Sunday, July 23, 2017

Deuce is our July 23 2017 Pup of the Week


When I first arrived at Rainbow Bridge, I visited Angel Apollo’s house.  It was huge, befitting a dog of his statue.  Like Rainbow Bridge itself, our homes can expand to accommodate new family members who arrive.  Angel Apollo’s mansion has grown to make room for Angel Ace, their Dad, and recently Pancho.  Also, his land has expanded to welcome the big tree he used to lie under that had passed from the earthly realm two years ago.   I did not plan to see Angel Apollo at the Rainbow Bridge Welcoming Center for a long time after Pancho passed away.  But that is where I found him, along with Ace, Pancho, and their Dad as they awaited another family member.
Angel Apollo’s mom had sent a message to him and Angel Ace that Ace’s brother Deuce would be banding with them at the Bridge.  Deuce had joined Momma Kimberli’s pack after Ace had gone to the immortal word.   Deuce’s parents had abandoned him at a kill shelter when Ace became a senior dog.   He was 15 years old at that time.  He suffered many of the problems that older dogs face, plus he could not bark because his original parents had his vocal cords cut.  (Someday they will make excellent minions).
Several weeks ago Deuce lost his vision.  Momma Kimberli has had so many dogs at her house that one of them losing their vision was not a hindrance to her.  But then he began to lose control of the dreaded bodily functions.  His poop slipped out of him like a breath, quickly and simply, wherever he lay.   Momma Kimberli did not mind cleaning him.  She had done it before, and she would do it again.  But Deuce's quality of life was slipping away.  He slept most of the day and was suffering from dementia.  Momma Kimberli decided, after 17 mortal years, to release him from his suffering, and to send him to Ace and Apollo.
Momma Kimberly had told Angels Apollo and Ace that they needed to look out for Deuce because he couldn’t bark.  She could not have been more wrong.  As soon as Deuce’s feet touched the Bridge, all his worldly woes were stripped away.  One of those woes was his severed vocal cords.  As the light from the Bridge bathed Deuce and healed him, Deuce began to bark.
And he had a lot to say.  All those years of barks spilled out of him as he climbed the stairs.  The sound of his voice was the most joyful thing he had heard.   His tail wagged, his ears were back, and when he reached us, he was on his back legs, dancing to the beautiful music his voice created.   Apollo and Ace joined him, and the three of them howled in joy.  Pancho snuck in between them and howled too.
We were all impressed with how Angel Apollo and his pack adjusted when they get a new member at the Bridge.  Their home grows, their land expands, and they meet the immortal world with strength and dignity.  They get this from their mom, who, despite having lost so many dogs to the Bridge, still brings new dogs into her house every day to help them find homes.
I hope she is listening to the wind tonight.  The strange sound she will hear is Deuce's howl.


Friday, July 21, 2017

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: My Minions

There are a lot of evil people in the world.  Some use their evil to make human lives worse  Others abuse dogs.  They keep us in unhealthy squalor, trapped in cages, unfed, in our own waste, with bare room to move; they use us for breeding purposes never letting them out of cages; they use us for barbaric fights, or as bait in fights; and they leave us in cars.  
You may wonder what happens when these humans come to Rainbow Bridge.  Yes, there is a place where bad souls are supposed to go but the Big Guy does not want to send anyone there.  He looks at that place at the enemy and we don’t want to strengthen our enemies.
So he leads them all to the Bad Soul Converter Machine.  He puts them all into it and they come out the other side as a tiny yellow minion.  He then assigns us dogs a minion to work for them.
The first thing we do is tell our minions we forgive them.  Forgiveness is very big up here.  We make sure they are well fed (minions have big appetites but they only eat Cheerios.  I don’t know why), give them a nice place to live (much nicer than they gave us) and treat them fairly.
Mostly they do the things I don’t like to do:  Grocery shopping, cleaning, making the bed, the stuff I used to have Mommy do.  Those are the house minions.  The office minions are very busy.  As a Judge I have a lot of court cases come across my desk and I need my minions to study the law, seek precedent and make sure I make the right decision and look smart.
It is up to we dogs to decide how long we keep a minion.  Some are released for longevity, others for how hard they work.  Once a month I interview my minions.  I am not interested in either length of service or hard work.  I want to know what they have learned.  If I feel that they have learned to be kind to, and treat fairly, all creatures great and small then I will release them.
When they are released they are put back into the Soul Converter Machine and they are allowed to live their lives as rehabilitated members of Rainbow Bridge.
If you think that we give our minions more of a chance than they give us then you are right.  But everyone says that dogs are fairer than people and we want to prove them correct.
Now I need to tend to my minions.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

