Friday, February 27, 2015

Ask Aunt Foley: Snow Dogs

Dear Aunt Foley:  I have heard lots of people complain about the snow this year.  I don’t understand why.  I love it.  I could spend all day playing in it.  Why do people and pups hate snow so much?  Presley
          Dear Presley:  I will address this in two parts.  First:  Humans.  Humans are a transient species, always on the move.  Whenever there is something that impedes their progress they fall to pieces and nothing impedes progress like snow.
          It needs to be shoveled, blown and plowed.  The roads become icy and people have to obey speed limits.  They need to buy all the bread from the grocery store because…..OK I have no idea why they do that.  Being made to slow down or, even worse, stay home, drives humans to madness. 
          As for dogs we can see why dogs like you, with those long, sexy legs would like the snow.  You can run through it, over it, and leap up and down in it.  It does sound like great fun.  As for little dogs like me we end up getting snow up to our ears, our most private parts freeze in the cold, we kick a lot of snow and sand into our undercarriage, and that leads to another issue.
          Part of the problems with dogs and snow is Moms.  My Mom hates the snow.  She doesn’t want any snow, sand or salt in the house.  If Daddy took us for a walk as soon as we got in the house she would scoop us up and drop us in the tub.  I don’t know why making us wet helped with getting us dry but I learned never to question Mom.
          So for dogs it’s all about size and how anal your Mom is.  And that’s two strikes against my pack

For more Ask Aunt Foley click here

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Back in my day we weren't afraid of a little snow by Foley Monster

          I am ashamed of my sisters.  We get a few feet of snow and suddenly they can’t go outside.  Back in my day I used to go out in snow ten times over my head in temperatures 30 below zero and I was glad!  Glad I say!  Dogs today are pussified.
          When I was a young pup we lived across the street from the state mental hospital.  My sister Blake and I would get walks every day, even in the snow.  Mommy was working then and we were crated all day so our parents thought it was important to get our energy out via walks.       
           But we couldn’t walk on the sidewalks.  Mommy didn’t want our paws damaged from rock salt or our under carriages covered with sand.  So we walked around the softball field on the outer limits of the mental hospital.  We didn’t question who would give mental patients bats and hard balls to play with, just as the mental patients didn’t ask why seemingly normal thinking adults would walk their dogs around the perimeter of a snow covered diamond.
          I was light enough to pretty much walk right on top of the frozen crust.  Blake was twice my size and would often sink to her knees but still managed for force her way through the snow.  Mommy and Daddy would sink a foot in the snow and clomp their way through the high snow like World War II Russian soldiers walking guard duty in Stalingrad, inexplicably doing so with two lap dogs.
          We did our business, and my parents even dug down in the snow to clean it up.  One day I finished my business and the scooted my burning butt on the cold snow.  Oh that felt nice.  But it left a brown streak on the snow and the next day I got taken to a vet.  The only thing wrong was my anal glands felt the need to express themselves.
          And the next night I was back out, in the cold and the snow, like a real dog.  Not the pussified dogs we have now.  Someone get me a can of moxie and my pipe.  Gunsmoke is on. 
For more of Foley Monster click HERE

Sunday, February 22, 2015

February 22, 2015 Pup of the Week: Answered Prayers for Koda, Summer Grace and Bella

