Monday, April 24, 2017

Monday Question

What are your grooming habits?  Do you go to the groomers?  What is your bathing schedule?  Do you have any other secrets? 

Our answer:  We have been going to our groomers, Groomingdales, since before Foley was born.  The groomers helped us find River Song.  Her ex-boyfriend lives there.  We get bathed, usually, once a week.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Temporarily Winnie is our April 23, 2017 pup of the week

We all love when dogs are reunited with their frantic parents.  Usually, some stranger finds the dog and cares for it until a mother and child reunion occurs.  We rejoice in their joy.  But what about the strangers.
On a Tuesday Eve L. Ewing saw a beautiful dog weaving in and out of traffic on the west side of Chicago.  She stopped her car, coaxed the stray inside and brought her home.
When Eve got home, she found the dog’s chip registry collar.  Eve called the number and was told they knew the date and location of the chip’s insertion but had no owner information.  Eve called the location where the dog got her chip, and they had no record of putting a chip in a dog that day.  
The dog was happily investigating Eve’s apartment.  When Eve sat down the dog jumped in her lap and laid down.  Eve began calling her Winnie after Winnie Mandela.
One thing that applies to all us dogs:  Once we enter your home’s we enter your heart’s.  Winnie had captured Eve’s heart.
Eve was still invested in finding Winnie’s owner.  She drove Winnie, most of the time on her lap, because Winnie loves laps, to the vet’s office where Winnie got her chip to scan the device and see if it yielded clues to her true owners.
The vet determined that the chip did not match the company listed on the collar.  Eve returned home with Winnie where she called four different chip manufacturers.  The chip was not registered with any of them.
Eve began to wonder what would happen if she never found Winnie’s owner.  She traveled regularly, she lived in a condo that didn’t allow dogs, her roommate was not sure if he wanted a dog, but there was Winnie, looking at her, with those deep brown eyes, wagging her tail, giving kisses.
Winnie was brought to a groomer’s for a bath.  When Eve returned to pick Winnie up the little dog reacted with a big smile and a wagging tail.  The groomer told Eve “She looks like she is saying ‘that’s my mom.'"
Eve also took the biggest step to being a dog owner.  She bought a name tag with Winnie’s name on it.
Two days later, while she was walking home, Eve looked forward to taking Winnie for a walk and began to wonder if her dreams of someday having a dog were coming true, that she rescued Winnie from the highway because Winnie was meant to be hers.  
Four days after Winnie found Eve they were playing fetch with a tennis ball in Eve’s condo when Eve checked her phone and found a voice mail from an anxious woman with a Polish accent.  The woman has lost her dog.  Eve asked the woman to send her a photo of the lost dog.  It was Winnie.
Winnie’s name was Jessica.  Her mom had gone on a trip and left Jessica with a friend who let Jessica slip out of the house.  Eve returned Winnie, now Jessica, to her home.  Jessica’s owner promised Eve a puppy when Jessica had a litter.
Eve went home in tears, and, despite being told what a beautiful, wonderful thing she had done for Jessica and her mom, the tears would not stop, as she clutched Winnie’s name tag.
25 years ago a woman found a little black and white Shih Tzu in her driveway.  The woman had dogs before, but they were outside dogs, and she had never bonded with them.  But this playful little dog, prancing on her back legs, and using her paws little like little boxing gloves, captured her heart completely.  The woman bought food for the dog, gave it water, and a home for three days.  She contacted the police and animal control.  No one called.  Then, on a Sunday, the phone rang, and it was a woman who said she lost a dog fitting the Shih Tzus description.  At first, the woman caring for the dog was skeptical, but when the people arrived for the Shih Tzu, the little dog barked happily and leaped into her father’s arms.  In a second the little dog who had lived with the woman and filled her heart with joy for three days was gone.
But it made the woman realize she could open her heart to a dog.  Two years later came a little Shih Tzu named Blake, and four years after that a Yorkie named Foley Monster, and the rest it history.
Despite Eve’s pain, we hope she takes this bad case of lemons and turns them into great lemonade as Eve becomes another in a long line of great dog moms.
And like mommy owes it to that little Shih Tzu Eve will owe it to little Winnie.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Flowers for Dory

