Monday, January 29, 2018

Monday Question

How many time do you get fed a day?

Pocket:  We get breakfast and supper and I get a small plate of food while River gets her bone stuffed with turkey and kibble.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Chips is our January 28 2018 Pup of the Week




All dogs come to Rainbow Bridge to wait for their loved ones.  When their parents arrive, they can either move to the land of Happily Ever After or stay until their children arrive.  Most parents prefer to wait for their kids.  When they arrive, the family retires to the quiet land of Happily Ever After while their children can await their own offspring.

Sometimes dogs can be at the Bridge for decades.  We have a pup in the Fourth District, named Chips, who has been here nearly seventy years.  His parents joined him here years ago, but they are waiting for their son before they leave for Happily Ever After.

Chips is a wise, brave, smart dog who saved many humans and even bit the hand of a President.  This is his story.

Chips is a Siberian Husky, Shepherd, Collie mix whose Dad is named Edward Wren.  When World War II began, Wren volunteered his eager dogs to join the army.  Chips went to boot camp at War Dog Training Center in Fort Royal, Virginia. There were 40,000 pups who volunteered to fight for the Allies.  Chips was one of the 10,000 who were chosen.   He served in the 3rd Infantry Division in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France, and Germany.  He bonded with his handler, Pvt John P. Rowell.

Chips met every important soldier who fought for the allies.  He served as a sentry dog during the 1943 Casablanca summit between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill.  When General Dwight Eisenhower entered the conference, he stopped to pet Chips who promptly bit the Supreme Allied Commander on the hand.  It was the only injury the future President suffered during the war.  When one of the Angels asked Chips, years later, why he bit Ike Chips said he was trying to warn him about Nixon.

Later in 1943, during the battle of Sicily, Chips, Rowell, and their fellow soldiers were pinned down on a beach by an Italian machine gun team.  Chips broke away from Rowell ready to give his life to save his men.   He dodged his way through the machine gun fire and jumped into the nest.  He grabbed one of the enemies by the throat and wrestled him outside.  Rowell called Chips off.  The injured man’s fellow shooters surrendered.   Chips suffered a scalp laceration and powder burns, but he continued his duty.  Later that day he helped capture ten more enemy fighters.

Chips was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, and the Purple Heart, but, as everyone who has served in the military knows, the military is FUBAR and Chips was stripped of the medals because unlike bullets the medals were for humans only.

Chips was discharged in 1945 and returned to the Wren family where he quietly lived out the rest of his days.

45 years after his discharge Disney immortalize Chips when they released the movie “Chips, the War Dog.”

This week two important ceremonies occurred simultaneously.  On the mortal side of the Bridge Chips’ human brother John Wren, now 75 years old, accepted Britain’s highest honor for animal bravery, the Dicken Medal, which is the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross.  Chips has rightfully taken his place as one of the most heroic dogs to serve in the US Army.  Maybe someday the US Army will recognize him too  
And, while that was happening, I watched as Queen Victoria (the Jenna Coleman version not the Judi Dench version) herself presented a very proud Chips with the actual Victoria medal while Edward Wren, his family, and John Rowell applauded Chips and then gave him scratches and hugs.

The Angels then howled and applauded this almost forgotten dog.  Even Ike approached him to hug him but Chips growled at him because he was still upset about Nixon.  

Afterwards, at the reception, attended by FDR, and a tipsy Churchill, I personally got the thank Chips.  He told me to remember all dogs are heroes, which is very true.

We were all just happy that one of us finally got recognized for it.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Tails From Rainbow Brodge: More Silly Dog Research

I would like to introduce you to Dr. Benjamin Hart.  He is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis.  He is a former winner of the Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award.  But what he really likes to do is watch dogs eat poop.

I wonder if Dr. Hart when he was young while explaining to his parent’s why he wanted to go to veterinary school, dismissed the idea of helping animals and admitted his expensive education was only about spying dogs consuming feces.

