Friday, February 28, 2020

Foley Writes About Rene, Andres and When Prayers Don't Work


Sometimes, even an angel doesn't have the answers.  This week I encountered a problem I could not solve.  A young boy named Andres from Mexico said a prayer that was referred to me because I am a master dream angel who always finds a way to bring forth a good ending for all parties.  But, this time, I failed.

Andres had a dog named Rene that he loved with all his heart.  Andres lived with his caring mom and dad, who had no love in his soul, only anger, and that made him lash out at his wife, his son, and Rene. 

The family did not have much money, and they could not escape the father.  Andres wasn't afraid for himself, but he hated when his dad turned his anger towards Rene.  The poor dog would get kicked often. One assault was so vicious it hurt Rene's tail. Andres' father continually threatened to sell the pitbull puppy.  Andres was afraid Rene would either be killed by his father or sold into a pitbull fight ring.
  
Andres loved Rene like only a lonely, hurt, scared boy can love a dog.  Rene may not have had any training, but he was truly a comfort dog who made life bearable for Andres.  Renee was more worried about Rene than himself. He asked me what he should do. 

I immediately flew over to the human side of the Bridge.  Their prayer center is a hundred times bigger than ours and a thousand times busier.  Prayers were being passed from angel to angel. Some were dropped on the floor to join hundreds of others that would not be answered.  I could not let that happen to Andres. I met with human angels, and they told me they were aware of the problem and were working to solve it, but the humans there trying to motivate so they would intervene were moving slowly.  They didn't know if Rene could be saved before Andres, or if the boy and his mom would be rescued. 

The next night I visited Andres' dreams.  I knew how I was going to answer but was afraid to say it.  Andres had reached the same conclusion on his own. Rene would be turned over to the shelter to get away from Andres' dad and have the chance at a life that Andres will never have. 

Andres' mom agreed with him.  While Andres' father was at work, the boy and his mom brought Rene to the shelter.  They said goodbye to the best thing in their lives and returned home to face their hellish existence on their own. Before he left, Andres left his stuffed animal with Rene and a note that read: "My name is AndrĂ©s, and I am 12 years old. My mom and I decided to leave my dog in your hands, hiding it from my dad because he is thinking about selling him. But the dad mistreats and kicks him. One day he kicked him so hard that he hurt his tail. I hope you can help and take care of him," he wrote in the letter.

"I left him a stuffed animal so he won't forget me." 

The note left the people at the shelter shattered.  They knew the only way to honor Andres' sacrifice was to work hard to find Rene a new home. They put his story on Facebook, and there were 300 adoption requests for Rene.   He has been dewormed, and his injuries are healing. He will soon go to his forever home. But a part of his heart was left behind with a boy and his mom.

Once Rene had settled, Andres' prayers to me subsided.  The human angels are still handling his requests. I hope they give him a good life.   He is a wonderful, dog-loving boy who deserves nothing but happiness. Sadly, like so many dogs, people don't always get the beautiful reward they deserve.


So tonight, don't pray for Rene, he has been saved, pray for Andres and his mom, and hope that they are treated with the compassion and kindness they showed their dog

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Pocket and River Examine Oranges

Last week we got a package from Florida.  It was sent by our good friend Wiley’s parents Walter and Bruny.  We always get excited when new packages arrive. After taking us out for our daybreak, pee Daddy brought the box inside. He placed it on the kitchen floor, then sat in his recliner, waiting for mommy to get done showering.  Within five minutes, he was fast asleep. River and I decided to check out the box. 

It smelled like food.  River is the food expert in our family.  I think she has smelled every kind. Also, she is a Florida native and can recognize the strange produce grown there.  I let her take the lead in our investigation. River sniffed the cardboard box and spent a long time on the flaps where the scent was strongest.  “It’s not watermelon,” River determined. She has a few pieces every morning. She makes a big slurping sound when she receives a forkful. I find it to be disconcerting. 

River took several deep sniffs. “It is food,” she said.  “I would say of the citrus variety.”  She took another deep smell. “I believe they are oranges.”  Another sniff. “Navel,” she said satisfied. 

` Admittedly,  I was impressed.  “You could be a drug-sniffing dog,” I told her.  

“I don’t do drugs,” she said.  “Only food. There is nothing special about a food sniffing dog.”   She examined the box. Then she looked at Daddy snoozing. “We’ve to get inside,” she said. 

I thought this was a bad idea. Mommy would know we opened the box, and she would get mad.  “She will think Daddy did it, and he will think she did,” River, noting my concern, told me.   “ You know those two never talk.” 

“She’s going to know he didn’t open it with his teeth!” I yipped.  “And unless you have grown opposable thumbs, that is the only way we can get in.” 

