Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Few Things About My Breed by River Song

I know many of you are not be familiar with my breed.  Let me give you the description of a Brussels Griffon from the AKC and explain them in terms humans will understand.

1.  “The affectionate, charming and curious personality of the Brussels Griffon makes it a good companion dog.”  Affectionate:  I am going to lick your face.  A lot.  While I do this I am going to stand on your chest and I don’t really care how sensitive your chest area may be.  I also love to stick my tongue in your ear, nose, and, if you are not careful, any available orifice.  Charming:  As long as you count things like pooping in my crate, jumping on the table, jumping on the end table where the three orchards delicately stand, rolling on the grass while I should be walking, and picking up everything on the ground as charming, then I’m your dog.  Curious:  My little nose goes everywhere.  Trash cans, holes in the ground, under chairs, in your mouth, whereever there is a place I can stick my nose it is going there.  Good companion dog:  I am going to follow you whereever you go, I do not respect your personal space, and if you leave me look out because I am totally going to freak out.

2.  “However, this breed is not typical of the "pampered pet" stereotype of Toy breeds.”  Absolutely not.  I am so angered when I am called a pampered pet.  I spend most of my day sitting in a chair or playing with a large selection of toys;; I get high quality food and treats; I get lots of kisses, ear rubs and belly rubs; and at night I sleep curled up with my parents in bed.  If you believe that is what a “pampered pet” is then you need a new dictionary.

“Their active indoor lifestyle and small size makes them ideal for apartment life, but they still need to be taken for daily walks.”  What active lifestyle?  Is it active to run back and forth from the couch, to a recliner, to a chair, to the couch, back to the recliner, sometimes flying between them never touching the floor?  Is it active to chase Pocket when she chases the ball, taking it from her, and running all over the house until she catches me?  And daily walks?  I walk until I pee, and I don’t like to pee early in the walk so every time I have to pee there is a walk involved, and since I pee five times a day you can do the math.

‘The breed can have either a rough or da smooth coat. Each coat needs twice-weekly brushing and shaping every three months.”  I have a rough coat, and thank to Hattie Mae a raincoat and a house coat.  I have been with my family for about a month and have had no brushing.  I am just going to go to the groomers in a few weeks and have them brush me six times.  And if anyone thinks they are “shaping” me they better be ready to lose a hand.

And they left out the biggest attribute of our breed.  We are always smiling, we just need to be upside down to do it.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Cassie is Foley Monster's July 28, 2013 Pup of the Week

This week we lost two great friends in Cassie and Sandy.   They both deserve their own blog and I will be recognizing Cassie this week and Sandy next week.  Please, my friends, don’t let anymore dogs come to the Bridge for a long time.  We do have the room, but there is too much heartache in the world, and if the rate of puppies crossing the bridge does not decrease the world could die of a broken heart.

When I got the call to go to the top of the Bridge again, I did so with a big sigh, always glad to see a friend, but knowing the pain of the departed.  I looked down the steps and saw it was my good friend Cassie.  I was shocked.  She had hid her illness from everyone, including me.

Cassie was diagnosed with stomach cancer eight weeks ago.  Neither she, nor her Dad let on that she was sick.  I used to think that when my time came that I would be brave enough not to tell anyone, but that didn’t work out.  I really can’t understand how Cassie and her Dad were so brave.  Like me they loved to make pups and humans laugh more than anything else, and they didn’t want any more tears than were absolutely necessary, so they suffered in silence.  I wished we could have made it easier on them, but I don’t know if that would have been possible.

Most of us dogs are Mom’s dogs.  We write about our Mommy’s, they discuss our problems on the Human Book.  Our Mommies are the ones we bond with while our Daddies bring home the kibble and may play with us occasionally/   With Cassie, as with Tommy Tunes, Hobo, Reese and Meika, it’s the bond with Daddy that is the strongest.

