Thursday, November 30, 2017

River's Trip to the Groomer

As many of you know, I am treated like family at my groomer’s.  One of my siblings lives with them as does my Baby Daddy, although our mutual attraction was squashed by a few snips of the doctor’s scissors.  Now, like many old married couples, we take a whiff and move on.
Now that my breed has won Best in Show the adoration has only become greater.
When our groomer, Jan, took me from my Mom, she said that she cuts lots of Griff’s hair, but I am her favorite.
Who can blame her?
When we entered the grooming area, I was placed on my comfy throne with many pillows piled on top of another with red velvet on the backrest.  Pocket was thrown in a cage with a rusty hinge and no blanket.
First I got a bath with soap from the synactif soap collection.  Three vestal virgins gently washed me in distilled water using a brush made from fine llama hair.  Then they placed me on a red cushion and dried me by waving silk handkerchiefs.  
Pocket got bathed in a rusty steel tub in filthy, cold water, with a used brillo pad.
Once I was dry, it was time for my manicure.  My paws were dipped in lovely, warm soap and then they were gently filed by three elderly Shih-Tzus who were manicure masters.  Pocket’s were filed with an unsharpened steak knife by a retired Vietnamese grocer with cataracts.
Then my anal glands were expressed into a small pool that, once created, was poured into a beaker where it would be made into a sensuous perfume.  Pocket’s anal glands sent a senior sheepdog to the hospital with respiratory problems.
My hair was then tenderly cut by Vidal Sassoon while Pocket’s hair was cut by the three-fingered stepson of Gorilla Monsoon.
When the cutting was done, I was put back on my throne while Pocket was put in another rusty cage with a broken hinge.
When my parents returned the groomers tipped my parents for the privilege of letting them cut my hair, but they charged twice as much for having to clean Pocket.
I am scheduled to go back to the groomers in seven weeks, but I might go sooner. I am sure they would appreciate that.
(Editor’s Note from Pocket:  When we arrived at the groomer’s River fell asleep and stayed that way through her entire treatment.  Her entire account of our grooming is delusional.  But I let her believe it.  That’s what good sisters do.)

Monday, November 27, 2017

Monday Quesiton

Have you ever seen snow and if so do you like to play in it?

Pocket:  I have seen too much snow.  It is a bother, it is wet, cold, and gets in the way

River Song:  I was born in Florida and this will be my fifth winter.  I still have to be dragged outside in the snow and usually won't perform my duties in it.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Jasper and Sophie Rae are our November 26, 2017 Pups of the Week

There is quote is from the song “It’s Quiet Uptown” from the musical Hamilton written by Lin Manuel Miranda about learning to live with the unimaginable.

The song is sung by Alexander Hamilton and his wife Angelica after their son is killed in a duel.  They are both broken with grief.  They are learning to live with something so sad and shocking it is unimaginable.

This week, the family of Jasper and Sophie Rae, plus all their friends, are trying to live with the unimaginable.  Ten days ago they both were living happily with their parents.  Over the course of two days, last Sunday and Monday,  Jasper and Sophie went to the Bridge, leaving their devastated family behind

Jasper’s passing was long feared, but not unexpected.  He has been having seizures for months.  Weeks ago his parents were preparing themselves for his journey to the Bridge.  But then his medicine began to work, and he improved to the point he was able to go on a family vacation.  

Sophie Rae, who is five years old, watched after her brother, who was twice her age.  She developed a limp, something every dog does occasionally, and no reason to worry.   Her parents took her to the vet, who had diagnosed her with a sprain. But the limp was not improving.   On a subsequent check-up, the vet elected to do an x-ray which brought the most devastating news.  Sophie Rae had bone cancer in her front shoulder.  There was no surgery to be done, no chance of a cure.  She was one jump away from a devastating leg break.  “We never imagined Sophie would go first,” her mom wrote on Facebook.

Tragically, she didn’t.  Jasper was having seizures before Sophie’s grim diagnosis, but after that awful news, Jasper’s seizure became more severe and closer together.  His parents were given directions to stop these cluster seizures, but nothing worked.  Jasper’s father took him to the vet, but there was nothing they could do.  Jasper was sent to the bridge that night.