I am sure Dr. Hart is a fantastic vet who has saved countless dogs and done critical research with great benefit to all, but I have to wonder, as so many of my friends cross the Bridge for various reasons, if all his wisdom might be put to better use than figuring out why we eat poop

I know humans have tried various remedies to break us of what they term to be a disgusting habit, although the one that would work, making poop float, they ignore.  We will eat anything that is lying around.  Jumping up and catching it is hard work.  (Actually, eating floating poop is living the dream.)

I did learn that poop eating has a name, coprophagia, which apparently hasn’t caught on since I have never heard anyone described as wearing a coprophagia grin.  I don’t know why poop eating needed its own name unless the highly educated researchers could not say “poop eating” without giggling.

It seems, after endless study, the scientists have fallen back on the all familiar conclusion: our behavior goes back to the time we were wolves in a pack.  The theory is that we consume the poop to clean our living area.  Well no coprophagia Sherlock!  

But there is a counter theory.  Some scientists believe that we eat poop because we are hungry.  WHHHHAAATTTTT?  This is why I love researchers. They waste thousands of hours and millions of dollars to find an answer that every pet parents already knows since creation.   The first dog owner, Grog, who lived in a cave in what is now Pittsburgh, saw his dog, Grog Jr, eating poop.  His wife, I Belong to Grog, said “Gross.  Why is he doing that?”

Grog said. “I don’t know.  Maybe he hungry.  At least I don’t have the clean that coprophagia up.”

Another great dog mystery has been solved.  Researchers have moved on to why we fart when you rub our tummies.


Or as researchers call it Fartmummaphummery.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

River Song and the Creature Who Lives Under the House



One night last week I was sitting with Mommy in my recliner when a familiar smell wafted up from the grates.  Pocket, who was sitting with Daddy gave me a questioning look, and then we both charged towards the vent in the kitchen where we began barking loudly.  “Oh no, not again,” Mommy said.

She had reason to be concerned.  The creatures who live under the floorboards had returned.

They arrive every year, between the holidays and springtime. They emit a smell only dogs can detect.  It is up to us to keep the monsters from crawling up and eating our disbelieving family.

That night when our parents fell asleep, I lifted Mommy’s IPad from her drawer.  Pocket and I got in the center of the bed because our parents sleep on the edges like they had both ingested permanent magnets repelling one another.   We fired up the Google and began our search.

“It could be a hippocampus,” I told Pocket.  The beast has the head of a horse and the body of a fish.  The fish part could explain the smell.  

“I don’t know,” Pocket offered.  “We are a half mile from the river.  That is a long way for a horsefish to crawl, even in our quiet neighborhood.”

“Have you considered a Mapinguari?” Pocket asked.  “It can move undetected through thick vegetation, and you know how Dad hates to cut the lawn.  It gives off a putrid stench, which we can attest to, and it emits a loud shriek.  I heard that last night.  It woke me up.”

“No,” I corrected my older sister.  “That was Daddy.  I stretched and put my paw up his butt.”  I read further about the Mapinguari and learned it hated water.  I went into the bathroom, turned on the faucet, put in the stopper, and waited for the flood water to reach the grate to flush away the Mapinguari.

I searched further.  “How about a jackalope?” I asked.  “It’s a rabbit with antlers.”

Pocket gulped.  “I wouldn’t want to meet one of those.  You know how many rabbits I have chased in my life.  That thing could turn and buck me with its antlers.  I don’t want to be bucked by a rabbit.   I couldn’t show my face at the critter catchers meeting.”

I read further.  “It says they only mate when there is lightning.  If I chew the electrical wires until they spark the jackalope might think it’s lightning, an orgy will start, and we will be safe.”  Pocket agreed, and I hopped down to chew some wires then jumped back up.

“It might be a Garmr,” Pocket said.  “It is a wolf-dog that guards the gates of hell.”

I told Pocket I would throw all the meat in the refrigerator outside.  Then the  Garmr would eat it, know we were friendly, and not attack us.  Pocket agreed.  After we completed our mission, we were tired and went to sleep.

That night the chewed wires caused a fire.  It was put out by the water from the flooded sink but caused the power to go out.  Luckily all the meat was outside in the freezing cold so it was still fresh.

