Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Beat This Caption

A dog walks in a bar with a duck on his head and the duck said "Hey, can you get this duck off my ass."

Monday, December 17, 2018

Monday Question

How many Christmas card do you get just for you pups and cats?

Pocket:  We get about 40 from our wonderful friends. 

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Josie is our December 16, 2018 Pup of the Week

Standing adjacent to one another on Hobo's landing overlooking Rainbow Bridge,  Hattie, Scooby and I were waiting on our friend Josie, as we had many times before. Josie had many brushes with passing over, from before I was at the Bridge, to the times I waited alone, until now when I was joined by Josie’s besties.    Josie somehow kept alluding the Bridge’s great grasp.

Josie lived on a farm. She was the leader of a sizeable pack, including her large, lovable brother Koda, that became unruly with the addition of three rollicking brothers, Elvis, Huck and Moo, who viewed rules as mere suggestions and acted like frat boys living life to it's destructive fullest.

Although Mama Barbara loves all her pups equally, she and Josie created a unique bubble just for the two of them that they could retreat to it when the madness became too much to bear.  It took two of them to create a safe space and if one were gone the other would be left to their own devices. That is why Josie fought so hard to stay with her mom. Through diabetes, eating objects that caused blockages, (because like all of us Josie is perfectly imperfect) and three battles with cancer, Josie remained in the bubble with her mom, while begging for and stealing every extra heartbeats.

No matter how much we may try we are born with a one-way ticket to the Bridge, and while we can stave it off eventually the stub must be utilized.  On a cold December day when Josie's body could no longer fight she and her mom shared a look of grief and understanding. Then Josie pulled the worn chit from her fur and held it up to the sunlight.  In just a moment Josie was no longer a part of the earthly realm.

As Josie passed her friends awaited her.  Smoochie held a bouquet of tulips. Hattie clutched a purple smock she had made for her best girlfriend.  Hattie straightened Smoochy's tie, kissed him on the nose and told him it would be alright.

At one time, not too long ago Josie, Hattie, Smoochie and Brody, who was running in and out of the gathering crowd too excited about his friend's arrival to stand still, were the brightest lights in a group of dogs who found their own small corner of the Internet to romp, complain about their parents, tell stories of walks taken and cuddles given, and to have adventures far beyond our  imaginations. They were always kind, never mean, the personification of love. Their affection for one another spread through the group bettering all of our lives.

Hattie gasped when Josie appeared, just a small black dot on the horizon. She walked towards us tentatively turning and looking back as if she was regretted her inevitable decision. When she came within viewing distance, Josie lifted her right paw and gently waved.  Then she ran up the steps and was immediately swamped with hugs from Smoochy, Hattie, and Brody. The very description of a dog pile.

As they began to untie their limbs a rain of tears from Mama Barbara and all those mourning Josie's loss began to fall.  Our umbrellas went up, red, blue, purple white, black and green. They twirled as we searched for our parent's tears. What a show it made for the eagles circling above us.

The rains cleared and Josie spent hours greeting her many friends who came to greet her.  When the clouds dissipated, Josie asked her friends for time alone. As the sky darkened, she looked towards the warm glow coming from the lights attached to every tree limb on her farm.  She had been taught by her friends during dream dates how to comfort her mom when that dreaded moment came.

Josie waited for the breeze and began repeating "I love you, Mom, I love you Mom,” hoping her mere words would reach her grieving mom and help rebuild that unique bubble where nothing could get to her. She stopped when she saw a black speck in the distance.  As it grew larger, she realized it was her brother Koda who she had left in charge of the pack and their mom’s heart. Josie ran towards Koda crying, wondering how everything went so wrong.

To be continued….

Friday, December 14, 2018

Foley Reports on Her Angel Friends Christmas Decorations

When I arrived at Rainbow Bridge, I was presented with two options.  I could either rest in peace or spend time with friends and family. I choose the latter.  Resting in peace, on the surface, seems like a sound pick. You live in a cottage overlooking a lake, where you spend your days resting, alone.  It is a low-stress selection but also dull, so much that I wonder if it is really the bad place. 

This is the time of year when I am especially happy to be living in the Doggyspace and Blogville communities at Rainbow Bridge, where times can be stressful, but they are never dull.

We dogs and a few cats living amongst us enjoy decorating our abodes at Christmas. The Big Guy is high on this holiday and enjoys seeing all his angels marking the season with lights and ornaments.  He stands on the mountain, looking down at us, smiling, with his faithful dog Max by his side.

I like a tasteful display.  I purchased a snow shower light that shines red and green lights on the pine trees standing in the backyard.  It is more efficient than stringing lights. I might fall off the ladder and injure my tail feather. I put a manger in front of my house with Mary, Joseph and a little statue of me as the baby Jesus because that’s how I view life.

Angel Apollo and his pack placed brightly lit green and red dogs, that stand three stories high, and wear Santa hats, in front of his house.  He strings hundreds of lights on the Weeping Willow. That same tree used to spread across his backyard when he was mortal. Apollo tries to recognize his wooden friend each holiday.  He is lucky because he has his dad with him who brings a human touch to his decorations.

Sydney and Moose decorate their yard with special ornaments.  The golden baubles, each engraved with the letters, IMHA for Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia, the disease that robbed Moose of his mortal life.  There is an ornament for every warrior who lost their battle with this relentless disease. At night a spotlight shines on the letters IMHA which are covered with red and green tinsel.  

Max and Tupper are two of my favorite dogs.  Loyal brothers on both sides of the river the boys have one goal each Christmas season, to build, always a few inches larger than last years, the gigantic letters M, O, and M on their roof, then point a powerful spotlight at them, hoping their mom will see her name reflected in the stars and know her angels were thinking of her.

My small Yorkie buddy, Chelsea, pays tribute to her home state, Texas, all year long, but at Christmas, when everyone decorates, Chelsea redoubles her efforts.  She has dozens of stars, representing her love for the Lone Star state, all over her building, where she lives in the penthouse suite. Somehow, by Christmas, she can transform her building from a square shape into a star, and she proudly sits on top of it.

Cassie lives in the woods.  They remind her of the long walks she would take accompanied by her dad.   Each Christmas she somehow finds the time to decorate all the trees around her house.  Walking through her woods is like strolling through a winter wonderland.

If you see a  glow off the horizon during the holidays, know it is the angels at Rainbow Bridge celebrating the season.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

River in Search of the Elusive Belly Rub

I must admit I'm not the easiest dog in the world. When I want to be picked up, I curl myself into a ball to make lifting me as difficult as possible. Except for the turkeys who leave bird smells on my lawn, I am my own worst enemy.

One of the pleasures of this dog's life is belly rubs. Like every dog I enjoy head-scratchers, ear rubs and butt tickles, but if you want to satisfy this girl truly then belly rubs are the way to go.

Most dogs, who want their belly rubbed, take the all too familiar position, on their backs, with their legs spread, waiting for the sweet satisfaction.  I may enjoy the activity, maybe too much, and my psychiatrist is worried that I am addicted to it, but I am not a whore! I am not just going to lie there.  If I am going to submit to a belly rub, it has to be on my terms.

