thrilling, joyous, and full of love it is well worth taking, even knowing that the heart beating inside of them will be gone when the loving little soul sharing their life disappears.

Angel Pepper knew when her mom, Aunt Cathy,  makes up her mind she moves quickly so she could not waste time.  She was doing interviews her first full day at the Bridge, and by her second she found Penny.  Then she pointed her mom in Penny’s direction and when they met Aunt Cathy felt her chest filling with love again.  The pain from the absence of Pepper’s heart could still be felt, but the hole in Aunt Cathy’s chest was gone.

While Aunt Cathy was broken hearted she still had Pepper’s sister Juju living with her, so there was puppy love in her heart.  When Hannah Banana went to the Bridge there was not a shred of her mom’s, Aunt Kim’s heart left.  Hannah also immediately got to work finding Aunt Kim a new pup, but the timing had to be right for her to receive her new heart.  Hannah had to wait five months until Aunt Kim was ready.  When she was, Hannah found little Charlotte.  Aunt Kim, when she went to see Charlotte, was worried the pup would not choose her, which was silly, because Hannah had told Charlotte all about her wonderful mom, and when Charlotte saw her she knew Aunt Kim would be her forever mom.  Another heart transplant was completed.

After living for years with two dogs Aunt Kristi, within eight-month, lost both parts of her heart, which were taken by Junior in December of last year and Chelsea in August.  They were both very anxious to find a new heart for their mom, but she needed time.  Junior and Chelsea strenuously interviewed dogs and even allowed some to meet their mom before vetoing the choice.  It had to be the perfect dog.    Recently they found Noelle, and they made sure Aunt Kristi located her.   When Aunt Kristi and Noelle met Junior and Chelsea held one another tightly as they saw their mom smile in a way she had not smiled in a year.  It was a full-hearted smile full of love.

Welcome to Noelle, Charlotte, and Penny.  You are very lucky dogs.  You have the best dog parents in the world.  I know you will give them beautiful hearts for them that will sustain them for years.

Thank you for saving our friends.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Pocket and the Moving Christmas Tree

My house has been decorated for Christmas.  I know this is a good thing because it means that Santa Paws will soon be arriving, but I don’t like it.   When the house is being decorated no one is sitting next to me, and my parents only pay attention to me if I get underfoot.

It is a positive sign that the tree is in the living room.  When we lived in the condo, the tree was always there, when Mommy’s children and grandchildren would come over to open presents, yell excitedly, and leave the house looking like a wrapping paper factory exploded.

But her kids got older.  They all wanted Christmas at their house and had no interest in getting together.  The tree became a reminder.  When we first moved into our modular home, the tree was in the seldom traveled front room where it would look pretty from the street but could not be witnessed inside.  The Dickens Village was set up on the porch for the same reason.  On the outside, the house looked festive.  No one looked inside.

Three years ago the tree was moved into the kitchen and the village on to the TV stand.  Mommy was letting Christmas back into her house a little bit at a time.  I didn’t mind the tree in the kitchen but River, when we were alone, kept knocking it over in excitement, as she would run to the window to see if our missing parents were home.

So, now the tree is in the living room.  I am getting used to it.  It’s pretty and harmless as long as River doesn’t run into it.  I think it is a positive sign that Mommy, despite Christmas the Ghost of Christmas present never being as joyous as that of Christmas Past, is letting the beauty of the holiday back in her heart.

The tree didn’t cause much drama this year.   My parents purchased the tree pre-lit, but like most things that enter your house pre-lit, they eventually disappoint.  Last year Daddy had to keep going to the store to buy lights as the pre-lit ones became post-dark.  But this year the lights all shone.'

I like looking at the Dickens Village.  I think I would have enjoyed living there.  Everything seems so simple:  No loud cars, no screaming televisions, happy people wishing each other the best of the season, ignoring the river of excrement flowing down the street, all reasonably sure the government is screwing them but with no Twitter feed they are unable to confirm it.

