Sunday, June 26, 2011

Bo is our June 26, 2011 pup of the week

One night I was up late with Daddy after watching a hockey game.  He was drinking beer, I was nursing my last Foleytini.  There was a comedian on the television.  He said this of a man's life:  "You graduate school, you get a good job, you meet a great girl, you fall in love, you marry her, buy a wonderful house, have kids, and after 50 years she dies and you are alone.  And that's the best case scenario."

I think for many of us lucky house dogs life is so much better than for humans.  We get brought into a wonderful, warm home.  We get free food, free health care, a warm, soft place to eat and more love than one heart can hold.  Then we start to feel sick, our parents let us go to sleep, we graduate to the Bridge, where we play with our friends and wait for Mommy and Daddy to arrive.  Why do people say, in negative terms, that it is a dogs life?   While I have cultivated a reputation as a curmudgeon I must admit a dog's life is pretty sweet.

I think a dog owner's life is very much like a man's life.  You find the perfect dog, give them a good home, bask in their love, and then between ten and fifteen years later they go to the Bridge and that is the best case scenario.

Such is what happened to our friend Aunt Lea and her spouse Aunt Lea's Fellow.  This week Aunt Lea's Fellow found out that his heart dog, the dog whose heart beats as one with it's parent, Bo, was suffering from lymphoma, and would be leaving for the bridge before the end of the year.  While her pack becomes the first family to be honored as Pups of the Week in consecutive weeks, there will be no celebrating in their family this week. 

We first learned on Thursday that Bo had some growths on his body and labored breathing.  The Brigade started a cycle of positive thoughts and prayers to keep Bo healthy.   But sometimes not even this is enough.  We got the very sad news Saturday afternoon. 

First we would like to address Bo.  You may not have been as vocal as Sandy on this site but we all love you very much.  We all know we have to go to the Bridge someday.   We are not going to give up on you, we will pray for a miracle, and  try to take a bit of your pain so you don't suffer.  You are all our brudders.  We may talk more to Sandy but all our comments of love include you.  We wish you pain free days, and a heart filled with love.

We promise, with all our hearts, to take care of your parents.  It is going to be very hard on them.  We will be there for them if they want to cry, to tell stories about you, or need a paw to cry on.  We'll make sure our humans never stray too far from your Mom on the Humanbook.  It takes a lot to let a pet go to the Bridge but we promise you that your parents will have an entire Brigade behind them, and so will your pup siblings.  I know sometimes it may not seem like it but they really love you and your leaving is going to be hard on them.  If they ever need someone to cuddle with in their dreams we will be there.

Now I have a question for you.  It's not the kind of question you need to answer.  It's the kind of question we already know the answer to.  Where did Nikki come from?  The answer is easy isn't it Bo?    You  brought Nikki to your parents.  You knew you weren't feeling right.  And you knew Mommy and Daddy would need something to distract them during your illness.  So you prayed to the Bridge Angels to send something to ease their pain.  And they sent Nikii.   What a perfect gift.

But Nikki could never replace you Bo.  There is part of your parents heart, of all our hearts, that is reserved for you Bo.  Always will be.  Nikki has his spot, and you will always have yours. 

We wish we had let you know all of this before now Bo.  We take our friends for granted and then one day we realize we didn't tell them how much they meant to us.  You meant the world to us Bo and we will never turn our backs on you, your family, or your siblings.  Thank you for the gift of Nikki.  And we will thank the bridge angels for each day we get with you.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Can you find the Foley Monster?

Can you find the Foley Monster in this picture?


A little further


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bark Off!

On Tuesday an often repeated mistake occurred again in our family:  someone let Daddy go shopping.  In the days before there was some talk that my barking may have gone beyond an acceptable limit.  To this I say:  arf arf arf arf arf......arf...arf.....arf arf arf...arf...grrr....arf arf arf.  My barking, as that of my sister Pocket, is only done at very necessary times.

Pocket barks while she plays ball, but these are happy barks; we bark when someone comes over (and if it is Mommy arriving home, try to kill one another for her entertainment); we bark when a noise occurs that is not accompanied by a sight so we bark to draw out whatever makes noise; and I bark, incessantly, when Mommy and Daddy are eating, and Monster has to have some.    This seems to be the most annoying.  I told them if my barking bothered them all they had to do was tell me.

