Sunday, December 26, 2010

Kolchak and Felix are our pups of the week for December 26, 2010

I know, I know.  You're all thinking, these two again?  I do like to spread the pups of the week recognition around a little but when the candidates include these two what can you do?

You could very well be asking why we are recognizing Kolchak and Felix again.  No, it's not because they made us a whole tin of great googa ooga balls that we enjoyed more than anything we had all year.  No, we have picked them not just for one reason, because if it was only one we would have passed them over for some pup who got a splinter in his paw, but they actually gave us two reasons.  I mean two reasons:  what can we do?

The first is the incredible work they did in finding new homes for Sota and Freddy.  In Miss Gina's last days she was  very concerned about what would happen to her pups.  She shouldn't have fretted for a second because she belonged to a group with Kolchak, Felix, and their wonderful Mom, Miss Jodi.

When Miss Gina passed to the bridge it was a body blow to all of us.  Miss Jodi, Kolchak and Felix took it as hard as anyone.  But they bounced back off the canvas and undertook a mission.  Miss Gina's puppies were her heart, they needed a new home, and she was going to find one for them.

Between her and Carol (Lou, Jimmy, Hoppy & Captain's Mom) from DS the pups were picked up.  Within six hours Miss Jodi had worked her magic and Freddy was not only placed, but placed at one of the coolest houses in the entire doggy universe with Tommy Tunes.  That is some magical work.

By December 8 the pups were with Lou, Jimmy, Hoppy and Captain's Mom.  They had their forlorn ovaries removed (I don't know why) got their shots, new blankets and toys,  Then the members of DS and TB came together with wonderful advice and chip ins to pay for their medical stays and to figure out the best way to get them to their new homes.

Sota didn't know it as first but she was already in her new home as she became Lou, Jimmy, Hoppy and Captain's new sister.  Meanwhile, after about a dozen blizzards, Freddy got to go to another wonderful house:  Smoochy's, before it is time to go to Tommy's.  To become so many wonderful dogs sister, even for a short time, had to be a thrill.

To get the full story of all the wonderful pups and Moms who helped, because there are so many I don't want forgrt one,  you can read Kolchak and Felix's blog here

Now, if that was all they did, pup of the week?  Poof.  But, in their spare time, in between finding new homes for Pepsi and Sota, Kolchak's beautiful blind side hit on Bret Farve finally ridding the world of him, Felix's becoming Lindsay Lohan's service dog and barking at her whenever she approaches someone with a flask filled with Glenlivet, and their Mom, who made a million great googa ooga balls for our Fesitvus party, they started the Tanner Brigade Secret Paw group which will puts smiles on hundreds of pups faces throughtout 2011.

So it is our honor to recognize Kolchak and Felix as the last pup of the week for 2010.  They are wonderful friends, great story tellers, brilliant organizers, with huge hearts, and a warrior's determination.  They will find a home for you, bake you wonderful treats, and have dogs you never met send you gifts.

I know there are many other pups who helped with Gina's pups, and we'd like to recognize them all, but the modest Kolchak and Felix have already done so, and will continue to.

So here is to Kolchak and Felix, and al the great pups of the Tanner Brigade and Doggyspace.  While Kolchak and Felix accept the award, you are all pups of the week.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Foley's mid life crises

I believe I am having a mid-life crises.  One:  I plan to live to see my twentieth birthday which puts me smack dab in the middle of life.  Two:  I have exhibiting uncharacteristic behavior lately.  To wit:

Eating:  When I was a pup I would drive Mommy and Daddy to the edge of despair by refusing to eat.  Daddy would stick his index finger into the gross mixture of wet puppy food, then put it in my mouth and scrape his finger across the roof of it and my and teeth so the food would get into my tummy.  His finger tasted better than the food.  Even as I moved into adulthood I would skip meals if something during the day upset me, or I was angry with Mommy, because my not eating would upset her so.  Now, she could shave my tail and give my hair to homeless dogs and it wouldn't stop me from eating.  I eat my food.  I eat Pocket's food.  I lick the plates until there isn't a taste of food on them.  I lick the floor around the plates.  And when Mommy and Daddy are eating I make myself into quite the pest, barking and growling, even though mostly I only get kibble, even though Daddy occasionally sneaks me some human good.  If I could I would eat everything in the house.  I even picked up Pocket's bad case of poo eating until Mommy bought a treat that makes me not want to eat poo, which is fine, because now instead of gross tasting poo I get a treat.  I am always one step ahead.

Licking:  I love licking.  I lick everything.  I lick Daddy's face and hands.  He's a good tasting guy.  I like to lick Mommy but she really isn't big on being licked.  She was raised in the 50's.  I lick my paws.  It's my way of remembering where I have been.  I lick the floor, the rugs.  I lick Mommy's slippers.  It's the closest thing to liking Mommy.  I don't know why I lick so much.  Daddy wonders if it is something wrong with me.  Mommy just thinks I like to lick.  Personally, it is my quest to taste the best of life, and I am going to taste it all.

Ornery:  I have become more ornery the more I have aged.  As an example tonight Mommy's brother and his wife were over.  I bounced over to her and sat on the pillows next to her and grrrrddd until she pet me.  Then when she stopped I grrrrrddd some more.  When they were eating I grrrrrdddd for food.  When they were done I grrrdddd to have Daddy pick me up then grrrrddd to have him put me down.  When Daddy picked Pocket up I grrrddd to be picked up by Mommy.  Then I grrrdddd until Daddy reached across the table to scratch me.  When the sound of laughter made Pocket nervous and Daddy put her down and she put her paws on Mommy's knees I Snnnarrrrrrrrrrd at her and snapped loudly and Daddy had to pick her up to separate,  Now that I read this it seems more bitchy then ornery.

I am thinking of buying a corvette.  I am tempted to find a Mommy with a younger lap and make excuses to Mommy why I'm home late, while actually I am curled up on another woman's lap.  I am thinking of combing my hair over that little bold spot on my belly.                                                                                              

You only have one mid life crises.  It's important to do it right.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Summer Grace and Sandy are our December 19, 2010 pups of the week

During my many hours of surfing the Internet searching for all things pertinent to pups I read several postings that professed the loss of a limb for a dog was not as traumatic as the loss of a limb for a human.  To this I say Chihuahua chitlins.  Can some hooman produce a list of three legged dogs they have interviewed on this subject?  Did one of these pup experts appear on Larry King?  Has Larry every said:  "Let's go to Hattie Mae in Fredericksburg?"

This month two of our very good friends, Summer Grace and Sandy both needed operations that turned them temporarily into three legged pups.

Beautiful Summer had been suffering from knee problems for some time now.  Then on Thanksgiving her other knee went (hold on, I need to look up the proper medical term) kaflooey.  Plus, to add insult to injury, she also had to go on a diet so she wouldn't gain weight while she was immobile.  Gosh, if you can't run and play, at least they can do is let you eat.

While on the Tanner Brigade injured reserve list (she is listed as doubtful for Sunday) and awaiting surgery her house was invaded by three other pups, and while she made fast friends with them, as she does with everyone, the young pups high energy level caused her Mom a great deal of worry.  Then came the big day and Mommy did everything to make her ordeal as bearable as possible even packing her favorite bwanky.  (Some Mommies may not know this but us dogs really appreciate things like this.)

Summer had to spend a night at the vets.  When she got home she was told no puppy activity for four to six weeks and she had to poop on a leash.  Let me tell you, with four good legs, getting enough slack to get the leash on the ground, positioning it behind you, squatting over it, and hitting it with your poop is hard enoughs.  On two legs it is down right impossible. 

Luckily Summer was given some nice drugs, not from the kind of dealer that mishandle your Christmas cards but from nice ones.  They made her sleepy, they made her want to spend all her time of her blue bwanky, but she still manged to poop on her leash.  Bazinga!

Plus they gave her a Brazilian.  I am all for providing health care relief the first responders to the 9/11 tragedy but who will speak for the three legged, forced dieting, pooping on leashes, bared whowho dogs out there in the world?

Her ingenious Mom began asking her friends about how to aid Summer in walking and soon she was able to hop around on her front legs while having her back legs held up.  She also got to eat green beans and pumpkin.  This may sound gross but it has allowed her to increase the power of the only weapon a three legged, Brazilian shaved, dog can wield:  Farts.  Her farts were so deadly it drove the three visitors from her house.  

Then her Mommy bought her the best gift a dog could ever have:  A fart fan.  Now she could have the wonderful smell of farts without having to produce them herself.  It was a Fesitvus miracle.  Soon Summer was getting around the house, and even in the computer room where she could communicate with us.

As Summer was going through her ordeal Sandy faced the same ordeal but by different circumstances:  He was attacked by Bambi's butt.  Bambi must somehow have access to the secret Tanner Brigade blogs.  The doe learned how to fire projectiles out her butt MacDougal style.  Sandy dove out of the way and heard something go pop in his knee.

Now poor Sandy was facing the same surgery that Summer had.  But just like Summer he came through it bravely.  And like Summer he got a Brazilian but I don't think male dogs can get a Brazilian.  Maybe he got a Colombian.  Whatever it was damn cold.  He did have an advantage poor Summer did not have.  While Summer only had her Mom as a nurse maid Sandy had Maggie and Bo.  The biggest threat he faced was his Mom drowning him with kisses.