The next day Jasper and Sophie Rae’s parents set her to the Bridge too.  Jasper had somberly waited for Sophie to arrive.  There were the huge clouds of tears and the sounds of sobbing echoing across the river when they were reunited.  We greeted our new angels, hugging and kissing them.  We expressed our concern for their parents, but Jasper said he knew they would survive because they had one another to help through this awful time and nothing, not even this senseless tragedy could break that bond

In past years I would have demanded the Big Guy give me answers about this senseless tragedy, but lately, the cave at the top of the mountain has been closed for repairs.  I didn’t want an answer.  I knew life is hard, cruel and horrific.  I was tired of making sense of the senseless.

This morning Sophie came to see me.  She and Jasper had a secret.  Sophie knew Jasper did not have much time left so she gave him some heartbeats so he could stay with his parents longer.  It was an incredibly generous gesture but, sadly, when a dog does this, they are never sure how many heartbeats they have.  She assured me she would have made the same decision if she was aware that her pulses were dwindling.  Jasper made her parents happy, and she was honored to sacrifice for him.

In every tragedy, there is sacrifice and love and even hope for tomorrow.  Jasper and Sophie are committed to seeing their parents, who they know are the best parents in the world, provide a loving home for another dog when they are ready.  The position of being a dog in their family is highly sought, and they are already conducting interviews so they will be able to tell their parents which pup to pick when the time comes.  Sophie, especially, is willing to sacrifice anything to see her parents happy again.  When you are willing to part with heartbeats for your parents there is nothing you won’t do.

Until that day comes, Jasper and Sophie will be with their parent's side during every step of the way supporting them and giving them the strength to get through the unimaginable.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Pocket Tries to Save the Turkeys

It has been colder than an Iditarod Huskie’s mother’s milk here lately, but we have still been going on walks.  We are small, but we are tough.
On Saturday we were taking a constitutional through our sleepy neighborhood when we saw a rafter of wild turkeys chilling in a yard.  We barked and raised a fuss.  The largest one lifted her head and looked into my eyes.  “Are you Pocket?” she asked.
Being a small animal I try to keep away from big birds, but I was also raised to be polite, so I admitted I was Pocket.  “You are well known for saving wild animals.  The story of how you and Foley rescued a skunk is legendary.”  I blushed.  That bit of daring-do was Foley’s idea.  You can read about it here 
“We need help,” the turkey continued.  “It is only a few days before Thanksgiving, and we have to hide.  If you could let us stay under your house, we would be greatly appreciative.”
“Turkeys under the house!” River barked.  “Oh no!  I don’t want turkeys under the house!  What’s next?  Pigeons in the floorboards?  Eagles on the skylight?  I say no birds in the house.”
“Please Miss River,” the turkey pleaded.  “ We don’t want to be Thanksgiving dinner.”
River scoffed.  “You’re a game bird.  You don’t have tender, juicy meat.”
“My meat is quite tender!  You would love to eat me!” the offended bird squawked back.
River waved a paw at the turkey.  “Bah!  You’re tough meat.  I wouldn’t eat you if you were the last turkey in the neighborhood.”
I told my grumpy sister to be kind.  “I will let you stay under the house until Friday,” I said.  “Then you should be safe.”
“Safe?” River scoffed.  “You think people only eat turkey on Thanksgiving? There is Christmas, and New Year’s, and turkey sandwiches.  Let me tell you, buddy; you’re a bird with a target on your back.”
“We can fend for ourselves after Thursday,” the turkey promised.  I quieted River and then told the turkeys to follow me home.  Remarkably, none of our neighbors found it strange that two small dogs were leading a dozen turkeys down the street, but the people are old and probably thought it was a sign they needed to get their prescriptions fixed.
We got them settled under the house by the heater.  I asked them to be quiet and promised to drop food down the grates.  “No cock a doing!” River said.  “I sleep late.”
“I am a turkey!” the bird said.  “I do not cock!”
“Well, whatever freaky thing you do keep it to yourself,” River ordered.
We went on the porch, hung up our leashes (we walk one another), and went inside the house.  Mommy asked us how the walk was.  “For the birds!” River said then rolled on her back laughing.  She got a belly rub
For the next six day as the turkeys huddled under the house,  Daddy kept swearing he smelled slow grilled turkey breast, and I would drop kibble down the grates so they could eat.  I never let on that they were there  River, thinking she was funny, would lift her leg to pee where the turkeys were nesting, but luckily River is a girl, and all she would do is tip over.
The turkeys made it through Thanksgiving and on Friday morning they emerged from under the house to live safely for the rest of the year.  The head turkey went up the steps to kiss me and thank me.  I gratefully accepted.  The turkey then saw our bag of food.  “Is that what you have been feeding us?” the bird asked.  
I told her it was.  “That food’s protein is turkey!” she squawked.  “You made us cannibals!”  She pecked me on the nose and stomped off.
“See you on the Christmas dinner table you feathered freak!”  River yelled at her.  “You know what turkeys are?  Failed chickens!”
I shushed her, but I appreciated her sentiment.
Lesson learned.  Never try to save an ungrateful turkey on Thanksgiving.  

