Sunday, June 16, 2019

Layla the Coyote Fighter is the June 16, 2019 Pup of the Week

At first, there was the wolf.  Proud, steady, loyal to his pack, great hunter and provider the wolf ruled his territory.  But inside the wolf's mind, there was conflict.

Part of the wolf wanted to work with men, and live inside their shelter, another part wanted to downsize, become quick and stealthy, and a third part was content being a wolf.

To bring peace to the wolf’s mind, he was split into three different species.  The part that wanted to downsize and rely on speed and cunning became the fox. The part that wanted to be domesticated and work with men became the dog. The rest remained wolves   But, unintentionally there were a fourth species created.

It was born out of jealousy. It hated the dogs for allowing themselves to become domesticated. It despised the close relationship dogs had with humans. It became the opposite of the domesticated dog. Instead of kindness and understanding, it was angry and stubborn. Instead of loyal, it was devious.   From the moment of its creation, it desired to exterminate dogs. This new species was called the coyote.

Since that time, coyotes have been perpetually on the edge of the woods waiting to take their revenge on dogs.  They consider pups to be weak. If dogs turned on their humans, then all wolf descendants would be feared. Every day, somewhere in the world, a coyote attacks an unsuspecting dog.

Last week our good friend Layla became the latest dog targeted by a coyote.   She lives a different life than most of us. She has an entire farm to explore with lots of creatures to chase. But this week she became the prey.  

Layla is a one-year-old, who recently celebrated her Gotcha Day.  She was playing on her farm when a coyote, who had been watching her like a submarine captain searching the ocean for ships,  burst from her hiding spot and ran at Layla.

Layla showed she is wise beyond her years.  She knew she could not fight this beast on a mission, so she ran.  But, even a farm dog like Layla who spends lots of time running was no match for a coyote raised in the wild. 

The coyote caught Layla.  It clenched on to her leg in an attempt to take her down. If the legs went, then the body would follow, leaving the dog helpless.    Layla fought off the attacker and ran for safety.

Her dad had seen the attack.  Coyotes are so jealous of the relationship between dogs and humans they won't even approach people.  This has been the salvation of many a dog after encountering a coyote. Seeing Layla's dad, the coyote slunk back to its hiding spot.

From the moment her dad had seen the coyote, he feared the worst.  He picked up his wounded friend and saw the rip in her leg. He hurried her to the vet.  Layla's Dad was worried about the bleeding, muscular damage, and rabies. Prayer requests for Layla flooded the Bridge.

Luckily all Layla needed was a round of antibiotics.  Once again, a dog’s determination and the love between man and dog was able to defeat the coyotes who wanted to rip man and dog apart.

Layla showed us how to stand up to and survive a coyote attack.  Luckily she also had the essential tool in a dog’s arsenal — the love of a parent.

It truly separates us from the dogs of the wild.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Foley Reflects on Six Years at Ran

Six years!  I have been at Rainbow Bridge for six years. Frankly, if I knew the entire world would turn to crap after I left, I wouldn’t have felt so bad about leaving.

I understand you being shocked that six years have passed since I last trod on the mortal side of the river. This is mostly because unlike so many of my brethren; I never learned how to keep quiet after I passed over.

I have used my ability to communicate with the mortal world not to appease my ego but to let those left behind know their dogs are still running free and are happy.  They are in a place their parents are not allowed to visit, yet. (Maybe 25 percent to appease my ego, 50 percent to tops.)

I am happy that I was able to provide for my family so they could recover from the devastating pain that was caused by my passing. They aren't better than ever, let's face it, without me, how could they be? But, they are functioning in the harsh world. River Song has been a suitable replacement. Not a recast but a new role. Like MASH when Trapper John left, and they brought in BJ.  He was quieter and not as funny as Trapper, but he still kept the show afloat for another seven years.

River has done an excellent job at the most critical task that I assigned her:  Being devoted to our mom. The river is always next to her or within the sound of her voice.   I was the same way. We are both tied to mommy like a rowboat to a dock during a squall when one rogue wave could wash her away.

