Friday, August 31, 2018

Hobo Hudson's Pet Finder Machine Brings His Parents A New Dog

Hobo Hudson has always been an extraordinary dog.  Author, investor, business owner, adventurer, he is a trailblazer and a true renaissance dog.

I missed my long chats with Hobo when we became separated after I arrived at the Bridge.  Now that he is with me again I drop by his home every morning for coffee.  This morning I found him in his backyard, sitting in a lawn chair, looking over his pool, deep in thought.

“What is wrong, old friend?” I asked.

“I went to visit my dad in his dreams last night,” Hobo said.  “He said Wyley is missing me and needs a sibling.  Of course, I recognized the fib.  While Wyley does miss me, so do my parents, and they are the ones  longing for the sound of four more paws on the floor in the morning.”

There’s a standard procedure we angels follow to find our parents’ next pup.  We zip from shelters to rescues searching for candidates, then interview each one until we find the most suitable unrescued pup.  From there we whittle the applicants down until we find the perfect dog. We then enter our parents’ dreams where we plant the idea that they need to go to where the dog is currently inhabiting.  Inevitably dog and humans are united, and the angel’s work is done.  I asked Hobo if he was going to follow the traditional route on his quest to locate his parents’ next companion.

I asked Hobo if he would be taking the traditional route to get his parents a new dog, but of course, our friends had other ideas. He asked me to follow him to his laboratory.  He had put together a massive contraption with tubes, a soup spoon, a bootie, eyeglasses, a scale, a fan, various weights and a dog bowl.  “This is my perfect pet finding machine,” Hobo boasted.  “I lick the soup spoon to send my taste, look in the eyeglasses to copy my pupils, step in the bootie to measure my paws, get on the scale for a body scan and lick the bowl for my texture.  The machine does the rest and, when we go to the printer the perfect dog for my parents will be revealed.”

Hobo went to the printer.  “And here it is.  Hond, an Icelandic Sheepdog in Akureyri Iceland, a perfect match.”

“Hobo, old chum,” I said delicately.  “Do you think your dad is going to go all the way to Iceland to get a dog?”

“He always takes my advice.  I am sure he will be more than willing to go a little out of his way for the perfect dog.”

I told Hobo I had to go and promised to check in the next morning.  When I did, he told me, “Bad news. You were right; dad doesn’t want to go to Iceland.”

I said I was sorry and suggested he limit his search.  “Already done,” Hobo said.  “You won’t believe this, but there was a match at the pound by my dad’s house.  A little Chihuahua mix.  She was almost as good a match as the sheepdog.”

“Excellent, Hudson you have done it again,” I said.  “I suppose you told your dad the right pound to visit and told the lucky little pup to act excited when he arrived?

Hobo shook his head.  “It has to occur naturally for my dad.  I convinced him to go to a pound, but he doesn’t know which one, and I told the pup to be aloof when he first arrives.”

I was sure this was a recipe for disaster.  Hobo invited me to watch his dad meet the new dog on Hobo’s Tunes TV.  We saw his dad go to the wrong pound.  “Hobo, what if he gets the wrong dog?” I asked anxiously.

Hobo shook his head.  “It won’t happen, Foley.  Dad will know the perfect match when he sees it.”
At the next pound, I immediately spotted the chihuahua and waited for her to react with excitement when Hobo’s dad beckoned her.  But the dog just stared at the wall ignoring Hobo’s dad as he tried to get her attention. He turned away. 

“Hobo, he’s leaving!” I cried.

“She knows what to do,” Hobo said.  That is when the chihuahua got down and began barking frantically.  Hobo’s dad stopped.  “Dad prefers to be chosen,” Hobo said with a smile.

We watched as Hobo’s dad made the arrangements to adopt the pup.  I was back at Hobo’s house on Friday to see his dad bring the rescued dog, now named Zoe, home. All the members of the Hudson pack, except for Thomas, the cat, were enthralled with Zoe.  I got up and told Hobo I was relieved everything worked out.

Hobo took a sip of coffee.  “Not yet,” he said. “I gave Zoe a case of kennel cough.”

“What did you do that for?” I asked shocked.

“Zoe and Dad have to bond over a stressful situation, once that is done Zoe is truly home.”
Hobo’s dad and Zoe spent the night secluded in a room together as the little dog coughed.  The next morning Zoe got the medicine she needed, and her dad began taking care of her and bonding.

Hobo looked at his dad snuggled with Zoe and turned off the Tunes’ TV.  “Now my job is done,” he said and drank the rest of is coffee with a self-satisfied look on his face.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

River is On the Chain Gang

I have become a member of a chain gang, and I have not been convicted of any crime.

Before my sentence, when Pocket and I were taken out together, Daddy held our four-foot purple Kong leashes in his right hand.  If Mommy is with us she holds Daddy’s left hand while we walk. (Even our older neighbors, who have been married 700 years, find this behavior schmoopie).  Pocket and I walk ahead of our parents two feet apart. This gives my sister and I a chance to do our own thing. We can sniff what we want to sniff. We can give each other a wide berth during bodily functions.  And we can both suddenly, while walking in front of our parents stop, almost getting rear-ended and causing a two person and two dog crash.

I had no idea there was any problem with this arrangement.  Sure, Pocket and I, during our walks, would continually dip behind one another so that we could be the one closest to our parents.  We continued to do so until our leashes became twisted 10,000 times like a big, long pretzel which caused there to be no room between the two of us and Pocket to end up riding home on my back.  

On Sunday Daddy came home with this tiny, peculiar red lead.  It had a circle, then a minuscule leash, which split into two different strands, and, at the end of them were two clasps.  I figured the old man had gone bonkers and was planning on leashing two squirrels together and then sell tickets to see the little varments fought it out in a pit.