Cassie was at a Pet Smart in Marietta Georgia in 2004 looking for a family when she saw a man and a woman and she knew that this was her family.  But the couple already had a dog and the man kept saying “not another dog.”  Cassie put on a show for him, and even when she sadly watched him leave without her she held out the hope that he would realize his mistake, which, a few minutes later, in a Home Depot, he did, and he returned to Pet Smart to start the adoption process, and join the soul who would be his best friend for the next nine years.
Cassie’s next step was to teach her Dad how to walk in the woods  She did this by bolting into the woods and making him follow through mud, under cottages, through brambles, and over stones until he learned how much fun following a dog through mountain trails was.

That love of walking led to the painting that is at the top of this blog.  Daddy and Cassie were walking and someone too slow o keep up with them took a picture.  Cassie and Daddy agreed it would make a beautiful painting, and they were right, it did.  

We don’t have a lot sad moments here at the Bridge.  What we do have is lots of mountains and trails.  I figured that I would see Cassie racing around them but she spends all day playing with her friends down by the water and sleeping in the sun.  I asked her why she didn’t go exploring the mountains and she smiled.  “I’ll wait for my Dad, and I’m hoping it’s a good long wait.”

I gave her a kiss on the head.  I understand.  Some things aren’t worth it without our humans.

I know Cassie’s Dad is a big Bruce Springsteen fan so this twisted bit of song is for him.

Sundown, sundown
They're taking all the tents down.
Where have you gone my beautiful Cassie?

Sundown, sundown
The carnival train's leaving town.
Where are ya now my beautiful Cassie?

We won't be dancing together on the high wire
Facing the lines with you at my side, oh no.
We won't be breathing the smoke in the fire
On a midway.
Hanging from the trapeze, my wrists waiting for your wrists.
Two daredevils high upon the water's edge.
You throwing the knife that lands inches from my head.

Moon rise, moon rise, the light that was in your eyes is gone away.
Daybreak, daybreak, the thing in you that made me ache has gone to stay
We'll be riding the train without you tonight
The train that keeps on moving
It's black smoke scorching the evening sky.
A million stars shining above us like every soul living and dead
Has been gathered together by God to sing a hymn
Over the old bones.

Sundown, sundown.
They empty out the fairgrounds.
Where are you now my beautiful Cassie?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

River's Chewing on a Bull's Penis Has Made Me Sick by Pocket

On Saturday Daddy came strolling in with a Petco bag.  River and I jumped down and ran to him anxious to see what treats he had bought.  First he pulled out two clear bottles with little nozzles protruding from them that resembled River’s receding teets.

Daddy explained that is was a bottle that attached to the our crate’s front door.  It is filled with water and the teat part comes into the crate so we can get water.  Our parents decided they needed to provide water for us while crated but in their previous attempts a rather clumsy dog (me) would spill the water all over the crate.   The outside bottle was, what they called, rather insensitively “Pocket proof,” and, to add insult to injury, Daddy said the success of the product would depend on the intelligence of the dog to lick the teat and get water and they weren’t worried about River figuring it out they were worried about me.

Unlike my sister I am a good girl, a lifelong virgin, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know how to get water out of a stiff tube, and I am insulted by the implication.  I was pretty steamed at my parents but later in the day they gave me kibble and you know us dogs, all was forgiven and I was in love again.

The second thing he brought was more interesting.  It was a chew toy that was twisted into a pretzel.  It looked good and it smelled great.  River went to it immediately and began chewing but I am more discerning and read the label.  A Bully stick.  Now that sounded promising.  

Until I googled it.  A bully stick is made from a bull’s pizzle or what would be more commonly known as a bull’s penis.  I am not sticking that thing in my mouth, not without a little dinner and wine first.  Single mother River?  She was just going to town on it but I am a little lady.

That night Foley came down to see me in my dreams.  “What’s going on?” she asked.  “I leave you in charge and River is jumping on the table, on the dining room chairs, and now there’s a bull dick on the floor.”