Once again we had saved our parents.  And because we started the flood and the fire they didn’t have the decency to thank us.


Monday, January 22, 2018

Monday Question

What breed of dog has your parent always wanted to own but never has?

Answer:  A pug.  My parents find them to be very cute.  

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Atlas and Bosco are our January 21, 2018 Pups of the Week

I have to issue a sincere apology to my friend boxer friend Bailey who arrived at Rainbow Bridge at the same time Hattie Mae passed over.  We all concentrated on Hattie’s arrival, and Bailey did not get the tribute he deserved.

Bailey’s brother Brutus preceded him to the Bridge by eight months.  A few years before that their brother Hans made his final journey.  That made more members of the Boxer Brigade at the Bridge than at their Mom’s house.

This is part of the reason I neglected to single out Bailey for recognition.  As soon as he crossed he disappeared with his two brothers.  We would hear rumors of an urgent project the Boxer trio were undertaking, but there were no details.

Earlier this week I found an exhausted Bailey lying on the river bank.  I assembled all my ovarian fortitude to perform one of my most difficult duties:  to apologize.  When I arrived at his side, he looked at me and smiled.  “Hi Foley, I want to apologize for not being around since I arrived,” he said.  I sighed in relief.  If Bailey was going to apologize there was no reason for both of us to do it.  “Hans, Brutus and I have been working on a special project,” Bailey continued.  “We found some new Boxers for our Mom!”

This was fabulous news.  I see so many parents still suffering from an ending, which is always sad.  It fills my soul with joy when I learn of a parent who is experiencing the elation of a new beginning.

The Boxer Brigade interviewed thousands of potential dogs looking for the perfect pup.  Hans chose one, Brutus chose another one, and they left it up to Bailey to decide.  There was only one choice he could make.

The three brothers then bombarded their mom’s dreams.  It was going to a strenuous task to convince their mom to agree to their plan because Bailey had decided her pack needed two new dogs.  That was a lot for a parent to shoulder.

But their mom knew, when the notion of getting two dogs came to her, that it had to be her boys who planted the idea.

Shortly after the concept was introduced the two beautiful boxer pups the trio selected, Atlas and Bosco, joined Thor and Lola making the Boxer a pack of four again for the first time in five years.

Their mom was certainly lucky finding t two dogs who were vetted so thoroughly by her angels.  Within three days of entering the Boxer house, Atlas and Bosco were already using the doggy door like they knew why it was there.  They also knew all the games Thor and Lola enjoyed.  The fit into the pack seamlessly.

While I was talking with Bailey, Hans and Brutus joined us.  I congratulated them on finding the perfect pups for their mom.  Then I watched the three of them take off, happily running through the hills and valleys, laughing all the way, knowing they had fulfilled their duty and made their mom happy again.




They did the same for me, because I love beginnings, and the new Boxer duo are quite a beginning indeed.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: The Age of the Talking Dog is Upon Us

Humans can’t leave us alone.  Normally this makes us happy.  But there is one group of people we would prefer give us some distance:  Researchers.  (Unless the researcher is our parent and we keep the relationship strictly unprofessional.)

This group of mad scientists is now, because of advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning coming close to being able to verbalize our thoughts and needs.

Isn’t that great?  People who do little are going to turn into actual Dr. Dolittles.
Tails From Rainbow Bridge: The Age of the Talking Dog is Upon Us
Here is a secret about dogs.  It’s not that we can't communicate with you, it’s that we don’t want to do it.  Any idiot can speak.  I learned this watching C-Span.  It takes a superior intellect to communicate through smiles, head turns, and soul-searching looks from our beautiful eyes.

We have heard how you talk to one another.  “How was your day?” “Good, how was your day?” 
 “Good.”  “That’s good!”  We refer to these interactions as human barking, and we find it as annoying as your find our yelping out the window at nothing.

The researchers are secretly video recording us and feeding the tapes into an AI algorithm which will study our every move to decipher what each bark and head turn means.  But the joke is on them because most of the time we don’t know what we are talking about.

