Sunday, March 30, 2014
Friday, March 28, 2014
Dear Aunt Foley: The other day I was going for my daily walk. At the end of the walk Mommy usually tells me to sit and wait for my release word. She then goes to the house, gives me my release word, I run to her and she gives me a treat. Well, on this day, Mommy has me stay and then she walks in the house and I’m just sitting there. And I waited. And waited. Finally she gives me my release word and I run into the house where I get my treat, then Mommy tells me she had forgotten the treat and left me out there until she got one. Am I smart, clever, well trained or sneaky? - Jake the Rake
Dear Jake: Let me handle these one at a time. First you are very smart. You learned exactly what to do to get treats from your Mom. I can’t say you are clever. If you were clever you would be able to get the kibble without following your training. This is very hard to do and takes years of training. It is like a Jedi mind trick. I am sure you will get there soon my son. You are not sneaky at all. You are very well trained, perhaps too well trained. You have an agreement with your mother. She gets to the house, releases you, and gives you a treat. When your Mom did not give you the treat she broke the social contract between the two of you. You are well trained but dammit man this is a treat we are talking about. Once that social contract is broken you are free to get your treat. But there is one possibility you left out which is the true answer. Your Mom forgot to get the kibble. She is the one who needs training. So take your Mommy back to training right now until she never forgets the treat again, and, until that day comes you can break training because if you are trained and she’s not she will never learn. A well trained Mom is a balanced Mom so do it for her.
Monday, March 24, 2014
The picture was taken, I posted it on our blog, and one year later that photo has received 2,332 hits on our blog page. Only three other blogs we have written have gotten more hits.
This has caused quite a bit of consternation in my pack, in both its conscious and unconscious states. Foley and River work on their blogs for hours, coming up with imaginative stories, grand adventures, glorious tributes, and if their work gets a couple of hundred hits they congratulate themselves on their achievement. But beneath that burns an all consuming jealousy that my pretty mug has drawn 100 times as many views.
River will be sitting at the table, one paw on the keyboard, another scratching her head as she contemplates her next words. “Why don’t you just take my picture, then you’d get lots of hits,” I say. She snaps at me but being snoutless her teeth don’t pose much of a threat.
Foley popped into my dreams, made me get out of bed and call up our blog. She showed me the comments under my picture that were spam for shoes and clothes. “It must be some sort of marketing thing,” she explained. “People see your picture is popular, go to it to find out why, and they get free advertising. You’re just a cog on the machine of big business.”
She didn’t appreciate when I told her she was just a cog in the big wheel of jealousy. Nor did she appreciate my advice.
One picture is worth a 1,000 words, and a 1,000 hits, especially if they look like this.
Sunday, March 23, 2014
Every dog is a hero in their own home. All our humans require from us to be their hero is friendship and love, but sometimes we do something truly heroic.
That brings me to my very good friend Reese. He has had a lot on his plate since his big sister Meika went to the Bridge. His family was left broken hearted and Reese had to do everything he could to keep smiles on the faces of his Dad and his Uncle Ron.
To make their suffering worse, Uncle Ron took ill and had to be admitted to the hospital. They ruled out that he had a heart blockage but the Ozark Mountain Doctor Daredevils weren’t sure what was wrong, and, as is often so with the human health care system, when doctors don’t know what’s wrong, they send you home.
Uncle Ron and Reese’s Dad were both catching up on sleep while Reese dutifully watched over Uncle Ron. Feeling hungry Uncle Ron got up for some lunch. Apparently he got up too quickly and when he got to the kitchen he collapsed (once again showing the fallacy of humans insisting they walk upright.) That’s when Reese, who, truth be told, Meika and I always thought was a bit of a duffus, sprung into action.
Uncle Ron told Reese to go get his Daddy and Reese went to the bedroom barking and scratching to wake him up, which he did successfully. His Dad rushed to Uncle Ron and was able to get him off the floor and did a quick triage to determine that Uncle Ron had just got up too quickly and was uninjured. He was helped back to bed.
