Friday, May 30, 2014
Dear Aunt Foley: Why did God create fleas? We hate those things - Tashi, Tiara, and Trixie.
Dear Tashi, Tiara and Trixie: Among the many lessons I have learned on the immortal side of life is that all beings, even fleas, have a reason to live. But the reason why is only known by the wisest and oldest of our inhabitants, who live high up in the mountains. To get your answer I packed some kibble and some water then began to climb high above the River.
It took me a few hours to get to the top of the mountain and I entered the cave where the wise man sat. I stopped to drink some water and then I stood before him and asked why we have fleas. He explained to me that fleas have an important role in nature. They balance life. If there are too many of any species then the fleas carry diseases to help reduce the number of that specie. Without the flea one specie could eradicate all others.
Having received your answer I turned and prepared to start my journey back down the mountain when I paused, turned, and walked back into the cave. “Hey, old wise man?” I asked. He looked up. “Are you telling me the only purpose fleas have is to, at best, kill people, and at worse, make their lives torturous hell?” He nodded. “Then what did you go create Al-Qaeda for? Admit it, the flea is an evolutionary mistake that we are now stuck with, and, when you found it was killing things, you said ‘Hey, let’s just say that’s the purpose.’”
He studied me: “Do you think you have all the answers little dog?” he asked.
“I think mine make more sense than yours,” I said, standing very straight.
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
We are getting back in the swing of things when it comes to garden supervision. River wrote about the entire buggy incident but I want to tell you what happened afterwards and the return of Orkie the Yorkie.
We first met Orkie two years ago. Foley and I were on a walk when this little Yorkie ran up to us, as bold as can be, setting off a three way Yorkie barking exhibition. Daddy gathered Orkie in his arms, brought us home, and then spent a half hour knocking on doors until he found the owner Daddy explained to Orkie that there were lots of bad things that could happen to little dogs alone on the street. Orkie promised to never run away again.
But Orkie wasn’t much of a listener or a promise keeper. It took more than a year but after a day of garden supervising, at the end the walk we got as reward for doing a good job, I heard a barking, and saw Orkie running towards me. “Hi Pocket, how have you been?” she asked.
I told her I was fine, and introduced her to River. “Who’s the tubby?” River asked.
I winced. I had noticed that Orkie had put on, if not another Orkie in weight, then definitely another Pocket. I have always been told that it is impolite to comment on someone else’s weight but if I did have to comment on Orkie’s the comment would be morbidly obese.
I said hi to Orkie. Daddy was holding our leashes in his right hand and Orkie was charging at us from the left. He bent down and picked Orkie with his left hand and I could tell by the gasp of air that he too found Orkie heavy. We saw Mommy. River, Orkie and I were barking and lunging trying to talk and sniff. Daddy was trying to keep all three of us under control and get Mommy’s attention so she could grab at least one little bit of hell, but she didn’t have her glasses on and couldn’t see him gesturing and he was too far away to be heard.
Finally Mommy realized that three dogs were too much for two handed Daddy and took River and me. I told Orkie I would see him again soon and River suggested he try Slim-Fast. Daddy was only a few steps up the street when Orkie’s Mom’s grandson drove down to get him. He had let him out of the house again, and knew where Orkie would go.
Being the only Yorkie in the house I hope I see him again soon.
And River hopes he gets fed some weight control food.
Sunday, May 25, 2014
I must admit that before I crossed the River of Life I had visited Rainbow Bridge before. My Boston Terrier friends, McKinsie, Promise, Megan, would visit me in my dreams and take me to the Bridge, which helped me greatly when I made my journey
I have very important things to do as a Judge here but when I get my playtime I enjoy spending lots of it with McKinsie, Promise and Megan, and sometimes, in their dreams, the rest of their pack joins us. I enjoy the balance of who amongst the Boston Terrier pack is here, and who is on the other side of the Bridge. But now the balance has been upset as Brooklyn is in very serious condition and in need of many prayers.
