Sunday, March 31, 2019

Gracie is the March 31 2019 Pup of the Week

I wanted to make the welcoming of my good friend Gracie special. I strive not to favor one breed over another, but when they are Yorkies like me, it is hard not to show some favoritism.

Gracie looks like me.  She was the same age as I was when I passed. Like me, she was taken too soon from the same terrible disease.  She could have been my sister, and I would swear to treat her like one.

I had advanced notice that Gracie would be arriving. Seven months ago it was discovered that she had a mass.  The doctors operated and removed it. There was a bit of hope. The bloodwork came back good. Then Momma Rene got the call she was dreading.  Gracie had adenocarcinoma. It was aggressive cancer that had spread. Surgery was an alternative, but she would lose part of her colon. Her quality of life would be poor after surgery, and it would only buy a little time.  Momma Rene and Papa Robert loved this baby like a child. They promised to keep her happy and comfortable for as long as they could. But there would be no more extraordinary efforts. Like all songs, Gracie’s was ending. Her parents vowed to treasure every note.

That night Gracie floated out a prayer, not for herself, but her parents. We dogs accept our short lives. We know that humans lives are long complex operas with dark twists and turns that can take nearly a century to complete. Amid that opera is our lives which are one short, stunning aria that holds the entire opera together and is often the best part of the production.

Gracie had heard her parents crying after they got her diagnosis. They were cursing themselves for putting her through an operation that had proven to be meaningless.  But Gracie did not agree. She wanted them to know that at least according to the book of Gracie the operation was proof of how much her parents loved her and the lengths they would go to protect her. And it did buy her more days with her parents. She would have endured dozens of operations to have one day more.

Gracie wanted me to convey that to her parents so they wouldn't be upset.  I told her a single sweet look from her would express that more than a thousand dream dates.
From that day forward Gracie sang her song with a little less energy until the time came when all her notes were gone.

As I was making sure everything looked spectacular for Gracie's arrival, that the flowers were freshly cut, that the steak, chicken, and lamb I had bought for her and her guests were tastefully arranged, and the boxer angel band who would play triumphantly when she Arrived were floating above me.   Then I saw her brother Hagen wearing a new black tie walking towards me.

Hagan had arrived several years earlier. I had been shocked by his appearance. I was the one moderating prayer requests from his family. I thought he was doing better than wham he was here. No one has an easy time when their pup passes, but for Momma Renee and Papa Robert, it was especially cruel.

Hagan had visited his parents dreams the night before and knew they were heartbroken. He did not know if he could heal them. I told him he had before. “But I had Gracie’s help.” He said nervously. I assured him he would again.

Then I heard the familiar sound of little Yorkie paws scampering on wood and saw Gracie running, and barking bigger then herself, all the pain that had hurt her just hours ago was swept away.  She ran up the stairs with her tail wagging. She gave Hagan a big hug, and kiss then gave them to me too. She said she appreciated the effort I put into making the entrance to the Rainbow Bridge look perfect. I gave her the oath.
Gracie ate some chicken and salmon and then she told Hagan they had to get to work.  Their parents needed a tremendous amount of help to get used to those now Gracie- less new normal.  


Their parents should be comforted by knowing that now they had two guardian angels who are working day and night to spark good memories that will make Momma Renee and Papa Robert smile and feel better.

Friday, March 29, 2019

A Dream Visit From Foley Changes the Outcome of the Iditarod



You may have read how the leading dogs on the last day of the Iditarod steered, by musher Nicholas Petit, quit leaving the sled and it's occupant stuck miles from the finish.

Many people who read about this wondered what had happened to cause the dogs to quit.  Readers of this blog asked themselves “hmm, I wonder if Foley had anything to do with this?”  Of course, I did.

I am not against the Iditarod race.  Some dogs love to run in the snow. I like sitting in the sun and licking myself. If someone turned it into a competition, I would be an Olympic athlete.  But humans prefer to watch running and not licking.

I know Huskies love to run in the snow.  They don't even mind dragging a human behind them.  Many an adorable winter photo have been made by a happy dog pulling a gleeful child on a small sled.  Dogs like running in the snow and making people happy. The Iditarod combines them both.
Mushers need to keep in mind that they are not the athletes any more than the coxswains who sit at the head of a rowboat and barks orders are.  This endeavor is so unathletic it is what aunt Becky chose to lie about her daughter doing to help her get in college.

I hear Iditarod dogs complaining because In a horse race the animal is declared the winner.  The jockey is recognized as the Robin to the horse’s Batman. In the Iditarod, a bunch of Batmans is pulling the sled, and Robin is getting the glory.

Still, I kept my opinions to myself until I got a prayer request from a huskie named Joey who was part of Petits’ team. They were in first place with a day to go.  They had an insurmountable lead. Joey and his mates were exhausted after running hard. At camp, Joey and another dog began to fight for reasons Joey couldn't remember.  It was a brief skirmish. No dogs were physically hurt, but Petit screamed at Joey and hurt his feelings.

“I want this stupid race to be over” Joey prayed.

That night I snuck into Joey's dreams.  I told him if he no longer wanted to race he shouldn't.  He was an athlete. While I couldn’t condone two teammates fighting one another unless they were In the 
NBA, Joey shouldn't have been yelled at.  The competition was in his and his teammates’ paws.

The next morning over breakfast Joey talked about the competition with his teammates.  When the race started Petit in sat in the sled and ordered his chargers forward. None of the dogs moved.  Petit ordered them again and again to no avail.

Petit got out and first yelled,  then begged his team to move. None did.  Some sat in the snow. Joey looked at petit from the corner of his eye and snickere
d.
Desperately Petit tried to think of a way to get his sled moving.  He went behind the lead dog and attempted to crank his tail like he was an old Model-t. The offended dog almost took his hand off.  He looked through his bag for something he could use to jumpstart the team. But he came up empty.
Soon, the other teams passed him has as Petit sat shivering on his sled.

