Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Beat This Caption

One more pose!  How about this for a pose!  I have spent all afternoon posing for damn pictures while you say we are not quite right.  Poor Leroy passed out an hour ago.  So this is it.  The last picture.  Instagram this!  I'm going to get a treat.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Noel is our February 26, 2016 Pup of the Week

It is somber when a new angel crosses Rainbow Bridge accompanied by clouds of tears from all the souls who loved the pup.  We can feel their pain in our hearts crashing into us like soundwaves.
But there is something even sadder.  That is when there are no tears because the new Angel never knew love on the mortal side.  These are the dogs we rally around; these are the dogs who arrive at the Bridge knowing it is their first forever home, and there are lots of humans here ready to let know the love only people can give.
When Noel arrived, there was a small cloud of tears.  The raindrops came from our friend Jacques, Jolie and Francois’ mom who worked at the shelter Noel called home, and from the other shelter workers.  He arrived at the shelter after being diagnosed with bladder cancer at his foster home.  Noel was brought back to the shelter.  Francois’ mom and the other workers thought Noel’s time had come earlier in the month, but Noel rallied back.   But this week Noel had no more rallies, and he passed over into the immortal life.
Noel arrived with the same thoughts that so many shelters appear thinking.  He thought he wouldn’t have any family or friends waiting for him.  When he reached the top of the cliff looking over the River of Life, he found out how wrong he was.    
There were dozens of friends waiting for him.  After I had given him the oath, the dogs all swarmed him, hugging him, welcoming him home, and telling him that all his suffering was now over.
Noel was confused.  “Who are all you dogs?  How do you know me?” he asked.
“All of us are angel friends of Jacques, Jolie, and Francois.  Their mom told us about you, and she wrote a lot about how much she loved you that we know that you are a very special boy who needs to be shown all the love we have,” I told him.
He looked around, confused.  “But I am just a homeless dog,” he said.
“Not anymore,” I told him.  “We have many parents who are willing to take you in:  Miss Vicki, Miss Jackie, Miss Gina, Miss Dodie and many more.  They have big houses filled with dogs, and they all want you to live with them.  Most of these dogs are like you, they never found love on the mortal side, but now that you are on the immortal side you are going to find nothing but love.”
He was stunned.  “Am I in heaven?” he asked.
I put my paw on his shoulder.  “There are many names for this place.  You can call it that.  It is a place where the unrescued dog finds forever homes, and forever love, and the pain stops forever.”
Smartie, a rescued dog, walked up to Noel and asked him if he wanted to run up and down the hills and through the meadows.  Noel said he had never done it before.
“It’s easy,” Smartie said.  “Just follow.”
Smartie took off followed by a smiling Noel who barked with joy.  He was happy, he was free, and he was loved.
He ran towards the setting sun where his happily ever after awaited.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: Odie's First Bridge Birthday


Birthday parties are very hard at Rainbow Bridge because, unless you have moved on to the land of Happily Ever After where all loved ones are reunited, there is always someone missing from the party, and for we dogs that someone is our parents.

And first birthdays at the Bridge are even harder because, for your entire existence, birthdays have meant celebrating with your parents, and now it means something else entirely.

That is why we try to make first birthdays at the Bridge so exciting for our friends.  I know there are more immortal dogs than mortal dogs, and you must think that means we have a lot of birthday parties.  We do.  But don’t judge us.  We have an eternity to kill.

This week was Odie’s first birthday at the Bridge.  He celebrated 14 with his family and his mom always put her heart into each of her babies’ parties.  To keep Odie from thinking about her we needed something special.

I put my minions to work.  We set up a table with a seat for Odie at the head.  The table started at a crook in the river and it extended for miles over hills and down in deep valleys.  Then we had deliveries of what all Angels want on their first birthdays: What they could not consume on the mortal said:  Kegs of beer, garlic, onion, many different kinds of chocolate, baked bread, pizza, and lots of cake.