And Reese was the hero of the day. But he is everyday. We all are.
So here is to the hero in all of us.
Friday, March 21, 2014
Dear Aunt Foley: There is a particular cat in my neighborhood who I hate. When I am on my walk, and I see this kitty, who, for some reason just sits and stares at me, I lose it. I am a very peace loving dog but the kitty gets under my fur. What is it about this particular cat that sets me off? - Sushi
Dear Sushi: It is natural for us dogs to dislike cats. This goes back to our origins. We are descended from wolves, cats are descended from lynx, and, if nature is proven, the lynx would totally kick our asses. We are pack animals, hunting in a group, and, if a group of us cornered one of them, well we would rip that thing apart, but, one on one, the vicious little lynx would claw us to death.
As we evolved our teeth stayed sharp, and we maintained our size when we became domesticated, while the cats claws became less sharp, and they grew smaller, so, when we attack cats we are just getting back at them for the pain inflicted upon us by lynx throughout history. All you want Sushi is a little payback for the suffering of our ancestors.
Now many of us dog have made peace with the cats, and even live with us, but like southerners who still refer to the Civil War as “the war of Yankee aggression” and don’t cotton to no Yankees you hold on to the old grudges and when that cat mocks you by staring you attack for generations of dogs who came before you.
So keep flying the flag of Puppy Pride. Never forgive and never forget! And keep fighting for us little dogs.
Sunday, March 16, 2014
Last week I was lucky to have no friends come to the Bridge, but this week, sadly, I had two. I went from a no header to a double header. One we knew was coming, and one was shocking, but both were very sad.
The first was the shocking one. We had not heard from our friend Totti from Hong King for awhile. I so enjoyed his blogs. He lived in an exotic part of the world and taught us so much about life on the other side of the planet. Totti and Foxy were two treasured friends, and even if many months passed without hearing from them, it was always a treat to see them on our blog page.
We had no indication that Totti was on his way. After swearing him in I asked him what had happened and he said he had an ordinary upset stomach for a few days, the vet came to his house to visit (he really does live on the other side of the world) and ran some tests, but didn’t think it was serious. On Monday Totti’s tummy was bad and his Mommy came home to make him some ground beef but before it was finished the Angels came down and told Totti his time on the mortal side of the Bridge was over.
He protested, we all protest, some better than others, but only the luckiest of us buy themselves a few more days. Totti did achieve the passing we all want, at home with his loved ones, even if such a passing is hardest on our families.
Totti was his Mom’s first dog. Like a young girl who becomes an aunt, she was nervous about holding Totti at first, but when she did he snuggled in and stole her heart. When she took time off from work Totti was her constant companion going for long walks with her. Soon Foxy joined the family and a well known social media duo was born.
I showed Totti how to watch his family in the River of Life and he read his Mom’s blog about him, but soon his eyes clouded over with tears so I finished is for him: “I miss him a lot a lot. His ashes came back today. Paul and I decided to put on the chest with his lovely photo. It is right besides our wedding photo. He was one of our lovely family member and he will always be missed by me. He will always in my mind. Totti, see you at the rainbow bridge later. Take care I miss and love Totti forever !”
And Totti wanted me to tell his family he misses and loves them too and will be waiting.
The second friend to join me this week was Khan from the Malatesta clan.
Khan had been growing sicker each day, unable to get to his feet. His Mom has had health issues too, and the vet agreed to come to her house (perhaps I am the one who lives on the other side of the world) to ease Khan’s passage. But Khan wanted no part of that. When he saw the vet he suddenly had the strength to get off the ground, and run to his Mom, and they both cried, knowing this would be goodbye.
But the truth was, with his Mom and his human brother having so many health issues, they needed an angel more than a dog, and Khan realized this, and he too is at the River of Life watching over his loved ones, with the rest of us dogs.