Well, Joey and his teammates may not have won that day, but They did strike a blow for dog athletes everywhere.  Maybe next year the Iditarod will spend more time celebrating the dogs that won than the human that rode.


Even though they did not finish first, Joey knows he is a true champion.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Pocket and River Song Meet the Candy Man

River and I, as usual, were left alone on Saturday as my parents shopped and dined.   We both fell into an uneasy sleep.
We were awoken by tapping on the entry door.  River jumped up and ran towards the sound. Suddenly, a yellow lab, wearing a top hat and a smock walked right through the closed door.  He dragged what looked like an ice cream cart behind him. He let go of the cart and began to sing.

"Who can take some chicken?
Grind it up fine
Mix it up with other foods and a touch of equine
The kibble man can!
The kibble man can!
Who can take that mixture?
Dry and extrude it until its all merged
Cook on high until it looks like a rat turd
The kibble man can
The kibble man can
Because he mixes it with probiotics
To make your poop look good.”


He glided over to me and opened my crate door.  I walked out and sat on the floor next to River.  We were fascinated by this singing dog.
"Are your parents feeding you the same old tired kibble?” he asked. “ Isn't it time you got to taste exotic proteins that will make your mouth explode Iinflavor?"  He walked to the ice cream cart and lifted the lid.

"Come with me, and you'll find
Flavors beyond your imagination
Come with me, and you'll be free
Of boring kibble caused starvation."

"Now what kibble are you currently eating?"  he asked. I told him Blue Buffalo Basics. He made a face.  "Such bland food." He reached into the cart and brought out two kibbles.  'This is what you are currently eating,' he said handing them to us. We ate both.   "How did that taste?' he asked.


"Like crap, as usual," River said.


The Lab shook his head sagely and reached into the cart.  He held up two kibbles. "Would you believe that this small kibble comprises a mixture of free range of turkeys, chickens who have spent their entire life living in a penthouse suite at Trump towers, prize-winning pigs who have only been fed filet mignon, salmon who lived in a dentist's fish tank in Sydney Australia, virgin picked fruit, vegetables are grown by an 80-year-old farmer in Kansas with a germ phobia which makes him wash his hands every five minutes, and pumpkins picked from the patch where Linus awaited the great pumpkin?"


We shook our heads.”What would you say if I told you that by eating this kibble you would never feel any aches or pains, your poop would slip out of you like a snake gliding through a log on a hot summer's day, No flea or tick would ever bother you, you would never go to the vet again, And you would pass to the Bridge happily in your mother's arms at the age of 31.”


We remained skeptical.  ‘Maybe my friends can persuade you,’ he said.
Four Oompa Loompas walked through the door.

“Oompa Loompa doopity Doo
We've got another kibble for you
Oompa Loompa dupity Dee
If your Wise you will listen to me

How about bison mixed with kangaroo
No more kibble from things that go moo
How about from the horn of a unicorn
Don't worry {wink} {wink} no soy or corn
At this point, your parents will buy anything!”

The kibble man handed each of us a perfectly round kibble.  ‘Please to enjoy” he said.


We bit into and let it sit our tongue then swallowed.  Still tasted like crap we agreed


“Of course it does,” the kibble man said.  “Dogs have one-sixth the number of taste buds as humans.  It is hard for us to distinguish subtle flavors especially when they are all crammed together in one tiny bite.  It is the smell that stimulates our appetites. And the stinkier, the better. Humans still buy our food based on the flavors on the front of the bag, most of which we can’t taste.  Now a five-pound bag of unicorn food costs $42.00. Give me your mom’s credit card number, and I will send you a bag.”


This sounded good to me, but River interrupted, and said that our mother would be upset if we spent her money on unicorn food and in the most polite manner River could muster asked him to leave.  

“Let me give you my card," he said dropping it on the floor.  “You will come around sooner or later.’” He gathered the Oompa Loompas, took his cart by the hand and disappeared through the door.

They were all exhausting. I went back in my crate and River got on the couch.  We fell asleep again. We awoke when our parents got home.

Neither River or I could decide if we both shared a dream or what had happened was real.  We agreed it was better to accept it was a dream.

That night, while my parents were watching TV and I was sitting with Mommy in the recliner, I saw an Oompa Loompa behind the TV.  I looked out the window in the other direction and barked. Mommy searched outside to see what I was barking at. This gave the Oompa Loompa a chance to sneak out the door.

River Song and I are convinced the kibble Man is out there with his cart of overpriced exotic kibble aimed at human tastes and not dogs needs.
  

Tell your parents to beware the Kibble Man.


Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Monday, March 25, 2019

Monday Question

Not counting the people you live with who are you closest to?



That would be mommy's brother Tom and his wife Charlotte.  They come over once a month to play with us.  Our parents insist on having dinner first, which cuts down on our playtime.  I know they would prefer just playing with us.  They can eat anytime.  Playtime with us is limited.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Sgt Rambo is the March 24, 2019 Pup of the Week

I was awoken earlier this week by my phone barking.  I checked my messages. The Governor Of Dogs had texted me:  “A military dog is passing over today. Be prepared.”

When military or police dogs become immortal all the dogs of their ilk, who had arrived before them, form a line, from the Bridge, then up the stairway, and for several more feet on the cliff overlooking the River, until they reach me at the swearing-in altar. Every year more service dogs pass, and more dogs stand in respect.  I will not be surprised, in ten years, if the line is so long I will be standing in the town square
.
I heard the church bell toll.  It was the most effective way of spreading information in my communities of Doggyspace and Blogville.  Us dogs have refined hearing. We can tell the difference between individual peels. This one summoned the dogs of war.
They were already lined up when I arrived in my black judge's robe.  Usually, while waiting for a new dog, there is a hum of excitement emitted by the crowd. Today there was only respectful silence.