It started during an innocent day of play. Much like my sister Pocket Brooklyn loves to chase balls. Brooklyn was playing with her brother Parker when they both went for the ball and crashed mid-air. Brooklyn was knocked unconscious for over five minutes. When she did come around her eyes didn’t seem right. But Brooklyn acted fine and her Mom hoped it would pass.
But Brooklyn wasn’t bouncing back. Her Mom could see, through Brooklyn’s expressive eyes that she was in pain, and there was swelling in her neck. Mom hurried Brooklyn to the vet who prescribed an antibiotic hoping that it would clear up whatever was wrong, but it had little effect as Brooklyn grew worse until it became apparent that she had lost her eyesight and was crying in pain.
Brooklyn’s pack, affectionately known as the Magnificent 7, were upset and hovered over her. She is their leader, their protector, their guide.
The following morning Mom took Brooklyn back to the vet who said that Brooklyn had swelling behind her eye, possibly an abscess from the accident, or a tumor.
The vet thought that medication was still the best treatment. Over the following days the roller coaster effect was in full force. One day she was leading the seven outside to their pee spot and drinking water, the next not seeing things that were right in her face. But she did improve with medication, the real test would be when she went off the medication.
Soon, after being taken off her medication, Brooklyn’s vision problems and pain returned. The vet checked her over and while he knew something was wrong because she was showing sensitivity in the head and neck. He didn’t think it was a tumor, and put her on medication again, but Brooklyn did not respond. In fact, she got worse, losing her balance and being unable to walk.
The vet believed it was inflammation in the neck from her crash. He prescribed laser treatments to relieve the inflammation. The roller coaster began again. She would have a good day, then a bad day, bringing high hopes than none at all. Friday night she took a turn to the worse and was in a semi-conscious state.
Her Mom believed she had a brain tumor, or an injury from the mid-air collision with Parker, and she asked all dogs to play with a tennis ball that day for Brooklyn, who she was convinced was headed to the Bridge.
Mom called the vet to schedule the appointment for Brooklyn’s departure. But the vet wanted to hold out for a miracle. There was a possibility that there was something non-life threatening wrong with Brooklyn, and she could not let Brooklyn leave without eliminating every possibility.
They went to the vet’s office to do x-rays which turned up something unexpected. Brooklyn had a very serious infection in the inner ear and sinus cavities. She was given fluids by bolus under the skin and injected with antibiotics then sent home with prescriptions with more antibiotics and anti-inflammation medication. The vet said the recovery would be slow, and, if there is a seizure there would be no way to stop her trip to the Bridge. Her Mom even asked me not to allow her to cross the Bridge and I said I would do everything I could to keep her on the mortal side of life.
The last report I received about Brooklyn was yesterday morning. She was not improving. She had to receive medicine and water by syringe. She could not stand on her own. She was lying still taking very deep breaths.
Her Mom wrote this description of her love “Brooklyn is the joy of our family of Bostons, she is the leader, the ball player, the referee, the Red head of the family...she does agility and is a natural as her Aunt Promise (who is with me at the Bridge) , and was about to make her splash into the agility ring this summer...she is a love, but no one touches her ball, and her joy is chasing it and bringing it to me...keeping it away from the others....”
For Brooklyn to survive is going to take the greatest miracle ever, but, if it’s possible, we can do it. Just pray for one more day with Brooklyn, just one more day for Brooklyn to be with the Magnificent Seven, and if that answer is yes then pray again tomorrow, and if the answer is yes, then do it for a week of tomorrow’s, then a month, then a year, then a ten thousand tomorrows, until Brooklyn has lived a good, long life, and not the six years she has had.
Brooklyn has been knock, knock, knocking on the Bridge door for a while now, but we are ignoring it, because she deserves so many more tomorrows, so many more balls thrown, so many more days of sunshine with her Mom.
I know us little group of dogs ask for a lot of miracles. Can’t we have this one? Please?
Friday, May 23, 2014
Dear Aunt Foley: What is up with humans and spring cleaning? The Girls
Dear Girls: Personally, I never understood what was up with humans and cleaning. I think a messy house is a house that shows how much humans love their dogs. But my Mom was a big fan of the cleaning. Daddy used to tell her you can’t have a sparkling clean house and two dogs but she still has not given up her quest.