Here are some flowers in tribute to our beautiful friend Dory


Tails From Rainbow Bridge: A Shared World


I am used to getting prayers about tomorrow:  Please let the surgery go well tomorrow, please let me pass my test tomorrow, please let her tell me that she loves me tomorrow, but lately I have started to get prayers about tomorrow, and these prayers are asking that tomorrow comes.
I don’t know why man created a bomb that could kill the planet.  One theory is that humans, in their never ending quest to save the world, and their uncontrollable instinct to do things backward, created a weapon capable of destroying the world to save the world.  As with most things humans, their plan backfired.
Now lots of countries have lots of bombs that can end the world all believing these weapons will keep them safe.  It is like setting the kitchen on fire to save the living room without realizing that it will burn the entire house down.
A group of dogs is a pack; a group of cats is a clowder, a group of cows is a herd, and a group of people with power but always seeking more is called a government.
The first thing a government does is to try and protect itself, and the best way humans can figure to protect themselves is to blow things up.  Every time one government blows things up another one tries to blow more stuff up.
And they never stop to think that they are not the only creatures on sharing this planet.  People are afraid of snakes, bears, sharks, and lions that none of them ever came together to end the world.  Instead of fearing animals humans should look to the animals who have been riding this planet longer than they have and have never started a war.
I often hear people say that the Big Guy won’t let anything bad happen to the people of Earth.  Let me dissuade you of that notion.  He created this vast, self-sustaining, life-giving planet to give billions of people a place to live and thrive.  It is up to each generation, who is only on the planet for 100 years, to care for the Earth and return it in a better fashion, or at least as good as they found it.  The current generation on Earth is the first to leave the planet in worse shape than they found it, and there are no guarantees that they will even live in inhabitable.
I know you humans cannot change what your government does.  But you can make the world a better place.  Simply follow the example of the animals and be kind to one another. If every person tried to be kind to a person once a month for April, and then added one more person for each upcoming month, soon the world will be a kinder place, and maybe the kindness will rub off on the governments who will be less likely to want to destroy a cruel world.
If there are people, then there are no prayers and if there are no prayers than we are out of a job.  The immortal world is constantly growing to make room for additional spirits, but we don’t have room for the souls of every person alive to arrive at once.  We angels will be jobless, and with the overcrowding homeless, and the immortal life will become as unbearable as the mortal one.
I am going to pray that mortal souls have one more day on their planet.  Every day I will make this prayer, and hopefully, I will be saying that prayer for a billion days.
But you on the mortal side need to start taking care of your planet and each other.  There is only so much the angels can do.  

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Call Pocket the Midwife



When I was a young dog, living in Foley’s shadow, trying to measure up to my famous sister, the attorney, I made claims that I was a doctor.  I even placed ads on animal social networking sites.  I soon learned the only reason Foley let me practice medicine was that she was cleaning up on malpractice suits.  I immediately took down all the ads and stopped my medical career.
At least I thought I took down all the ads.  I had advertised on individual zoo sites about being a midwife.  There, it remained without response, until last weekend.
I got a message from April the giraffe, who needed a midwife.  I tried telling her I was no longer practicing but have you ever tried to reason with a giraffe in the midst of a two-month long labor?
I dug out Foley’s codes to download herself through the Internet tubes, and I punched them into the computer, then jumped on the keyboard, and was transported to April’s exhibit.
She was walking around in tremendous pain.  “Midwife Pocket, I am tired of being pregnant, tell me what to do.”
I looked up at the giant beast.  I had to keep darting around because one misstep by her would squish me.  I thought about all the pregnancy scenes I saw on television.  “Breath like this,” I said. “Woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo.”
She breathed “woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo.”
“Let me check your progress,” I said.  I ducked under April and looked up.  My, that was a big opening.  
Suddenly a baby giraffe stuck it’s head out and said “Helllooooo!” then popped back inside.
“Hey you, baby giraffe!” I yelled.  “You get back out here right now.”
The baby stayed inside and said, “Sorry, no one is home, come back later!”
I almost got squashed by a giant hoof.  “Baby giraffe!” I yelled. “You need to come out, it’s your birthday.”
“My birthday!” it yelled.  “Then he fell right out to take part in his birthday party.”
After months of preparing for this birth you would think the zoo would have put a net under April to catch her offspring, but no, it just fell out, right on top of good, old, Pocket   The President may think he is doing damage by dropping the mother of all bombs but he should really be dropping the sons of mother giraffes because when those land on you they mess you up!
Once a baby is born there is no use for a midwife.  I slipped over to the computer and uploaded myself back home.
Then I made sure all posts about me being a doctor was erased from the Web.