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: The 2017 Angels Make Thanksgiving dinner

Every Thanksgiving the dogs at Rainbow Bridge gather for a feast and celebrate our unity and love.  The dogs who arrived at the Bridge since our last dinner serve their favorite food.  Most of all we give thanks to our many friends and parents who did not join us this year and pray they won’t next year.
The first course was served by our French friend Easy the Weimaraner  We were so lucky to have a brilliant French chef create an hors devours to whet our appetite.  He created a lovey Gougeres, a puff pastry with cheese.  I had never experienced such a taste explosion.  Easy’s sly observations made us all smile.  Laughter is a great way to start a dinner.
Beautiful Fern was next with a British meal called Bubble and Squeak.  I was concerned that that was the sound the food would make when it was being digested, but it is actually a scrumptious dish made from potatoes  Fern, a very sweet soul, served each dish with a smile and kiss.
After two courses from Europe it was refreshing to get some good old American food and who is better to serve treats from the USA than the All-American boy Junior Johnson?   He filled our plates with sliders and fries.  Junior smiled broadly as we howled in appreciation.
Broiled Salmon salad was an excellent way to cleanse our palate.  It as cooked to perfection by Buddy Boy Smith, our Canadian friend.  Buddy made every serving for a dog of his size and strength so us little dogs got very big helpings.
We were taken back to international cuisine by our sweet friend Luca who presented us with a barbequed meat dish called Asado.  The meat melted in our mouth.  It was heavenly, as was Luca’s smile.
Playful Sydney bounded in with the next course, a lovely risotto.  It was made perfectly, just as everything Sydney does is perfect because she has always been an outstanding example of a perfect dog.
I became angry when I saw a cat jump on the table with a slice of salmon in his mouth until I saw it was my dear friends Barney the Cat.  I asked him to come to me and told him that all her cat friends were welcome at our table.  If the Indians could invite the settlers then why couldn’t I invite the cats?  Barney thanked me and said the kitties had their own meal, but he hoped to return by desert.
Before Barney left she smelled Walleye and turned to see Ruger walking in with big plates of Walleye.  He gave a large portion to everyone then gave Barney a piece and a kiss before he ran off to the kitty feast.
Pintus followed with deep bowls of Posole.  At first, I wasn’t sure about this odd dish, but when I began to eat it, I slurped it all down and gave Pintus a big kiss of gratitude.  
Noel arrived at the Bridge without a family, but he was quickly adopted by several of the pup mom’s living at the Bridge.  He never learned how to cook, but he was more than happy to clear the dishes thrilled to be part of  Thanksgiving dinner for the first time in his existence.
Brutus was next with bottle of his famous Brutus the Bulldog beer that has become very popular at the Bridge.  It is a delicately made micro-brew with a tough edge made with love, just like Brutus.
The regal Cocoa Puff came next with a beautiful chocolate truffle ganache.  It was light and delicate and brought everyone a smile just like Cocoa.  And of course, she had kisses for everyone.  
My little friend Tiny, a fellow Yorkie, brought over some lovely chicken salad finger sandwiches from chickens that she raised herself.  Tiny didn’t have to kill the chickens.  They were more than happy to lend a wing  Tiny is such a sweet dog animals give up body parts for him.
Janie is one of the luckiest dogs here because she is living with her parents who preceded her here but she still came by with a plate of freeze-dried liver for us which was very nice of her.
We heard the sound of drums and saw fireworks going off in the sky.  Beaux-Jangles appeared around the bushes banging on a bass drum and wearing a hat with fireworks exploding out of the top.  He stopped and wiggled his butt in front of us then did a dance which caused a cloud to appear over us.  Suddenly it opened, and margaritas poured down on us.  We were out of Brutus Beer, so Beaux Jangles’ margaritas were welcome.