           There have been too many Sundays that I have chronicled the aftermath of unanswered prayers.  On this Sunday I would like to celebrate the joy left in the wake of prayers answered in the affirmative.
            We begin with one of our oldest and most cherished friends who was with us when we cleared the land and built the dog houses to create this beloved spot for so many of our lonely friends.  Koda stands tall in his role as one of the leaders of our pack.
            A torn ACL tried to cut our dear friend down to our tiny size.  This combined with a careless vet who prescribed the wrong medication made a dire situation worse and put Koda on the gurney towards the operating room after many weeks of dieting to take some weight off the weary tendon.
            Luckily, in a plot twist reserved for movies, Koda’s original doctor returned to town, replacing the careless fool with the prescription pad, to do his surgery.  We gathered together to ask the All Mighty to guide the surgeon’s hand and to help Koda awaken after his surgery.  Thankfully he graciously granted our prayers.  And the next day, when Koda wouldn’t eat, he granted our prayers again by giving our friend his appetite back.  We are still praying that Koda fully recovers.  The Lord has granted out prayers through the hardest time, we are sure he will continue to do so.
            Having one answered prayer a week has been a challenge lately never mind multiple answered prayers but the All Mighty has been in a generous mood.  And answering multiple requests for the same dog is pushing the limits.  But it is what Summer Grace needed.
            Summer has gone through cancer treatment in the past and it was a struggle to keep her with us.  Summer’s Mom has been very diligent in checking her for any growths.  We can only imagine how her heart must have dropped when she found growths on her best friend as she gently stroked Summer.  Having been down this torturous path before her Mom knew what to do.  Summer was taken into surgery, and again we prayed that the doctor’s hand be guided and Summer recover.  And again our prayers were answered.  The growth was removed, and it was benign.  Our friend is on the road to recovery.
            Finally there is Bella, a very special dog in her own right.  While my pack spends days lying on blankets and searching for a warm lap Bella gives her time going to the senior citizen home and bringing smiles to the faces for those who were afraid they had lost their smiles.
            Bella became ill suddenly:  Vomiting, loose stools and no appetite.  Her liver enzymes were high and her doctor told her Mom that Bella must have eaten something toxic.  She was given medicine and was told it would pass.  But it didn’t, poor Bella grew progressively worse and her mother grew more worried.
            We prayed for an answer to what ailed our generous friend, for her to eat, and to keep down, and in, what she consumed.  Finally her doctor, after several Mom requests, acquiesced and did an x-ray which showed part of a toy in Bella’s small intestine.  The surgery, and the prayers, were performed, and said, via emergency, and again the prayers were answered yes.   Bella is home, eating correctly and holding her food down, well on her way to recovery, and returning to the senior center to help find more smiles.
            So we give thanks for three answered prayers this week, and ask that we be granted many more to come in the weeks and months ahead.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

River Song: The Not So Accidental Bed Wetter

          Hello everyone:  My name is River Song and I am a bed wetter.
          I admit I do not have the problem of other bed wetters:   The sudden puddling beneath me as I sleep.  Mine is caused by the holding of my urine throughout the night because there are treat balls to work on and laps to sit upon.  Before I realize what is occurring we are in the bedroom and I am placed on the bed.  It then occurs to me that my bladder will need expressing before a good night’s sleep can be obtained.  This, combined with my knowledge that peeing on the floor is not acceptable, caused me to violate our sleeping space with urine while Mommy and Daddy were in separate bathrooms practicing oral care.
          Upon completion of my urination some of my flow flowed to Pocket.  She looked down, some my bodily fluid now unbodied, and jumped out of bed just as Mommy came out of the bathroom.  She saw the pee on the blanket and the sheet and yelled River!
          I said:  “Wha?”
          She then told me I peed the bed.  Well, I knew that.  I just did it.  My problem is peeing in the wrong spots, not senility.  Mommy picked me, quite roughly I might add, off the sheets and blanket, removed them from the bed, and then put Pocket and I back on it.
          Daddy saw Mommy putting the sheet and blanket in the laundry and asked he what had happened.  She said I peed the bed.  (Nobody likes a snitch Mom!)  Daddy came in to check on us.  I was sitting on the bed, just chilling like I do.  Pocket was next to me with her ears pinned back trembling.  I am afraid she is going to crack under questioning.
          Daddy picked Pocket up to calm her down (sure she gets the attention and she didn’t even pee the bed.)  He took Pocket out to the living room and had Mommy calm her down.  Geesh!  Then they came back in the bedroom and made me get off the bed (double Geesh!) while they tried to make the bed which was hard because their grandbabies were over and they had most of the spare blankets. 
          Then Mommy raised the possibility that it wasn’t me.  Maybe it was Pocket!  I could be off the hook.  But then Daddy used the underside of his wrist to do the who who test and mine was wet.  Damn that Undersided Daddy.
          It finally occurred to me that Mommy was upset about the entire accidental incident.  I spent the night cuddled up with Daddy.  He is more forgiving.  And warmer.
          So take my advice.  Don’t pee the bed.  I don’t know why but it makes Mommies upset.
For more adventures of River's family click here