We also asked lots of his mortal friends to attend in their dreams.  My sisters Pocket and River, Odie’s brothers Baron and Max, Reese and Kole, and many more friends sat at the table surrounded by angels.

Scooby kept Odie busy while the party was being assembled.   When it was time he put a blindfold on Odie, and, with the help of his brother Rusty, Odie was flown to the table, where everyone stood for miles along the white table and howled happy birthday then applauded.   When everyone quieted Scooby swallowed the cake and sheepishly grinned at his brother.

Then came the plates and plates of food, both the forbidden and the bidden, steaks, pizzas, chicken, turkey, fish, ever some kibble just for the old days.  We ate, drank, toasted our friend, talked about our mortal lives and laughed long and hard.  Odie was given another cake and despite being sorely tempted Scooby didn’t eat it.

Then came the dancing.  Pocket took Odie by the paw and, despite there being three feet difference is size while standing on their back legs, they danced beautifully.  Then we all danced, romped, ran and sang songs together until we became tired and snuggled under the silent fireworks.  

We know Odie was very happy with his party, and we do hope it helped him forget that he missed his parents for a short amount of time.  It helps us forget our parents too.

I hope the large amount of ice we had shipped in did not cause snow anywhere, and the raucous party did not set off waves of thunder, but when this happens know it is a sign of how hard your Angels are working to forget how much they miss you.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Time Between the Walks by Pocket


Peace, quiet, and normalcy that is all I ask, but those simple desires elude me in a world that is increasingly chaotic.
We had gone weeks without a proper walk.  Then, on a stunningly beautiful Wednesday, we got a nice walk.  I was looking forward to many more.
Then the skies grew dark, the air chilled, by morning a hard, cold, rain fell, which turned to snow.  Midway through the storm, Daddy trekked out to shovel it, but he was overmatched by the weight of the snow and length of the driveway.  Luckily, our neighbor across the street owns a plow.  Daddy offered to pay the neighbor to plow the driveway, but the man insisted on doing it for free.  A rare good break, and a tremendous act of friendship.
On Sunday, when Daddy was working, it snowed some more.  It took him twice as long to get home.  This was very worrisome.  He shoveled the wet snow three more times.  This was worrisome as well.
Every inch of green was buried under more than a foot of snow.  The driveways and walkways were frozen.  There was nary a place to poop or pee.  The wind howled and nipped at our faces.  We tried to find a place to quickly pee that wouldn’t immediately freeze trapping us on the ground.  Walking was impossible.
On a Monday night, Daddy started coughing.  It began slowly, but after a couple of days, he was whoomping and woofing, wheezing and wobbling, gagging and hacking.  And spraying.  His coughs twisted his body into strange positions, shook the bed, or chair, where he sat, and was thundering.
This went on for days.  It was very disheartening.  I couldn’t go outside because of the snow and ice; I couldn’t relax inside because of the hacking and coughing.  My sleep kept getting interrupted by Daddy’s rushing out of bed to relieve his congestion.
By the weekend the snow, and the congestion were melting.  When River and I went out, we found expanding green space to do our business.  We no longer stood trembling on icy paws.  
On Monday the temperature warmed into the 50’s.  Daddy put us on our leashes, and we walked for the first time in two weeks.  There were still snowbanks, and intermittent hacking coughs, but the sun was shining brighter, and I could see spring slowly rising in the East.
And it smelled like hope.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Beat This Caption

Psssssttt....If I pretend to whisper in your ear mommy will take our picture, then she will put it on the Internet, and we will become famous and get more tail than Beethoven

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Pups of the Week: Molly, Mouse and Jasper Need Prayers

Prayers, prayers, prayers:  Everywhere I look there are prayers.  They are floating on the river, falling from the skies, slipping down the mountains, growing on trees:  So many prayers for so many dogs.  I have assembled a battalion of Angels to deal with these prayers.  One brigade collated the prayers by dogs; another brigade flew them up to the Big Guy, a third brigade waited patiently outside his quarters for an answer, while a fourth gathered more incoming prayers.