But this was a high-profile pregnancy and I wouldn’t be surprised if, after my success, Pocket the midwife is called upon again.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Beat This Caption


What are you looking at me for?  The thing just blew it's brains out!  I didn't do nuthin' you hear me.  You don't have a shred of evidence.  

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Pups of the Week: Easter Prayers

Today is Easter Sunday.  I have some readers who go the Church every Sunday, I have some readers who do not, and I have some who are chreasters and only go to Church on Christmas and Easter.  But I know everyone believes in prayers.  I think that the Big Guy has to grant prayer request on this holiest of days and I ask for prayers for the following friends.
We pray for two of our favorite pups, Pepper and her sister JuJu.  Pepper has lost nearly half of her kidney function.  The doctor thinks that Pepper can have a year to two, but those might not be quality years.  Please pray to give Pepper many more good days and that her kidneys keep functioning. Ju Ju has a tear in one of her chordal attachments.  She needs to be checked out again in three months.  There is no way to repair this.  We pray that Ju Ju’s heart does not become weaker and she and Pepper stay with their mom for many more years.
We pray for sweet Ruger.  Something has poor Ruger very upset.  He has been trembling and hiding from his family.  His mom is searching for answers why Ruger is no longer himself.  We ask for calming prayers for Ruger.
We pray for Boris.  Our friend Boris had a molar out, and that is very painful.  We ask for healing prayers for Boris and that he is no longer in any pain.
We pray for little Mouse.  He was having routine dental work done when the doctor found a growth in this mouth that was biopsied.  We are asking for prayers that the biopsy comes back negative.
We pray for 16-year-old Macdougal who, after his last liver enzyme test, showed a slight increase in the ALT test results.  His mom hopes this was just from nerves.  We pray for that she is right.
We pray for our friends Reese and Kole.  Their live-in Uncle Rob is in the hospital far away and he isn’t home for Easter, their grandmom’s dog Sara was hit by a car and had to go toe Rainbow Bridge, and their dad Jeff is recovering from Bell’s Palsy.  We pray that their uncle and dad are healed and that their mom has nothing but good memories of Sara and for their grandmom and may her heart be healed soon.
We pray for our friends Dory and Sugar, who recently arrived at Rainbow Bridge.  We did not know them well while they were on the mortal side but many of our friends loved them very much.  We pray that you heal Dory and Sugar’s families’ broke hearts and that they are able to sense when these two new angels visit them.
And we pray for all our friends, and our families, in these dark and troubled times.  May they have nothing but good health and success in the coming months and that we can all live in peace.
I wish you all a happy and serene Easter.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: Looking for the Great Bear


I have been asked to pray for lots of requests and have always found a way to at least try to accommodate my friends. But last week my friends Enzo, Maya, and Molly had a unique request. They were being terrorized by a wild, 300-pound bear, who was hungry, desperate, and breaking into houses in their quiet mountain town.

Enzo asked me to talk to the Great Bear at Rainbow Bridge. He wanted me to persuade Great Bear to reason with the marauding bear and leave their snow covered, no summer allowed, quiet mountain town in peace.

I had never said no to a prayer request before, but honestly, this one gave me pause. I may have been a five-pound whirlwind of daring-do and terror, but I had never gone up against a bear, not Pooh, not Yogi, not Gentle Ben, none of them. Bears are bad for your health, even if you are immortal.
But a Yorkshire Terrier can never refuse a favor during Passover. I put on my snowshoes and journeyed up the mountain into bear territory. I came upon a sleuth of six bears sitting on benches eating meat. “Oh look, an hors devours,” one of them said as he scooped me up. “I think it would look good dipped in honey.”
“Excuse me,” I said. I was unceremoniously dropped.
“My hors devours talked!” one bear said.
“Never stopped us before,” a second said.