Sandy got his staples out first and his mother was trained in physical therapy.  Or was she?  While she carefully worked his leg it hurt Sandy and he snapped at her.  Who to blame?  Mom?  Sandy?  No the bad trainers and Pocket and I are scratching at the bit waiting to be able to sue the butt thermometers off of them.

Sandy is already back to running around the fastest three legged dog in America.  Summer has some more rivers to cross.  She is going to have another surgery.  Hopefully, after that, she will be as good as new.  But of these pups have shown bravery above and beyond the dog call of duty.

Ans that is why Summer Grace and Sandy are our pups of the week.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Never let the drug dealers print your Christmas Cards

I warned them, and warned them, and warned them but they would not listen to me, and today they paid the price.

Mommy and Daddy drove down the Dirty Boulevard to the hood today to get our Christmas cards from their drug dealer.  To no ones surprise but theirs the drug dealer did not have the cards.  Now I spend my nights sleepless, knowing that my photo, and Pocket's photo, are floating around the ether somewhere until someone finds it, and uses Photoshop to put our perfect faces on freshly shaven dogs.

Daddy sent Mommy into the hood to get the pictures because that's how he rolls.  He sat in the car reading his Entertainment Weekly (sorry gals, he's taken) while Mommy risked life and limb to wish everyone Happy Holidays.  Finally, after digesting a fascinating essay on both of Reese Weatherspoon's deep thoughts, Daddy realized that the sequence of slipping the drug dealer unmarked non-sequential bills and him slipping Mommy an unmarked envelope of adorable Christmas cards had taken too long.  He exited the car, grabbing Mommy's umbrella on a pretense that it had started to rain and she had not taken it with her, but truthfully he planned to go Patrick MacNee on someone's ass, and set off looking for Mommy.

He found her with a ferocious dealer,  her white hair back in a bun. wearing jeans and a vest.  Colors!  The red vest and name tag gave her away as a gang member.  The East Coast chapter of CVS employees is known to be especially viscous.  The first words the gang banger said to Daddy were:  "It's not my fault."  Wow.  Bitches respect the umbrella.  She then explained to my bad ass Dad holding the Natural Playful instrument of death that some of her fellow stoners had printed the pictures but they were missing. 

Well, what to expect from stoners?  Mommy said she was getting a discount, and the three pictures with no writing that she had bought for her children would be redone for free and she would pick them up the next day  Mommy seemed to have the situation in hand but Daddy wanted to make sure he was adequately backing her up.  So he went back to the car and read an Entertainment Weekly profile of TI.

Mommy soon came out, carrying her umbrella, with fresh dents in the handle, and hopefully enough pictures to spread some holiday cheer to our many friends.  Tonight Daddy is going to do the addresses and zip codes  on his label maker fresh from learning how TI had turned this hobby into a business while staying in the Greybar Hotel.

We sincerely hope he cards get to your house by Valentine's Day

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Saffron and Sage are our December 12, 2010 pups of the week

I thought we had an agreement with our humans.  We live with them as long as we can, then we go to the bridge and wait for their arrival.  Upon hearing the horrific news of Saffron's and Sage's Mom's diagnosis I sent Pocket to the Ladybug Law Library to procure a copy of this document.  It was stamped non-binding.  After a slip of the paw led to an hours long google search (I typed in non-bonding by mistakes.  Humans.  Really?  You have an interest in such pictures?) I realized that non-binding means we can't hold humans to the agreement.  What a gyp!

A special poem for Jackie

Oooh oooh oooh Jackie Pool
Don't give in to the rising gloom
Try to wear a smile when all you want to do is frown
Oh, Jackie, with the love of two great dogs you can't be down

Our hearts crumbled when we realized the same Big Bad C that took Freddy's and Sota's Mom Ms. Gina was now stalking Ms. Jackie.  Oh how we love Ms. Jackie.  She helped out our Mom without being asked, and never even asked for a thanks.  She has fought every illness that had attacked Sage and Saffron like a Mama Grizzly protecting her cubs.  Time, money, pain:  Nothing stood in the way of keeping her pups healthy, and there is nothing they wouldn't do to return the favor.

You live your life being the best possible Mom
Providing a happy and healthy hearth and home
There just doesn't seem to be enough words
To recount all the tales of your kindness we have heard

I have stopped trying to make sense of who gets their tickets stamped for the bridge, where and why.  On Tuesday Daddy told us a story about a 28 year old man named Tyrell.  His mother is one of his clients.  Daddy has known him since her was six years old.  He grew up surrounded by gangs, guns, and drugs.  He used to take a beating walking home from school for the crime of being educated.  But he never lost sight of his goal, to get out of the projects and have a real life.  Well, he did it.  Had a job, two kids, a wife, going to college, a place to live that wasn't supported by tax payers.  On Tuesday, while going home from work, while entering the highway, an 83 year old woman, exiting the highway, had a heart attack, lost consciousness, and slammed into the side of Tyrell's car, killing him.  When the police came to his Mom's house, asking vague questions about him, then returned to their car, she called Daddy to ask if she heard anything.  When the police returned she put down the phone and Daddy heard them give her the news of her sons passing.  Daddy said he could still hear her screams. Meanwhile, the drug dealers, the users, the schemers, his own age, who abuse their bodies and minds every day, continue to chug onward.

Ooo-hoo  Jackie Pool
You're a winner honey, you never lose
Ask the winners and you're going to find
They are just copying your kind

This whole sickness, death thing, it makes no sense.  It's random, it doesn't care who you are and what you have done.  It finds you and punishes you without rhyme or reason.  But sometimes I think it really targets the best of us.

Don't tell me that you're not aware
Of what you're going through and how much we care
We know it's not easy, not a natural thing
Like trying to play a song you can't sing

What can us pups do?  We did band together to bring the largest doggy site on the Internet to it's knees.  But this is much more difficult.  We can try to nose our parents into getting screened, but depending where your playground is it may be too far to get to the doctor, depending on how much insurance you have it could be too expensive, and sometimes there isn't enough time, or it just doesn't fit into where they are in their lives right now.

Ooh hoo Jackie Pool 
We're making wishes we pray come true
You've been places we've never been
We know you'll get to go there again

We can ask our parents to give money to cancer research groups.  My Mommy and Daddy give money to the Jimmy Fund and Dana Faber.  There are lots of wonderful organization out there.  But we also  know hard times have moved and don't intent to leave so money is tight, but a few dollars here or there can make a difference.

Ooh-hoo Jackie Pool\
We pray all your dreams come true
Our lives slip away like sand through your hand
Oh Jackie may it be many years before all your sand hits the land

But there isn't really anything we can do besides be Mom's best friend and pray for her.  We know Pocket is a doctor, but that's an honoree award.  Dogs can't really help with cancer.  Or can they?

Every day in your eyes
The sun never sets it will only rise
Moonlight and wine and pups some fine
For good friends two legged and four you have the time

Check out this link (while you're waiting Pocket and I will perform an awkward pause)  (I lick my paws while Pocket stares at me.  She then begins to lick her va-jay-jay and I nudge her to make her stop.  I glare at her.  We look silently ahead for several moments.)  So what did you think.  Isn't that cool?

Ooh-hoo Jackie Pool\
She's so sweet, wonderful and cool
She has been given news that was quite bad
But we're going to try hard to make sure she's never sad

Dr Pocket could really be a Dr Pocket.  We could sniff you and let you know if something is wrong.  So all of us together, including us pups, can held defeat the Big Bad C if we put our mind to is and not see any other Moms or pups suffer again.

Our hearts and prayers go to you Saffron and Sage and most importantly your Mom.  We love her and every day we send healing vibes her way,.  Maybe someday we can do more.

Ooh Jackie Ooh Jackie
Ooh Jacke Ooh Jackie
Jackie we love you

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas card outtakes

You can spread the word of the birth in the manger, you can promise the babies that Santa is on the way, you can spread merry and bright cheer:  but I know the truth.  This Christmas thing.  It's one giant photo op.

Pocket and I hate the Christmas tree. It's appearance means that we will soon be tortured by our two perfectionist (only when it comes to Yorkie Pictures) parents and posed with flash bulbs blinking at us more than a Kardashian acting like a Slore. 

We made it through seven days without getting our picture taken and we began hoping that Mommy and Daddy had found the perfect Christmas cards in the discount aisle at Hallmark.  But on Sunday my faith in a retail giants ability to overstock during the holiday was unrealized  The camera was brought out.  The posing was about to begin.

Luckily, for Pocket, there were no antlers this year.  The antlers don't matter to me.  Daddy tried to put them on me once.  That's why he is known as Three Knuckles.   

On Sunday morning Daddy, Pocket and I were relaxing, when Mommy came downstairs with the camera.  Here is one of our dog flaws:  It takes us a few moments to add what is going on during a given situation.  The Christmas tree is up, we spend endless hours shooting Christmas card pictures once the tree is up, Mommy has a camera, run!  By the time this was all computed we were in their arms and being carried to the place where, in their twisted logic, we should be placed to create the perfect picture:  the kitchen table (where they eat, where their grandchildren come and spit up on their toys.)