Since I can’t answer why they clean I can’t tell you why they want to do more of it in the spring. I guess it’s because they are starting to tend to the gardens and the lawns, cleaning them, and decide to do the house too, but wouldn’t it make more sense doing it in November when they don’t have the lawn to do? I have tried to explain human behavior to my friends but honestly, most of the time they remain a mystery
Of course I know what prompted this question. Like most dogs, when their parents clean, I am sure that you just curl up and watch with either a frustrated or bemused expression on your face, but then they start digging into your toy boxes and deciding what toys you do or don’t need.
This is such an invasion of our rights. We should be able to keep our toys no matter how gross and spit covered they are. But not according to our parents. And then when we try to return the “favor” and go into open drawers to pull out clothes they don’t need, or rip apart shoes that are out of fashion they get mad.
So I say spring cleaning for all or no spring cleaning! And keep your dirty hands which are attached to your dirty feet in your out of fashion shoes which should be thrown out off our freaking toys.
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
I have been either living with humans, or observing them from above for a long time now, and one part of my human studies have been completed. I can now state with 100% accuracy that the best way to measure a human is by how they treat their pets.
Admittedly I cannot judge non pet owners. There are some who don’t own pets because they can’t provide for them, and some poor souls have allergies and can’t have a pet, but almost all humans at some point have encountered pets and I can use that evidence to make a partial decision of their righteousness.
As I have written before us dogs are on Earth for one reason and that is to love and give comfort to humans. A very high of percentage of dogs get that love back, but some are abused, and, although not as painful as abuse, some simply are ignored. We have to share the love that is in our hearts, and if we are unable to, the pain eats away at our hearts as much as the loss of a loved one does.
This happens to some of us after a baby is born. Mommy has seen young married couples with their dogs and they treat them like their baby. Then the actual baby comes and the dogs are either kept in the cellar, outside, or made to stay in one room or sit in a corner. Both Mommy and I wonder if this is the type of human parent they are what kind of dog parent are they going to be?
I pray every night that all dogs have good homes, some of them just have to settle for homes where they don’t get any love. But I wonder about those dogs who had love and were then pushed aside when their parent lose interest.
I don’t know if it is better to have been loved then it would be to never have been loved at all. At least you don’t know what you lost.
Sunday, May 18, 2014
Friday, May 16, 2014
Dear Aunt Foley: Hi, I’m another young dog new to their home. I have an embarrassing secret. I am a victim of excitable pee. When someone comes over the house, or something happens that gets my blood flowing, my pee flows too. Is this normal? What can I do about it? Am I in danger of losing my new home? - Lacey
Dear Lacey: I have heard of this a lot, in fact my sister Pocket still suffers from it. But the term excitable peeing is not correct. What you are actually suffering from is what is known as peeing praecox or prematures peeulation. (This is also known as early peeing, rapid peeing, rapid urination, and premature pee-pee.)
Although dogs who prematurely pee describe feeling that they have less control over peeing it is not clear if that is true. Many if not most dogs report they wish they could last longer in between pees.
The causes of premature peeing are unclear. Many theories have been suggested including that PP was the result of peeng quickly during adolescence to avoid being caught by a parent who would punish them.
The good news is that there are self treatments that can be done to solve your problem. One way it to try and think of something besides peeing. Something like sports or their litter Mom after being groomed. There is little evidence to indicate that this is effective. Other self-treatments include squatting slower, stepping off the rug completely, peeing before you become excited and using more than one pee pad, although this could lead to pee pad breakage. Also many dogs have gone to pee therapists who have cured 75 to 80 percent of premature pee-ers.
Either way know that you are not alone.
Thursday, May 15, 2014
I know Foley has informed all of you that we have started gardening after a winter colder than the wicked witch’s underwear and longer than a James Franco text message to a 15 year old girl with references to a body part which he refers to as the Great and Powerful Oz. I am just going to come right out and say it: That dude freaks me out.