I Lost my Jump by River Song

Like a first round draft pick who has turned into a bust, I have lost my jumper.  I used to jump in chairs, on the couch, and even the high bed, then one day my jumper left me, and I am floor bound unless I am picked up (which, let’s face it, happens immediately because I am beautiful.  Who can resist this face)?
On Saturday night I jumped on mommy’s recliner.  When I did, I gave out a small yip.  Small yips are not surprising in my house.  Pocket does them constantly.  But I never do them.  My parents checked me over, and I seemed fine.  It was close to bedtime, so I did not leap again that night.
The next morning I went out and did my business.  As I was walking across the wooden living room floor, I let out another yip.  I was checked over, and the coach found no reason to take me out of the game.  I have not jumped since.
My parents went on the Internet to see what they should do.  They did an extensive study of a dozen sites that led them all to the same conclusion:  PANIC.  Daddy held me, and Mommy studied my feet using the most annoying product human's own, her phone (and it’s tiny little light).  I got rubbed, poked, prodded, and worst of all probed.  I didn’t yip.
On my walks, I still either pull or stop in my tracks impeding the momentum of two humans and their little dog.  When my food is brought from the kitchen to the dining room, I still hop on my back legs backward until the food it put down.  I can climb stairs.   I show no signs of pain or discomfort.  But, like a reluctant person on a ledge, I won’t jump.
My parents have tried to entice me to jump by putting a treat on the couch.  I begin to jump, then stop.  The entire mystery has them worried and, as we dogs know, our parents are never more caring or annoying than when they are worried.
My annual trip to the vets is coming up in a couple of weeks.  This is the only thing that has stopped my panicked parents from having already taken me to the vet.  If I am not better the vet will feel me all over and take a guess what is wrong.
On Wednesday when Mommy got home, I jumped in the chair twice, because I was excited to see her, without a yip, but once I calmed down I didn’t want to jump again.  On Thursday morning, when Mommy was putting down my breakfast, I hopped up and down on my back legs.  My parents don’t think I am hurt but I still don’t want to jump.  
In truth, I do like the lifts.  I have been jumping for almost five years.  Maybe I have just retired.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Beat This Caption

I am wearing this because I prefer to bottle feed and this kid won't leave my nipples alone. Don't judge me!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Monday Question

How old were your parents when they got their first pet that was more their pet than their parent's pet?
Daddy: Ten years old - Barney the dog.
Mommy: 19 years old - Nico the cat

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Minnie is our July 16 2017 Pup of the Week (And Prince too)

Every dog has a different reaction when they arrive at Rainbow Bridge.  When Prince arrived earlier this month, he was very distraught about leaving his mom and his pack.  It took all our efforts to acclimate him to the Bridge  He is now getting along much better.  He wanted his Momma Jodi to know he is all better now, with no pain, and lots of love in his heart.
We expected the same behavior from Minnie when she crossed Rainbow Bridge this week.  Minnie was a sometimes member of Tupper and Max’s pack.  In the last weeks of her life, she became a full-time member.  Her then mom had grown weary of Minnie’s peeing in the house and was going to have her sent to the Bridge.  Momma Pam, Tupper and Max’s Mom, and Minnie’s sometimes mom (although in Minnie’s heart Momma Pam was her full-time mom) brought Minnie back into her house.  She refused to send Minnie to us before her time.
This is the second time Minnie has been honored with the title Pup of the Week.  The first time she ran into the woods away from Momma Pam and didn’t come back.  She had got her leg caught in a bear trap.  She was saved by her dad and uncle.  She recovered from that injury, but it was one of many injuries and illnesses that would plague Minnie during her mortal life.  She had liver problems, and bad hips and back issues.
When Minnie returned to Momma Pam, she had been neglected.  There was a reason for her constant peeing that no one had explored.  She had not been given the required shots she needed, and her hair was hard and brittle.  That all changed when she was back with Momma Pam and Boris.
Minnie was left at the vet for a day as they tested her for Cushing’s Disease.  The only thing that discovered was that Minnie had to go back.  When she returned to Momma Pam’s, she found out that her sweet Dad had custom built stairs for her so she could get on the couch.
Unfortunately, Minnie would not have a long time to spend on the couch.  She stopped eating, and she was in pain when she moved.  The vet discovered that she had advanced liver disease and Cushing Disease.  Momma Pam had kept her promise to Minnie.  She had done everything for her that she could.  But she had to send her to the Bridge.
Tupper and Max awaited her anxiously.  She got to the top of the stairs, and all her pain was gone.  She stood up on her back legs and announced:  “I am very happy to be here, and be a permanent member of the Knarian Clan.  I love my mom and brothers very much.  And what I want, more than anything else, is to go to bed/”
Bed?  We asked.  Don’t you want to play, to visit your brothers, to get your wings?
“Excuse me,” Minnie said.  “I have had liver disease, Cushing’s Disease, hip surgery, been neglected before getting to Momma Pam, and got my leg caught in a freaking bear trap so excuse me if I would like to lie down to a little while.”
When an angel is right, she is right.  Tupper and Max showed her the room they had made for her in their house.   She slept the day away.  Then she got up and was danced with Tupper and Max.  She kissed and hugged everyone and is very happy to be a member of the DS, TB, Blogville family.  She said she wanted to learn everything she could about being an angel and get back to see Momma Pam as soon as possible.
And that she did.  She has been the fastest learned I have ever seen.  Within days she was back visiting her mom as a butterfly.
Don’t worry Momma Pam.  Minnie will be back to see you a lot.  And you are her forever mom now.
As for me, I am left to wonder.  
How much faster would angels learn if we just let them lie down before they trained.
We may have new rules around here.  Minnie rules.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: Foley Gives Flying Lessons to the New Claas