Daddy took one of our purple leashes and hooked it to the circle on the little red lead.  He then called us to come on to the porch, and he stealthy hooked me to one end and Pocket to the other.   We looked at one another and tried to walk in the opposite direction. I slowly was able to move forward, but it was like I was dragging a five pound stone.  I turned around to see that stone was Pocket, desperately trying to hold her position, as her paws dug into the porch carpet.

First, they took us outside.  It was so embarrassing. The leash was purple and the stupid thing connecting us was red.  How garish! Pocket was a foot away from me, and no matter how much I tried to pull away from her the distance did not lessen.  When she stopped to poop I had to stand within smelling distance, and even worse, when I pooped, she was right there looking at me with those penetrating brown eyes.  It was very disconcerting. Also, Pocket is a pavement urineater, and I can’t scoot away from her puddle, so my paws get wet.

We still managed to twist up the stupid little leads connecting us.  I thought we had defeated it, but Daddy was able to untwist it easily.  Drats! I don’t think we are ever going to get rid of this thing. We are destined to be on the chain gang for the rest of our lives.

If anyone has a file send it to us, I would appreciate it.  I love my sister, but I hate sharing the bathroom facilities with her.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Beat This Caption

I don't think you know how this game is played.  Once again I am going to count to ten and you need to go hide.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Monday Question

How many times do you eat each day?  Do you have any "human" food in your meal?  Are there any supplements you add to your food?  Are you a free feeder?  Do you have a bowl?   Does your mom cook for you?  If you eat kibble do you have the same type of food with the same protein each time?

Wow, you ask a lot of questions.  We eat twice a day but I have a little plate of food at night while River has her treat bone.  We have pumpkin and a few slivers of turkey with our food.  We don't have any supplements but we have started taking something to help my anal gland.  We don't free feed.  We eat off a plate and we make a mess.  No, mom doesn't cook for us.  We have the same food all the time because of my IBS. - Pocket 

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Bailey is our August 26, 2018 Pup of the Week

I hate when two friends come to the Bridge during the same week.  I prefer to write about one angel a week. A Pup of the Week blog is one of a dog’s last big shout-outs on social media, and each dog should be the star of their own blog.  Bailey, whose pack is celebrated on the Portuguese Water Blog arrived at the Bridge ten days ago but, since poor Sully arrived first, I wrote about him last week. Thankfully we did not have any friends’ passing over this week so I can give Bailey the tribute she deserves.

I first saw Bailey’s silhouette as the big, black dog quickly crossed the Bridge while giving the water a wary look.  She ran up the stairs. Cancer, in the form of a large mass in her chest that had attacked Bailey’s body and kept her in pain her later years was gone  She kept running faster, enjoying her newfound body until she stopped on the landing in front of me.

“Welcome Bailey,” I said. “I couldn’t help but admire your running.  Were you anxious to come here?”

“No,” Bailey replied.  “I hate the water.”

“Isn’t it odd to be a water dog and not like the water?”

“No more off than to be a Yorkshire Terrier and not like pudding,” Bailey said.  I knew I was going to like her immediately.

Bailey never knew a mom but her mom.  She was the first person to hold Bailey when she entered the world, the fifth of her litter.  She was a social climber from the first. She was trying to crawl out of the birth litter box before her eyes opened, at four weeks she was climbing a three-foot enclosure, at six months a ladder to see what was beyond the yard.

She was the runt of the litter, and her sisters bullied her a bit, but she still loved them fiercely.  She adored her stuffies too and first thing in the morning she would choose one to accompany her wherever she went.

Two of Bailey’s siblings who had gone to the Bridge before she did pushed a box towards her.  Bailey ran over and gave them a big hug she reserved for her parents. She opened the box and found three of her favorite toys, her best friend, the Big Red Monkey, and two others, Chris Moose and Rottie Pup. 

Bailey was thrilled to have her babies back. She asked me how that was possible and I told her they existed at her house too. At Rainbow Bridge, you can take it with you and leave it behind simultaneously.

Bailey turned to me.  “I have to thank my parents, for everything they did for me.  They helped me come into the world when I was a sightless little pup, and they aided me out when I was an old suffering dog.  There is nothing I had that I do not owe to them including mortal and immortal life. I must thank them.”

Bailey’s angel family and I assured her that her parents knew how thankful she was every time she looked up at them with love in her deep brown eyes, and now she could visit them in their dreams to keep assuring them.  They may not remember the visits in their head but they would in their hearts. I told her she was now part of a big pack of Portuguese Water Dog Angels who would watch over their parents and pack.

The WaterDogs had a huge villa built on the edge of our space.  Bailey picked up his three toys in his mouth and ran after her siblings to start her life as an angel.

And she promises to spend every day to make her parents know how thankful she is for the beautiful beginning of her mortal life and a peaceful end to it.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Summer Brings Music Into her Mom's LIfe

When Summer came to Rainbow Bridge, we knew we would not be seeing her much because she was going to be spending her days at her lake watching over her momma and her house as an angel.   Little did we know she wasn’t at the pond but working overtime to find her parents a new dog to love.

Summer knew she not only needed a dog which her mom would cherish but one who deserved it.  Summer was searching for an unrescued dog who would appreciate the attention, the toys, the love, and most of all Lake Lutgen that sits on the family property.

Summer decided to start her search in nearby St. Louis.  After interviewing several dogs, she saw one who was not on her list, a pittie dutifully looking after the other dogs.

Summer approached the dog and said she was interviewing pups to be her new mom’s heart baby. The pittie smiled and said thank you, but she had been in the shelter for a year and had given up on ever finding a forever home.  Her job was to comfort the new dogs who arrived at the shelter and ease their transition until they found their forever home.