River smiled.  She walked to the dishwasher.  She had seen Daddy put a glass in it that morning.  He never shuts it all the way. It drives Mommy mad.  River stuck her claws in the door and opened it. Then she pulled the utensil holder out, grabbed a knife with her teeth, and came back to the box.  She jammed the knife through the tape and ran around the box, cutting the seal. When she was done, the box opened. 

We looked inside:  River was right. It was filled with oranges.  Despite my squeaks of warning River picked up one of them and put it on the floor.  Then, we studied it. River tried biting it, but the skin was tough and tasted worse than the box.  “Why do humans eat these things?” she asked. 

Then I remembered that our parents peel them before eating.  “We have to unwrap it,” I said.

‘Oh bother,” River groaned.  We tried everything we could think of to free the orange from its tight wrapping.  River bit it, ran the knife over it, kicked it, jumped on the couch with the orange in her mouth, and dropped it, but we could not solve the mystery of the rind.  River went back to the dishwasher and took out a small, sharp knife. She stuck it into the orange but could not move it. River told me to get on my back legs and roll the orange.  I asked her if I could do it with my nose and she said only if I wanted a nostril snipped off. It would have to be done with my legs. 

I pushed the orange, and River was able to cut into it. Then we used our teeth to rip the skin off. We began to pull the orange out like taking the biscuit out of a Kong.  The fruit was sweet and juicy. I am not a fruit eater, but I loved it. Then I looked up and saw Mommy staring at us crossly.

I put a paw on River’s shoulder.  An orange fell out of her mouth. We looked at one another then back at Mommy. 

“He did it!” we said, pointing at a confused Daddy as we woke up.  




Boy, is he going to be in trouble.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Monday Question

If your parent(s) could get another dog of a different breed than they already own what would it be?

Pocket:  My Mom and Dad lost their Shih Tzu Blake 19 years ago.  They have always talked about getting another on.


Sunday, February 23, 2020

For Paula Malatesta Who Tried to Save Them All

Another human, who has been a living angel for dogs, entered eternity this week and has been rewarded with the grandest dog rescuer’s mansion ever seen at the Bridge. 

Paula Malatesta was the first dog rescuer I encountered when I delved into Doggyspace eleven years ago.  She had more dogs than anyone I met: Khan, Puppy, the Dude, Duke, Brandon, and many more. They each were treasured her in their way.  

But, for every dog who lived with her, there were dozens more who she rescued, starting with Bronco, who was the first dog she saved.  Bronco was so thankful he inspired Paula to devote her life to rescues with the same ferocity that dogs dedicated their lives to humans.

The best example of how devoted Paula was to her rescues is my dear friend Wishbone.  He came to the Malatesta pack, scared and distrusting humans. Wishbone was an escape artist, and it didn’t take him long to bolt through the door and disappear. 

Paula searched for Wishbone, but he was very good at avoiding capture.   She went to church on the following Sunday and prayed for him. When she came out of the chapel, she saw Wishbone at the bottom of a hill.  She ran towards him, lost her balance, and rolled down the slope. Wishbone had never seen a human so devoted to him. He didn’t run. He realized this woman would never hurt him and only protect him. 

To Paula, dogs came first, even before her health.  Her family had begged her to cut back on the rescuing because of her failing health, but she refused.  Her family intervened and had the dogs brought to a shelter. When the workers approached, sensing danger, Wishbone ran.  Paula tracked him down and then found him the perfect home with our friend Annie in New Hampshire. That was the beauty of Paula; as much as she loved Wishbone, she put him first and gave him a home where he thrived.   
We heard less from Paula in recent years.  Her health failed to the point that she could no longer rescue.  She stopped posting on social media, and everyone missed her humor, infectious spirit, and her love of animals.  This week her beautiful heart beat it’s last. 

 Two years ago, Wishbone went to the Bridge, having lived a blessed life full of love.  He had two moms who loved him with all their hearts, twice as many as the rest of us. He was at the lead of hundreds of dogs who were waiting for Paula when she crossed the human Bridge.  There were people, too, standing amongst the dogs to greet the person they loved. They watched as she stopped at the foot of the Bridge. The sun was high in the sky, but she had no shadow.   

 Paula had been losing bits of herself for years. To her family, it seemed like those parts were gone forever, but they had preceded her to the Bridge and stayed in the Shadowlands waiting for her.  While Paula stood at the foot of the stairs, her shadow approached and reattached itself to her making her whole again.

 Paula, in a body no longer ravaged with pain and suffering, walked up the steps and had a beautiful reunion with her humans and dogs.  There was no sadness or regret. Paula could live the life she had as a younger woman before the mortal world took so much from her.  