When I want long, sustained belly rubs, I go to Daddy.  Mommy might monkey around down there for a minute or so, but in our house, a marathon session is a man’s job.  

I sit on his lap and paw at his hand until he puts it on to my belly.  Then, I hunch over, like an old man waiting on the salad line at Ruby Tuesday’s and he begins to scratch me.   If you could see my eyes, which are up here, by the way, it would look like he was tightening a nut down there.

Once the scratching begins to reach its climax a little wheel pops out of my butt.  I slowly, without using my paws or shifting weight move backward until my dad is hunched over, like a guy who can’t bend his knee trying to tie a shoe while sitting on a recliner.  Daddy has to extend his arm fully, so only the tip of his fingers reach me. But, you know how it is ladies, often the tip is all you need.

The bed is my favorite place to get belly rubs.  Again, I sit up, and Daddy does the rubbing. I start by sitting by him, and the more he scratches, the further I retreat until I am sitting near the foot of the bed and he is laying in the wrong direction scratching my belly like a safecracker trying to find the right combination.  Slowly, my eyes begin to flutter shut until they close, and I slump down ready to sleep, fully sated.

Sometimes, if I know one of my parents is awake during the night, I will start pawing at them for a late rub.  I usually get a bit, before they fall asleep, and their hand falls limply on the bed.

I am lucky to have a dad who will twist himself into a pretzel just to get rubs.  Either that or my belly is worth it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Beat This Caption

Mommy got Daddy a bike to lose weight and now this is what the fat bastard calls exercising with the dog

Monday, December 10, 2018

Monday Question

Can you change your growls or barks so it sounds like you are talking?

Pocket:  I just have one, constant, high pitched bark.

River Song  I do a little growl that I can modulate so it seems to my parents that I am communicating that I want food, water, to go out, or get attention. 

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Sully is our December 9, 2018 Pup of the Week

After the passing of President Geoge H.W. Bush, the country was moved by a picture of his service dog Sully lying near the casket giving his last true measure of devotion.  It was a moment that people from each side of the divided political spectrum agreed showed the generous spirit of both dog and man. Of course, someone had to immediately try to darken that image.

Ruth Graham from Slate.com decided to do some fact checking about Sully and 41.  She wrote that people should not waste emotion on Sully since he had only been assigned to the President for six months ago.

What the writer did not understand is that six months can be a lifetime of love between a human and dog. Usually, it takes six minutes, or even six seconds to for parents and pups to bond.  I try to shy away from comparing dogs with children since obviously, the loss of a child is much more devastating, but would anyone say that a mother should not mourn the loss of her six-month-old child?

People who do not understand the bond between man and dog, which become stronger when a service dog is part of the equation, should not write about it.  I know this is the age of social media when not only does every opinion need to be heard but liked and retweeted until we are inundated with foolish ideas and phony facts, but some of these opinions need to be covered up and never surface.

I requested to visit Sully in his dreams.  It was a long wait. Sully was watching over his dad, who, with great fanfare, had joined us in the immortal world.  Finally, Sully’s duty was done for the day, and he lay down to rest. I slipped into his dreams.

I asked him what it was like being a service dog for a former President.  “Oh, that didn’t matter to me,” Sully said. “He was just my dad. I knew he was important, but he could have been homeless.  It doesn’t matter. He was someone who needed help, and he became my best friend.

“There are a lot of people who love him as much as I did,” Sully said.  “I can’t believe the endless amount of people who have come to pay their respects to him.  Every human wants their dog to be the most liked pet in the world and we dogs want the same for our parents.  When I saw all the people in line, I I knew my dad was indeed one of the most popular people in the world.

 I asked him if he minded going to another family.  “That’s my job. Usually we dogs want to go before our parents, but in this case, it is better that the parent goes first.  Because they become so dependent on us, if we go to the Bridge first it is just devastating. Also, we should be able to help as many people as possible.”

Finally, I asked him about the Slate article.  “I don’t let that bother me,” he said. “Some humans don’t understand, but most do, and those are the ones that matter.”
Sully awoke.  He needed to sit watch over his dad again.

A great man has passed, but a great dog survives, ready to help out the next human, even if they are ordinary and poor.

It is the love of a dog.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Foley and Her Friends Try to Save a Freezing Shih Tzu

I was standing with my friends Tommy Tunes and Hobo looking towards the Bridge when suddenly a little Shih Tzu appeared flickering in and out of view. “The poor pup is passing,” Tommy Tunes observed. We were witnessing the last few seconds of his mortal life.

I took pity on the poor soul and ran down the steps and on to the Bridge to comfort him. “Thank God, you found me,” the Shih Tzu said. “A little while ago I was safe and warm inside my house. My mom took me out the back sliding door on a leash to pee. When she brought me inside and unhooked my collar, she failed to slide the door shut. I was barking to her that it was open when I saw Sammy, the squirrel.  My mommy told me not to pay attention to him, but he was on my lawn pestering me. Instinct took over, and I ran out the door giving chase. I pursued him deep into woods until he disappeared. That was when I realized I was lost, without my coat, in freezing weather, and it was getting colder. I heard on the breeze my family calling my name, Gus, over and over. I ran towards the sound, but with each step, I got further away.  Finally, after hours of searching, I was cold and tired. I lay down under a tree and woke up here.” I hugged him. Such a sad story. I took out my IPaw that signals me when a new angel arrives. I saw the listing Gus, Shih Tzu but it was faint, and I could not open it. Gus was here but not ready to cross. I asked my friends how this was possible.

Hobo rubbed his black chin. “Hypothermia!” he yelled.  “Gus is freezing. His heart stopped. His mind told him to cross over, but the Bridge isn't ready to let him pass.  He is having a near death experience.”

“We need to keep it near death,” Tommy said.  But how? “Maybe, if we can make him warm here his mortal body will stop freezing,” Tommy suggested.

I didn't see how this could work but, we had never faced a situation like this before, and we had to try something.

Tommy ran up the stairs and came back with dozens of blankets.  We covered Gus so only his head was sticking out then sat with him.  After an hour I checked my iPaw. Gus's name was still there, but it was growing fainter.  The blankets were working. But this was just a momentary solution. If we couldn't figure out a way to get Gus home, he wouldn't survive another night in the woods.

“Prayers,” I yelled standing.  “Gus's family must be saying prayers for him.  If we can find the angel getting those prayers, we can trace them back to Gus's house.”

Without being asked Tommy ran back up the stairs barking if anyone had received prayers about Gus the Shih Tzu.  Ten minutes later he came back with Hattie Mae. “I have been getting prayers for Gus all night,” Hattie said.

She saw him under the blankets.  “Oh my,” she said, “I was hoping the prayers would be answered.”

“He hasn’t passed over yet,” I told Hattie. “Only mostly.”  Hobo filled Hattie in on Gus's hypothermia. “If you can figure out where those prayers came from I think I know how we can get Gus home,” I said.