Mommy used to get very stressed about buying presents, but as grandchildren have grown the pressure to buy them all multiple presents has waned, and much of the buying is done on the computer, with me on her lap.

Even the picture taking was easier this year.  I think it is because River and I are both older and have figured out if we both looked at the camera for one picture out of 50 we would be done.  

We have two snow shower lights outside the house.  One lights up the big pine tree making it glow.  The other is in front of the house and shines on the garland on the pole in front of the house.  When River and I got out to pee, the lights hit us, and we sparkle like 70’s Disco Queens.

I think we have all, including me, made our peace with Christmas this year  We will see what the season brings.  We hope it is nothing but good cheer and little drama.
I won’t be able to judge until next December when the tree goes up again.  It has made it’s way to the main room.  If it keeps moving and is in the back bathroom next year, I’ll know things didn’t go so well this year.

I guess I am dreaming of a tree in the living room Christmas for next year.

What could be better?

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Monday, December 4, 2017

Monday Question

Do you get Christmas gifts and if you do are you given them open or do you unwrap them?

Pocket:  We only get some special food from our parents.  We do have some wonderful friends who send us gifts.  if they are wrapped we just look at our parents until they unwrap them.  

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Abbie is our December 3 2017 Pup of the Week

Rainbow Bridge is in a constant state of flux.  I think it reflects what is happening in the mortal world.  I know things are quite complicated and bothersome there.  Here at the Bridge life has become simpler.  I no longer have a pager to tell me when there is a new pup who needs to be sworn in as an angel, now the sharp sound of a church bell ringing summons me.
I do hate the sound of that bell ringing.  It signals that hearts have been shattered and lives upturned.  It also means there is a new pup climbing the stairs, separated from everything they have loved, somewhat scared, and feeling lonely before they experience all the glory the afterlife presents.
It was raining parent’s tears.   I splashed through the puddles and arrived at my designated spot just as Abbie cleared the final step of her journey and sat on the landing. I had strict instructions to read the Angel Oath and wait for the words “I do,” but, as usual, I forgot my directions and hugged the new Angel.
We had received so many prayers for Abbie.  We flew them up the mountain and left them outside the Big Guy’s cave.  The next morning, when more arrived we flew them upward, the previous day’s prayers were gone.  Someone had considered them, and we awaited an answer.  Sadly, it was an abrupt no.
Abbie was dealing with dueling health issues, one serious, the other usually not, but they hit her like two thunderstorms approaching from opposite directions that combined to become devastating.  One was kidney failure; the other was dental problems.  She needed to eat to combat the kidney failure but couldn’t because of her teeth.  She needed work done on her teeth but could not be put under anesthesia because of her kidney failure.
It had only been two weeks since Abbie was diagnosed with kidney failure.  The doctor said the disease could be severe but her Mom, Aunt Gail did not expect Abbie to be taken so quickly.  She could only watch helplessly as Abbie didn’t eat and grew weaker.  Her friends flooded her with suggestions, but nothing worked.  Aunt Gail’s precious baby was fading before her eyes.
Aunt Gail took Abbie to the vet who told her that Abbie could not survive the dental surgery.  He could give Abbie medication, but it would only give her weeks.  Aunt Gail made the world’s hardest decision, and now Abbie was with us.
Once she was sworn in all of Aunt Gail’s other angels hugged Abbie and promised to take her back home to ghost her mom and visit her in her dreams.  They would also visit Abbie’s siblings, Charlie, Star, and Toto to make sure they took care of Aunt Gail and didn’t cause her any worries.
Abbie wants Aunt Gail to know she is happy and healthy again and she is eating all her favorite foods.  She loves her and misses her and her siblings.  She is sorry for the worries and for passing over so fast, but she promises that someday they will be reunited in a land called Happily Ever After.  
Abbie will be next to her mom as she makes her difficult journey through the world of grief.  Everyone’s journey on that road is different and the length changes but it is always arduous.  Abbie wants her mom to know that she has lots of friends who will walk with her when she needs company.  And Star, Toto, and Charlie will be there too.
Someday she will get through that dark road and be happy again.  
When that day arrives Abbie will finally rest, but she will never stop watching over her mom.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: Saving Private Enzo with Totti, Chelsea and Queenie

