Monday, December 31, 2018

Monday Question

What is your new year's resolution?

Pocket:  To be quieter.  To, when I pee inside to make sure I am on the pads.  To try not to be a bother.


River Song:  To continue being perfect.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Duffus is our December 30, 2018 Pup of the Week


I gave the angel oath to what I hope will be my last angel of 2018 a few days before Christmas. His name, Duffus, was familiar to me, but so many names are. During a clear night, I went to Hobo’s landing and saw the new angel crossing the bridge.  Your first night at Rainbow Bridge is like your first night at college. You're on your own scared, excited for the new adventures ahead of you, and missing your parents.


When the new angel drew closer the faint bells of recognition rang somewhere far away.  It wasn't until he was in front of me and I got a good look at his face that I realized I knew him. "Duffus," I said in recognition.


He recoiled, like a recruit who expected to be hazed by his training officer.  I recognized the anxious, fearful look. It was Pocket's default face. "No," I said, gently touching his paw.  "Your mom named you Duffus. It is here on my paperwork." I showed it to him. Relief spread across his muzzle.
"Do you remember me?" I asked.  "Foley Monster, from Doggyspace."


"Yes," he said, as his tail began to wag.  "Of course, it's been so long. I am happy I know someone here."


"You know more dogs than just me.  Tommy Tunes is here, Hattie Mae, McDougal, and many more.  There is also a real Doggyspace village where we all live near one another and keep each other company."


"That's great," Duffus said, then he furrowed his brow.  "Oh no, all those parents I came to know and love. They must all be heartbroken."


"They were, and some still are.  Parents always carry the pain of our loss. You can help ease your parent's burden by finding a new dog and training him to act the way your parents want.  If your parents decide they want a pup you can slip into their dreams and tell them where to find the one you picked. If not, you'll learn how to ease your parents' burden in other ways.”

Duffus looked eager to learn these lessons. "I am so happy to have found you and my other friends here.  I was sure I would be lonely. I just wish, when we were mortals, we could have kept in touch. “


"It's that darn Facebook," I responded.  “Our parents went there because the site was supposed to bring folks together, but it drives them apart.  Whether you have 50 friends or 5,000, you see the same people's posts every day. If you are friends with someone but miss a few of their posts, you have to search to find them or miss what is happening with your friends.   They become like driftwood floating away from the shore. It's not like the old Doggyspace where you saw everyone’s posts. Those were good times” Duffus nodded.


Then we turned and began to walk towards Doggyspace village where Duffus would renew friendships with hundreds of friends.


I took one look back at the Bridge.  I hoped it would be the last time I saw it this year.  Then I prayed that the next year would be a damn sight better than the last one with not as many friends crossing the Bridge.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Foley Recounts Christmas Morning With Her Angel Family


Christmas morning broke crisp and clear here at Rainbow Bridge.  I could hear commotion in the living room. I got up and followed the sound.   Skye, a little black Yorkipoo, who came to the Bridge as a puppy in 2006, and into our lives when my parents saw his picture and fell in love with him, even though they knew he came from Lancaster Pennsylvania, home of some of the worst breeders in the world.  (Thank you, Amish, they can build a barn-like nobody’s business, but they can’t make a shelter for the breeding dogs). My parents knew Skye was going to have medical issues, and may not have a long life, but they pledged to love her for as many days as she has on Earth.  That was about 60 in money terms that was a few thousand. Skye had a neurological issue. Its cause could not be found. My parents regretted giving money to a breeder but not having Skye. A parent and dog can create quite a bond in 30 days.
Since Skye passed to the Bridge as a puppy, she is a perpetual baby. 

   Dealing with puppy energy is hard, especially when you know it is going to last for eternity.  But at Christmas seeing a joyful puppy ripping the wrappings off her presents brings a smile to even a Brussels Griffon’s face.

Copper came out of her bedroom.  She went to the Bridge in 2005. One morning we were put in my parents’ bedroom, Copper in her crate, me on my blanket, when mommy went out.  I woke up, but Copper didn’t. She had snuck off to the Bridge while we slept. She was only three years old. There were no answers.