“I have seen many dogs come and go and I am so happy for all of them,” the pittie said.  “If I can’t be one then I am thrilled to help the other dogs become one.”
Summer knew this was the dog for her mom.

“Would you like to have a forever home with the best mom in the world?” Summer asked.  

The pittie demurred.  “It has been so long since I have been in a home I wouldn’t know what to do with myself.”  Summer told the pittie that she would be there to help her, but Summer was sure the dog would have no problem adjusting to living in a house, especially with her mom.

That night Summer went into her mom’s dreams and whispered to her about the pittie in the St. Louis shelter.  That morning Momma Debra knew she needed to go to the shelter to see this dog.

The next morning Summer was back with the pittie as her mom was traveling to the rescue.  Summer told the that all she needed to do was be herself.  The pittie said being herself had never gotten her adopted before, but she would try.  Then Momma Debra walked in.  “She is beautiful,” the pittie said, and Momma Debra said the same about the pittie.  Summer knew her work was done.  She faded to the back of the enclosure and watched when Mama Debra took her new baby, now named Music, for her freedom ride to her forever home.

It was a bittersweet moment for Summer.  She had never seen her mom love another dog before.  She was so happy for both of them.  She had done an Angel’s duty and found a dog who would love her mom, and her mom would love back.  But a part of Summer wished it was her sitting next to her mom in the car, and part of her mom wished the same.

But those thoughts quickly washed away.  The new had begun, and, while Summer would never be forgotten for a single second, it was time for Momma Debra to give Music a fantastic life and for Music to find more love in one glimpse from her mom than she had ever felt in her lifetime. 

Soon Music was at her forever home, playing with toys, getting love, looking over Lake Lutgen, while Summer was at the Bridge, looking in the water, seeing Music and her mom playing, and, with a tear in her eye, Summer felt a beautiful sense of accomplishment as both Music and Momma Debra smiled and laughed.

And then Summer smiled and began laughing a deep rich laugh. She put her paw on the water where Music and Momma Debra were shown; then Summer ran off into the hills to have an awesome adventure of her own.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Pocket and the Painful Anal Gland Expression

At the end of June River wrote a funny blog about how we like to scoot on rugs.  Boy were we wrong!

My scooting increased last week and my parents entered the “keep an eye on it,” stage.  On Monday, when I took a poop on my walk, my Dad was keeping an eye on was my butt, which, when I completed the poop suddenly my butt looked like the faceless Nichlos Cage in “Face Off.”

Dad rushed me home.   He told Mommy they had a problem.  Then he picked me up. How was I the problem?  I was feeling good. A little too much junk in the trunk but I’m no spring chicken anymore.  

Mommy looked at my butt and agreed it wasn’t good.  She said it looked like I had impacted anal sacs.  They immediately called the vet to make an appointment for the following afternoon.

The next day, after my parents went to eat with Mommy’s brothers and their wives, it was time to see the vet.  I was very excited to go there.  They are kind to me there and often give me toys and treats.

We were brought into one of the rooms where everything is shiny and white.  Two vet techs entered and said hello.  I was put on a table, and the dark-haired tech hugged me from the front while the short-haired vet tech put on a pair of gloves.  It was all very sweet and innocent. “It doesn’t look too bad,” the short-haired tech said checking out my glands.  Then she stuck her finger in my butt.
“Excuse me!” I said and desperately trying to get away.  

“She won’t let me in, “ the tech said.

You’re damn right I’m not letting you in.  I’ve never let anyone in before. You want in open that treat jar and give me a little something.  I’m not easy.

“It’s huge,” she said.  

Well, that isn’t a nice thing to say to a lady when you have a finger up her butt.  

The tech, digging her finger up to the knuckle in my anus, said, “it didn’t look this good from the outside.”

 Yes, lady, I have the TARDIS up my ass.  

She brought the finger out, and I felt sweet release.  “I didn’t get it all,” he said and plunged back inside.

The dark-haired vet tech told my parents to talk to me to try and calm me down.  I looked up at them, and they seemed more distressed than me.  I was on my own.    

The short-haired tech removed her finger for a final time, said there was no sign of blood or infection, and, after a few days, and some warm compress on my butt, I should be as good as new.  I was upset the vet did not say thank you although she did apologize a lot.

 My parents also bought me what they called new treats, but the box said: “No Scoot” so I figure they are medicinal, but that’s alright with me.  I am all for no more fingers up my butt.

 Scooting is a hard habit to break.  My butt is recovering from the terrible torture I endured, but like so many souls, I am my own worst enemy, and still scoot turning my butt red again. My parents are making me wear pants at night, so I can’t lick my butt.  What a pain in the ass. If it doesn’t get better, I have to go back to the vet. What a pain in the ass. Even after a scooting session, my butt doesn’t look as bad as Nicholas Cage’s face.

That’s something to be proud of if you ask me.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Beat this Caption

"My parents couldn't afford the cone of shame so they got me the duck of air."

Monday, August 20, 2018

Monday Question

Who and how are your nails cut?

Pocket:  Our nails are cut by our groomer.  

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Sully is out August 19, 2018 Pup of the Week

I have two social network friends who live near me.  Petey, who just celebrated his 20th birthday, lives in Brockton,  20 miles to the north, and Sully, who this week joined me at the Bridge, lived 20 miles to the south in Fall River.  Sadly, I met neither before I arrived at the Bridge, but my parents, and Pocket and River were lucky enough to go nose to butt with Sully at our friend Pokey’s house

Sully came to the Bridge after being diagnosed with dementia at the age of 13.  His doctor suspected it before the more severe symptoms appeared. .As the disease progressed Sully became incontinent both in the house and in the bed, he got lost in the yard, stopped during walks to bark at nothing and paced around the house.