His name is Sgt Rambo.  After more than a thousand hours of training, Rambo did his service in the Marines.  His charge was to sniff out explosive devices to keep his comrades at arm's safe. He served both stateside and overseas in 2011 and 2012.  He became ill and lost a limb and then he was retired out of the military.

He shared a home with army veteran Lisa Phillips.  Phillips started a non-profit called Gizmo's Gift. It raised money to pay for medical care for retired military dogs.  Sergeant Rambo became the charity’s mascot.

The organization also finds forever homes for retired police and military dogs.  Sgt Rambo and Phillips visited educational events, schools and businesses to raise awareness about service dogs.  In 2015 Rambo was awarded military dog of the year at the American humane association hero dog awards.

And now the bell was tolling for him.  I saw Rambo slowly walking on his three legs as he crossed the Bridge.  Despite the loss of limb he still carried himself with dignity. As he reached the stairs, a dog stepped out of line and handed him his missing leg.  It slipped into place quickly. Rambo smiled in relief then climbed the stairs.

We could tell he wanted to test that leg on a good run.  But, he still kept his military bearing as he climbed the steps.  When he reached the top, the boxer band played God bless America. When the trumpeter blew the final notes, I administered the oath, and every dog cheered.

After Rambo got his wings, he was given a large feast.  I was invited, had a bit of food and promptly left. I was the dog who had given the oath, like a preacher at a wedding.  No one minded me being there, but they hoped I would quickly eat the fish and go.

A few days after Rambo's passed he invited me to attend his funeral as a ghost.  I thought it would be a typical backyard affair with close friends and dogs. But Rambo was given a full military funeral with a 21 gun salute.  Phillips received the folded flag. There were hundreds of ghosts and even more military personnel who attended. It was a lovely salute to a hero.


All dogs deserve such tributes, and our parents would like to give them to us.  Maybe someday they will. For now, we will leave it to just the brave.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Foley Represents River in a Training School Admittance Scandal

Of all the legal trouble my parents, sisters, and I have got into in the past the events of the last week were possibly the worst.

Ironically I had nothing to do with it. The infraction occurred in the weeks following my departure to the Bridge.  I can understand my parents' lack of judgment because they were devastated by my passing and not thinking clearly.

The events in question took place in early July 2014.  River Song had just joined our family, and my parents loved her immediately.  They wanted the best for her. And this included the best training.

My parents hoped to get her into the prestigious Petco training program.  But they were concerned. Was River smart enough? They had seen her PAWS scores.  They were at best average. She did not have any of the extracurricular activities that trainers like to see.  My parents were faced with the fact that River may have to be home trained. Pocket was home trained. They knew first hand the devastating effects of home training.

Knowing it might be an exercise in futility they still picked up an application from Petco. That was when they made their horrible mistake.  They decided to embellish.
They claimed that River had champion bloodlines, that she was a hunting dog, and she had agility ribbons.  They had someone come to the house to administer the PAWS test. The proctor helped her with the answers.

The trainers at Petco were overwhelmed by her qualifications and admitted her into their six-week training class.  And that is where this tail of shame should have ended.

Several years later the hound dogs at the Bridge got a complaint from a dog who was bumped from the class by River.  The investigators sniffed around and quickly determined that River's application had been fabricated.

That is why I appeared before a dog jury.  I was representing my family for doing something that I knew was indefensible.

Humans may think that dog court is nothing to worry about.  I felt the same way 15 years ago when I was brought up on charges of being a kitty tease.  I was sentenced to three days of knee displacement. The limping was bothersome, but the worried looks in my parent's eyes were worse. I never committed another crime.

Obviously, I needed a fall guy.  I stated that River was too dumb to pull this off.  Her PAWS scores supported this claim. She was an innocent dupe.

But who to blame?  I couldn't blame my mom because that was considered a felony in dog law.  They were more flexibility with dads especially those in two-parent homes.

So I blamed everything on my dad.  I said he was a vain and competitive man who was determined to turn this innocent dupe of a dog and into some grand champion. I said he was devastated after losing a beautiful, unique, smart, funny, charming dog like me and hoped to recreate what he had lost in this dumb little short-nosed dog  The jury deliberated for half an hour. Luckily, they found River innocent. 

 Unfortunately, they found my father guilty and sentenced him to 3 days of gas, bloating chest pain, and shortness of breath.  He was also placed on 2-year probation. If he falsified anymore dog related application, he would receive a 6-month sentence of shingles.  

I knew my dad would be happy going through a few days of gas and discomfort to keep River out of trouble. But no one in my family was spared this judgment. Three days of suffering from Daddy farts was cruel and unusual in the extremist.

I did enjoy wearing my lawyer cap once again.  If any of you are summoned to dog court give me a bark.  I have competitive rates for friends and family.


Thursday, March 21, 2019

Not Listening to River Song Proves Disastrous for Her Parents

Nobody listens to the Griffon.  Do you know what you get when you don't listen to the Griffon?  You get trouble. My parents learned that the hard way.

Do you remember when I complained about the cats under the house? Of course, you do. You remember everything I write. I am the Charles Dickens of middle European originated dog bloggers.


Since it first became apparent last summer that we had a crisis In the southern part of our house where cats were streaming into our crawl space to escape the cold and prepare to steal our heat come winter I have advocated for my parents to replace the flimsy skirt which surrounds the house with a wall.


"Oh the cats aren't hurting anyone" my parents,  the snowflakes, said. It would be nice to live in their fantasy world where cats can live in harmony with humans under their house, but I live in the harsh reality where cats under the house destroy the home.