Pinpointing where Gus's house was would require paperwork, a task Hattie hated, but she could never let a dog or their mom down. She and Tommy ran back to Doggyspace and began to check her records. I looked at Gus.  He was beginning to fade. This was good. He was warming up and would soon be awake in the woods. I sat with him until he was gone. Just before he faded away, I whispered my plan to him.

. Hobo and I met Hattie and Tommy on the path to Rainbow Bridge. I told them we had to go to the bird rental store because flying creatures are the only beings who can fly from Rainbow Bridge to the mortal world, and we often use their bodies to visit our loved ones. Hattie huffed because she knew all that was available in the cold were crow bodies which smell funny. But, she was part of our plan now and would put up with crow stench to save Gus.

Hattie had mapped out a route for us by tracking Gus’ family’s prayers.  We found his house easily.  After stopping on the roof to rest we flew into the woods while chirping loudly to signal Gus that we were looking for him.  I heard a soft bark to our north.

I followed the sound and found Gus shivering on the ground.  I gave him a peck on the cheek. He stood weakly. I chirped to my friends that I had found him.  I followed their calls as they flew from tree to tree until we saw a clearing and Gus's backyard.  Gus dashed on to the grass and barked. The doors opened, and his crying family hurried to greet their dear beloved boy.  I don't know if they saw the birds happily tweeting in the trees above them. Before he went into the house, Gus gave us a big yelp of thanks which was more than we needed.

By the time we flew back to the Bridge we were exhausted but also elated that we had helped save a life. For all of us, it was our greatest day as an angel.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Pocket Has A Problem With the Latest Report on Dog Intelligence

I was very disappointed when I heard of a new study done by the University of Exeter and Canterbury Christ Church University, home of the Fighting Christians, that concludes that we dogs do not have superior intelligence.  How can they say other animals are more intelligent than us? When’s the last time you saw a seeing-eye-gorilla? You don’t see them, you know why? Blind people kept ending up with a huge banana surplus.

I know that we dogs can sometimes exhibit signs of being less than intelligent creatures, eating poop, barking at nothing, trying to get under a blanket while standing on it, drinking from the toilet bowl, swallowing rocks, but our worth outweighs our random stupidity.

People should not measure a dog’s worth by intelligence.  While some of us do learn complicated agility courses, become very well trained, and can do impressive tricks, others like me, get stumped by obstacles, don’t listen on walks until we become a barking embarrassment, and can’t turn a trick to earn a quarter. But we do leave all creatures in the dust when it comes to one trait:  Love.

The study listed animals who are smarter than dogs, many of whom I doubt would be good house pets.  The listed includes wild dogs (they will eat the couch), spotted hyenas (even worse are the one you can’t spot), wolves (hmmm….if we evolved from wolves why are they smarter?), cats (I do admire that they are better at manipulating their humans then we dogs are, and we are pretty good at it), bottlenose dolphins (try finding a tank for that thing), chimpanzees (until they eat your face off), horses (there goes the poop bag budget) and pigeons (please, I mean really, please.)

Sure, all these animals could complete a Suduko faster than I could, but do they know the perfect look to give their parents when they are sad?  Do they know how to touch a human with a paw of love to reassure them? Do they know how to give one goofy look that can bring their parents a much-needed smile?  Let’s see a freaking pigeon do that!

Measuring a dog’s worth based on intelligence is like measuring a bear’s value on how well he dances.  While we can be smart, we pride ourselves on our compassion, understanding, and love. Those traits cannot be taught.  They are the special ones.

If you want intelligence spot a hyena.

If you want love get one of us.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Beat This Caption.

What do you mean Billy Bones won Dancing With the Stars?  What about Witney and Zach?

Monday, December 3, 2018

Monday Question

Do you get the zooms and run around until you are out of energy, how long do they last, and how often do you get them?

Pocket:  My zooming days are behind me.  I get about ten steps into a zoom then quick.

River:  If I don't get a walk for a couple of days I will zoom from room to room around the house until I am tired.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Freda is our December 2, 2018 Pup of the Week

I admire service dogs.  Their ability to take all their energy and convert it into aiding humans is remarkable. There are many different types of these special pups. My parents have one in their neighborhood.  He helps a blind man during his walks. I am fascinated. I could never have that kind of discipline. Then there are the working dogs who help the army and police. They are our rock stars.  When we dream we see ourselves as these brave creatures. Sometimes, in my fantasies, I am in World War I ratting critters from their holes as we Yorkies were initially trained to do. 

Other times I am a rescue dog saving humans from the rubble.
It is natural for a dog to want to find humans. On my walks, if I saw or heard a person I would pull on the leash trying to get to them until my parents scolded me.  When you.are a rescue dog, you are allowed to go to people all the time and have the satisfaction of saving lives.

Many of these dogs work for law enforcement and the military. While army dogs are well known other branches, including the Navy, rely on dogs to aid them with their work.

One of these dogs is Freda. She and her handler, Israel Arauz Salinas, became cause celebs in Mexico. After she found 50 people and saved a dozen more during the earthquake rescue and recovery efforts.

Decked out in her goggles and neoprene booties Freda soon became a symbol of hope to the embattled earthquake survivors.  Mr. Arauz and Freda became spokesman and dog for the Mexican navy. They made several appearances on television where Mr. Araux demonstrated how, using the grip on Freda’s harness he would place her in areas that humans could not reach, then retrieve her when the area was clear.

Freda's image has been painted, both professionally and by freelance artists across Mexico City and the people of Puebla have erected a bronze statue of Freda and Mr. Araux.

Freda set aside time in her busy schedule between rescuing and television interviews to bark with me. I wasn't sure how a celebrity dog would react to a modest angel like me.  When I appeared in Freda's dreams, she was the sweetest, most unaffected dog in the world. “The people of Mexico have been so nice to me,” Freda said. “But, it is quite unnecessary.  I am a dog, and it is my job to aid humans. I don't sit with and provide comfort my people, which is an essential job we all have sworn to do. I have to contribute in another manner.  I use the tools the big guy gave me, including my excellent sniffer to find missing people. Sometimes I find them after they have passed, and that is sad. But, at least I have provided their family answers to their loved one's whereabouts   And if I find someone alive, oh Foley, there is no better feeling in life. It is like I have fulfilled my purpose in life. And I get to do it again and again. Awesome.”

We chatted until she was called to her latest mission. “Every dog is a hero to people who love them,” Freda said. “Parents want to erect billboards, statues, and cover every blank space with testimonials expressing love for their dogs.  We are all heroes. You pups who are house pups are everyday heroes.” Then Mr. Araux called Freda, and they went off to once again fulfill Freda's reason for living.

And I retired to my.villiage of everyday hero dogs where our parents love for us is expressed by postings on websites just like this one.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Foley and the Sad Christmas Tree

This morning there was a loud knock on my door.  I got up and saw Max and Tupper standing on the landing wearing their winter best. “We are going to get a real live Christmas tree for our house,” Tupper said, excitedly.  “Do you want to come?” Ever since I lost track of a Russian I was charged with burying in the Pine Barrens, I have hated walking in the woods in the winter. But Max and Tupper were a lot of fun, so I agreed to go with them.