She is in her mansion with rooms for all her dogs, and other pups who never had families on the mortal side, and now get to live with someone who loves them.  There is a wing for the dogs she rescued, and who are waiting for their adopted parents to arrive. When I visited Wishbone yesterday, he was happily curled up in the sun, more at rest than I had ever seen him at the Bridge. 




I last saw Paula sitting in a chair on her lawn, surrounded by dogs, and getting countless puppy kisses.  I know that this was exactly how she thought heaven would be. 

Friday, February 21, 2020

Foley and Serenity the Dog Who Saves Kittens

I wish I had been nicer to cats when I was a mortal dog. I probably would have been if they weren’t so obnoxious. My former neighbor, Tommy’s cats, would come onto my porch and taunt me by dancing around. Oh, that burned my fritters. And then there was the cat who bipped me on the nose for no reason. I can honestly say I would have been better to cats if they were better to me.  But I do regret not getting to know the cats and appreciate them for the beautiful little souls they are. 

Maybe I didn’ get along with cats because I lived a pampered life.  If I had been out on the street (horrors) and had to rely on cats to survive, I might have had a different attitude.  A sweet stray dog named Serenity in Ontario, where it is so cold nipples never sag found some abandoned kittens in the snow.  Instead of doing what comes naturally, making a kitten salad, Serenity shared the only thing she had to offer, her warmth. He wrapped himself around the kitties to save them. 

A person saw them together and contacted the Pet and Wildlife Rescuer, who brought them to a warm and dry shelter.  The cats needed flea and worm treatments. While they were being tended to, Serenity came into the room to check on her adopted children. Seeing how much of a bother, it is to actually have children finding little ones in the snow, even if they are a different species, maybe the better course.

Thanks to the shelter’s Facebook page, Serenity began to draw international attention.  A spokesperson for the shelter said that the kitties would have died without Serenity intervention.
The shelter tried to find if Serenity and the kitties belonged to a family, but no one came forward. At this point, Serenity has been placed for adoption separate from the kitties because they need time with a foster family for two months before they will be ready for adoption. 

Serenity is filled with life and love, which causes her to be overly exuberant, and that disqualifies her from going to certain families:  The placement workers believe Serenity would be happiest as an only dog, or as a partner to a submissive dog. Serenity, encouraged by her fame, needs to be the top dog. 

Of course, she would be the perfect pup for a family with a cat. The workers also believe that Serenity would be best in a home with no small children. She is a little too rambunctious to be with humans smaller than her, who could get hurt.  The lucky soul who adopts Serenity will be asked if they would like at least one of the kittens when they become available for adoption.


I could surely learn a lot from Serenity.  I am going to instruct all dogs to be kinder to cats, as I should have been, at least until they a bipped on the nose, then the cats are fair game. 

Thursday, February 20, 2020

River Visits Ugly Joan, the Cat Under the Porch

I am a restless sleeper.  While my parents and sister are snoozing, I get up and wander the house thinking deep thoughts about critical issues.  Sometimes I hear Ugly Joan, the cat who lives under the porch, moving around her lair. I go over to the grate to give her a friendly hello, and she meows back.  It is good to be kind. 

One night I could smell the delicious scent of chicken wafting up from her space.  I asked her if she could slip me a piece through the grate. She said it would be better if I had it fresh out of the oven.  I agreed but could not reach the doorknob to get outside, the first step in what I thought was the only way to access the crawl space  “Take the slide,” Ugly Joan suggested. 

I told her I was unaware there was a slide.  She said it was on the other side of the house and led to the HVAC unit.  I figured out she meant the duct. “Sometimes I climb it to spy on you,” she said.  I knew that the cat was up to something nefarious.

I went over to the grate and slipped it aside.  I looked down into the duct. All I saw was darkness.   I was very nervous but didn’t want the kitty to think I was a pussy.  I held my nose and jumped down the shaft, shifted my weight to the right, so I didn’t end up in the furnace, and landed butt first on the cold cement floor.

Purple curtains separated the porch from the crawl space.  I carefully walked towards them, being sure not to step on the hundreds of items my parents had disposed of under the house.  I knocked on the wall to warn Ugly Joan I was there. She opened the curtain with a flourish.

I was stunned.  The room was beautiful.  There were three large beds draped with lush deep red comforters.  Next to that was a dry sauna that looked incredibly relaxing. There were a dozen cat trees with plush platforms to rest upon.  Besides, it was the skeleton of T-Rex built out of mouse bones. The refrigerator was stocked with rat meat, skinned salmon, chicken, and wild turkey meat.  

There was a beautiful portrait of Ugly Joan over the bed and across from her a small screen television my parents had thrown out the year before. In her quaint space, it looked like a movie theater screen.