I was lazing in the sun when my emergency angel beacon went off.  “Angels, oh Angels, please help me!”  I picked it up.  I could see my dear friend Enzo standing in a vast cornfield.  At first, I thought he was his usual joking self but then I realized he was terrified.
“Angels,”: Enzo yelled.  “I was hunting with my parents and chased a bird into this cornfield.  I saw another bird and ran after it, and now I am hopelessly lost.  Please, angels, help me find my way back to my parents.
We needed an Angel Rescue Squad.  I checked who was on call for emergencies:  Queenie, Chelsea, and Totti.  I could not assemble a better group.  I told them to assemble by the river bank.  
We held one another’s paws and flew into the sun.  We emerged over the dense cornfield.  Enzo’s dad was walking around the perimeter calling his name.  His mom was standing by the truck praying for a miracle.  She did not know it, but her miracle had arrived.  Queenie, Chelsea, Totti each took a side of the field and began calling Enzo’s name.
I heard Enzo whining on the south side of the corn.  I flew down and saw Enzo huddled under a stalk.  I called his name several times until he looked up and saw me.  “Oh Angel Foley, I knew you would come.  You have to help me out of the corn.”  I called for Queenie, Chelsea, and Totti to come to me and then had them go to the edge of the corn and call him.
Enzo tried to reach them, but the corn became too thick.  He kept getting blocked.  He begged me to come into the corn with him.  I hesitated.  My Mommy told me never to go into the corn.  I didn’t want to get hopelessly lost too.  But, if I had to get hopelessly lost at least I could do it with Enzo.  I flew into the corn.
It was dark and thick.  I asked for Quennie to fly over us and direct us to the end of the corn.  Every way she tried to direct us we got stuck.  It looked hopeless.  Enzo asked if I could try to fly him out.  I got underneath him, but he’s a big boy, and I’m a little girl.  I only got him a foot off the ground.
We both fell backward.  Enzo hit the stalk hard.  I had tucked my wings in, but they popped out as I fell and they sliced a stalk in two  Enzo said:  “Yummy, corn!” and started eating an ear before I realized that our wings were the way out.
I called to Queenie, Chelsea, and Totti to come into the corn.  Queenie and Totti flew right down, but Chelsea, being a cautious Yorkie, like me, said she would guide us with her voice.  Smart dog. Queenie, Totti and I began walking backward and flapping our wings as we cut through the corn.  Chelsea guided us towards Enzo’s dad.  Once we could see light through the field, Enzo ran off to his dad, and we gathered above the corn to see the tearful reunion.
As Enzo walked back to the truck, and his mom ran to him, they turned and gave us a tip of the tail and a big smile for helping us guide him out of the corn.
But that is what angels are for.
If you are ever get lost in the corn, thinks of us, and we will be there to help you.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

