Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Monday, September 17, 2018

Monday Question

Have you ever, by accident, or even on purpose, nip a human?

Pocket:  Nope, never.

River Song  Yep, twice.  Both times Pocket and I were fighting.  I gave Mommy a small nip and bit Daddy hard right on the fingernail which made his finger swell and was quite painful.  Ooops.   

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Fallon is our September 16, 2018 Pup of the Week

We stand up to cancer!  We fight it, we raise money to research it, sometimes we even wrestle it to a draw.  But in the end, it either wins or something else takes us, before cancer can finish the job.

The list of angels whose mortal life ended because of cancer would fill 1,000,000 blogs.  This week another cancer warrior, Fallon, joined us.

Fallon battled the cancer demon with such ferocity that I thought she would escape its evil grasp.  She surrendered her front leg to the cause and continued onward with her life like a tick had been removed, not a limb.  Every soul who knew Fallon rooted for her with all their spirit. Sadly, we are only given so many heartbeats, and those can be robbed from us.  Nothing steals heartbeats like cancer.

A little less than a year ago, at age 11, Fallon was diagnosed with osteosarcoma and given a devastating prognosis.  Her parents had two options: Amputation or Rainbow Bridge. Fallon was in pain from the tumor, but she was courageous and enthusiastic.  Her parents could not send her to the Bridge when she was in high spirits. The decision was made to amputate.

How would a greyhound, who loved to run, like Fallon adapt to losing her front leg?  The answer was swimmingly. Fallon, no longer in pain from the tumor, barely noticed the missing limb.  She was back to being the dog her parents remembered before cancer affected their baby.

Fallon would stay with her parents past her twelfth birthday.  There were wins and losses, as there always are with cancer. Shortly after her birthday, the stolen heartbeats exceeded the remaining ones.    Her parents had fought, along with Fallon, so hard against cancer, and it was hard to accept the battle was ending. When you have a sick dog their health becomes the center of your life.  Without having Fallon's struggles to concentrate on, Fallon’s parents would be adrift. But, they loved their girl, and, despite the pain it caused them, they sent her free.

Meanwhile, on our side of the River of Life, we waited for Fallon to arrive.  We didn’t see her, but the dust cloud caused by all four of her paws digging into the ground and pushing off, as she flew through the air, enjoying running like she had when she was a puppy, could be seen for miles.

She ran past all of us awaiting her and kept going, over the fields, through the meadows, into the hills, and over the mountains.   She was enjoying having the legs, hearts, and lungs of a young dog again, but also running away from the sorrow of losing her parents.  We dogs do run from pain, and Fallon felt a tremendous amount after leaving her parents, so she kept going. Fallon heard pounding paws next to her and turned to see her sister Willow, who had arrived at the Bridge previously, alongside.  The former greyhound racers challenged one another. Willow was the better runner, but she kept dropping back to keep her sister nearby.

We waited for hours as Fallon kept trying to run the pain away until she and Willow finally joined us, We gave her wings in case she wanted to fly and watched the sisters soar together even faster than they ran.

That night Willow took Fallon to see their parents, which eased her sister’s pain.  Unfortunately, humans are not allowed to see their angels. We pray for their parents, so they can somehow overcome their anguish.

Maggie, who joined their pack after Willow went to the Bridge, can see her angel sisters, and she is being taught how to make her parents smile.   Willow and Fallon are confident that Maggie is the dog to do it.

Willow and Fallon want their parents to know, if they ever see small clouds in a row, they were caused by their two greyhounds, running hard across the sky.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Bretagne, the Last 9/11 Dog to Arrive at Rainbow Bridge Remembers Those Left Behind

September 11 is an emotional day for everyone, in both the mortal and immortal worlds.  I was still a pup, two months past my first birthday, on that terrible day. My parents were working.  Blake and I were asleep in our bedroom, oblivious to what was happening 200 miles to the south. When our parents got home, we knew something terrible had occurred.

Our parents took us to the state mental hospital across the street from our condo.  It was a beautiful day, the sky a vivid blue. Blake and I began our walk, scampering over the green grass, and we both turned to give our parents broad smiles, and for just a few seconds, everything was okay.

Every year, at Rainbow Bridge, we hold a remembrance ceremony to mark that horrible day.  There are several speakers, some who became eternal angels that day, some who were already here, and explained how the immortal world shook as it expanded to welcome so many new souls, and some who worked Ground Zero looking in vain for any surviving humans.

They are all at the Bridge now.  Every dog who ran into the buildings, or searched for remains, has become immortal.  