Prayer for Molly our daring, beautiful Dachshund friend who enjoys nothing more than dashing through the woods near her house while constantly on the hunt.  Molly’s had severe food allergies when she was a pup, and her mom learned to watch over her little darling like a hawk.  She became concerned when Molly stopped noticing her mom’s hovering, or several other objects she rarely missed.
Molly went for an eye examination, and the news was not optimal.  Molly was diagnosed with SARDS (Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration) which is the loss of function and death of cells in the retina that capture light.  It leads to permanent vision loss with no treatment or cure.
Molly still has 25% of her eyesight, and her parents are desperately trying to retain that.  A very small amount of patients shows vision improvement after taking a drug cocktail.  Odds are not high that the cocktail will work but her parents are willing to try anything to save her vision, while preparing for the worst by retraining her using voice commands such as “left,” “right,” “stop,” and “go” to help her navigate the world and using vanilla extract so Molly can sniff safe spots in the home and lemon extract for not safe places.   Molly has an indomitable spirit, and nothing will keep her from romping on her walks and delighting her parents, but I still ask for more prayers for her vision.

We have been getting prayers for our friend Mouse the Doberman.  She has had problems with her anal sac, a particularly nasty area to be troublesome.  This week she was diagnosed with two different infections and the anal sac, e-Coli and staph.  Mouse’s mom was happy to get the diagnosis because this problem had been recurring.  She was put on an antibiotic.  In two weeks the vet will determine if Mouse had responded to the medication.  If not then further steps will have to be taken.  So we as ask for more prayers for Mouse.

Our final friend in need is Jasper.  This sweet boy has been having seizures for months.  The doctors have not been able to pinpoint a reason for his suffering.  But his parents have watched him grow older and weaker over a short amount of time.  On Friday Jasper laid on the bed trembling, like he had a dream, but with his eyes open.  His parents sent a recording of him to the vet and are hoping for an answer.  We want Jasper back to being the ball of energy he once was, without a hint of suffering, so we ask for more prayers.
In a perfect world, I can report back in a few weeks that all three of our friends were fine.
It would be nice to have a perfect world for once.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Tails from Rainbow Bridge: My Vacation with Luca and Fred


I am a very empathetic dog.  I am not afraid to suffer if my parents are suffering as well.  But I only have so much empathy.
Since the Northeast has turned into a freezer, I have moved up to the mountains so I can understand what they are experiencing and be a better angel.  For two days I plowed through the snow when I went outside, warmed my wet and cold paws by the fire, and shivered in my little bed.  By the third day, I knew what I needed:  A vacation.
My friends Luca and Fred share my philosophy.  They experience the weather that their mom is encountering.  Their mom lives in Argentina where it is currently summer.  I called them and asked if they would like a visit.  Being gracious hosts, they both said they would be happy to see me.
I packed my bag and slid down the mountain all the way to the beaches by the water.  On the way down the mountain, it became warmer, and I removed my boots, jacket, and scarf.  By the time I reached Fred’s villa, I was butt naked.
Fred was the first Angel I had ever met.  I became friends with Luca and his brother Junior when I made my first foray into social media.  They told me about their wonderful brother Angel Fred and arranged a dream visit between Fred and I.  It was my first trip to the Bridge.  I loved everything about it, and Fred was a very accommodating friend and showed me every wonderful section of the Bridge.  I knew right away it was a great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.  Unfortunately, years later, time would run out, and I would arrive.
Fred and Luca met me on the beach.  The sun was strong, the air salty, fish rose and dove back into the sea.  They had three lounge chairs lined up, and I sat next to them, and we watched the waves break.  “You want to go surfing?” Fred asked.
I definitely did not want to go surfing but I am a good guest and did not want to disappoint my hosts.  I paddled out from shore with Fred on one side and Luca on the other.  Then a wave came.  They both stood up and rode their surfboards.  I stood up and the surfboard went out from under me.   I was caught in the wave and thrown onto the shore.  Luca and  Fred were both laughing.  I guess we can’t expect a little five pound dog to surf they said.  I blew seawater out of my nose.  I was determined to do it.  But Fred has a better idea.  They gave me a little board to lay down on and strapped it to Luca’s board.  When they rode the wave I followed.
When we were, done we had some Foleytinis and rice on the beach.  The only rice I ever had was the kind our parents feed us when we have diarrhea.  This was spicy and rich.  I had been rice ripped off my whole mortal life.  
I fell asleep under a warm, full moon on the beach and woke up to the high tide lapping my paws.  I looked out at the peaceful boats on the horizon and the sun rising.  Luca and Fred were chasing each other in and out of the water.  I stretched.  The sun’s warmth felt so good,
I curled up to go back to sleep.  There are still many more weeks to experience the winter my parents tolerating.  For now, I would stay on the warm beach.
I know my parents wouldn’t mind.  Even Angels need a vacation.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