Nora came out next with some waffles for us which went great with the margaritas.  Nora served her waffles with sweet syrup and a welcome kiss.
We needed a break from food, and we were very lucky to have Dory and Bilbo come out next with wonderful, sweet-smelling flowers for all of us.  I made sure to save my flowers because they were so beautiful, as are Dory and Bilbo. There were flowers from all over the world.
The minions serving us brought out a steaming bowl of potatoes.  When we stuck our spans in it, Mr. Bailey sprung out from the middle and began throwing potatoes at us.  We had a cool potato friend with our Idaho pug friend before sitting down to eat some spud.
Pancho, who was saved by Angel Apollo’s Mom, didn’t ever find his own family, but he is a permanent member of Apollo’s pack.  And he brought us delicious corn on the cob, and he took the husks to spell out thank you to Momma Kimberli for saving him and giving him a family.
Then came the gastronomical highlight of the meal.  Hannah Banana was known as a magical creator of dog treats when she was mortal, and now that she has had a few months to work with the world’s immortal chefs her treats have become truly heavenly.  There was not a single crumb left.  The meal was made unforgettable because we shared it with Hannah, a truly unforgettable dog.
Tupper and Max’s special sister Minnie brought with her some wine to help wash down Hannah’s delicacy.  Minnie was very cute pouring us our drinks.  She made Tupper and Max proud.
Deuce was a senior dog, abandoned and alone when Miss Kimberli took him in and made him part of her pack.  To make sure Deuce knows he has a family now Apollo gave him some of his special bacon cigars to pass out us.
If Junior Johnson brought us All-American hamburgers, it was only right for his sister Chelsea to bring us All-American hot dogs. They tasted incredible.  The best part was watching Chelsea, and Junior run and play with one another while we ate.  I could watch those two chase one another all day long.
Jazzmin was next, and what goes better with hot dogs than popcorn.  Jazzmin popped it right in front of us and made it to order.  It was very good, and Jazzmin gave everyone a sweet kiss.
Otis from the All in the Family pack followed him with a big tub of chocolate ice cream.  I didn’t think I had any more room for food but who can resist ice cream?  Not me.  
I knew I could not finish another bite, but Cappy had the biggest, most delicious chocolate cake I had ever seen.  I moved around some internal organs to make more room and had myself a piece and a friendly pat on the head from my friend good friend Cappy.
We were full.  When I saw sweet Dixie walking towards us, I felt bad because none of us could eat another bite.  But Dixie had peppermints for us that got all the food taste out of our mouths and made us feel refreshed.  Dixie is new to the Bridge and did not have long to prepare, but the peppermints were terrific.
There was a curtain along the far side of the table.  I thought it was only there for decoration, but suddenly there was a drum roll and the curtain parted.  There were beds everywhere and standing in the middle of them was Jeni.  She announced that this was her contribution to the party, beds for us all to sleep on after a great meal.  We all hurried to the beds and snuggled down.
We looked up to see Pepper standing on the table.  She smiled at us then read to us about all our parents, wonderful stories that made us all feel comfortable and lulled us to sleep.  Just before I closed my eyes, I felt Pepper snuggle in next to me.
A tip of the tail to all the outstanding pups who contributed to our celebration.  
We are sorry their parents no longer have these pups with them, but we want them to know they spent a glorious Thanksgiving and know they will spend many more.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Monday Question