Alright new angels, gather around.  Mom’s butterfly bushes are finally in bloom, so it is time for another round of butterfly flying training.  Nora, I know your wings are beautiful, but you have to stop staring at them.  You can’t fly straight like that.
Okay, now we are all going to land on the bush.  Keep your head up, and your wings pointed outward.  There is a very little breeze today, so it should be easy.  Bailey pulls up, pull up.  Okay, Bailey landed on the ground, Ruggles help him onto a branch.
Beaux Jangles what are you doing on the roof?  Get down here at once.  You are going to get sucked into the exhaust, and I didn’t take out insurance on these butterfly bodies.  Do not make me turn this Kaleidoscope around.
Um, Sydney, you do look very pretty, you don’t have to groom yourself, and butterflies don’t have tongues anyway so stop trying.
Noel tries not to be too excited.  I know you spent lots of time in the shelter and you are finally outside and free but don’t wander off.
Alright everyone gets in formation behind Jazzy.  You have shown the most promise girl, I am sure you can lead these butterflies on a trek around the house.
Brutus, you have to flap your wings a little bit more.  Don’t be afraid.  You aren’t in your muscular body anymore, you are a delicate little butterfly.  Flap and lift off, there you go.  You are a great butter dog.
Who is that near my Mommy.  I told you all she was working in the garden.  Is that you Bilbo.  Stop flying into my Mommy’s head.  I know her hair smells pretty, but we have to leave her alone.
Wow, look at that butterfly going way up in the tree.  Is that you Cocoa Puff?  I knew you were going to get the hang of this quickly.  I am glad you picked out an all black body.  Your mom will know it is you.
Hannah Banana you are doing great.  You have the least angel experience, but you have always been a good rule follower.  Your yellow wings are stunning.  I know your mom is going to love to see you.  I hope you can stay in a butterfly body for a long time in Arizona.
You are all doing great, look out for the bay window.  We have to learn not to fly into the glass.  Who is the butterfly with the biggest body?  Is that you Tiny?  That is really funny.
You need to rest Rose?  That’s OK.  Don’t let your siblings put pressure on you.  You take things at your own pace.  
I don’t want to start any trouble but you dogs should know that Barney and Josie the Cats are out flying all you pups.  It must be that nine live thing that makes you more daring.
Ruger, slow down, you almost flew into that tree.  Boy, that is the problem with German Shepard butterflies, they always want to fly too fast too soon.
Oh wow look at Mr. Bailey, he is doing loop da loops.  You are ready to go visit your mom.  I think you better go soon.  I don’t know how long butterfly season lasts in Idaho.
I know Luca, it is winter where you mom is right now, but when her butterfly season comes, you are going to be the readiest of all.
Don’t be shy Pancho.  You are part of our crazy pack now.  I know being a butterfly can be more fun than being a dog.
Good news Buddy Boy!  You have graduated with flying colors.  Now head up north and see your mom.
And congratulations to Pintus.  You got our best butterfly award.   Your body is beautiful, and you fly magnificently.
Now that you have all graduated go visit your humans.  They will be thrilled to see you.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Is Daddy a Baby Daddy by Pocket