Copper was as shy here as she was on the mortal side.  She stood in a corner watching Skye opening presents. I told Copper she could get hers.  She tentatively walked over to the gifts, pulled one out, and gently opened it. Santa had brought her a tennis ball launcher.  She dragged it outside in the fresh snow, which was neither wet nor cold, put her tennis ball in it, hit the switch and watched in joy as the ball sailed overhead.  She ran it down, brought it back, and continued to play for hours.

Jax, the only brother I ever had, who went to the Bridge in 2002, because of an undisclosed illness, which the vet misdiagnosed as a shoulder strain, leading to a lawsuit, which my parents lost because the vet spent $10,000 to pay other vets who said he made the right decision, instead of paying my parents the $1,000 they asked for, came flying through the house.  Jax always had the zooms. He almost knocked down the tree as the little papillon darted back and forth. He grabbed a gift, opened it, and found a bad squirrel, one who Jax had been gifted by the Big Guy because on Earth the squirrel had been selfish and not shared his nuts, so he was sentenced to time in purgatory, which he would serve by continually running for his life from Jax, until the Big Guy was satisfied.   The last I saw of Jax was his white tail going out the door.

My big sister Blake, a cute black and white Shih Tzu, who went to the Bridge in 2001, after a battle with cancer, (my parents lost four pups between 2001 and 2006, three of them young, but the had me, so they were okay) has become house mother to us all. 

 She loved mommy, and she is living her afterlife like mommy lives her life, with lots of cooking, baking, and cleaning. She showed me her new Calphalon Classic pots and pans. Santa knows Blake well. I would have hated the gift, but Blake loved them and went back to the kitchen to cook some more.

Then I saw a small present with my name.   I only asked for my parents’ lives to be easier so I couldn’t imagine what it was.  I opened it and found a big nightshirt. At first, I was confused, but then I sniffed it and realized it was one of mommy’s old nightshirts.  She must have thrown it out and Santa saved it and gave it to me. It was the best gift I ever received.


While Blake was cooking, Jax was tormenting the bad squirrel, Copper was chasing her ball, and Skye was walking around with a new squeaky toy in her mouth happily biting it and laughing each time the toy made a noise, I went back to bed, on top of mommy’s nightshirt, breathing in her scent, and had the best night’s sleep I had at the Bridge.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

A For Sale Sign at the Groomers? What Has God Wrought?

Last week, I received the most distressing news. I was taken to the groomer to have my anal glands squeezed. Ever since we started taking “No Scoot” chewable after Pocket’s glands became impacted, mine have frequently been filling requiring monthly squeezing.   Unlike Pocket, I did not have anything stuck up me — just a gentle outside squeeze and then some warm water for my butt.

If having your butt squeezed is the second worst thing that happens at the groomers you know it was an eventful trip. When we arrived, we saw a “For Sale” sign planted on their front lawn. We were hoping that it was just the neighboring house and not the business, but when we got inside, we learned the truth. The shop was closing, and the owner was retiring and their daughter, our groomer, was moving to Las Vegas. Damn that Wayne Newton.


My parents have been going to this groomer for more than 20 years.  She has always given mama's dog's perfect cuts. The groomers have Griffons in their family and know we need meticulous care.  Our beards must be rakish, not hillbilly. Our mustaches well-kept trim and fluffy.


Besides my physical appearance, I am suffering from mental anguish. One of the groomers mates her studs with my first pet parent's lollipops.  My original mom tried me as a breeding dog, but I knew right away it wasn't the life for me. I have enough trouble with the government sucking the life out of me; I don't need my offspring doing the same. My failure as a mom is my greatest achievement. It caused my first mom to realize I needed a family of my own.  A week after Foley went to the bridge Pocket had a grooming appointment. My mom, making conversation, inquired about the owner’s Griffs, and were told about the failed mother who needed a home, and ten days after the adventures of River Song (formerly Zell) began.


