Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ruger and Daddy are our February 28 Pup of the Week

The Pup of the Week meeting was quite acrimonious last night. Pocket and I spent half the night discussing the candidates. But as you can see we have settled on Ruger and Daddy and their foster brother Lambeau (honestly, we don't know which is which, please don't think we're anti-Shepdites.)

But first an honorable mention to two candidates who received serious consideration. First Jani: She was our town crier yesterday letting everyone know of the tragedy in Chile and warning us of the dangers headed towards the Pacific Rim.

Most of us dogs get our news right here, so it's greatly appreciated when dogs let us know when we, or our friends, are in danger. Although we live on the other side of the world we immediately hopped on the back of the couch and barked at the first sign of water.

Also we considered Puppy Malatesta for the wonderful work his family does in helping dogs who need rescuing. Truthfully Puppy and the pack could be pups of the week every week.

But the reason we have chosen Ruger and Daddy is that they took on one of the most difficult tasks any pup can take on: Fostering an abused and forgotten pup.

Three weeks ago Ruger's and Daddy's Mommy and Daddy Moe made the decision to take in a foster pup since Ruger did such a wonderful job teaching Daddy how to be a proper GSD. Site unseen they allowed Lambeau into their home, and Ruger began the strenuous task of German Shepard training.

Lambeau took to it like a German Shepard to tennis balls, which was a bit of a problem because he stole all the tennis balls from poor Ruger. Daddy didn't do much but bark at him, but Ruger hadn't taught him what to do when a newbie walked in the front door yet, never anticipating it would come so soon, so we really can't blame him.

Not that Lambeau didn't present problems. He had some abandonment issues that left his crate looking like the cage Richard Dreyfus escaped from in Jaws. And there were a few issues with him off leash at the dog park. But Ruger and Daddy worked with him, and Mommy and Daddy Moe got him to follow simple commands, and soon he was ready for his forever home.

I believe today was the day for Lambeau to be adopted. I can see the family coming home to that silent house when a member is missing, and there will be a tinge of sadness, but what the four of them did, two pups and two parents, was a wonderful thing, and that's why they are our pups of the week. Good job everyone.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Pocket takes part in adult conversation

Friday night we had a birthday party for Daddy and daughter #1 who were both born in February. I was prepared for my usual Friday of napping and pizza, but when Daddy got home he started bringing the chairs up from downstairs, Mommy was making cake, and I knew it was party time.

Then the grandbabies came over and they love me. They pet me, and pick me up, and scratch me, and pull my ears, and try to snatch my tail and I remember why I got fixed. Mommy's in the kitchen, Foley's behind the couch, and I'm the sacrificial Pocket at the mercy of ten tiny little hands and 50 dirty fingers.

Then Daddy came in with the pizza, the vegetable kind because of something called Lent that I don't understand. Everyone sat down to eat and Foley and I hurried under the table because little kids in a hurry to eat so they can play, and pizza, makes for plenty of floor food for us. This was especially pleasing because Mommy doesn't let us have human food anymore. We now have to rely on uncoordinated children and gravity.

Then they got down to play Barbies and I went with them. When their backs were turned I ate the Barbie shoes. I love those things. I think I need to join Foley in therapy.

Then Mommy brought out the cake, and they sang that horrible song they sing, which makes my ears bleed. Foley and I didn't play the uncoordinated kids gravity game. We're not big on cake but we would split a donut with Kady.

Then I went over to Daddy and put up my paws to be lifted. He did, and held me by my halter and I sat on his knee. My paws were on the head of the table and I was facing everyone. Then daughter number 2's husband told the grandbabies to leave the room for adult talk.

And they allowed me to stay. I was shocked. I was going to take part in the adult conversation. And then it began.

Husband of daughter number one talked about going to the Daytona 500, eating a lot the night before, getting terrible cramps, and that's when I learned the secret. Adults are just like us, when they get together they talk about poo. Lots and lots of poo.

The talk changed to other things, but would always come back to poo or poo related topics, things they pulled out of the drain, things that help them poo, places where they don't like to poo. It was fascinating. Adults are just like us.

So I am going to spend more time writing my blogs tailored to adults starting now. Eating vegetable pizza from the floor leaves you with some amazing poo and leads you to have three baths a day.

Very adult indeed.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Random thoughts from Foley Monster

I've got some random thoughts rolling around my head.

Ning has made it so freaking difficult to write in Word, then copy and paste. Everything comes out oddly spaced with different Font sizes. I have to type this over again because when I copy it the posts becomes unreadable. Thank God I only had four Foleyacinnos this morning.