The cat invited me onto the bed, and she shared some smoked salmon skewers with me.  They were delightful. She poured me champagne, and then we shared catnip cigarettes. Those things knocked me right out.  I woke up to hear footsteps above me and my Mommy calling my name. Oh boy, this cat had taken advantage of me! She had lured me into her bed, and then catnip ruffied me.  I ran up the duct, but it was hard to get traction. I kept whining. My pathetic cries alerted my parents where I was. 

My mom lifted the grate reached down.  She was able to pull me out of the duct.  I was covered with dust. She gave me a long hug and then a short bath.  Mommy told Daddy he had to do a better job of securing the grate. She had no idea that I had gone down the duct intentionally, and I wasn’t going to tell her.  

I was thrilled to be back on the main floor with my parents, but I am also wondering about going back down to our southern border.  I hear there is going to be a party this weekend. 
I could really use the catnip.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Monday, February 17, 2020

Monday Question

What is the grossest thing any dog owned by your parents has ever done?

Pocket:  Years ago our angel sister Blake woke up my Dad on a weekend to go outside.  She did her business and then ran upstairs.  Daddy went to the bedroom and then called her to get in bed.  Blake was sleeping near the top of the bed when suddenly she projectile barfed up the poop she had eaten when she ran upstairs and got in the litter box.  It covered the whole headboard and stank to high heaven.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Jan Williams,the Poodle and Dog Blog, and Making Sense of the Senseless


Jan Williams was a friend of ours, but we never knew her name.  She had been interested in writing since she asked for a typewriter for Christmas while in high school. She got her master's degree, became a professor, wrote a textbook, and dozens of short stories.  She taught college English for decades before she retired. Then she worked in advertising and did freelance writing. After that, she volunteered with the local police.  
I didn't know any of this. All I knew is she wrote "The Poodle and Dog Blog." Actually, that is not true. I didn't know she wrote the blog. I knew someone did, but the posts were always about animals.  There were seldom views a glimpse of the person behind the curtains. Except for a love of the 49ers, everything else was a mystery.
She rarely wrote of her own pets or life.  She informed us of dog and cat news throughout the world:  Quirky stories, tales of heroism, pictures, history lessons, and cute pictures. It was a daily destination for pet lovers everywhere.  Each month she awarded both the good (The Golden Poodle award) and the bad (The Neanderthal Award) and those in-between. Her posts were meticulously researched, and smartly told.
` After every 49ers game, she would post the score along with a short blurb expressing her feelings, both good and bad.  This year they were mostly good. On the 19th, the 49ers returned to the NFC championship game. When they won, we expected to see a joyful post on her blog, but there was only silence.  
At first, we thought she had forgotten or might be sick, but two weeks went by, and the 49ers lost the Super Bowl.  During it all, the Poodle and Dog Blog remained strangely quiet. Friends of the blog, left in the dark, had no way of finding out what occurred.  On Sunday, we learned.  
Jan was with her son, Daniel Williams, and his wife, Lorrie, watching the NFC championship game at their home.   Meanwhile, a stranger named Gary Circle capped off a day of heavy drinking by putting his two kids in his car and speeding towards his destination.  At 4:30, Gary lost control of the vehicle. It smashed through the front of Jan's house. She was directly hit and killed instantly. Daniel and Lorrie were severely injured.  Mr. Circle and his children were unharmed. The car was traveling at such a high rate of speed; it was entirely inside the house when first responders arrived. 
Daniel Williams was taken to UC Davis.  He had to undergo surgery and had three titanium plates and 36 screws put in his chest to hold the bones together. Lorrie had a broken back and traumatic brain injuries.  They are both expected to recover. None of the family pets were injured. They are safe and live with the couple when they are healthy.
When an unexpected death occurs, we angels have to put everything aside to make sure the new arrival's shocking transition does not cause her more pain. The scarcity of angels on duty for other requests that day is why the Packers never had a prayer against the 49ers. 
We hurried to where the humans are sworn in and saw Jan crossing the Bridge. She was even more beautiful than we thought. All the pets she had ever known ran out to greet her. Jan's husband followed, as did her parents and friends. It was a joyful sight. There were many festivities planned for her welcoming, but she insisted that we watch the rest of the game. Afterward, her party was a celebration for the 49ers too.  Their subsequent loss to the Chiefs was made easier for her because she watched the game with Willie McCovey and Dwight Clark. 
She now lives in a huge mansion that is surrounded by hundreds of acres.  She has thousands of pets living with her, some of them were part of her mortal family, and many more who passed without ever having a family or love in the mortal world. Thanks to angels like Jan, unloved, and home, challenged dogs who crossed the Bridge will have a pack waiting for them. 
What happened to Jan was senseless.  We angels are tasked with making sense out of the senseless.  Her passing has given hundreds of unloved dogs a place to live and to be part of a family.  It is the best we can do to make some good come of the tragedy. 