The ultimate goal is for us to be able to communicate by saying a thousand times a day “I want to eat,” or “I want to go for a walk,” which is quite a breakthrough since every pet parents know all we want to do is eat and walk.  Their next project will be an algorithm to make parents understand that every move their teenage boy make means  “I am thinking about sex.”

   One of the studies is about sheep.  Apparently, farmers can’t tell when sheep are in pain just by their facial expressions (probably because when the sheep is grimacing the farmer is behind them).  The researchers think in a short time farmers will be able to tell if their sheep is sick, scared, or just unbelievably bored because they stand in a field all die.

Eventually, this research could lead to some good.  We might be able to tell our parents when we are sick, or dogs who are aggressive and in danger of being euthanized may be able to communicate what is wrong, and with therapy, their lives could be saved.  So, this research may have benefits to our species, and if that is so then, I support their work.

Just get ready for a world where your dog doesn’t endlessly bark at you, he endlessly says “feed me.”
Such is progress.


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Pocket and the Midnight Poop


I am a dog of habit.  I need everything to be done on schedule.  If there is any change, it disrupts my delicate system.

My poop timetable is very important.  There is the morning poop which takes place when I first get up, and my midnight poop which occurs on my last trip outside.  I do reserve the right for a midday poop which may take place on a walk or at any point I want to cut it loose.

Daddy is in charge of poops.  Mommy puts it in; Daddy takes it out.  There isn’t much work to the morning poop.  If it is cold or wet, I will gladly do the morning poop on the pads.  But the midnight poop must be done outside and be precluded by a walk.

If this does not happen then the next morning, I will refuse to eat, and before I relent, I will leave a poop worthy of a Jackson Pollock painting either indoors or out, my choice, which will scare my parents into a poop studying frenzy for the next week.

In the last ten days, my Daddy and I have faced several difficult challenges to achieve the midnight poop.  There have been several days of bitter cold.  I do not like wearing jackets despite the chill.  You never see a cat in a coat.  Or, sure, sometimes you see a feral kitty in a leather jacket smoking a cigarette around the burnout tree, but domesticated cats who go outside to do their business never wear jackets.  I won’t be a bigger pussy than a cat!

It usually takes me between seven and ten driveways to poop.  For some reason the colder it is, the more steps I require.  I also like pooping in peoples’ driveways.  It is a way for me to be rebellious, and no one notices.  We live in a 55 and older community.  At midnight the regular residents have been asleep five hours.  My parents could do Swan Lake in the nude, and thankfully no one would bear witness.

My Dad insisted I wear a jacket when he took me out for my midnight poop in the blizzard.  The snow was falling sideways, the wind almost turned me into a kite, and I was up to my knees in snow, but I still took my poop.

A few days later a colossal rainstorm took away the snow.  Mommy suggested we not venture into the storm, but Daddy insisted I would get an upset tummy without my midnight poop.  We both got soaked, but the mission was accomplished.

The next night was close to zero with a bitter wind.  When Daddy took us out at 10:00 PM, I pooped.  Daddy said, “Pocket took her midnight poop early.”  

That foolish man.  The next morning we were snuggled in bed together.  He put his hand on my tummy to give me a rub and felt the mariachi band playing in my belly.  He took me out to poop right away, which I did with no distress but when I came inside, I refused my treat and breakfast.  The silly man he had a to pay the piper for ignoring the midnight poop.

I had a treat before super, and expelled the Jackson Pollock poop, looked at my Dad, said “There’s your midnight poop,” and then ate supper.  I hoped he learned his lesson that a 10:00 poop is not a midnight poop.




Really, after ten years you would think he would be trained.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Monday, January 15, 2018

Monday Question

Who is your favorite dog friend who is not on social media?