There are plenty of wet paws here, from dogs reaching into the River trying to touch their families, and wet eyes too as we watch their pain. But we are safe here.
We are safe and waiting.
(Thank you to Tommy Tunes for the photos)
Saturday, March 15, 2014
I have often been described as barking mad, but now I am really barking mad. If I was still on the mortal side of the Bridge I would be sniffing butts and taking names but now I have to rely on my dull minded sisters to right the horrible wrong that has been done to me.
I learned that local pet stores have stolen my name in an attempt to cash in on my fame. I blocked their attempts to link themselves with me for profit while living on the mortal side, but shortly over six months after passing to the immortal side, they have made their move, hoping to attract the parents of Foley Wanna Bes with this.
While I would not mind having my Little Monsters create and wear their own Monster shirts and jackets in tribute I do not like the big box stores owned by massive companies making money on my friends.
It was time for a dream meeting with my lawyers River and Pocket Esquires. I went down, plucked them from their dreams, and brought them to my cloud office. I showed them pictures of the Monster shirt and asked them to file a restraining order against the stores to keep them from selling the shirts.
Pocket told me she was nervous about fulfilling my request. Those big box stores had lots of lawyers who could hit my sisters with restraining orders and keep them from buying food. Before I could respond my head litigator River barked “keep us from buying food? No food?” She then began running around my cloud howling at the moon. I had to get her off of my cloud before the downstairs neighbors filed another complaint with management.
So apparently if this is going to happen I am going to have to make it happen. But first I want all my friends to print out what is below and bring it to Petco:
The bearer of this paper
a true friend of Foley Monster (™)
Is to be awarded one free Monster Dog Type T Shirt
And if you do not honor this coupon I will personally
send dozens of geese to poop on your car
Please go out and get one soon. Once these companies realize that I have outmaneuvered them and they will be making no profits from my name they will pull these items from the shelves. I wouldn’t want you to be left out.
And wear it proudly Little Monsters.
Friday, March 14, 2014
Dear Aunt Foley: Who is St Patrick and why do we celebrate his day? Confused Irish Terrier.
Dear Confused Irish Terrier: St Patrick was a wonderful man who helped the people of Ireland very much but again, what the humans are telling you is incorrect. The story is that he led the snakes out of Ireland. What is it with humans and snakes? Those poor slithery bastards get blamed for everything.
The truth is that there never were any snakes in Ireland. St Patrick lead dogs across the seas and into Ireland. Before St Patrick stepped up there were no dogs in Ireland and he traveled the world to bring dogs to his homeland.
The first place he looked was Amsterdam where he found the Knickerbocker Hound. He made it appear like a chicken, snuck it on a boat, and brought it to Ireland where it was renamed the Celtic Hound. His next trip was to the Bay of Bengal where he discovered, and smuggled out, the Bay of Bengal Terrier and, upon reaching Ireland, named him the Glen of Imaal Terrier. In the jungles of South America he found the Bush Terrier and upon reaching Dublin coined the name Kerry Terrier, and, when one of the breed was unable to be neutered and suffered when he could not find a mate, the Kerry Blue Terrier was born. Finally, in Spain, he discovered the Rough Coated Wheaten Terrier gave him a bath and the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier was born.
Over his lifetime, thanks to his dog smuggling efforts the Russian Red and White Setter became the Irish Red and White Setter; the Bulgarian Setter became the Irish Setter; the Egyptian Dirt Spaniel become the Irish Water Spaniel, the Tonga Terrier became the Irish Terrier and the Brazilian Wolfhound became the Irish Wolfhound.
So raise a Foleytini or a Beef beer, or whatever you like to St Patrick on Monday because without him many of the breeds that we love, or actually are, would be quite different.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Sunday, March 9, 2014
I don’t like to complain, and frankly, when you take a job like Judge at Rainbow Bridge you assume you are going to be weary for an eternity, but, with all the friends I have recently had to swear in, I have been exhausted. So I am so happy this week to celebrate a friend who won’t be visiting me anytime soon.