We dogs know our parents cheat on us.  They are weak, and when they see an attractive dog (and all dogs are attractive) they are immediately drawn to the pups  They scratch them, tell them they are beautiful, laugh at their antics, and never give a thought to the dogs waiting at home for them.
Such straying is not liked by us, but when our parents enter the house, we are so happy to see them everything is forgiven.  But there is still that forbidden scent on their pants, and how they can’t quite look us in the eye.
We don’t worry that we are going to lose our parents to another dog, they may touch other dogs, but they are loyal. But this is what almost happened Sunday.
Daddy was working at a pet store.  A man and woman came in shopping for leashes and harnesses.  They had a standard poodle and a Lhasa. Daddy went to pat the Lhasa, who was sitting at the bottom of a stroller, connected to the bottom support bar by a chain.  The Lhasa’s Dad warned that the dog was a biter.  Daddy said OK, gave the poodle a good scratch, and informed the people where there were discount leashes.
A few minutes later he saw them trying on Thunder Shirts and gave them the “Pocket talk.”  When they bought me a Thunder Shirt, they put it on me before a thunderstorm.  After that point, every time I saw the Thunder Shirt I began to tremble because I associated it with thunderstorms.  Daddy told the people to put the shirt on during a non-threatening situation, so the dog did not associate the shirt with stress.  “These dogs are stressed out all the time!” the woman yelled.  She then asked Daddy’s help in putting the shirt on the poodle.
The woman kept arguing with Daddy about the Thunder Shirts.  She didn’t want one that fit too tightly, even though that is the purpose of the Thunder Shirt.  After the poodle had been fitted with an oversized shirt, they moved on to collars.  The dogs Dad became anxious, so the woman told him to wait in the car.  Daddy fitted the poodle with a collar that fits nicely, but the woman insisted it was too large.  She moved up a size and adjusted it so you could make a fist between the collar and the dog.  “Perfect!” the woman said.  “I don’t like tight collars.”
The woman wanted to get another collar for the vicious Lhasa.  Daddy went to hand the woman the poodle’s leash.  “I can’t push the stroller and hold the leash,” the woman said.  She left Daddy holding the leash as she pushed the Lhasa up the aisle.  Daddy followed with the poodle.  It stopped to sniff some dog food.  “Come on baby,” Daddy said.
The woman looked back, “Yes, baby, go with Daddy.”
Daddy stopped walking. “I’m not the baby’s Daddy,” he said.
“Don’t be silly Daddy,” she said.
Oh my gosh.  My Daddy and been daddy napped.  He was being forced to be a daddy for the poodle and worse for the crazy lady.  Daddy imagined the dog’s real dad already twenty miles north with his foot on the gas thanking the Lord for his sweet freedom.   It was like the Santa Clause.  Once Daddy took the poodles reins he was the daddy.
The crazy lady wanted Daddy to put the collar on the crazy, leashed, snarling, spitting, biting Lhasa.  “But your ex-husband says it bites,” Daddy said.  His new wife didn’t care.  Daddy darted his hand on to the Lhasa’s collar for a second and said it was fine.  The woman wanted the collar two sizes too large anyway so what was the harm.
“We have to get their anxiety pills!” the woman announced, pushing the barking Lhasa while Daddy dragged her new baby poodle.  Daddy told her the anxiety pills don’t last long. “They don’t last long for me either!” she said.  She then grabbed the chewable ones.  “I like them chewy,” she said.  Daddy wondered if part of her problem what that she was taking dog anxiety pills.  “I have enough,” she said.  “Let’s go check out.”
Daddy followed with the poodle.  The woman got in check out and then said she needed a tag.  Daddy said he would go find it, handed her the leash and disappeared in the back of the store until we left.
Thank God he did.  The only thing we need less than a poodle is a new mommy.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Beat This Caption

"We told you, this is what happens when you drink too many Foleytinis.  Now get it all out."