Tupper, Max, and I walked over the river and through the woods until we came to a vast forest of pine trees.  Max found one that would fit perfectly in their living room. Jasper pulled an ax out of his overcoat and began to swing at the trunk.

“Hold it!” a deep voice growled.  Our eyes darted around. “Up here,” the voice said. We looked up and realized the tree was talking.  “Do not chop me down!” it commanded.

Wow,” Max said.  “Trees can talk.”

“You’re damn right we can talk,” the tree said.   “And I am finally going to speak for all the trees in the forest.  We have had enough with your Christmas traditions. Someone has to put a stop to the madness.“

He shook his mighty branches.  “Once I was a young sapling, happily growing in a forest with many friends.   Then one day a man came and chopped me down. As he was walking away at me with his ax, I thought ‘you are a tree, you knew this day would come, and soon you will be at Rainbow Bridge, be immortal and never feel the cut of an ax again.’

“But, my mortal fate would be prolonged.  Instead of being allowed to ascend to the Bridge peacefully I was wrapped and kept alive.  Many of my friends and I, had been kidnapped and were being held in a parking lot. We were weak and barely conscious.  After a few days, I realized my friends were slowly disappearing. Then they came for me.”

“A man had bought me.  I was tied to the roof of his car like excess luggage.  Then I was dragged across the snow into a house. I thought that I would either be burned or hacked apart in some strange, pagan ritual.  Instead, I was stood up, and put in water, which I thankfully drank. At first, I was grateful, but then I realized they were going to keep me barely alive by giving me just enough water to help keep me alive  It was barbaric.

“Then they began to deface me most curiously.  They hung balls from me. They put garland and tinsel on my branches.  They even put lights on me, and, for the final humiliation, a star on top.  My limbs were weighed down and bent, my needles were falling off, and all I had was one little stand of water which they kept forgetting to fill.
“They seemed to enjoy having me in their house, but they were also highly critical.  The mom was upset I was losing my needles and kept telling people I was not ‘as full’’ as last year’s. The cat tried to climb me, and the dog kept peeing on me.  The family broke every article of the Geneva Convention.

I was treated the best at Christmas. The family gathered around me to open their presents.  Their happiness made me feel part of something. But once the presents were gone, I was abandoned again.  After that, the family stopped caring about me, and my water was filled less.

On New Year’s Day, they finally removed all the lights, garland and ornaments from my branches and I hoped they would release me to the forest.  Instead, they left me on the sidewalk where I received the sweet kiss of death and escaped to Rainbow Bridge. 

So, do you understand, that I cannot let you chop me down?  If I were to be struck down by lightning, I would grow right back and not be bothered at all. But for you to use me as a Christmas Tree means I am held against my will again and slowly suffer until I pass and grow again.  I hope you understand.

Neither Max, Tupper or I could answer because we were weeping.  Then we told the tree that he had found a bad home. There are many people who welcome the tree in their home and treat it like one of the family, and we would do that as well.  The tree agreed but would not let us cut it down. It followed us home; it’s roots leaving a trail of destruction. It settled in our backyard where we made it look beautiful. Have you ever made a tree smile?  It is a great sight. I don’t know if we will stay with us after Christmas, but we hope he does

If you get a real tree this holiday season treat it’s right.  In many ways being a Christmas tree is a thankless task so make sure you give it plenty of love.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

River Suffers the Horror of Christmas Decorating

After three busy mornings, I was able to sleep late Monday.  When I awoke, I did my business outside, ate breakfast, then expected to take a long nap.  But my busy-body parents had other ideas.

My Daddy went into the shed and began to bring out the colossal Tupperware tubs.  I hoped he was just cleaning it out, but those dreams were cruelly crushed when he brought the boxes inside the house, including the long one that looks like a coffin and contains a dead tree.

It must be dead.  It doesn’t smell alive.  And it has been chopped into three sections.  My parents dragged the dead tree in the house and, with three quick snaps, they raised it from the dead, although they needed to construct a stand to keep it upright.  I gave it a sniff — no a sign of life.

My parents started to put lights on the tree, and then something humiliating happened.  I don’t want to reveal it, but it involved lights and a photo of me that was taken without my consent.  There is talk of this picture being used on a Christmas card. I have a team of lawyers who have sworn that they can quash the picture.  Hopefully, you will never see it.

After that sneaky assault on my rights, I gave the crazed decorators wide berth.  My Dad went to decorate outside while Mommy stayed inside, the closest to a traditional hunter/gatherer/relationship they will have. I don’t mind the outside decorating.   We need our home to stand out for Santa to see it.

When I went out to pee, and check the work, I was horrified.  In some medieval warning, my Dad had stuck Santa heads on spikes in the garden.  What members of Clause Inc are going to visit our house after seeing how we treat Santa?  The entire display was barbaric.

With Christmas dead, I went back inside to watch my Mom continue to decorate unaware that her efforts were futile since Santa would never see her work.  I watched wistfully as the Olde English Villiage was placed on the television stand. Oh, how I would have liked to winter there. Their snow was white, but warm, and soft, and the people looked happy.  

Finally, my parents had caused enough disorder in the house to satisfy their anti-Claus genes.  I looked at the pretty lights as they sparkled, wondering if the effect was caused by my eyes which were in full squint, victims of a good nap spoiled.  I must say, it did look good. I guess I can put up with the decorations one month a year.

If Santa reads this, perhaps he will take pity on Pocket and me, and as he flies over, bomb our house with toys.  But do not stop here! We cannot have your head on a pike

Sometimes it takes the holidays to find out how vicious your family really is.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Monday Question

Do you put up a Christmas tree?   

Is it real or artificial?

How big is it?

Does it bother you?

We do put up a tree.  It is artificial and it is about six feet tall and not very wide because we live in a small house.  We don't pay any attention except we don't like the day it goes up and down but after that, we don't care.  

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Jake the Rake is our November 25, 2018 Pup of the Week

Us angels know lots of secrets, even secrets we are not meant to know.  We can slip into our parents’ subconscious where all their secret’s vaults are open.  We know everything about them, even those things that are hidden from others. But we don’t judge our parents.  We unconditionally love them.

But, like all beings with a soul, we need to unburden ourselves.  We live in paradise, so we have no worries of our own. What troubles us is our mortal parents' problems, both what they tell us and what we secretly learn.  Often, we have to talk with friends about our parents' secrets. When we slip back into their dreams, we can’t have a single thought about what our friends confided in us, or a secret might be exposed.

Sometimes, the secret is that an angel has arrived at the Bridge.  There are instances when a parent does not want their friends to know they have been struck by such an unbearable burden.  The pain is so crippling that even kind words and love from friends are painful. Eventually, the truth will come forward, but until then it is up to the angels to keep secrets.