They claim they do.  But I can't here them.  Because of the noise from my barking.  But then Daddy did the thing he did  He went into the section that is called "As Seen On TV."  You would think he would come home with a Kardashian.  But, no he came back with this hideous thing called a Bark Off.

If you are unaware of this torturous mechanism let me explain.  When I bark it is supposed to send out this high pitched sound that bothers dogs and makes them stop barking.  What a bunch of bull vick.  When I saw it I laughed at Daddy.  "Why didn't you just buy some magic beans?" I asked, "those things don't work."

"Let's try it," he said.  He turned it on and yelled squirrel.  Like Flashlight (little known name of Pavlov's dog) I barked.  And the noise this Bark Off emittted made my brain ache.

I stomped my paws on the ground while Pocket, who was not paying attention to the conversation, began panting and running around the house looking for the source of the noise.  "Don't do that!" I barked and the thing went off again causing me to put my paws to my ears and Pocket to start running around the house like Rain Man when he set off the smoke alarm.  Frustrated, I climbed up on the chair in the kitchen and he sat down at the head of the table.

It was time for a sit down.  He turned off the dangerous device.  "You cannot use that thing ever again," I said.

"I agree," Daddy said.  "Easy training devices like this never work for long, you and Pocket will get used to it."  We turned to look at Pocket running head first into the front door.  "But you two need to ease up at the barking," Daddy said.

"We don't bark that much," I said defensivelly.

"Every time we sit down to eat you bark and bark until we give you a kibble, and when we give you one you start barking before you swallow it."

"I don't want you to forget I'm here," I said.

"Foley, both Mommy and I search the house whenever we can't find you, we will never forget you are here."

I considered this.  "OK, I can curb my barking during dinner but dogs have to bark."

"I agree," Daddy said.  "We won't leave this on all the time.  If we didn't want little barkers in the house we wouldn't have bought dogs.  But here is the deal.  You get to bark but when we tell you quiet you need to be quiet.  If you continue to bark we are going to show you the Barker."

Daddy picked it up and showed it to me.  Pocket saw it and ran out of the room to hide under the bed.  "If you see this you know it's time to stop barking."  I nodded.  "If you don't then we will turn it on for a couple of seconds."

"I think we should receive several warnings," I countered.

But I was told one "quiet", one show of the Barker, then it would be turned on.  I agreed and we each made a paw print on the contract I drew up.  There was no need for Pocket to sign.  She was so worked up she might never bark again.

Well, me being a monster, I had to push the limits.  That night, after being slipped a kibble while Mommy and Daddy ate, I barked for more.  Daddy told me to be quiet in his stern voice that makes me laugh.  I continued to bark.  He showed me the Barker.   But I didn't think he had the paws to use it.  So I let out another defiant bark.  He pressed the button.


I had learned my lesson.  Somehow the humans had bested me.

Since then they have only had to use it one other time.  It took Pocket three days to come back for kibble at the supper table.  It was like she thought the kibble was making the noise.  But I am scheming to get the upper hand on them again.  I do have a reputation to uphold.

But let me say this about The Barker and other devices that are meant to skirt training.  Nothing can replace a human.  I think Daddy and I worked out a good compromise for this hideous device.  It is the last option to stop my somewhat annoying barking.  I must give him credit I do respond to his command of quiet much better now.

But there are no short cuts in human training.  They can't be allowed to buy something, let them plug it in, and our behavior is modified.  Make your humans work for your good behavior.  Don't just respond because they bought something they saw on TV.  If you do they will never learn anything.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Nikki is our June 19, 2011 Pup of the Week

I am proud to say that Nikki is our June 19, 2011 Pup of the Week.  Or not.  You see, to be a Pup of the Week you need to be a member of the Tanner Brigade.  And to be a member of The Brigade you need to be part of a family.  Nikki's Mom isn't ready to admit that Nikki is part of her pack.

I mean she did bathe him, feed him, play with him, house him, and take him to the vet, but that doesn't mean he is a member of the pack.
  And she added his name to Sandy's, Maggie's, and Bo's names on  their page but she still won't commit to him being a member of her pack.  Well, Pocket and I downloaded ourselves to her house, took a DNA sample from Nikki, came home and matched it.  We have news for you Aunt Lea, you are Nikki's Mom, and he is our Pup of the Week.