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Hannah Banana is our July 9, 2017 Pup of the Week

Some dogs arrive at the Bridge after a lengthy period of illness; others arrive after a short, unexpected illness.  I think lengthy illnesses are better.  The pups have time to comprehend their existence on the mortal side is ending.  Dogs know they will cross over someday but figure if they feel fine that day will be far off.  These dogs transitions from mortal to immortal are the most difficult.
My very bestie friend, Hannah Banana, had a sudden transition.  She took ill, stopped eating, had trouble moving and was in terrible pain.  The vets searched for an answer.  They found her red blood cells had crashed to four times below the acceptable level.  Her mom, Momma Kim, ended Hannah pain by making the world’s most difficult decision and sending her to Rainbow Bridge.
Hannah was confused as she crossed the Bridge.  She kept looking for her mom.  I ran down the steps to greet her.  That is when she knew.  She turned and tried to run in the other direction.  But once you step on Rainbow Bridge it becomes a circle and Hannah ended up right where she started.  Leo joined me, and we softly talked to Hannah and told her that we would teach her how to go back and visit her mom.
“But visiting isn’t going to be good enough.  My siblings visit.  I can see them but she can’t, and now she won’t be able to see me, and I was all she had.”  Hannah began to blubber.
“I understand bestie,” I told her.   “But your mom has more than you in her life.  She has wonderful friends, both online and in person.  She has lots of dogs that she sits for and need to be taken care of.  She has lots of customers who rely on her.  You were the center of her life, and you left a big hole in it, but your mom has lots of friends who are going to see her through these dark times, and what she needs most is for you to be happy.  If she knows you are happy, then she will be happy.  And you can’t keep trying to get back to her.  You always end up crashing into the river.”
“It’s true,” Leo said.  “A couple of fools tried to fly home this week in a basket held by Eagles.  Can you believe it?”  I ignored Leo.
Leo, Hannah and I slowly walked up the stairs to Rainbow Bridge.  “At least I am starting to feel better,” Hannah said.
We reached the top where Hannah was greeted by her siblings Savona and Izzy.  They huddled together for a long time.  We gave them their space.  Hannah then came back and told me she was ready.  I swore her in making her an official angel, then Scooby designed her wings, Ladybug gave her flying lessons, and Leo taught her how to fly into the sun to visit his mom.
But the most important thing we had to teach her was to have fun.  I gathered a group of the most jubilant dogs I knew: Tommy Tunes, Otis Campbell, Benjamin, Brody and a few of their compadres.  I told them they had to teach Hannah to be happy.  Her happiness was the first step in healing her mom.
I gave it 48 hours.  Otis knocked on my door.  “Do you want to get an ice cream?” he asked.  Otis had been running his soda fountain since he got to the Bridge.  “Do you have new flavors?” I asked.  He grinned  “I don’t have any flavors.”
I turned the corner to go to Otis’ shop when I saw Hannah Banana’s Ice Cream and Treat Shoppe.  We entered, and Hannah was behind the counter happily making ice cream for her friends.  Savona and Izzy were making chicken and apple, and duck and apple bites.  Their shop was full. Hannah began filling dishes for overjoyed dogs who slurped down the cold, delicious ice creams.
Otis and I wiggled our way to the counter.  Hannah told me she had some special ice cream just for me.  It was made from chicken.  I licked it.  It was perfection.
“I looks like you have found something to make you happy,” I said.
“I sure did.  I love ice cream, and I love seeing my friends enjoy my treats.  This really is heaven.”
I took another bite of ice cream and saw Hannah, while digging out her treats from a bucket, pause to look over the River, towards where her mother lived, and for just a second a tear came to her eye, but she got back to work, serving her delectable ice cream for her friends
I would like to tell Hannah’s mom that she is not one hundred percent happy yet, but she is getting there, and while we know you are one percent happy now, try to concentrate on Hannah working in her shop, making other dogs happy.  
Hopefully, that makes Hannah’s mom a little happier, and she can start the long road back to being a happy, content person again.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Saving Princess


This is Princess. Today, while shopping at Target, my dad noticed a bunch of people standing around a car in the lot. When he went over he saw there was a little white dog in severe distress in the back seat of the locked car. The sunroof was open a crack. One of the women gathered around the can said she had called the police and fire department a half hour before. Another woman said that before the authorities were called she had the car's license plate number announced in the store. No one responded. A third, who found the dog, said she noticed it when she was getting into her car. Her receipt showed she had checked out of the store 45 minutes before. It is legal in Massachusetts to break into a car if a dog's life is in danger. Mommy had now joined Daddy outside. Daddy went to the trunk and took out a crowbar. He was going to pry the sunroof window off the car, climb in and get the dog. Just as he was about to get to work the fire department arrived. They opened the door using a long hook they stuck through the sunroof. The fire men were not allowed to touch the dog so Daddy got in the car and took the dog out. The dog was still panting heavily. People began to pour their bottle water over the dog's head. The fire department took the temperature inside the car. It was 115 degrees. A police officer arrived (he is a friend of Daddy's, Daddy's sister is married to his brother) and he took everyone's information. The woman and her daughter finally came out of Target. She looked at Daddy, who was still holding the dog, and said "Princess?" like the dog was caught breaking into cars. She went to take the dog from Daddy who told her that she had to talk to the policeman. The woman had no idea she had put the dog in danger. At the policeman's request, Daddy gave the dog back to the owner. Per Massachusetts law, if this was her first offense, the owner is facing $150.00 fine. We want to give thanks to the woman who noticed Princess, the woman who called 911, the police and firemen, and the women who poured water on Princess. Say a prayer for her. She is not in the best of hands.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Tails From Rainbow Bridge Baron's Great Escape