Lately, my parents had noticed that our furnace was not holding the temperature.  They concluded it was because of the extreme cold. I told them "I bet it's the cats."  Again, they refused to listen opting to believe it was a mechanical problem which would work itself out.


On Friday night my dad came home from work.  He doesn't have many talents, but he can tell if the house is at the wrong temperature.  The temperature was four degrees below what it was set for He went outside to check the unit.  It was blowing a lot of hot air but not into the house. My father came back inside and retrieved the small space heater from the closet.  "Well, it's Friday night. We will pay triple for someone to look at it now. We can get by with this little trusty. space heater for the weekend." It was 15 degrees outside, and the heater was more decorative than functional. My mother and I shared a skeptical look.  "We'll have someone take a look at it on Monday. It's probably just a belt or something," Daddy said in that authoritative tone men use when they have no idea what they're talking about.


For two days they clumped about the house in sweaters, jackets, and blankets.  The living room and kitchen weren't too cold. The bedroom was in the '40s. Even bundled under blankets my parents would fight to have me next to them because I was the warmest thing in the bed.  If they were unable to wrest me from the other's grasp they had to settle for whatever heat spindly little Pocket could muster.


Mommy said the bathroom was the coldest.  They showered quickly. Mommy complained about the cold toilet seat.  I told her to try and pee in the snow as I do. She acted like she didn't understand what I was barking about.


The repairman came to our chilly home on Monday morning.  He trampled through the snow to the unit. He took a single look at it.  "I'll tell you what's wrong; some little creatures been sneaking between the skirt and the unit and ripped the heat duct off."


I heard the diagnosis from the recliner where I was keeping Mommy warm.  "Cats cats cats cats," I barked. I told them this day was coming, but no one listened.  Vengeance was mine, and its name was Kitty. (Granted, I am going to have to work on my catchphrase).


The technician wrestled the unit away from the opening. He reattached the duct put a cord around it and additionally fastened it with five metal screws.  "That should keep whatever vermin is getting under the house from ripping it off.'" It hurt my heart to hear this. Of course, the cats would damage it again.  They were relentless. I knew if those, like the technician, on the front lines of the cat battle thought they could be so easily stopped then explaining the threat to my neophyte parents would be even harder.

My father came back inside. Sheepishly, he admitted it was the"harmless" cats who caused us to suffer more than 48 hours of frigid temperatures.  I was prepared to be told that I was right. Instead, my parents glossed over their guilt and my due apology. They began to discuss how best to make sure our southern border secure.
"Perhaps," my dad said, “we could make some structure to blocks access, maybe stack bricks near the opening."



"What, like a wall? I barked.  Per usual they ignored me. I grumpily settled on Mama's lap.  I was done giving advice. Someday when they awaken to find that a group of rogue cats had stolen the entire unit, they might listen to me.  But until then it was not worth wasting my barks.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Monday, March 18, 2019

Monday Question

Do your parents let you lick and where is your favorite place to lick?

Pocket:  I like to give gentle licks on the hand.


River:  I like to give daddy face baths with my tongue.  He tastes like bacon.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Sully, Molly and a new dog named Dudley are the March 17, 2019 Pup of the Week

We Angels think our parents are silly.  They always worry that getting another pet will be dishonoring our memory.  We appreciate the sentiment. But we know better than anyone what a great pet parent we were fortunate enough to have lived with and, how many deserving pets who need a good home with loving parents there are patiently waiting in this world.  By marrying a pet and a parent, we are improving both their lives dramatically. That is indeed an angel's purpose.

We hate to see a parent suffer and what makes them suffer the most is our passing. We know their hearts have been destroyed.  A new pet, not a replacement, because we are irreplaceable, but a new soul who will help them reconstruct their broken hearts and make them smile as they travel through the dark forest known as grief, is the ticket.

When Sully arrived at the Bridge late last year, he was met by his sister Molly, who had passed earlier in the decade.  Molly didn't have to hunt for a pup when she passed because Sully fulfilled all his mom's needs. But now she, Mama Lisa, was alone. The reunited siblings began to search for a brand new pup immediately.

But when they slipped into her their mama's dreams, into the deep subconscious, where suggestions become a memory, they met with resistance.  Despite their pleas, Mama Lisa wasn't ready.

Truthfully, this may have been a good thing, The siblings had found many worthy dogs but none that could genuinely measure up to Molly or Sully. They knew their mom simply needed the best.

There are other considerations for Mama Lisa too. She had children, so she had to be extra careful about who she allowed in the family. Of course, Sully and Molly knew this, and every dog they interviewed went through a strenuous kids’ test both for the children’s and the dog sakes.

At the beginning of March, they met an outstanding candidate.  His name was Dudley. He was a handsome wire fox terrier. He loved children.  He showed great calm and patience; both needed when you go into a home with kids.  He was a gentleman and a love bug. He passed each strenuous test Sully, and Molly put him through.  Now came the difficult part.

We dogs are known for our persistence.  We can sit still, staring, while wearing our most adorable face through an entire meal, on the off chance we may be given a bite.  We can sit by the window for hours waiting to see that damn squirrel. And we can bark endlessly until we get what we want. 

We are no different as angels.  We can slip into our mom's dreams and repeat the phrase “it is time to get a dog” over several nights until the message gets through.  I don't know how many nights it was before Sully and Molly's Mom woke up realizing it was time to get a dog. But I know Sully and Molly would still be doing it today if the message hadn't got through.

She knew exactly where to find Dudley, although she may not have understood how. For dog and Mom, it was love at first sight.  Dudley was brought home to meet his new human siblings. They fell in love with him too. Standing in the living room they adored, unseen, as little ghosts always are, Sully and Molly hugged one another in admiration for a job well done.