The last 911 dog to cross the Bridge was Bretagne who lived 16 years and arrived in 2016.  He was our guest speaker. He looked out at the assembled angels both, dogs, and humans, and began.

“Today we honor the dogs who worked so hard to help the victims of the 911 attacks.  They are now all here, and they may be luckier than the humans left behind.
“Those first responders, who ran into the fire or worked on the heap for months searching for remains and removing debris, have developed cancer at an alarming rate.  No wonder, since over 400 tons of asbestos was used to build the Twin Towers, and all of it turned to dust, that was inhaled by the workers.

“The human Congress, after a long fight, established the 911 Victims Compensation Fund to pay for the medical expenses of those first responders who developed cancer and other medical problems after the attacks.  Each year more people have filed claims after being diagnosed, and the VCF has to be increased, which leads to fighting in Congress This past year the number of claimants has risen by 36% as almost 35,000 more cases were filed.  Also, sadly, the number of deceased claims from families who lost someone who worked at Ground Zero nearly doubled to 720 from last year.

“I know humans have things they don’t want to pay taxes for, planned parenthood on one side of the aisle, a wall on the other side of the aisle, but does anyone want to say to my colleagues who worked in a literal death pit filled with asbestos for months searching for trace matters of people so their relatives would have something to bury,  that they cannot have their medical expenses paid, or be compensated for the salaries of loved ones who are too sick to work, or worse, have crossed over? Yet every time the fund needs to be increased the number of nay votes grows. If I or any other dog who worked at Ground Zero was sick, or in a shelter, people who gladly send us money. Not that I am complaining but why do people treat dogs better than humans?
“88,484 first responders have registered with the World Trade Center Health Fund, and of that group 10,000 have cancer.  That number grows every day. The period from exposure to asbestos to becoming sick is up to 16 years so the butcher’s bill will be due soon.  It is estimated that every three days someone, either a first responder, a survivor, a person who lived in the area, a volunteer, or a member of the trade union died from World Trade Center-related illnesses.  

“2,996 people died during the 911 terrorist attacks, but that isn’t the final number, it grows weekly.  We say never forget but why have so many of the survivors been forgotten.”

Bretagne stepped away from the podium, saluted the flag, and lay down on the green grass.  He mortal work may be done, but he is still trying to save humans.

He is a figure for us all to emulate and we must not forget the brave colleagues who worked with him and are now suffering.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

River Introduces WAGZ, the new App for Dogs

I, River Song, am ready to make a significant announcement.  Before the end of the year my creation, WAGZ, the first app just for dogs, will be on the market and soon change your life.  

WAGZ is an interactive app where dogs can both post information and read the same.  It is going to change the way we dogs do everything.

Do you get tired of walking with your nose to the ground looking for the scent of a friend’s pee-mail?  With WAGZ your days of time-consuming sniffing are over. All you have to do is download the app at a cost of just a few kibble,  take your phone with you on walks, or, if your parents belong to the close-minded few who don’t believe dogs should have cell phones, download the app on their phone, then, when you have something to report, just bark what you want to be posted and the app will recognize your voice.  WAGZ will post your message on the network.

Per example:  I urinate then bark “I have just peed an important update by the big rock at 156 Natick Drive.”  All my friends on the WAGZ network will get a notification that I left important information at that place.  When they go on their walks, they don’t have to sniff everywhere looking for my message. They can walk with their heads up, enjoying the scenery, and not use all that energy needlessly sniffing.  When they come to the rock at 156 they can, with just one smell, download my message.

WAGZ is not just for pee-mail.  It is going to revolutionize the critter hunting business.  If all the dogs in your neighborhood have`the WAGZ app and they see a squirrel, they can notify you by sending out a Rocky Alert.  There is no longer the need to sit on alert looking for vermin. A simple text will get you out of the chair and barking hysterically within seconds of the squirrel spotting.

You can also let your friends know when you are going on your walk so they will know exactly when you will be walking past and can bark hello for 87 minutes.
What is that noise outside the window?  A visitor, the UPS driver, the postal delivery, or just a branch?  No need to run to the door. Just check the WAGZ app from the comfort of your bed.  

WAGZ allows you to have more time on your mom’s lap, or to lie in the sun, and less time staring out the window.

If your parents are Amish, app illiterate, or just plain weird, and refuse to give you access to a phone, don’t cry.  Just pee. When one of our WAGZ users finds your pee-mail, they will send out a message to your friends so they can get an app notification with your pee update.

You can program WAGZ to do anything you want.  Have you found a delicious new treat? Let your friends know about WAGZ.   Do you want to brag about how quickly you destroyed a stuffie? WAGZ is the way to go.  Once you use WAGZ, you will wonder how you ever survived without it.