Here is his story:    At the beginning of June a strange dog showed up at Aunt Lea's home.  He had rolled in horse vick and worse than that he smelled like horse vick.  Sandy's Mom determined that he could be an Akita and was not fixed.  (I have no idea how she determined he was not fixed.  I assume she threw a Pomeranian in heat under the deck and waited to see what happened.)  After that experiment she gave him a bath  to get the horse vick off and fed him.  At that moment Aunt Lea didn't realize that she had just got herself a new dog.

Aunt Lea's husband, Uncle Daddy, went looking for a horse farm that the dog may have come from but could not find it.  In the meanwhile the  dog had taken off and come home covered in vick again meaning two bad things:  one is that he needed another bath, the second is either they have a bunch of wild horses living around them or Daddy is real bad at finding horses.

Newly bathed, Nikki took up residence in the yard.  Pup brother Bo ignored him hoping he would hit the road.  And pup sister Maggie was frightened of this vagabond.  Pup brother Sandy decided to take measure of this invader and charged.  Within seconds they were playing like long lost kin.  Bo, at 10, finally accepted him like he had his siblings and took a nap.  Maggie still was scared of him and we don't blame her.  He was not neutered and hadn't seen a bitch in who knows how long?  She made sure the intruder was properly tied off before she ventured outside.

Where he stayed for two weeks.  He proved himself to be just like us, a'scared of thunder, lightning and gun fire (where did they move to?  Deadwood?.)  Either that or he knew that by acting scared he could finally get in the house,  Smart dog.

Maggie was starting to play with him, another step to being part of the pack.  Since Aunt Lea keeps a clean yard  she watched him and noticed he had loose Vick so she make an appointment with the vet for the dog who she named  Nikki because they don't take dogs without names, or at least that what she says.

When Aunt Lea took Nikki to the vet she took her spot, right on Aunt Lea's lap as she drove down the highway.  When Nikki gets to the vet he was mister charming giving everyone kisses.  The dogtor found out he had hookworms and tapeworms, nasty worms.  He also had a slight fever.

He was a year old.  And there was no trace of any previous owners.  When it was time to leave he did not want to get into the car and Aunt Lea needed some help.  Then they arrived back home, at their home, and Nikki took a long nap before going back in the yard to play. 

Our newest member needs some prayers, but he found his home, and that makes him Our Pup of the Week

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lulu's story: Surrender, Adoption, Reunion

Mommy and Daddy have a good and trusted friend named Lori.  Last year her pup went to the Bridge.  She became interested in adopting a new baby.  She was splitting her time between living in our home town and in Falmouth on the Cape of Cod where she owned a condo.  She was selling her home in our town, but was having a hard time because of the way humans have destroyed the kibble market.  She had heard Mommy and Daddy talking about how wonderful we are and decided to get a Yorkie of her own.  She checked with the area shelters and rescues and one near Falmouth had a Yorkie baby, three years old, that had been surrendered. 

Oh the people at the shelter has such a sad story about her surrender.  A young man came in and said he was releasing the poor little Yorkie because she was constantly fighting her Shih Tzu sister, and us Yorkies, well, we are not very good at the fighting, and this pup, Lulu by name, would be found cowering in a corner, beaten and bloody.   Her parents had observed the siblings together and determined that Lulu started every fight by attacking the Shih Tzu.  Unfortunately she was never the one to end the fight.  No one knew why this otherwise gentle dog was attacking the other dog.  Some felt it was because their Mom had advanced cancer, and Lulu was taking care of her.  Then this new dog came in and Lulu wanted to protect her Mom from it.  Others said Lulu was jealous.  I think the Shih Tzu was wearing Axe Body spray.   That would make me open a big can of whoop ass on another dog.

The final straw was when Lulu and the Shih Tzu were at doggy day care.  Lulu had enough of everything and decided to go for a stroll.  Thankfully she was properly tagged because they found her five miles away in the town of Wood's Hole with a kit bag over her shoulder looking to hop a ferry to Martha's Vineyard.   It became clear something had to change.  So the tearful parents, who did love Lulu, but with Mom's sickness, and other problems, could not take the stress of a pugnacious wandering Yorkie, with a great deal of heartbreak and tears surrendered Lulu for her own good. 