His Momma Lisa knew that she would have to ease Sully’s pain and guide him to the Bridge where he would regain his faculties but before that since she was on vacation until the middle of August, she decided to devote her time to her beloved boy, and she created the Summer of Sully.

She and Sully sat down and made a bucket list of all the things he loved to do and then, one by one; they did them together.  Last week they put the final checkmarks on their list. They went to the drive in together, they went to see Emily, who dog sat for him, and she made Sully a cheeseburger which he loved.  Next was a trip to their friends Nicole who made him chicken. On the way home Sully and mom shared an ice cream.

Momma Lisa picked the perfect activities to undertake.  It is the small things, a fun trip, visiting family, sharing food, that we angels miss the most when we arrive at the Bridge.  It is the little moments that we remember, and Sully’s mom filled his last days with lots of small moments.

Their last trip was to the vet.  That is where Mamma Lisa checked one more box and gave Sully his freedom to be with his friends at the Bridge, to get everything back he had lost, to be that young, playful boy she had once known.  The gift of releasing the pain is beautiful, but sadly the pain rebounds, and lodges in our parent's heart, where it never meters out.

When a dog who had dementia arrives at the Bridge it takes him a few moments to adjust.  All the memories that Sully could not maintain when the disease took hold came rushing back to him, and a wave of memories momentarily left him staggered.

I gave Sully time to recover.  At first, he was happy as he remembered everything, and then sad when he realized the person who had accompanied him in all those great memories would not be able to kiss him or give him ear rubs for a long time.  “I am sorry I couldn’t remember,” he said.

I told him his mom understood and she remembered those last days enough for both of them.  I promised to teach him how to visit his mom, to look after her and care for her the way she had done him.  He smiled and said he couldn’t wait.

Then I whistled, and all Sully’s friends came running, covering him with a million hugs and kisses.  One of an angel's sacred duties is never let a friend be sad, and I can tell his mom that Sully is a happy dog, surrounded by friends who vow to keep him that way.  Sully promises to visit soon, and, if Momma Lisa awakens one morning with her heart a little less heavy, she will know he was with her in her dreams.

And he remembers and feels blessed for every beautiful thing she did for him.

No matter what happens no dog forget a mom’s lover.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Foley, Otie Campbell and Fella go on a Ride Along

Rainbow Bridge is usually a very peaceful place, but when you have lots of souls living in the same place for eternity conflicts do arise.  Luckily we have the German Shepherd police department who uphold the law. If a scofflaw is a constant problem, then he comes before a judge, such as I, who rules if the dog has to go to the Bad Place.  I have never sent a dog there; I don’t have it in my heart.  Unfortunately, this creates many repeat offenders and the police get angry at “activist judges.”

One morning my friend Fella and I were splitting a banana split at Otie Campbell’s ice cream shop.  One of the German Shepherd police dogs came in and walked up to me.  “We caught Jax Jackson pooping in front of the police station again this morning, we arrested him,” he said, referring to one of our repeat offenders.

“I know,” I said after swallowing a scoop of bacon and kibble ice cream.  “He came before me this morning. Jax promised never to do it again, and I let him go.”

The German Shepherd shook his head.  “I don’t know why we arrest him if you are just going to let him go,” he said in a deep, angry voice.

Honestly, I didn’t know either; it seemed like a waste of time to me. “I just have to judge each case by the evidence provided,” I said.  That is what they taught me in judge school to tell souls when I had no good reason why I reached a decision.

His partner, a lighter German Shepherd, came in and the first one told him I let Jax go.  The other cop gave me a look that made my face turn red under my fur. “You know what I think?” the second cop asked.

I just kept eating my ice cream, not answering.  “I think you should go on a ride along with us,” he said.

I was going to tell him it was a terrible idea when Fella said: “Wow, that sounds like fun, can I go?”

I wanted to tell Fella he couldn’t go when Otie barked “Can I go to?”

The cops agreed that all three of us could go before I said one of us would go.  Now I was not only at the mercy of these cops but I was about to undertake dangerous work, and I am dainty girl built for reading poetry and drinking wine by a pond.  This is what I get for hanging out with the boys at the ice cream shop.

They arranged for us to accompany them that night.  The first fact about police work that I discovered is that there is no ride along since dogs don’t have cars.  It was more like a run along.  I was going to get tired.   All because I refused to send that no good Jax Gallagher to the Bad Place.  I was going to have to rethink my sentencing policy.  

The policemen told us their names, Bunk, and Herc.   At first, we just walked around, and all the dogs were very friendly to us saying how much they appreciated our service. It felt nice. I had a new respect for police dogs. Otie wanted to know if he could turn on the siren.  Bunk told him to pull Herc’s tail, and when he did Herc’s eyes began flashing, his voice made a wailing sound, and we started to run like we were giving chase.

Suddenly Bunk yelled, “That’s Jax Gallagher, he is peeing on the statue of Liberace!”  Bunk and Herc began running faster, weaving in and out of the walking dogs. Otie, Fella and I must have been caught up in their force field because we involuntarily swerved back and forth like we were in their back seat.  Then the German Shepherds slammed on the brakes, and our heads rammed into their butts.

Sure enough, Jax Gallagher had peed on the Liberace statue leaving the biggest mystery of the night is why there was a statue of the sequined piano player at the Bridge?   Herc and Bunk cornered Jax who was growling at them that they would never take him alive. Bunk used the police dog’s best friend.  The clicker.  A few clicks and Jax, a previously well-trained dog, had sat and rolled over into a submissive position.

I asked the police officer to let me deal with Jax immediately.  Bunk made me promise I would no longer allow Jax to be a nuisance.  Odie opened up the ice cream shop so Jax and I could speak privately.