Anyway, back to the garden. My Mommy has a bad neck which is connected to her bad back which is connected to her bad spine which is connected to her bad hip which is connected to her bad legs which is connected to her had knee which lead to her bad feet. The woman is bad.
Foley has given us strict orders not to let Mommy overwork. But on Monday the weather was cool, and the work was progressing without incident. Pocket and I were chilling in the stroller, watching the pruned people walk by, the birds flying overhead, insects happily buzzing.
We went past the two hour mark. Daddy, who is also on strict orders from Foley decided, on his own , that Mommy could work for at least another hour. Mommy hates to get out of the garden more than an acid freak at Woodstock so she was happy to stay. All of us forgot Foley and what would surely be her revenge.
Finally Daddy told Mommy it was time to stop. She turned and looked at him like a dog who had just spent an hour chasing a rabbit, had finally caught it, and while exhausted, had saved the energy to devour it, and was now being told to come in. But like all good parents Daddy insisted Mommy was tired, needed to come in, and, if she didn’t, would, like the dog with a rabbit, spend the rest of the day on the toilet.
None of us had considered how much we had angered Foley until it was time for us to get out of our stroller. Daddy took a hold of the zipper and pulled but nothing happened. Both Pocket and I were barking loudly wanting to get out to run free and finally pee. Daddy worked on the zipper but it wouldn’t budge. Foley had frozen it trapping us in the stroller as punishment.
As Pocket and I were panicking, picturing a life stuck living in a buggy but Daddy used his almost human like strength to rip the zipper and we were free. But the buggy was busted, having taken the brunt of Foleys wrath over us overworking Mommy.
Mommy ordered us a new buggy (actually three new buggies. Mommy got into a little keystroke problem with Amazon and we ended up with three spacious pink buggies, but she was able to return them.) When gardening day we went out and enjoyed the new room and the bluetooth capabilities of the new buggy.
We completely forgot how long we were out there for. Suddenly, for no reason, our new buggy tipped over and we could hear the faint sound of Foley chuckling. We knew then it was time to go in.
Luckily we learned some lessons from the experience.
Check your shopping cart before you pay.
Don’t let Mommy work too long in the garden.
And don’t mess with Foley.
Sunday, May 11, 2014
The British, and some Americans, refer to males as chaps. “He’s a fine chap,” they say. I don’t think I have ever heard anyone use “chap” in any other connotation other than describing an upstanding individual. The term chap is derived from chapman, an old English term for an honest tradesman.
When I first joined Doggyspace 7 years ago, on my very first day, I made three unique named friends from California: 12, Chappy and Whiskey. Oh how those names rolled off the tongue. 12, Chappy and Whiskey: Like Tinkers, to Evers, to Chance, or Crosby, Stills and Nash.
What wonderful, wise, kind, true friends they became. In an illogical world we could find sage advice in the comments under their picture. When we were down, they provided furry shoulders to cry on, paws to hold, and smiles. They celebrated with us, played with us, prayed for us, and were our rocks. We believed they would be with us forever.
Their pack expanded. There was first Fuzzy Bacon, whose time was brief, then Blue Last March we lost 12, the leader of the pack, and while Jasper, a fine dog and great friend joined them, we knew we lost a great leader in 12, and missed our original terrific trio.
At the beginning of October a small growth on Chappy’s side grew alarmingly. The little growth had grown into a cancerous monster and Chappy needed emergency surgery. 12 and I put on our angel wings and watched over the surgery. It was difficult. The tumor was very large. But the doctor consulted with 12 and I and we termed the surgery a success.par
A month later my parents, and Pocket and River, got to meet Chappy’s wonderful parents at Pokey’s house. My pack found Chappy’s parents to be wonderful, kind, generous people. I must admit I went into a snit for a week that I had gone to the Bridge before I got to meet them, but I have slipped into their sweet dreams to be able to spend time with them and get to know them better, and if I wrote a pet parent of the year blog it would very likely be about them.