Jan, her blog, and the goodness she brought to the world will be very missed.  She was claimed by the prevailing evil on the mortal side. I know she will be a mighty angel and help the rest of us fight the evil that destroyed humans and dogs.  

Friday, February 14, 2020

Foley Uses a Beer Can to Reunite a Dog and His Mom

I came up with an outstanding idea last year.  Most Americans like two things: Beer and dogs — all I had to figure out was a way to combine the two of them.  I went to my drawing board and tried to invent a manner by which dogs can help humans drink. I thought of giving them little kegs to lug around so dogs could bring their parents a beer whenever they wanted one.  The humans loved the idea, but the dogs balked. That's when I knew what I had to do. I had to flip that brother knocker.  

Instead of dogs doing things for people, which, frankly, has been done to death, let people do something for dogs, specifically the dogs who are missing or in need of a home.  At first, I thought of a dog-shaped beer can with a percentage of the proceeds going to shelters, but uncoordinated people would dribble the beverage down their chins. The next morning I was eating my kibble cereal and reading the back of the box.  There was a lovely story about a Shih Tzu. Then I thought of humans drinking their beer and looking at the cans. Viola! "Let's put adoptable dogs on beer cans," I thought.

I hoped that people would drink, put on their beer goggles, (the things that make them take the barmaid home) than Uber down to the local shelter and take home an ugly pug.  They would be much happier waking up next to a grotesque dog than a homily girl.

I visited a brewer's dreams and told him my idea.  At first, he was reluctant. It took a few more visits before I got the bark of approval.  He asked shelters to provide pictures of dogs who needed homes, then put the pups on cans, and soon they were in the hands of sloppy drunks everywhere. 

One of the sloppy drunks, a woman in Minnesota, recognized her dog on a can.  (She says she saw it on Facebook, but nobody believes that. Who goes on the Facebook beer can page?)  The woman claimed the dog looked like a pup she helped deliver. The beer can must have been shaken before it was opened.  She noticed him because the picture was covered with foam. 

Everyone at the bar thought that she was imagining owning the dog since many times she had come into the bar imagining she was wearing pants, but she proved them wrong.  She called the number under the picture of the dog and told them her who she was. The shelter worker said they ran the chip on the dog, and the woman had the same first name but not the correct last name.  She answered that the chip was registered before she was married. Everyone at the bar knew she was lying because she had her identity changed after testifying against the mob.

After three years apart, the dog and the mom were reunited.  It was joyous. The dog is so happy to be back home. He is a little lonely because his mom spends all her time at the bar, hoping to get another dog off a can (at least that is what she tells the bartender after she orders a case for the night.)

The good news is that the dog will soon be with his mom all the time because she is one drunk driving arrest from being under house arrest.

Another happy story brought to you by Foley Monster.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

River Tries to Impeach Pocket

I have never taken to the role of Alpha Dog. Foley relished it.  She barely let me register a thought that she didn’t agree with. When she left us for the Bridge, the title of Alpha Dog fell to me. At first, I did a fantastic job.  Then River Song came to live with us. I found it hard to be a lead dog when you have a River behind you.

I didn’t try to exert my influence as an alpha dog on River. I never insisted on going in and out of rooms first or to being fed before River eats. She can do what she wanted. I follow the adage to let stubborn dogs lie. 

There have been times when River tried to overstep her boundaries and tells me what to do. This has lead to some scraps between us.  She is bigger than me, but thanks to green beans, not as large as she was at the end of last year. She has traded heft for speed. Regardless, I do not back down from her for the ten seconds between her attacking and one of our parents breaking us up. It took years, but River understands she can no longer bully her way into being a leader.

Last week I was sleeping with my back against Daddy’s leg in his chair. River was on mommy’s lap. We heard a squirrel running across the roof.  We both jumped down and began barking at the interloper. It ran across the skylight and shoved a small paper through a slight opening. The document fell face up on to the floor. “You’ve been served!” the squirrel squeaked from the roof.


.   I saw it had both our name’s on it. I asked River what it was.  “It is from my lawyer,” she said. “I am having you impeached,” I asked her from what.   “Alpha dog!” she yipped.  

“Why?” I asked.

“You are not using the office,” River said. 

 “An alpha dog should provide leadership, make big decisions, help the pack to prosper, but you aren’t up for the task.” 

  I considered this. “I just thought we could all live together as equals. There isn’t a lot of decision to make.  Mommy runs things. We get our food on time. We get walks. What more do you want?” 

River shrugged, as much as a dog can. “I hear that we should be stronger as a pack.  We need to have some contingency plans. We have to be saving kibble. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?”