On November 5, our dear friend Jake the Rake crossed Rainbow Bridge under cover of darkness. It was done in secret.  Only I came to greet him. His mom, Ann, was not ready to share her grief with the world. Jake knew his passing would be too hard a secret for all the angels to keep.  As a Judge, I had taken a vow to keep his arrival secret.

I whispered the Rainbow Bridge pledge to Jake, got him some detachable wings, then disguised him as a yellow lab, and we walked to my house.  Once inside Jake resumed his mortal form. He had had cancer. Now his body was young, his lungs full of air, and all he wanted to do was run!

But he couldn’t.  We had to keep his presence at the Bridge a secret until his mom was ready.  I asked for a treadmill, and the Guild of Dogs provided one. His first night Jake ran on it until dawn. He understood why he could not visit his friends.  It was like when his parents told him to stay. He just had to wait for his mom to say “Go, Jake, go.” He was willing to wait to hear those words for eternity.

He is good company.  Jake always makes me laugh.  I was getting used to having him around when we heard a voice on the wind.  Momma Ann said the words “go, Jake, go,” and man did he go.

He ran right through my door like a Flintstone leaving a big Jake sized hole.  He began barking to all his Doggyspace friends as he felt the fresh air in his lungs.  He ran around the houses, gathering all our buds until he got to the Doggyspace town square where his friends surrounded him and jumped up and down like he was Rocky Balboa Philadelphia Museum of Art.

His friends got right to work teaching Jake how to do his most important task, get in his mom’s subconscious where he could whisper the most important secret of all:  He was okay, and someday they would be together.

He will tell her to look out for butterflies, hummingbirds, and any insects or flying creature that seem out of place or his mom sees out of the corner of her eye.  They will all be Jake attempting to reach her.

Jake the Rake has always been a good boy and done what his mom wanted and needed.  He is not going to let a little thing like Rainbow Bridge stop him now.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Pocket Cannot Stop Winter From Coming

When the garden season ended, I thought that we would have some cold, wet days but I did not think we would have snow. Then Mother Nature went ha!

Three nights later I went outside to do my business, and the most terrible thing happened.  I put my paws down and immediately felt two of my least favorite sensations: cold and wet.  I put my nose into the white stuff and felt a sinus freeze down to my paws. It was snow!

How did this happen?  It was much too early in the season for such an abomination.  I know many dogs who love snow and God bless them. But their bodies and their private parts are high off the ground.  They don’t know how difficult it is to spit out a few drops of pee and having to concentrate on pooping with your shooter pressed up against the snow.   And humans complain about a cold toilet seat!

It wasn’t much snow, but when you have short legs a little is a lot.  The night the storm hit I had to go out for my midnight poop. It was the worst.  I was shivering, and wet. The wind was blowing sharp little flakes in my face. It is too wet to walk on the grass so I have to do it in the road and make sure there are none of the monsters who dump large chunks of winter at the end of the driveway approaching because I would have to stop mid-poop, which is like stopping mid-child birth, or end up in a snow bank until spring.

The weather voices said that the snow would be gone by the next morning, but it decided to stay through the weekend.  Before then it was cold, but that is to be expected as the holiday season kicks off.  I feel bad for dogs who live with the same temperature year round.  Do they know its Christmas time at all?

When the snow melted, it left the ground squishy.  I am lucky that I am light. When I poop all my weight goes on my back legs, and when the ground is wet, I sink.  Luckily I don’t go far.  If I landed in my own poop, it would be so humiliating.

There is one aspect of snow that I do enjoy.  Snowflakes pick up so many different smells when they fall to the Earth.   They pass Rainbow Bridge, the planets, the asteroids, and our atmosphere before they finally nestle on the ground.  When the snow melts, there are a thousand different smells that settle on to the grass including messages from our angels.  Have you noticed how much we dog love to sniff the ground after snowmelt? There is so much to learn under a snowbank.  If only our parents could sniff the heavens like we do they would understand our intensity and not yank us away.

Snowfall before Thanksgiving means I am going to have five months of snow.   That is almost three years in dog time, which is a lot of ice under the paws.

Praying to Mother Nature for warm weather and sunny skies. I hope she is finally over menopause.  

Thursday, November 22, 2018

This Year's New Rainbow Bridge Angels Make Thanksgiving Dinner For Foley, DS and Blogville

Every Thanksgiving us dogs at the Doggyspace section of Rainbow Bridge gather for a feast cooked by the angels who arrived here after last year’s Thanksgiving.  Each year our table gets bigger as we are joined by more angels, but our laughs, love, and stories grow too.

Jasper and Sophie walked out of the kitchen and announced that dinner was served.  They said they were both acting as hosts this evening and the would take care of all our needs.

Abbie, her face, once covered with white fur, now all spectacularly black, presented us with vegan stuffed mushrooms. Before we began the scrumptious appetizer, she informed us that she had picked all the mushrooms and vegan food from the garden behind her house.  Perfect!

Lily, from the Doxie Life blog, served us her fresh autumn salad.  She had been inspired by her friends’ beautiful Friday flower blog.  When she learned about the dinner, she made room in her garden for squash, sweet potato, and quail.

Once we had finished, our salad MacDougal appeared with some Balvenie Scottish whiskey to help clean our pallets.  MacDougal gave us two shots and took one for himself. I don’t know if he filled all the glasses before he passed out under a tree.

Then the meal came to a halt. Hattie Mae stood on the table wearing a sparkly short sleeve skater dress.  She wore it like magic. She stopped midway down the table, snapped her claws, and suddenly was wearing a lace cap sleeve bodycon dress.  Before she got to the end of the table, she changed into a spotted dobby long sleeve dress. We gave her a standing ovation when she reached the end of her catwalk.

Ginger Lynn, who arrived at Rainbow Bridge earlier last year, but did not join Doggyspace until this year, made delicious corn fritters that, after the drink and fashion show, were delicious.

Abigail, another precious Yorkie, brought us a ricotta and strawberry toast.  I was reluctant to try it at first. It seemed like an odd combination. But it was scrumptious.  We Yorkies are so smart.

Holly, a member of another popular blog, the DeWeenies of Florida, passed over in early February.  She knew that, on Thanksgiving, she would have to make a dish, and she presented a perfect creamy feta stuffed pepper.  It was so good we all licked our plates.

Then Jasper brought us a package from Catville.  It was from our sweet friends Meow Meow and Kit. It was a lovely collard and Brussels sprout salad.  It was so good. I ignored the cat hair because they were sweet.

My good friend Shiloh the Stargazer did not bring food.  Instead, she turned the sky from day to night, and she had the stars dance for us.  It was a lovely display as the stars zipped across the sky. We gave Shiloh and the sky a standing ovation.

Sarge surprised us with a peppered goat cheese with citrus-carrot marmalade.  I had to give credit to this new group of angels. They had been preparing this meal for a long time and giving us delights we have never tasted before.  Thanks to Sarge our pallets were being challenged.

