Sunday, May 21, 2017

May 21, 2017 Pups of the Week: Beaux Jangles, Sassy and Scooby


I was comfortably in my bed yesterday morning when I heard a scratching at my door.  I growled to myself as I crawled out of bed, put on my robe, and answered the door.  On the other side was my longtime friend Beaux Jangles.  “Beaux,” I said surprised “what are you doing here?”  (After four years at Rainbow Bridge I should really stop asking this question.)
“I don’t know,” a confused Beaux said.  “I went to bed last night at home, and I woke up here.”
“Uh-oh,” I thought.  Beaux was born before me, and I preceded him to the Bridge, so that would make Beaux….I told him he should come into my cottage.
He stayed in the doorway. “Why are you living in a cottage, and wearing a robe, and walking on your back two legs, and, oh mierda.”
I put my paw on his shoulder and guided him into my house.  I sat him down on my couch where he momentarily curled up, then jumped off.  “I need to leave.  I have to get back to my mom.  I need to take care of her.”
I had seen this too many times before.  I ran in front of him and blocked my door.  “I am sorry Beaux, you can’t leave, you can’t go back, but you always will take care of your mom.”
“How?”
“You are now her angel.  You can watch her on one of our many Angel TV sets.  Tommy Tunes has a mansion filled with them.”  I turned on mine, fiddled with the remote, and the picture showed Beaux’s somber mom, with her Mini-Me and her friend Greg.  Beaux put his paw on the screen where his mom’s face was.
“She is so sad.  I should be there.”
“I know,” I said, then hugged him.  “You will be there as a ghost soon.  Leo will teach you how to do that, but first, you have to take the oath and get your wings, and then we will send you to Paco’s class to help heal both your soul and your mom’s.”
I had a whistling outside my door then my mailbox shutting. I grabbed Beaux by the hand and brought him outside.  “You have to meet my mailman.  Harry!” I yelled.
Dirty Harry, a stray dog who had arrived last year, roamed the streets near Beaux’s mom’s house.  He had waited for her every day and accompanied her on her mail route.  Dirty Harry had been hit by a car and passed over in Beaux’s mom’s arms.  Since then he has taken her job and is a Rainbow Bridge maildog.
He saw Beaux and dropped his mail.  He ran to him and gave him a big hug.  “I know you; you are my friend Miss Yolanda’s boy.”  The dirty bag continued to lick Beaux.  “She was so wonderful to me.  She said we are brothers.  We are going to be brothers.  Come with me.”
Harry began to drag Beaux down the road, frequently stopping to hug him and ask him more about his mom.
Harry finished his route.  I told them it was almost time for the big welcoming party for new angels.  There would be lots of food, especially chocolate cake and other tasties we dogs can’t eat on the mortal side.   I told them we needed to pick up two more dogs.

I met a pretty white dog, with a red head and tail, sitting by the road.  I introduced the new Angel, Sassy, to Beaux and Harry.  Sassy was 14 years old and lived with her mom Melissa Samens in Wisconson.  Sassy was learning how to cross the River of Life as a spirit and trying to comfort her broken hearted mom.  “I just want her to know I will always be there,” Sassy said  She had friend at the Bridge, but I told her to come with us where she would meet hundreds of more friends that would help her take her mind off of missing her mom and provide lots of fun for her while she was waiting for her family to be reunited.

We moved on to meet Scooby, the cutest little white dog ever, who had lived with his family for 16 years.  We were quite the pack of senior dogs.  Scooby had been everything to his family.  They gave him the loving nickname Mr. Phoof, and he certainly looked like one.  An adorable poodle he filled his family with love and laughter for years.  He was anxious to learn the best way to help his family over their mourning period too.  He wants them to know just because he is gone does not mean he won’t be near his family forever.
Finally, we arrived at a table where hundreds of dogs sat.  They all stood and clapped for the new angels.  Beaux Jangles, Scooby, and Sassy sat the at the head of the table, we raised a Foleytini toast to them, and then we all cheered.
Don’t worry Yolanda, Melissa, and Scooby’s parents Galen Gibbons; we will take care of your babies as they take care of you.