I had found a sunny spot in my yard.  I was lying on my side letting the rays heat my hair when I felt a cold nose on mine.  I looked up to see one of my oldest friends, Baron nuzzling me.
Baron was one of my first friends to ascend to the Bridge.  He has been here, away from Mama Monica, for years.  In that time he has investigated every possible means to get back to her.  “Foley, wake up, I have figured it out.”
It was not unusual for Baron to say this.  He always thought he had if figured out until he tried it.  I was ready to ignore him.  “Foley, I am serious this time.  You know how birds can fly from the Bridge to the mortal world?”
“Yes, and I remember when you tried to fly back to your mom and crashed into the river,” I said with my eyes shut.
“We can use the birds to get back home!”
“You tried riding the birds,” I reminded him.  “Same result, we fished you out of the river.”
He laid down next to me.  “I have been talking to the Eagles.  I have recruited hundreds of them.  And I have made ropes using the vines in the jungle and had the small animals help me make a basket.   We get in the basket; the Eagles grab the string with their claws, they fly back out our mom’s house and drop us off.
I sat up.  As foolish plans go, this wasn’t bad.
Baron told me to follow him.  I had to run to keep up with his German Shepherd strides.  We came to a clearing where hundreds of American Eagles glided around a basket with an equal amount of ropes tied to it.
Baron put his head down, gently picked me up with his teeth and placed me in the basket.  Then he whistled.  The Eagles flew down, picked up the ropes, and lifted us off the ground.
We flew over the mountains, and the meadows, over my house, and finally the River itself.  I grabbed hold of Baron.  “You have done it; we are going home!” I said.  My mom would be so happy to see me.
The only thing Baron has miscalculated was the time.  By the time we saw our houses, the sun had set.  Baron was about to tell the Eagles to land to the basket in my yard when we began to take incoming fire.  Thousands of rockets were shot at us.  We ducked down in the basket.  “I think we flew into a fireworks show,” Baron shouted.
Curses!  I hate fireworks!
The spooked Eagles let go of the ropes, and we fell into the rockets.  Baron and I clung to one another sure we would be exploded.  Then we heard a splash, and the basket began to take on water.
We had ended up in the River again.
We swam out of the water and lay on the bank.  “I think we would have made it if it wasn’t for the fireworks,” Baron said.
“I don’t know,” I said as my heartbeat slowed to normal.  “I think we would always end up back in the river.”
“Yeah,” Baron said.  He stood and shook water off his great coat.  “If I can get the Eagles back do you want to try again?”
I smiled at him.  “Of course.  What’s a few fireworks and a dunk in the river when you’re trying to get home to mom.”
Brought to you by your stubborn, persistent angels.  

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Unlucky Cousin Neely by River Song