What are your families plans for Thanksgiving?

My parents are going to their daughter's house while we will have to celebrate with our friends in our dreams.  I think the happiest soul on Thanksgiving will be our cousin Neely who hasn't seen my parents in five months and has lots of lick for them

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Smiley is our November 19, 2017 Pup of the Week

Humans have been blessed with five senses, but we dogs have so many more.  Our sense of smell, and hearing, is much stronger than human’s senses.  We can even smell those difficult areas our parents work so hard to keep scent less. We hear everything.  We know what is coming around the corner.  We know what he is building in there.  If humans heard what we can hear the makers of anxiety medication would rule the world.
It’s nice to touch things. It’s a useful tool but is nothing like taste.  That is fantastic.  We would lick the world if we could.  Finally, there is sight.  It is important to us, there is so much to see, but it pales next to smell and hearing (and, if someone is barbecuing, taste.  If we had a choice between looking at steak and tasting it we would pick tasting  every time.)
Which brings me to our Pup of the Week.  His name is Smiley, and he has been at Rainbow Bridge a month.  He is a modest boy and did not want any recognition, but sometimes a girl needs a subject to blog about.
Smiley was due at Rainbow Bridge 13 years ago.  He was born without eyes at a horrific breeding kennel.   Dozens of dogs had been saved, but those deemed unadoptable were going to be euthanized.  Who would adopt a dirty, matted dog without eyes?   The answer was veterinary tech, Joanne George.
Smiley began life with his new family unsocialized and scared but his mom worked with him every day, and a caring, infectious personality emerged.  Smiley started visiting George’s grandmother at a nursing home, and then he became a therapy dog becoming so famous he met the Prime Minister.
While Smiley went through life without being able to see his other senses were enhanced; especially those senses special to dogs.  The empathy sense to know when a human needs loving, the happiness sense that lets us know when someone needs a smile and causes us to act goofy; the cute sense when we know humans need to go “awww” and we become incredibly cute; and the loyalty sense that makes us never want to leave your side.
Smiley led a happy life for more than a dozen years with his family and the thousands of distressed people he made smile.  Over the summer cancer invaded his beautiful, caring body.  His mom tried to help him fight the disease, but there are some battles that cannot be won.  Smiley’s loving mom relieved his suffering, sending huge clouds of tears to us, from pet lovers all over the world, along with Smiley.
When he arrived at the top of the Bridge he stopped, blinked his eyes and for the first time in his life, he could see.  “You are all so beautiful,” he cried.  He then ran to us, rolled on his back, and let us kiss and nuzzle him while he laughed.  “The sky is so blue; I never imagined such a deep blue.”
He stood up and began to run around looking at the grass, the trees, the butterflies, the water.  “It is all so wonderful,” he gushed.
I approached him and told him I could show him a lovely vision.  We went down to the river, and I pointed to the image of a beautiful woman in the water.  “Who is that?” he asked.
“That is your mom,” I told him.
He gasped, reached into the water, and said she was the most gorgeous vision he had ever seen.  I told him we would teach him how to watch over his mom every day and even visit her.  He hugged me gratefully.
And that is what Smiley has been doing since he arrived.  Taking in the beautiful sights, he missed and watching his family and those he comforted, who were helped by using his enhanced special senses.  
He is now complete, but he was always perfect.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: Visiting My Home with Pintus

Sometimes the afterlife really does seem like an eternity.  I have so few souls here I had met during my mortal life:  My Dad’s parents (thankfully Nana has grown to like dogs in the  afterlife and no longer complains when I growl and show my teeth); his Uncle Bob and Aunt Bev, who I met the day after my Gotcha night; our neighbor Mrs. McAloon who was always happy to see me; and my sibling dogs Blake, Copper, Jax and Skye.
I know that may seem like a lot, but they all have their own lives and adventures. Somedays I do get lonely.  I was feeling quite melancholy, looking over the river, when my friend Pintus came over and asked me why I was glum.  I told him about my loneliness.
“Let’s go visit your last home as angels,” he said.  “I would really like to see it.”
He was being kind.  He knew that sometimes an angel needs to fly home.  He took me by the paw, and we flew off.
It was nighttime.  There are no streetlights in our neighborhood.  There is nary a pole.  Just solar lights on poles at the end of the driveways that casts a soft glow across the lawn.  The gardens were asleep.  I told Pintus how I loved visiting there in the summer as a butterfly, smelling every flower, delicately landing on each petal.  But now it was cold, dark and raw.
I told Pintus about when we lived in the condo across from the state mental institution, and my parents were committed to walking Blake and me when they got home from work.  There was six inches of snow on the ground as we hiked around the abandoned softball field at the institution.  My parents sludged through while Blake and I walked on top of the frozen accumulation until I hit a soft spot and disappeared.  My parents frantically dug me out.  I shook off the snow and continued.
Pintus had a good chuckle about that.
We passed through a wall into the front room.  We stopped by the bed where the grandbabies used to sleep.  I loved when they came over.  Now they are too old to sleep at Grammy’s.  There are so few benefits to getting older.
I also showed Pintus my famous Leopard Skin Vagina Kitty Condo.  It is the home to the stuffed animals who manage my museum.  Pintus and I entered, and I showed him the artifacts of my life.
We passed into the hallway and over River’s pee pads which are so unprofessional.  We went into the kitchen.   I showed Pintus the cabinet where the kibble is stored.  We both took a deep, heavenly breath.  Then we went to the treat jar in the corner.  I opened it, and we shared a bacon treat.  He then studied the many drawings of Pocket and me on the walls drawn by our friends Connie Gross and Eileen Kohler.
We flew into the living room.  Pintus stopped at my table top, looking at my pictures, my gifts, my books, and the box that I don’t like:  The box that holds my remains.  It freaks me out.
Then we flew into the bedroom where my parents, Pocket, and River were sleeping.  My mom looked as beautiful as she did the day I departed.  River and Pocket were sleeping between them, leaning against them, sharing body heat during the cold night.  This is what I loved most of all.  There is nothing more comforting than sleeping in a pack.  Pintus asked if we could snuggle with them, and I said yes.
We both flew down with my parents and cuddled with my sisters.  River and Pocket saw us.  They gave Pintus kisses then I gave River’s allergic paw, which my parents were worried about, a kiss, and Pocket’s everything, because Pocket always gives my parents reason to worry, a kiss, and we settled down.  It was heavenly.  The warm smell of a pack huddled together, the sweet sound of humans deeply breathing, the hum of the ceiling fan.  I was home and sharing it with Pintus, one of my very best friends.
The visit was brief.  My mom stirred, her bladder full again, and when she did Pintus and I were required to leave.  We were soon back the the Bridge.  I kissed my good friend and thanks him for suggesting the trip.
I went to sleep.  When I awoke, I couldn’t remember if it was a dream or not.  Then I saw Pintus walking around with one of the stuffed animals from my Leopard Skin Vagina  Kitty Condo, and I knew it was very real.
Thanks for the great night Pintus.  Sometimes an angel just needs to return home.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