They put a green blanket on the table.  They arranged a vase full of pretty flowers to be near us and two candle holders.  "Should we light the candles?" Daddy asked.   (Did you see the video on You Tube where the idiot put his two Yorkies on the dinner table on a blanket next to two lit candles in front of a Christmas Tree.  Burned down a three mile block.)

No candles were lit.  Thank Dog for Moms.  We were placed on the table.  Now I am used. to the table.  Some mornings, after breakfast, I can coax Daddy into letting me up there.  I sit on a place mat and get nice scratches and rubs while Daddy looks at the computer and Mommy the papers.  Pocket is not allowed,  She'd go like the drunk violinist on the Titanic:  Plop.

So we're up there.  I'm cool. I know if we just sit still and look at the camera it won't last for long.  But Pocket has never been on the table before, knows she shouldn't be on the table, and can't stop shaking.  Plus Mommy and Daddy are nervous about us falling which makes them jump whenever we move, which makes us jump, and around and around we go.

This is one of our discarded table photos

Mommy sat in her chair and looked at all the pictures but decided that none of them were satisfactory.  Daddy said we could pose on the first landing on the steps:  The exact picture we didn't use last year.  Why he is not Presidents I do not know.  They began to arrange decorations on the steps.  Pocket trembled but I assured her we would be back snuggled up as soon as this exercise in futility reached it's conclusion.

One of the props was a reindeer.  We took some totally unusable photos with it last year, but the reindeer had been working out, so we had big hopes for him.  They also put up their tiny Christmas tree and they thought it was just the perfect picture.  Then they added us.

That's when things fell apart.  Pocket had learned that just before the picture was clicked the flash would go off, so that beautiful look on her face was instantly turned to looking like the junior senator from Kentucky during the State of the Union Address.

Finally we grew tired of this reindeer and his antics and we went Sarah Palin on his ass.  His is us in our position of triumph.
This is it the card we are sending to Mrs.Palin to show her that she is not the only one who can kill caribou in the wilderness.

By the end of the night we were exhausted.  We were lying on the warm afghan a friend of Daddy's made for him.  We were snuggled up close together. 

Daddy saw us lying there, the Christmas pillow behind us, the tiny tree lit up behind the couch, and he reached for the camera.  "This could be the perfect shot," he said.  He clicked, and clicked, and clicked.  57 shots later Mommy and Daddy determined that they may have found one acceptable picture. 

They took it to their drug dealer today.  I don't know why they get Christmas Cards done at the pharmacy.  They said they were going to the place where they get their drugs to make the pictures.  When I googled the term drug dealer I found some very disturbing things.

I tried to talk them out of it, but they were quite persistent that there was no danger despite non-arguable nationwide crime stats.   They picked out the card, scanned the picture, are picking them up on Monday, Daddy is doing the labels, and hopefully they will be in the mail mid week.   For those on our list, you should have them by the end of the week, except for Luca and Junior.  We pray it gets to you by Christmas.

After that we will make it our profile picture so everyone can see it and tell me Daddy what a bad photographer he is.  Of course this can't be true.  How could you have a bad picture of the two of us?  Unless the drug dealers don't do the cards properly.

Holidays.  So much pressure and such a bother.  I hope you enjoy them. Now Pocket and I are going to eat some reindeer.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Little dogs can't jump (or catch)

From the desk of Pocket Dog:

Every day when Daddy gets home from work, or when we sleep late weekend mornings, after our constitutional, I frantically search the house looking for where my little yellow ball has hidden from our previous days play, and when I find it I drop it besides Daddy.

Sometimes Daddy throws it over my head and I chase it as it bounces away. Sometimes he rolls it and I either stop it like a goalie, smothering the ball, or chase after it barking. And sometimes he just flicks it over my head.

When he does that I jump up, open my mouth, and have the ball bounce off my jaw, or smack off my nose, or flick off my teeth, or just pass right through my mouth like it was Steven Johnson's hands. I go on Tanner Brigade. I watch the videos. Dogs catching balls, frisbees, sticks, water fowl, and I can't catch a tiny yellow ball.

Foley, who has never played ball in her life, will sit, watch and criticize, but, since she is the only other dog in the house she becomes my defacto coach, even though she knows as much about catching a ball in her mouth as she does about fencing. "Don't lift your head too much, don't take your eye off the ball, open your mouth wider, way to go Buckner, nice drop Holliday, you suck" she barks at me breaking my delicate concentration. She's actually a pretty miserable coach.

Daddy tries to help me. He holds the ball, showing it to me, showing it to me, showing it to me, then bounces it and it heads right to my mouth, and out again. He tells me my barking when I see it doesn't help: the force of air with the bark forces the ball out of my mouth. But I get so excited.

Sometimes, when we're home alone, and she's bored, Foley will let me out of my crate and practice with me. She takes the ball in her mouth, and softly flips it to me less than two inches away. I snap at it, try to catch it on my tongue, leave my mouth open and hope it goes in like an envelope through a mail slot, but nothing. Foley suggested putting glue on my lips because she said it worked "on so many levels," but I rejected her offer.

Even Mommy, who was built for sitting, not playing, wants me to catch the ball. She says with a ball in my mouth at least I don't bark.

Sometimes Daddy holds the ball in the air and I take it from him with my mouth, because if I could take it with my paws I would so be on Letterman. Then he flips it too me and I'm Jackie Smith open in the endzone (obscure 70's Super Bowl trivia. You can Google it if you want.)

I am lucky that Daddy never gets mad at me. Except for Saturday. That's the day he had the leash in his hand ready to take me outside and I peed on the rug right in front of him. Hey! I was saving him the trip outside.

In turn I try to never get mad at Daddy, But today, but did he blow it big time.

Mommy and Daddy have been planning to put video of us online. Today he decided to film me trying to catch the ball. Now, Daddy doesn't know how to take a video with the camera, or even if the camera can take video. But that didn't stop him. He kept looking down at it, trying to figure out how to use it, and he bounced the ball in front of me, just as he had a 100 times today.

He then held up the camera, waiting for the ball to thunk on the ground, but it didn't. I snapped it right out of the air! On my first try on video! Touchdown Pocket!

Daddy fiddled with the camera some more as I did my end zone dance. Then I hurried over to see the video. And Daddy didn't record it.

I didn't get mad. He had been so patient with me it wouldn't be right to get angry.

But I did change the name of the blog. It shall now be called White Men Can't Video.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Great moments in history: Levi surrenders to Foley at Appomattix

As recounted by Pocket:

It was a cold Friday after Thanksgiving morning as Foley emerged from her tent for her morning constitutional. She heard the galloping of paw hoofs and turned to see General Mollie running to her with a missive in her mouth. Foley saluted her. Mollie spit the missive on the ground.

"It's from General Levi," Mollie said. "He is offering to surrender."

Foley took a long puff on her pipe and read the message. "Very well," she said. She called me over and asked me to write a message to General Levi. She would meet with him at the Appomattox Dog Park.

Foley then gathered her Generals: Hattie Mae, Hobo Hudson, Luca, Cocoa Puff, and Kolchak. Foley announced that they, along with her and I, would be walking to the dog park to hear his terms. "Walk?" Hattie huffed. "I just did my nails!" It was agreed that Hobo and I would carry sticks in our mouths and Hattie would lay on a chair constructed on these sticks.

We set out following a trail in the woods, Foley leading us, barkless. We came to a clearing, and saw an old school house, and could smell the enemy. One of the men stood in the doorway, then turned and said something to those gathered inside. General Levi then came to the door, and called for us to come.

We ran excitedly across the cold ground. We can't help it. We're dogs. Just before we entered the house Foley pulled up short, turned to us, and looked us in the eye, reminding us to keep our dignity.

We entered. While Foley was in her informal Tanner duds, Levi was dressed in his best skinny leg jeans, a pressed Duran Duran concert T-shirt, and a Germanna baseball cap, turned backwards.

Foley introduced her staff, knowing that General Levi was familiar with them all. General Levi then introduced his staff: General Confusion, General Malaise, General Chaos, General Mayhem, and General Anesthesia.

Levi then sat down at a wooden table in the center of the room, his scabbard scraping the floor. Foley looked up at the chair, wagged her tail, got ready to spring, thought about it, growled, took a couple of practice lifts, then jumped into the chair and slid across. Luckily General Cocoa Puff was on the side using her paws to keep the General from sliding off.

Foley righted herself. She told General Levi she read his twitter feed. He seemed to have no recollection of hers. They briefly chatted on the trials and pleasures of running an on line network. Then Levi's face grew serious. He snapped for, and got, a Corona with a twist of lime, from General Mayhem.

He took a sip. He drummed his fingers on the table. He shifted in his chair uncomfortably. "Too many losses," he said. "We suffered too many losses. When you defected we were confident you would come back. But we just continued suffering loses."

He took another pull of his drink. "First it was you and Pocket, people really enjoyed your blogs. But you foolishly put them on blogger so people could still read them. Then Tanner Bub. I underestimated his popularity. And Hattie Mae. When we lost Hattie Mae it seemed half our army went looking for her.