A shot time later Mommy's and Daddy's friend came into the shelter, saw Lulu, and fell in love.  Some paperwork signing here, some fact checking there, and Lulu was another Yorkie of Taunton.

Shortly after she joined the family Lulu proved to be a good luck charm.  The family sold their house and moved to Falmouth to enjoy their latter years and only have one home to maintain.  When Mommy and Daddy went there last week for their separate therapy sessions (Pocket, when you edit this remove the last 5 words and don't just put the strike thru over it because people can still read it and Mommy and Daddy will be mad that we said that, but it might explain that whole Weiner blog thing) she had quite a story about Lulu.  Lori was walking little Lulu when Lulu saw a man and began straining on the leash.  The man turned, looked at the little Yorkie and said "is that Lulu?"  As Lulu pulled her Mom towards the man he bent down, picked her up, and immediately started getting kisses.  The man worked for Lulu's former owners, who had just moved in one building down from where Lori and her husband were now living.

The man told Lori of Lulu's sad surrender.  He then told her he wasn't sure if he wanted to tell Lulu's estranged Mom about Lulu living there.  Lulu's former Mom was quite sick and going through radical cancer treatments.  The man did not know if it would make her condition worse.  But fate had it's own ideas.

There are many paths behind the condos where they live.  Lori and Lulu were walking when a slim elderly woman walking a Shih Tzu came around the bend.  Lulu saw them and reacted with great enthusiasm.  Unfortunately it took the form of wanting to kill the Shih Tzu.  Lulu's estranged Mom saw her baby and her eyes filled with tears.  Lori picked Lulu up and gave her to her former Mom and there was lots of licks and crying.  The Shih Tzu stood in the path, looking up at his Mom, saying "of all the paths in all the condo places in the world she walks into mine."

But the Shih Tzu was not aggressive at all.   Then Lulu's estranged Mom handed her back to her new Mom.  Lori promised that she could come see Lulu whenever she wanted.  They agreed to keep the Shih Tzu behind.

So now Lulu, her first mom, and her new Mom sit in her living room and talk about old times and new times while Lulu snuggles on the couch.  A series of tragedies drove them apart, but an equal series of fortunate events brought them back together.

New Mom, old Mom, new dog, old dog, together as one.  Some days surrenders and adoptions work out perfectly.  But you have to wonder what the deal was with that Shih Tzu.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Jeni and Maya are our June 12, 2011 Pup of the Week

Here at the Tanner Brigade we have some members who romp in our playground every day, and some who come by once every month or two.  No matter how many times you come to visit, you are an equal member, and, if you need a paw over the shoulder, or a snout to cry on, we are here for you.  Our Pups of the Week, Jeni and Maya, may not have wandered through as much as others, but when they told us why, we rallied to their side.  They had the best reason to stay close to home, their Mom was sick.

Their Mom had a hip replacement in 2007, and things, as they often do in human operations, did not go well.  Like my Mommy with her knee replacements there was a great deal of pain.  But most doctors just act like Mommies can't handle the normal pain of the operation.  If only they understood that anyone who can train puppies can put up with plenty of pain.

Human doctors:   They do like to wait until our humans are so sick that it is a life and death situation.  Maya's and Jeni's Mom had diluted metal in her replacement and an infection of her staph.  Of course, with human doctors, their only answer is to cut some more.  She had her first operation of January 26, 2011, but the operation was only one of her problems:  Her babies, our friends, were placed in danger by someone she trusted.

Their Mom picked a woman to watch over her son and our friends.  While their Mommy was being operated on her friend went a little funny in the head.  She stole all their Mom's wedding jewlery and other special treasures she had been given throughout her life.  She pilfered every special non carbon based object in her life.

Some how this woman thought by having all these things she could become our friends' Mom.  The woman's husband had to come and take her away  Now she has to file all sorts of papers just to get some of her money back.