Friday, May 19, 2017

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: Gizmo, Tiny and the Power of Angel Prayers






I have been spending a lot of time with my friends Gizmo and Tiny.  Gizmo arrived at Rainbow Bridge four years ago, shortly before I did, and Tiny joined Gizmo a short time ago.  Both passings broke their parents' hearts.  But they were required here because Gizmo and Tiny’s parents were about to need a lot of prayers.
On April 3, Gizmo and Tiny’s dad collapsed and had to be rushed to the hospital.  Tiny frantically ran into my cottage panicked about what to do.  He was a new Angel and knew his prayers would help his dad.  Gizmo followed right behind him, and we calmed down Tiny, and we went to the big Bridge cathedral to pray for their dad.
I stayed with them at the cathedral during the night.  Neither Gizmo or Tiny would leave, except for ghost visits for more than a month.
Their dad, Brian, was admitted to the hospital.  He was told he was a complicated case.  His blood pressure rose and fell with each test.  Their mom, who had just lost Tiny, faced losing her husband too.  “We can’t let that happen to mommy!” Gizmo said.
“Daddy is not too crazy about it either,” Tiny chimed in.
Through the night Daddy Brian went through several tests, got assigned a critical care specialist, and finally, after more than twelve hours, got a room.  His exhausted mom went home for some restless sleep
Once Daddy Brian was in his room I left Gizmo and Tiny to their prayers.  I checked in on them every day.  They never left the cathedral or slept.  Four days after Dad Brian entered the hospital he was released.  Gizmo told me that their dad had Langerhans cell histiocytosis.  The name of the disease was bigger than we three dogs combined.  I read a lot about it and understood nothing.  To break it down it is a serious respiratory disease.
He was sent home with a new oxygen machine, new tanks, and a BiPAP machine plus lots of little dog angel prayers.  I told the praying duo that their dad was home safe, but they continued their vigil.
They were in the cathedral on April 28 when their dad was scheduled for surgery.  Their mom had to get their dad into the van, then into the hospital, then into the gown, while doing several oxygen tanks switches only to be told the operation had been canceled.  The cathedral had never heard spoken such cuss words of frustration from little dogs as it did that day.
Finally, on May 12 Daddy Brian had a successful surgery.  When he got home Gizmo and Tiny finally left the cathedral.  They were both very tired, but they still flew into the sun which transported them to their parent’s side where they stayed near them hoping they could sense their ghostly presence.
Daddy Brian still needs lots of prayers and Gizmo, and Tiny will be in the cathedral praying for him.  Tiny’s might be a little Yorkie but her passing to the Bridge may have provided the necessary prayers to keep their parents together.
Sometimes senseless passing to the Bridge sometimes makes sense.  

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Pocket and the Orange Stick


My parents have tried for nearly ten years to curb my freedom to bark whenever I please.  They have sprayed me with water, tugged my leash, used several commands, snapped their fingers, nudged me, tried to distract me with food, and even pay me off.  I defeated them every time.
Lately, they have carried an orange back scratcher and given me a scooch in the butt when I barked.  I turned around and barked at the stick.  I never got hit with the scratcher.  No matter how much I bark a human hitting a dog with a stick is never a good look.
My parents were resigned to being the embarrassment of the neighborhood whose every walk was accompanied of five pounds of bark.
Then, a few nights ago, during a walk, in the middle of a barking rant, Daddy tapped the stick figure on the ground, next to me.  It startled me, and I stopped barking.  Oh, darn!  Something worked.  I would have to beat the tapping scratcher.  I scanned the horizon and began to bark again.   
Tap.  Tap.  Tap.
“What was that?”  I stopped barking.  It was that damn orange stick!  I was not going to be defeated by a little piece of wood.  We continued our walk.  We saw a zombie taking his early evening walk.  We love barking at him.  A few barks, a few taps, and I gave in again.  I could hear Foley shaking her head in disgust.
Then I heard a dog barking inside a house.  Nothing gets me worked up like another dog barking.  I gave it right back to him.  Then the infernal tapping began again, and it made me stop.  I hate that scratcher.  River follows my barks, so he stopped too.  
We went around a corner.  There was a woman walker who had just got her mail.  She was walking on the other side of the street in the same direction as she was.  Normally I would bark at her every step demanding she gives me some attention.  But I was discombobulated by that darn scratcher.  I couldn’t muster an arf.  The woman looked at us and said: “They so want to bark don’t they?”
I let loose with some frustrated barks.  She asked for it!  But there was tapping, and I stopped again.  It wasn’t fair.  That woman mocked me.
I am going to have to think about this.  I am going to have to ask myself WWFD?  (What would Foley do?”)  I have to defeat the scratcher for dogs everywhere.
The resistance to the stupid, big, orange stick figure is on!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Monday Question