"Then we lost Erin. Not only did we lose her, but she shared our secrets, exposed our weaknesses, and left us with bland layouts. Zoe Boe: Those drawings were so popular. And Luca, Junior and Fred with their contests; Hobo with his kitty enterprises, Every day we lost another key member, and others would follow."

Foley Monster sat up, not showing any emotion. "We just kept suffering loss after loss, and even if some of your army spent most of their time with ours, when they were with you, we were losing activity, driving our rating down.

"That's when I made my deal. My deal with the Ning weasels." I saw Foley stiffen slightly as what she long suspected was confirmed. "I was sure if they started charging you for using their site you would reunite with us, but somehow you raised three years worth of money. It was then I knew the war was beyond winning.

"I still tried to get you back, contacting you via e-mail, even dropping all the rules that had driven you apart in the first place. But you had become too strong. So, after meeting with my Generals we have decided to surrender the castle, and all of Doggyspace to you, on your terms."

Foley Monster snapped her paws. I brought her a bowl of water. She licked some. She then looked at Levi, her fur dripping water. "I accept your surrender General Levi. The was is over and fairly won. But I do not accept your terms." General Levi took a drink with shaking hands.

Foley Monster put her front paws on the table and stood. "We have no interest in Doggyspace here. We only ask that you step down as leader and never bother another pup again. You see Doggyspace has thousands of dogs, but us pups, we prefer a small town, where you can leave your doors unlocked, where everyone knows your name, where everyone has a kind word to say to one another, where you have all laughed and cried together."

General Levi did not seem to understand. "We have surrendered but you don't want any of the spoils of war?"

Foley Monster told him they never wanted war. Just to have a nice, quiet, happy place to meet with friends who don't create drama or bark mean words. "We have some members who spend most of their time in your big city, and that's fine, but they still like to come out to our little spot in the country and put their feet up and rest. Some of us like to go up to the city some of the time, and return home to quiet. There are some pups who want to be in the hustle and bustle of the city all the time, and some, like us, who just want to live quietly, laughing, crying, loving, and playing."

General Levi took another sip of beer. He then leaned over to Foley. He offered his hand. Foley offered paw. They shook. The war was over.

General Levi then sat back and laughed. "I already got an offer on my army," he said. "I'm netting $800.00 a month. With you leaving the army in my hands I will be able to sell it," he paused, holding his pinkie finger to his lips, "for $10,000 dollars."

Foley jumped down from the chair. "Well congratulations General. That is quite a score for the heartache, pain, and lost friendships of a two year war."

General Levi stood. "That's what you never understood Foley. It's not about the friends, it's about the money. And now I can go to New York City and afford a pizza with extra cheese."

He nodded to his men and moved towards the door. "Just out of curiosity, who are you selling your army to?" General Hobo asked

"A great man, lost his job to affirmative action, now he lives in Texas, George W, Bush," Levi said,

"Well, there goes the hope for better spelling," Kolchak barked.

The men made for the door, then climbed on their horses. General Levi looked down at the little Yorkie General: "Congratulations Foley Monster, you do have a very loyal Brigade but let me tell you. You will never be successful at this. When you were raising money to pay the weasels, and people were sending you checks, you should have just taken the money and run, that's what I am going to do."

Foley and her generals watched Levi happily ride off into the sunset. He stood up in the saddle, and let out a "yahoo!" scaring the horse, which bucked, and threw him almost entirely from it's speeding body, except for his foot, which was caught in a stirrup, and he was dragged across the cold, hard ground, until the frightened horse, unaware of what was slowing it down, gave a violent thrust, and Levi's foot became loose from the stirrup, and he flew high through the air, against the setting sun, and over a cliff, disappearing into a shallow creek below.

"Hate to see that," General Hattie said.

"I don't think we've seen the last of him," General Hobo said. "I think he is a Bumble, and Bumbles bounce."

"Regardless, I don't think he'll be bother us for awhile," Foley said. She looked at her Generals. "Let's go home and be with our friends."

"That was a beautiful thing you said about the Tanner Brigade being a nice, small town," I said. "Did you mean it or did you say it because you know that Doggyspace is a huge soul sucking money pit?"

"Because I meant it," Foley,

"And because Doggyspace is a huge, soul sucking money pit," General Hobo said.

"Yes, that too," Foley said as they turned and headed for home.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Tanner Brigade Thanksgiving Day Parade

Foley Monster:  Welcome one and all to the Tanner Broadcast Network's coverage of the Tanner Brigade Thanksgiving Day Parade. 

Pocket:  The streets are lined with young pups anxious to see their favorite dogs in floats that they have been working on since late Wednesday night.

Foley Monster:  We can tell by the roar of the crowd that the first floats have turned down Ladybug Street and are headed to our broadcast booth on Sophie Square.

Pocket:  I am so excited I think I could pee myself a little, and, yup, I've done it.

Foley Monster:  Our first float is the 12, Chappy and Whiskey float and there is Chappy sitting at the front of the float looking as handsome as ever.

Pocket:  The entire float is adorned with pink ribbons in tribute to 12's victory over cancer.  Look at how proud he looks.

Foley Monster:  And Whiskey is on top of the float.  His parents are letting people in a prop door and he's not jumping on them.  What an impressive dog Whiskey has become.

Pocket:  You can tell by the roar of the crowd who is on our next float.

Foley Monster:  There she is, the Queen of the Parade, Hattie Mae.

Pocket:  She looks perfect dressed as one of Santa's Little Helpers.  I love the trim on her outfit.

Foley Monster:  And look she/s throwing candy to the little puppies.

Pocket:  Actually I believe those are fashion accessory suggestion cards.

Foley Monster:  Well it doesn't matter the kids are eating them up,

Pocket:  And I know from experience how hard they are to digest.

Foley Monster:  And here is the comeback float of the day, the Mollie float.

Pocket:  We didn't know if Mollie would be here today because of some physical problems she was having but it turned out to be just muscular and she is as good as new,

Foley Monster:  Look at her prance around her Mom, is all practically aglow with pride and relief from her recent health scare.

Pocket: Here is the Kolchak and Felix float.

Foley: And they are passing out delicious treats for everyone.

Pocket: I am going to get one now

Foley: Pocket Dog you get back here right now. And bring me one.

Pocket:  Oh my gosh, look at this, the most artistic float in the parade, lined with Van Gogh's and Monet's.

Foley Monster:  But the best part of the float is the work of her Mom's, of course it is the Zoe Boe float.

Pocket:  And in honor of her rescue day the float is surrounded by recently rescued pups, oh that is very impressive.

Foley Monster:  Look at the top, there she is, the lollipop of honor, getting a standing ovation.  It's Zoe Boe.

Pocket:  Oh can you hear the lovely Argentine music.  It's Luca's and Junior's float.

Foley Monster:  It is so good to see Luca, he hasn't been feeling well.

Pocket:  The children are all dancing to the Latin music, this is the most musical float we have seen.

Foley Monster:  And on top a wonderful statue of Fred made out of roses. That's the most beautiful thing I have seen.

Pocket:  And look here comes the giant computer projecting dozens of beautiful lay outs for your home page.

Foley Monster:  That could only be the float of the hugely talented Erin.

Pocket:  And there is Erin on top of the float.  She is looking as regal as I have ever seen.

Foley Monster:  I think every float here owes something to the way Erin designed her float.  We all owe her so much.

Pocket:  Here comes a new float in this year's parade it's the Sofie Boyd float.

Foley Monster:  Oh look how the crowd reacts to Sofie.  She is such a cute puppy and the crowd loves her.

Pocket:  Now here comes one of my favorite floats.  At the front you can see the lovely, regal Cocoa Puff taking in all the applause.

Foley Monster:  And on the level above them is Rugie Ruger, and oh look at Ruger eating that couch.

Pocket::  No dog can eat a couch like Rugie.  He is really chowing down on it.

Foley Monster:  And of course, at the top of the float, and being saluted by all the young dogs, is the inflatable Tanner Bub, smiling down at all his followers.

Pocket:  And look who it is now, it is Sierra and the Blob.

Foley Monster:  Oh look at Blob.  Ha!  He can't get anywhere near Sierra after the unfortunate tail pulling incident.

Pocket:  Oh I feel sorry for Nase, he was just playing and now he has to watch Sierra run around.

Foley Monster:  You can feel as sorry as you want but if you ever bit my tail you wouldn't get on my float for five parades.

Pocket:  Here comes the Savannah and Roland float.

Foley Monster:  Two of our more popular dogs, they always have funny comments and make us all smile.

Pocket:  They left their kitties at home since they like to run away so much.

Foley Monster:  And here is the float for one of our most popular new pups, the brave and strong Snicker

Pocket:  Such a handsome dog, and a wonderful addition to the Brigade.

Foley Monster:  Once again, proof that we take only the best and brightest dogs.

Pocket:  This next float has our youngest human.

Foley Monster:  That's right it's Brody and his adorable human baby Blake

Pocket:  Oh Brody is such a good baby sitter

Foley Monster:  I wonder what's it's like to be bigger than a human, we're smaller then all the babies in our family.