Pocket:  I don't like other dogs very much.  I tend to bark at them and chase them away.  I would say it is my cousin dogs Neely who comes to see us twice a year


River Song:  Suede, our groomer's dog.  When we both lived in Florida we had relations and I had a litter.  A girl doesn't forget her first, especially when it was her only.  (That's my story and I am sticking to it)

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Three Persistant Dogs: River (From St. Louis), Cathleen and Sophie are our January 14 2018 Pups of the Week

Saturday night I was sitting at the top of the Bridge looking over the steps that dogs climb as they complete their final journey.  It had been weeks since I had written a Pup of the Week blog that did not involve a dog’s passing.  I gave one final look to confirm there would be no new angels or broken-hearted parents to honor.


I went to my cottage, opened my computer, and began to search for an inspiring dog that I could honor.   If I couldn’t find one I would create one  Yes, it would be fake news, but no one complains about fake news when it is a happy story.


Luckily I did not have to rely on my imagination.  I quickly found some amazing dogs.  
I am glad there is more than one because the first dog is named River, like my sister, and if I titled a blog “River is our Pup of the Week,” I would scare many friends.
This River is a black lab who lives with the Beaudreau family in St. Louis’ southern county.  Last Sunday, at 2:00 AM, River, who is usually a mellow dog and sleeps through the night, poked and barked at her mom Lauren Beaudreau.  

Lauren could no get River to settle.  She took her outside, she fed her, and still, River was barking and jumping.  Lauren woke her husband, Mark.  River was preoccupied with the inside garage door.  When Mark checked it, he discovered the garage was ablaze.

The Beaudreau’s were able to get there three children, and River, outside safely before the windows blew.   Their home was severely damaged, but to the Beaudreau's all that mattered was their children and their heroic dog was safe.


I recognize the second dog for her persistence.  Her name is Cathleen.  Her family moved from Prague Oklahoma to Seminole Oklahoma, and they could not keep her.  The family gave Cathleen to a friend in Prague until they could find her new home.  


Cathleen did not agree with their decision.  In December the Grand Pyrenees took a twenty mile, six-hour walk to Seminole to find her family.  They were stunned to see Cathleen, but were still unable to keep her and returned her to their friend.  A few days later Cathleen got out of the house again and walked back to her family’s Seminole neighborhood.  The animal control officer picked her up.  The friend in Prague, who could not stop Cathleen's roaming, surrendered her to the shelter, but by then Cathleen’s determination made her a local hero with many applicants willing to give her a permanent home.  


Cathleen is now with a new family who promises never to move and not take her with them.  It is a promise they better keep because she will track them down if she does.

Finally, there is Sophie, a 13-year-old  Labrador retriever from Bryant Pond Maine who was lost during a terrible snow storm on January 4.  People searched for Sophie for days with no trace to be found.  The family came to accept that Sophie had been lost
Five days after the storm a man saw something moving inside a snowbank on a neighboring property.  When he got a closer look, he saw it was a dog.  A tractor cleared a path to the snowbank and Sophie was dug out and reunited with her family.


Three persistent dogs, one who kept barking to save her family, one who kept walking to try and be reunited with her family, and one somehow stayed alive inside a snowbank to make it home again.

Never underestimate dogs.  Our love, loyalty, and survival skills are beyond humans comprehension.  

And that’ how we like it.




I

Friday, January 12, 2018

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: The Power of One

Authors have many reasons for writing blogs.  When I was a mortal dog, and I was writing about my daily life my goal was to entertain as many souls as possible.  My sisters have stolen my idea and have tried to make a name for themselves following in my paw prints.  I allow them to do so knowing no matter how much success they may achieve they will never be as notable as the paw that made the original mark.

When you become immortal many of the issues that troubled you on the mortal side melt away.  Like all bloggers, I would sneak a peek at how many “hits” I achieved from my last post.  I measured my success by the number of comments I received.  But now there is only a single number I care about:  One.

On Sunday I wrote about Ginger Lynn. I imagined my regular readers would bypass the blog because they did not know the subject.  That was fine.  All I wanted was for Ginger’s dad to read it and be helped.

I didn’t write about Ginger because I thought it was a good story, or world bring me notice, or be entertaining.  I wrote about her for the most underrated reason of all.  Because it was kind.