Two months ago another large tumor appeared on Chappy’s side. Again, the surgery was successful, but a short time later two more growths appeared and Chappy asked his parents for no more surgeries. He was going to spend as much time with Mom and Dad as he could, and then when he was ready, he would cross the Bridge to join 12, and his other siblings, Travis, Irie and Fuzzy.
Which brings me back around to the origin of the word chap, because Chappy is the definition of a good chap. He always put others first. He made the decision for his Mom, collecting his best bandannas and telling his Mom it was time to depart. Before he came to the Bridge he contacted me to make sure I was ready, and had me gather his Bridge Pack to meet him.
His sibling were so overjoyed to see him, and being Chappy he greeted everyone graciously. There was lots of running, romping, and tail biting. But I could tell he missed his family, and once everyone had calmed down I took him to the River of Life so he could watch over them. He’s been doing that a lot since he arrived. He wants to know his Mom is going to be all right. We keep telling his she will, but it takes time, and we do have a lot of that here.
Chappy’s Mom’s and Dad’s hearts will heal in time, and he will check on them less, just like 12 did before him. Sort of the way things work in these parts.
But as for now, I lay next to Chappy as he watches his Mom’s reflection in the river, for as long as it takes, because that’s what a fine chap would do.
Friday, May 9, 2014
Dear Aunt Foley: You and I have never met but I have heard good things about you. My name is Wylie. For six years I lived with my Mommy but she got sick and had to go into the home and give me up. Luckily I was adopted by a wonderful man and woman with a dog and several cats. My probably is with the dog. His name is Hobo Hudson and he is completely insane. He seems to think that not only I, but the cats, and certain squirrels work for him and he spends each morning pouring over the “bone” market. What is up with him? Sincerely Wylie Hudson
Dear Wylie: I am sure you had a wonderful mother and that you took great care of her as she aged. I am sorry that her health grew beyond your ability to care for her. I am so happy you found a new home. But you haven’t just found a home, you have found a home straight out of Willy Wonka: A home of endless imagination.
Sure, there are places where the dog is the dog, sleeps in another room, doesn’t have any dog friends who live in other countries, doesn’t communicate daily with their friends over the Internet, and live perfectly satisfactory lives. But you my friend are starting your journey to a most extraordinary life.
Welcome to the world where you have friends that you will never sniff, but you will know better than your own littermates. A world where your every thought it will be considered important, and your every picture fawned over. A world where you will feel love from all over the world, and if you are sick, prayers will pour in and you will feel the warmth inside your heart.
In short Wylie you are the dog who got everything he ever wished for. And you know what happened to him?
He lived happily ever after.
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Sunday, May 4, 2014
It is true in both human and dog life: Friends drift in and out, but once a soul become a friend they are a friend for life and beyond.. I had noy barked at General Stonewall for a long time. On my first go around at DS we did lots of barking, but, like lots of friends, we drifted apart, occasionally leaving a random comment on a blog. But, despite the interaction, The General and I are still friends, so I was saddened to see him climbing th steps after crossing over the Bridge.
I asked him what happened. His sad eyes looked down at the Bridge and told me he was very worried about his Mom, who he loved very much. They had over 17 years together Stonewall had his share of health issues. In the end it was his bones that literally let him down. He couldn’t stand any longer, not even to pee. HIs Mom couldn’t bare to see him in pain, and she sent him to the Bridge, where his legs and spirit are young again, and he once again finds himself running happily through the fields.
For a dog who ended up living a very long and happy life Stonewall certainly had his share of illness and drama. Stonewall’s origin is unknown. He was just a puppy when he was found roaming the streets. He was brought to a woman who had recently lost a poodle, and at first she was reluctant to bring a new pup into the home but Stonewall won her over with his charm.
At a young age Stonewell began to suffer health issues. He became paralyzed and needed surgery. Even with the operation there was only a 50/50 chance he would walk again. But Stonewall proved himself to be a miracle dog by coming through the operation and walking better than ever.
Stonewall thrived after his surgery, except for one day when his legs didn’t work too good and he scared his Mom, but that magically went away. After that his Mom got sick with Bells Palsy and then vertigo and Stonewall took care of her like she had taken care of him.