So now Moma Lisa's house is filled with the sounds of paws on the floor and yips.  Dudley has relied on his angel siblings to go into their mother's dreams and tell her to get more treats.  They do so. They would do anything to make the little pup who made their mom smile happy although they don't do it with the intensity they did when they were trying to get their mom to find Dudley.  

And they want their mom to know how happy they are Dudley is with her and their purpose has been fulfilled.


Friday, March 15, 2019

Foley Tries to Help a dog and his Dirty Mom

I got stuck on prayer duty this week.  This is when you hear people's prayers, and you respond to them.  Recently I had been placed on prayer duty probation because supposedly I gave bad advice. Some bit player on a TV show was worried about getting not getting a raise.  I told him to get some publicity. Stage a robbery. Blame Trump supporters. What could go wrong? Apparently a lot.

This week I was put back on prayer duty.  I was warned it was on a trial basis — no more bad advice.  

I do like helping people.  Luckily I'm in the right profession.  But I can't stand stupid people with stupid problems.  

The first few prayers I got were simple.  Prayers for a successful operation, a date to the big dance, someone to make a free throw.  The next one I received started with “I am worried about my dog.” Perfect. Right up my alley.

“My dog gets upset when my boyfriend and I have sex.” Not up to my alley.  Maybe five alleys over in the gutter. “If we kiss on the couch he jumps between us.  If we get in bed, he climbs in too. If I shut the bedroom door, he cries and throws himself against it.  I need guidance.”

Lady, you got a lot of problems.  

I decided I needed to visit her in her dreams to help her.

I slipped into her sweaty, dirty, horny dreams and told her I was a prayer answering angel.  She repeated the substance of her prayer request. I suggested she place the dog in his crate in another room.  She informed me she didn't have a crate. People, in the words of the Marquis de Sade, “if you want to have sex it's best to have a locked cage nearby.”

I acknowledged crate training would take time and apparently mama needed it now. I suggested her paramour bring his dog so her pup would have a companion.  She told me he didn't have a dog. Why did she want to hook up with a non-dog person? I deduced if she were pursuing a long-term relationship she would have found someone with similar interests like dogs.  It became apparent to me that she was bedding down some random strange with no commitments attached. I told her I needed to talk to the dog to find out why he was interrupting her random woopie.

I didn't have to go far.  He was happily curled up at the end of the bed.  I went into his dreams and broke the news that his mom was a ho.  Having lived with her for three years, this wasn't news. I asked him why he interfered with her carnal activities

“I always think the man is attacking her. She sounds like she's in distress. I know what happy sounds like.  It's the noise she makes when we play ball.”

I told him if she made that noise at the park she would be banned to preserve the innocence of the children.  

“Plus, after she has sex she makes me sleep in the wet spot,” he said.

I told him that most dogs like me don't have to worry about this because their parents had given up and got a dog.  Unfortunately, his mom didn't understand she wasn't doing better than getting love from a good dog

After a night of going back and forth between their dreams, we reached a compromise. Every time she wanted to have sex, she would give him a chew.  All pet parents know if they were being attacked and if the assailant gave the dog something meaty to chew on before the assault it was 50/50 if the dog would save the parent or just keep chewing.  

I told them this would bring them closer together.  Even though they were in adjoining rooms, they would both be licking a bone at the same time.


Hopefully, by ending this rift, I will be off probation.  If not I'm going back into her dreams and telling her the claim she got assaulted by a man wearing a MAGA hat. There's a lot of random strange in prison and no dogs to interfere in your nightly naughty.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

A List of Things That Scare Pocket

I've been told that I'm too high-strung and but I prefer to think of myself as vigilant. I have ears bigger than my head.  I figure there must be a reason for this. I was given them to hear sounds no one else can and inform my family that danger is present.

There are many sounds that send me into a frenzy. The following is just a small list of such sounds.


The smoke alarm:  The bane of every dog’s existence. When I hear that high-pitched beep I immediately alert whichever parent I'm closer to by climbing on their head.  I don't know if they heard the sound or not but who can ignore a Yorkie on their head? Luckily the smoke alarm beep is a sound I seldom hear. It is reserved for something left in the oven too long.  More common are the three quick high-pitched beeps that occur at four in the morning when all batteries die. My blurry eye and blurry eared parents can never locate the squawking alarm. It can take 15 minutes of them removing all the smoke detectors, holding them up to their ear, and listening until they hear the right one which they drop causing the batteries to fall out so we can all go back to bed.


The sound of silence; Our houses are supposed to make noise.  The running of the refrigerator, the hum of the computer, the lights giving off a slight buzzing sound, humans may not be able to recognize these sounds but I sure do and when they stop and everything goes quiet I assume my lookout position on one of my parent's heads.  After they are able to pry my claws from their scalp I still stand next to them waiting for the lights to come back on and all to be right in the world again.


The wind: The houses in my neighborhood are laid out like a military graveyard.   They are all in a lineup and down and side to side. When the wind blows the layout causes the breeze to rip past the houses like a bowling ball in a well-greased alley.  I know it's just the wind and it is nothing to worry about but what if it's a monster? How many souls die in monster stories because they think the monsters are just the wind?  It is wiser to remain on alert.


River Song:  She barks, she snores, she snorts, she growls.  My parents find it cute. I must disagree. Every sound River emits is a warning.  You don't want to interrupt her. If you do you're going to get snapped at. The only time River is more dangerous is when she's silent.  It is best to be on guard when you're around a River Song.


Dinner being prepared: Have you ever noticed how much noise preparing dinner makes?  Pots and pans clank as they are removed from cupboards, they hit the preparation areas with a resounding thud, food smacks against counters, sharp knives thwack into cutting boards, oven doors open with a squeak and close with a bang, blenders roar to life, when the refrigerator door opens it sounds like two whales kissing, the switches on the stove give a stern click when turned.  During food preparation, I stay on the couch. I want the high ground if the noise is an indication that the utensils and appliances are mounting an attack. They certainly sound like they have malicious intent.