Pocket and I chased our first squirrels of the year Sunday. It's still only spring training so we made a quick dart and let out a few practice yips. I have been going out more often recently. As you know, Pocket pees two dozen times a day, and sometimes Daddy takes me with them. He says it's good for my hips. I have no idea what that means.

I do recognize I need to get into squirrel chasing shape. I have been downloading myself to the hammies cage and working out on their wheel. It's a great aerobic exercise but I wouldn't recommend it for everyone. Matilda might find it tight quarters. Plus the hammies are hilarious. They're like the chipmunks without all the annoying singing.

What is up with the Olympics? After Pocket and I won the gold medal in the bobsled I called our friend Gucci to brag and he didn't know anything about it because they watch it on something called "tape delay." Plus, take my word for this, you do not want to be an event spoiler for the Gooch. Luckily, he knew a gullible Shar-pei bookie and we made about 1,000 kibbles.

It also made my west coast friends miss my statement of attrition Friday morning. I will surmise: I was wrong. I was foolish. I don't get to play by different rules. The same boundaries that apply to everyone apply to me. I brought this shame on myself. I am very sorry and need to apologize to my Mommy from sneaking behind her back and snuggling on other Mommies' laps. I let down my family, my Brigade members, and myself. I am doing my best to be faithful to my Mommy's lap. I am sorry to tell other Mommies that from now on I am a one lap dog. (Well, at least after I complete my 12 lap program.)

Happy sixth birthday to my sweet Grandbaby Emily.

They had a birthday party Saturday night for her but Pocket and I couldn't go. Everyone agreed it would be for the best since I'm trying to overcome my random lap snuggling. Pocket had an idea, which in of itself, is random. She said she'd jump on any inviting woman's lap so I wouldn't be tempted. She'd be my own personal lap blocker. But then we realized she'd become enraptured with her reflection in the window and I'd be hitting laps like Jimmy Johnson. Mommy would come walking in and she'd find me circling and getting ready to plant my butt on a strange lady's crotch. But I don't want Emily to think we don't live her. It's just that I'm in a program.

I have started negotiations with that chap Tiger Woods' people about loaning her out to him when he goes on tour. If he sees a strange lady in a bar, and begins circling her and getting ready to plant his butt in her crotch Pocket can pop up and lap block him. Or poo on the floor. I hear both are mood killers.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Luca is our February 21 2010 pop of the week

Gosh, Pocket and I can’t remember the last time we honored a dog of the week who wasn’t either at the bridge or in grave danger of catching the next train to it’s shores. It has been a hard start of the year for our Brigade, but we’re still going as strong as the day we were formed.

And we’re happy to announce this weeks pup is nowhere near the bridge, even though he did have quite a scare. But before we announce the winner I would like to say that every member of the Brigade could be named Pup of the Week because we’ve never been prouder of our colleagues.

First, we have all welcomed the Hammies, who were unceremoniously swept out of the castle. Here they have a happy home where we’ll all watch out for them. I have already asked Hobo to work out a peace treaty between them and the cats so there is no unnecessary violence.

Then there is Lily who has added another fun aspect to our site: the photo shopped pictures: of Smoochy taking our newest members on a bobsled ride, and of Hattie doing the ski jump (the picture of Pocket and I was totally real.) Then there was Kolchak who did the greatest Olympic event of all, the counter surf, combined with the daring eating of chocolate, and came through all of it no worse for the wear.

But this week’s pup of the week put a lump of fear in all our throats almost the size of the one on his back. Dogs aren’t meant to have lumps. They are usually a sign of a very bad thing. We all thought “Oh no, not another sick loved one” but thankfully his lump got debunked and he should be just fine.

As you have already surmised, our pup of the week is Luca. Hopefully, his Mom, who is going on holiday, will see this. If not, it will be a pleasant surprise when she gets back. Luca didn’t earn this just by having a non-lethal lump, with his story contests and his smart, wonderful, comments he is one of our major contributors and a beautiful friend.

Luca, Junior, and Rainbow Bridge’s wonderful Fred have been one of the driving creative and emotionally supportive forces of the Tanner Brigade. We are a better site because we have them and their wonderful Mom. So here’s to her, our Shining Star Mother, to Luca, our Pup of the Week, an honorable mention to Junior, and a Rainbow Bridge Pup of the Week reward for Fred. Well deserved for all.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Foley and Pocket go for Olympic Gold in the Two Dog Bobsled

Bob Papa: I’m Bob Papa, hello, and welcome to Vancouver Canada where it’s 76 degrees, sunny, and the Italian Ice concessions are now selling Slushies.