I decided I was not going to send him to the Bad Place.  I determined that Jax was suffering from separation anxiety.  He missed his mom and was acting out.  He needed someone to care for him until she arrived.  I contacted the fantastic Michelle Kenney who came to the ice cream shop.  Jax was immediately taken with her.  I said he could live with Michelle as long as he never left the grounds.  Jax agreed.  I told him if he broke this agreement I would have to send him to the Bad Place.

I don’t think I would.  But I had to work with the police dogs too.  Being a judge can be hard.  But you always have to keep in mind that sometimes all a bad dog needs is a mom.  

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Pocket and the DIY Blinds Project

Our friend Phenny from France loves to blog about his parents’ failed attempt to complete DIY projects.  We have the same troubles at our house. Although our plans are straightforward, my parents still struggle to finish simple tasks, like hanging blinds.

I hate to see the torture devices, commonly called the hammer, screwdriver, both electric and manual, nuts, bolt and screws brought into the house.  Those devices are not used to torture me. My Daddy uses them as a means of self-torture.

We live in a modular home.  It was built somewhere else, put on a truck, and delivered to the site where we reside.  Modular homes are quaint and inexpensive which my parents like, but the walls are made from paper mache and cardboard.  Chances of hanging something on the wall heavier than a piece of paper are slight unless a stud is located. My mommy has never found a stud, just a daddy.

Daddy brought the tools and the blinds into the bedroom.  I stayed in the kitchen, cringing at every sharp noise, and creeping in the work area between sounds to see how they were progressing before rapidly retreating.  First, Daddy took the old blinds down, which was simple enough, then he said a prayer to Saint Bob Villa and tried to hang the blinds on the existing bracket.

To every person, there is one true soul mate, and for every blind, there is only one bracket.  This meant that Daddy had to put up a new one. He tried several different spots on the sill, but the screws would not take hold.  Finally, he found one, and another on the other side. He then slid the blind in the bracket. Mission accomplished.

Daddy went to the other window to hang up the second blind.  Mommy used the strings hanging off the blinds in the first window to manipulate the slats downward.  When they dropped down the blinds ripped from the bracket and fell to the floor. “What did you do?” Daddy asked.

“I was just adjusting the blinds,” she said.  “It doesn’t do us any good if we can’t let them down.”
Daddy admitted she had a point.  My parents had been working a half an hour, and they were no closer to getting the blinds up then when they started.  This is the point in the proceedings where Daddy usually gets frustrated. He tried spot after spot. He realized he had to get the lip of the blinds over the bracket to hold it, but because he was putting the bracket under the sill, he couldn’t get the lip under the bracket.  “There is no way, just no way,” he said like a pessimistic MacGyver.

Daddy says this every time he undertakes and is failing at, a DIY project.  He needs to slip into a hopeless depression before he looks at the problem and finds a solution.  Daddy put the bracket deeper in the window sill. He screwed it in with the electric screwdriver which is always improperly charged.  He got the blinds over the lips, and they held. He quickly did the other blind, and we had success!

Then Mommy dropped the secure blinds down the glass, and it stopped six inches above the bottom.  The blinds were measured improperly and were short.

The blinds are still in the windows and will be for months because while they may be short, the brackets are secure and when it comes to blinds all that matters is that the bracket fits.

I was just happy another DIY project was over.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Beat This Caption

Oh gosh, is this a plastic straw?  Can I have it?  Soon I will have the only plastic straw in the world I  will be king

Monday, August 13, 2018

Monday Question

What is your sleep position?
Pocket:  I curl into as tight a ball a possible and I keep my butt covered.
River Song:  I like to stretch my front and back legs as much as possible to take up as much room as I can. 


Sunday, August 12, 2018

Moose is our August 13, 2018 Pup of the Week

When a boxer or wrestler passes away, their contemporaries gather around the ring as the timekeeper rings the bell ten times.

When Moose crossed over Rainbow Bridge this week,  joining his DS friends and his sister Sydney, the bell rang ten times, because a true warrior had joined us.

Moose was born into a life without love.  Little is known about Moose’s life before Momma Michelle adopted him. She and Papa Mike worked hard, with little Moose, who had that time was known as Sonic.  Moose did not like people and was convinced all humans intended to hurt him. He learned not to lunge at, or try to bite, people. Moose was not vicious; he was just scared.  If not for his parents Moose may have been deemed too dangerous to adopt and sent to the Bridge before he even learned how to live.

Learning not to be afraid and to trust humans was Moose’s first battle, and he emerged victoriously.  He also mastered how to sit, roll over, lay down, dance, twirl, shake, high five, wave goodbye, and sleep.  He became a regular Houdini.

On February 25, 2013, Moose encountered his greatest challenge.  He was diagnosed with Autoimmune hemolytic anemia.  His packed cell volume, which should have been between 37 and 55, dropped to 12.  His parents elected not to put him through the trauma of a blood transfusion.  It was a costly procedure, and his doctor said there was less than a fifty percent chance it would work.  Moose’s parents took him home with instructions to keep him comfortable.  He was fed every human food his parents could coax him into eating, something they had been vehemently against and gave him prednisone and doxycycline.  His mucous membranes turned white which is a very bad sign. By that Sunday night, he was breathing hard, and his parents were prepared to send him to the Bridge.

Sunday night he ate three hamburgers without having to be hand fed.  His gums were pink.  His mom tried feeding him some of his siblings’ food, which he had no interest in for over a week, and Moose ate it then barked for more.  Moose went to an appointment for the following Saturday to check his packed cell volume, and it had climbed to 29.  The disease, commonly known as IMHA had been defeated, and, although he would carry it the rest of his life, it never reared its ugly head again.

