Saturday, June 30, 2018

River and the Scooting Rug

Our house is filled with bald floors.  They do have their value. They are nice to lie on when I am overheated.  When I run and come to a stop, I slide which is fun. But I prefer rugs.

We have a nice rug in our office but we rarely use the room and the door is always shut.  When I follow a human into the office and lie on my back and rub it on the rug. Boy does that feel good.  

Once the door is closed the rug party ends and we are stuck with just the mat by the front door, and, if someone goes in the bedroom, the small rug by the entryway  But that rug is not to play on, that rug is to provide relief.

Let me explain to you about being a dog.  You all think that when we poop we don’t have to wipe because we have anal glands, and that is true, but what you don’t know it unless you have a very clean poop ejaculation, those glands itch #AF.

You, humans, know that itch.  You leave remnants back there and you get itchy you sneak in the bathroom, wipe yourself, pour some water in the toilet, so people think you’re peeing, flush, and you’re good to go.  Well, guess what, nobodies wiping old River’s anal glands.

I am more of a free spirit than Pocket. Every night, after her midnight poop, Pocket gets on the rug, and scoots around, like a Roomba with a Teddy Bear on top.  She gets to one end of the small rug, get up, turns around and goes to the other end of the rug. I am pretty sure she hums when she moves too.

I don’t go back and forth.  I like to go in a circle. Once I begin to scoot, I want to keep going until the job is done.  Also, I don’t scoot every day. No, I wait, sometimes for days, until it gets good and itchy and then when I sit and begin to move, it feels so good.  I just spin and spin around and around scratching that terrible itch.

My mom hates when I do that because she knows I am leaving remnants on the rug.  She is so anal about anal.

Every six weeks I go to the groomers and they “express” my glands.  Mommy says, since she is paying for that, we shouldn’t be scooting. She asks my Daddy to back her up, and he mumbles “I don’t know nothing about no anal, I heard a couple of guys talking about it in college, but that’s it.”

Without Daddy’s backup, we are at an anal standoff, so Pocket and I are going to keep scooting until we satisfy that awful itch.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Easy, Moses, Bisket and Pintus Help Foley Find a Dog Among Apes

One morning this week I came upon my good friend Easy the Weimaraner.   He was on the dock doing one of his DIY projects. He loves these endeavors.  It is a tribute to his parents who gloriously undertook many such projects and spectacularly failed at most of them.

“What you are planning to do once you have it built?” I asked Easy.

“I don’t know, maybe just float around.”

We heard barking and saw our buddy Bisket running down the hill.  “Is that a boat?” he asked. We informed him it was. “Have you heard about the dog who went the wrong way off the Bridge and is now living in the jungle?”  We said we hadn’t. Bisket told us he knew someone who did and ran off. I looked at Easy and shrugged.

He came back with  Moses. He has been at the Bridge longer than any other friend.  “Yes,” Moses said. “I have heard of the dog Bisket mentioned. We have never had a boat that could take us that far down river, but this boat,” he put a paw on Easy’s shoulder, “just might get us there.”  It was hard to tell, but I think Easy was blushing.
We had not noticed that Bisket had run off again.  When he came back, he brought Pintus. “We are getting in Easy’s boat and going south to find the dog that lives with the apes,” Bisket explained to  Pintus. “And since you lived south of the border we thought you could be our guide.”

“Well,” Pintus spoke carefully.  “I do think this is a bit of racial profiling but if it Iets me go on the boat and it moves the story along I will be happy to do it.”

We headed down the river.   Being an Easy DIY project, the boat leaked and we had to bail which made us not see the waterfall.  We fell over it but luckily the boat landed upright, and we were able to land on it.

Then we floated ashore.  Pintus said the waterfall dropped us into the jungle.  We could hear the animals screeching around us. Moses and Pintus went first to blaze the trail.  Easy and Bisket were next. They were big dogs and quickly went through the brush, but I kept having it snapped back in my face so Easy said I could ride him.  I felt like an important jungle leader or a monkey on an elephant; I couldn’t tell which.

We came upon a family of apes, and we were passing through respectfully when we heard barking.  In the middle of the pack of apes was a collie, sitting up on its back legs like an ape. We stopped.

I rode Easy over to the pack and introduced myself.  “What is your name?” I asked the collie.

“I am Mali,” the collies said.  “I am a prince in the ape family.”

“You look like a dog,” Bisket, who had followed us over with our three friends, said.  
Mali growled at us.  “I was born a dog, but I never felt like one.  I was given families to live with, but I always ran off.  I was born free and will always be free.”

Behind the pack, some lions began to assemble.  You have to be careful with them. They are like kitties who can kick your ass.  

Maybe you would like to come back with us and try living like a dog,” Pintus said.
“No, I am not a dog, I am an ape,” Mali insisted.