“Alexis,” I answered.   “Just ask her. 

“We are going to need a strong leader.  What will we do if something happens?
"What's gonna happen? Nothing ever happens here. If it does, then Mommy will take care of it.  Honestly, this pack leader thing is purely honorary. It’s like being eighth-grade student body President.  The people over you don’t listen at all, and the people under you don't care.”

"But what if something happens to Mommy?" River asked.

"Then you go back to Florida, and I join the Yorkshire Terrier Flying Circus, but until that day comes, it is like saying Macbeth in the theater or Pelosi in the White House. Nothing good can come from it.”

River shook her head.  “Who put these ideas in your head?” I asked.

River looked down.  I thought it was on the floor, but then I realized she was looking towards the porch. “Have you been talking to Ugly Joan?” I asked.  She is the cat who lives under our steps. I know River gets up in the middle of the night, and they chat.  

“She tells me how she is the leader of her pack and has warned me that you aren’t strong enough to keep us together, which is why I have to put you in a peach.”

That darn cat!  I put a paw on her shoulder.  “You can’t be listening to her,” I said.  “How good a leader can Joan be? She lives outside.  She never has human contact, doesn’t have a warm lap to sit on, and eats mice.  Is that the life you want?” I looked into her eyes. “The kitty is a foreigner, and we can’t let foreigners interfere with who leads our pack.”

River looked at me kindly. “You are so right, Pocket. I was foolish. I shouldn’t be listening to the kitty, squirrels, turkeys, geese, or anyone else out of the house.  I was wrong.”

It was a big thing for River to admit.  I thanked her. She picked up the impeach paperwork. I told her I would rip it up.

“That’s okay I’ll get rid of it later.”

I didn’t believe her.  She would soon get dissatisfied with something I did and try again.



It’s pack leader harassment, that’s what it is.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Monday, February 10, 2020

Monday Question

How long does it take you to gut an average stuffie?

Pocket:  I don't know if I have ever gutted a toy but I can't with these toys.

River:  I take pretty good care of my toys too.  It takes me a few months to gut them.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Misty and the Hardest Decision

 Everyone agrees that sending a beloved pet to the Bridge is the hardest thing a parent has to do. But this week, I saw people make a sacrifice that was more heartbreaking than helping their baby ascend to the next life.  These dog parents had to give up their beloved pup up to save her.  

The pups and parents who created the Chronicle of Woos blog, have in recent months, survived terrible blows.  Lightning had an operation to remove a tumor from his back. Misty had an adverse reaction to a rabies shot. Their Dad is slowly losing his eyesight. Lightning, after suffering from several knee injuries and surgeries, cannot withstand any more operations.  He will never be able to run again, and should only be taken outside via leash. He was also was diagnosed with corneal mineral dystrophy and may lose his sight in one eye. Their mom recently fractured her arm just above the elbow. The Woos had enough problems for a dozen packs never mind one.

The broken arm was not the first domino to fall, but it set off a chain reaction that will forever change the pack. The injury required a very delicate and dangerous surgery with no promise of success.  Post-procedure their mom will have to undergo excruciating physical therapy. Given Lightning's mom’s broken arm and his Dad’s diminishing vision it impossible for either of his parents to walk him. When Lightning goes out, his parents watch him closely. Another knee injury would be a disaster. 

Last Monday, Lightning's mom had a surgery scheduled for that afternoon.  She let the Huskies out for their post-breakfast playtime. When she let them in, Misty was holding both her back legs up. Her mom had seen this before, most recently with Lightning.  She contacted her daughter, who took Misty to the vet. The news was worse than she imagined. 

Misty had a full ACL tear in one knee and a partial in the other.  Her parents had been through this with Lightning. Misty would have to be in a crate for 12 weeks and be taken out on a leash and in a sling.  Her parents would have to support her weight by lifting the sling, which is an arduous task as anyone who has done it can attest. She would often need to carried.  Neither of her parents was capable of physically supporting Misty's weight until her back legs healed. Nor could they take her out on a leash. When she healed the other knee would have to be done.  If everything went perfectly Misty would be back to normal by September. But, Misty could not heal properly under the care of two people suffering from 
debilitating injuries. As much as her parents wanted to, they could not provide Misty the care and support she required.

They talked with the vet, and they were given a terrible choice. Misty still has her life ahead of her. No one wanted to send her to the Bridge. But she could not recover living with her parents.

Until Misty’s parents were confronted with this decision, I thought the worst choice a parent had to make was if they should send their baby to the Bridge.  I was wrong. They had to let their baby go, but not to the Bridge. Misty would live with a vet tech who would see her through her surgeries and recovery, but the price was that Misty would make the tech’s house her forever home. 