I stood up, dusted myself off, and swallowed my indignation. “I am Judge Foley Monster of the Fourth Circuit of Rainbow Bridge, and I have come to meet with the Great Bear. I am not an hors devours.”
“Well you certainly aren’t a full meal,” the first bear said.
I ignored him. “Can someone please tell me where the Great Bear is?” I said impatiently.
“Keep going up, up and further up,” the first bear said. He took a piece of paper and wrote a note. I looked at it “I am not an hors devours. Do not eat.”
“You’re going to need that,” the bear said. The others laughed. I hate funny bears.
I pinned the note to my chest and climbed further, and suddenly I came to this big, hairy, smelly being snoring against a tree.
“Oh my gosh,” I said. “I didn’t realize Mommy’s first husband went to the Bridge.”
Then I realized it was the Great Bear. 

I tried to control my trembling and act like I was an equal to the giant beast. “Excuse me, sir,” the Great Bear turned around. “My name is Judge Foley Monster, and I have been sent here with a prayer request from my friends Enzo, Maya, and Molly. There is a bear that is loose around their houses. They ask that you kindly ask the bear not to damage their property, break their windows, eat their food or, or,” my mind had gone blank from nervous exhaustion. I searched my pockets and found the message. “Oh, and don’t eat them or their families. I should have lead with that. That’s the important one. Sorry.”
The Great Bear looked down on me. “Bears are hungry. They are looking for food to survive. They do not want to hurt your friends. If they find no food at their houses, the Bears will move along.”
“But they are scary.”
“We did not ask to be big, or scary. We are very gentle. For you brave Foley I will try to tell this bear to move on. But I can’t guarantee, and, as you know, we angels only have so much control of life on the mortal side. But you tell your friends I will do my best to keep me safe. Now would you like some salmon.”
I said I did and then we sat down for a lovely meal. The bear was a perfect gentleman. After the meal, he turned, looked at me and burped. It knocked me back down the mountain.
Hopefully, Enzo, Maya, and Molly the bear will listen to the Giant Bear and stay away. If not remember that you should not be afraid of the bear hurting you. You should be afraid of the bear burping in your face.
That will knock you down your mountain. If you see a bear with gas run.

Beauty in Memory of Sugar


Thursday, April 13, 2017

River Song Finds Spring


After eight months of winter, I had finally reached my freezing point.  I wanted spring, and I wanted it now.
After three winters in the Northeast I have learned what brings spring:  Flowers.  I was sick of the flowers staying in the ground.  It was time for a flower pep talk.
One morning Pocket and I were brought out on our leads for an opening pee.  Pocket sniffed around the grass looking for the proper spot.  I slipped into the garden and looked down at the flowers.
“Alright you lazy bums,” I barked.  “You listen to me.  It is time for you to stop hiding under the ground and show yourselves.  I know the world is a scary place and none of us know if the sun is going to rise tomorrow but if I have to be here then so do you.  So help me God, if I don’t see some buds tomorrow, I am digging you up myself.”  Then I peed on them like a blackmailing Russian hooker.
The next morning I revisited the garden.  I didn’t see any sprouts.  I was ready to lay paw into the garden.  Then I saw one tiny shoot.  “Who are you?” I asked.
“I’m Bob,” the shoot said.
“Hi Bob, where are your friends?”
“They sent me out first to see how things are.  It’s kind of cold here.”
“Of course it’s cold.  You flowers drive the cold away.”
“No, we don’t.  We wait for the warm to come up.”
“Hey!  I’m no arguing semantics here.  Tomorrow I want to see more of you little shoots, or I am introducing you to my front paws Lou, and my back paws Seal and you do not want to meet Lou Seal.”
The next morning there were a few more shoots but not enough to make winter flee.  “What is your problem?” I asked.  
“We’re still cold,” he said.
“Listen, you need to get your act together and start sprouting you bunch of pansies!”
“Actually we’re lilacs.”
“Don’t sass me!” I yelled, peed, and went back in the house.
A couple of mornings later the flowers were in bloom.  I thanked them.  The next day it was warm and sunny.   As I passed the flowers I told them that I was right, they did bring the sun and warm weather.  As I was walking away, I thought I heard one of them call me a dumb dog.  I showed them Lou and Seal to quiet them.
To my neighbors in the Northeast, I want you to know that you don’t have to thank me for bringing the warm weather.  Just remember you owe me.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Beat This Caption


"So, you were at work all night?  Well, I called work and no one has seen you since 5:00 PM.  Now you come home reeking of Tropiclean and Greenies.  Why don't you tell me what is going on?"