Moose continued to live a healthy life until early 2017 when his beloved sister Sydney went to the Bridge. Toula became a member of the pack and Moose, and his brother Buddy took her under their paws so she would be a happy and content dog.

In May of that year, Moose’s mom discovered a growth on Moose’s back leg and had it removed.  When it grew back, it was tested and was found to be cancerous. He battled this illness just as he had every obstacle in his life.  For fifteen months he wrestled the disease to a draw, but with no cure, it was just a matter of time when the ultimate fighter would have to leave the ring

This past week the growth on Moose’s leg opened up, and tests showed cancer had spread throughout his body.  His mom told him he no longer needed to fight and she sent Moose to Sydney at the Bridge so he could be young and whole again.

Moose had stood at attention while the bell tolled.  As the last peel echoed off the mountains, Moose broke into a run.  Sydney joined him, and they ran together just as they had as pups.  They ran through the rain left by the puddles of human tears above us. Moose was sworn in and given his detachable wings, and Sydney taught him how to run and fly.  Their smiles lit up the sky.  

Moose told me he had fought as long as he could, but he knows his loving parents are in good paws with Buddy and Toula. Moose stayed until Toula knew every single thing that makes his parents happy.

And now their parents will have two angels, Sidney and Moose, watching over them, ghosting them, and visiting them as winged creatures.  

Moose has a new challenge:  To make his parents realize he and Sydney are not gone, just somewhere their parents can’t access, and that he and Sydney visit their parents’ dreams, but their parents will only be able to remember the visits in their hearts.  That is where all grieving parents need to look

The heart. That is where the love is.

It will be a hard task but if any dog is up for the contest, it is Moose.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Foley and Ladybug Try to Help the Seniors Wear Young Bodies

All angels, of every kind, have closets filled with the bodies they used during their lives.  We can choose a different shape and be a different age every day. On Monday I am a puppy and on Tuesday, a senior dog.  It’s all up to me.   Most of my bodies look the same, but it is still good to have choices.

Humans have lots of bodies to choose from.  They have little kid bodies, old person bodies, fat bodies, skinny bodies, whatever they are in the mood to wear.  Everybody they have ever used is ready to be worn.  Somedays I see my human friends as little kids zipping by on their skateboards, others as wizened seniors.  Then there are some who can’t stop wearing the body they arrived in.

These people are stuck in their old, broken down elderly bodies. They have inhabited these frames for so long they are afraid to abandon them.  Sadly, their bodies do not let these folks participate in many Bridge activities. That is when we dogs step in to help them.

Dogs are often used as therapy animals for the elderly.  But at the Bridge our duties are different.  We need to help the elderly be young again.

I brought my friend good friend Ladybug with me.  She is high energy and always ready to party, exactly what was needed.  We entered the rest home where the old angels were watching Judge Judy and wearing blankets to keep warm.  Lady Bug, a very brash girl, unplugged the TV, plugged in the boom box and began playing “Gonna Make You Sweat.”

As the singer screamed, “Everybody dance now!” Ladybug pulled an old man up and forced him to dance.
“Leave me alone!” the old man grumbled, I am going to break a hip.

Two of the orderlies brought in the man’s closet full of bodies.   “If you want to avoid breaking a hip then change into something younger,” Lady Bug said.

“Bah,” the man balked.  “This is the body the Lord gave me.”

“He didn’t give you that.  That’s the body you were wearing when you went out of fashion.” Lady Bug barked back.

Lady Bug shook her booty, nipped at the man’s ankles, and threw pretzels on the floor.  The man struggled to bend over and pick them up.  If you had your young body you could get these delicious pretzels,” Lady Bug teased.  She then picked one up, bit into it, and smiled.  

“Alright!” the man whined.  “I will put on my 30-year-old body, but just to pick up the pretzels, then I am coming right back to this comfortable body.”

The man slipped into his 30-year-old body then gobbled the pretzels.  “Hmmm,” he said moving his torso back and forth, “this body is better.”  He ran in place several steps.  “My heart rate is down,” he said.  He looked at Ladybug.  “Why don’t you and I go for a walk?” he asked.  Ladybug happily obliged knowing the man would not be returning to his old form

Now it was my turn.  I picked a shrunken old woman and asked if she wanted to be young again.

“Leave me alone,” she yelled.

The song was still playing on the radio.  “Come on old lady,” I said.  “Let’s dance and show these folks how it is done.”

She slapped me.  ‘Leave me alone you damn little dog.  And put Judge Judy back on.”

I ignored her and danced around being as cute as possible.  I nipped at her wool sweater pulling her off the couch.  “Come on Grandma, shake off the old coil and come dance with me.”

“You want me to shake off this coil?” she asked.  I jumped up and down saying yes. I was really good at this.

The orderlies pulled out her closet of bodies, and she chose a fifteen year old one.  She too twisted and turned enjoying how limber she was, and enjoying no longer being in pain.

“Now that you have changed bodies do you want to play?” I asked.

“No,” the now young girl said.  “I want to beat your ass with this mop for interrupting my Judge Judy.”

When this old lady was young, she must have been on the track team because she was fast. I ran out the door, and she followed swinging the mop.  She hit me several times. I wished I had a younger body that moved quicker.  The good news was that she had a body built for speed, not distance and I eventually was able to outrun her.

The next day I returned to the home and saw the woman back in her old body sitting in her chair with a blanket on her lap watching Judge Judy.  I decided to let her be old if that is what she wanted. Some people just like who they are.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

River Can't Stand the Heat

It’s hot!  I spent the first year of my life in Florida, and it’s hotter in Massachusetts.  When I was down south, I thought the north was a place where it snowed all the time, and people drank ale to keep warm.  Fake news! Massachusetts is terribly cold, then, one day in March, it gets hot, and stays that way until November when it snows four feet.  What a miserable place to live.  Give me Florida’s unbearable heat and then not too hot winter to Massachusetts’ unbearable heat and then unbelievable cold.  