But he still managed to give all of us quite a scare. A few weeks ago Presley’s Mom noticed a lump on the inside of his front leg. It wasn’t like a bug bite or a fatty tumor. It was the type of thing that makes a Mom go “oh crap.” His Mom took him to his vet but the doctor wasn’t as impressed with the growth as his Mom was. The vet suggested it was something minor that needed to be monitored. She made an appointment with Tag and Atlas’ old vet. He was more impressed and did a needle biopsy that showed it was a pre-cancerous tumor. He scheduled a surgery to remove it and prescribed several anxiety attacks for his poor Mom. She asked for prayers that the tumor would be benign.
After his Mom’s anxiety attacks ran out it was time for the surgery. She put him in the car, took him to the vet, went home, asked for more prayers, and prayed herself. Later that day the doctor called Presley’s nervous Mom after the surgery to say all went well and that once Presley loopiness wore off he could come home. The vet told her that he would do a biopsy but there was nothing to worry about. Because she was a dog Mom she immediately began to worry.
Thanks to lots of dog and human answered prayers the result was a "grade 2 soft tissue sarcoma” which, in dog, means there were some cancer cells but it was localized and the chance of any cells remaining after surgery were very slim.
So a big tip of the tail to Presley, who I won’t be seeing crossing the Bridge and climbing the stairs for a real long time, who has many heartbeats left, and lots of time with his Mom. And a big tip for all the pup prayers that ensured Presley’s additional heartbeats.
Saturday, March 8, 2014
Foley told me I needed to have an adventure so off I went to Russia to check out the Chachi Olympics. I was able to get an open media pass, because no one from the dog blogging community had claimed one. I had to wear it around my neck at all times so I would not be confused with a stray dog. When I got into my hotel room it was furnished poorly, dimly lit, overcrowded, hot and the water was yellow. If there were more people in walkers i would have sworn I was back in Florida.
I decided if I was going to make a splash with my first big adventure I had to get the big interview of the Olympics: Vladimir Putin. It being the Chachi Olympics I e-mailed Scott Baio and asked him to set up the interview but the little punk ignored me so I contacted The Fonz because Chachi always did what he said, and soon Putin’s people were calling me for an appointment.
I trekked over to his villa overlooking the mud mountain where the skiers skidded downhill. I kept my credentials around my neck so I would not be confused with a stray dog and rounded up or adopted by an overeager American slope skier. When I reached the library where the shirtless Putin sat on a hobby horse I was frisked by a hairy cossack with cold hands.
Finally I was given an audience with his Putiness. Of course my first question was his horrible treatment of the stray dogs on the streets of Chachi.
“The dogs were a badness on our streets. Badness on the streets must be eliminated. First badness: Homeless dogs. Second badness: Homeless people. Third badness: Home owning Gay people. All must go. Stain on Russia.”
I told him that it was my understanding that the Olympics was about bringing people of different beliefs and cultures together to celebrate our differences.
“Not in Russia. This is the Bizarro Olympics. Winter Olympic in cold place, we have in warm place. Hotel have running water, we have creeping sludge. Olympic welcome everyone with open arms, we have hairy Cossack beat them with club.”
I asked him about his treatment of dogs. If he knew they were having the Olympics why didn’t they find home for the street dogs then, why wait until the Olympics were starting then decide to kill my comrades.
“We Russia. We don’t prepare so good. Hitler say he hate Communists He offer us deal. We say OK. He wipe us half out. What a country.”
And that’s when I called him a dick. And then they said to lock up the little dog. The bare chested dictaitor on the hobby horse told me to put me behind a foor foot gate because a little dog like me couldn’t get out. But was you know I am a flying dog, and I jumped over that gate and ran back to the Olympic village where one of those crazy slope skiers brought me home in his luggage.
But before that I took a big dump on that Putin guys shirt.
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