Pocket:  Here comes the Sandy, Maggie and Bo float.

Foley Monster:  Oh look at the three of them chasing one another around.

Pocket:  Now that's just about as happy a family as I have seen.  Go you dogs go.

Foley Monster:  And look out, here we go, the float everyone is looking for, the Reba, Dodger and Logan float.

Pocket:  And there goes Dodger, up, into the air and into the pool.

Foley Monster:  The crowd is going wild.  They love this act.  And here goes Reba and Logan into the pool.

Pocket:  Maybe this is just a warm up for Dodger's big Rose Bowl act, and if he is as successful as he is here his float will be the most popular on the route.

Foley Monster:  Oh my gosh I can barely hear myself think over the roar of the crowd.

Pocket:  That's because our next pup is so beloved:  It's Smoochy.

Foley Monster:  They are not booing, they are saying Smoooooooccch!

Pocket:  Look at him smiling taking in all the adulation.  Oh the young pups love Smoochy.  And why not?  What a wonderful dog he is.

Foley Monster:  Here comes a float shaped like the Texas and who is right in the heart of the float?  It's Chelsea and Ashton.

Pocket:  And they are throwing cartons of prune juice to all of their friends.

Foley Monster:  Word on the street is that the new owners of Doggyspace are rich dogs from Texas.

Pocket:  I think your right, I think Chelsea and Ashton have made a great investment.

Foley Monster:  And look at the beautiful little dog on this float.

Pocket:  It's the Shadow float.  All the little pups are taking pictures of Shadow.

Foley Monster:  And here is the Summer Grace float.

Pocket:  Poor Summer has two torn ligaments and can only lie down on the float.

Foley Monster:  And look at all the pups around the float passing out information on ACL surgery.

Pocket:  Speaking of health here comes the Health float put together by Sage and Saffron.

Foley Monster:  If you want to learn all there is about dog health you need to go to the Sage and Saffron float.

Pocket:  They certainly do have a lot of literature to pass out to the crowd.

Foley Monster:  I think it was a mistake they threw condoms.  The dogs are just chasing after them and chewing them.

Pocket:  And here is Lily's float.  Look how beautiful she is up there

Foley Monster:  The entire float is made of white flowers so you can barely see her.

Pocket:  No, there she is, on the top, you can tell, she is the only flower with a wagging tail.

Foley Monster:  Oh my gosh, can you smell the pasta, the wonderful tastes of Italy, it's Paco.

Pocket:  Oh he has made the entire float look like the Colosseum, that is very creative.

Foley Monster:  And there is Paco at the top waving to everyone.

Pocket:  Oh I love the hat, he is so stylish.

Foley Monster:  And, I don't know what is coming now, it seems like a deer float

Pocket:  No, wait, it's a Sandy float, he too can only sit and wave

Foley Monster:  He is our best deer hunter dog

Pocket:  You better not get too comfortable deers because Sandy will be back.    Oh my gosh this next float looks like it's dragging the entire universe

Foley Monster:  That could mean only one thing, it's the Shiloh Space float

Pocket:  Oh look at all the stars, and the planets, it is beautiful.

Foley Monster:  Careful Pocket, let's not go all Raiders of the Lost Ark on me here.

Pocket:  And here comes chant of "I like Ike."

Foley Monster:  That can only mean one thing.

Pocket:  It's 1952?

Foley Monster:  No, you twit, it's Ike's float.  Give Ike a big wave.  He looks so proud.

Pocket:  Hi Ike.

Foley Monster:  And here comes a float from our own home state, it's the Pokey and Maggie float

Pocket:  And the float is being driven by their Mom Laura.  Hi Laura!

Foley Monster:  And in the back seat is all the dogs she transported so they could go to their forever home.  Isn't that great?

Pocket:  It certainly is Foley, and more than a little smelly.

Foley Monster:  Well this is to be expected when you put 60 dogs in the back seat of a car.

Pocket: Here comes the float with all the cactus on it.  It must the the Dulce Float.

Foley Monster:  And there is Dulce sitting up there among the cactus.

Pocket:  I wouldn't want to get on that float, I would be afraid of getting pricked.

Foley Monster:  Oh we don't have to worry about that since Mommy removed our ovaries.

Pocket:  Look at this next float, it's high up on wheels.

Foley Monster:  That is because it's the Baron a.k.a Bear float.

Pocket:  And look there is Bear getting acupuncture and then showing how well he moves afterward.

Foley Monster:  My Mom never said not to go on a float with people with needles but they seem to know what they are doing.

Pocket:  Now this is one of the most glamorous floats I have ever seen.  It had white fur all over it.

Foley Monster:  That is because it is the Lambies float!

Pocket:  And there they are Tabaatha up on her throne and Baarney waiting on her.

Foley Monster:  Well that seems to be about right doesn't it

Pocket:  Oh look it is the Smartie and Fella float.

Foley Monster:  It says here that is is called the "We couldn't we be on the float with Hattie Mae float."

Pocket:  Well I think we all know the answer to that.

Foley Monster:  We're waiting for some more floats.  Don't know when this parade turned into a marathon.

Pocket:  If Canada was dead and gone there'd be no more Celina Dion.

Foley Monster:  Time for a kibble break for Pocket.  It's always bad when she quotes South Park

Pocket:  Oh I would know this float anywhere, with the garden, and the kitty workers.

Foley Monster:  It's out good friend Hobo Hudson's float.

Pocket:  And he has those kitties working hard on his garden

Foley Monster:  Hobo is the man.  He know how to get the job done.

Pocket:  Oh here comes a good smelling float, and look who it is, it's Ginger Dash.

Foley Monster:  No wonder it smells good, it has a dash of Ginger in it.

Pocket:  I prefer the Mary Ann Dash over Ginger.

Foley Monster:  Just be quiet and eat your kibble Pocket.

Pocket:  Am I still dizzy from lack of kibble or does the next float have a TV on it?

Foley Monster:  No, it does, and I know why.  Scooter and Mollie couldn't be here so they are broadcasting themselves here.

Pocket:  Oh that was so clever of them.  They couldn't be here because they are taking care of their Mom.

Foley Monster:  Hi guys!  Hope your Mom is feeling better soon.

Pocket:  And now comes our only walking pup of the day, it is Benjamin.

Foley Monster:  As an officer of the law he is walking in uniform.

Pocket:  And is that Hattie Mae walking with him, we just saw her on a float

Foley Monster:  That was two and a half days ago Pocket.

Pocket:   Hmmm.  Seems longer, now let's see who is coming up next.

Foley Monster:  The float is filled with library books.

Pocket:  Well that must be our friend Copernicus.  You can see him in his library.

Foley Monster:  He is the smartest dog I know.

Pocket:  Oh my gosh, someone call the exterminator, a bunch of rats have taken over the next float

Foley Monster:  No you little geek, that is Lauren's float with all her Hammies.

Pocket:  Oh and they are throwing chocolate chips to the crowd, and they taste great.

Foley Monster:  Oh Pocket those aren't chocolate chips, um, never mind.

Pocket:  And here is Leo's float, oh look how handsome he looks.

Foley Monster:  He is standing proudly in front of his float shaking his tail.  I don't think we have seen a prouder dog all day.

Pocket:  And here comes a German Shepard float.

Foley Monster:  It is the K and K Girls and Maya representing the GSD's in a float shaped like a German Shepard.

Pocket:  I applaud them for combining their efforts to make this wonderful float.

Foley Monster:  And anything to make this parade shorter is appreciated.

Pocket:  Our next float has Koda on it but I don't see Josie.

Foley Monster:  Wait a minute, there is a trash can!

Pocket:  Koda is opening it, and, it's Josie the Grouch yelling "I love trash."

Foley Monster:  Oh that's great, really great, heh heh, hum.  OK what's next.

Pocket:  And here is Einstein, Taz and Kameron.

Foley Monster:  Oh I love watching Einstein doing his agility drills, and the crowd love it too.

Pocket:  Go Einstein, go

Foley Monster:  And here comes our Be Kind to Pit Bulls Float with their leader Shiloh

Pocket:  I know people don't like Pit Bulls but there is no better pup then Shiloh

Foley Monster:  She is the role model for Pit Bulls everywhere.

Pocket:  And her Mom Kate is always the first in line to help raise money for dogs everywhere.  Wow, look at all those cheeseburgers she is eating.

Foley Monster:  Oh, I'd love to have one of those.

Pocket:  Now here comes on of our biggest families:  Lily, Moe, Scooter, Jack and Jill.

Foley Monster:  That's a lot of dogs for a Mom to have.

Pocket:  Can you imagine have four siblings like me?

Foley Monster:  Four Pockets are too much even on a fat man's pants

Pocket:  Here comes a float with a big hat on the top of it.

Foley Monster:  That can only mean one thing, it is Clementine's float with the girls.

Pocket:  And they all look so pretty in their hats.

Foley Monster:  I tip my tail as they tip their hats.

Pocket:  And here is our Hong Kong float with the pretty landscape from the island.

Foley Monster:  Totti and Foxy certainly know how to do a beautiful float.