Lewis Johnson: And I’m Lewis Johnson, here to bring you the finals of the Bobsled competition and to remind everyone who is coming out to see the event live, bring sun screen and one of those mini fans because it’s hot out here.

Bob Papa: This year we have a first for the Winter Olympics.

Lewis Johnson: Synchronized swimming on the speed skating track.

Bob Papa: No, from the nation called, I believe, The Tanner Brigade, two dogs, Foley Monster and Pocket Dog, have been given a bye and will be competing in the finals of the Bobsled.

Lewis Johnson: It says here this Tanner Brigade is an online community. I was unaware they were allowed in the games.

Bob Papa: They weren’t until it was discovered that Liechtenstein is actually a Facebook group for Affenpinscher lovers. That opened the door to other online communities.

Lewis Johnson: Let’s go down to former Olympian John Morgan with the brave dogs.

John Morgan: Thank you Lewis, let me just put down my Pina Colada and Parasol. I am here with Foley Monster and Pocket Dog, the two members of the Tanner Brigade Bobsled team. Now have either of you ever operated a bobsled before?

Foley Monster: No sir, I just Googled dog and sports and it said sled so I knew this was the sport for me.

Pocket: Well first she tried the biathlon but she shot our neighbor.

Foley Monster: That reminds me, get well soon Tommy!

John Morgan: You do realize that in a dog sled you pull the sled but in a bobsled you ride in it?

Foley Monster: That’s the great part all we have to do is ride.

John Morgan: Foley, I think you should understand…..

Bob Papa: Sorry to interrupt your John but we have a breaking story, US Olympic ski medallist winner Lindsay Vonn had her leg crushed by a drunken Zambezi driver in the parking lot at the training facility.

Lewis Johnson: Olympic officials are saying that the accident was not caused by the drunken Zamboni driver but by walker’s error.

Bob Papa: That’s correct Lewis, just because Lindsay is an Olympic athlete doesn’t mean she can adequately walk in a parking lot.

Lewis Johnson: Especially around a cocked Zamboni driver.

Bob Papa: I know there has been a lot of criticism of the Vancouver Olympics but remember the Daytona 500 was held up because of a pot hole so no city is immune from errors when putting on a major sporting event.

Lewis Johnson: So come to Vancouver, the Daytona of the Northwest.

Bob Papa: And, given the weather this week, they should have a bumper orange crop this winter.

Lewis Johnson: Well it looks like Foley and Pocket are getting ready for their run.

Bob Papa: Pocket will be pushing and Foley driving.

Lewis Johnson: Pocket is digging her little paws in, and I think she’s got it going.

Bob Papa: And they’re off. Foley and Pocket have allowed us to mike them for this ride so let’s take a listen.

Foley: Weee, this is great.

Pocket: OK, we’ve got a turn coming up, make sure you steer into it.

Foley: Steer, how do you steer?

Pocket: I thought you studied on line last night.

Foley: I was going to but I ended up talking to Hattie Mae all night.

Pocket: Look out for the turn.

Foley and Pocket; AIIIEEEEEEEEEEE.

Bob Papa: Well the Tanner Brigade team is making great time.

Lewis Johnson: They are, but there seems to be some yellow liquid discharge coming from the back.

Bob Papa: That looks like pee.

Lewis Johnson: If anyone knows pee it’s Papa. And now there is something brown.

Bob Papa: Papa know poo too.

Lewis Johnson: I think this is great stratergy by the Tanner Brigade team to lessen the weight in the sled.

Bob Papa: Either that or they are scared shitless.

Lewis Johnson: Let’s listen in to them.

Foley Monster: Hit the brake, hit the brake

Pocket: What’s a brake?

Foley Monster: Do something besides peeing and pooping.

Pocket: At least I did that weeeeee

Lewis Johnson: Ooops Pocket just got thrown from the sled.

Bob Papa: Well this isn’t the fault of the Olympic Committee at all.

Lewis Johnson: Well I can see why they call her Pocket Rocket, look at her fly.

Bob Papa: Foley, going solo, goes high into the turn, comes down, and Pocket lands right in her lap.

Lewis Johnson: Let’s take a listen.

Pocket: Holy vick I could see Russia.

Foley: Get off of me I can’t see to steer

Pocket: You haven’t been steering this whole time.