WARNING:  WAGZ is addictive.  Your parents may complain that instead of spending time with them you have your nose in the cell phone all the time.  If this happens to you bark this message to them on WAGZ.

“Now you know how we feel.”

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Beat This Caption

Brutus, enjoy your time in the bed with Summer, but, when I tell her I saw you sniffing Penelope's but I will be the one in the bed and you will be stuck on this stinking towel.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Monday Quesiton

Do your parents ever leave you for overnight or longer and where do you stay?  If your parents don't leave you do they have an emergency plan if they have to leave you?

Pocket:  Our Mommy has not left us in years.  If they have to we would go to her daughter's Kim's house.  I haven't stayed there since I was a puppy and ma not looking forward to having to do it again so we are hoping there are no emergencies. 

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Mia is our September 9, 2018 Pup of the Week

I dread whenever a friend crosses Rainbow Bridge.  I know their humans are going to be heartbroken and lost.  A dog is constant. We are always home. We want to be by your side.  Our parents pour so much of their love into us and receive an equal amount in return the when we pass the poor dears are left with an excess amount of love to give, and an infinitesimal amount in return.

My dread is tripled when a pup bounds across the Bridge, climbs the stairs to Hobo’s bluff, greets me with a hearty hello, tells me how great it is to see me again, and I stand there with a befuddled look on my face.  That happened this week when Mia, a lovely chocolate lab, crossed from the mortal world.

She kissed me and said she was happy to finally meet me for real.  I smiled at her, looked down at the paperwork, saw it said Mia and tried to think of a Mia I knew.  “Don’t you remember me?” she asked.  I made a noise like I was losing at tug of war. 

  “From Doggyspace.  You remember Jack, Mia and Phoebe don’t you?”

Oh!  Jack, Mia, and Phoebe, of course, I remembered.  That was the problem with groups of dogs on DS.  Their names ran together. Jackmiaphoebe. Mia got lost in the middle.  I threw my arms around her and gave her a big kiss.  “How have you been?” I asked excitedly.

“Not too well,” Mia said.  “I recently got sick, and my mom couldn’t stand to see me suffering so she sent me here so I could be young and whole again.”
I have to stop asking new arrivals how they have been.  I told Mia that I was very sorry and promised to teach her all the angel tricks she could use to see her mom again, and possibly, if she were lucky, her mom could see her too.

Then I introduced Mia to all the dogs that Momma Alice loved before Mia arrived.  I left them alone as they hugged, cried, and talked about how much they adored their mom.  Then they began playing, because Mia is a chocolate lab, and they can’t go long without running.  Mia was happy to discover she could run for hours without getting tired. She and her new pack chased each other until the sun went down.

When they were done, Mia’s pack brought her to their new house, a replica of the place they lived in Melbourne Australia.  I followed them home then told Mia to shut her eyes and let me take her by the paw.  I brought her to the Doggyspace town square where her angel friends, Tommy Tunes, Morgan, Apollo, and so many others had come together to honor Mia with a big welcoming dinner.

We ate, drank and celebrated Mia’s arrival deep into the night.  We did this because we love a good party and to keep Mia’s mind off the sadness.  But, on the walk home, I could feel her despair growing. When we reached her house, I gave her a package of the tears her mom had cried over Mia’s passing.  I told her to sprinkle them in her garden, and her flowers would be the most beautiful at the Bridge.

Mia said she was exhausted and wanted to lie down, but then her door burst open from the inside and her pack surrounded her and said they were going to visit their mom.  They gave Mia her wings, and she joined them as they flew towards the moon where they would enter their mom’s dreams.

Mia was learning that an angel is always kept busy because when you are idle you get to missing people and that makes you sad.

If only we could all keep going all the time and never miss anyone.  That would be a wonderful thing.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Foley Teaches Humans About Their Imaginary Eye

I have received permission, because my readers are the most loving pet parents in the world, and, it has been noted, by some very important souls here at the Bridge, that many of them are grieving a lost pet, to let them know that a new way has been discovered for them to see their angels after they go to the Bridge.

All parents have to do to see their angels is to activate their imaginary eye.

Humans are born with an imaginary eye.  When they are infants and toddlers, they use it frequently.  They can see invisible friends, unicorns, and anything else they can create.  Young children are regularly telling their parents not to sit in a spot because their friend is there.  Their parents humor them because their imaginary eye has been extinguished.
This process begins when children go to school.  That is where students are introduced to facts. During this process, they learn the difference between fact and fiction.  Fact is real. Fiction is not. The imaginary eye, which the body uses to create fiction, begins to be diminished.