Now they still needed someone to watch after their Mom, their human brother, and them.  They found a man who was nice to the brother and to them but not to Mom.  And he sold some of their things at a yard sale.  People say animals prey on the weak but I don't think anyone does that more than humans.  And their poor Mom is still quite ill.

She has lost 45 pounds, has three PIC lines in, and in lots of pain.  She has lost humans she thought she could trust.  But she still has her babies to take care of her and stay by her side.  When she is lying down Jeni is at the top by her head protecting it and Maya, the sentry, is at the bottom protecting her feet.

All their Mom asks for is yours prayers.  She has a long time to go before she is back to her usual self so keep her in your heart awhile.  The only thing that is the same in their Mom's life is the love for her dogs.   What a wonderful world it would be it that was enough.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

An apology from Foley Monster

A statement from Foley Monster:  I am here today to quell the rumors that have recently been spread by evil humans about me.  This picture was tweeted to @Kolsnotes Twitter account supposedly from my profile.  I did not send this picture to Kolchak, Felix or any other dog.  I find such behavior reprehensible and would not do it under any circumstances. 

Somehow  the picture was retweeted across the Internet.  Now there are calls from me to step down as leader of the Tanner Brigade.  Let me state first of all, that is not a picture of me.  There are plenty of adorable, fit, super sexy Yorkshire Terriers out there and that could be any one of us.

Oh all right.  That is me.  I mean who am I trying to kid?  Who else could be that adorable?

But I don't know how it got tweeted.  My account got hacked, possibly by my jealous sister Pocket, or some evil dog from my neighborhood who doesn't like me peeing on their lawn.  I share this computer with my Mommy and Daddy.  I don't think they would do such a thing on purpose but they may have wanted to tweet another picture of me and like all humans got confused.

All right I tweeted the picture!  I am very sorry if my actions offended anyone.  Since my ovaries were involuntarily slit out of me, I have to have some fun.  Anyway I'm not the only one who does this, look at this collection of slutty puppies.

Even kitties are getting in on the act
I know that this behavior must be a great shock to my family.  I would like to apologize to my Mommy and Daddy for using their computer to upload dirty puppy pictures of myself and not to use it for it's stated purpose, to upload dirty girlie pictures for Daddy.  I would like to apologize the my constituents at the Tanner Brigade.  I know you have always trusted me to make the best decision for you and instead of doing so I've been spreading my fluffy over six continents. 

I would like to apologize to Kol and Felix for dragging them into unwillingly into this situation like it was bath day.  They bear no responsibility.  I am sorry to have disrupted their life in this way.  I would also like to apologize to Aunt Jodi and tell her she will find a printed copy of this photo under Felix's doggy bed.

To be clear I have not met any of these dogs or had a physical relationship of any kind.  I haven't told the truth and I've done things I deeply regret.  I once bit a squirrel in Reno just to watch it die.  I ate a wheel of cheese.

I brought pain to those dogs who trust me, and most of all believe in me.  Not so much from this picture thing but from:  fating, endlessly barking at the table for food, taking up most of the blanket at night, snapping at Pocket when Mommy comes home, struggling to get free like a horse going into a paddock when it's time to get my teeth brushed, licking Mommy's slippers making them so wet when she steps into them they go squishy, licking Daddy's hand until it is numb then scraping my teeth on it until it bleeds because I love the taste of blood.  I figured while I was here apologizing I might as well cover everything.  Considering I sleep 20 hours a day you must admit, this is an impressive list of trouble.

In closing I would like to say I am deeply ashamed of my terrible judgement and actions.  But I'm not going to stop.   If you would like more dirty pictures of me please let me just drop me an e-mail.  I can't stop now and disappoint my fans.

The would make me some kind of Weiner.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Rocco AKA The Rock is our June 5, 2011 pup of the week

A long time ago, in the western United States, there was a dog pack.  This pack was both loved and feared by many.  Their names have faded like the color of leaves in the fall.  You can still hear thiem whispered on the wind:  Fay Fay, Duke, Pepper, Shams, Karma  As mighty as this pack was outside forces drove them apart,  The family had to move from Oregon to Germany.  And Germany does not want our dogs.   Not even are a German Shepherd if you can believe that.  The nerve.  So the pack had to be broken up.  This upset us greatly.  We remember when Fay-Fay gave birth to Karma.  I was so worried I spent the whole night boiling water and ripping up sheets.  Mommy was quite mad at me, but at least her tea was ready.  But back to the Pack:  One by one they had to be found new homes.  And one by one we lost track of our friends.