What is your walking equipment?  Collar, harness, no pull harness, slip leash, leash, flexi-leash or something else?
We use a harness and a leash.  Mom has thought about a slip leash but isn't sure.  She doesn't want uss to get loose.  

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Rupert, Ruggles and Janey are our May 14, 2017 Pups of the Week

I have new angels to meet, new angels to greet, and new angels to help get acclimated to their surroundings without their beloved family.  I did a good job of meeting and greeting but if I am going to help the new angels to get acclimated I am going to have to get to know them better.  Starting this week I have instructed my minions to try and befriend their parents so I get to know the angels back stories before I share them with you.
The first new angel I met was Rupert fwhose mom is Barbara Needham from Gringley on the Hill in the United Kingdom which sounds like a magical place.  We always refer to angels in the present tense because they are not gone, they are just somewhere else, across the River of Life, which neither the mortal or immortals can cross, except immortals who borrow the bodies of birds or pretty flying insects, which is why mortal humans should be nice to flying creatures.  I swore Rupert in as an angel.  Scooby have him his designer wings and Ladybug gave him flying lessons.  His mom’s past dogs and lost humans were reunited with Rupert.  We are all working hard to get him adjusted to his new life.
I also met Ruggles from Edmonton Alberta.  He is a very fine gentleman.  He arrived at the Bridge under circumstances that made me very angry.  He was perfectly healthy, but he was bit by something and had an allergic reaction.  He began to have trouble breathing and his mom, Blossom Niemi, rushed him to the vet.  Despite the vet’s best efforts he could not keep Ruggles’ throat from closing completely and his mother had to make the hardest decision, to let him go to the Bridge.  
We are taking excellent care of Ruggles here at Rainbow Bridge.  I know his family is devastated by his loss and at the randomness of his passing.  All I can tell you is that I have learned in my four years at Rainbow Bridge that we dogs are only given so many heartbeats and when they are up we have to go to the Bridge.  As impossible as it is to accept it was Ruggles time.  And Ruggles will still be near you from time to time.  He has learned how to fly into the sun which sends him to your side as a ghost.  Sometimes you can see him out of the corner of your eye.
Even here at the Bridge, when dogs become angels, there is joy.  Our friend Pippin Alexander lost his pack member Janie.  She had become a member of Pippin’s pack when Janie’s parents, Pippin’s grandparents, came to the Bridge.  Janie became sick and it seemed like she was finished being a mortal dog
And she was.  Because her parents were ready for her.  Pippin’s parents helped Janie cross over to the Bridge where Jshe was joyfully reunited with her parents.  They were all young and playful again.  They chased each other in circles then fell to the ground rolling around and scratching each other.  Then they joined in a huge hug as we angels, including Ruggless and Rupert cheered.
Janie was back with her parents, her waiting was over.  Meanwhile, Ruggles, Rupert and I will be waiting for our parents.  But don’t worry, there is a lot of fun things to keep us occupied, and we will always be our parents’ angels so, if you are feeling blue, look out of the corner of your eyes, and you might see us.  