Foley: Oh my God the wall Holy mother of Lassie we’re going to die!

Lewis Johnson: High in the turn, they’re coming down, and now they’re crossing the finish line, and a new world record.

Bob Papa: Incredible, and look they’re not stopping, they’re going right over the wall.

Lewis Johnson: And they seem to be landing, oh, right on Lindsay Vonn’s Subaru.

Bob Papa: Not the fault of the folks here in Vancouver at all.

Lewis Johnson: But I think they’re all right. They are being swarmed by the other Olympians.

(A half hour later Foley and Pocket are awarded the gold medal and the Tanner Brigade anthem begins to play.)

O Tanner Bub!
Our home and Yellow Lab!
True canine love in all thy dogs command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
To bark loud strong and free!
From far and wide, O Tanner Bub,
We boot up our computer for thee.
Tanner keep our site glorious and private!
O Canada, we boot up our computer for thee
O Canada, we boot up our computer for thee

Monday, February 15, 2010

Pocket's Morning Play Time

By Pocket Dog:

I love mornings when Daddy doesn’t have to work. He gets up, does some downstairs business, takes us outside, gives us a treat and then sits down on the floor, and it’s Pocket Playtime.

First thing we have to do is find my orange ball. This is my second orange ball. My first got destroyed last April. I switched to a green ball, but last week I killed it. Daddy then lined up my balls: the orange, the green (new), the blue, and the red. I sniffed each carefully, then nosed the orange ball towards him. He threw it, I chased it, and the game was on.

To me that little orange ball is alive. I chase after it like I am hunting a squirrel or a tiny heffalump. I do it with an unmatched ferocity. Nothing can keep me from catching and destroying it, unless it goes under the hutch, or in the bathroom, or under the water dish stand, or under a chair or couch, then, like all ferocious hunters, I sit by the object it’s hidden behind and whine until my Daddy retrieves it.

Playing ball is my favorite thing to do. Sometimes I even snatch them out of midair (Foley says it’s just that the little ball lands in my big mouth but I say it’s great athletic skill.) Sometimes I run upstairs with the ball, let it go, and then bark at it as it hops down the stairs.

Then I get tired of the chasing and find my little rope toy. I pick it up and I shake it like I’m killing a mean snake. Then I put my front paws down and growl. Daddy takes it in his hand and starts moving it back and forth. I pounce on it and growl and pull until it stops wiggling then beat it on the ground into submission.

Once that is dead I find one of Daddy’s old gloves. This is where being a little dog comes in handy. Daddy puts it on and then rubs it on the floor. I attack his hand, taking his fingers into my mouth and pulling on them. We have an understanding, I never do anything like this when he’s ungloved or to anyone else. But I love hand attacking.

By this time Foley, who is quite annoyed with my morning energy, will come down and snuggle next to Daddy and growl to be scratched and rubbed while I’m growling to be played with. He’s got a gloved hand rubbing this way, an ungloved hand scratching that way, he’s like Michael Jackson with poison ivy.

Sometime Foley gets in the act. She might attack a little turtle that we have. She doesn’t have a ferocious grrrr like I have, her grrr is like a gerbil with its foot stuck in the wheel.

Then Daddy sticks his hand up our beaver. We love it when Daddy put his hand in the beaver. His thumb and little finger go in its arms, and his other fingers go in its head and he attacks us with it. I prefer to tame the beaver by thrusting at it and taking it to the floor.

Foley prefers to wrap her paws around the beaver and licks it and makes the grring sound (it’s actually more like a purring sound but don’t tell her I said that.) Then she grabs it and gives it a shake and even I, seven years younger than her, think it’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.

I’ve had three straight play mornings with Daddy and I think I’m going to have another tomorrow. Four in a row is almost a record. If you want to play come on over tomorrow morning and chase some ball.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Doxie is our February 14, 2010 Pup of the Week

We have lots of members on the Tanner Brigade. We aren’t like DS where each dog has his own page, so our number of members isn’t inflated. For the most part, we have profiles with an entire family of dogs included. Sometimes these dogs get lost in the shuffle. Other times their secretaries are just too darn busy to help their pups type.

You won’t find this week’s Pup of the Week amongst our members’ names, because his Mom put her pups’ profiles under her name. Also you won’t find very many posts from this profile. For those of us who have dual identities on Facebook and DS we have been kept abreast of this poor pup’s problems.