River Song Expresses Herself

One cold morning last week our dad got out of bed, picked up Pocket, and prepared to turn up the heat and get us ready to go outside to do our business.  Daddy had to pick up Pocket because if she is left to her own devices, she might jump down and soil the floor.
A soiled floor is what they found.  Between the couch and the recliner was a dried brown puddle.  Daddy and Pocket bent down to examine it.  Given its composition, they could not determine it if was poop or puke.  Daddy cleaned it up.
He went back to the bedroom and asked Mommy if either of us had put either Pocket or I back in bed the night before.  She said she hadn’t.  Pocket could not have been the stain maker.  She can’t get back in bed without help.  And I wouldn’t get out of bed if it was on fire.
I blamed a vermin.  Occasionally, Pocket and I will jump off our Mom’s lap and begin barking and chase some unseen creature that we are convinced is defiling our floors.
The unseen vermin was my creation.  I knew someday something would happen and blame would need to be assigned.  A non-existent vermin was the perfect pasty.  And Pocker was a great accomplice  She didn’t know if the vermin existed or not, but when I jumped down and barked Pocket would always follow.  
Now back to the stain.  My parents debated where it came from.  I kept blaming the vermin.  I had Daddy on board.  Mommy was skeptical.  
Truthfully, I knew had the stain got there, but I was staying quiet.
I was able to pull off the ruse until Saturday night.  Mommy’s brother and his wife were over.  Mommy’s brother was sitting in the recliner next to her’s.  I was on Mommy’s lap.  I felt a  gurgle in my belly and relieved it by passing a little wind.  Pocket lifted her nose then scurried on Mommy’s brother’s lap.  Everyone remarked how unusual it was for Pocket.  I moved a little bit and realized why Pocket had moved.
Just as I had on the floor a few nights before I had expressed my anal glands, this time on Mommy’s shirt.  Somehow she hadn’t noticed but when she stood up the brown stain was prominently displayed on her white shirt.  Mommy picked me up and held me in front of the stair to try and cover my blunt expression.  She also hoped that no one noticed the horrid smell.  This didn’t bother me.  With my body blocking the shirt everyone would think she was the cause of the smell.
I wish I could say I was sorry but I am a dog with a lot on her mind, and sometimes I need to express myself.
And it that doesn’t work then it was the mysterious stranger who made the brown spot.
As usual, I am completely innocent.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Beat This Caption

I am sorry, I can't answer the door for you.  My Mommy isn't home and she says I can't answer the door because I don't have opposable thumbs.  

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Pups of the week: Ruger and Pintus

Ruger


The handsome German Shepherd regally ascended on the escalator towards the spot at the edge of the cliff where I would give him the oath.  When he reached me he gave me a kiss on the head.  I began reading the oath.  Then I heard the sound of eight paws pounding the ground, quickly headed towards me.  I spoke faster, then even faster.  I had to get done before the big bodies attached to those paws arrived.

I got done and slipped away as the three German Shepherds collided with a roar that shook the mountains.  They wrapped their legs around one another and danced in a circle.  The clouds of sad tears caused by our newest member’s passing mixed with the Shepherds’ tears of joy.  Then the three boys turned, finally reunited, and ignoring everyone else, charged into the hills to run.