We started barking, and the apes started screeching and then Moses, who is the wisest amongst us, quieted everyone and looked at Mali.  “Are you an ape?” Moses asked.
Mali said he was.

“Then we must respect his decision,” Moses said.  “If he says he is an ape then he is an ape.” He then hugged Mali.

We realized that Moses was right  We joined in the hug and then spent the day with the apes as we watched Mali swing through the trees and then he taught us how to do it.  I didn’t do well because I have short arms but Biskit and Easy were great at it.

At the end of the day, we left Mali and told him he could visit us anytime.  We went back up the river and had to fly up the waterfall. We got home and slept on the river bank.  Before I fell asleep, I thanked Moses for teaching me if a soul doesn’t want to be a dog they don’t have to be a dog.

It is a lesson for us all.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Monday Quesiton

Do you scoot on the rugs?

Yes, we both do, and will have more to say about it later

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Raider is our June 24, 2018 Pup of the Week

We dogs always have something important to say.  Often it is because we thought we heard something outside or thought we saw something outside, or we are outside, and our parents tell us to be quiet, which goes against our motto “Freedom to Bark.”

A dog named Raider has turned the world upside down.   Thanks to him not only do our parents have to listen to us, but they are required to do so or be publicly shamed.  Hah! Sweet victory.
Here is how Raider started the movement that is turning “quiet down” to “how can I be of assistance?”

Raider is an English/Bull Mastiff who was taken from a shelter and trained as a service dog to help people with anxiety.  He was paired with the woman who would become his partner and best friend, Tessa Connaughton, an autistic adult who suffers from anxiety.  Raider recognizes when Tessa is getting overwhelmed and provides deep pressure therapy by laying on top of her.

After Raider became established as Tessa’s anxiety partner, Tessa began to suffer seizures.  Raider learned how to recognize the signs of a seizure and was being trained to perform the proper procedures.

Ironically, the situation that caused Raider to prove to humans why dogs should always be listened to was because of a mistake.

Connaughton was in a store when she lost her balance and fell to the floor.  Raider mistook the stumble for a seizure. He was supposed to roll his partner on her side, press an alert button Connaughton was wearing, and then protect her head.  Because Raider was not fully trained in seizure response he fell back on his second command: Get help.

Raider ran down the aisles looking for someone to help Tessa.  He found a woman who was shopping. Raider was wearing her service dog attire when she nosed the shopper. The woman, apparently believing Raider was trying to sell her perfume, kept telling the loyal dog to go away and leave her to her shopping.  

Connaughton was uninjured. She stood and saw Raider gently nudging the disinterested person’s knee.  She called to Raider who gleefully returned to her. When Connaughton got home, she was bothered by the woman’s unenthusiastic response to a trained and properly dressed service dog and shared her experience on Tumblr: “If a service dog without a person approaches you, it means the person is down and in need of help. Don’t get scared, don’t get annoyed, follow the dog! If it had been an emergency situation, I could have vomited and choked, I could have hit my head, I could have had so many things happen to me.” She also suggested if someone saw a service dog along to follow it.

Little did she know what she posted would be read, noted, and shared until it went viral.  Her readers had not considered what they should do if they encountered an unaccompanied service dog.  Now they know to do what we dogs have said for years. Listen to the dog! Follow the dog! The dog shall lead you!

Remember we will be watching to see if you follow the dog.  We have our own version of “What Would You Do?” called “Where Would You Bark?” so listen to the important information your dog is shouting at you dozens of times a day or face the wrath of cuddly angels.

And thank you to Raider for spreading the concept of a dog’s Freedom to Bark to the masses.

Friday, June 22, 2018

The Warrior Dog Foundation Helps Former Military Dogs

This weekend my Daddy worked a Dock Diving event at a PetSmart located at Patriots Place in Foxboro MA.  He was stuck inside for his shifts. The only time he got to see the dock diving was when he took mommy back to it Saturday afternoon.  I flew down to watch too. Those dock diving dogs are awesome, they are very intense and can fly high in the air.

When a store has a big event at Patriots Place, and the team is in town, they send a player to sign autographs. On Sunday they sent center David Andrews, from Georgia, to represent the team.  Daddy didn’t pay him much attention. Daddy was working, and he has never been one to ask for autographs or selfies.

A woman who works with Daddy wanted a picture with Mr. Andrews but was too shy to ask.  Daddy asked him, and his wife, if it was alright if his co-worker could have a photo taken with the center.  They were happy to comply. Daddy took the picture, and when he checked it, he noticed that Mr. Andrews was wearing a shirt that said “Warrior Dogs.”

Daddy inquired about the organization, and Mr. Andrews told him that Warrior Dogs was started by a buddy of his named Mike Ritland, a former Navy Seal.  Mr. Ritland works with military dogs who have returned from war. Sometimes they can’t be placed with families until they are retrained. Military dogs, like so many soldiers, cannot turn off their training, or the war when they return home.