All of us who are on, or were on, DS, know this pup well. We have been following the little guy’s health problems and have wondered how his poor Mom has been able to handle the stress. But she is a puppy Mom warrior and nothing can make her stop caring for her little Dachshund.

This past week he took a turn for the Bridge, not that anyone has punched his ticket for the train, but he’s fighting his Mom when she tries to give him his pills. Without his pills he’ll have a much more difficult time staying with us, additionally he is not eating. Hence his poor Mom, through the work and stress, is not getting much sleep.

As always, behind our pup of the week, is a wonderful, loving, supportive, Mom and nobody can beat his Mom in the art of puppy nursing. Like our friend Morgan it is because of his Mom’s strength that he is still with us. She has given every part of herself to insure her pup’s health.

So, it is our honor, to name Doxie the Dachshund our Pup of the Week and to name his mother Janis Hornet our Shining Star Mom of the Week (sorry to other Pup of the Week Mom’s who we have not so honored, you are all deserving, but being stuck inside because of snow left lots of thinking time and we thought of this.)

Because of how busy she is with Doxie his Mom may not read this blog or see your comments, so stop by her page here, or if you’re own Facebook her page there, or even back on DS to give her your love and support. Another friend tipped me off to this last week, so let’s pay it forward and spread the word to help Doxie and his Mom, our Pup and Shining Star Mom of the Week.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Foley's plan to help with your snow removal

I am a little dog who was taught long ago to count her blessings and I am doing that tonight, because, while this bothersome snow is back on my ground, it isn’t as bad as some of my friends have endured. But that doesn’t mean the humans on the talking picture machine aren’t still stirring up fear.

Like on Wednesday, all the humans were all a twitter because snow was coming. Mommy didn’t have school, which meant a lot more lap time, so I wasn’t scared. But Pocket, she worries about getting swallowed up by the snow and sucked down an Eskimo. I joined her for our morning constitutional.

She was shivering and she told me she was worried about the snow. I stuck my nose up and smelled and tilted my tail into the wind. “Don’t worry,” I told her, “it is going to snow later in the day, but first it’s going to rain.” “That’s not what they’re saying on TV!” Pocket said,

“Who are you going to trust some TV slope nose or your sister? It doesn’t smell like snow and my tail says the air isn’t cold enough. Come inside and we shall have mead and grog.” After breakfast Daddy went off to work, Mommy was worried about him driving in the storm. “Gonna rain!” I said, but who listens to the mutt?

Mommy left on the news and all they did was worry about the snow. If humans could learn to walk on all fours like evolved creatures they wouldn’t be so worried about slipping on ice. There were a few flakes here and there, but the people from the mental hospital across the street came, gathered them up, and took the home.

Daddy soon came home. Hardly a bit of snow falling but the panicking humans had closed his work. Some guy named Harvey Leonard was on the TV in a suit in front of a big map talking about all the snow the city of Taunton was getting. “Don’t we live in Taunton?” Pocket asked.

“Yes we do,” I said. “But it’s raining like you said,” Pocket barked confused. “He’s a weatherman, they have two jobs, one, to wrongly predict what happened, and two, to lie and pretend it didn’t happen,” I said. “Let’s just share Mommy’s lap and nap with her,” I said. We can always trust in laps.

When we woke up there was snow, but not enough to suck a little dog down into the depths of cold. We didn’t like it but we sent Daddy out to dig out a spot on the grass for us, then we went out a peed on the porch. Daddy wasn’t happy. By morning it was wet and cold, but by afternoon our outside outhouse was back to being green and dry.

I do feel so sorry for my friends like the K and K and Hattie Mae who got the snow New England should have got, so I want to take it from you. So this is what you do. Find a pail or something you can carry in your mouth. Go outside and fill it with snow. Then come inside and dump it on your keyboard.

Then hit F7 Shift Del Esc F4 Ctrl Enter and the snow will be downloaded to my New England back yard where it belongs. But try to do it quickly because if it melts then a great, big fat guy from the Geek Squad will come to your house to fix the computer and if you’ve never seen one of these guys, believe me, you’d rather have the snow.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My paws

I, the Foley Monster, have a confession, I am obsessed with my paws.

I want them to be perfect. Today we went for a short walk around the grounds. It was bitter cold. But, even in the middle of winter, I can tell the Earth is waking up. I can smell all the flowers, and new grass, growing deep in the ground, and even on the coldest days I can't help stopping to sniff. I have tried to teach Pocket to stop and smell the roses, and try to tell the anxiety level of the Maltese who just peed on them minutes earlier, but teaching the ancient skill of smelling blossoms that haven't bloomed yet is hard and Pocket hasn't experienced enough of life to be able to sense their scent.