Ruger had joined his brothers Daddy and Taser at Rainbow Bridge.  The Shepherd brothers were together again.  As they disappeared up the hills, we could still hear their paws, and their hearts, pounding.  Their joy even touched my cynical little Yorkie heart.

But with joy comes great sorrow.  I could hear the sobbing on the mortal side.  While we were lucky to witness the boys reunited their parents could only use their imaginations to see them.  It will be a very long time before the boys and their parents are reunited.  In that time their parents will share love with a herd more of German Shepherds.

It was stage four kidney failure that brought Ruger to us.  His parents took excellent care of him before and after his diagnosis.  They gave him the loving home he had each day of his life, only more so.  But their beautiful boy only had so many heartbeats, and they finally expired.

How we wish their parents could see their three boys frolicking again.  They came running down the hill and then rolled on the ground nipping at one another.  A game of chase began again.  Daddy and Taser used their wings to fly leaving their brother on the cliff.  Ladybug flew over and attached Ruger’s wings, specially made by Scooby to match his brothers.  Ladybug was going to teach him, but Ruger did not have the patience.  He flapped, flapped, flapped his wings and then he took off to the skies and now the three brothers played in the sky, zipping past one another.  They put on a terrific show.  We gave them a long round of applause when they landed.

But they didn’t hear us.  The three of them were curled in a perfect ball around each other, sleeping.  Reunited at last.

By morning they would work out a schedule, so one of them was always with their parents, and around their little human’s sisters side.  And when their parents were sleeping, or the boys knew they were safe, they would charge into the hills, and then the skies to play.

Flying German Shepherd brothers are quite the sight to see.

Pintus

While we, and his family, had lots of time to adjust to Ruger’s arrival, Pintus came with little warning.  He had a seizure, and a short time later he passed to the immortal side, in his Mom’s arms, on his bed.

His sister Rain had arrived a short while before.  No mother should lose two children so close together.  Instead of the thundering paws of Daddy and Taser, Rain slowly trotted up to us. She knew how unprepared her mom was for Rain’s passing.  Before I gave Pintus the oath, I let Rain go to him.  They too stood on their back legs and hugged for a long time.

Pintus and Rain had always gone together like peas and carrots.  It was hard to think of them separate,  It did all the Angels’ hearts well to see them reunited but we stayed silent respecting their shared sorrow.

Rain took Pintus by the paw and led him to me.  I grabbed his paw too, and I gave him the oath.  He repeated my words.  He seemed as stunned to be with us as his mom was that he was gone.  Rain saw how upset he was and she stayed near him through his wing fitting and his reuniting with the hundreds of dog friends he had here at the Bridge, and the other animals his mom had owned who he had never met.

I could tell that Pintus was anxious to learn how to ghost and dream visit so he could see his mom again but he has always been the sweetest boy.  He knew his friends loved him, and he spent time with each one, making every dog feel like they were his best friend.

When the long line of friends ended Rain announced that she would like to teach her brother how to fly.  Pintus learned very quickly.  Then, before we knew it, they flew together to visit with their mom.  Rain had done this multiple time before, but now she flew with a partner.

Like the German Shepherd brothers, Pintus and Rain have been inseparable too.  They don’t play as hard as the boys (I don’t think I have ever seen Angels play that hard) but they do spend a lot of time together sharing memories, laughing, and talking about their favorite subject, their mom.

They have shown me that the River of Life, and the unbridgeable gap of being mortal and immortal cannot extinguish love.  It lives on in the afterlife and is lit a new when parties are reunited.

Every angel is filled with love.  It is majestic when we get to see the love shared with a family member.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: Foley and the Catch


It is possible that I may have, completely inadvertently, and innocently, interfered at the Super Bowl.

It started with a summons from the Big Guy.  Usually, when I am asked to fly up to the summit of the highest mountain, I am going to be admonished.  But instead of punishment, I was given an order.