The downside of an imaginary eye is that no one else can see what you see, even if their imaginary eye is fully activated.  Your imaginary eye only sees what you imagine, and no two humans can imagine the same thing at once.

The imaginary eye stays strong in single children, or those who are lonely, but slowly, as they grow older, they let the adult voices tell them that imaginary things are for little kids, and humans lose their valuable sixth sense:  Imagination.

But I am writing this to get you to reactivate this valuable tool.  What you have to do will seem simple, but is quite hard. You are going to have to believe:  Believe that you can see things, like a beloved pup, sleeping on your sofa, or striding next to you, when no one else can.  To do this, you are going to have to tap into your faith. That is what makes you believe things that can’t possibly be true are real.  If you can find your faith, you can activate your belief system and see it all.

The trained part of your mind is going to keep telling you that it is silly and childish.  Ignore it. When you are ready to close your eyes and picture your angel, then open your eyes and look around, to a piece of furniture, or the floor, or a car seat, wherever you want, and then picture your angel there.

When you do that we will appear, looking up at you.  I bet our tails are going to be going a mile a minute.

I know, there are downsides to the imaginary eye.  If the loss of your pup is still fresh seeing them with your imaginary eye can be a painful reminder, since none of the other senses, smell, hearing, touch, or taste, are activated by the eye.  But, if you can master your imaginary eye, you will be able to see your baby again.

Speaking for the angels, I can assure you that we are hoping you can use your imaginary eye, so we can see you looking at us with a heart full of love.   We would love to see it again.

As my good friend Mr. Wonka said:
“There is no life I know
To compare with pure imagination
Living there, you'll be free, if you truly wish to be”

Let yourself believe, open your eyes, and see us.  Then let our love wash over you. 
And don’t let anyone tell you we are not there.  They are just blind to the possibilities of imagination and should be pitied.

Hopefully, you will see us soon.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Pocket Reflects on Turning Eleven

Somehow, I have reached my eleventh birthday.  Through bad teeth, irritable bowels, food allergies, impacted anal glands, luxating patellas, collapsing tracheas, skipped meals, ghastly poops, and general malaise I have officially begun my twelfth trip around the sun.

When I was young and went through several sick periods, my parents did not expect me to see this day.  When Foley left unexpectedly, they became slightly obsessive about my health, because they did not want to go through the heartbreak again, and they love me.

I know, at 11, no longer a pup but not quite a senior, that I have more yesterdays than tomorrows, and that is fine.  I scared my parents when it took me just short of two weeks to recover from having a giant’s finger poking around in my rectum. Two days after I was violated my irritable bowel, angry over my treatment, flared up, leaving me finicky about food, and uncomfortable, for 24 hours as my tummy rolled like the Bering Sea.  I also expelled a poop that resembled a Hieronymus Bosch painting of a crime scene.  As always, given time and pumpkin, I bounced back. After a week of ignoring my little red ball, which I usually chased with abandon each morning, I dropped it at Daddy’s feet yesterday and barked until he threw it.  Little Pocket was back!

 There was a time, although it seems unfathomable, that I was even smaller, a two-pound puppy who fit in Daddy’s pocket, hence the name.  I was introduced on social media at ten months, despite the objections of Foley, who was becoming a star and did not want her little sister sharing the limelight.  Foley said I could not go on Doggyspace until I was fully housetrained.  After a few weeks, Mommy overruled this regulation.  Thank God!  When it comes to house training, I am nearly there.

When Foley went to the Bridge, she left me to manage the Tanner Brigade and our blog.  Foley was a constant presence on the site, trying to make sure every member was happy.  I am less intense.  I want everyone to have fun, but leave them be, and ask that the last one out hits the lights.

I lived six years with Foley, and I am now beginning my sixth year with River.  It doesn’t seem possible I could live with River longer than Foley.  When she was here, Foley was clearly the boss. When River arrived, twice my size, we tussled over who would be the pack leader, before I stepped aside with a sigh.  I am a snuggler, not a leader.   I can still show River my ferocious side when I am angry.  Otherwise, I give my sister a wide berth.  That resting bitch face of hers turns into a real bitch face in a hurry.

My birthday passed quietly.  We didn’t have a party because I don’t play with toys, except my ball, and any stuffies would be ignored, although River would be happy if September 4 were her second birthday.  And since my tummy only allows pumpkin, turkey kibble, low sodium turkey breast, bacon treats, and an occasional bite of chicken, cakes or treats, while appreciated, are not practical, although River would beg to differ.