Friday, May 12, 2017

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: The Big Guy Assigns Foley to "Rainbow Bridge Dogs"

I was sitting in a comfy chair in my cottage.  I had the windows open and a beautiful spring breeze was blowing through them.   I was still wearing my judge’s robe having only spent an hour in the office.  Thankfully the Angel business was slow.  Suddenly a huge wind blew through my modest home  My wings began to flutter and then I was lifted up, and out the window, high in the air, up and up the mountains until I was sucked into a cave on top of the highest peak
I was plopped down on the floor in the Big Guy’s office.  He was sitting high on his throne.  He had a long white beard and was wearing a white robe.  He was bent over his desk reading a list and checking it with a quill pen.  “How have things been Foley?” he asked.
“Fine sir,” I answered.
“Are you providing comfort to the humans who have lost their pups?”
“Yes sir,” I said.
“Because it seems to me you have had a lot of downtime.  I see you sleeping in your cottage.  I think you need more humans to help.  I have signed you up for a Facebook group.  It is called ‘Rainbow Bridge Dog’.    It is where people come to seek comfort after their pups join us here at the Bridge.  Since you were appointed a judge to give comfort to humans I thought it was appropriate for you to join.”
“That is fine sir, I am always available for a few extra humans.  How many are there?”
“Last I checked more than 8,000,” he said.
More than 8,000 people?   That’s a lot of prayers.  When will I sleep?  When will I practice the piano?  When will I eat?   And when will I nap, which is different from sleeping, if I have to explain then you will never understand.
But I did not complain, firstly, because this is my sworn duty and any human that needs prayers brought to the Big Guy, or any human who my meagre words may bring comfort, I am at their service; and secondly, with a whisk of his quill, the Big Guy sent me tumbling out of his office and back down to my cottage without waiting for an answer.
I pawed up my computer and found the site.  There were many sad posts about angels and many supportive comments.  It renewed my faith in the human race.  If you have lost a pup or kitty and you need support check out the group.  And, if you are a member, know I am your angel, and I will befriend your angels and tell them that they are always in your heart.
Someday we will all be together in a land beyond Rainbow Bridge called Happily Ever After.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Ignore the Blood on the Floor by River Song


Last week mommy went to get a manicure.  Pocket and I sat by the porch storm door to wait for her and to bark at everything that went by.  Daddy stayed in the living room where he was close enough to check on us but far enough away not to be driven crazy by our yapping.
When the zombies walked by we barked, and sometimes we climbed on one another to get a better view, and, if one of our claws were too sharp, there might be some minor nipping involved and the one bitten will react like they were having their eyebrows set on fire.
But on this day there was no crying.  Mommy came home, we danced for her, she greeted us and we went inside.
Mommy, who can see any imperfection in her little palace from a mile away, saw small dots of something on the inside of the door.  She checked it and determined it was blood.  She then inspected the house and found some on the floor, on the storm door window, on the living room floor, and the closet door.
Seeing blood splatter around the house really freaks out a parent.  At first they thought I had ripped open one of my paw pads.  They checked them thoroughly but could not find anything wrong.  Then they thought I might have caught my tooth on something and checked my mouth.  They still couldn’t  see anything there.  Daddy found that the back of Pocket’s harness had large blood spot.  They both became very worried that I was coughing up blood.
A dog coughing up blood is one of a parent’s worst nightmares.  I hated to see them fret but I did not want them to know the truth because they might be mad at me.  During a tussle with Pocket I had bit off the tip of her ear.
An interlude from Pocket:  “Yes, River bit the tip of my ear and it began to bleed, but I have been accused of being a drama queen, so I kept quiet.  When my parents found the blood they would investigate, find my bleeding ear, and fix it.  But no, they began to check every inch of River’s body.  Hello!  Bleeding Yorkie here!  I shook my head to make blood fly around the room.  “Look, more blood!” they said.  Then they began to check River once again.  Man, this is what I get for trying to be brave!”
At dinner, my parents were still talking about where the blood had come from. Pocket sat between daddy’s legs and pawed him.  I was sitting on mommy’s lap.  Daddy began to scratch Pocket’s head.  Then he began to work his way up Pocket’s ears.  “Uh-oh,” he said.
My mom asked him what happened and he showed her the blood dried on Pocket’s ear.  I looked away and innocently whistled.  My parents looked at me and their faces showed…..relief.  They weren’t mad at me, they were relieved there was nothing seriously wrong.
An interlude from Pocket: “Oh yes; let’s thank God that River is all right.  I’ve got Evander Holyfield ear but River is OK.  Praise the Lord!”
Talk about a drama queen!  Pocket got her kisses and loving, and I didn’t get in trouble.  It was a win/win for both of us.  I don’t know why she is upset.
If there is one thing I have learned watching humans lately when you make someone bleed, plead ignorance and wallow in the affection.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Beat This Caption