Two days later, Misty’s mom signed papers giving her beloved pup to the tech.  Now her mom is tormenting herself, hoping that Misty knows that the baby girl did nothing wrong and that her first pack still loves her very much. Her parents feel like they let her down.  The sad fact is that their souls would never let Misty down, but their bodies could not list her up.

Maybe someday, in the future, when emotions are not as raw, her folks will realize they made the most unselfish choice a parent can make.  Letting someone else fully experience your dog’s love, to let them know the beauty of her eyes, her gentle ways, her humor, her love of life is more emotionally taxing then sending a dog to the Bridge. 

We hope that Misty’s parents will continue to be part of her life.  I know if they saw her happy and running as she did as a pup, it would do them a world of good.  But that will take time. As for right now, they are filled with sorrow over their illnesses, injuries, and the hole in their pack, hearts, and lives.

I know  Misty's angels, lead by Ciara, are doing everything they can to make their parents understand that all people, dogs, and angels are in are awe of their unselfishness and love.  They put their baby first and crushed their hearts while doing so.

Their Angels have a lot to deal with:  Mommy’s arm, Daddy’s vision, Lightning’s legs, and Misty’s operation.  We have all pledged to help them.

This fantastic packs of Woos need lots of good times and sunny days.


Help us pray that these wonderful people can be made whole and happy again.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Foley Explains The Power of the Whine

We dogs have a superpower that can bring humans to their knees and make them do our bidding.  That power is called the whimper. 

Dogs have discovered this superpower by accident. To us whimpering is something that comes naturally.  We did it before we began to live with humans. They first noticed when Drog, one of the first dogs to live with men, needed the rock at the cave entrance moved so he could pee.  No one wants to pee in the cave.

 He could not get his owner’s attention, so he made the same whimpering he did when he couldn’t catch food in the wild or find shelter. After a couple of whimpers, Drog’s dad got up from this stone chair and moved the rock.

The next day Drog wanted some ibex meat.  It was on a high rock, and Drog could not get to it. He gave his dad a sad look. It didn’t work. He tried pawing him. 

That didn’t work either. Then Drog remembered the whimper and repeated it. Drog’s dad got up and gave him the meat. When Drog became an angel after being stepped on by a mammoth, he began visiting other dogs in their dreams and told them about the whimper secret. From that day onward, we have used the whimper to get our way.

We are so good at getting parents’ attention that babies tried to copy it by crying, but they could never get the right tone. A cry works sometimes, but a whimper is full-proof.  Children have turned the whimper into a whine with mixed results, which is why it becomes less used when people get older unless they come from New Jersey, then they keep doing it until they are old and smelly.

Dogs can use their whimper throughout their lifetime; We have to concentrate on making sure we use our alto voices.  If we use the bass tone then it comes out a growl and people don’t respond well to growls. If you mix your whimpers and your growls, then you can end up in the shelter for being an aggressive dog instead of being safely in a house for being a wimpy dog.  

I am very proud of my whining abilities.  My whimpers could not be resisted. Pocket does a pretty good job.  Poor River has too much bass in her voice, but she is blessed with a pathetic face, so she doesn’t need to whine.

It goes against my dog code to warn humans about the whimpers, and even if I did, it would be useless.  Whimpering is our superpower and your kryptonite. Resistance is futile.



Thursday, February 6, 2020

River Recounts Her Mom's Struggles With A Bad Tooth

Last week our mom's face blew up.

It started innocently on Sunday when she had a toothache. We felt terrible for her. Cavities can be a bother. We were in the middle of a three day weekend. Mommy would not be able to go to the dentist until Tuesday because of Martin Luther King Day. Suddenly Evan Meechum seemed like a sound thinker.

Mommy suffered all day Sunday while watching the AFC championship game without her favorite team, the Patriots, playing for the first time in 8-years. It was like watching Jeopardy without Ken Jennings. It didn't seem right.

 We regret not appreciating Monday as much as we should have. It was the last day before the impeachment trial began. After that day, the networks showed the same annoying program featuring old people arguing about peaches. I had a hard time watching it, and my mouth is beautiful. I don't know how mommy survived with a painful mouth and bad television.

On Tuesday, Mommy went to the dentist but did not get any relief, but she did get some antibiotics. The dentist said that she had an infection and a crack in her molar.  He told her she needed to wait for the infection to subside before the tooth could be extracted, or she could have a root canal. The dentist also said she could have implants. I don't know what that had to do with a toothache. Maybe if she had implants, no one would be looking at her face and see she was missing a tooth.