The heat upsets our lives as much as the cold does.  When it is hot we can’t go on long walks, or spend time in our buggy overseeing the garden work, which means it is done wrong by our well-meaning but unskilled parents, while Pocket and I run from one enclosed porch door to the other barking “no, no, don’t plant it there, it doesn’t thrive in the sun.”

It is very frustrating.  I feel guilty when I get outside and see the suffering plants. “Oh River,” a new flower will whine, “why are you inside while we are being planted.  Now I am suffering in this brutal heat, longing for shade, and I am afeared my life shall be a short one.”

I tried to explain that I am a Brachycephalic dog and need to be careful on hot days.  Have you ever tried to use a multi-syllable word with a thirsty plant?  Flowers, by nature, are selfish and not interested in my breathing issues.

We don’t get full walks when it is hot.  When Pocket and I are taken outside it is more like we are being accompanied to the bathroom than getting a walk. We only walk until we poop. Weather people can determine how hot it is by how many steps we take before we poop.  If it is less than a hundred steps, it is very hot.  If it is more than 1,000 steps, then it is comfortable.   I want to hear Jim Cantore say “It is so hot in New England today it only took River Song 20 steps to poop.”

Sometimes, when we can tell it is going to be a hot day during a morning poop, we keep a little in the chute and push it out on our hot late afternoon walk.  Our walkers don’t know if it is morning or afternoon poop.  We eat the same food for both meals, so it really is the same old s++t.

I promised, during our long, cold, snowy winter, that I would not complain about the heat.   I made that vow before I knew this summer would feel like the devil rented the house next door and was operating a blast furnace.  Everyone knows my word is my bond, but I am itching (from prickly heat) to complain. The cold winter is looking better.  But Mommy reminded me the grass is always greener when it is not covered by a foot of snow.

How I yearn for one sunny 55 degree days  Why is it always too hot or too cold. Can’t Mother Nature make it just right?

Sigh.  This is River Song reporting from hot, humid, sticky Massachusetts.  I will see you in five months when I will be reporting from under a six-foot snow drift.

Oh Florida, how I long for thee.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Monday Question

Having you gone through training classes?  Do you respond to voice or verbal commands?

Pocket:   No training for me and boy does it show.  If I was a big dog I would be trouble.

River Song:  I got trained at Petco.  It was great. I was trained all alone and everyone in the store played with me.  Later on we found out I was trained by someone in grooming and not a real trainer.  But I am still good. I respond to voice commands.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Summer is our August 5, 2018 Pup of the Week

On August 4 Summer departed for Rainbow Bridge leaving the world a colder place and darker place.  She left her loving parents, Debra and Mike, and her cherished Lutgen lake to begin her life as an angel.

Summer loved the water, and she was very fortunate to have her a lake on her property.  Last week she came out of the water bleeding from the throat.  Her parents thought that she had burst a blood vessel from too much water intake. That injury should have healed quickly. But over the next few days, Summer kept bleeding.

Our water loving girl was taken to the vet and underwent x-rays and an ultrasound.   Something was spotted on her lung.  Everyone prayed it was pneumonia.  When Summer did not respond to treatment, her parents knew it was not pneumonia but much worse.  

Summer tried to hide her illness, so her parents didn’t know how sick she was.  No matter how hard she strived to act, healthy her parents saw through her efforts.  Summer passed on her food, her energy level was down, and her mom could see in her eyes how tired she was.  They knew the time was approaching.

Summer tried to rally.  She went outside to hunt toads and kept her tail wagging.  She ate and took a walk with her dad around the lake.  Soon the illness overtook Summer’s best efforts.  On Saturday morning Summer’s parents knew their baby girl’s mortal coil had worn away.  It was time to give her an immortal body that was free of illness.  Although recognizing the decision would break their hearts Summer’s devoted mom and dad shared one more day with her than set them free.  

There were scores of Summer’s friends waiting for her arrival. We all strained our necks and looked towards the Bridge for Summer.  Then the vast clouds came, filled with human tears shed when Summer passed.  The downpour lasted more than five minutes.   I can’t remember seeing so many tears.  But still no Summer. Never had the tears arrived before the dog.

When the tears stopped, I heard a splashing sound.  I lead a procession to the river.  We found Summer gleefully swimming.  I had seen this behavior before. Newly arrived dogs try to swim back home to their parents.  But Summer wasn’t trying to swim across.  She was happily swimming in circles.

“Summer,” I yelled at her.  “What are you doing? We are here for your ceremony.  Come on up to the top of the Bridge.”

“Why would I want to do that?” Summer called from the river.  This is the best water I have ever swum in.  Why don’t you come join me?”

I was prepared to tell Summer all the reasons this could not be done when our friends poured past me and jumped into the water.   I sighed.  I was wearing my best robe and hated to get my paws wet, but we try to indulge the new angels.  I found a row of rocks to walk on and waded to Summer only getting my back paws wet.  For the first time in my career, I inducted a dog in the river.

Summer and her friends swam in the river the rest of the day.   When it came time for wings Summer said she did not need them. She could swim to the bottom of the river, touch it, and when she surfaced she would be back at Lutgen lake where she could watch over her parents or borrow a flying body if she wanted to get closer to them.

Summer wants her parents to know that if they are missing her, they should look at the lake and know she is still there swimming happily.   And if they wake up with the sheets slightly wet, they got a dream visit from Summer fresh from the pond.

Summer Grace will always be in her favorite spot, happily swimming, and watching her house, to keep her parents safe.  