Guinevere, one of the Goldens, surprised us with Kenyon Johnnycakes.  They were so light and fluffy. Who would have thought a golden retriever could make a Kenyon Johnnycakes?  We have such talented dogs.

Prince then topped them all by serving fresh buttermilk cheese with spice figs, pickled fennel, and pistachio crust.  That was so good it overwhelmed us, and we had to take a nap break.

We were awoken by our friend Jessie who gave us each a sweet kiss.  It was a lovely way to come out of a nap. We found resting our bellies gave us an appetite for a lot more food.

Before we began our next round of food Molly the Wally came out and performed an awesome puppet show that had us rolling on the ground in laughter.

Then Cammy surprised us all.  We thought the next course was going to be turkey, but he brought out a herbed chicken with beets and brussels sprouts.  It was so tender the meat fell off the bone. I had to hand it to Cammy. Chicken was the way to go.
Silly Hannah Banana came in with a chef’s hat on.  She gave us some slow cooked mashed potatoes the complemented Cammy’s chicken perfectly.

Daisy was up next with more fresh vegetables then I have ever seen.  A farm dog in the mortal world she now has one of Rainbow Bridge’s most prosperous farms.  Her corn was sweet, the peppers wonderfully crisp, the tomatoes bursting with flavor. I know Daisy would be eating with us next year, but I might ask her to cook again
While we ate Hobo Hudson began his presentation on helping our parents with their finances. When we were mortal, we did not care about money, but now that we can get into our parents’ dreams and whisper advice Hobo says we can help them with stock tips.  I think 2019 is going to be a good year for our pet parents
We resumed the food with a vegetarian dish.  Casey wanted to show us that not all food had to be meat.  His whole roasted cauliflower was excellent. I am not about to give up meat, but it was food for thought.

Little Scooter brought out a red chili orange glazed turkey.   For the first time, our eating area smelled like Thanksgiving. The other food was great, but Scooter’s turkey really hit the spot.  

Stella Rose, who is still staying on the top step of the Bridge so she can be nearer to her mom, did come by for the celebration.  She did not have a lot of time to make something, but she served a lovely grape salad which went perfectly with the Scooter’s turkey.

Presley brought us our second turkey dish of the day; turkey roulade cooked three ways. Even our immortal bellies were getting stretched past our limit.  But the food kept coming.

Lil’ Girl presented us with a rosemary monkey bread stuffing to go with Presley’s turkey. At first, I was reluctant because I didn’t want to eat any monkey but I didn’t want to appear rude, so I tried.  It was terrific. If you ever get a chance to eat monkey’s bread you should.

Felix served us tiny biscuits.  It wasn’t a full course, but it tasted very good.  Suddenly our appetites were back. Felix had created a never-ending appetite biscuit.  He was working on new food for every dog’s’ needs. The never-ending appetite biscuit will change our lives, although some humans will say that describes every dog before the biscuit.

Kaizer, a proud and loyal German Shepherd, had spent weeks working on his turkey, wanting it to be perfect.   He stood at attention while we ate. We told him it was perfect and he grinned widely and let out a self-satisfied yip of joy.

Jewel made crispy garlic smashed potatoes to go with Kaizer’s turkey, and they were a rousing success.  I like my food a little spicy and Jewel’s dish was the first taste of heat I got all day.

Lucy knew we could use something sweet and she brought dozens of pumpkin pies. We dug into them getting our first tastes of desert for the day.  It was perfect.

We had a pause in the festivities as Wishbone ran out with his namesake in his mouth.   He selected two angels to split the wishbone. It took a lot of pulling by the two dogs, but finally, it snapped.  Wishbone told the winner that their parents would get good luck over the holidays. I don’t want to say which parent it was, but if something good happens to you over the holidays, you will know it was Wishbone’s wishbone
After the wishbone splitting Summer asked us to go down to the river.  She said the best thing for us after eating so much food was exercise. We all jumped in the river behind Summer and swam for however much we wanted which for me was not much. Then we laid in the sun until we were dry.

When we were dry, we went back to the table.  Before we could see if we could smell the turkey.  Moose had made a herb and citrus butter roasted turkey.  When Moose served it, we found out that it tasted better than it smelled.

Sully wanted to show off his New England heritage and give me a taste of our old Thanksgivings in Massachusetts by making rosemary-port cranberry sauce.  He nailed it. His mom would be so proud of him. I had two helpings.

Bailey also wanted to show off his heritage.  He is a Portuguese dog and made us a fine kale soup, or what, in Mommy’s family childhood home was called Portuguese soup.  It kind of looks like garbage but what do we dogs care? It was perfect.

We heard barking and saw Jake holding a turkey over some strange, hot, smoking contraption.  He dropped it in, and a few minutes later he brought it back out. It was a fried turkey! He served it to us, and it was really good.  Jake’s tail wagged back and forth in excitement watching us eat

To go along with the fried turkey, Mia made a pickled peach and cranberry salsa.   This was another meal I was not sure about, but it tasted awesome with the fried turkey.

Fallon brought in his desert, but first, he ran around the table getting out some of his greyhound zooms.  He then presented to us a maple granola pecan pie. It was another excellent dish. I tipped my tail to all three of them.

Muffin knew she had a tough act to follow with the fried turkey, so she decided to make a more elegant bird.  She presented us with a pear-thyme glazed turkey, and it was so good.

Our good friend Madi, the cat, visited us and she told me to lie down.  She then walked on my back. It didn’t make my belly pain go away, but it did make my back feel good.  I hopped back on my seat for the next course.

Then Axel served a lemon coconut tart.  It was light, sweet, and very good. I was surprised such a rugged dog could make a delicate dish.

I looked to my left, and I saw Harlee the cat licking the table.  We would have chased her off but we were too tired from eating, and we decided to let her stay and enjoy our last few courses.

Chase and Gucci came running in together, as they always have, because the two are inseparable.  They made a salt and pepper turkey with rosemary and bourbon gravy. I don’t know if the turkey was food or that there was more bourbon than rosemary in the gravy, but the two littles poms made me devour their course and want more.

Our meal ended with an All-American apple pie made by Butkus.  He did not have long to put his meal together, but he still did a great job.

Next year, those who served us today, shall eat with us, and continue to do so for years to come.

There were a lot of courses today because there were a lot of new angels.

I give thanks for those who are still with their parents and ask that next year we don’t have as many courses because we don’t have as many angels.

I would be happy to go hungry next Thanksgiving if every dog got to stay with their parents.


Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Beat This Caption

Weeeeeeee!  That was the most awesome slip and slide ever.  Now that I'm here what's my name and where's the food?

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Butkus is our November 18, 2018 Pup of the Week

It is ominous when a momma is mentioned in consecutive Pup of the Week blogs.  Last week, I wrote about Achilles, who stared mortality in the face and thankfully, wrestled it to submission.  He was attacked, after he encountered a newly rescued dog off the streets, and suffered two broken legs. This week one of Achilles’ pack members joined me at the Bridge.  Momma Elisa had to free the tormented soul trapped inside her beloved 13-year-old Butkus' failing body so he could be young, happy and immortal in the next life.