Dependable  Pocket is there as well.  She has never been asked to be the velcro dog. I had that position covered before she joined our pack. Pocket is the backup quarterback who can handle a series or two while the starter is being checked out, but she has never been full-time velcro companion.  She is too nervous. It takes a lot of time and training to be a velcro dog. If she were asked to do it more than a few hours, she would wilt like Andy Dalton in a divisional playoff game.

I must give credit to my little sister.  I didn’t think Pocket would be able to handle my duties on Tanner Brigade and Blogger, but she has stepped up admirably.  She has come a long way from the puppy who I wouldn’t allow on Doggyspace because she wasn’t housebroken. She followed my rules to always being kind in her posts I probably didn’t have to tell her that, she is genuinely kind unless you hide her ball.

I have been fortunate enough to learn many things in my time at the Bridge:

No matter how long you are on the mortal side, it is too short.

There is never any sense or reason about when and why we pass over.

Grief is a long, dark road through dark woods.  The length of the journey depends on the person mourning and who they lost.  There is no right or wrong way to make it through. No matter how hopeless it may seem, the journey will end eventually.

I know I have more lessons to learn.  If you stop learning, you stop existing.  

I do hope the world becomes a better place in the next six years.  Watching what is going on at the mortal side, I am glad I am here.

Right now the mortal place is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Pocket and the Green Grass

I am mostly a pavement walker.  When we are on our daily constitutionals, I tend to walk more on the tar than the grass.  I guess I have gotten used to it.

I have been a pavement walker since birth.  When we lived in the condo, I had to walk on the street to get to the designated bathroom area, and being a dog of very little bowel or bladder; I relieved myself before we reached the grass. When we walked at the state hospital grounds, I tended to stay on the tar even though there was grass on either side of the walkway.

When we walk at our current home, we can either go on the pavement or our neighbor's lawns. I choose the pavement.  My parents wish I would walk on the lawns. My habit of suddenly stopping at their feet has led to several near trip incidents.

We usually walk to the back of our park. There are fewer houses, less barking dogs to startle us, and fewer people who demand we come to them so they can have the pleasure of scratching us.  Often, humans forget they want to do this, and we have to bark to remind them. Sometimes, they don't get to pet us at all. Poor people! My parents say this interrupts their peaceful enjoyment of their walk.  Who walks a dog for peace?

Recently we have started walking towards the front of the development. There's a higher risk of seeing people, or barking dogs, and of our precious snowflake parents being disturbed, but it provides us the opportunity to go off property and explore the old abandoned barn near the city street.  This is an area with outstanding smells and fascinating pee-mail from creatures I could never hope to meet on our side of the road.

Next to the barn and behind the mailboxes is a big green lawn. We have walked on this grass before, but I have never really taken to it. Lately, I have found that walking on grass is a joyful experience.

It is June, and that makes it high time for grass. It is thick, green, and fragrant. I don't like the winter grass that's cold and bent. The early spring lawns are sharp and muddy.  I like the sound of leaves crunching under my paws in the fall, but all the discarded foliage robs the grass of its texture. During late summer the grass turns yellow and hard. No matter the season, I hate wet grass. Whenever I am on it, I end up soaked and have to be toweled off which I hate.

Right now, at the end of spring, the grass is perfect. It tickles my paws as I walk. I hop around like a ground ball on a Venezuelan junkyard infield while wearing a big smile. There is nothing like soft grass on a sunny spring day

I don't know how long we'll be exploring the grass.  Mommy has had two knee replacements on her shaky knees, and she prefers a level surface and not the hilly terrain at the barn or having to be on alert for all the holes and divots hidden by the thick grass on the lawn. She worries about creatures buried deep in the grass.  One tick and we're never going off road again.

River Song is not as picky about her walking areas as I am. As long as she can bury her nose in the grass and sniff like the Rock at the end of a promo, she is content.

I am going to enjoy my walking on the grass while I can. One day it will stop, either because Mommy tells us we can't go on the grass anymore because we picked up a tick, or one hot day I will be brought to the edge of the green and slam on the breaks refusing to go further.

Until then, I am going to enjoy the spring when Pocket discovered grass.