I was unaware that war dogs have a difficult time adjusting when they returned home.  They need to be hyper-focused to do their jobs, and when they return they maintain that vigilance which makes them a challenge as a family pet.  The dog could respond to his training and hurt someone, or be suffering from PTSD which makes them risky pets. We have dogs for people who suffer from PTSD.  Don’t we need humans to do the same for dogs?

Warrior Dogs, led by Mr. Ritland, become therapy humans for these veterans.  They have three goals for the proud animals. The first is to train them to be able to go to their forever homes, if that is not possible then they find another area where they can be of service, in police departments on another branch of the military.  If neither of these is possible the dogs live out their lives with grace and dignity at the Warrior Dogs kennel in Texas.

Before meeting Mr. Andrews, my parents thought that military dogs were stuck in kennels because the military was not making an effort to keep them with their handlers.  But often, when the handler cannot be with the dogs around the clock, and they are left with spouses or children, their training, and the terror of war, make the dogs act out and the non-handling parent unable to care for them.  The military does not train dogs not to serve, and sadly, too many of these heroes are sent to the Bridge
That is why organizations like Warrior Dogs are so important.  No longer do these dogs who served our country so vigilantly have to live, and die, alone in shelters.  Now they are being retrained for home or work and being given a kennel in Texas to run around and play.  If you like to donate you or learn more, you can here.

Who would have thought some good would come out of one of our parents going to work?

Thursday, June 21, 2018

River's Big Butt if Taking Over My Kitty Condo

I love sitting with my parents.  I am addicted to body heat. I usually like to snuggle in between the arm of the chair and my parent, but sometimes I will choose laps.  Human laps were perfectly designed for a dog to curl up on. Occasionally though I choose independence.

I get down and walk over to my kitty condo.  It is very tiny. I am the only one who can fit inside.  River is not allowed to go in it. She is too big. She could stretch it out. But lately, River has been invading my condo.  Well, not all of her, but her big butt.
I climb in my condo, spin around twice, do some kneading with my paws, and sit down facing outwards.  River jumps down and walks over to my condo. First, she sticks her head inside and looks around trying to determine if there is room for her. Then she walks away, and I think she is going back to sit with mom.

But then River starts to backup without even the courtesy of beeping.   I look at her butt hole which grows larger with each backward stride. Then it comes so extremely close I could give her a rectal exam.  Before I can begin, the procedure River completes her endeavor by backing completely into the condo, sitting down and filling it with darkness.

I `couldn’t see my artwork, the pictures of my friends, or the lovely French decor.  I asked River to move. “No,” she said to me. “I am sharing your condo with you.”
“No, you’re not, my condo isn’t  big enough for you never mind the two of us.”  

“I am sitting with you in your condo right now,” she insisted.

“No,” I argued.  “You are sitting on me in my condo!”

“I don’t have one of my own, and you need to share yours with me,”  she whined.

“First our parents gave you Foley’s  Leopard Skin Vagina Condo.” I told her, “and you peed on it and then they bought a bed for you, and you wouldn’t sleep in it.”

“I didn’t like them. I like this one,” River said.
“But you’re too big for it!” I shouted.
“I am not, I am sitting in it right now.”  

“All that’s in it is your butt and tail.”  

“That’s all I want in it.”

“You can’t say you are in a house if only your tail is in it.” 

“If I had a big tail, you wouldn’t say that, don’t discriminate against me because I have a small tail.  Why don’t you go sit with Mommy?”

“Because your big ass is blocking the entry!”  I shouted. River humphed and stayed sitting.

So, if you’re looking for me, I’ll be stuck in my condo behind River living without light or food until she decides to move.  

Today’s lesson:  Never share your condo with a sibling.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Monday, June 18, 2018

Monday Question

With summer here we want to know how you feel about fireworks and thunder?

Pocket:  I hate them.  I go to Daddy and climb up on his head because that is where I think I am safest.  He used to put me down but now he has learned not to turn his head too quickly.

River Song:  If it doesn't cause Mommy to leave the house or change the amount of food I get I don't care.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Presley and Bowie, with Daisy and Layla, are our June 17, 2018 Pups of the Week

I have to admit, when  Presley passed two weeks ago I was distraught.  I knew how much his mom loved him, and I could feel her pain.  I reported that Presley when he arrived at the Bridge, said: “let’s finish this.”  I thought he meant the final steps to the immortal life, but it was something else entirely.

Presley, from his first day as an angel knew he had to find another dog for his mom and brother Jovi.  Presley took a crash course on how to visit dogs in their dreams and by the second day he was interviewing pups for the critical position of sleeping on his couch and filling his house with love.

Presley found the perfect dog, but he had to accomplish a task that angels who have spent dozens of years at the Bridge find difficult.  He had to go into Jovi’s dreams, take him, and bring him into Bowie’s dreams. It was a dream threeway, and it went flawlessly.