When a pet parent delves into social media they will usually find one pack member to be their spokesdog. In Momma Elisa's pack, for many years, that was Benjamin.   The small, cute, dark Pomeranian soon became the personification of fun and mischief. His friends appointed him the sheriff of Doggysapce, a job he happily undertook  Often, our stories need an antagonist. For fun little Benji it was Butkus who would much rather rest than play with his high energy brother.

Benji went to the Bridge where he became the Sheriff of Fun.   Butkus was happy to let his little brother Achilles become the face of the pack. It did not mean he was loved any less.  Butkus was a quiet boy satisfied with the million little things that make a dogs’ life pleasurable. When those things were no longer enjoyable and life became too heavy a burden for Butkus to carry his mom helped him go to the Bridge.

Benji was bouncing with excitement before Butkus appeared. At first sight of his brother, Benji ran down the hill and gleefully jumped on Butkus' back, riding him while covering him with dozens of nips and kisses.  They both arrived at Hobo's Landing and Butkus' shook off his excitable little brother. \

"Hello, Foley" Butkus' said.  I quickly administered the Rainbow Bridge oath as Benji playfully bit his brother's tail.  

"Foley, did you hear?”  Benji asked excitedly. “Butkis is going to be my under deputy of nothing but nonstop fun.".

I.was taken aback. I knew Butkus wasn't the most exuberant dog and would rather be relaxing than playing.  "Yes," a resigned Butkus admitted. "I did agree to be your under deputy.". Butkus' dropped his head by my ear and whispered.   "I said that so he would stop haunting me. I just wanted to sleep."

Butkus was about to sentence himself to an eternity of non-stop fun, something not in his nature.  "I am sorry," I announced, “but I cannot let Butkus be the under deputy but I need him to be the secretary of mellow.'

Butkus sighed in relief and then we turned to Benjamin hoping he wouldn't object. Benji began to jump up and down excitedly.  "Oh my dog," Benji yipped, "you're a secretary and I'm a sheriff? Momma is going to be so proud. We’re going to visit her tonight.  Are you going to get a badge?" I assured him Butkus would. "Awesome!" Benji said then ran off to tell his friends.

"Thank you, Foley," Butkus said. "I was not looking forward to an eternity of fun."

“I'm with you!" I told him. "Too much fun gives me a headache."

I asked him if he wanted to lie down in the sun with me and he happily accepted.  We lay back to back basking in the warmth, two chill dogs waiting for eternity to pass.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Foley Shows Old Man Dog How Modern Dogs Live

A few weeks back I wrote about an Old Man Dog who lived on the streets here at Rainbow Bridge.  He crossed over in the early 1970’s, and he never knew what it was like to live inside or eat proper food.  He taught me how to appreciate the life we have and understand the differences between us.

Recently I went back to visit Old Man Dog.  I wanted to show him how dogs live today.

We used bird bodies to fly back to the mortal side so he could witness dog’s lives in 2018.  The first dog we saw was wearing a new wool coat.

“What the hell is that dog wearing?” Old Man Dog asked me.  I told him it was a coat bought at PetSmart. “Why does he need a coat?   We were born with a warm coat attached to our skin. Who needs a second one?”

“But they are warm and snuggly!” I countered.

“Snuggly!” Old Man Dog harumphed.  “We are dogs; we don’t need snuggly.  We need an open heat grate to sleep on at night.”  He further studied the dog. “Good God! What is the on his feet?”

I told him they were booties. “Booties!” Old Man Dog yelled. 

 “Why the hell would a dog need booties. We have tough pads, and we don’t let heat, rain, snow or ice bother us.”

“They keep our paws from cracking,” I told him.

“Paws cracking?  My paws used to crack four times before supper.  Those were a badge of honor. Don’t you dogs have any toughness about you at all?”

“Sometimes, when it is not raining too hard, we will go out without a raincoat.”

“A raincoat!” he bellowed.  “God gave us a raincoat. Why would we need another?”

“Because, if your fur gets wet you are going to get a bath.”

“A bath is something you get twice a year if you need it or not,” Old Man Dog said.

“Not for us,” I told him.  “I went to the groomers every six weeks.”

“What, in the name of dog, is a groomer?”

“That is someone our mom hires to bathe us and cut our hair.”
Old Man Dog’s eyes popped out of his head.  “Who is your mother, the Queen? Your parents can’t bath you so they hire someone to do it?  Do they hire someone to bathe their children?”

“Don’t be silly,” I said.

“So dogs being clean is more important to the parents then their children being clean?”

“Yes,” I told him.

He paused.  “Well, that’s an idea I can get behind.  So, the modern dog is not only equal to children but actually superior?”  I said that was true in many ways. “How did that happen?”

“Years of training and sucky kids,” I told him.

“Well, more power to the modern dog,” he said.  “The next thing you know dogs will be wearing diapers and humans will be picking up their poop in colorful plastic bags.”

I told him to sit down.  The next thing I was about to tell him would shock him.  When I told him our parents do pick up our poop in colorful bags, and, if we are on a walk, they put the poop in their pockets, the Old Man Dog finally understood.  We had risen to become the superior being.

“I guess I should not judge you foofy little dogs,” Old Man Dog said.  “I prefer to live in my era of freedom, but I must respect those of you who live in the age of dominance.

We flew back to the Bridge together, each in our way, masters of our domain.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

River and the Last Garden Day of the Year

On Monday we had our final yard day of the season.  It is always a solemn occasion. Summer Mondays are filled with new plants either put in the ground or springing from it, bright, high green grass, which, after it is cut tickles the inside of our noses; and hot sun, beating down on our buggy as Pocket and I bark orders from inside.

There were no new plants, growth, nor angels disguised as butterflies zig-zagging in front of us. The sun was behind dark clouds blocking its warmth.  Pocket and I stayed close together relying on our proximity for warmth as we watched our parents.

Mommy dug up the autumn flowers she had planted two months before.  They were still pretty, but could not withstand one more below freezing night.  They were put in biodegradable bags and then the trash where they will go to the landfill and perhaps, will become soil for new flowers in the future.

Daddy pulled out the solar lights that went around our gardens and up our driveway.  They were a great aid showing us the way when we went out to pee on summer nights. Some of them were placed in a container for next year, and others were disposed of, their light no longer shining brightly.  Someday this will be all our fates.

Mommy likes to wash off all the outdoor items before putting them away, so they look like new come spring.  Daddy went in the shed to remove all the clutter to make room for the decorations. The shed is strange. It is a very small house with no heat, furniture or food.  I don’t know why humans have to build a house for their tools. I’m glad they don’t for their dog.

Daddy found the bag of grass seed that had remained, despite hours of searching,  hidden all year. He discovered more solar lights, only to discard them. Lights have lousy lives.  Then he wrestled the Snow Joe snow blower that certainly blew, just not snow, and jammed it under the house, where everything that displeases my parents go, until someday they hire someone to take it away, or let it tip over the house.