In 2011 Stonewall began to have neurological problems: Seizures, high blood pressure, plenty of vet visits, poking and prodding. Like the paralysis Stonewall was able to fight through his illnesses and come out healthy and seizure free, but he was closing in on 14, His legs were bothering him again, as were his eyes. This lead to the loss of an eye in 2013. His mother had lost an eye earlier so they were quite the matched pair.
As Stonewall pushed through his 16th, and into his 17th year his legs got worse, until his Mom made the final decision that it was time to let him go. He told me he waited so long to go to the Bridge because he loved his Mom so much. I told him I knew what it meant.
He still spends lots of time visiting his Mom in her dreams (although the rules state that she can’t remember them) and watching over her in the River of Life. Seventeen years is the longest I can remember a Mom and dog being together. We know how much she hurts but hope she knows that Stonewall is always with her and always will be
We wish that was enough for his Mom, but it isn’t. It’s never enough for anyone’s Mom.
But all us Bridge Angels would give anything if it was.
Saturday, May 3, 2014
We have a routine each Saturday morning. Daddy gets up early because he has to go to work. I get up with him. He holds me while he does his bathroom business and brushes his teeth. I like to lick the foam from the tooth brushing. Then Daddy takes me outside and I do my business. He brings me inside, gives me a treat, goes back into the bedroom and slips me under the covers while he gets donuts. I get fifteen minutes of wonderful morning bed time without bladder pressure.
Last Saturday, in just 15 minutes time, I got nice and snuggled on a warm spot. I heard Daddy come in but I stayed where I was. Please Daddy, just five more minutes. He wrestled River out of bed. He is forever wrestling River out of bed. River would stay in bed all day if she could. He took River outside, and after some stubborn shouting River did her business too.
Mommy got out of bed to pee and I stayed in my snuggle spot. Finally I had the big bed to myself. In seconds I had fallen into a nice snooze. I woke up a half hour later and I thought I was on my way to the Bridge. It was dark, it was hard to breathe, I could barely hear anything or more.
Then I heard the faint sound of water running, it was Daddy in the shower. I must not have gone down the road too far towards the Bridge. Maybe I could turn around. Boy, it was hot. Oh no, I couldn’t be going to the other place could I? I started whining and barking, hoping my parents could bring me back.
I could hear Daddy slipping out of the shower and pulling down the shower rod as he wrapped a towel around himself to find out why I was whining while Mommy hurried in from the kitchen. They both began to rip away the comforter, the quilt, and the blanket to discover what they had done.
They had made the bed with me in it!
I got lots of snuggles and kisses, and explanations that they thought I was just a bump. A BUMP! I took all the snuggles, and all the kisses and forgave them because they are my parents and I love them.
And also because I found if there is ever a place to be almost smothered it’s in a warm, comfortable bed.
Friday, May 2, 2014
Dear Aunt Foley: I went for a walk with my parents the other day and I let them take me off the leash and then they got lost. Is there anything that can be done with humans so they don’t wander off in the woods and get lost? - Lou ee
Lou ee you must either always stay tethered to your parents or always keep them within your eye range. Humans are only one bite away from becoming zombies. They are actually in a pre-zombie state. They wander around aimlessly often tricked by the first thing that smells good.
While you have the code of the jungle in your DNA that code is absent in your parents. They are always getting stuck in bear traps, wandering into a lion’s den, rubbing butter and honey on their legs to block the sun in full view of a savage coyote. They just cannot be left to their own devices in the wild.
I know, as a dog, it is hard for you to ignore the scents that come by, or the sounds that you here. Something goes off in your brain and you forget everything else and run off after it. This instinct is very hard to quell. But you have to remember that your parents always come first.
Of course there is the very annoying fact that when parents to get lost they always point the finger of blame at us Hey, we’re not the one who left the door open, or didn’t put the leash on tight enough, or let go of the tether. But they always present what happened as “Lou ee ran off.” Hah! Our lives would all be easier if parents spent less time dog shaming and spent more time taking blame
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