Jovi and Bowie hit it off right away.  Presley played with them as he passed the torch from himself to Bowie.  Then Presley topped all the angels by bringing Jovi and Bowie with him into his mom’s dreams so she would know that Bowie was the right dog for her and Jovi was happy to have Bowie for a little brother.

Now Bowie is home with his brother Jovi, another music legend rocking the walls of the Lewis’ house.  Presley was watching them play with a sweet smile on his face. He then turned away and laid down in the sun to take his first well deserved immortal nap.

While all our attention was on Angel Presley recent Rainbow Bridge Angel Daisy was working on finding a replacement for herself at her dad’s farm.  She interviewed lots of dogs who were on Petfinder because she knew that is where her dad would look.

Daisy found a beautiful German Shepard mix named Layla.  She got into her brother Kane’s dreams and told him she had located his new pack mate.  She was willing to try a three-way but Kane, being an outside dog, told Daisy he trusted her judgment, and if he was not compatible with the Layla, Kane had the whole farm to play. Daisy assured her beloved brother that would not be necessary. They would get swimmingly. Everyone did with Kane.
She popped into her Dad’s dreams and told him where to look.  In the morning his Dad found Layla on the Internet. As soon as they met Daisy’s dad knew this German Shepherd mix was the pup for him.  He will be picking Layla up on Monday. The perfect Father’s Day gift for a dad with a broken heart.

When her job was done, Daisy took a long rest in the sun too.  

After endless weeks or writing about at least one dog a week who arrived at the Bridge it has been a joy to write about two who have found their forever homes and will fill them with love.  

And remember each year, just before Father’s Day, will be two Gocha Days for a pair of exceptional dogs.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Foley and Friends go on a Wild West Adventure to Steal some Kibble

I was sittin’ outside my cottage in the hot sun watching as it moved across the sky.  It burned my fur but felt good. I smelled a familiar scent and looked up to see Outlaw Apollo, the oldest Angel in this part of the Bridge sitting on top of his horse.  He asked me if I wanted to get some easy kibble and I told him I sure did.

We got on our horses and rode to the Board of Big Guys’ railroad office.  I had a tougher time controlling my ride since I had to sit on its head. When we arrived at the office, we were ambushed by Chelsea the Small, who I had confided in during our Yorkie meeting the day before.  I never thought my friend would betray me, but she had and absconded with the kibble.

We needed a posse to go after Chelsea the Kid and get back the kibble for the Big Guy Board,  then steal it from them for ourselves. We recruited Bisket, a great scout, and Aran, the fastest paw in the west.  We slipped south of the border where we met Cassie, an expert on the hills where we knew Chelsea had fled.

We made camp under the stars that night, eating beans, tooting, and making sure we didn’t poop near where we slept.  We didn’t know we were in the area ruled by General Reyah, the best horse dog in the land until Reyah and her group entered our camp that morning.  Aran recognized that General Reyah had a squirrel that was Aran’s sworn enemy in his saddle. Aran barked at it and scared it off raising General Reyah’s ire.  Apollo defused the situation. General Reyah was also after Chelsea’s kibble and now, to pay for the cost of the squirrel, we had to steal the kibble, from Chelsea, and then the Big Guys,  and then General Reyah. I was ready to head for the hills, but Apollo told me I had to be cool. He had everything under control.

We caught up to Chelsea and her gang, including, Sophie Rae and Sage.  We loaded our guns with tennis balls and began firing at them. The three dogs ran off after the balls, and we headed to the kibble.  But Chelsea had a contingency plan, and she had left her cook, Bailey, frying some bacon. No dog can resist bacon. We chowed it down unaware that Bailey had covered it with rescue remedy. We fell asleep and Chelsea, Sophie-Rae, and Sage returned with the balls in their mouths, realized they had been fooled, picked up Bailey and left us.

Apollo awoke us, and we were back on our horses with Cassie, Biskit, and Aran firing tennis balls at Chelsea’s crew.  We have almost caught up to them at the Bridge. Chelsea leads her crew across it and then blew the structure leaving us on the wrong side.

Cassie saw something on the ground.  It was a collar. She sniffed it and got a foul look on her face.  The collar belongs to Reyah. She had been working with Chelsea all along.  An angry and impulsive Aran took off after Reyah. Apollo instructed Biskit to follow her.  Aran ran right into a meeting between Chelsea’s gang and Reyah’s. Biskit was soon captured too.  Reyah’s gang tortured Aran by giving her a lot of water and then locking her in her mother’s house where she couldn’t pee.  Aran had her legs crossed. Biskit was released with a message for us.