Periodically when I am at the groomers, I will see the dashing young Griffon who I did the unnecessary, unspeakable, unimaginable, unproductive act that leads to several weeks of discomfort, one night of extreme displeasure and the dumping of the brats before they could ignore me at the holidays.  Studly and I don't have the desire to make whoopee anymore. Now we just sit back by the watering dish laughing and asking “do you remember when?”


Our current groomer did give a recommendation for another business, one who is operating in a clean well-lit place and know how to give the particular haircuts we need. Only time will tell. But I doubt it will be people who care so much about pets and their parents that one of their workers will fly to Florida and bring a dog like me home to a grieving duo.  Those are hard to find.



With my groomer closing 2019 shaping up to be a bad year for Griffons.  I hope it proves to be a better one for humans

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Beat This Caption

We all got the same pajamas for Christmas. Now our parents are never going to be able to tell us apart!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Koda is our December 23, 2018 Pup of the Week

Newly arrived angel Josie was overlooking Rainbow Bridge when she saw a black dog slowly following Josie’s fresh paw prints. Josie knew that gait, and when the wind blew from the south filling Josie's nose with the dog's scent, she had no doubt. Josie dashed down the steps towards the figure she knew was her brother Koda.

They met mid-way across the Bridge enveloping one another in loving hugs.

“Koda,” Josie said softly.  “What are you doing here? We agreed you would stay with Mama and help her cope with my passing.”

“I'm so sorry Josie,” Koda said as tears fell down his fur.  “I think we were together so long our hearts began to beat as one. When you left my heart was like a band without a drummer unable to find it's rhythm. It began beating too fast.  Mommy knew something was wrong and left me at the vet when suddenly my last heartbeat shocked my body, and I arrived here.”

Koda and Josie embraced again and then together they finished Koda's final journey. I was waiting for them having received a message that Koda was due. I hoped it was a mistake but when I saw them my hopes were dashed. Too many of our friends (Chase and Gucci, Jasper and Sophie Rae)  from the same pack have passed within days of one another. It is as unimaginable now as it was when it first happened.

I swore Koda in, as I had done Josie. The same tears, maybe more, fell from the heavens. Scooby made Koda's wings green and orange to remind him of autumn at the barn.   Hundreds of their friends gathered around the new angels trying to get the grieving duo to smile just once and hopefully bits of happiness would follow.

I knew my friends were in the best possible paws.  I slowly walked away from the group. My sadness, as is often the case, gave way to burning anger at the all knowing, all seeing, deity known as the Big Guy.

I hiked up to the peak of the highest mountain, my tiny paws clenched with rage. I didn't know what I wanted to say.  When I reached his front door, I decided to leave an expression of my disappointment by peeing my name in the snow.

When I got to the “Y”, the door opened. “Foley why are you peeing on my walkway?” the Big Guy asked.

“First, you summon my friend Josie here just before Christmas and if that wasn't bad enough her brother was called days later.  Their mom was grieving Josie, and then you took Koda. It was cruel. She deserved better from you.”

The Big Guy stroked his beard. ‘You are right, Foley She did deserve better, so did those who lost their spouses or their babies this week or any week for that matter.  But I can't stop time because someone is already suffering or it's the holidays. It is time that eventually brings everyone here. Now I never promised anyone an easy life. Bad times need to come to clear way for more good times. Humans are my greatest invention.  No matter how much I knock them down, they keep getting back up. They are so resilient.

I didn't hear the rest.  I was busy taking a dump on his back step because some days make you want to take a poop at the Lord's door. Thankfully he's forgiving.

I went back down the mountain to Josie and Koda's new house.  Neither showed the slightest interest in furnishing it. They were both sitting outside looking off into the distance towards their mom's barn as the early day’s sunlight twinkled off their coats

Josie said they didn't want to establish roots in Doggyspace because they needed to be with their mom all the time.   I informed them that trips to the mortal side were exhausting. For every minute there they would need a minute of rest here.

Koda smiled.  “So we can only spend half the day with our mom?” he asked. I told him that was true.   “Then we can each spend half a day with Mom and the other half sleeping?” Technically he was right, but they wouldn't be able to enjoy any Angel activities.