That night she had pain like seldom had before, and given that she has had multiple knee operations including two replacements, rotator cuff surgery, and migraine headaches, that is something. Her face swelled up on the left side like it was stuffed with watermelon rines.  By Thursday, it was so severe she had to go back to the dentist. He gave her pain pills and told her to go to the oral surgeon down the street to make an appointment for a root canal. The surgeon took one look at her, put her in his chair, and did a partial procedure. The tooth was too far gone to do a full one.  She would still have to have it extracted. She went from two options to none.

The swelling on the side of her face had lessened, but her it was like a flushed toilet bowl. By morning it would fill up again.  

She was told to make an appointment with another oral surgeon to have the cracked molar removed. She was hoping it would be done the following week, but the woman who answered the phone at the office showed little sympathy for Mommy's plight and scheduled her appointment five weeks later.

After seven days, the swelling had gone down some, but she still looked like she had a pinch between her cheek and gums.   The tooth did not hurt, but her cheek had small bumps on the inside that hurt in the extremes, and she could barely open her mouth to swallow.

 A week after first going to the dentist mommy ran out of antibiotics.  Her face swelled up like Buddy Hackett making a hot air balloon impression.  It hurts so much that waterboarding seemed like a gentle massage by comparison.

She called her regular dentist, who was stunned that the oral surgeon they recommended had not extracted her tooth yet.   He prescribed a stronger antibiotic and helped Mommy get an appointment extraction on the following Wednesday.  

Yesterday the terrible tooth was finally removed, and my mom is on the road to recovery. It has been a hard time for all of us.  I have even missed naps! We hope the rest of the winter passes without any more drama and pain for all of us.  

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Beat This Caption


Can you please hurry it up?  I got two more rolls to go tonight and I don't want to fall behind

Monday, February 3, 2020

Monday Question

A simple question:  How much do you weigh?

Pocket:  I weigh six pounds

River:  I weigh 13 pounds

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Angel From the East Side Cat Arrives at Rainbow Bridge


I know why humans don't like to go to the funerals for people who are not their family members.  It is hard to go to a service where you don't know the people, where you have to introduce yourself, and express sorrow over a passing when you know the pain you feel is a fraction of what the person you are speaking with is experiencing.

That is what it is like when we dogs go to greet a cat who is arriving at the Bridge and is not a member of our family. We know all the dogs who cross and the angels who preceded them, but with cats, we might only be familiar with the arriving angel.  We can't help but feel like interlopers.  

Most of the cats I know come from the blogging world.  Even online pups and kitties are separated into separate groups as if it was God's plan.  It is only in the independent world of blogging where the lines begin to cross, and we visit one another's pages.  It still took me a long time to befriend cats in Blogville, but now I visit their pages every day and enjoy their antics. 

This weekend our friend Angel from the East Side Cats ran out of heartbeats, and her parents had to restore her to her original settings and send her to the Bridge, where she will be happy and whole again.  Cotton, who is my counterpart at District Four cats division, sent me an alert from her I-Paw, informing me of Angel's imminent arrival.

We angels are much like you humans.  When we learn of a passing, we try to figure ways of not going to the service until we accept that we must attend.  At the time of Angel's arrival, I put on my musher's wax to protect my paws, grabbed my walking stick, and headed towards Kittyspace, where Angel will stay while waiting for her parents.

When a new soul passes across the Bridge at Doggyspace, her angel friends are anxiously zooming up and down hills, laughing, and barking loudly.  Cats are much more reserved. As they waited for Angel's arrival, some were standing at attention, others were lying in the grass, and a few seemed to be sleeping.  I wondered if it is because cats don't love as much as dogs.

Then I saw Angel cross the Bridge, and all the cats ran to her.  They made a big circle around her and began purring and licking.  It was quieter and refined than one of our greetings, but I liked it. Their welcoming was simple and moving.  Sometimes I think we dogs are too loud for our good.   

I made my way into the group of cats, and introduced myself to Angel, told her that I was very sorry that she had crossed the Bridge and that she had lots of friends on the doggy side who were available if she needed help adjusting to life at the Bridge or learning how to visit her family.  She gave me a lick of thanks and invited me to her welcoming dinner.

It was a marvelous time, even if there was a bit too much fish.  I did get a little tipsy on the catnip. We dogs have to develop an equivalent.  The celebration was more reserved than the doggy dinners. There was no howling, no counter surfing, no bacon. After a few hours, I began to miss all the craziness of our festivities.

I excused myself, hugged Angel, and walked back home.   It was good to travel and see other customs, but it is nice to get home back to the noise, drool, and bacon.

I know Angels' mom is grieving again. She has done it lots of times before and will come through with the help of her family, friends, and angels.  All our moms and dads do.

I.promised Angel, I would spend more time at Kittyspace.  It will be good for me to expand my horizons. We could all benefit from seeing how the other half lives.