My dinner plate:  When I attempt to eat the food on the far side of my plate I sometimes step on it and cause the plate to clank violently against the floor. I run from the sound. It takes several moments for me to trust the plate again. Instead of stepping on the offending plate I now eat the portion closest to me then I wait for my parents to spin my dinner so the rest is directly in front of me. Some say I am spoiled.  Not true. I am just hyper-vigilant and you will all thank me



Me: Occasionally, I will bite into kibble and it'll make a big crunch.  When this happens I run into the other room. It takes some coaxing to get me to come back.  if I toot in my sleep I'll sit up abruptly and look around until I smell it and realized it was just me.


I must do these things.  I can't be trusted

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Monday, March 11, 2019

Monday Question

How did you start on Dog Social Media?  Do you remember the year?

Pocket:  In 2008 we joined Doggyspace.  From there we started a blog, the Tanner Brigade and joined lots Facebook Groups.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Maverick is the March 10, 2018 Pup of the Week

During the last six months of Maverick's mortal life, his dad posted on Facebook that Maverick was more than a dog to him.

I know this made Maverick feel warm inside.  We dogs always want more. More food, more treats more play time, more walks.  But the most more we want is to be more than a dog to be part of the family, a child, a brother or a sister.  Maverick was definitely more.

Late in life, we want more heartbeats.  We are willing the trade for them. Please take our sight!  How many more days will that give us? Freedom from seizures?  Take it. We can live with seizures as long as it gives us a few more days.  Even the heart itself can be sacrificed. Congestive heart failure? Bring it on if it will make this a weak heartbeat longer.

It becomes like an insane game of strip poker.  Every time the ante is due we strip off another body part so we can play through the next hand. We know we'll never win it back.  But the game is everything to us.

Thus begins the struggle between dog and human.  Dogs are willing to suffer any amount to stay. Humans can't bear to see us suffer.  Sometimes it works out perfectly, and we pass away at home. But often parents can no longer see us so diminished and they make an appointment to set us free.

Maverick had sacrificed so much to get more heartbeats. He had congestive heart failure, seizures, and lost his sight. The little boy who trailed his dad around the house, who was his constant companion, who loved to go on trips with him, had one more journey to make alone.

All the friends Maverick had made, in person and online, and had preceded him to the Bridge, were waiting for him to pass over.  But he didn't appear. Maverick had his own plan. In a remarkable display of ghosting, especially for one who just passed, Maverick appeared in his dad's car just as he and Maverick’s mortal remains arrived at the crematorium.  His teary-eyed Dad parked the car and got out. He reached into the back seat for the body. As he did Maverick, with all the might his little soul could muster slammed his spirit onto his former body.

It fell out of the container his father had made especially for the trip and got stuck under the seats.  His father laughed as he tried to wrestle his best friends remains from where they were lodged. Mischievous Maverick had played his last trick.

He joined us shortly after. His father would be happy to see him young again free from all the disabilities that slowed him later in life.  After getting sworn in and given proper greetings Maverick told us the trick he played on his dad. We roared with laughter.

Of course Maverick quickly picked up how to visit his dad.  I know his papa misses the little soul who accompanied him everywhere and was always trailing behind him.  Even though he can't see him Maverick is still walking right behind him.

There are some things not even the River of Life can stop.


Friday, March 8, 2019

Foley Discovers a Genie Who Grants Her Three Wishes

I am not a water dog, but I do go to the beach. My favorite time is at dawn.  Everything is quiet. Just the gentle sound of the surf crashing to the shore.  I find it a great way to unwind.

Earlier this week I was taking a brief sabbatical at the beach.  I noticed what looked like a piece of glass in the tide. The sun glinted off of it.  Curious I walked to it and picked it up. It was a strange looking lantern from one of those Arabian tales of yore.


I could not find an opening.  Then I remembered the key was to rub it.  I tried with my paws, but nothing happened.  Then I rubbed it on my belly. I felt it begin to tremble and grow hot.  I put it on the beach.


Suddenly an Afghan hound appeared from inside the lamp.

“Hello there," the hound said.  Thank you for freeing me from my imprisonment. I will now grant you three wishes.”


Three wishes?  This was awesome. But I didn't need three wishes.  Angels only have one. To be back with their parents.  "I want to be with my mom," I gleefully pronounced.


"Excellent," the genie said.  "Let me see. Oh good, she's in her car.   This will be easy. Here comes a tanker truck I'll just have it skid into your mom, and she'll be here in a jiffy."


"Wait!", I shouted.  "I don't want her to die."


"How did you think she was going to get here?”


"I didn’t want her to come here at all.   I thought I would go to her."


"Oh, I see I see.  What a near cock up that was. The first day out of the bottle and I almost killed a woman.  When I go to geniepalozza, I will never live this down. So that's one wish off the board and on to your second.  Please correct me if I'm wrong, you want to be with your mom today, at her house?"
I told him that was correct and waited excitedly to see her.


"All right then, by my calculations you're going to be 18 years old, as senile as a honey bee in a wasp nest, have about ten minutes with her until you pass over again and break her heart.  All so you can get a little bit of lap time."


"Wait!  I don't want that."


"Oh for heaven's sakes," the hound exclaimed throwing his front legs in the air.  "It's what you said you wanted," he snapped. "You're down to one wish. Think about exactly what you want and say it.'