No Drama River and the Bad Paw

Hello readers:  It is I, River Song.  You may not remember me.  It has been nearly a month since I last blogged because my sister Pocket is a blog hog.  Nothing aggravates me more than someone bogarting our blog.
Of course, I had to cede my blogging privileges to Pocket because of all the “drama” that has occurred in her life.  A storm kept her up at night:  “Oh please, Pocket needs to blog about her bad night.”  Pocket has a tick that looks like a growth:  “You have to let Pocket blog about her frightening week!”  I had a tick on me.  I didn’t get all Tolstoy about it.
I try to steer away from drama which is why I felt guilty when I went out to pee and came back inside limping.  There was no blood, but I was favoring my right leg.   I am “No Drama River, ” and my limping was definitely drama.  I was sure I could fix the problem by licking following the golden rule that licking trumps limping.  This golden rule did not work.  My limping became worse.
I immediately got lots of attention.  Mommy held me, and Daddy inspected, then Daddy held and Mommy inspected.  They found swelling around my paw pad but could not find any cuts, blood or foreign objects.  Mommy asked her Facebook friends what they thought.   Everyone was very helpful, but I objected to the idea of wrapping it or worse, wearing the cone of shame.
(During this Pocket tried to gain back the drama with a twenty minute collapsed trachea attack but been there, done that, at least for this attack.)
The next morning I started to get special treatment.  I was carried outside to the pee spot where I promptly pooped since it was the least I could do considering my parents’ kindness. When I came back inside my foot was soaked with warm water and anti-bacterial soap as it would be each time I went out.   
Wednesday morning I messed up bad.  Daddy caught me going to town licking my paw.  When my parents checked it the wound was swollen.  They made a vet appointment for Thursday morning which was a bummer.  I still got lots of attention, and, when Pocket went on her walk, I got to ride in our buggy, like I was the Queen, waving to my subjects.  That was awesome.
This morning I went to vet.  She looked at my paw, felt me all over, and said I was suffering from allergy, most likely from mold spores.  She said my raw paw was self-inflicted.  I did not appreciate that.  I never self-inflict.  I have standards.
I got a steroid shot, and steroid pills to help with the allergy.  I didn’t need to get my foot wrapped, and, unless I can’t stop licking my paws, which I should because the medication will stop them from itching, then I might need the cone of shame.  Please pray for no cone of shame.
Now, not only do I get special ear washes, but I am going to get foot baths too.  I really do like the attention.  
A little scratching and rawness is a small price to pay for lots of attention.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Monday Question