Friday, February 20, 2015

Ask Aunt Foley

          Dear Aunt Foley:  What was up with the beagle winning the Westminster Dog Show?  How do they judge who is the best?  - Josie
          Dear Josie:  Oh you sweet innocent dogs on the mortal side of the Bridge.  No humans decide who wins Westminster.  Every dog is best in show.  There is no way to distinguish one from another.  They could have given that ribbon to any dog in the ring or any dog watching at home.  There is no way of measuring who is the best when every dog is perfect.
          So how do they decide the winners?  It is simple.  We have a big lottery up here at the Bridge.  We put tennis balls with the names of every dog that has signed up for Westminster hidden in secret places all over Rainbow Bridge.  The first ball found with the name of a dog wins their breed, and then from there we hide all the found balls again and then seek them.  The first seven found win their groups.  Finally we hide the final seven and the first ball that is found is the winner. 
          There was a bit of a disturbance in the competitive balance this year.  Tommy Tunes was determined to see a beagle win and he was always the first to return with a beagle ball until he was the only one left in the winner’s circle.  If the rest of us don’t pick up our game Westminster fans may need to get used to seeing a beagle win every year.

 For more Ask Aunt Foley click here 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Pocket Tries To Get Some Indoor Exercise

            River and I have accepted the sad fact that we are never going on a walk again.  Winter is here to stay.  But we still need our exercise so we have invented in door games to keep us fit.
            One of our favorite games is to sit by the window and watch Daddy shoveling.  It is exhausting.  We bet on when he will collapse.  The last storm River pointed the computer out the window, turned on the camera, and we began taking action across the country.  It was like watching the Super Bowl, a slip there, a stumble here, our hearts were racing.  Congratulations to everyone who had at the end of the driveway by the big drift.  The thrill of money changing hands and the close finish was exhilarating.
            But Daddy can only shovel after it snows which has been every three days this February so we need to find other ways to occupy ourselves.  I have my red ball that I chase, but it is barely red anymore.  It looks like a man with a comb over in a wind storm.  Sometimes River chases it too but she prefers chasing stuffies.  We need someone to throw them and we usually rely on Daddy and he doesn’t throw well while he is getting CPR. 
            There are other fun games we play.  We like to wrestle, especially in bed.  We roll each other over, bite one another, lick one another, even in our private parts.  I mean the bed is there and someone should be using it for that.  Our parents certainly don’t.  Then there is furniture skipping.  Jumping from recliner to recliner to the love seat and back.  This usually lasts until River forgets that the love seat is not a pee pad.
            We have also picked up our game at leaping from our parents’ laps and running wildly to the door barking our heads off at the slightest sound. It’s good for the cardio/vascular system.  And we have picked up our food begging at the table.  We even do some leaping with just our hind legs which is great exercise but somewhat diminished since we end up getting food for it.
            I don’t know what new games we can come up with now that we can never walk again, unless all this snow melts.
            You don’t see that happening do you?

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Erin is our February 15, 2015 Pup of the Week

            On that fateful day so many lifetimes ago when Pocket and I were banned from Doggyspace we began contacting our friends to form another group.  Then I got a message from Erin.  And I hesitated.
            Erin was a key cog in the DS machine.  She was the pup everyone went to for advice on how to lay out their pages, post videos or answer questions.  We were friends but when I first saw her e-mail I wondered if she was a mole sent from DS.  I almost ignored her request.  But I answered it.  When I did history was made.
            She was as tired of, and disappointed with, the old DS management and anxious to move to another site.  When we started the Tanner Brigade we checked with Erin first.  While we could invite the friends and drive content we needed her expertise in setting up the site.  She agreed.  If she hadn’t the Tanner Brigade may never have occurred.  Everyone who enjoys the site should tip their tail her way.
            She is also responsible for creating our motto:  “Freedom to Bark.”  We wanted a place where dogs could bark freely and her phrase fit our group perfectly.  It was the name of Erin’s website.  She helped hundreds of bloggers set up their own web pages by designing web sites and posting helpful tutorials on her page.  Her Freedom to Bark website was a guide to so many bloggers.  Her work can still be seen on them today.
            In the last few years Erin slowed down.  Her Mom got sick and had a long recovery.  Erin had a litter of pups and spent more time being a Mom than being a brilliant computer creator.  She left the site she helped create for a while and we mourned her loss.
            She recently came back to us and spent her last few days with her beloved online family.  She had trouble standing and walking.  She collapsed several times.  She could not get up the stairs on her own.  Her time had comes.  Her Mom made the hardest decision of all.  She sent her heart dog, the one she chose to be the face of her blog, , to the Bridge, to join so many other legendary dogs.
            After I swore her in Erin and I hugged for a long time.  We had accomplished a lot together, and now it was time for us to rest.
            Or so I thought.  I was awoken the next morning by Erin.  She had wires in her hand.  She made me come with her to the base of the mountain.  She moved some rocks away and then she showed me a jumble of wires that I had no idea that existed.
            “Look at this!” she said.  “The wiring here is archaic!  I have to completely re-work everything.”  She began ripping wires out and putting them back in.  “It is going to take me all week,” she said shaking her head.
            I left her doing what she loved best, fixing the messes we all made with our computers.  She is still doing it, while taking breaks to check on her Mom.
            While we know that hearts are broken on the mortal side of the Bridge with another original TB member joining us on the immortal side of the River of Life, and our hearts go out to her wonderful Mom Donna, we know our communications to all of you will become more reliable now that Erin is with us.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Ask Aunt Foley: Will Spring Ever Arrive?