“We wouldn't be able to enjoy them anyway,”  Josie said. “Not with Mama in pain.” They divided visiting times so their mama would never be alone.  At least one of them would always be an unknown sound, a glimmer in the corner of her eye, something unexplainable that dashes across the barnyard at night.

I hope Mama Barbara can be comforted by knowing one of her angels will always be with her and that she is graced by the perseverance and resiliency the Big Guy promised.


Friday, December 21, 2018

Foley Gets the 2018 Rainbow Bridge Angels To Stock Santa's Sleigh With Presents For Shelter Pups

Line up my Angel friends.  This is your first Christmas at the Bridge, and you need to fill Santa’s sleigh with your presents for the shelter dogs.  Hattie Mae is double checking everything you put in it. I know it isn’t necessary but Hattie got her nails done yesterday, and she cannot risk breaking one. It’s a girl thing.

“Look at Ginger Lynn, she is just a little Yorkie like me, but she is carrying three animal toy planters.  She knows when you are locked in the shelter you need some life around you. We have learned from Bishop that dogs need pets too.  Since the shelter dogs can’t have toys, they can have a fern.

Okay, Hollie, drag those personalized pet beds this way.  Let me help you put them on the sleigh. You are so smart.  You have learned from your DeWennie friends that people like things personalized, and if a shelter pup comes with a soft bed with the dog’s name on it, the humans can’t pass the dog up.

“Jasper the cat, so good of you to join us.  We know there are lots of cats in shelters. Oh, warm blankets for them, good thinking.  That will keep them cuddly this holiday season. Wow, look at Jasper jump right on to the sleigh.  Good job.

“Shiloh, what do you have there?  You looked up in the stars and navigated a new, faster, more efficient route for Santa to take?  That is a great idea Hey, Santa, come here! Look at this new route Shiloh designed. Oh wow, Shiloh, what a big kiss you just got from Santa!  I think you are blushing.

“Make way for Sully, dogs.  He has a huge treat jar filled with natural snacks for our shelter friends.  Natural treats will make their coats shiny and more attractive. Plus they taste yummy.  Just because you’re a shelter dog doesn’t mean you are forced to eat tired old Milk Bones.

“Guinnevere from the Golden Girls what do you have in your mouth?  Personalized shopping bags with the dog face on it? That is so cool.  The dogs look cute on the bags. If you adopt a shelter dog, you get a bag?  I think the shelters will be cleaned out by New Year’s.

“Prince, why do you have so many leashes attached to your collar?  Oh, you have lots of multi-colored leashes. Those are pretty. I think the shelter dogs are going to feel so special being walked with such beautiful leashes.

“What are you rolling towards us Molly the Wally?  Do you have barrels of all the best kibble? All dogs get over her and help Molly.  She is going to make sure all the rescues have healthy food so they will look good for the new parents when they come to look at them.

“Cammy, is that new dry shampoo for dogs? This looks interesting. You are right; if you want to be adopted, you have to smell good.  Let’s see what types you have. Hmmm, ‘things found in the backyard,’ ‘skunk’ ‘mud hole’ and ‘bacon.’ Those are some good scents. I think every parent would want a dog who smells like this.  Get it up on the sleigh.

“Oh boy, something smells good.  That must mean that Hannah Banana is here.  Look, she’s got wheelbarrows full of treats.  Let’s get them on the sleigh. They smell great.  Guinevere, no sneaking treats, the same thing goes for you, Santa.

“What do you have Daisy?  Wow, bag after bag of sweet potatoes, I knew a farmer like you would have something healthy to eat.  Treats are awesome, but dogs need some good food too. I know you want all the dogs to be organic and not farty when their new family takes them for a trail walk.

“Hobo, what do you have there, it looks like I Pods.  Oh, they are Hobo Pods. What do you do with them? Dogs put them under their pillows while they sleep and they can hear your best advice about how to be a great family dog?  I agree that it is a much-needed item. You know about being rescued Hobo, so this should be a big help.

“Casey it looks like you have a pinata.  Wow, a Full of Fluff pinata? A parent hangs it from the ceiling, and it gets dogs attention by spinning.  Dogs then paw at it to play with it. That sounds like fun. If you have an extra leave it for me.