Pocket:  And there they are now, we so seldom get to see them state side, it is a treat.

Foley Monster:  Look, even Tadertot is here.

Pocket:  Tadertot!  Really!  Haven't heard from Tader in months and you still had to work him into this 6,500 word blog.

Foley Monster:  He's throwing popsicle sitcks with jokes on them to the crowd.

Pocket:  Oops, got a kid in the eye.

Foley Monster:  Well you hate to see that at a parade you really do.

Pocket:  Look, it's a Facebook float from Chelsea and Junior

Foley Monster:  There Mom keeps in touch with out Mom on Facebook but it would be nice if they stopped in here once in awhile.

Pocket:  I'll have our Mom tell them.

Foley Monster:  Here is someone we here from all the time.

Pocket:  It's our friend Gordo!  He is leading everyone in singing Spanish songs.

Foley Monster:   He has been very busy taking care of his Mom.

Pocket:  Everyone give him a big hand, he's a good boy.

Foley Monster:  And here are two of our favorite pups, Cali and Hurley.

Pocket:  And their Mom is throwing the frisbee and look at how high Hurley is going to catch it.

Foley Monster:  And Cali is just watching like I do wondering why someone needs to chase something that isn't alive.

Pocket:  You and Cali are missing out on lots of fun.

Foley Monster:  Here is the Shakira and Napa float.

Pocket:  With a picture of Apollo surrounded by flowers, that is so nice.

Foley Monster:  Here comes Bauser throwing bandannas to the kids watching the parade.

Pocket:  If you don't have a Bauser bandanna you need to get one, no dog should go for a night on the town without one.

Foley Monster:  On a float representing the great state of Maine it's our friend Bentley.

Pocket:  And there is her Mom running next to the float.  Look at her go.

Foley Monster:  If she's run the length of this route it would be like running two marathons.

Pocket:  Oh my, I'm getting a tear in my eye, Blazer and Vicki, Blazer's wonderful Mom are here.

Foley Monster:  I think they are our longest on line friends.

Pocket:  Hi Blazer.  We love you.

Foley Monster: Here is another GSD we don't see enough of. It's Boudica. Hi Boudica. Still a very handsome dog.

Pocket: Oh, and it's Charlie too. Hi Charlie. I know Charlie doesn't feel like part of the family. But you are Charlie, you're our brother.

Foley Monster: Oh no. Look out, it's the vicious Poms float. Chase and Gucci, and their hair looks perfect.

Pocket: They don't look vicious to me.

Foley Monster: That's because we're smart enough to say on the good side of them and their Mom. At least I hope.

Pocket: Here is Buddy Boy, oh, he's a big dog, I don't know if that float will hold him. He looks more like a Buddy Guy.

Foley Monster: That's a blues singer.

Pocket: Oh I didn't know he could sing.

Foley Monster: Here comes Cooper, Chipper and Romeo.

Pocket: I am so happy Cooper is healthy enough to be here.

Foley Monster: Sometimes when you have an entire Brigade praying for you miracles happen.

Pocket: Oh there is our friend Daisy Mae. Such a sweet pup.

Foley Monster: Here comes Graycee and Hondo and their collection of really big dogs. I think I am going to hide under the table for awhile.

Pocket: Here comes Honey Bear. Oh she still has that baby afixed to her tail. She really needs to get that checked.

Foley Monster: Oh looks, it's Jack Jack. He is such a friendly looking dog.

Pocket: Did you notice these dogs are starting to march in alphabetical order?

Foley Monster: Just be quiet and announce the parade.

Pocket: And there is another perfect looking, well groomed, pretty dog, it's the fabulous Jenni.

Foley Monster: Here is the float from our wonderful little friend Macdougal. Oh look he is showing slides from his vacation. That's so cool.

Pocket: It's 2010. We're dogs announcing a parade on the Internet? Who still has a slide carousal?

Foley Monster: Don't be fresh.

Pocket: Oh look at this. It's Matilda. And she's waltzing.

Foley Monster: Oh my. You know if she falls she could kill a family of seven.

Pocket: No worries about that, she is go graceful.

Foley Monster: And here is a float shaped like a giant bowler hat.

Pocket: Yep, it's Nigel, and he's wearing one on his head too,

Foley Monster: We need to give a shout out and a get well soon to his terrific Mom too.

Pocket: And there is out good friend Otis, he uses his sense of smell to keep him from falling off the float.

Foley Monster: Otis is such a good natured and funny dog, it is wonderful to see him in our parade.

Pocket: Here are two more new friends Pepper and Ju Ju

Foley Monster: They have certainly fit right in

Pocket: And seeing JuJu reminds me to say Happy Hannukah to all our Hebrew friends.

Foley Monster: You did not just go there. Oh we're going to get bad comments now.

Pocket: And here is our Mexican friend Pintus and Rain. You know in Mexico....

Foley Monster: Stop right there. We are in enough trouble right as it is. Just wave to them and say hello.

Pocket: Sayonara.

Foley Monster: Here is Presley and Atlas, still fighting over that frisbee. I think they are going to be like that forever.

Pocket: And Raider Sinica. Oh look he is in the black and gold of the Raiders and he's got Alex Rodriguez's arm in his mouth. What a good dog.

Foley Monster: And here is Reba Messina. Reba is such a busy dog doing good work all over. I am so happy she came here to be with us today.

Pocket: Oh my god, all the way from Germany it is Rez Rez. The only kitty in the parade. Whatever you do, don't mention the way, I did it once but I think I got away with it.

Foley Monster: As we anger our third country I want to point out that two more GSD dogs have joined together. It's Ruby Duncan and Rocky.

Pocket: German dogs, German cats, it feels like we're in Paris in 1942.

Foley Monster: I swear I am going to slap you right off the announcer platform.

Pocket: Oh look, that float is like a giant diamond,

Foley Monster: No silly, it is a ruby, and there are our two other rubies Ruby Duncan and Ruby Rose.

Pocket: Oh this is so sweet. To pay tribute to their brother Jordan, it's Sonic, Sydney and Buddy in military uniform. Oh, and there is a pool beside them so they can show their water tricks. They are great.

Foley Monster: And here is a big group of dogs teaming up, the Nazario dogs and the Valdosta Pups are on one big float, and look at them run and play.

Pocket: Oh and there is Pocket. Wait, hold on, let me check my notes, no, that isn't Pocket, I'm Pocket. That is Trixie. But she's just as good a looking a dog as me.

Foley Monster: Oh this is one of my favorite floats. It represents all the wonderful greyhound dogs. And at the top of the float is Willow looking beautiful.

Pocket: And there is Zoey Wilson, she is leaving the DS castle where she was banished and headed for the DS ranch in Texas.

Foley Monster: Just don't forget your friends here at the Brigade.

Pocket: And the last member of the parade is Puppy Malatesta which is so fitting because behind him is all the puppies that they helped save.

Foley Monster: And our last float is the Rainbow Bridge Float and out in front is Tanner Bub and Sophie Bub. There are the late great K and K girrrllls. Oh, there is Moses, he is love. There is Buttons with his stack of books. There is Karly, taken so young and tragically. There is beautiful Ladybug and Morgan the Miracle Maltese. And there is Pepsi

Pocket: And next to Pepsi is his Mom Gina and they look so happy.

Foley Monster: One good thing about this parade taking six days to finish is we got to see Miss Gina and Pepsi together. And may I mention that Miss Gina has asked for donations to the colon cancer fund. I don't know if that is what she died from but people from Daddy's family have had that terrible disease. Daddy has to be tested every two years, and Mommy every five. This test could save your life, so, if I leave you with nothing else then please remember this. Get tested for colon cancer. Take it up the ass for Gina. It could save your life.

Pocket: True words. We sincerely hope we did not miss any floats. If we did let us know. That is what the edit button is for,

Foley: And now, since we believe in keeping the streets clean we have hired someone to clean up all the vick droppings with a dustpan and broom,.

Pocket: And there he is now.

Foley: Yes, Levi Thorton, cleaning up the TB vicks. Well at least he found honest work.

Pocket: Thanks for staying with us this long.

Foley: And don't forget. Take it up the ass for Gina.

Pocket: Good night everyone.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Pepsi, Sota and Freddy are our November 28, 2010 pups of the week and Gina the Angel Mom of the week

So....Sometimes Moms go the the Bridge first.

I guess I knew this.  MacDougal's Dad went to the Bridge before he did.  That makes me sad.  I don't want my Dad to go anywhere.  But MacDougal's Mom is still giving him a great life.  In the last year he has seen half the world.

But I never thought about Moms going first. I can't think about my Mom going first. It would be like the Earth disappearing beneath my feet and I would just fall, fall, fall, for the rest of my days, until I landed once again in her tender arms.

In every story I have heard us pups go to the Bridge, and then someday, far in the future, our Moms crosses the bridge to be with us an we are happily reunited.  I have never heard a story about a Mom being there first.

But yesterday Sota's and Freddy's Mom Gina went to the Bridge first.  She had contracted that bad C disease and it sent her to the Bridge long before any of us were ready to let her go.