Kindness seems to be in low supply on the mortal side.  As I watch over the world, I see cruelty, insensitivity, selfishness, immaturity, and hate growing throughout the land.  Social media, which should be an incredibly useful tool to help us understand one another, is where these negative behaviors thrive.  People worry that technology will someday bring them hell on Earth.  When I check Twitter, I wonder if it has already taken hold.

We dogs are born happy, loving and loyal and stay that way unless a human changes us.  I wonder if humans are born the same way or with the negative emotions ruling.  I think the latter might be true given how much of it I see bubbling up during trying times.

I am asking humans, during these dark and volatile times, to make an effort to be kind and if you aren’t make amends.  If you strive to do that with one person a day, the mortal world will be more livable.

I understand I may be barking to the choir.  It has been my experience that dog owners are kinder than non-dog owners.  Every dog teaches their parents to put love and devotion above all else.  It is stupefying to me that there are so many dogs without homes since we have such a positive effect on humans.

There is nothing more valuable than showing kindness.  The reward for doing so will bring you enough joy to push those bad emotions away.





And will bring you close to the perfect zen that is dog.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

River and the Blizzard

I have already written about my hatred of snow, but last Thursday the snow struck back.

Daddy got up first and took Pocket outside to pee.  I have no problem admitting that Pocket handles the snow better than I do, despite being less than half my size.  She was raised by Foley who refused to fear anything, including the weather.  If Pocket declined to go outside because of snow Foley would laugh at her the rest of the day.  
Pocket is kinder than Foley and knows if she laughs at me I will use my size advantage to quiet her quickly.  So I have no sibling pressure to go outside in the terrible weather.

Pocket will also pee anywhere, and when she went out the back porch door, she smartly peed on the landing and hurried back inside.  Daddy brought Pocket back inside and told Mommy he thought I should use the pee pads in the hallway but Mommy said he should try to take me outside, because I tend to take massive morning pees that cover half the pad, without realizing there was 50 MPH winds and snow falling two inches an hour.  Daddy knows enough not to argue with Mommy, so he took me outside.

When we got on the porch, I could already feel the cold sinking into my bones.  Daddy tried to open the front door, but the wind caught it and pushed us backward. He took me out the back door on to the landing where Pocket peed, and I just looked at him with my “Bitch, are you for real?” look.  Daddy quickly brought me back inside and told Mommy I wasn’t going outside.  She was not happy but knew when to relent.

After we ate breakfast, Daddy went outside with the new snowblower to try and keep ahead of the storm.  He started it, pushed it ten feet, and it died never to start again.  How could my Mom think I could survive in a storm that kills new machinery?

Since this was the first time Daddy used the snow thrower he called the company to inquire why it didn’t work.  The woman who answered the phone asked him what the weather was like and he said it was cold and snowing.  “The machine does not work well in those conditions,” she told him.  Typical of Daddy, he bought a snow remover that only works when it is 60 degrees and dry.  The woman said they would send him a new one so he will be covered for those summertime snows.

Daddy tried to shovel but whenever he cleaned an area the wind and snow covered it again.  He came inside and called someone he found online to plow, but it wouldn’t be to the next day.  We all hunkered down inside as the storm dumped 17 inches of snow on my tiny homes.

The next day Daddy called Plow Man but did not get an answer.  Much to Mommy’s chagrin he decided he could shovel, and had made good progress when Plow Man called to say he as on his way.  Daddy insisted he could finish, but Mommy said she would rather he didn’t die in the driveway.  She would then have to pay Plow Man and the Undertaker man.

Plow Man showed up and asked for $60.00 to clear our small driveway.  Once he was paid, he made one pass with the plow leaving barely enough room to open the car doors and took off into the frigid air.  Daddy had to go back out with the shovel and widen the driveway so he could get out.

As for me, when the sun was up, I would pee outside, even when the temperature dipped below the zero mark, but once it became dark, I had no intention of stepping into the cold and dark.  I anticipated when our pee time was and hurried to the pads to urinate before I was asked to go outside.  On Monday the weather warmed, and Daddy shoveled a spot on the grass, and I began to cooperate in peeing outside again.  

But it is early in the season, and I am sure the battle of the pee pads will continue through the season.