I do love my walks. When I'm outside I am the toughest thing around. Cats,squirrels, humans, other dogs, they quiver when I pass. I enjoy the smells, oh the smells, the smells that surround me. But there is one drawback to my walks, I get bits of dirt, sand, twigs, god knows what, stuck between my piggy toes.

As soon as I get inside I jump up on the recliner and I go to work, licking each toe for ten or fifteen minutes each. First I have to get all the grossness that I brought inside out of them. Then I go to work on the grooming. I have to have the hair on my paws go down my nails, and then part over them perfectly on each side. In short, my toes need to be perfect, like Hattie Mae's. (I am so jealous of her toes.)

I just can't stop perfecting them. I think I have OCPD (Obsessive compulsive paw disorder.) I start with a little piggy toe grooming and next thing I know half the day is gone. I even sent an e-mail to the Dog Whisperer, and get this, he said that paw licking isn't something that's going to draw ratings. Personally I think it would be an excellent show. But that may be because I have a paw obsession.

Why is it? Is it because I was weaned off my Mommy's paw too early, and if I was, what the hell was I doing sucking on my Mommy's paw? What kind of litter brothers and sisters did I have that they couldn't make room for me at the teat and made me suck paw?

I have always been a bit of an obsessive licker. I love blood. If you have a paper cut bring it over. I will lick it until it stops bleeding. Then I'll start licking it again until it bleeds. I am an excellent nurse, though a bit of a sadistic one.

Mommy's slippers: Oh I love these. I lick them so much when Mommy puts her feet in them it's like they've been soaked in water.

Lately, and even I am ashamed to admit this, I've been licking Daddy's nostrils. I always lick his face, but in the last week I sneak my entire tongue into his nose and he goes "AIIIEE." It's the only thing he has made me stop licking. Sometimes he has to put his hand over his nose. It's like when I make air out of my butt after eating sausages. I'm trying to stay away from the nose because I knows he doesn't like it, but sometimes it's just there, and so inviting.

I don't know if I should get therapy. I'm not hurting anyone. Well I think I may have licked away a small bit of Daddy's brain and gave Mommy athlete's foot but outside of that it's a victimless vice.

I suppose I have to curb my enthusiasm for licking. Maybe tomorrow. Right now there's slippers and nostrils calling me and I got a little snow between my toes. Time to get busy.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

February 6 2010 Pup of the Week

Another Pup of the Week with wings. I was talking with Tanner last night. He has a big party lined up for Ladybug today, just as he did for Morgan last week. But he's concerned he's going over budget for Pup of the Week parties and has asked us if we could slow down the March to the Bridge. I assured him we would like nothing more, and hopefully won't have another Pup of the Week that can only be celebrated by our Bridge contingent.

Ladybug would be our Pup of the Week if she were at the Rainbow Bridge or the Golden Gate Bridge. Her perfect puppy parents loved her more than anyone else could, they cared for her, and held her in her last minutes, and she knew she was the most loved dog on Earth.

When I think of Ladybug, even while I have tears in my eyes, I smile, because so often she made me smile, with her witty comments, her humorous blogs, her positive outlook on the bleakest forecast. When I perused my Inbox and saw that Ladybug had made a comment I always anxiously clicked on it. I vividly remember her stories of her summer vacation, in a camper with no water, her Daddy desperately trying to fix it. The majority of dogs and parents would be snarling and biting at one another, but from her blogs, you could picture Mom, Dad and Ladybug laughing and smiling about their misfortune.

The Brigade is a family, and like all family we face devastating losses, like Morgan and Ladybug, and we mourn. Then slowly, as painful as it is, we begin to pull ourselves from the quicksand of sorrow and move onward, sharing in triumphs: Kady being welcomed into her new family, Holly establishing the first mouse kitchen for homeless kitties, Ruger and Daddy becoming foster brothers, Dulce and Barge organizing a scavenger hunt, and in sorrow: the Pack being unable to go with their Mom to Germany and being split up.

Life has quite a few ups and down, mostly downs lately. But like sky scrapers, rising up, floor by floor, we will climb to great heights of happiness, and fall into pits of sorrow again. And in the end?

At the end there's the bridge, where Morgan, Ladybug, and so many others await for us. Where there is no death, no illness, where no one leaves or gets hurt, where there is only peace and love. That's the reward for the ride.