What I wanted for my birthday was normalcy.  A snuggly morning in bed with my parents, a good poop, a healthy appetite, an intense game of chase with my ball, my choice of two warm laps, a walk where I can bark at all my neighbors, and more snuggling.  To me an average day is heaven.

I am hoping, for this trip around the sun, that there is no turbulence or drama, but if it occurs, and it is bound too, that’s okay, that’s just life, and I am going to continue, thanks to my parents and my friends, live it happily, as I look out the window as this fascinating planet continues it’s journey forever and anon.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Beat This Caption

Everyone get out of my way.  I am late for work.   Oh no!  I'm behind a school bus!  I hate when summer ends and the kids go back to school.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Monday Question

Do your parents work?  If they do, what do they do, and if not, what did they do before they retired?

Pocket:  My Dad was a public housing manager until he retired five years ago.  Daddy know works part times doing in-store sales for Blue Buffalo which means free food!  Mommy retired from being a teacher's assistant in 2011 and is now a full-time dog mom which is good because we need one.  

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Jake is our September 2 2018 Pup of the Week

A dog’s life is always too short, but a dog and their parents should have at least ten years together.  Anything less is tragic.
This week my friend Jake came to Rainbow Bridge after just under six years with his parents.  That’s barely a blink of an eye. But Jake made an impression that will never be forgotten.

It was shortly after Amber, who was known for the famous goggles w\she wore while riding with her dad went to the Bridge that Jake joined Momma Carola’s household.  Amber had been a quiet, well-behaved dog. Jake would be a challenge.

It had taken a while between Amber’s passing and Jakie’s arrival.  There was a new job, and a new house, before Amber’s parents were ready to adopt a pup.  Angel Morgan and Jackson’s Momma Jane was fostering Jake, who seemed perfect. Once they were situated Amber’s parents adopted Jake.

On Jake’s first walk with his new parents, he went into their friend’s house and promptly pooped.  That was a sign of things to come.  Next came a benign skin tumor and an anal gland infection.  Then his legs began to betray him causing him to hobble.  He was put on steroids, and the doctor hoped the problem would work itself out.

Perhaps, because of his health issues, Jake became aggressive.  He snapped at his mommy’s nephew and growled at a nice senior woman.  He was a terror on walks as he pulled and barked. His parents tried a citronella collar and a Gentle Leader to no avail.  On his walks, Jake had what his mom termed a “demonic fit” by barking and spinning. He snapped at a woman, barked at everything and began chewing his fur causing sores.  Jake was not quiet Amber.

A lot of parents would have written Jake off as a foster failure, but his folks refused.  Jake was their dog for better or worse, and since they were getting a lot of the worse, they believed better days were ahead.

And they were.  Little by little Jake became a success story.  He finally was a happy little dog his parents could enjoy, with a bit of spunk.

Parents that adopt are the best.  Who knows if Jake ever would have found a forever home if he wasn’t adopted by Momma Carolla and her husband, Charlie?  The rewards adoptive parents get are many, but what they lose is time, and in five years Jake already showed signs of aging.

The dementia monster attacked Jake robbing him of his memory; then he became incontinent, his leg problems returned, he was diagnosed with Cushing’s Disease, and had gone deaf.  His parents knew Jake was no longer Jake and the only way to return him to his former, happy self and that was to let him go.

I could tell, as Jake was crossing the Bridge, that he was loved by many souls because the clouds brought human tears that drenched us.  Then the sun came out, and Jake ran over the Bridge, up the stairs to the recently named Hobo’s Bluff where I swear in the new angels, and then past me, across the fields, and up to the mountains, barking all the way.

Jake was feeling young again, and with that came the mischievous personality he had suppressed for so long.  I knew exactly who could manage Jake. I whistled for Benjamin, the Sheriff of Fun, and told him that he and Brody had a new member of their happy pack.  Benjamin watched Jake running around and wondered out loud if even he could contain the ultimate free spirit, but then he stopped thinking. He and Brody chased after Jake barking all the way.

When Jake stopped for a minute to watch his parents on Tunes’ vision, he was shocked to see how upset they were.  Jake realized he was the one who had brought light into his house. He was as essential to a happy home as the roof and windows.  Jake was missing from his house now, and coming so closely after Amber’s passing, it hit his parents hard. Jake put his paw on the screen and promised that he would think of something to make them happy again. Momma Carola, if you wake up one morning and don’t feel sad know that Jake had been in your dreams, staring at you with those beautiful dark eyes and then dancing around just to lighten your heart.

Please don’t worry about your baby.   We angels are taking care of him. And he will soon take care of you.