River's Trip to the Groomer

As many of you know, I am treated like family at my groomer’s.  One of my siblings lives with them as does my Baby Daddy, although our mutual attraction was squashed by a few snips of the doctor’s scissors.  Now, like many old married couples, we take a whiff and move on.
Now that my breed has won Best in Show the adoration has only become greater.
When our groomer, Jan, took me from my Mom, she said that she cuts lots of Griff’s hair, but I am her favorite.
Who can blame her?
When we entered the grooming area, I was placed on my comfy throne with many pillows piled on top of another with red velvet on the backrest.  Pocket was thrown in a cage with a rusty hinge and no blanket.
First I got a bath with soap from the synactif soap collection.  Three vestal virgins gently washed me in distilled water using a brush made from fine llama hair.  Then they placed me on a red cushion and dried me by waving silk handkerchiefs.  
Pocket got bathed in a rusty steel tub in filthy, cold water, with a used brillo pad.
Once I was dry, it was time for my manicure.  My paws were dipped in lovely, warm soap and then they were gently filed by three elderly Shih-Tzus who were manicure masters.  Pocket’s were filed with an unsharpened steak knife by a retired Vietnamese grocer with cataracts.
Then my anal glands were expressed into a small pool that, once created, was poured into a beaker where it would be made into a sensuous perfume.  Pocket’s anal glands sent a senior sheepdog to the hospital with respiratory problems.
My hair was then tenderly cut by Vidal Sassoon while Pocket’s hair was cut by the three-fingered stepson of Gorilla Monsoon.
When the cutting was done, I was put back on my throne while Pocket was put in another rusty cage with a broken hinge.
When my parents returned the groomers tipped my parents for the privilege of letting them cut my hair, but they charged twice as much for having to clean Pocket.
I am scheduled to go back to the groomers in seven weeks, but I might go sooner. I am sure they would appreciate that.
(Editor’s Note from Pocket:  When we arrived at the groomer’s River fell asleep and stayed that way through her entire treatment.  Her entire account of our grooming is delusional.  But I let her believe it.  That’s what good sisters do.)

Monday, November 27, 2017

Monday Quesiton

Have you ever seen snow and if so do you like to play in it?

Pocket:  I have seen too much snow.  It is a bother, it is wet, cold, and gets in the way

River Song:  I was born in Florida and this will be my fifth winter.  I still have to be dragged outside in the snow and usually won't perform my duties in it.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Jasper and Sophie Rae are our November 26, 2017 Pups of the Week

There are moments that the words don't reach
There is suffering too terrible to name
You hold your child as tight as you can
Then push away the unimaginable
The moments when you're in so deep
Feels easier to just swim down
And so they move uptown
And learn to live with the unimaginable.”

That quote is from a song called “It’s Quiet Uptown” from the musical Hamilton written by Lin Manuel Miranda and myself during the spring before I went to the Bridge.  It was my wish that he takes full credit for our silly little historical play.  Who knew?

The song is sung by Alexander Hamilton and his wife Angelica after their son is killed in a duel.  They are both broken with grief.  They are learning to live with something so sad and shocking it is unimaginable.

This week, the family of Jasper and Sophie Rae, plus all their friends, are trying to live with the unimaginable.  Ten days ago they both were living happily with their parents.  Over the course of two days, last Sunday and Monday,  Jasper and Sophie went to the Bridge, leaving their devastated family behind

Jasper’s passing was long feared, but not unexpected.  He has been having seizures for months.  Weeks ago his parents were preparing themselves for his journey to the Bridge.  But then his medicine began to work, and he improved to the point he was able to go on a family vacation.  

Sophie Rae, who is five years old, watched after her brother, who was twice her age.  She developed a limp, something every dog does occasionally, and no reason to worry.   Her parents took her to the vet, who had diagnosed her with a sprain. But the limp was not improving.   On a subsequent check-up, the vet elected to do an x-ray which brought the most devastating news.  Sophie Rae had bone cancer in her front shoulder.  There was no surgery to be done, no chance of a cure.  She was one jump away from a devastating leg break.  “We never imagined Sophie would go first,” her mom wrote on Facebook.

Tragically, she didn’t.  Jasper was having seizures before Sophie’s grim diagnosis, but after that awful news, Jasper’s seizure became more severe and closer together.  His parents were given directions to stop these cluster seizures, but nothing worked.  Jasper’s father took him to the vet, but there was nothing they could do.  Jasper was sent to the bridge that night.