I took my time and planned carefully what I would wish for.  "I want to go back when I was five years old on my mommy's lap at her home and have another eight years with her until I go back to the Bridge."
"Splendid.  Let's see that's 2006.  New Orleans is still struggling to recover from Katrina.  It is the height of the Iraqi war. North Korea has just tested a nuclear weapon.  What a great time to go back and visit. Remember you must be careful. By sending you back in time, we could be rewriting history.  America could still be in Iraq. New Orleans could become one giant Disney theme park. North Korea could become a full member of the nuclear family.  Not to mention consequences to your family. Maybe your family doesn't get Pocket or River Song. Maybe because you did something your mother misses that mammogram that saved her life.  Do you realize if you pee in the wrong spot Donald Trump could be president."


"Donald Trump is president."


"My God, how many dogs peed in the wrong spot for that to happen?  You see now why it's vitally important that you think this through. Is going back worth dire consequences to the world and your family?"


I decided at that moment to set the genie free.  He thanked me and headed north for geniepalozza. I picked the lamp up and brought it home.  I put it on my mantel as a reminder that sometimes the best wishes are the ones that don't come true.





Thursday, March 7, 2019

River Song Gives Shocking Testimony Against Pocket Before the Dog Congress

The chairman called the hearing to order.  “We are here today to hear the testimony of one Professor River Song about how her sister Pocket Dog uses being small and somewhat helpless to get more treats and the good spot next to her parents in the bed and on the recliners is that right?”

River, sitting on a table, in front of the board, said it was.

“Also, isn't it true that you have admitted that you used your thick head to push your sister out of the way to eat her food and snatch her treats?”

“Yes sir,” River replied.  “I would like to take this chance to apologize to my family and to my sister for doing so.  I am a changed dog.’

“And isn't it true that you have been sentenced to two days without treats because of these actions?*
“Yes, sir it is.”

“All right then.  I understand you have a prepared statement you would like to be read into the record. I will allow you to do so at this time.”

“Thank you,” River said  looking down at her remarks .”I come before you today to report the manipulations of my sister Pocket.  She is a liar; she's a thief; she farts under the blanket and blames me. She pees on the floor and acts like she has no idea who did it.  She is a blamer and a kibble hoarder.”

The chair recognized a labradoodle.   “Professor Song, it is your contention is it not that Pocket Dog has not paid kibble tax in 5 years?”  River confirmed this was true. “And isn't it true she's lying about her kibble intake?”

“Yes, it is.  I have proof here of how much kibble Pocket has consumed and how much she has put out.  You can see it. Clearly, she has not been honest.”

The chair recognized a Bichon from Tennessee.  “Do you know where Pocket Dog is right now?. River said she did.  “Isn't it true Pocket is trying to negotiate a treaty with the cats who live under your house?”  River said it was. “And you think it's right for you to come here today and disparage her when she is undertaking such an important cause?”

River said she did not schedule the hearing.

The chair recognized a German Shepherd from New York.  “This Pocket. She's smaller than you right?” River confirmed she was.  “And she uses its lack of size to prey on your parents to get what she wants doesn't she?”  River agreed. “Do you think that this is part of a concerted effort of little dogs against big dogs to try to take over families?”  River said that was the very reason she had come forward.

The chair recognized a dog with a white muzzle who have been dozing off.  “Aren't you a liar River Song?”

“I have admitted to taking more than my share of kibbles, and I've been sentenced for doing so.”

“Liar liar pants on fire,” the German Shepherd yelled.  “Hickory Dickory dock the mouse ran up the clock. I don't like Green Eggs and Ham.”

River asked if the GSD had a question.

“He's just senile,” the chairman said.  “If we removed the senile ones we could never get a quorum.  Let's move on to the poodle from California.”

Thank you, chairman. Isn't it true Pocket Dog thought of you as her personal pit bull.”  River said it was. “And didn't you leave several threatening peemails in your neighborhood saying if anyone messed with her she would have you take care of them?” River nodded.  “Did you ever have to physically confront anyone at Pocket’s request?”

“Not that I recall.  She wanted me to walk next to her and look tough.  Given my resting bitch face, the illusion was natural to me.”

The chair recognized the Min PIn from Georgia.  “Professor Song aren't you nothing but a low-down liar.  You trying to get some book deal? You going to sell your story to the movies?  There is no way any member of this committee can believe you. This hearing has been a disgrace all planned by big dog against a little dog.”

“Do you have a question?” River asked.

“A question? No, I don't have a question.  Why would a member of the board that is supposed to be finding the truth have a question?  I have my five minutes to wave my paws in the air, to have my face turn red and show those elected me that I'm here.  Hi Mom.”

The chairman then closed the hearing.

“When can I expect a ruling,” River asked.

“A ruling?” he said.  “No one comes before this board for a ruling. This is Abuse.  Justice is down the hall but they’ve been out of business since 1973.”

This is that is when River realized she may have made a terrible error bring this action forward.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Monday, March 4, 2019

Monday Question

How did you come to live with your parents?
Pocket:  I was born a couple of miles away from where my parents live.  They heard I was available and they drove to get me.  My birth mom lost her husband to cancer.  Her Yorkies weren't fixed and when Birth Mom was otherwise occupied they made little Yorkie including me.  
River:  I was born into a family of champion Griffons.  My birth mom wanted me to be a breeding dog.  I did not take to being a mom and my litter did not survive.  My birth mom knew I needed my own home.  Mommy's groomer knew Mommy was looking for a dog after Foley passed and she told Mommy about the little breeding dog.  Mommy said she would take her.  The groomer flew down to Florida because she was breeding her male dog with one of my sisters.  When she flew home she brought me and here I am.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Liqo is the March 3, 2019 Pup of the Week

I always love meeting new dogs.  But sadly I know when I meet a new dog it means someone has lost a part of their family they loved very much.  