We were to leave the territory and never come back.  But that didn’t sit well with Outlaw Apollo, and I was determined to rescue Aran.  Bisket lead us back to their camp where Chelsea and Reyah were counting the kibble.  We went in tennis balls flying, frisbee throwing, kong filled peanut butter tossing attack on our enemies.  They could not resist the treats and ran off leaving the kibble unguarded. We had just finished filling our saddle bags with kibble when Chelsea returned and said we could give the kibble back to them or watch Aran, who had been desperately trying to signal us she was locked inside and needed to pee, do the biggest doggy sin, dribble indoors.  Aran would never live it down.

By this time Reyah and the rest of her gang had returned.  There was some snarling going on, and I thought there could be a real dogfight.  As a judge, I needed to do something. “Why don’t we all just eat the kibble, enjoy it, and go home?” I asked.  Apollo, Chelsea, and Reyah thought about it and agreed, and then we cut the kibble bags open to great cheering.

I got the house key from Reyah and set Aran free. She took a five-minute pee.  Then we ate, played with the tennis balls, and the frisbees, drank lots of water and had a grand time until it was all gone.  Just then one of the Big Guy’s Wolves rode up and asked us if we knew what happened to the kibble. I said we had been on the trail of some coyotes who stole it.  I could tell he didn't believe us, but he had no proof. I know the Big Guys are supposed to be all knowing and all seeing but they miss a lot. The Big Guy’s Wolf told us to get back where we belonged, and we all rode into the sunset.

I looked back.  The Big Guy Wolf picked up a lone kibble and stared at us.  I knew what they meant. If this blog makes enough money, it’s sequel time!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

We Have Cats!

Last week Mommy went to  the dentist, so we got left home with our Dad, which usually makes us very nervous, because he is our play parent, not our feeding parent, and the possibility that we would waste away while he endlessly threw a ball for us after Mommy didn’t come home was concerning.

Daddy opened the front door and let us sit on the porch so we could look out the door for Mom.  We bark at everyone we see because that person could be mommy in disguise. We were sure Mommy was home when an older woman, with white hair, carrying her mail, walked up to our steps. She must have been gone a long time because she had aged 20 years.

The woman never made it to the door.  Our barks warned Daddy that aged Mommy was home.  Daddy needed to unlock and open the porch door but had to put us inside first, so we didn’t attack aged Mommy.  Of course, as soon as I was touched, I attacked Pocket, because that is how I roll. Aged Mommy rolled her eyes and shook her head as Daddy wrestled us into the kitchen.  Man, aged Mommy, had grown bitchy.

We could hear from the kitchen as Daddy opened the porch door and asked if he could help aged Mommy.  “You know ya got cats?” the woman, who we knew was not Mommy, rasped in a voice that had encountered 10,000 cigarettes.  Daddy said no. “They were in my driveway then they ran under your house, get ‘em out of there,”

For a year we had been insisting that something was under our house.  We would look inside the grates and bark. Our parents had insisted it was nothing, but now we had proof! Cats!  Under our house! We’re we sleep! We’re our children come and play with their toys!

We immediately wanted Daddy to step aside and let us flush the cats, but he said he would handle it in a non-violent manner.  Freaking snowflake!

There was a gap in the slats under the house where the smaller HVAC unit was installed.  Daddy went there, looked inside and saw a cat sitting a few inches away. “I am sorry,” Daddy said “but you are going to have to leave. The Cigarette Lady is complaining about you.”   The cat tilted her head and stared at him. “Do you have any kitties in here?” he asked. Again, she did not answer. Daddy told her she had five minutes to move and take her kitties.

He waited, then went to the other side of the house, and crawled underneath.  There was stuff there from the Civil War. There were muskets, mini balls, Edsel parts, a wind-up phonograph, a VCR.  People who live here have shoved everything under their house for years. Daddy carefully crawled along the perimeter making sure there were no kitties.  A half-hour later he crawled out covered with cobwebs, dust, rat hair while looking like a guy trying to play a ghost on Scooby Doo. He then came into the house to get his secret weapon.  Me!

He took me to the place where the missing slat belonged, and for five minutes he let me sniff.  I took in deep breaths, short breaths, half breaths, and rapid breaths. There were a lot of scents under there that were fascinating.  I am pretty sure a former occupant killed his wife using formaldehyde. After 20 minutes I stepped back and gave Daddy my “all clear” grunt.

He put in a new slat cutting off the kitty entrance.  There was room under the HVAC unit for a kitty to squeeze through if it had got trapped under the house.  And if there was any meowing under the house Pocket and I would alert our parents. It has been a week, and we have been cat free.

So friends, make sure your houses are buttoned up tight, if not you are going to have cats, and you don’t want that.  

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Beat This Caption

I requested a temperature of 72 degrees for my bath.  This is clearly 68 degrees.  I am returning to my bed.  Please call me if you achieve the optimal temperature.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Monday Question

This might take some thought:

What is your motto?

Pocket:  If you give me a lap I will give you a lick.