The Big Guy considers Lady Gaga a treasure.  He was very concerned about her halftime show.  First, he thought the drones would malfunction and ruin the show.  He asked me to get some of my Angel friends together to light up the nighttime sky behind Gaga.

I had Scooby design dozens of glow in the dark wings for my angel friends so we could be seen behind her while she sang from the roof.  Then I got a second summons.  “I am worried, Lady Gaga is going to leap from the roof, and I can’t have her hurt,” an adoring Big Guy said.

“Leap from the roof?” I asked.  “Back in my day, the USC marching band would perform at halftime.  They would play popular songs and spell out words on the field.  And we were glad!  Glad I say.”

He ignored me.  “Make sure you have some large Angels near her to guide her on her fall.”

This was a lot of responsibility for one small dog.  I and several other small dogs like Sydney, Chelsea, Paco, Whitley, Linky, Simon, Max and much more flew down from the skies at halftime and, following my careful choreography, made the beginning of her show spectacular.

Then it was time for her plunge.  I took her right arm and Falcon fan Cassie, knowing that, at that point, most Patriots fans would have been happier seeing Gaga free fall and splat on the ground to get the game postponed and restarted at a later date, took her left arm, and we eased Gaga to the stage.  We Angels congratulated ourselves at the end of the performance by forming a giant Pepsi symbol.

We turned off our wings and watched the game from inside the roof.  With a few minutes left I got tired and lost my grip.  I fell all the way to the turf just as Tom Brady threw the ball to Julian Edelman in triple coverage.  The ball bounced off an Atlanta player, then over several hands and ankles until it landed on top of me.  No one could see me but the ball was balancing on my back where Mr. Edelman grasped the ball and held onto it for a completed pass.  I quickly flew up from the scrum and told the Angels we needed to leave before we got caught.  We went through a small hole in the roof and back to Rainbow Bridge.  Even though I swear it was inadvertent Cassie has barely spoken to me all week.

Just remember, it was not divine intervention that gave the Patriots their fifth Super Bowl victory, it was a Yorkie Interception.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Pocket "Stop That"


Did you see the video I posted a week ago that featured my barking?  I know what your were thinking.  What an impressive bark from a little dog.  But I must bark impressively.  I don’t want an intruder to come to my door and only see five pounds of terror.  I want them to avoid my door because they think there is a ferocious eighty pounds dog waiting to rip them apart.  That is why I have worked so hard to turn my little arf to a full-throated woof.
You would think my parents would be grateful:  But no.  I do bark at the slightest sight or sound, but you never know when those sights or sounds will become a danger.  I guess my parents find this “annoying” like a tornado siren that goes off after a slight gust of wind
My parents have tried several remedies to curb my barking.  They bought something that gave off a high pitched sound when I barked.  This turned my poop to water.  They decided the barking was less than a problem.  They bought treats.  They were yummy.  Despite the claim on the package, the treats did not stop my barking.  Their next purchase was Rescue Remedy.  Again this turned my poop to water.  They have not been able to find anything to stop my barking, and my watery poop has curbed their efforts to find something.
Now they have bought something called “Stop That!”  How gauche.  When we bark they push an aerosol top, and it lets out this very loud, hissing noise, that sounds like a snake rising from the bowels of the Earth to devour all souls in the vicinity.  This is followed by a strange smell that does not take away the feeling that a large snake is about to devour you, but makes you cool with it.
The first time they used the offending device it did almost scare the poop out of me but did not turn my poop to water, ceasing my main line of defense.  The tactic was to scare us, and then calm us at the same time.  An oxymoron if you ask me, but suitable, since Daddy often acts like a moron and lately I have begun to suspect my mom is on oxy.
It worked the first few times they used it, although I began to build up a resistance.  River immediately caved to it, and her mouth stopped making any noise (even drooling ceased).  I still let out a little “rooo” of protest, but it did make me “Stop That.”
They decided to use it on our walks, where we are known as the little dogs who make all that noise.  So far, I am happy to say, we are known as the little dogs who make all that noise and the parents with the loud spray can that gives off a scent which put the neighbors’ zombified bodies to sleep.
I am still fighting this evil contraption.  It has little effect on me outside, as I believe I was born with the freedom to bark both indoors and out.  It still wins most battles but I am counting on my indomitable spirit and if that fails my secret weapon.
Nothing beat watery poop