The new arrival is often confused. He is experiencing the worst time of his existence.  Just minutes before he was with those he loved the most. The next thing he knows he is running across the Bridge and up the stairs where he is greeted by a pretty and wise Yorkie who informs them that he has left their parents and become part of the immortal world.   

I would like to share my experiences in meeting a cute little dachshund named Liqo.  All he knew as he bound up the steps towards me was that all the pains that had bothered him recently had disappeared.  He had not felt this youthful in years. But he was a smart dog and knew there was a catch. It was Catch 42. If you wanted to be free of your physical pain, you need to pass over the Bridge, but by passing over, you leave your loved ones in even worse pain.  It's a heck of a catch.

When I informed Liqo that he was now at Rainbow Bridge, he became very concerned. He'd been in pain, and he prayed for it to go away.  “Did I do this? Am I the reason I left my parents?” he cried.

I told him he hadn't.  “Every soul is born with a predetermined amount of heartbeats,” I explained.  “Some squander theirs, some beg, borrow, and plead to get more, but that number of heartbeats always catches up with you.”

Liqo then saw the humans, pets, and other souls who had gone to the Bridge before him running towards us.  Liqo joyfully ran to them. There was much barking and hugging between them.

These angels knew that Liqo was coming and they began to perform two of their sacred duties.  They needed to make Liqo happy and content, while he waited for that day, way in the future when his parents would arrive, and he needed to learn how to spirit visit his family as a small flying creature, and in their dreams.  

Liqo also learned how to watch over his parents.  New angels need to see their parents within a day of arrival. They have to be reassured that their parents are still safe. I showed Liqo how to see his parents in the River of Life which separates the mortal and immortal worlds.  Liqo put his hand in the water trying to touch them. He told me his mom was the most beautiful woman in the world. I told him I agreed. All our moms are the most beautiful in the world.

I went to visit him once he settled into a home that looked much like his parents’ house.  He told me he was from South Africa. I had never met a dog from there before. I asked him what it was like living there and he said fantastic. He began to describe it. I smiled.  Like all dogs, he mostly talked about his house, yard, walk area, and the places he and his parents had shared. All dogs are the same. They may live in the most exotic regions. But when asked to describe it every place sounds the same.  Home, yard and parents. That's a dog's world and all we need.  

Liqo is living a productive, full, life at the Bridge now.  He still has moments of sadness because he misses his parents very much.  But we all do, and we try to visit one another often to help us get over those rough spots.

He also knows his parents are the best dog parents in the world.  He knows it is painful for them to think of getting another dog. But there is some pup out there worthy of their excellent home.  Liqo is sniffing out that new dog now. When he finds it, he will slip into his parents to tell them it's time for them to find another dog and start rebuilding at their hearts.


Liqo knew his parents thought he was a perfect dog.  He tried to live up to their expectations. And now he's trying to be the perfect angel for them. I am sure he will succeed.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Foley Meets Grief

I went for a long walk on Sunday.  I traveled through many villages. I came to the end of the land filled with things that had happened and were yet to be.  Most souls don't travel here. It's a strange and scary place.

I saw something sitting on the side of the road.  It looked like a purple blob. On it's top were two eyes and a mouth.  It had strange fin-like appendages for arms. In one of them, it clenched a Kleenex.

 Every few seconds it dabbed its eyes.  Everyone said if you meet something in this land keep moving. But I couldn't leave a soul who was so sad.

I sat down next it and asked it what was wrong.

“Nothing,” he said “I am just a sad boy,”   I told him that I was sure I could cheer him up.  “Oh please, don't I'll lose my job,” I asked him how he could lose his job by being happy.  “I'm Grief,” he said.

I was taken aback. “Are you the one who caused my friends so much pain and misery when a loved one passes?” I asked.

“Oh no, I couldn't manage all of that.  I'm individual grief. When someone loses a loved one, I am sent to them.”

“Just to make them sad?” I was getting angry at him.

“I don't mean to make them sad; I just remind them of what they lost.  And I go wherever they go. On a train, in the shower, at work, in bed, at Target, I am always with them and always whispering in their ear about who they lost.”

“Why don't you whisper in their ear about good things?”

“Are you daft dog?  That's Happiness’ job.  You don't want to cross Happiness.  She's like a little girl perpetually attending her birthday party and has just been given a Frozen DVD.  Unbearable. And if you cross her, it's like you took the DVD away. Have you ever taken a Frozen DVD from a child?” He shuddered.

I asked him why he didn't remind people how much they loved their lost angel and all the joy they shared.

“That's Love's job.  I don't like Love, he's that friend who finds a new soul mate or has a kid, and fills up your timeline with hundreds of pictures until you just want to scream.  But I will say this for Love. Without him, I wouldn't have a job.”

I could see there was no reasoning with Grief.  I asked him how long he stayed with a person once he was assigned to them.

“All their life,” he said.“I'm a heavy-duty emotion.  I'm not like Happiness or Sadness one of those fleeting emotions that come and goes.  I'm in this for the duration. No one gets over me. At best they just get used to me whispering in their ear about what they've lost until I am just another burden chained to them that they have to drag through life.”

“Occasionally, after they have got used to me, I get through to them, and then whammo I'm back baby, they’re wracked with tears! A few times I get stuck with people grieving dumb things. I spent two years with a guy who was upset the Steelers lost.  I felt like such a putz. He kept whining, ‘If only he hadn't missed the field goal, if only they had called that penalty.’ Pathetic. I wanted to say to him is ‘hey Sally grow a pair.’ But if I mess up this job, I'm going to get reassigned to Rage, or even worse Lust.  Lust is one mixed up dude.”

Suddenly a page sounded.  “That's me,” he said. “Oh God, I hope it's not some crazy football fan.”

Grief faded away like we all wish he would.  I didn't tell him I hoped it was a football fan.  Grief deserves to be miserable.