I tried to explain how these things were out of my control and that she had to understand how difficult it was with an uncooperative little sister.  She made a hummphing sound and left my dream.

I must admit, I tried one of those bull things, pretty tasty, but I got diarrhea the next day, a payment for my sins of walking around with a dick in my mouth.  A day later so did River.  No more bull dicks for us, so don’t worry about your junk when we’re around Clara Belle.

Although I would like to correct the humans about something:  Instead of saying take the bull by the horns they should say take the bull by the pizzle.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Saint is Foley Monster's July 21, 2013 Pup of the Week

This week I would like to recognize a pup who has one of those strange Mom’s who is not on social media.  So how did I come to know about this pup, named Saint?  Well first, as  Judge at Rainbow Bridge I am allowed to look into the river where I see everything that is going on with all good dogs below, and second the non social networking Mom is a friend of my Dad’s.  (This came as a shock to me too, I didn’t know Mommy or Daddy ever talked to actual people.)

Anyway back to Saint.  He had recently come to live with his Mom.  Before that he was in a horrific situation.  His former parent had left him in a cage at a kennel for two weeks with no access to exercise.  At ten years of age being unable to move made his situation worse.  Soon he had gained weight and lost all sense of what it was like to be a family dog.  
Then came the break of Saint’s life when his forever Mom found out about him, said she would take him, no questions asked, and soon, after a trip, a shave, and a new home he was waking up his Mom with a good morning kiss.

But last Saturday things took a bad turn.   Saint’s Mom drove him to the dog park for a day of fun.  He saw a little dog, one of those pesky, yappy little dogs that used to annoy me when I wasn’t being one of them, and Saint went to chase him.  When he planted his leg his ACL tore, as happens to all aging athletes at some point, and Saint gave out a heartbreaking cry of pain.

Then, seeing his injury his Mom echoed his cry.  She knew it was a torn ACL but it being a Saturday she had to wait until Monday for confirmation.  During that time she questioned if she had done a disservice to Angel by adopting him.  She wondered if he would have been better off living in a crate then having been adopted and subsequently injured.

Of course this is the silliest thing ever.  As the Judge who swears in new members of The Bridge:  District One, I have to perform the ceremony for lots of dogs who don’t have loving family members to meet them, and never will.  I am telling you there is nothing sadder.  Sure there are plenty of humans who take them in here,  because humans don’t have to clean up their poop, buy food and serve it to them, pay for medical bills, and take them out to pee (Yes, here at the Bridge we finally treat humans as our equals, which is why they refer to is as Heaven) but they still don’t get that reunion moment with someone they love and that is what we all exist for her, the reunion with our beloved human (and free chicken.)  Angel, for the first time in his life is feeling love, and there isn’t a dog at the Bridge or on Earth who wouldn’t give up all four legs for that.

I am going to do all I can on this side of the Bridge to make sure that none of my friends, not Saint, not my friend Otis from Fallon MO, not my friends Reese’s and Meika’s Uncle R, no one, makes me swear them in at the Bridge this week or for many weeks to come.   I hate having to slip on my robes and go to the top of the Bridge to do my job.  Everyone here at the Bridge knows this:  I am the Foley Monster, I’m dead, I’m lazy, and I’m loving it.

So  Saint, if you are reading this, be good to your Mom before your surgery, because you’re kind of heavy for her to bring in and out of the house, and be brave during the surgery, because you’ve been through worse, and try to be a patient patient afterwards as your Mom nurses you back to health and if you do that you will have many more years of fun and love ahead of you.

And remember, Saint,  to tell every dog you meet that you are a winner of the Foley Monster Pup of the Week Award.  That will open lots of doggy doors for you.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

River Song recounts her first night in her forever home

Well I must say I am fitting in nicely at my new home.  Foley is right, if you give these folk the big innocent eyes they are liable to let you do anything.