“If I could spare his life
If I could trade his life for mine
He'd be standing here right now
And you would smile, and that would be enough”

The next day Jasper and Sophie Rae’s parents set her to the Bridge too.  Jasper had somberly waited for Sophie to arrive.  There were the huge clouds of tears and the sounds of sobbing echoing across the river when they were reunited.  We greeted our new angels, hugging and kissing them.  We expressed our concern for their parents, but Jasper said he knew they would survive because they had one another to help through this awful time and nothing, not even this senseless tragedy could break that bond

“I don't pretend to know the challenges we're facing
I know there's no replacing what we've lost
And you need time
But I'm not afraid, I know who I married
Just let me stay here by your side
And that would be enough”

In past years I would have demanded the Big Guy give me answers about this senseless tragedy, but lately, the cave at the top of the mountain has been closed for repairs.  I didn’t want an answer.  I knew life is hard, cruel and horrific.  I was tired of making sense of the senseless.

This morning Sophie came to see me.  She and Jasper had a secret.  Sophie knew Jasper did not have much time left so she gave him some heartbeats so he could stay with his parents longer.  It was an extremely generous gesture but, sadly, when a dog does this, they are never sure how many heartbeats they have.  She assured me she would have made the same decision if she was aware that her heartbeats were dwindling.  Jasper made her parents happy, and she was honored to sacrifice for him.

“There are moments that the words don't reach
There's a grace too powerful to name
We push away what we can never understand
We push away the unimaginable.”

In every tragedy, there is sacrifice and love and even hope for tomorrow.  Jasper and Sophie are committed to seeing their parents, who they know are the best parents in the world, provide a loving home for another dog when they are ready.  The position of being a dog in their family is highly sought, and they are already conducting interviews so they will be able to tell their parents which pup to pick when the time comes.  Sophie, especially, is willing to sacrifice anything to see her parents happy again.  When you are willing to part with heartbeats for your parents there is nothing you won’t do.

Until that day comes, Jasper and Sophie will be with their parent's side during every step of the way supporting them and giving them strength to get through the unimaginable.

“If you see him in the street, walking by her side
Talking by her side, have pity
Look around, look around
They are going through the unimaginable.”

Friday, November 24, 2017

Pocket Tries to Save the Turkeys

It has been colder than an Iditarod Huskie’s mother’s milk here lately, but we have still been going on walks.  We are small, but we are tough.
On Saturday we were taking a constitutional through our sleepy neighborhood when we saw a rafter of wild turkeys chilling in a yard.  We barked and raised a fuss.  The largest one lifted her head and looked into my eyes.  “Are you Pocket?” she asked.
Being a small animal I try to keep away from big birds, but I was also raised to be polite, so I admitted I was Pocket.  “You are well known for saving wild animals.  The story of how you and Foley rescued a skunk is legendary.”  I blushed.  That bit of daring-do was Foley’s idea.  You can read about it here 
“We need help,” the turkey continued.  “It is only a few days before Thanksgiving, and we have to hide.  If you could let us stay under your house, we would be greatly appreciative.”
“Turkeys under the house!” River barked.  “Oh no!  I don’t want turkeys under the house!  What’s next?  Pigeons in the floorboards?  Eagles on the skylight?  I say no birds in the house.”
“Please Miss River,” the turkey pleaded.  “ We don’t want to be Thanksgiving dinner.”
River scoffed.  “You’re a game bird.  You don’t have tender, juicy meat.”
“My meat is quite tender!  You would love to eat me!” the offended bird squawked back.
River waved a paw at the turkey.  “Bah!  You’re tough meat.  I wouldn’t eat you if you were the last turkey in the neighborhood.”
I told my grumpy sister to be kind.  “I will let you stay under the house until Friday,” I said.  “Then you should be safe.”
“Safe?” River scoffed.  “You think people only eat turkey on Thanksgiving? There is Christmas, and New Year’s, and turkey sandwiches.  Let me tell you, buddy; you’re a bird with a target on your back.”
“We can fend for ourselves after Thursday,” the turkey promised.  I quieted River and then told the turkeys to follow me home.  Remarkably, none of our neighbors found it strange that two small dogs were leading a dozen turkeys down the street, but the people are old and probably thought it was a sign they needed to get their prescriptions fixed.
We got them settled under the house by the heater.  I asked them to be quiet and promised to drop food down the grates.  “No cock a doing!” River said.  “I sleep late.”
“I am a turkey!” the bird said.  “I do not cock!”
“Well, whatever freaky thing you do keep it to yourself,” River ordered.
We went on the porch, hung up our leashes (we walk one another), and went inside the house.  Mommy asked us how the walk was.  “For the birds!” River said then rolled on her back laughing.  She got a belly rub
For the next six day as the turkeys huddled under the house,  Daddy kept swearing he smelled slow grilled turkey breast, and I would drop kibble down the grates so they could eat.  I never let on that they were there  River, thinking she was funny, would lift her leg to pee where the turkeys were nesting, but luckily River is a girl, and all she would do is tip over.
The turkeys made it through Thanksgiving and on Friday morning they emerged from under the house to live safely for the rest of the year.  The head turkey went up the steps to kiss me and thank me.  I gratefully accepted.  The turkey then saw our bag of food.  “Is that what you have been feeding us?” the bird asked.  
I told her it was.  “That food’s protein is turkey!” she squawked.  “You made us cannibals!”  She pecked me on the nose and stomped off.
“See you on the Christmas dinner table you feathered freak!”  River yelled at her.  “You know what turkeys are?  Failed chickens!”
I shushed her, but I appreciated her sentiment.
Lesson learned.  Never try to save an ungrateful turkey on Thanksgiving.  