What do you use for flea and tick medication?
We were using Advantix II but the doctor suggested Bravecto so we switched to that.  Then my pawrents realized Bravecto doesn't work on fleas so we might go back to Advantix for our next treatment.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Pepper is our November 12, 2017 Pup of the Week

Life is easier on the immortal side of the Bridge.  I am blogging proof that there is another world where we will all be together forever.  On the mortal side, while people believe in an afterlife, doubts still creep into minds which makes our separation more painful.  
The hardest part of being a Rainbow Bridge angel is witnessing how humans suffer as our ranks grow.
This week our lifelong friend Pepper, after battling kidney disease for six months, had her kidneys shut down and needed her mom’s assistance to earn her wings.  Pepper was her Mom’s, Miss Cathy’s, heart dog, her baby,  her snuggle buddy, and her walking partner.  Letting Pepper pass to the immortal side was one of the hardest events Miss Cathy had to experience.
When Pepper arrived, she was met by her mom’s previous dogs, neighbor dogs, and dozens of online friends who had preceded her. Pepper had tears in her eyes, mourning the loss of her Mom, Liz, their family, and her sister JuJu, but she also was laughing, delighted to see those she had lost during her lifetime.
There was no delight at her former home.  Pepper no longer ran to the door to greet her mom, she didn’t stay underfoot when dinner was cooked, and JuJu wandered the house confused.  Every thought, every visual image, was a cold reminder that something was missing.  For a small dog, Pepper took up a lot of the house.
All senses feel the loss of a passing, but one of the most sensitive is hearing.  A house is filled with calming sounds:  "There is the sound of Pepper’s paws, everything is alright; there is the sound of Pepper’s barking, everything is alright; there is the sound of Pepper playing, everything is alright."  When those comforting sounds are gone nothing is alright.  The absence of sound drowns out all other noise.
My friends feel guilty about enjoying a beautiful, happy, funny, and inspirational dog like Pepper at Rainbow Bridge. She is such a real lady, and a perfect definition of what a dog should be.  I love visiting her every day, but I know she would rather be with her mom.
Pepper is desperate to let her mom know that she is still with her, just in a place where she can’t be seen, heard, touched or smell.  It is a place where the senses fail to recognize, but, if the unknown sense that is hidden in the heart and mind come forth, an angel’s presence can be felt, if only fleetingly.
We pray for the day those unknown senses come forth for Miss Cathy to give her a brief respite from her pain and start the healing process.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: Can a Good Dog Save a Bad Man

It seems that every week there is a story of an angry man whose life has gone wickedly wrong, and who becomes violent resulting in a wake of death behind him.  It is too simple to say if these men had dogs they would never have become violent but a dog did help one violent man  
Budhi Bryant grew up in a horrific home where the seeds for the abusive man he would become were planted.  His mother was addicted to drugs.  To pay off her debts, she gave Budhi to her drug dealer.  When that transaction occurred Budhi’s father was in jail,  HIs grandfather tracked Budhi down, and he moved in with his aunt and uncle.
When  Budhi was five, his father was released from prison.  He found his son with his grandmother, beat her, and took him.  Budhi’s father abused him for years.  Budhi took comfort in his dog until his father, during a violent episode, beat the dog to death in front of him.
Budhi was removed from his father’s home and put in the foster care system.  He was then returned to his aunt and uncle, but he was unhappy there.  At 16 he joined the Navy.  He made a good friend with a shipmate, but that man was murdered on board, and Budhi was assigned to scrub the scene clean.
He went to Penn State, got a good job, and it looked like he had escaped his violent past, but he was still in the reserves, and he was called up to serve one year in the Middle East as part of a combat search and rescue unit.
He returned home suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which he treated with alcohol.  His work did not suffer, but when he got home, he drank until he passed out.
He was married and had a daughter, who he loved, but the disease, and the drinking pushed him into the past where he became his father.  He got drunk at a wedding, nearly beat his wife to death, and was sentenced to eight years in prison.
While in prison he struggled with the knowledge that he had become who he hated.  His wife divorced him.  He gave up on himself and attempted suicide.
He discovered salvation when the prison administration began a program where prisoners would train rescue dogs to become service dogs.  He was given a pit bull named Layla who had been hit by a car and had scars covering her body.  Layla hid under a table when she entered the prison and could have been deemed a failure but, perhaps remembering the dog he had lost as a boy, Budhi refused to leave Layla side until she crawled out from under the table.
Layla was saved and rehabilitated by Budhi, and she did the same for him.  When Layla was placed Budhi got more dogs to train, taking those who had been used for fighting, or had been abused, and got them ready to re-enter society and they did the same for him.
Budhi got a nine to five job when he left prison, but he soon began his own business, Training Buddy, and he dreams of opening his own training center operated by vets and former inmates.
Recently Budhi was challenged by a Labrador-Brittany mix named Ryder and his overmatched owner.  Budhi worked with Ryder but the overactive dog made his owner crazy, and he wanted to surrender Ryder.  Having been given up on several times in his life, Budhi would not do that with Ryder.
Budhi brought Ryder home to live with the abused pitbull who he had adopted and named Layla after the first dog he had saved.  The three of them recently hiked along the Appalachian Trail, three rehabilitated souls with the wide open country lying before them and their limitless future before them.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Pocket and the Mysterious Bump