River Song:  Wherever my mom is I am not far behind

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Lil' Girl is our June 10, 2018 Pup of the Week

They are the four scariest letters in the dog alphabet.  It is a horrible disease that has claimed thousands of good dogs.  My great friends Mollie and Copper joined me at the Bridge because of this hideous illness.  Mollie’s fight was brief; Copper’s spanned a few years. The results were sadly the same.

Our friend Lil’ Girl has battled the illness for six years.  A remarkable achievement. Her surviving that long was due, in part, to the great IMHA Facebook Group, which brings needed guidance, and answered questions, to parents with babies diagnosed with this often fatal ailment.

The illness is as hard on parents as it is dogs.  It can strike with severe force at any time. Each day parents have to check their dog’s gums to make sure they are pink and any misstep, cough, sneeze, or lazy day is cause for concern.  It is a never-ending and expensive journey, but parents are glad to take it as long as their babies are alright.

Several days ago Lil Girl’s mom left her to go to work.  Lil Girl was happy and healthy but when her mom returned Lil Girl had pale gums, and her urine was dark.  The doctor told her that it was not the return of IMHA and probably an infection. She was sent home with some medication.

But it wasn’t an infection, and it wasn’t IMHF.  It was a leaky heart valve. Lil’ Girl needed a lot of heart to get through life.  She needed it to survive as a young, pregnant stray dog who was lovingly taken in by her family.  She needed it to help a litter of six dogs survive, including Ajax, who lived with her until her last day, for 12 years.  Her heart got her through her life so it makes a sad but certain sense that the heart would be the organ that ultimately failed her.

She did survive IMHF, but the only way to do that is to be taken by something else.   But Lil’ Girl didn’t succumb to anything; she fought every day of her life. None of us can be mortal and immortal at the same time, but she sure did try.

Lil’ Girl had lost touch with many of her Doggyspace friends when the site closed three years ago, but none of them had forgotten her.  They came running from all around Rainbow Bridge’s Doggyspace to reunite with their friend, to tell her how brave she was, how much they all admired her, and to help her with her hard transition ahead.

While her mom’s heart was broken when Lil’ Girl left her, she still has part of her baby, in Ajax, and she knows that she had the pleasure of living with a tough little girl who may not have defeated one of the deadliest diseases known to dogs, but she wrestled it to a draw.

And now she can become, like Cooper and Molly, another IMHF angel helping other parents and dogs fight this terrible disease.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Jasper and Sophie-Rae find Hope (and Josie too)

When Jasper and Sophie Rae crossed the River of Life within a few days of one another, they left their parents devastated.  Their two lost pups knew only new dogs would help repair the large hole in their parents’ hearts, but they also were aware that it would take time for their parents to open their hearts to a four-pawed baby, and that dog would have to be perfect
I don’t know if I have ever seen angels question more dogs than Jasper and Sophie Rae did.  Jasper conducted most of the interviews while Sophie Rae slipped into her parents’ dreams and nudged them towards letting a pup into their lives again.

Early this year I came upon the angel siblings discussing the issue.  Sophie said her parents could not be persuaded to let love back in their hearts.  The wound from their loss was still too severe. “How about we ease them into having a new dog by convincing them to foster?” Jasper asked.

Sophie-Rae anxiously agreed.  “We will find the best rescue dogs available, and then, when they are in our house, we can interview them more thoroughly.  We will know for sure which dogs will be worthy of being our parents’ pups.”

Sophie-Rae planted the idea of fostering dogs in their parents’ minds.  When they discussed the idea their parents were surprised to learn they were in total agreement.  They got to foster some wonderful dogs at the beginning until the pups found their forever homes.  Sophie-Rae was upset that they were losing perfectly good fosters, but Jasper assured her that their parents had to be foster successes before they ultimately failed and found their new pup.

What every grieving parents, wavering on the edge of opening their door to another forever dog needs, is a little Hope, and that is what Sophie and Jasper’s parents got when the fostered a female dog by that very name.  It was the first time they publically speculated about keeping a dog, and their friends and angels grew very excited.

But Jasper was not happy.  Hope would succeed Sophie-Rae, but his place in his parent’s heart was still raw.  His parents were fostering Josie and Jasper popped into his dreams and told him a secret.  If he bonded with Hope, then their parents would not have the heart to separate them, and Josie would have he forever home too.  Josie told him that would be easy because he already loved Hope very much.

Fosters came and went, but Josie and Hope stayed.  There was still no official word. Their foster parents were going on vacation and would decide the bonded duos fate upon their return.

While they were away from home, their parents realized their hearts ached for the mischevious pair.  When they got home, and saw how much Josie and Hope had missed them, and loved them, their minds were made up.  Josie and Hope were foster failures. They had found their forever home.