After I arrived for Florida Mommy picked me up at my pup brother’s house.  My pup brother is owned by her groomer so the entire thing was a little incestious if you ask me.  I was introduced to my Mommy and right then I knew she was for me.  I climbed up on her shoulder and curled up, sighing that I was home.
She took me outside and put me in a crate on the front seat then took me to the nearest Petco where we met a man who worked there.  He held me too and was very nice to me.  I got a new bed, some toys, a thunder shirt, food, and something called a Snoozer.  It is a car seat, a stroller, a backpack, and an outdoor crate.  Mommy was reluctant to get it but the guy in the store insisted and Mommy gave in.  She seems to “give in” to guys in stores a lot.

We went home and I met Pocket who seemed nice but also a bit distant.  She climbed up on a chair with Mommy while I checked out every inch of the house.  Then, for some reason, I got put in a crate and she left the house.  The crate was nice and roomy and, being dog, and wanting to show how grateful I was, I took a big crap in the crate.

Then Mommy came back home, and she brought with her the guy from the store.  Hey, I’m not someone to judge, I had a litter with a dog I never met face to face, but I did think it was a little loose for Mommy to bring home the pet store guy.    Pocket told me the guy was Daddy and I said anyone who got me the fancy stroller, backpack, car seat thing could be my Daddy. Mommy was very forgiving that I took the crap (as time went on she was less so.)

Mommy and the store guy ate a pizza and handed us kibbles and then after that I got a big plate of kibble with some kind of meat mixed in.  It was so good.  I went outside and I did my business like a good girl.  I came in and climbed up on Mommy’s lap and stayed there, just a perfect, calm, little dog.  Pocket sat with me even though her every sniff was filled with suspicion.

Mommy had said that there was no way that I was going to get bed the first night.  No way.  She put me in my crate in the living room.  I barked and barked and barked.  Mommy finally relented and said my crate could go in the bedroom.  When I got in there I barked and barked and barked from the crate while Pocket barked and barked and barked from the bed inviting me in until Mommy finally gave in.  I snuggled into a little ball on the bed and went to sleep as part of a happy pack.

Mommy and the Store Guy thought they had found a perfectly calm little dog.  HE HE HE.  As a former Mama dog I knew, never show you true colors on the first night.   Were they in for a surprise.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Hans is Foley Monster's July 14, 2013 Pup of the Week

I am finding that being here at the Bridge is a little like being on the Twilight Zone.  

One night, when I was on the Earthly side, I had all my friends over to my Leopard Skin Vagina Kitty Condo and we watched an episode where Jack Klugman was a pool shark who wanted to be the greatest of all time and ended up beating a ghost who had been considered the greatest, and now Jack Klugman was.  But, for the rest of eternity, whenever a bell rang, a weary Jack Klugman had to get up and answer the challenge of being the greatest of all time.

Here at the Bridge, when a bell sounds, I have to wearily put on my robe and make my way to the top of the Bridge Stairs to see which one of my friends had broken their families’ hearts by having their time on Earth expire. My joy at seeing my friends is fractured by the pain I know their families are feeling.

Lately, having had so many friends join me, I am growing reluctant to look down the Bridge.  On this day  I saw Hans slowly making his way up the stairs.  Like Atlas, Fella, and all dogs who come here, with each step he grew healthier and stronger, and with each gaze at the beauty surrounding the Bridge I could see the pain of leaving his family ease, and the good memories grow stronger.

But beyond the Bridge I can feel the sadness from his family and friends.  It blows my tiny robes like the wind and the cries sound like the birds that fly overhead.  I don’t know if every dog can hear or if it just fades to the background over time, but it’s there.

The doctors had told his Mom that he would have to go to the Bridge on July 5.  But Hans put up such a fight, eating, wagging his stub, and not letting any sign of pain show, that she decided to take it day by precious day and enjoy every extra moment they had with him.

Hans was such a fighter.  I fought to give my parents one more day with me, Hans fought to give his parents almost a week.  He used every ounce of life he had in his soul to stay with his Mom.  Has was suffering from an infection and pancreatitis.  
He spent most of the day lying on cool tile, but he would occasionally get up to give a tail wag and eat some food.    