Their parents moved to Germany without any dogs, which personally would be my least favorite way to go to Germany.  They did have cats, but soon they would be going to Rainbow Bridge.  They kept us abreast (giggles) of what was going on in Germany.  They knew they had to find their parents a dog.

They worked very hard in doing so.  They thought they found one, but it wasn't meant to be.  The dog was sick and you cannot take in a dog in Germany if it is ill.  The Germans certainly have a lot of rules about dogs.

Those angels did not give up looking.  And soon they found their man:  Rocco AKA The Rock  As the angels said in a recent blog they knew The Rock was the perfect dog because he had a little of all the past members of the pack.  (He) "Has a lot of the packs traits.  He's got Pepper's curled up tail and the need to keep your ears clean and shiny.   Fay's watchfulness and fierceness.   My insisting the ball needs thrown.   Duke's cunning for rodents and Bruiser's way of flopping down. Just when he falls down it doesn't thump as loud. BOL and the puppies cuteness and playfulness. He has found his puppiness, from Shams and Karma. He really needed to be a puppy not a fierce protector, we have a daddy for that!"

So after miles of travel, and days upon days, a new Pack is forming on the other side of the world.  This pack will be built on a rock, on The Rock. And we will once again be treated to the antics of the crazy Puppy Pack.  It shows if you believe hard enough, and put faith in the angels watching over you, anything can happen.

So Rock, our pup of the week, I have read your blogs and can tell the delight coming from your words and your Mom's.  You have made her heart whole again, and when you start adding more members, her heart will grow and grow.  And soon you will be the mighty leader of a whole pack of dogs the mightiest of all of Europe.  I doubt the old continent is ready for you.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

There is something familiar about that new kitty

I have been watching my humans closely and I think they are scheming.  On Friday we had a new kitty join the Brigade.  I don't know what I was thinking when I allowed this, perhaps too many Thirsty Thursday Foleytinis.  But Pocket was surfing on her compeeter when she found out something quite interesting about this kitty.  First of all the kitty's name is Tom Silvia.  Who would name their kitty Tom Silvia?  A cylon.  Exactly.  But there was something about that name that seemed awful familiar.  We started going through the portfolio that we keep on Mommy in case she gets any ideas about withholding kibble.  We checked her known aliases.   Previously she had been known by the last names Cambra, and Silvia!  (This before she was blessed with the name Gay.   Both a noun and a verb.  How useful.)  So this cat, and my Mommy once had the same last name.  How odd.  Pocket began to pant loudly meaning she had found something or peed on the floor again and needed help moving the rug.  Thank the Bridge Angels she had found something.  And it was on a link to our blog!  The weekend before Mommy went to a cookout at her brother's and did not take us.  (And you wonder why we keep a portfolio on her?)  She went to her brother's house, her brother Tom.  Which narrows it down to three possibilities:  His name was Tom Cambra, his name was Tom Silvia, or his name was something different and Mom's Mom got knocked up behind the barn one rainy night when there was nothing to do like my Mom and we would have to delete this blog immediately. 

Pocket then opened the Boston Chomper blog our friend Joyce writes.  Well there was this Tom fellow making food.  A man preparing food?  Not seen in these parts let me tell you.  Then we looked further and there was a picture of our grandbaby Meghan playing with a kitty.

The very same kitty who is pictured in the Tom Silvia profile.  "Do you know what this means Foley?" Pocket asked me. "Yes, for years Mommy has been hiding from us that she has a kitty brother."

"No Foley," she said.  "Look at the man cooking his weiner, that's Mommy's brother Tom, he's been over our house a lot."  I studied his calves  "What are you doing?" Pocket asked.

"I'm a Yorkie, I can only recognize humans from the calves down."  I studied it for several minutes.  "Yup, that's him, I would know those pale pasty legs anywhere," I concluded.  "Well this isn't good at all."

"What's wrong?" Pocket asked.