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: The 2017 Angels Make Thanksgiving dinner

Every Thanksgiving the dogs at Rainbow Bridge gather for a feast and celebrate our unity and love.  The dogs who arrived at the Bridge since our last dinner serve their favorite food.  Most of all we give thanks to our many friends and parents who did not join us this year and pray they won’t next year.
The first course was served by our French friend Easy the Weimaraner  We were so lucky to have a brilliant French chef create an hors devours to whet our appetite.  He created a lovey Gougeres, a puff pastry with cheese.  I had never experienced such a taste explosion.  Easy’s sly observations made us all smile.  Laughter is a great way to start a dinner.
Beautiful Fern was next with a British meal called Bubble and Squeak.  I was concerned that that was the sound the food would make when it was being digested, but it is actually a scrumptious dish made from potatoes  Fern, a very sweet soul, served each dish with a smile and kiss.
After two courses from Europe it was refreshing to get some good old American food and who is better to serve treats from the USA than the All-American boy Junior Johnson?   He filled our plates with sliders and fries.  Junior smiled broadly as we howled in appreciation.
Broiled Salmon salad was an excellent way to cleanse our palate.  It as cooked to perfection by Buddy Boy Smith, our Canadian friend.  Buddy made every serving for a dog of his size and strength so us little dogs got very big helpings.
We were taken back to international cuisine by our sweet friend Luca who presented us with a barbequed meat dish called Asado.  The meat melted in our mouth.  It was heavenly, as was Luca’s smile.
Playful Sydney bounded in with the next course, a lovely risotto.  It was made perfectly, just as everything Sydney does is perfect because she has always been an outstanding example of a perfect dog.
I became angry when I saw a cat jump on the table with a slice of salmon in his mouth until I saw it was my dear friends Barney the Cat.  I asked him to come to me and told him that all her cat friends were welcome at our table.  If the Indians could invite the settlers then why couldn’t I invite the cats?  Barney thanked me and said the kitties had their own meal, but he hoped to return by desert.
Before Barney left she smelled Walleye and turned to see Ruger walking in with big plates of Walleye.  He gave a large portion to everyone then gave Barney a piece and a kiss before he ran off to the kitty feast.
Pintus followed with deep bowls of Posole.  At first, I wasn’t sure about this odd dish, but when I began to eat it, I slurped it all down and gave Pintus a big kiss of gratitude.  
Noel arrived at the Bridge without a family, but he was quickly adopted by several of the pup mom’s living at the Bridge.  He never learned how to cook, but he was more than happy to clear the dishes thrilled to be part of  Thanksgiving dinner for the first time in his existence.
Brutus was next with bottle of his famous Brutus the Bulldog beer that has become very popular at the Bridge.  It is a delicately made micro-brew with a tough edge made with love, just like Brutus.
The regal Cocoa Puff came next with a beautiful chocolate truffle ganache.  It was light and delicate and brought everyone a smile just like Cocoa.  And of course, she had kisses for everyone.  
My little friend Tiny, a fellow Yorkie, brought over some lovely chicken salad finger sandwiches from chickens that she raised herself.  Tiny didn’t have to kill the chickens.  They were more than happy to lend a wing  Tiny is such a sweet dog animals give up body parts for him.
Janie is one of the luckiest dogs here because she is living with her parents who preceded her here but she still came by with a plate of freeze-dried liver for us which was very nice of her.
We heard the sound of drums and saw fireworks going off in the sky.  Beaux-Jangles appeared around the bushes banging on a bass drum and wearing a hat with fireworks exploding out of the top.  He stopped and wiggled his butt in front of us then did a dance which caused a cloud to appear over us.  Suddenly it opened, and margaritas poured down on us.  We were out of Brutus Beer, so Beaux Jangles’ margaritas were welcome.