“Scooter, what do have there? These are cool.  Perfect for small dogs. I know, you are a tiny dog like me, and you don’t want us left out.  You are very sweet. What’s it called? A Wobblin Walter? Wow, it’s rubber, bounces, and tough to chew on.  It even has a squeaker — good job Scooter.

“Thank for coming Stella Rose.  I know you hate leaving your step where you can keep an eye on your mom.  Wow, that a big toy for a little dog. I am sure they will love the bouncing tiger, it’s a nice pull and chews toy.”

“Hi Presley, wow you have a lot of frisbees.  I know they are a great way for dogs who are in cages all day to get out all their energy, and good chew toys too.  You run down by the fence, and I’ll throw you one. Good catch, Presley.”

“Lil’ Girl, are you riding a skateboard?  Oh, you have Kong tires. Yes, they are great for the tough chewers.  The big dogs will appreciate them. Go see Santa. He has a treat for you.

“Hi, Felix.  Wow, you have some great home baked treats.   The gingerbread men are tasty. I don’t know if the shelter dogs have ever had treats like these before.  Tasty treats make for happy dogs, and happy dogs get adopted.

“Wow, look at all the Kongs Kaizer.  You have all different ones for every kind of dog.  This will be very much appreciated. You want one for yourself.  Well, it looks like you have a lot of here, I don’t think it will hurt.  And here is a squirt of peanut butter to keep you busy.

“Jewel, I never took you for a hunting dog.  Those squeaky ducks you have look like the real thing.  I know there are a lot of hunting dogs who will love them, and they are nice to sleep with.  Jump up and put it on the sled.

“Lucy, that stuffed rabbit of yours should be a big hit too.  The two of you know how to satisfy dogs. No, sorry, we can’t give them real rabbits.  We did one year, and it was messy.

“Here comes Wishbone, wow, look at him running.  Wow, what are those? Kurgo running shoes for a dog?  I didn’t know they existed. That is awesome. It will really help dogs get adopted by people who love to hug.  You are such a good boy. Let me kiss you.

“And what do you have here Summer?  Life jackets for dogs? Well, those will go together swimmingly. People who love being on the water would be ecstatic to adopt a dog who comes with their own jacket.  I love when pups take their life experiences and turn it into good gifts for shelter pups.

“Hi, little Moose.  Wow, a stuffed moose with squeakers.  And they have really tiny little antlers?  Wow, they are the real deal That is awesome.  We are going to save these for the best dogs.

“Welcome my fellow New England dog, Sully.  Wow, a stuffed lobster. That is cool. Little dogs could chew on the claws.   I wouldn’t mind one myself; they remind me of home. I don’t like real ones. They freak me out.

“Hi, Bailey.  What do you have there?  It looks like a little ball of rope.  But it smells good. Wow, you mean there’s a treat inside?   Did you invent this? What a great idea. They can spend hours with it then, when they get it open, there is a treat inside.  You are brilliant.

“Oh my gosh, there is an avalanche of tennis balls.  Jake, did you bring all of these? Oh, you spilled them, that’s okay.  Everyone help Jake put the balls in the sleigh. Hey Jake, go chase this one.  He is such a cute pup.

“Mia, good thinking.  All these dental bones will help the dogs.  One of the things that scare a prospective parent off is bad breath.  And all dogs need clean teeth. I know they will be appreciated.

“Fallon, I knew you were a smart dog.  Puzzle balls are great when you are stuck in a cage all day.  It is also good to get your food in a treat ball, both for the mind and the digestion.  These are wonderful gifts.

“Hi sweet Muffin, oh, I thought we said there could be no alcohol.  Or it is a squeaky bottle that looks like a beer bottle, well isn’t that special?  I know the shelter dogs are going to love it. Do you have one other bottle? Oh, that’s your own beer bottle.  We have to have a conversation about drinking on the job Muffin.