          Dear Aunt Foley:    We are being buried with snow.  Have we been forsaken?  -  Pokey
          Dear Pokey:  Oh goodness no.  We have not forsaken you.  Last year I caused a lot of snow by having a hockey game over the United States.  This year I moved it to Russia.  They haven’t noticed.
          I know this has been quite a lot for our New England friends to bear.  I flew up to the Big Guy’s and begged for mercy.  First he said:  “Well it has to go somewhere;” and then, when further pressed, said:  “Well that Belichick guy just annoys me.”  He had me there.
          He has promised me that the snow will be ending soon, mid-April at the latest.  By early September the last of the snow banks will be gone.  Just hunker down and take it one shovel full at a time.  Don’t leave your house in search of the green fields of Chile, you will never make it.  And don’t be tempted to reach for your worn copy of the Donner Party cookbook.
          I will share with you one of my pet peeves.  That freaking groundhog.  You know what he is?  A fat rat with a good publicist.  He has no idea how many more weeks of winter there is going to be.  And I don’t want to burst your illusions but the Phil they snatch from his home now isn’t the original.  We have the original up here and he comes out of his hole once a day, looks around and says “six more weeks of winter” then goes back in his hole.  Freaking idiot!  We don’t even have winter here!  Uppity rodent.
          I am going to work on Mother Nature to persuade her to remove all the snow by Opening Day.  Then again Mookie Betts stealing a homerun by climbing a snow bank might be a good thing.
          That Belichick guy would think so.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Measure of a vet by Foley Monster

There are few loves in life more precious than a dog.  Our parents love us so much they would spare no expense to keep us healthy.  Unfortunately a good vet is hard to find.  Mommy and Daddy have gone through a lot of them and are still searching.  If your parents find one make sure they never let them go.
This is one of the ways I measure a vet.  Ask them if Pedigree is a good dog food.  My Dad was talking to a woman who had a sick dog and he asked her what she was feeding the poor pooch.  The woman answered Pedigree and told my Dad that her vet said it was a good food
Now let me say this about dog food.  There are a lot of reasons parents feed their dogs certain brands.  I got a high end brand, but Mommy and Daddy have no children, and two tiny dogs, so feeding us a high-end food was not expensive for them.  If they owned two Great Danes they may not have been able to do so.  Parents have other expenses and sometimes they have to feed their dogs food that isn’t high end, and that is fine.  You can only do what can do.
But when a vet says a food like Pedigree is a healthy food they are not saying it because they believe it, they are saying it because they are being paid by the food company to say it.  It’s like a liquor or a tobacco company paying doctors to say smoking and drinking are the answers for everything.  If they are willing to say that feeding a lower quality food is all right for a dog then they are willing to say anything.
Not that I am really blaming them.  The world needs veterinarians and it costs a lot of money for a student to become a vet.  Unless they are wealthy to begin with, and wealthy people usually don’t choose professions like veterinary science, the vets leave school with huge debts, because you can only become a vet by going to college, and nothing sucks up money faster than college.  With these debts the young vets need to make deals to be able to support their families, and usually such deals are made with devils, and there are few worse devils than big dog food.
          Perhaps that is why so many parents prefer the older vets who don’t owe bills to anyone and can use their own judgment.
          Praying that all my friends have the very best vets who get the best health care regardless of the cost just like their humans.
          What’s that?  Humans don’t either?  Maybe that’s why it’s so crowded up here.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