I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so hep me God!
I ate your dinner

Monday, May 8, 2017

Monday Question

What food do you eat and how often are you fed?

We eat Blue Buffalo Basics.  It is the only food Pocket can digest.  We have Sizzlers bacon treats for our treats and some privately made healthy treats.  If we are lucky we get corn flakes, turkey and chicken

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Capone is our May 7, 2017 Pup of the Week

Humans like to say they rescue dogs but from what I have experienced dogs are the ones who save their humans.  This is Capone’s story.  He took the saving humans idea to a whole new level.  
Angela Fullmer and her husband Isaac found the miniature pinscher, chihuahua, whippet mix abandoned on the highway 18 months ago.  They brought him home and they and their children fell in love with the dog the would name Capone.  They had no idea how Capone would repay their kindness.  
Capone was part of a large family with nine human siblings, the youngest one three months, to play with.  On the night Capone repaid the great kindness shown to him his father, a trucker, was on a haul and his mom, who had recently graduated from Mercy College with a degree in health care management, had fed, and put to bed, their nine children, before falling to sleep in her own bed.
At 1:30 AM Capone began to bark.  His mom told him to be quiet.     She did not want him to wake the baby.  But Capone persisted.  She told him to come to her.  Capone turned and ran back into the kitchen.
Angela had the same reaction that all moms have.  That stupid dog is barking at nothing.  She got out of her warm bed and followed Capone into the kitchen.
She saw the microwave plug was on fire.  She knew an electrical fire could spread quickly.  She picked up her newborn, Atreyu, and 20-month-old Mondecai, then told her oldest son, Landon, to gather the six other children and get outside.
Fire began to go up the wall and out the window, finally, the smoke alarm sounded.  Angela called 911 then did a family roll call:  Landon, 12, Alexander, 10, Jadzia, 9, Ronan, 7, Inara, 6, Mezoti, 5, Khaleesi, 3, Mondecai, 20 months, and Atreyu were all accounted for.
But where was Capone?
The hero strolled out of the house as if nothing had happened.
Sadly the family had lost everything, including many beloved stuffed animals, but they were all still alive, thanks to Capone, which was the important thing.
The family had to stay in a hotel and poor, confused Capone was at a friend’s house for three days where he didn’t eat and cried a lot.  When another apartment was found for the family Capone was joyfully reunited with those he saved.  He wouldn’t leave Arteyu’s side, sleeping on her blanket while Arteyu napped.
A couple of months after the fire, thanks to the generous donations of neighbors, the family had clothes and stuffed animals again, and they bought a house with a big backyard for Capone to play.  
Capone is one of many dogs who has been nominated for the American Humane Hero Dog Award.  You can see the list of nominees here www.herodogawards.org. The next time you talk about rescuing your dog think of Capone and ask who saved who.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: Pet Cancer Awareness Month