Monday, April 10, 2017

Monday Question

What was the last thing you found and brought to your parents as a gift?  We are not hunters.  The best we can do is the napkins River tears up and the socks she finds on the floor.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Miracle is our April 9, 2017 pup of the week

As Angels we often have to pray for a miracle, but seldom have we had to pray for a dog named Miracle.
This story goes all the way back to December.  Miracle, a pitbull mix, was living in an abandoned factory in Orangeburg South Carolina. The warehouse caught fire.  Miracle was found limping down the road near the burning factory.  She was picked up by a passerby and brought to animal control.  
They examined her and determined that she had a broken leg and she was producing milk.  Somewhere Miracle had puppies that needed to be located.  
The animal control officer called the fire department and asked if he could take Miracle to the warehouse to find her pups.   The officer was told that the warehouse was not safe.  The officer had to wait four days before he could bring Miracle back to the building in search of her puppies.  They held out little hope that the pups had survived the fire.
Miracle was put on the ground near the warehouse.  Miracle turned and walked towards the neighboring woods.  She came to a little-wooded area in a grove.  She began to nuzzle around, and six little eyes looked up at her.  Miracle had carried her pups from the burning warehouse to the woods where she knew they would be safe then limped up the road looking for help.  The pups waited for their mom to return.
Miracle and her pups were brought to the Dochas n Gra Animal Rescue to be nursed back to health.  The pups stayed with their mom until they were weaned and then they went to the Happy Tail Dog Rescue in Smithtown, New York.  
Miracle remained in South Carolina because, after her leg was X-rayed it was determined that her left leg was broken at the shoulder joint and it needed to be amputated.  Once Miracle was strong enough to travel she was sent to Happy Tails too.  
Victoria McGonigal, who volunteers at the Docha n Gra Rescue said. “I was a blubbering mess when I put her on transport.  You could tell she was so grateful for being found and being taken care of. She would jump in my lap and give me hugs.”
By the time Miracle got to New York her pups had found homes.  Volunteers determined that Miracle must have been, at one time, in a home with a family, given the way she reacted around people.
Right now Miracle is at a foster home.  If the fostering works out Miracle will stay there.  If not there are 40 people who have volunteered to give Miracle a home.
None of us are surprised by Miracle’s heroic actions.  We all know our parents will do anything to save us.  Both human parents and dog parents.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: Poop Rules


Even here at Rainbow Bridge, we dogs enjoy a nice walk with a human.  I like to sit in the park and watch the reunited humans and dogs happily walking together.  Sometimes I join them.  Walks at the Bridge are a lot safer.  There are no cars, no wild animals, no threat of injury, and most importantly, no poop.
Poop is the real problem.  When we walk we poop.  For centuries this was not a problem.  But humans have got real civilized over the last 100 years, and now there are lots of rules about poop.
Humans don’t even call it poop.  I know many dogs, and some humans, Lutheran, and non, have sensitive ears.  If you are one such human, please stop reading now.  And if you are a person offended by what I write remember these are your rules.
The first human poop rule is that they don’t, except in polite circles, call it poop.  Humans call it shit.  And man, there are lots of shit rules.
Rule #1:  I don’t give a shit.
Rule #2:  I don’t take any shit.
These are hard rules for dog walkers.  When you are a human, who walks a dog you literally have to take shit.  Not take a shit.  That is a dirty thing to do.  The difference between take shit and take a shit is one little letter, but it is a critical letter.  That letter is the difference between being a good pet parent/neighbor and being a public pariah who goes to prison for a term and then has to have everyone in his neighborhood sign a paper before he can move in.  That is why I think poop bags should just be referred to as “A.”  You do not want to forget the A while you are walking and you don’t want to forget the poop bag.  Combining them into one term is expedient.
Rule #3:  Don’t take my shit.
As a dog, the opposite is our greatest desire.  We want you to take our shit.  Please.  If you don’t then the neighbors are going to yell at us.  But humans are very possessive of their shit.  I don’t know what they do with it.  Maybe when they reach the immortal world, they take their shit with them, and they are rewarded with some prize.  This must be true because I have also heard whoever dies with the most shit wins,
There are even times when the shit hits the fan.  This is a terrible idea, even to us dogs, and we like shit.  We roll in it, we are even inclined to eat it, but we don’t want someone to hold it up to a fan and spray it on us.  I don’t even know where this phrase came from.  Maybe some overheated sewer worked was attempting to cool off.
A Dutch company may be making it easier for the shit to hit the fan.  They are in the process of testing dog drones.  They are two drones, one in the air, which detects the shit, and the other on the ground the scoops the shit.  If this invention comes to fruition than it is just a matter of time until they eliminate the ground drone and the flying drone lands and picks up the shit.
But this will only lead to new rules like “Don’t fly your shit into my head." 
Of course, this being a human invention, the drone is bound to malfunction, the storage unit opening prematurely, and its contents being caught in the propellers, literally causing the shit to hit the fan.
Personally, from a dog’s perspective, looking at the entire world, I can say with some certainty that humans have bigger shit to worry about than shit.
But they will keep making shitty rules.  I guess that is part of being human.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Truth About my Tooth by Pocket