Nora came out next with some waffles for us which went great with the margaritas.  Nora served her waffles with sweet syrup and a welcome kiss.
We needed a break from food, and we were very lucky to have Dory and Bilbo come out next with wonderful, sweet-smelling flowers for all of us.  I made sure to save my flowers because they were so beautiful, as are Dory and Bilbo. There were flowers from all over the world.
The minions serving us brought out a steaming bowl of potatoes.  When we stuck our spans in it, Mr. Bailey sprung out from the middle and began throwing potatoes at us.  We had a cool potato friend with our Idaho pug friend before sitting down to eat some spud.
Pancho, who was saved by Angel Apollo’s Mom, didn’t ever find his own family, but he is a permanent member of Apollo’s pack.  And he brought us delicious corn on the cob, and he took the husks to spell out thank you to Momma Kimberli for saving him and giving him a family.
Then came the gastronomical highlight of the meal.  Hannah Banana was known as a magical creator of dog treats when she was mortal, and now that she has had a few months to work with the world’s immortal chefs her treats have become truly heavenly.  There was not a single crumb left.  The meal was made unforgettable because we shared it with Hannah, a truly unforgettable dog.
Tupper and Max’s special sister Minnie brought with her some wine to help wash down Hannah’s delicacy.  Minnie was very cute pouring us our drinks.  She made Tupper and Max proud.
Deuce was a senior dog, abandoned and alone when Miss Kimberli took him in and made him part of her pack.  To make sure Deuce knows he has a family now Apollo gave him some of his special bacon cigars to pass out us.
If Junior Johnson brought us All-American hamburgers, it was only right for his sister Chelsea to bring us All-American hot dogs. They tasted incredible.  The best part was watching Chelsea, and Junior run and play with one another while we ate.  I could watch those two chase one another all day long.
Jazzmin was next, and what goes better with hot dogs than popcorn.  Jazzmin popped it right in front of us and made it to order.  It was very good, and Jazzmin gave everyone a sweet kiss.
Otis from the All in the Family pack followed him with a big tub of chocolate ice cream.  I didn’t think I had any more room for food but who can resist ice cream?  Not me.  
I knew I could not finish another bite, but Cappy had the biggest, most delicious chocolate cake I had ever seen.  I moved around some internal organs to make more room and had myself a piece and a friendly pat on the head from my friend good friend Cappy.
We were full.  When I saw sweet Dixie walking towards us, I felt bad because none of us could eat another bite.  But Dixie had peppermints for us that got all the food taste out of our mouths and made us feel refreshed.  Dixie is new to the Bridge and did not have long to prepare, but the peppermints were terrific.
There was a curtain along the far side of the table.  I thought it was only there for decoration, but suddenly there was a drum roll and the curtain parted.  There were beds everywhere and standing in the middle of them was Jeni.  She announced that this was her contribution to the party, beds for us all to sleep on after a great meal.  We all hurried to the beds and snuggled down.
We looked up to see Pepper standing on the table.  She smiled at us then read to us about all our parents, wonderful stories that made us all feel comfortable and lulled us to sleep.  Just before I closed my eyes, I felt Pepper snuggle in next to me.
A tip of the tail to all the outstanding pups who contributed to our celebration.  
We are sorry their parents no longer have these pups with them, but we want them to know they spent a glorious Thanksgiving and know they will spend many more.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Monday Question