Then there were the final rights of the season.  First, my dad appeared from the shed with the snow shovels in his hand.  It sent a shock through all of us. It was the final sign that winter is coming.

Second, my Dad put St. Anthony in the shed. The statue came from his mom’s house and having St. Anthony in the garden is a nice connection to the past.  St. Anthony gets a special place for the winter.

Finally, it was time for Foley’s solar angel.  Mommy promised Foley that she would be getting a new angel next year since her light was dimming. When Daddy was putting it away, he dropped it, and one of Foley’s wings broke off.  It may have been the second week of November, but we still heard a mighty rumble of thunder coming from the skies. Foley was displeased. We will be able to determine how upset Foley is by how bad a case of diarrhea Daddy gets tomorrow.  

Then he shut the door and locked spring, summer, and warm, sunny days away.  A stiff, cold breeze blew through the yard.

When we got back inside our warm house, I snuggled with Pocket, and we began to plan next year’s garden.

We may have just signaled the onset of winter, but we are also one day closer to spring.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Beat This Caption

Why can't I get this damn thing down?  I swear, nothing works at this place.  I am getting too old for this.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Monday Question

How do you act when you meet strange people or dogs?\

Pocket:  Sadly, not well.  We were not the most socialized dogs as puppies.  We tend got bark a lot at either people or dogs.  We want attention from people and don't want dogs taking attention from us.  We are not aggressive at all and wouldn't hurt a fly but we kind of embarrass our parents with our barking and behavior.  

Sunday, November 11, 2018

A Recovering Achilles is our November 11, 2018 Pup of the Week

Sometimes your pet mom rescues a dog from the streets, the pup takes to you right away, and you become best friends. Sometimes it is apparent from the moment you are introduced that the two of you are not compatible. And sometimes things go very wrong.

Momma Elisa is a Level One dog rescuer as recognized by the Rainbow Bridge Rescued Dogs Association.  She would put her own life in danger to rescue a pup. But she would never put one of her own babies at risk.  Unfortunately, that was the consequence of her latest rescue
Momma Elisa, like many of our moms, cannot bear to see an unloved, malnourished, homeless pup.  She has a type of OCD when it comes to dogs. Like someone who has to move the salt and pepper shakers when they are misaligned or change the toilet paper when it is hanging incorrectly when Momma Elis sees a homeless dog, she cannot resist the urge to bring it the love and comfort of a family.

She had frequently seen one such pup at a park near her house. She knew this dog would make a magnificent new family member for someone if she could only coax him to trust her.  After many attempts, this stray trusted Momma Elisa enough to go home with her.

There were already three dogs in the house when Momma Elisa brought the newly rescued dog home. She watched as the first two dogs interacted with the new member without incident.  If this dog got along with the larger siblings, certainly Momma Elisa’s third pup would not be a problem.

Achilles is a dog much like me.  Small, perhaps even the dreaded word foofy applies, but we are all heart, with a spirit that will not allow us to back down to any challenge.  I don’t know who laid down the challenge: If it was the new dog, Achilles, or just playing time that went wrong, but Achilles was attacked and had to be rushed to the vet’s where he was diagnosed with two broken legs and needed surgery.

At first, Momma Elisa kept the news of the attack to a few people.  While she was finding other living arrangements for the new dog, and worrying about her baby, she was afraid that, if this story hit the Internet, people would stop rescuing dogs in fear that their dog would get injured too.

That is the risk that people who rescue dogs take, not only that one of their babies will be hurt, but they can be mauled too.  It does not happen often, and a champion dog from the finest breeder can also clash with and injure an established dog too. True, hero, dog rescuers, like Momma Elisa, accept these risks, because they are doing the Lord’s work, bringing together God’s most perfect creatures and worthy humans.

Achilles is back home and is rapidly recovering.  A little thing like being attacked is not going to slow down lap dogs like Achilles and me.  And Momma Elisa is still looking for dogs that need help and saving them.

She will take extra care introducing the new dog to the mighty Achilles because he may be small, but he is fierce.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Dear Aunt Foley: Parent's Edition

Dear Aunt Foley:  We recently got a four-month-old Havanese puppy from a pet store which is very scared of people, especially my husband. She barks at him and pulls away when anyone on the street stops to pet her. How can I help her become comfortable with new people and situations? - Hanover Hannah.

Dear Hanover Hannah: Lose the husband.  Your dog is signaling that this guy cannot be trusted.  And what are you encountering strange people on the street for?  If you are walking down the street without a dog and a stranger approaches you requesting intimate stroking you call a cop.  Why is it different from a dog?

Dear Aunt Foley:  My puppy has "accidents" in the same spot in my house. What can I do to prevent her from using the tile hallway as her personal Port-O-Let? - Bill from Billerica.

Dear Bill:  Is your dog having accidents or is your toilet in the wrong spot?  If he is going to the bathroom in the same place every day then doesn’t that make that spot the bathroom?   Put some pads down and be happy your dog only goes to the bathroom in one place.

Dear Aunt Foley:  Why is my breed acting against type? Like, they told me he'd be mild and docile — but he totally isn't! What can I do? - Wally

Dear Wally: Oh, so you are one of these “All Yorkies look alike,” people.  When you see a pit bull, you think, “Oh, that’s one of the good ones.” You think all Shih Tzus are lazy, all chihuahuas are rapists and murderers, and all chocolate labs are coming to take your food.  We are not defined by our breed. We are defined by our individuality. And I have no time for a breedist like you.

Dear Aunt Foley:  My three-and-a-half-year-old cocker spaniel barks nonstop when people come over to our house. She recently recovered from autoimmune hemolytic anemia and had since become extremely protective of my husband and me. The dog has never bitten anyone, but with the tone of her bark, I'm afraid she may someday — my worst nightmare. Would it help to socialize her, or is she too old? - Mooning Miriam.

Dear Mooning:  First, your dog has been through a major illness.  Maybe she doesn’t want visitors. Or, if she does, perhaps it would be nice if they brought the poor dog something in recognition of her recovery.  If these people are going just to show up empty handed of course, she is going to bark. And she is protective of her parents because if someone hurt you, then she would be stuck in a foster home with no one to pay all those expensive vet bills.  And you don’t like her tone? I would like to hear your tone when someone tries to cut off your Sugar Daddy and doesn’t even bring you a gift.

Dear Aunt Foley:  I have a one-year-old female Rottweiler/German shepherd mix who pees when she meets new people. I’ve consulted a veterinarian, and she has given some suggestions — asking people to ignore the puppy when they come in and not using a high-pitched voice to greet her. Unfortunately, none of these ideas have worked. Do you think she’ll grow out of this behavior? - Irritated Iris

Dear Irritated:  Well don’t introduce her to new people.  Who wants to meet new people? At one point you have just met enough people.  Your veterinarian’s suggestions are foolish. What person can ignore a dog? And no high pitched voice?  It’s like trying not to let out a yip when your paw is squished. Do you want my opinion? Walk your freaking dog before new people come over.  Yeeesh.