I have spent many blogs comforting Moms who have lost their pups, but I don't know what to say to a pup who lost their Mom.  I search under everything but can't find the words.  Maybe they're behind that damn tree Mommy put up in the dining room.  I think I can't find the words because they scare me.  If I didn't have my Mom....I'd rather be at the Bridge with her then here without her.

My friends Sota and Freddy, I don't have a lot of experience here.  I believe though, that, if you use you sniffer's extra strong, you will be able to smell her where ever you go, if your use those alert ears of your with wonderful sensitivity, you will hear her voice; if you awake and you feel a warmth next to you, it will be her body.  I think you have an unbreakable bond that not even death can break.  You are dog and Mom.  What could be stronger?

I know lots of our human parents are working on finding a good home for you.  I heard Tommy Tunes wonderful Dad said he will take Freddy.  Oh, it will be so good to be able to keep up with you. .  I just wanted to say you were very good friends to all of us here.  Sota, if you don't go to one of our families we will miss you.  We pray you find a Mom as equally good as yours.  I can't imagine you finding a better one.  Good luck, good bye, my friend.  Your hearts will always be filled with our love.

And Pepsi, don't feel guilty about being the happiest Pup at the Bridge.  Although we have all been crying here since yesterday morning the thought of your reunion with you heart Mom makes us swell with such joy.  Your two hearts have been linked as one again.  Although I know, without your earthly typist, we won't be able to talk anymore, and this breaks our hearts, we know you are with your beloved, and your page will be here forever on the Tanner Brigade where we can stop by and tell you how much we love you, even when we know you can't answer.

I can't remember the first time I spoke with Pepsi.  Mommy remembers her last comment to her on Human Book.  She always was trying to make her smile.  Pepsi's Mom was very sick from the chemo.  Mommy said she would send Willie Nelson with lots of pot for her.  She doesn't know if it made her smile.  She doesn't even know if she read it.  I am staying close to Mom today.  We both very much wish we could make her laugh one more time.

I remember, back on DS, where we were living under a Nazi regime, Pepsi's Mom would talk about the problems she was having with her life:  her divorce, having to find a new place to live, splitting up her pups.  Mommy didn't want her to leave the house, and neither did lots of Moms, but she did.  She seemed to spend a lot of time swimming against the tide but she always managed to keep her head above water.  The first comment we can remember making to her was when Pepsi was very excited over something and we told her not to get too shook up or she would fizz over.

Sometimes we didn't see eye to eye with Pepsi and her Mom.  There were things some folks did that we couldn't forgive.  But Pepsi and her Mom Gina always could.  "Why does she have anything to do with him?" we would ask.  The more we got to know her, the more we understood, it was because, even if she couldn't see it, she believed there was good in people, and she never gave up believing that.

When we formed the Brigade she joined us and fought nobly.  She was always there with a kind word when one of us was sick or had passed, she could usually raise a smile with a sharp comment, and always put the funniest, most non-sensequel tags on her blogs.

I have never seen a person's life erode like Pepsi's Mom.  First she got diagnosed with stomach cancer.  Then, too ill to properly watch playful little Pepsi, her heart dog got into something she shouldn't have eaten, and the damage she did was too much.  Pepsi went to Rainbow Bridge just when her Mom needed her the most.

I don't know many Mommies who could carry on after all this, and yet Pepsi's Mom Gina still did.  Cancer was with her everywhere she went.  It brought pain, nausea, weight loss, loss of energy, the end of everything that made her life her life.  But she still fought.  My Mom gave her some advice from a song called Wrecking Ball.  Don't let go of your anger and don't give into your fear.  She never did either.

Even in her darkest moments Gina always apologized; questioned if it was appropriate to post what she wondered would be seen as whining, and despite our many responses to the contrary, that doubt always lingered in her mind.  We always tried to make her smile.   She once asked us if people were laughing with her or at her.  We assured her it was with her.  No one would laugh at her, lest they get a fist full of Gina in their mouth.

Her last posting on Humanbook she said she wanted some real food for Thanksgiving.  I don't think she got her wish.  She was brought to a hospice, slipped into a coma, and died Saturday morning.  Her eyes were donated so someone else could see, one last generous act, and I wonder how that lucky recipient will see thr world through Gina's eyes.

At least that person will have a small piece of her.   Special thanks to Matilda's Mom Nancy who got the sad word Saturday and shared it with us; and Koly and Felix's Mom Jodi who has worked hard all weekend to find homes for her two left behind pups.

For a pup who didn't think she had a lot of words to express on the subject I certainly have used a lot haven't I?  That was the thing about Pepsi's Mom Gina.  On the surface you would think there would only be a few words needed to describe her, but when you were done, you found there weren't enough.

I leave you with the words of someone else.  I think to those who knew her you will find them fitting.  And when we look up into the sky tonight there will be two stars, one a little larger than the other, and they will be Pepsi and Gina, shining a light on us.

Goodnight my friend.

"Well they built the Titanic to be one of a kind, but many ships have ruled the seas
They built the Eiffel Tower to stand alone, but they could build another if they please
Taj Mahal, the pyramids of Egypt, are unique I suppose
But when they built you, sister, they broke the mold

Now the world is filled with many wonders under the passing sun
And sometimes something comes along and you know it's for sure the only one
The Mona Lisa, the David, the Sistine Chapel, Jesus, Mary, and Joe
And when they built you, sister, they broke the mold

When they built you, sister, they turned dust into gold
When they built you, sister, they broke the mold

They say you can't take it with you, but I think that they're wrong
'Cause all I know is I woke up this morning, and something big was gone
Gone into that dark ether where you're still young and hard and cold
Just like when they built you, sister, they broke the mold

Now your death is upon us and we'll return your ashes to the earth
And I know you'll take comfort in knowing you've been roundly blessed and cursed
But love is a power greater than death, just like the songs and stories told
And when she built you, sister, she broke the mold

That attitude's a power stronger than death, alive and burning her stone cold
When they built you, sister they broke the mold"

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Foley's much interupted and long awaited blog: A pinch in the butt and slap in the face

From the desk of Foley Monster:

What a gyp! Veteran's Day was supposed to be a lap day when I got a great deal of snuggling and love. The morning began perfectly.

The alarm went off late, with the sun already in the sky. Neither Mommy or Daddy were anxious to get out of our warm bed. I positioned myself between the soft pillows and rolled over on my back. Both Mommy and Daddy gave me belly scratches as I snorted like Charlie Sheen on holiday.

Daddy finally got out of bed. He always gets out first. That's because Mommy is smart. Daddy has to leave a warm bed with two heat bearing Yorkies, while Mommy stays snuggled with us. Then Daddy takes us out to do some brisk business and Mommy vacates the bed, no longer occupied by two six pound loving heat pads.

While Mommy took a long, lazy shower Daddy put his laptop on the couch and sat on the floor. This makes it easy for him the throw the ball so it passes in front of the TV and on the side of the central fire place and into the dining room where Pocket can chase it down. It is also the perfect spot for me to sit between him and the couch, and get plenty of good scratches, especially at the top of the breast bone, which I love.

Daddy showered, we all enjoyed a nice breakfast. I was a little surprised when we were sent up to the bedroom because Mommy and Daddy were going Christmas shopping and there was a good chance they would be bringing home things that said Foley.

I napped. They returned. I snuggled with Mommy. Then the best thing happened. They took Pocket upstairs and left me downstairs. That means I was going somewhere just the three of us and no Miss Pees A Lot.

I got in the car. I got to sit in the front seat in Mommy's lap. Perfection. We pulled into a nice driveway. I got out and walked on my leash right into.....the vet's office.

Ah man! I felt like such a crap puppy. I sat on Mommy's lap. The I got the pants. No, not the kind Pocket wears. I got the pant pant pant pant pants. As you know, we pant when we sweat, and I am so cute when I pant I am listed number two on the list of celebrities who are most downloaded when over heated behind Beyonce.

I met some other dogs, luckily they were tiny. There was a Maltese and a Morkie, so I finally learned what my baby with Lily would look like. (Damn good, damn good.)

I got called into the room and my Mom told me I would only be getting a little shot. I didn't like it, but I could handle it. They weighed me, and while I'm no Pocket, my weight is holding steady. Then the doctor came in, and gave me just my rabies shot. It hurt a bit. But I'm a brave pup.

Then somebody took the muzzle off of Daddy. Let me be clear. His only role in this was Mommy's driver. No one told him to speak. But he did. "She's still have some trouble with her teeth," he said.

Whose teeth? Mommy's? The tech? Next thing I know the vet's got his big, stinky fingers in my fragile mouth and was scraping my back canine (OUCH.) Mommy told him I was using Plaque Off. The vet said it helped, but I still needed to have the canine out, and a thorough cleaning.

And I would have to get a sleepy time shot. I just stared at Daddy. How dare he? Judas. Just a few days before he went to the dentist and was told he should keep doing what he's doing because his teeth were great.

Do you want to know what his secret is? He flosses, her brushes his teeth, then he has two Yorkies who climb on top of him and lick his teeth because we like the taste of the toothpaste, but also I think we are making his teeth super clean? And what does he do for me? He narcs me out.