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Pup of the Week: Barney The Cat

I have never had a great relationship with kitties.  I tried to get along with them:  Honest I did.  But when we lived in the condo there were two kitties who sat on my deck.  I would bark at them so much my head would hurt, but they refused to recognize my authority and remained on my deck until on of my parents grabbed the door handle scaring the cat away.  Then there was the cat who I approached as pleasant as could be only to have that kittie bip me on the nose.   And there was one cat who accused me of being an anti-cattie.  That caused me a kibble bag full of trouble
Little did people know that a cat would be one of my very best friends.  His name is Barney.  When we were on DS, we would talk about what was in our back yard, and how we could both see all the way to each other’s houses.  We would make up stories about what we saw.  We shared many laughs.
Then I went to the Bridge, and then DS closed, and, while our moms still talked Barney and I didn’t have our long, playful conversations any longer.
I don’t know how Cotton found out that Barney and I were friends but when she learned that Barney was coming to the Bridge Cotton told me, and asked me to round up all of Barney’s pup siblings.  I found Gracie, Jondalar, and Keri.  They said they would find the other pups, and their cat family members, for Barney’s arrival.
Barney’s Bridge crossing seemed to come on all at once, then slow to a crawl.  On a Thursday he was fine, by the weekend, he became sick and went to the vets. Barney was dehydrated.  The doctor thought he might be in kidney failure.  A long series of tests would have to be performed on sweet Barney.
Barney stayed at the vet’s overnight.  He was doing better, but the vet said it was possible Barney was diabetic or had kidney problems, or diabetic problems, or liver problems, or no problems. Some of the tests would not be back until the following week.  Barney’s parents and his brother Andy were very worried and lost without their gentle, little friend.
The vet still could not pinpoint what was wrong with him.  It could have been kidney problems, diabetes, or something else.  Worse of all Barney would not eat.  He was sent home with medication and prayers.
Barney was not showing improvement and was back at the vets on Wednesday.  His mom was instructed to feed him via syringe until he got his strength back.  
When he got home that night, his mom found him lying by the water bowl.  When she picked him up, she discovered that he had peed where he lay.  He did not have the strength to get up.  He had lost power in his back legs, and he had even lost the ability to keep his tail erect.
On Thursday the vet gave Barney more fluids and sent him home to be with his parents, but on Friday his mom got the call that Barney could not be cured, and his parents had to send their perfect baby to us.
Cotton, who greets all the cats who arrive at the Bridge, came to me and we agreed to hold the ceremony between our spots at the Bridge because if there was ever a soul who belongs in both worlds, it is Barney.
I waited with his dog family, and his many dog friends, on one side of a semi-circle, while on the other side were the cat friends.  When Barney arrived, we all applauded his bravery, his devotion, and the love her showed every soul he ever met, even a cranky Yorkie like me.
After Barney gave the Rainbow Pledge Cotton invited all of us dogs to sit with the cats for the big welcome celebration for our newest Angel.  Between all the knowledge the dogs would teach Barney and all the secrets the cats would put forth he would be the smartest angel at the Bridge.  He quickly learned how to go back home and try to ease his parents and his brother Andy’s pain.  He was going to be a first rate, Angel.
We snuck away from the dinner and sat on a cliff looking over the window.
“I can see your house from here,” Barney said, sporting a grin.  I told him I could see his house too, just as we had all those years ago when we were young and healthy.   We put our paws on each other’s shoulders and watched the twinkling lights.
I felt so sad for his parents and loved one, but at this moment, as we sat under the moonlight, I was happy to have my friend back.