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Beat This Caption



I told you I was wearing this! Why did you wear the same thing! I am so embarrassed. Just stand here and hope no one notices

Monday, January 8, 2018

Monday Queston

What are your feelings about snow or the cold?

Pocket:  I don't like snow but I don't mind the cold.  I still go for a late night poop on the coldest nights.  I poop faster on those nights but I still walk.


River Song:  I want nothing to do with any of it.  I won't do my business outside unless there is grass.  Wake me when spring comes

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Ginger Lynn is our January 7, 2018

Recently I have been hijacking my parents Facebook account and visiting the Rainbow Bridge Dogs group.  There are multiple posts daily from parents who have just lost their pups and are grieving with every fiber of their souls.  I tell the parents that I met their babies at the Bridge, and they are young and healthy again, they will visit their broken-hearted parents as flying birds or butterflies, the parents will see their pups in their dreams, and sometimes, just out of the corner of their eye.

Occasionally a post contained so much sorrow I become worried about the author, such as the words written by Daddy Roc, who lost his beloved Ginger Lynn to cancer suddenly in November.

I met, and swore in, Ginger on the day she crossed.  I was enamored with her the first time I laid eyes on her.  A lovely girl.  Of course, she is a Yorkie.  There is something so special about that breed.  She was like looking in a mirror.

Immediately she told me about concerns regarding her Dad.  I assured her that his journey through grief’s road would be horrific, but he was strong, and he would surely come out on the other side whole.

Six weeks later Ginger and I were sitting on the river bank watching the water and worrying about her Dad.  He comes on the Rainbow Bridge page every day and leaves a message for his sweet girl.  There is still an overabundance of sorrow conveyed in his writings.  Ginger is frustrated she can’t answer assure him she is here.  I admitted that I could.  She climbed all over me, licking and pawing at me.  I am a little off put by the affection, but I understood.

So, if I may, I would like to address myself to Daddy Roc.  I  know you miss Ginger Lynn.  I have been friends with her for only six weeks, and I would long for her if she left me.  Please understand she is not gone.  She is somewhere that you can’t access.  I know, that is as bad as being gone, but know in your heart that she still exists, sharply barking, wagging her little tail, softly licking, looking at her friends with eyes that appear to be peering into your very soul, and making everyone smile.  It is hard to believe but how would I know all these details about her if I hadn’t just seen her and touched her soft hair?

Once you have accepted that Ginger still exists your mind will open to the possibility of her returning, just not in a form you recognize.  The only creatures who can fly between the mortal and immortal lands are those born with wings.  Sometimes we angels convince our flying friends to borrow their bodies and visit our parents, as birds butterflies, or other agreeable souls.

Someday soon I hope you see a winged creature who shouldn’t be there, or when spring a butterfly who is lingering with you, and you think that it might be Ginger.  When that day comes, you will progress to believing it could be her, and then finally accepting it is her.  When my parents see a butterfly in their yard, they say “Hi Foley.”  The neighbors used to think it was strange but now they say “Hi Foley,” too.
The same holds true for unexplained bumps in the night or something you see out of the corner of your eye.  Ginger is striving hard to make herself known to you.  But you have to believe first.  

And she will be visiting you in your dreams.  If you awaken with your heart feeling light know Ginger was there.

She also has an assignment.  You need to keep going forward, not because it is easy, but because it is difficult and painful.  You are still in the early stages of your journey through grief.  Ginger needs you to keep going forward for her, to take care of her children and siblings, until you finish your journey.  In the end, you will find a dog you love almost as much as you love Ginger.  You and that dog will rebuild your heart.
Ginger wants you, and all grieving parents, to open their hearts, their minds and to believe.  

Endings are so terribly sad, but beginnings are joyful.  We hope you are close to the beginning than the end.




And most of all Ginger wants you to know she loves you very much.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: Happy New Year

At Rainbow Bridge, we don’t recognize the New Year.  When you are living for eternity marking days serves no purpose.  But we do like to have a celebration when our humans do, and we have a feast to give thanks for the friends and family who did not join us the in the immortal word the previous year.