Oh, and I have a cyst too. It needs to be squeezed to remove the puss. But the doctor said I was too wiggly to do it while I was conscious. I wasn't wiggly. I was trying to get away from Mommy so I could gum Daddy to death.

I have my yearly check up in January and after that they are going to schedule my sentence for having a Daddy with a big mouth. The good news is that Mommy isn't worried at all about it. For almost a whole day.

So after this rant, we won't he speaking of it until it comes up in the winter. But I do ask you to do me one favor.

When you see my Daddy shun him. Shun! Shun! Shun!

Yours in toothlessness
Foley Monstet
Publish Post

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The November 21, 2010 pup of the week is brought to you by the number 12

Unfortunately, so many of us here at the Tanner Brigade have had that evil monster Cancer move in with us.  It sits in our living room while you watch TV, it sleeps in your bed, it sits in the back seat of your car when you travel, and, if it has nowhere to sits, it occupies the deep recesses of your mind.

The only way to eradicate this evil is for all traces of it to be removed from your body, then it slips away into the darkness, even though it retains the right to pop back into your mind at the least expected time.

When my Mom had the evil Cancer move in with us she found the greatest relief in talking with others.  When she retires she is planning on joining cancer support groups to help those who suffer.  Luckily she has never had a pup who has had cancer, but the same monster moves into your home when someone you love contracts this awful illness.

But some pups, and families, decide to take the road less traveled, and to face the monster silently, with no words of support from their friends.  Our good friend 12, who we have known forever, and has somehow never been honored with pup of the week, came out of the "C" closet this week, to not only tell us he had faced the monster, but had defeated it.

I have so much admiration for 12.  Cancer is such a horrible monster to fight.  To be brave enough, and to have parents brave enough, not to share it, and to put up a front that nothing is wrong is remarkable.  All of us here at the Brigade wish we had known.  We would have prayed, sent positive vibes, asked the angels at the bridge to do all they can (although I am sure they knew, and did their best), and 12 knew that, but he stoically stood alone with his parents, and they won, so way to go 12!

But now 12 is facing another monster C that has moved into his house without his permission.  This one is the dreaded cat.  His Mommy and Daddy took in a stray cat because they obviously went way over their Foleytini limit.  Then his parents learned that they were all in danger of getting a CTD (Cat transmitted disease.)   Now the cat is is isolation.  12 can smell it, can hear it, but can't get to it.  Oh the frustration.  This is such a problem even Aunt Foley doesn't have an answer.  It's like inviting the family over for Thanksgiving dinner, having the entire house smell like turkey, have chewing sounds piped in, and don't give them any food.

So hang in there 12.  You have beaten a bigger C then this rogue kitty.  Like your cancer it will be cured, and it will fade away (after Mommy finds a home for it.)  We know you are tough enough to face the big C and beat it, and we know you're big enough to beat the little C, which is why you're our pup of the week.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Great googa-booga balls we got a gift from Koly and Felix

Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! (Crunch, crunch, crunch) Oh, excuse me, these are so good,

Guess what? Guess what? Guess what? We got a package from Kolchak and Felix today. We were so exited Pocket peed herself a little (OK she does that when the sun comes up but still).

Mommy opened the package and it was a beautiful tin with all these doggies on it. "Open the tin, open the tin, open the tin, open the tin!" we said. Sometimes I think Mommy hears our excited words as "bark, bark, bark, bark, bark" but we can't concern ourselves with that.

Then Mommy slooooowwwly opened the tin because she does things like that sloooowwwwly because she doesn't want to break a nail and oh for God's sake woman open the tin!

She got it open, and she pulled out, in a clear plastic bag, the most wonderful thing I have ever seen. A bag of wonderful, crunchy, tasty, heavenly, great googa ooga balls.

Oh we wanted them right away. We were up on our back legs walking around, begging.

But the balls were in a plastic bag, and the bag had a twist on it, and Mommy had to untwist it: sloooowwwwly. Mommy's worst game is Twister, she would be the first out of a twist dance contest, she can't order a drink with a twist of lemon: oh the hell with the wordplay woman open the bag!

Finally she got the twist off. Then she took two great googa ooga balls from the bag and handed them to us. I opened my mouth, and despite my bad teeth (a blog which is forthcoming but keeps getting interrupted by things like great googa ooga bals), I put the whole ball in my mouth (there is nothing funny written here, sicko!) and bit down.

Oh my gosh. Not since before someone snatched away my ovaries have I sensed such joy. It was crunchy, it was peanut buttery, it was very refreshing. Great googs ooga balls are the greatest thing in the world. I love my Mom but she can't make treats like this, or open a jar of peanut butter.

So my biggest, largest, most heartfelt, thank you to Kolchak and Felix and their wonderful Mom. Mommy said that we can only have a couple a day because they are special but we're going to try to weasel in some more.

So now it's time to go back to our great googa ooga balls. (Crunch, crunch, yum, yum, lick, lick, cruch.)

So good, so good, so good.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Foley's new reality show: 90 and Dating

A week ago Mommy and Daddy had Mommy's brother and his wife over for Chinese food (loyal readers may remember this may have given Pocket a case of the runs.)

Since Pocket and I might as well face it we're addicted to laps, we both went paws up on our parents knees, with Mommy picking me up, and Daddy doing the same with Pocket and now we were part of the conversation.

But being well trained, polite dogs we just listened, and by doing so it gave me a million dollar idea, a show for TLC called 90 and dating.

Mommy's sister in law Charlotte lost her mother close to 20 years ago. Her Daddy remarried a year later (I believe he put in Christmas letter that the new wife awoke a fire in his loins) which did not sit well with his family.

This year, for the second time, he became a widow. After the funeral, he took home the book the mourners signed, and began searching the phone book for numbers to find wife number three,

It took awhile but he found a woman who lived independently and was not otherwise engaged. He asked her to meet him at a local restaurant for lunch. He got dressed to the nines and drove for his rendezvous, only to be found he was stood up.

He pulled out his cell phone with the high volume and the great big numbers. He called his next conquest to see why she was detained and the woman told him she thought she had been stood up since he never arrived to pick her up. He apologized for the mistake, and told her to stay there, her knight in shining armor would be there soon.

He rushed to her house, twice clicking over 30 mph, only to find the house deserted. He took out his cell phone with the really big number and dialed her again. She was at the restaurant wondering where he was.

It was then he realized his third marriage may be harder to achieve then the first two.

It also gave me the idea for my new show. Hattie Mae will you host? I think it will be a big hit.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Smoochy is our November 14, 2010 pup of the week

I have noticed many traits in humans that prove they are not as evolved as pups. One of them is their inability to patiently wait. Humans fidget, they pace, they check the bright digits in their electrical boxes, and, whenever what they are waiting on finally arrive they become angry with it for not appearing on their schedule.

Now us pups we do worry. We worry about our humans from the minute they leave the house (they are off leash for gosh sakes) to when they return home. If it is for a long period of time we might not eat, or sleep, we just vigilantly await our parents' return.

The reason that we are more evolved than our humans is when the person we are awaiting for arrives we don't meet them with anger or sadness, but with more joy than can be contained in even the largest pups' soul.

Which brings us to our pup of the week, one of the sweetest, funniest, most clever dogs we know, the one and only Smoochy.

I am sure that you have already read his blog, but to summarize it, Smoochy has a doggy door which he uses to do his business. He is a very good dog and would never go in the house. On Friday night he used the door and returned inside to be with Mom. To stop a dreaded chipmunk invasion she closed the door behind him.

She had to work early in the morning, and because she was exhausted from the night before, overslept and had to hurry through the morning, of course not forgetting to feed Smoochy, or give him some water.

Well her slave driving boss kept her late at work again and when she returned home Smoochy was his usual happy self, overjoyed to see her, squeaking Miss Giggles, and doing the dance of joy. Smoochy got an Applebee's hamburger. He did whine a bit but he still waited because he knew his Mom loved him and would tend to his needs as soon as she was able.

When she went into the bedroom, and saw the doggy door was shut, she realized that Smoochy had not peed for 16 hours, and, knowing that he was suffering, she began to cry as she opened the door. But Smoochy chose to lick his Mommy's tears then relieve himself and the only way he would go out is with her at his side, so he knew she was all right. He then set a record for the longest pee ever, which was broken a week later by 2,000 people getting off a Carnival Cruise ship.

So why is Smoochy pup of the week? Because while he was left alone for hours without a bathroom he didn't meet his Mom at the door with annoyance or anger like a human would have but with all the love his heart could hold. And even going 16 hours without a bathroom break he did not pee on the floor he waited for his Mom knowing it would be wrong. (Me? I would have peed after about 10 hours. Pocket? She wouldn't have lasted before Mommy got out of the driveway.) And, when finally given the chance to pee, he made sure his Mom wasn't sad before he did.

And behind every great Pup is a great Mom, who put this quote on her blog (and Smoochy even forgave her for hijacking his blog), which is a wonderful tribute to Smoochy and pups everywhere:

“He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.”

Monday Question

 What is the oldest thing in your house that has been used by pets long before you moved into the house, and do you still use it?   Ruby'...