We commenced a huge feast for Jasper and Sophie-Rae in recognition of a job well done.  And our mortal dogs tipped their tails to Josie and Hope for the same reason.
And now we wait with great anticipation to learn about the adventures of Josie and Hope just as we had Jasper and Sophie-Rae and we will watch as the holes in their parent's hearts are rebuilt.

Congratulations to you four wonderful pups and to your mom and dad. Long may you be family, and great shall be the joy you share.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Pocket and the Lost Tags

Saturday night Mommy’s brother and his wife were over.  River Song and I like when we have visitors because that means more attention for us.  Sometimes it is nice to get some other folks scratching and petting. By now I know all my parents’ moves, and I am ready for some strange.

I was lying on Mommy’s right side, and River was on her left.  I stood up to go visit Uncle Tom when Mommy looked down and saw my tags were no longer attached to my harness.  She asked my Dad where the tags were and he didn’t know either. I didn’t care. I was getting a fresh hand on me.  My tags were the least of my concerns.

My parents continued to discuss the missing identifications.  They accused me of losing them, which made me angry because the tags are clipped to my harness and rest on my back.  If they did slip off me, my paws are not equipped to stop them from falling to the ground. I was an innocent tag loser.

They began to argue right in front of their guests, who didn’t give a besotted cuss about my tags and were hoping to have more stimulating Saturday night conversations than the musings of two people about the limited travel of a tiny dog.

Mommy was sure the tags were on me that morning because she is always rubbing me and would have noticed they were gone.  Daddy was sure I had them on when we went to the groomers on Wednesday. He would have seen them missing when he took off my vest before handing me over.

When I was brought home from the groomer, I once again escaped my travel bag and made my way to the front seat.  Daddy, thinking that is when I lost the tags, left his guests to check the car and the bag, even though Mommy insisted that I had been wearing my tags the previous day.  After this fruitless endeavor, my parents realized their guests were staring at their phones trying to find something interesting to occupy their time. To try and save the night Daddy dug out the Gay family geology to tell them about his great great great great great Aunt Jemima Gay.  She was the daughter of Timothy Gay and his wife Submit Gay. Great great great great great great grandmother Submit’s maiden name was Blackman. Coincidentally Submit Blackman and Submit Gay were the founding principles of J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI.

Back to my tags.  My parents decided they must have magically popped off of my harness during my walk.  After our guests were on their way home, talking how the only good thing about their dreadful evening was us dogs, Daddy took us outside where he saw the stroller we use to oversee the garden work on Mondays.  He checked inside and found my tags.

I am happy they were found but also incensed that they pay so little attention to me that they did not notice my tags were missing for five days.  First my tags then me. On some random Saturday night, a guest is going to ask about me, and my parents will realize I have been sitting in the stroller for five nights!  Or one of them is going to at me and say “Oh, Pocket’s missing an eye, I wonder when that happened?”

I need to make sure they are paying more attention to me, and there is only one way to do that.  My Mommy has been complaining about my barking, and I was going to stop, but now I must redouble my efforts.  

When I bark, I get attention and I need more of that.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Beat This Caption

Please, mommy, I promise to never eat bacon off the counter again, just end this madness

Monday, June 4, 2018

Monday Question

What do you do when you are left alone at home?

Pocket:  I am in my crate with a blanket and a small bed.  I usually stand up waiting for my parents to come home but lie down when I am tired.  There is a lot of barking involved.

River Song:  I am nor in a crate because I always managed to get out of it.  I spend my time either on a chair looking out the living room window or standing looking out the kitchen window.  Sometimes I lie on the kitchen table.  I am always on guard.  

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Presley is our June 3 2018 Pup of the Week

There has been a constant march of friends to the Bridge this year.  I have tried to chronicle each of their journeys, but it has been overwhelming.  I genuinely hope I haven’t missed anyone.

Some of these journeys have been expected, others have been a surprise but understood.  I don’t know if it is because of the number of friends who have passed, and families who have grieved, but when Presley passed this week it seemed so devastating.

Presley’s passing came like a lightning strike on a sunny day.  It was unexpected, and inconceivable, something that was supposed to happen in the distant future.  When Presley awoke to greet his last day as a mortal dog, no one expected the darkness evening would bring.  Presley was the same dog he had been for 11 years, without a hint of illness.

But inside this precious boy was a tumor that exploded on Thursday.  He went from happily playing to being in severe distress in a heartbeat.  I know it happens that way sometimes, but when Presley was struck down, it was calamitous.  He had always been so active and healthy. He seemed like he would live forever.

That was because we had known Presley forever.  It has been ten years since we first met him on social media when he was just a puppy.  Only a few days would pass without his proud mother Aunt Beth writing about Presley’s mischievous behavior.  Rarely would a week pass without him giving us a smile. He was part of our lives, and without warning, he was gone from the mortal world.

He has been with his brother Jovi for so long it is inconceivable to think of Jovi being without him.   Presley and Jovi ran together as lyrically as they did in their yard. Now, Jovi is confused and alone.