When we left you, Pocket said that something happened last week that changed us in a very personal and profound manner.  Cousin Neely came to spend a week with us.
Don’t let his looks fool you.  He is very ill-mannered. He took my place as Daddy’s face licker.  First I licked, then Pocket licked.  When Neely moved in he face licked so much, I became uncomfortable.  Please, get a room.  Human face licking is fun to do but gross to watch.
He also helped himself to my toys whenever he wanted.  When I felt like being reasonable, I understood.  He was brought to our house with none of his favorite toys.  That is because he is Mommy’s Daughter’s dog.  When a pet parent asks a friend to look after their dog, they bring everything the dog needs, when it’s their parents they bring just enough food to make it last, no treats, no toys, and no personal items.  
My parents did respect our boundaries.  Neely was fed in another room, he was taken outside separately, when I had my treat bone he was put in his crate, and he was left home when we went on walks, which was partially respect for us and mostly because Neely is not used to being walked on a leash and would have zipped and zagged us into oncoming traffic and certain doom.
There was something else that Neely brought with him in abundance:  Bad luck
You might also remember that Pocket blogged about our air conditioner not working.  The men came to fix it Wednesday morning.   When the system was installed in 2015, the man said it did not need a filter.  Two years later a new man asked: “did you put a filter in?”  Mommy keeps all the records, and she showed the man the contract and where it said that the installer put in the filter.  The man installed one.  Daddy asked if the lack of a filter damaged the unit.  The man said no.  Ha!
The man got the air conditioner turned on, and it ran for a good six hours before freezing up again.  Two men returned the next morning.  They were in and out of the house, causing us dogs to bark and run up to them.  When they weren’t doing that they were sitting on the grass reading the manual that came with the unit wearing their “we don’t know what is wrong with this thing” face.  After several hours they said they would have to order a part "that didn't sound right."  They left and a short time later the air conditioner gave out one final cold breath.
Neely the Unlucky had brought a lot of heat with him.  It was 90 degrees inside our home when Daddy brought home a small air conditioner to make the living room comfortable.  We were grateful it was there, but our bedroom was still hot.  We haven’t been doing a lot of snuggling this week.
Mommy and Daddy had put Neely’s crate in the front room, which ended up being furthest from the air conditioner, so they moved him to the living room when we went to sleep, which means he was asleep in the coolest room in the house.  I wouldn’t trade the big bed for a cooler room, but I still think we got ripped off.
The people who can’t fix air conditioner told Mom on Friday that they would be fixing the unit Wednesday because they were taking four days off to help them celebrate the Birth of our Country as a place where plumbers can install things wrong, leave you hot, and have a barbecue.  I bet you George Washington didn’t stand for it when his AC went out.
Neely went home Tuesday morning.  When he came to our house, we were told he was a dumb dog had accidents in the house.  While he was with us he never had an accident.  My parents tried to teach his parents that they can’t let Neely graze on his food all day long, and they can’t open the back door and let him run out to do his business and then let him run back in because he doesn’t complete all his business.  All we can do is hope his parents listened.
Wednesday morning the men returned and said this time the problem was a leak.  They promised to come back the next day.  When they did they pronounced that the unit had a leak and would have to be replaced.  Lord knows when that will happen.  
Until then our long, hot summer courtesy of Unlucky Neely will continue.  

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Pancho is our July 2, 2017 Pup of the Week

How long does it take a dog and human to bond?  It is usually seconds.  But it can take much longer for a dog to be accepted into a pack.  
But there is a pack where dogs are accepted every day.  The pack is lead by Bisihi, who took that role from the legendary Angel Apollo.  Their mom, Kimberli Groom, is a mortal angel for dogs without homes.  She finds them, she brings them to her pack, and Bishi, Napa, and the other teachers help train these lost babies to be perfect dogs and find their forever homes.
Dozens of dogs move in and out of Bishi’s pack a year.  We barely get to know them before they are with their forever homes.  It is always a happy ending.
It is hard for mortal humans to understand why Pancho’s story has a happy ending.  Mortal humans define happiness as staying mortal.  But sometimes throwing off that old mortal coil can lead to happiness.
Pancho came to Momma Kimberli a few months ago.  He won’t tell me where he was before then.  I can’t tell you if he remembers or doesn’t.  The Bridge has a way of Eternally Sun Shining all the bad memories away.    
When Pancho arrived at Momma Kimberli’s, he knew he was home.  He was determined to stay with this marvelous woman, and these terrific dogs, for the rest of his life.  But there was a problem.  Momma Kimberli, according to the law, could only have a certain number of dogs.  If she took Pancho as a permanent member of her pack, there would be one less unrescued dog for whom she could not find a new home.
But he could be there for a while.  And Pancho turned a while into forever.  
Pancho arrived with bad teeth and troublesome cough.  The doctor wondered if it was a kennel cough, or some other curable disease, but it was not.  Pancho had congestive heart failure.  To the mortals it was a sad story, he never got his forever home.
But he did.  Pancho welcomed being sent to the Bridge.  He was met by Angel Apollo who congratulated him, he was part of their pack forever.  He would live with Angel Apollo and their other pack members forever.
Pancho had retrieved his great reward.  He was part of the family he loved, for the rest of his life, and into immortality.
Sometime the end of a mortal life is the greatest gift.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: Save the Whales!