But he wasn’t suffering, his family would not let him suffer, he was enjoying life, like an aged human who is confined to a hospital bed, knowing the end is nigh, but surrounded by family, keen enough to share stories, love and laugh.  And, like the humans surrounding the hospital bed, Hans’ family knew that every day, hour, minute, was a blessing.  And they all basked in the love of everyone on DS and Facebook.  His family said: ”I want everyone to remember the crazy dog who dressed up for every holiday with turkey legs on his head, sunglasses and top hats and we hope made everyone smile.”  A dog who wanted, even while passing to the Bridge, everyone to keep smiling.  Now that sounds like a special dog.

Like so many of us dogs Hans’ heart gave out before his soul.  He began bleeding a great deal and suffering which his Mom could not have.  She began the process of sending Hans to the Bridge, and at that moment my bell rang, calling me to the top of the stairs.  When Hans reached my post the first thing he said to me, knowing my blogs reach the human world, was “make sure they pray for my family,” and I assured him I will.  

He is happy now, pain free, his body, after dealing with two different cancers, is young and functioning fine.  His days are mostly filled with fun, although I have asked him to advise me on some important Bridge matters.  He asks you all not to feel sorrow for him, the Bridge is really just on the other side of the wall from Earth, sadly, a wall with no entry.

And he wants his family to know that someday, simultaneously much too soon and too far away, everyone will be together again, and truly happy.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

A River Runs Through My Life by Pocket

I think it is true of any pup who loses a sibling to the Bridge:  They have to go through a period of adjustment.  Mommy and Daddy were just busted after Foley left and it was up to me, with Foley’s coaching, to help them.  I am a modest, little dog but I do think I did a decent job.  I never made demands, I didn’t complain, I became the best me I could be.

Foley told me she was interviewing for position of second dog but I assured her that it wasn’t necessary, the three of us were faring well, and had settled into a normal, functioning, if unexciting life.

Then one afternoon, while Mommy was out, Daddy working, and I was relaxing in my crate, I heard water rushing, then the ground shook, the dam gave way, and a River burst through the door and has been running through my life ever since.

I figured Foley would have sense enough to get another Yorkie, something smaller than me that I could intimidate with my five pounds and slowly mold into the dog I wanted her to be, like Foley did to me, but instead I got this thing nearly twice my weight, who was all legs and teats, thought she was more experienced than me because she had a litter, and could jump from the floor to the stars.

The first day all she did was explore and snore.  I invited her into the bed, telling her that anything from the chest up was hers, anything from there downwards mine, and she respected that, for at least the first few nights, but then she started using those long legs to push me down the bed and next thing I knew I was sleeping by the dreaded feet.

In the morning when Daddy threw my ball to begin our morning game guess who went galloping after it and took it from me?  Then she didn’t drop it by Daddy to be thrown again.  She jumped up on the couch and degraded my ball by licking it.  Daddy took it from her and threw it again and she out galloped me again.  But, and don’t tell River this, the more the ball was thrown the more I like her retrieving it, since carrying it in my mouth was my least favorite part of ball.

We have had a few tussles but I have come out the victor, keeping her in line like Foley said I should.   I have let her have Mommy’s lap, since I prefer the seat next to her with my butt up against the heated vibrating part of the chair (hey, River got to make whoopee with a stud and have a baby, I should get this.  Don’t judge me!)

And River is going to have to go to training classes, something I never had to do, even if Foley says if I was doing a better job of training her River wouldn’t need classes.  I think the classes are for human anyway and Foley was responsible for training them.

I think we are going to be fine as a family, and I don’t worry about it raining anymore.  We must live upstream because all I hear all day long is “Down River.”

The Ruby Rose Report: The Gift

  I had finished my walk with my Dad, having inspected the homes and gardens en route, and barked instructions on how to bring them up to...