River in Hoth

Hello my friends.  I am transmitting this from somewhere in the cosmos.  My family and I have been transported to Hoth the ice planet from The Empire Strikes Back.  I know the nerds just got a woody but dammit this is serious.
          I don’t know how it happened.  Three weeks ago we went to bed after a sunny, cold, day and we woke up on Hoth.  There was snow everywhere.  I could hear the sound of AT-AT walkers outside our windows but when I looked they were gone.  And even though they are not native Hoth every time I pass a mirror I think I see an Ewok.
          Pocket aided in determining our location.  She had her yearly examination today.  Everything is fine.  Hoth has extraordinary veterinary care.  The vet lives one town over.  Pocket was sitting on Mommy’s lap while riding home and when they crossed the city line she saw the sign “Entering Tauntaun” and, as everyone knows, Tauntauns are found on Hoth.
All I can determine is that the Empire is taking control of the Galaxy again and they need me for my powerful stare of doom, Mommy for her determination, Pocket for her ability to pee a tunnel through an iceberg and Daddy if a red shirted sacrifice is needed.
          So I am here waiting to get my instructions from Luke, Leia, and Han Solo.  The Empire may have thought they had defeated the rebels but River Song is on the Rebels side now and there is no stopping us.
          Unless one of you can figure out how to get us home and then we are so out of here and going to Baco Raton.

Follow the further adventures of Small Tales here

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Zoe Boe is our February 8, 2015 Pup of the Week

        Shortly after Brody joined me at Rainbow Bridge another lifelong friend bounded up the stairs to greet me.  It was Zoe Boe, and truthfully she is more than a friend.  She is my partner.  She did all the drawings in my book and the fantastic cover.
            I owe her so much.  While I have always been good a capturing my maniacal spirit through words Zoe and her Mom were equally as good at capturing it through art. 
            Like all devoted pups she wanted to check on her Mom.  After Ladybug fit Zoe for her wings we ran to Tommy’s and she checked on her Mom.  Aunt Connie was showing her tough Irish spirit on the outside but Zoey and I knew she was broken on the inside.
            The next morning I awoke to feel a small drop of paint fall right between my eyes.  I looked up to see Zoe above me, her wings fluttering, and behind her was my ceiling, now painted with the entire history of our friends’ lives.
            Above me was Tommy eating popcorn with his Dad, Otis walking with his parents in Mayberry, Willie swimming with his parents, Cooper playing with his siblings, Brody dressed up for Halloween with his family; Zoe painting with her Mom; me writing with mine;  and so many others friends.
            She then took me to my office where she had started painting a mural of me playing with my Mom and Dad, Pocket, and other members of our pack who proceeded me to the Bridge.  I hugged her and told her it was the most beautiful piece of artwork I had ever seen.
            She then took my by the paw and told me the plans that she had for Tommy’s mansion and for Otis’ drug store.  She had an appointment with Sheriff of Fun Benjamin to fly through the sky and to bring joy to sad dogs through art.  And in her spare time she was going to plan on painting wonderful murals in the sky.
            I am very sorry for all of your on the mortal side of the River of Life who have lost Zoe, especially her sweet, wonderful Mom.  But Zoe is certainly brightening things up around here, and someday, when you all cross the River of Life, you will be very impressed with her work.

Friday, February 6, 2015

          Dear Aunt Foley:    Now that the Super Bowl is over what can you tell me about this deflated ball thing? – Boris
          Dear Boris:  First full disclosure.  My family is from New England and are Patriots fans so I hate those bastards.  On Sunday afternoons there is unexpected and unnecessary yelling from September to February which disrupted my napping and relaxation.  I would much prefer my parents to have been Jets fans where there is yelling maybe once a year.
          Now about the balls.  Humans aren’t like boy dogs who can just lick their balls to either clean or deflate them.  Humans have to use their hands to deflate their balls. 
          Now Tom Brady likes his balls deflated but not being bendy enough to deflate his own balls, and being on the field, he needs someone deflate his balls.  Apparently a ball boy took Tom’s balls into the bathroom before they were brought out to the field.  People think he used that opportunity to deflate Tom’s balls but he could have just washed his own balls.  Your balls get dirty playing football.  Especially in the mud. 
          The Patriots have a history of cheating, going back to the Revolutionary War, where they lined up in an illegal formation to shoot the Red Coats from behind trees, and constantly polished their balls to a smaller size so they would slip out of their cannons easily.  (I watched the show Sons of Liberty and they had this hunky 30 year old guy playing Samuel Adams.  I wouldn’t mind watching him wash his balls I tell ya.) 
          But the Patriots won the Revolutionary War and they won the Super Bowl so they provided a proper listen to us all.  Take care of your balls.  Keep them the proper size and keep them clean.

          That is the road to success my son!

Wordless Wednesday