Oh, how the humans judge us, we with our noses up one another’s butts.  They deemed it such words as “gross” and “disgusting.”  And if we happened to partake of a warm stool now and then we would be told how bad we were and kisses were withheld for an inhumane amount of time.
But now the world needs butt sniffers.  And guess who they are turning to?  That is correct, us, those they so freely mocked beforehand.  
We have a man named Sam Wasser to thank for recognizing what lesser humans thought were vices are, in fact, virtues.
Wasser is the director of the Center for Conservation Biology at the University of Washington.  He came to the realization that there is a lot that can be learned from poop on the ocean floor.  And when you need poop detectives who are you going to call?  That’s right:  K-9.
Here are some facts about us dogs and our sniffers:  Our sense of smell is 10,000 to 100,000 more powerful than man’s, so don’t tell us you weren’t the one who dealt it, everyone of you have your own distinct natural gas smell.  we can smell poop from a mile away, and we really like smelling poop.
Since 1997 scientists have used us to find the poop left by moose, tigers, wolves, spotted owls, salamanders, and even crickets.  (Why crickets?  Let’s just say Jiminy owes someone some money, and that bug is a nervous pooper.)
And now we are sniffing out whale poop.  Did you know that right whale poop is bright orange and smells terrible and that orca poops smell like salmon?  Of course, you didn’t.  Who would walk around with facts like that in their head?  But now you do, and you will never get that fact of our your mind.
While humans only hold up signs and chant our sniffers are actually saving the whales.  We help the researchers find the poop.  They study it to find out why whales moms are losing their calves at birth, why whales are not getting enough food, and what effect pollutants have on their diets.  Through our olfactory skills, we may save the whale population.  A wise soul once said if the whales die then the people die.  (That soul was me, and I just said it so someday, when the saying is famous, you can tell your grandchildren you were there the day Foley Monster said it.)
The next time you see a dog butt sniffing or sticking their nose it poop do not yell at him; he is just saving the world.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Overheated by Pocket Dog

River Song and I live very spoiled, privileged lives.  We are well aware that there are dogs forced to sleep outside in the heat, or don’t have a soft bed with humans.  We are lucky to have those things.  We realize how lucky we are when we lose one of them.
Please don’t think we were without a parent.  If that happened, I would become so concerned that I would begin to spin around until I launched myself into space.
But Monday night we lost something important.  We lost our air conditioning.  I was sitting with my Dad after a strenuous day of me overseeing his garden and lawn work.  Daddy is very sensitive.  He can tell when the temperature goes up a single degree and he sensed that our house was no longer at its perfect 72 degrees.
He picked me up.  Normally I am delighted to be picked up.  But I am sensitive too.  I can tell when a human’s emotional temperature was rising, and Daddy’s was about to shatter records.  In the spring of 2015, they had a new HVAC unit installed outside.  It worked without a problem for the summer, but in the winter the heat kept going out when it was very cold and windy.  Men came out and checked, adjusted several things, and the heat continued to go out when it was needed the most.  The next winter the same thing happened.  In March the plumbers said they fixed it by turning a discharge pipe towards the house.  Now it is summer, and the AC isn't working.  This wasn’t going to be good for anyone.
Daddy picked up that little thing he uses to talk into, and he yelled at someone about the unit never working right, and he wanted something done to stop these problems.  He was holding me which made me concerned.  I would be an accomplice to whatever he threatened
A little later the thing made that funny noise.   Daddy talked to someone else.  He had put me down and was calmer (making me look like the cause of his irrational behavior)   Someone would come out to check the AC in the morning.
Then our entire world was turned upside down.  The front door was opened, the porch windows were too, a big fan, standing upright, with a turning head, that reminded me of a Dalek, and whispered “exterminate” at a pitch only I could hear, was brought into the living room.  Then we sat in general hotness.  
River kept getting off the Mommy’s recliner and sitting on the floor, a sure sign that she was overheated.  With the doors and windows open all sorts of sites and sounds filtered into the house to keep us alert.  It wasn’t until well after sundown when the temperature fell into acceptable dog range.  
At bedtime, the Dalek was brought into the bedroom (great, where it could kill us in our sleep) and a tiny Dalek was put in the window.  It was still hot, but we were too exhausted to notice.
By morning the house had cooled off nicely.  The man came to fix the AC and discovered that the unit was not installed correctly, there was no filter,  and the coils had frozen up. They would have to wait for it to melt and come back the next day with filters, so the unit didn’t freeze again.  Daddy could have got upset again, but then something else arrived that morning.  Something that would throw out entire house into disarray.
But you will have to wait for River’s blog next week.
Because this is a CLIFFHANGER