It always starts innocently. A week ago I was sitting next to Daddy on his recliner.  I stood up to walk across his legs to sit with Mommy.  He reached out with his left hand to scratch my neck.  He touched something and said:  “What the hell is that?”
This is never words a dog wants to hear especially when they are being touched.  My dad had found a strange growth on my neck.
He picked me up and put me on Mommy’s lap.  River, who had been lazing next to her, stood up.  The three of them studied the growth.  It was brown, legless, and flexible.  It resembled a tick, but, being legless, that possibility was dismissed.  My parents determined it was a skin tag.
I sighed in relief.  That didn’t sound like a problem.  The rest of the night passed peaceably.
But my parents fancy themselves to be intellectuals which means they have to read everything there is about a decision they have reached until they convince themselves they are wrong.  In the past, this would require a time-consuming trip to the library.  Thanks to the Internet an entire library of bad information is at our parent’s fingertips.
It took them a day to decide that skin tag may not be the answer.  They studied the multi-syllable medical terms, all slick and sinister,  for bumps on dogs:  sebaceous cyst, wart, abscess,  mast cells. Hematomas.  They examined each category, mentally listing why my growth did or did not meet the requirements for each type of bump.
The lump was photographed and put on the Internet without my consent.  People from around the country discussed it.  My parents decided on a Saturday night that the vet needed to examine the grand mystery under my chin.
On Sunday morning my parents found a similar growth on River Song.  What was this?  An epidemic?  Was our kitchen a mass cancer site?  
The anxiety came in the form of massive, random waves.  When the waves were offshore, my parents were convinced we had skin tags, but when the waves crashed on the beach every dark wormhole of negative assumption was realized, which meant more growth examining and worry.
On Monday the vet was called, but the technician did not understand the urgency of the tiny brown growths on two dogs or understood the mindset of my parents continually pounded by rogue waves of senseless anxiety.  My appointment was for Tuesday, at 3:45, which, according to my stressed-out parents, was 35 hours past the turn of midnight.
It rained on Monday and we were trapped inside living with two growths that, with each touch, seemed to grow or recede.  On Tuesday my parents worked outside, then came in, to wait.
I was the guinea pig.  They would find out how serious a problem this tiny bump actually was, and if, as seemed inevitable, it was severe, River would be examined the next day.  
I was seen right away.  I was placed on the cold, sterile table.  My father spread my fur to show the female technician the vicious growth jutting from my skin.
“Oh, it’s a tick,” she said.  She grabbed it with two fingers, removed it, and told us there would be no charge for the service.  My parents stood, in the exam room, looking at one another, unable to speak or move.
       "A tick!" my dad finally said.  "I thought so."  My mom readily agreed.         When they returned home, grateful, but also embarrassed by the two intellectual dog experts who failed to recognize a tick, they gave River a shot of tequila, and a stick to bite on, then quickly removed her tick as well.
Before that act, which ended this drama, there was a side trip.  I was taken to the polling place, where they must have been voting for the President or something, and allowed to become a real citizen by voting for the first time in my life.  I was the hit of the polling station.
So here I am now, both tickless and lumpless, an American, but not a true American, as I am not yet completely exhausted, stressed out, and overwhelmed.
But if I keep following my parent's footprints I will get there.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Ruby Rose Report: The Crate Door

  My parents had a cookout to go to on the Fourth of July, one that I was neither invited to nor barred from. My participation was fully at...