I arrived at Rainbow Bridge almost four years ago after succumbing to lung cancer.  Every day I meet a new dog who is at Rainbow Bridge for the same reason.  Pet cancer is the number one reason that pup and kitties come to Rainbow Bridge.  If you are over ten years old chances that you will be diagnosed with cancer.  Doctors and researchers are working very hard to bring these numbers down.
Starting May 6, 2017 Petco, for three weeks, is teaming with Blue Buffalo to raise money for several organizations including The Morris Animal Foundation (http://www.morrisanimalfoundation.org/) The National Canine Cancer Foundation (http://wearethecure.org/)  the Riedel and Cody Fund (https://riedelcody.org/), the Kate Koogler Canine Cancer fund (http://www.katefund.org/) and many more who are working to lessen the amount of dog who come to Rainbow Bridge because of cancer.  You can also click this link (http://petcancerawareness.org/what-we-do/where-the-money-goes-map/) to see if there are any organization in your area that is getting money.
Your parents can donate to these organizations by going to Petco from May 6 to May 29 and making a donation at the register.  You can simply round up the total of your purchase to help the cause, but it you make a larger donation it will really help, and could give me a break from having to swear in so many new dogs here who have passed from cancer.
Also, my dog friends, you can help out too.  When our parents take us to the pet store they are anxious to see what we want as we sniff every bone and peer under the shelves to see if there is any discarded kibble.  For the next three weeks, I ask you to bypass the bones and ignore the toys.  Go to the register and put your paws on the credit card reader and let your parents know you would prefer the chance to spend many more day with them than one more toy.
If you cannot go to a Petco or don’t have one in your area, you can make a donation by going here (https://petcancerawareness.org/donate/).
Because of our short life spans, humans have multiple dogs during their lifetimes.  Chances are very good at least one of those dogs will get cancer and the parents will need all the help they can get.  
If you can donate let me be the first one to say “Thank you very much.”

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Sounds of Spring (It is Mostly Pocket Barking)

It is now May in our sleepy village.  Winter is quiet here.  There are no children, only adults who have traveled far on life’s road and have settled for a simpler, slower life.  Foley called them the prune people:  Their diets consisting of food to keep the plumbing moving and their skin shriveled by age.  I call them the zombies, as they walk by each day, aimlessly, searching for what I do not know.  
Winter muffles all sound, except for the occasional snow blower; but spring brings the frogs singing their love songs, the constant sound of lawn mowers humming somewhere in the distance, and finally the sound of a Pocket dog roaming her territory again.
Yes, I am out, I am loud, and I am loving it.
I bark at everything.  Zombies walking (they may give me attention), Zombies walking dogs (I half want them to play with me, and half want them out of my neighborhood), Zombies working in their yards, dogs tied up in their yard (to say hi to the dogs and to berate their parents for leaving their dogs tied to a tree) and to anything new in the area (I remember how everything was on my last walk and bark if something new is there.)
My parents try to quiet me.  They have talked to trainers who recommended noise to distract me.  They tried a spray bottle that made a noise.  I didn’t hear it.  When I bark the sound in my head is very loud.  Then they tried to get my attention with a water bottle.  I appreciated being cooled if in the middle of my walk.   Another trainer said to use a special command that is not used at any other time.  My parents chose “Un-huh.”  I went bark, bark, bark, they went “un-huh, un-huh, un-huh” until we turned into our own rhythm section “Bark, un-huh, bark, un-huh, un-huh, un-huh, bark.”  They have even tried a soft kick on the butt which stops me for a second, to bark at the foot, but I am right back to it.  (Don’t worry, it is a gentle kick, if it were hard I would write a ten blog series about being suffering from dog abuse).
I am not the only family member who causes unrest in the development when we walk.  Daddy has declared war on poopie bags.  “Why won’t these damn bag separate?  What are they glued together?  I can’t even find the perforation.  Finally, I found it.  Christ, which end is the opening?  The damn thing won’t open!  What am I just supposed to pick it up using the side of the bag?  I hate this thing?”  
“Bark, bark, bark.”
“Un-huh, un-huh, un-huh.”
I am sure there are a lot of complaints at the manager’s office.
I hope when we are asked to leave because of all the noise we make our next neighborhood is this nice.
Now I need to get back to my rounds.
Bark, bark, bark, bark.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Monday Question

How many time a day do you need to go out to use the peeing and pooing area?

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River Song:  Morning, second morning, afternoon, before supper, after supper, before snack, before bed (7)
Pocket:  Morning, second morning, after breakfast, before noon, early afternoon, mid afternoon, late afternoon, before supper, after supper, before treat, after treat, before bed one, before bed two, random time during the day  (14)