What are your families plans for Thanksgiving?

My parents are going to their daughter's house while we will have to celebrate with our friends in our dreams.  I think the happiest soul on Thanksgiving will be our cousin Neely who hasn't seen my parents in five months and has lots of lick for them

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Smiley is our November 19, 2017 Pup of the Week

Humans have been blessed with five senses, but we dogs have so many more.  Our sense of smell, and hearing, is much stronger than human’s senses.  We can even smell those difficult areas our parents work so hard to keep scent less. We hear everything.  We know what is coming around the corner.  We know what he is building in there.  If humans heard what we can hear the makers of anxiety medication would rule the world.
It’s nice to touch things. It’s a useful tool but is nothing like taste.  That is fantastic.  We would lick the world if we could.  Finally, there is sight.  It is important to us, there is so much to see, but it pales next to smell and hearing (and, if someone is barbecuing, taste.  If we had a choice between looking at steak and tasting it we would pick tasting  every time.)
Which brings me to our Pup of the Week.  His name is Smiley, and he has been at Rainbow Bridge a month.  He is a modest boy and did not want any recognition, but sometimes a girl needs a subject to blog about.
Smiley was due at Rainbow Bridge 13 years ago.  He was born without eyes at a horrific breeding kennel.   Dozens of dogs had been saved, but those deemed unadoptable were going to be euthanized.  Who would adopt a dirty, matted dog without eyes?   The answer was veterinary tech, Joanne George.
Smiley began life with his new family unsocialized and scared but his mom worked with him every day, and a caring, infectious personality emerged.  Smiley started visiting George’s grandmother at a nursing home, and then he became a therapy dog becoming so famous he met the Prime Minister.
While Smiley went through life without being able to see his other senses were enhanced; especially those senses special to dogs.  The empathy sense to know when a human needs loving, the happiness sense that lets us know when someone needs a smile and causes us to act goofy; the cute sense when we know humans need to go “awww” and we become incredibly cute; and the loyalty sense that makes us never want to leave your side.
Smiley led a happy life for more than a dozen years with his family and the thousands of distressed people he made smile.  Over the summer cancer invaded his beautiful, caring body.  His mom tried to help him fight the disease, but there are some battles that cannot be won.  Smiley’s loving mom relieved his suffering, sending huge clouds of tears to us, from pet lovers all over the world, along with Smiley.
When he arrived at the top of the Bridge he stopped, blinked his eyes and for the first time in his life, he could see.  “You are all so beautiful,” he cried.  He then ran to us, rolled on his back, and let us kiss and nuzzle him while he laughed.  “The sky is so blue; I never imagined such a deep blue.”
He stood up and began to run around looking at the grass, the trees, the butterflies, the water.  “It is all so wonderful,” he gushed.
I approached him and told him I could show him a lovely vision.  We went down to the river, and I pointed to the image of a beautiful woman in the water.  “Who is that?” he asked.
“That is your mom,” I told him.
He gasped, reached into the water, and said she was the most gorgeous vision he had ever seen.  I told him we would teach him how to watch over his mom every day and even visit her.  He hugged me gratefully.
And that is what Smiley has been doing since he arrived.  Taking in the beautiful sights, he missed and watching his family and those he comforted, who were helped by using his enhanced special senses.  
He is now complete, but he was always perfect.