“Welcome to the dog side Madi, I know there is a sled for cats too but you can put your cat presents in here, and we will make sure it goes where it is supposed too.  Oh my, look at all these cat trees. They are huge. Well, I am sure we can find the room. They will be loved.

“Hi Axel, wow, those are a lot of chew bones. That is very generous of you.  I am sure the pups will have a grand time chewing.

“Harlee cat, I didn’t see you.  What do you have there? Wow, that is a lot of catnip.  Make sure it is down the bottom of the sled. We don’t want Santa to mistake it for his pipe tobacco and go off course.

“Here come Chase and Gucci.  They are never apart. What do you have here?  You wrote love letters to all the shelter dogs that they can read when they are alone at night and not feel lonely?  Well, that sounds like the sweetest gift. Come here so I can give you hugs.

“Butkus, how appropriate that you brought footballs for all the dogs.   Yes, they can chase, or they can chew on them. Good boy. Of course, you can tell your mom that you miss her and love her.

“Jake the Rake, you always look so good.  You have a collection of smoked sausages. I know they will be loved.  We will put them in the dogs’ stocking, but they are going to have to eat them fast before they go bad.
  
“Is that everyone? Good, the sled is full.  Come on up Santa. Are you going to let me hold the reigns?  That is cool. Now it is time for our two new superstar angels to pull our sleigh.  Come on Koda and Josie, let’s head off to the shelters. I know the two of you know the way you are smart dogs.


“From all the angels a Rainbow Bridge a Merry Christmas to you and to all a good night!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Pocket Loved Her New Bed Until River and Her Treat Bone Invaded

We once had a dog bed that was largely ignored.   I don't remember how or when it appeared in our house.  It may have been Foley's. When my parents went out, they began putting the bed in my crate.  I scratched on it to prepare it for snuggles, ripped it and caused little snowflakes of stuffing to settle on the floor by my crate.

A few days later my parents bought a new bed, the first since Foley passed.  When she was with us everything that came into the house was hers. If she didn’t want a new toy, then I could have it, and even then, she would steal it, bring it to Mommy’s chair, and sit on it then watch me look for it.

But this bed was for me.  It was tiny, perfect for my little body to curl up in, but too small for River.  It was the first item to come in the house that I could claim as my own. When my parents went out the bed was placed in my crate, and then I was, and nobody but me could enjoy my comfortable, warm friend.

When my parents got home, they let me and the bed out of the crate so I could lie on it whenever I wanted.  I preferred to be next to my parents and look at the bed. It was as comfortable on the eyes as it was on the butt.

An hour before bed I get a small plate of food and River gets a marrow bone with turkey stuffed at the top and some kibble inside.  With her small mouth River has trouble holding the bone. She quickly found out if she jumped on the couch, and used the back, or the sides to help her hold the bone she could complete the mission faster.  

Quickly, River realized if she got in my bed, and pressed the bone against the side of it, she could gain leverage to get the treats. The problem is it causes a lot of slobber. Mommy has coverings that match the fabric on the couch to keep it slobber-proof.  But my bed is unprotected.

When she is done, I go to my precious bed, all covered with River slobber.  Lying down on it is like stretching out on the wet part of the bed. It wasn’t just wet; it was sticky.  I told River to stay out of it, and she said that she had to use the bed to help her get food and food is essential than a bed.  I took the case to our sister Judge Angel Foley. She ruled on River’s side. Bed trumps food.

But I still hate having her getting drool all over my bed.  I have tried to sit in it, and bone block her, but she just bulls her way in with her treat and slobbers until I almost drown. My mommy has washed the bed but it needs to be done every day to get the spit off, and that takes away the snuggle.

My mommy does understand how gross my bed is because of River.  Mommy puts a towel on it when she puts it in my crate, so I don’t get drool on me.  I miss the soft bed fabric which is stiff from River’s discharge. The towel should be on when River is slobbering over it, but she just paws it aside.  She has no respect.

I love my sister, but she and her fat drooling face are why we can’t have nice things.  
Dear Santa, please bring River a new bed for Christmas so mine can be washed once and put in my crate, so it is just mine.


The crate is the one place I know River will never go.

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.