"Don't you see, I don't have a problem with AJ, if he played with Meghan he must be a perfectly fine chap.  But if Mommy and her brother start using our accounts to talk about other humans, well that won't do at all.  See what I meant?  These humans have been scheming."

So be careful my friend AJ.  Password protect your account and don't let your Daddy on your without your permission.  When humans get to scheming there is no knowing where they will stop.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

An invitation to join the Tanner Brigade

I know many of my friends in the blogger community who have read my blog have noticed me reference the Tanner Brigade and may wonder what it is.  The Brigade is an invitation only Ning social network.  It has about 150 close knit members.  We stick by each other in good times and bad.  When one of us is sick the others rally for us, pray for us, give us advice, and most of all support.  We share the best health advice we can, the best information about food, updates about recalls, work on placing homeless dog with no families, do transports, basically everything done here in the blogger community.  We constantly make each other laugh with great blogs.  And when we're lonely all we need to do is go online and see all our friends.

We have a number of friends in the blogger community who are members of the Tanner Brigade.  Erin of Freedom to Bark is one of our administers and does all our layouts.  We have, without a doubt, the prettiest dog site, or human site, on the web.  Kolchak and Felix from Kol's notes are very active in helping dogs with heath and food treats.  Jan Cabral who writes The Dogs of Brazil blog, Smoochy, who writes the brilliant Smoochy's Observations Blog, Abby the Yorkie who writes My Life in the Dog Lane, Silvie from the Silvieon4 blog, Nadia Rosin from the Healing Art of Pet Parenthood blog, Shiloh, our astrologer dog, who authors Shiloh's Space, and Hobo Hudson, who writes a blog at newsandtales are all valued members. 
We have Zoe Boe and her mother Connie Gross who does the best pet portraits I have ever seen.  For an example take a look at the drawing of Kolchak on Koli's Notes.

Our divas:  the adorable Hattie Mae and Sydney can make you the best dressed dogs in town.  Luca and Junior do wonderful writing contests, Ruggie Ruger and Cocoa do our graphics contests, and we do weekly beat this caption contests, plus we pick pups of the week, and ask questions of the week to help us either understand our dogs or learn how to better their lives. 

There is a long story of how we came together as the Tanner Brigade.  If you haven't read my last blog, which covers the history of the Brigade, and if you're interested, you can read it here.  Some of our members still belong to big groups like Doggyspace, and others are just happy to be in a our small quiet village.  Truly, some of my closest friends are here, and I have only met one:  Laura, the mother of Pokey and Maggie, and who does many rescue transports on the 95 corridor.  

Some members of our group are on site every day, some once a week, some once a month, and some pop in and out to check on their buddies.   The Brigade is built on wood cut from the same tree.  It's a tree just south of Rainbow Bridge.  It's the tree where the humans meet their pets living at the Bridge when they pass from this world.  The Tanner Brigade is built from the tree of Unconditional Love between humans and dogs; and the unconditional love we have for our friend's dogs, and their delightful owners.

We don't recruit members to be part of the Brigade.  We only want members who reflect our views:  that dogs, cats, any household pet that look at you with eyes filled with love, are one of our most precious resources, and together we need to explore how to make these little angels from heaven lives as perfect as possible while they are with us.  They know, somehow, how to be the perfect companion to each of us, no matter how difficult we can be.  The folks who hold this view a very select slice of the world's population.  But I have found many of these people in the Blogging and Twitter communities.

So I am inviting my blogging friends and my Twitter friends to join the Tanner Brigade.  Please don't think you are under any obligations to do so. Social communities are not for everyone.  And I am sure some of you belong to other groups, and, as much as we would like to, we can't spend all day on the computer talking about dogs.

But if it sounds like this might be your brand of kibble then you can leave your e-mail in the comments section of this blog, or send me a message on Twitter with your e-mail, or e-mail me at We will send you an invite and you can take a look around.  If you like the place you can set up a profile and play in our playground.  While Ning is a pay site we are paid until July of 2012.  After that we ask for a $5.00 contribution a year.   And if you can't pay one of our friends would be more than happy to sponsor you. 

So, if you would like to join, what us Tanner Brigade members believe is the best doggy social network on the net, let me know.  And if not then keep us in mind.  We'll leave the light on for you.

Wordless Wednesday