And now, for, Ladybug, our Pup of the Week, I will sing one of my favorite songs: Company, accompanied by Pocket peeing on the piano:

I'll remember you too clearly
But I'll survive another day
No one to keep me awake
Begging for long walks to take
I'll imagine how we'd play

I'll see you in another life now, baby
I'll be with you in my dreams
But when I reach across the galaxy
I will miss your company

I'll be looking for company
Look and listen
Through the years
Someday you may hear me
Still crying for company

So now you're going off to the Rainbow Bridge
And maybe I will open my doors to another young pup
But we'll never be the same
And I know I'll never have this chance again
No, not like you

I'll see you in another life now, baby
I'll be with you in my dreams
But when I reach across the galaxy
I will miss your company

I'll be looking for company
Look and listen
Through the years
Someday you may hear me
Still crying for company

Goodnight, Miss Ladybug, wherever you are

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Boy Daddy and the Monkey

These are the days of the middle blanket. To crawl in so you're so deep there's no light, no hint of the outside world that throbs with pain and despair. Just block out the world, block out the light.

But I have responsibilities. So many of you count on me to give you a smile. It's hard, especially when you've spent so much time gathering the pieces of your shattered heart and trying to remember how they go back together. All of this has contributed to the worst case of Foley Block I have had since I ate that wheel of cheese out of Ron Burgundy's refrigerator.

What to do when you've got grieving followers begging for the structure of a few words to either bring a smile or raise a chuckle? I went down to the old sea chest, opened it with my nose, and pulled out Daddy's first dog Barney's diary.

I flipped through, and hopefully this story will do one or the other.

"It was my second summer with the Gays. Life was good. I was the bull of the woods. The toughest bark in the neighborhood. When a Lollipop was in heat I was the one to beat. I was fathering children like Wilt Chamberlin on a cross country book tour. My strong legs, my large butt, and my sharp teeth, made the male dogs quiver. If one of them crossed my path in pursuit of Lollipop stick, I would lay them bleeding in an alley. Nothing upset my world.

Then one day Boy Daddy came home stinking like monkey.

I smelled Boy Daddy as soon as he got out of the car. I walked over to him, having spent an afternoon of lady mounting, in a pleasant mood, when I smelled it. "Get over here!" I whispered because I didn't like to talk in front of his Pop. We went over to my dog house. I made myself a Scotch. Nothing like a little Johnny Walker after a day of love making. "Now Boy Daddy," I said. "I have a very finely attuned nose, and I would swear, even if I know it can't be true, that you smell like monkey."

Boy Daddy smiled. "I just my picture taken with a monkey," he said.

I sighed, lay down, put my paws over my eyes. I couldn't look at him. But I could still smell the stank of monkey. "Why did you have a picture taken with a monkey?" I asked.

Boy Daddy explained that he was spending the afternoon at the newspaper where his father was editor. At the end of the day, after everyone had gone home, a man came in the newsroom walking with a monkey. Boy Daddy, like all boys, are fascinated with monkeys. I don't know why. I think they are vile and disgusting creatures who throw their own excrement instead of dining on it like civilized animals. He went over to the monkey, while the man explained that he was with a small circus that had pitched tents in town, and they were looking for someone to take a picture with the monkey for publicity.

This was during a magical time called the '70's, when no one spade or neutered their dogs, allowed them to run around freely, made them sleep outside on something called wood chips, thought Jack's pretending to be an overly effeminate homosexual on Three's Company was the height of humor, stayed home Tuesday nights to watch Barnaby Jones, smoked in restaurants, bought Emerson, Lake and Palmer records, drank a lot, drove home, were helped by police officers if they couldn't make it, and allowed their kids to have their pictures taken with monkeys if it would sell a few newspapers (they also read something called newspapers, then used them for us dogs to pee on and caged birds to poop on.)

So Boy Daddy, his Pop, the man and the monkey went downstairs to the press room. They got the photographer Emmett, (in the 70s men were named Emmett, wore striped suits and fat, bright ties), put Boy Daddy in a chair and then put the monkey on his lap. They took the monkey's right arm and put it around Boy Daddy's neck, and Boy Daddy grabbed the monkey's hand with his left hand. "Now make sure you don't jerk the monkeys arm or move suddenly" the man said.

"Why shouldn't he do that?" Pop asked.

"Last week the little monkey ripped a kid's arm off when he moved suddenly, and a week before a kid got his ear bit off."