Last week, in this very space, my sister made a dishonest claim that last Tuesday I arrived home drunk after getting in a bar fight.  I am here to clear my name.  Unlike my sister Foley, inventor of, and often a consumer of,  the Foleytini, I do not drink.  It is bad for my tummy and my complexion.
I was not drinking last Tuesday.  The truth is, over the last several months, I have been suffering from a sore mouth.  I masked this from my parents and did not confide in my friends, because, with my friends suffering serious illnesses, I did not want to complain about a toothache.
Tuesday was my personal D-Day.  Dentist day began with me being removed from the house without breakfast.  For you young pups a word of warning:  When this occurs something awful is about to happen.
I was brought to the vet, and left there, even after giving my parents the most pitiful look.  I was put in a cage that smelled of scared dogs.  I was then taken out.  What was going to happen?  Was something going to get cut off?  Was I going to get anally probed?
They took some blood and put me back in the cage.  I wish they had magazines,  I was there for a long time.  Then a nice lady came and took me out.  She brought me into a clean, well-lit room where there were lots of sharp instruments and women wearing masks.  Yep, it was an anal probe.  One of the ladies gave me what she called “sleepy juice” in my arm, and I fell asleep.
My angel friends Foley, Odie, Scooby, Leo, Meika and many others came to keep me company and calm.  I very much appreciated it.  
When I woke up, I didn’t know what happened.  I knew my mouth hurt, and my anus didn’t so it was all good to me.  I ran my tongue around my mouth, and the painful teeth were gone.  That was a relief.   My gums hurt but they gave me some splendid drugs.  Usually, I would have been worried, but I couldn’t concentrate enough to be scared.
My parents came.  I wasn’t as excited to see them as I usually was because, in my purple haze, I was having a hard time remembering who they were.  When I got home and sat on Mommy’s lap for a half hour, everything came back to me.  I was home and safe.  I don’t know why they denied me food or water for a few hours, but I was sure happy when they gave it to me.
My parents were worried because I am their delicate flower.  They were sure I wouldn’t eat, be lethargic, and have a bad tummy for days.  But I showed them.  By Wednesday morning I was eating everything in sight (wet food is yummy), running around the house, and producing perfect poops.  My recovery went much better than they thought.
Nine days later I am doing very well.  I am eating my food, not showing any signs of pain or any side effects.  And my mouth feels much better.  I guess you don’t have to fear the vet all the time.
But you do need to worry about the anal probe.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Smiley is our April 2, 2017 pup of the week