We all toasted Angel Apollo, the most famous angel dog rescuer at the Bridge,  His mom helps him rescue hundreds of dogs, and they both work on finding the perfect homes for the pups.  This week not only did Apollo and his mom find a home for one of her rescues, Barry, but when Barry’s new parents saw how close their new dog was with fellow rescue Maurice, who had been deemed unadoptable because Maurice does not like being touched or receive attention, and how upset he was to see Barry going, they rescued him too.  Maurice was one of the most unlikely dog rescues of the year, and we howled at Apollo in appreciation.

Pintus lead us in our New Year’s Resolutions which all had to do with spending more time with our parents.  It can be discouraging because our parents don’t know we are there but we do think that at some level they can tell.  Pintus then passed around some special tequila, and we all toasted him, did a shot, and gave thanks that we were immortal and did not have to worry about our livers.  

Misha announced that the only way to fight off the dulling effect from a shot of tequila was to run through the hills.  She jumped down and ran, followed by others, some of whom underestimated the power of tequila and ran straight into the trees.  I went over and sat next to Morgan the Miracle Maltese who had spent an exhausting week making sure the tumor found on his brother Jackson was benign.  He was successful in his effort, and we took a drink to give thanks.

There were big plates of chicken and mashed potatoes passed around.  I took my share and passed them on.  Then I got hit in the forehead with a spoonful of mashed potatoes.  I looked up to see Otie Campbell laughing at me.  I threw potatoes back and him, and suddenly a fun filled food fight broke out.  The great thing about dog food fights is that we don’t waste the food.  We are dogs:  We don’t mind eating the food off the ground or even off one another.

When the bell in the big church clanged midnight, we all cheered, and Pepsi and I shared a quick kiss before she went dancing with her mom.

I looked over the Bridge and saw it was clear of traffic and said a prayer that it would stay that way for a long time.

That is the Angel’s prayers.  The answer has never come back in the affirmative but we Angels have lots of time to pray so we will continue to repeat no matter how futile.



To you mortal, I wish a happy, safe and Bridge free New Year

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Pocket and the Secret Words

It is time for New Year’s resolutions, some of which I endeavor to keep before the final sunsets on 2018.

I am resolving to make my parent's life easier.  While on my walks, or looking out my back window, I bark at any person, dog, or cat I see, and sometimes I bark just to hear to my own melodious tone.  I do not vow to cease my barking, but I am willing to cooperate with my parents’ wishes that the noise is quieted.

Every dog has certain words that, when heard, immediately makes them stop barking.
Unfortunately, all the words that make me stop barking are racist.  When we are on walks, and my Dad is afraid my barking will cause the neighbors to complain, he will scan his surroundings to confirm there is no one within earshot and softly say one of the magic racist terms to stop my vocal expression.


Inevitably there will be someone behind a house who hears my Dad imploring me to stop barking via the secret word and that person will amble over to him and say “what did you call me?”  Daddy will explain to the stranger that he was trying to make us stop barking.  The person will look down at us and say “They don’t seem to be barking.”  That is when we have to save him from a certain beating by using our awesome power of cuteness.

But some people are not persuaded even by cuteness.  So we had to change our ways.  We have developed not just new words, but phrases that will make us not only stop barking but faithfully heal.  And I am going to let you know these phrases in case you would like to use them too.  They are:  

“Attention citizens:  I am here to announce that I am a registered sex-offender.”

“I just took a big poopy in my pants, and I don’t care.”

And: “I’m a lumberjack, and I’m OK.  I sleep all night and work all day.  I like to dress up in ladies’ clothing and hang around in bars!”

With such a wide array of phrases, I am sure my Dad will keep us quiet on our walks, and my resolution will be successful.

If not it is his fault.



Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Weekly Question

What is your New Year's Resolution?
Pocket:  For the tenth year my New Year's Resolution is not to pee in the house.  One of these years it has to stick.
River:  While I plan to be happier than ever this year I am going to try to hide it better.  No more of me always looking like I am overjoyed, like this for example.  I don't want to embarrass myself.