So Boy Daddy sat as still as he had ever sat before. And drunk Emmett (did I mention drinking on the job was another fun part of the '70's) slowly snapped pictures while the monkey decided how good Boy Daddy's ear would taste.

When they were done the monkey climbed down and Boy Daddy asked why he didn't bite him. :"I don't like Portugese food," the monkey said then walked off with the man.

I put my paw on Boy Daddy despite the monkey stank. I told him that while he loved his Pop, sometimes Pops don't make the best decision, and made him promise me that he would never pose with another monkey again, and to keep away from that guy Emmett because he gave me the creeps.

I then told Boy Daddy he would have to take a bath. He told me he was going to take a shower but I was sure that wouldn't cure it. I told him to remove his clothes. He did. (It was the 70's: people were naked often in the 70's.) I went in the shed and got the steel tub that I got my twice yearly bath in, and the heavy soap, dragged over the hose, filled the tub, had him sit in it, poured in the heavy soap, and with my teeth and paws scrubbed off the monkey stank as best I could. When I was done I buried his clothes in the back yard.

From that day, until I leaped to the Bridge, I do not believe Daddy saw or touched any monkeys. I would have known even when I got older and my smeller got worse. You can't miss monkey stank. I don't think he did after I went to the bridge either. Being stripped naked and roughly washed in a cold tub by a big black mutt helps kids learn lessons.

This is the end of my diary post about the monkey. I'm off leash again. God I love the 70's. Going to get me some strange.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Too much to lose

I remember being on the floor playing with Blake and Daddy. I don't know what we were doing. Just fooling around. Then Blake stopped playing.

We knew she was sick. She had something wrong in the brain. We knew her song was ending. She looked at Daddy. His voice broke. "Blake?" he asked. She walked over to him, a resigned look in her eyes. She got into pee position, and something came out. It wasn't pee. It kept coming out all night. Daddy kept taking her out. He ended the night sleeping on her like she was a pillow. That morning was the last time I saw her. She went to the Bridge that night. I miss her.

Then there was Jax. A dogtor misdiagnosed him. And Copper, died in her sleep. Finally Skye, sweet Skye, only five months old. I miss them all.

Then we got Pocket. These were my friends. Pretty much my only friends. But I was a happy dog. I laid in the sun all day, slept all night, never had many adventures. Then I learned how to use the computer.

And oh the friends I found. Tanner, Sophie, Teddie Earnest, Ladybug, Morgan the Miracle Maltese, We would run and play and laugh, and, even though many will tell you doggies can't, we even sang.

It was wonderful, I had never been such a happy dog. Then Tanner got sick and went to the bridge, then Teddie, and Morgan. As I write this Ladybug seems ready to go. And I hate it.

I know us dogs have short lives, and I think that's for the best. The longer you hang around the more people expect of you. If we lived 30 or 40 years they'd be wanting us to get jobs, teaching us how to drive, offering us low interest adjustable mortgages, making us vote and think. They start making kids do these things when they get to their late teens, why wouldn't they do the same with us?

But when we go to the bridge, when we have to leave our friends, it's just so unbearably hard. And lately it's just been one hard swat on the nose after another. I'd just like to stop, just for a little bit, so we can play without the pain.

See here's a secret about dogs: it's the rule of seven. We age seven times faster than you do, we enjoy walks seven times more, we play seven times harder, we have seven times more babies, and we love seven times more.

You see, that's why we have to go first. Because you will mourn, will cry, will be heartbroken when we go to the bridge, but if you left us? We would be seven times more heartbroken, miss you seven times more, cry seven times harder. In time, you will go get another puppy, from a breeder, or from a rescue. We don't get to go to the jail and rescue a human, or take a loan on some kibble and buy one. We have to wait until someone finds us a home. And it's never the same.

So that's why we need to leave you, sorry, but it's too painful to lose you. And to lose one another. I love my pack, and my heartbreaks with each loss. But it explodes with happiness at each new addition.

So, for you poor parents who have lost a pup, I know how hard it is to "replace" us. But you are a Brigade parent, which means you have more love to give pups then any other parents anywhere. And if you can find the courage, if you are willing to take the chance on getting your heart broken to pieces again, could you please consider a new pup, because there are lots more dogs in need of loving, special parents like you, then there are loving parents looking for dogs.

And remember, before we go, we give your our heart, so you're never alone, and never forget that love, so you can pay it forward to a new dog.

Love to all my dog parents. Sorry we cause you such pain. But I'm guessing you know how much we're worth it.

Wordless Wednesday