This is true of both dogs and humans:  We are dealt cards.  Sometimes we get great cards and turn them into a tremendous success, other times we squander our advantage. Sometimes we get terrible cards and aren’t able to turn them into a winning hand, and then there are the times that we take the bad cards and make them winners.
How is this for a bad hand?  You are born with microphthalmia, a condition that will lead to blindness, at a puppy mill, where you get no care.  Your illness makes it harder for you to keep the other dogs from eating your food and from picking on you.
Then the rescuers arrived to save your pack of golden retrievers living a hellish existence.  But then, because of your illness, you find out you could be euthanized.
How do you go from that low point to being a beloved 15-year-old therapy dog with 14,000 Instagram followers?  If your name is Smiley, this is how you do it.
First, you charm a vet tech named Joanne George who takes you home with her and gives you a wonderful life.
While some dogs would have been irrevocably damaged by his horrid early years, Smiley used that time to learn to fend for himself and become, despite his blindness, a confident and brave soul.
The vet who Joanne worked for removed Smiley’s eyes and sewed his eyelids shut.  But that did not stop Joanne and Smiley from walking every day through their Toronto neighborhood where they were happily greeted by neighbors.  Those who interacted with Smiley found inspiration in the dog’s story, and soon they found the strength to overcome their own problems the way Smiley overcame his.
These interactions lead Smiley’s mom to realize that there was something magical about him.  She knew he could do a lot of good.  
Smiley began visiting nursing homes, schools and libraries and spread his magic to everyone he met.  This inspired his bursting Instagram feed and a book “Smiley:  A Journey of Love” which will be available this month.
Smiley and his mom teach important lessons to children.  Smiley’s mom tells them how this beautiful, confident dog was bullied as a pup.  Every child’s heart breaks thinking of poor Smiley being bullied, and they learn never to be a bully to another child.  And, as they look at Smiley confidently standing in front of the students, they realize that everyone can rise up from being bullied.  
Smiley’s calm demeanor also helps at-risk students near the emotional edge relax and easily become part of their classroom again.
He also goes to the library every week where the children snuggle against him and read to him.  They think they are reading to Smiley, but his warm confidence gives them the ability, and the concentration, to read.
And then there are those senior citizens at nursing homes who count on Smiley to live up to his name and pass them so smiles too.  Wherever Smiley goes, and whoever he sees, he spreads love and comfort.  To so many people there is no better gift than that.
Smiley was dealt as bad a hand as any dog could be dealt and somehow, through his positive attitude and magical being he has turned those bad cards into a better life for everyone he meets.
He is truly one magical dog

Friday, March 31, 2017

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: It's in the Eyes

When my friends Molly and Cocoa were diagnosed with eye issues, I tried to assure their parents that we dogs can function very well without vision.  Our sense of smell and our whiskers can help us navigate through a dark world.  But I underestimated one of the reasons that parents become distraught about their dog's lack of vision:  They will no longer get the look.
Our eyes provide many functions besides vision.  We convey our personality, and our love, through those eyes.  We also transmit the love and absolute trust we have for our humans via our eyes.  If we are unable to convey that our parents are denied the comfort our eyes provide.
One of the emotions we express via our eyes is absolute trust.  When we look at our parents, we are telling them that we know that they will always take care of us and never let anything bad happen to us.
That is what haunted my parents when they dropped Pocket off for her dental work.  That morning Pocket was bounding around the house happily.  She was thrilled to get a car ride.  Then they arrived at the vet’s and passed Pocket over to the technician.  They didn’t want to see her eyes, but they wanted to give her an assuring look.  What they got back was “why are you leaving me?  Where are you going?  Who are these people?   What is going on?  Help!”
Even though Pocket needed the dental work to improve her life, and avoid many problems, the eyes also said: “I thought you would never leave me, never hurt me, never let anything bad happen to me.”  The pain that Pocket’s eyes left my parents with was worse than any pain Pocket suffered from her dental work.
The worst thing about love is sometimes it is necessary to be cruel to be kind.  Our parents have to do what is best for us, and, like in Pocket’s case, sometimes that causes pain.
Then comes hours of equal worry.  We dogs worry if our parents will return, and, our parents worry if the procedure will be successful and the dog will wake up.  
The gift that dogs have been granted is that as soon as our parents return to pick us up all that love and trust is restored and the abandonment forgot, our parents become the ones who are either going to make the pain stop and take care of us, or, in rare instances, if our heartbeats have expired, help us get to the pain free, stress free eternal life.  Either way, the love and total trust inside the dog is restored on sight.
It takes our parents a lot longer to recover.  That sad, scared look their beloved dogs give them as they are lead away sticks with them.  They begin to spoil us with lots of love.
While we appreciate the spoiling, I must let you know, dear parent, that you are always forgiven, no matter what you do.  You are all we need and seeing you is like clicking our reset button.
All is right in the world when we see you because you are our world.