Every Rainbow Bridge greeting is different.  Some are joyous, and some are somber. Presley’s was one of the saddest I can recall.  We could not wait for him to climb the stairs. We angels all ran en masse to him and held him silently.

“I think we should finish this,” Presley finally said.  He was not sad, but he was disappointed. There was so much more he would have like to have accomplished as a mortal dog.  But, while we dogs make plans the fates laugh.

Tag and Atlas, two of his brothers, met him after he passed Stella’s step.  There was another long, silent hug. More than us angels, those two knew the wonderful life Presley had, and the tragedy of it ending.

We all stood together as the huge clouds full of tears for Presley fell on us, ran down our furs, then over our paws, either puddling or flowing into the River of Life.  I could barely remember a harder tear rain. I wanted to tell my friend he had been greatly honored by the mortal humans who knew him but it wasn’t the time. He had a lot of adjusting to do.

Presley started his new job of being his mother’s angel quietly.  I knew his angel visits home bothered him because Aunt Beth was so sad, and for the first time in his existence, he could not ease her pain with a look and a lick.  But we all vowed to teach him how to let his mom know he was there even when she knew it wasn’t possible he was.

Slowly, Presley is beginning to adjust to life as an angel. He most enjoys doing good for others, which should not be surprising for us who know this good-natured boy.
Sometimes mortal life is cruel.  I so wish it wasn’t. If only Presley had more time.

All we can do, when something has been broken, is try to accept that today will be worse than yesterday and hope that tomorrow is better than both.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Reba Messina's Pet Dragon

I have been getting a number of complaints lately about bad smells and sounds coming from the woods behind Doggyspace.  I did not want to investigate. It has been my experience that bad smells and sounds never lead to anything good. But when Hattie Mae barged into my office saying the smell was getting into the clothes she hung on her line I knew I would have to take action.
I did not want the other angels to know what I was doing.  I was just walking along, sniffing the ground, like all terriers do, when I caught a heavy, unknown scent.  I followed the smell to Reba Messina’s house and then into her backyard. I followed a path down a meadow and stopped when I found the smell’s source.

Standing in front of me was a huge dinosaur.  I had visited them recently and figured this big fellow had come to see me and got lost.  But then the beast opened his mouth, and suddenly fire shot out. I had made the worst mistake you could make concerning big lizards.  I had mistaken a dinosaur for a dragon.

But that was impossible.  Dragons never existed. So how could one be here? “Puff!  Puff!” I heard a voice yell. I turned to see my good friend, Reba Messina, running towards me.  “Puff, Foley is my friend, don’t hurt her.” Puff, apparently, the dragon, put his huge mouth next to my face and took a deep breath, and then he licked me covering me with hot dragon saliva.  

I wiped the spit away.  “Reba, first you aren’t supposed to have big reptiles here, and second you have one that doesn’t exist!”

“Puff does too exist,” Reba said.  “I found him, and he is my friend.”

“But your neighbors are complaining about the sound and smell.”

Reba went over to Puff and patted him on the nose.  Puff let out a purr. “Where did you find this dragon?” I asked.

“In the land of make-believe,” Reba said.

Oh, boy.  Reba went to the land of make believe?  No one was supposed to go there and if you did slip through you couldn’t bring anything back.  So many rules had been broken. And now I had to get permission from the Board of Big Guys to let Reba keep Puff behind her house.  It was such a big violation I thought that even with my skills of persuasion I would fall short.

I was going to the Big Guy Board to plead Reba and Puff’s case when suddenly Hattie Mae lead a group of villagers out of the forest with torches and pitchforks.  They all stopped, stunned when they saw Puff. He slowly walked towards her, bent down, and gave Hattie a big lick. “Gross!” Hattie yelled. But Brody began laughing at his best friend, and then all our friends were laughing until even Hattie raised a smile.

Reba told us to watch what Puff could do.  She then got on Puff’s back, and they took off into the sky.  We watched as they traveled on a boat with a billowed sail with Reba perched on Puff’s mighty tail    Noble kings and princes bowed to them. Pirate ships lowered their flags when Puff let out his mighty roar.

As they landed, Reba told us Puff’s story.  A smug little bastard named Jackie Paper played with Puff until Jackie found girls and forgot about his dragon friend abandoning him in a cave.  As dogs, it was a story we knew too well. We agreed we would never forget about Puff or let him be alone again. Even Hattie Mae went for a ride and demanded we call her Khaleesi.

I never did tell the Big Guy Board about Puff, and when one of them came around we dressed Puff up as a really big dog, and he slept under a tree.

Reba tells us she adopted Puff and Puff says he adopted Reba, but as is often true they adopted, and saved, each other and everyone in the Rainbow Bridge’s Doggyspace Family has had their lives improved by Reba’s and Puff’s friendship.

Wordless Wednesday