Friday, August 3, 2018

Foley, 12 and Bisket Look for Rainbow Beach

One day I was walking along the river bank with two of my oldest friends, Auntie Gretchen’s Angel Bisket and Auntie Judi’s angel 12.   We saw, lying on the grass, a stinky, orange blob.  I wanted to avoid it, but Bisket has always had an inquisitive mind.  He poked at the blob with his paw.

“Excuse me!” the blob said. Bisket ran behind 12, a huge Newfoundland,  and I jumped on the big dog’s back.

“What the hell is that?” I asked to no one.

“I am Ollie, the octopus,” the blob said.  “A short while ago,  I minded my own business floating in the ocean when a stupid shark bit me in two.  The shark said I was going to be fine, soon I would be at Rainbow Beach, but instead, I ended up in this stupid river.”

12 laid down so I could get off of him.  “I have been at the Bridge a long time and have never heard of Rainbow Beach,” I said, slowly approaching the blob.

“Well, I never heard of Rainbow Bridge,” Ollie answered.  “We were told all ocean animals go to Rainbow Beach. I haven’t heard from you land animals.  I never met any until now.”

I walked closer to the stinky thing.  “I think when you passed over the Great Old Dogs did not know if you were a land blob or an ocean blob, so they sent you to the land by mistake.  Now we have to figure out how to get you to Rainbow Beach.”
“I am not a blob,” Ollie said.  

“Have you ever looked in a mirror?” Bisket asked.

I think the blob was angry but who could tell?  

“We’ve never found it before,” 12 said.  “Why don’t we just put him in the river and he can swim there?”

“Yuch!” the blob yelled.  “I am not going into that bilge.   I need salt water.   I would rather live on land.”

I was starting to figure out why the shark ate this snarky octopus.  “Maybe we can find Rainbow Beach if we look hard enough,” 12 said.  We all agreed to help Ollie find him forever home.

We started walking when we heard Ollie behind us.   “Excuse me, someone is going to have to carry me, I don’t have any legs, you know.”

We looked at one another.  We loved all of God’s creatures, but this thing was gross.  “I am too small to carry it,” I said.

“And I have a hankering for calamari,” Bisket barked.

12 knew it would be up to him.  He has always been a kind soul.  He offered to carry the slimy weight.  It was hard to get the blob situated on 12, but finally, Ollie was safely on his back, and we began walking along the river.

Suddenly a long, ugly snake-like creature climbed out of the river.  “What you got on your back?” it asked.

We ignored the water snake.  They are very untrustworthy.    But the blob, who was proving to be a bother, began jabbering about Rainbow Beach.  The snake said he was an eel and could swim in both fresh and saltwater.  He promised to show us the way to the Beach.  Ollie insisted we go. My friends and I discussed what we should do.  We decided to cautiously trust the eel.

“Can we walk along the river bank?” Bisket asked.

“No, you have to get in the water,” the eel said.

Yuck!  But we had promised to try and find Rainbow Beach, so we all got in except for Ollie who refused to put a tentacle in freshwater   We moved slowly through the river.  I climbed on Bisket when the water got too high.  Ollie continued to complain about our pace until 12 shook him off and he flew into the river.  “Actually, it isn’t that bad,” the chagrined octopus said.

The eel led us to a small tributary that after a couple of twists turned into a wild sea.  We were lifted by the waves and tossed on to the beach where penguins, dolphins sharks and whales were all basking in the sun. “Dogs!” one of the sharks yelled in terror, and they all slithered into the sea in fear.

Ollie yelled to them that we were not a threat and we, with the eel, had helped him find Rainbow Beach.  The eel was hiding under a rock.  One of the whales returned to shore and tossed the rock aside.  “How could you lead the leg walkers to our Beach?” the whale asked.

“I’m an eel, it’s what I do,” it said then slithered away.

I stepped up.  “I am sorry we have invaded your secret place,” I said.  “I am sure we would be intimidated if whales, sharks and sea lions came swimming up the river.  I know we have different lifestyles, but I am sure we can live in peace and be an example for mortal humans.”

A shark, whale and sea lion discussed our proposal then turned to us.  “We agree, we shall have peace between our groups, and we will send emissaries between our lands. 
 Now come to join us for a feast.”  We sat on the beach with them and happily ate a seafood buffet.  Like with the Bridge food, what we ate quickly regenerated in the ocean and joined us, although they did not eat themselves.

Then we swam with the dolphins, played on the whales, and frolicked with the penguins.  It was like a whole new world had opened to us. When the sun was setting, we swam out to the tributary and found out way back to the Bridge.  We couldn’t wait to tell our friends about Rainbow Beach.

Thanks to Bisket and 12 our immortal world got bigger with more adventures ahead of us.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Pocket and the Broken Appliances

What a week we had!  I am going to have to sleep until September to make up for it.

All the problems began last year, when the two-year-old HVAC unit stopped working, causing my parents to install two insufficient window units to try and protect us from the broiling heat. It worked, as long as we did not stray too far from the units.  The original one was supposed to be under warranty, so my parents asked me to draw up court documents, and they prepared to sue the service company.

During this time our tankless hot water heater started to work intermittently.   One minute would be hot water, the next cold, then hot again.. My parents first said they would address this after the HVAC unit issue was resolved, and, once it was, Mommy wanted to wait until spring so the plumbers would not track dirt on her floors.  (My Daddy has to remove his shoes when he goes inside. We are lucky we don’t have to remove our paws.)

In October my parents were awarded money for the HVAC system and had a new one put in.  Everything was working except for the hot water. This spring my parents had various plumbers look at the tankless heater and were either told it was beyond repair or the plumber did not want to work on the unit.

Finally, Daddy got someone to look at the hot water heater. Before the plumber arrived, Mommy opened the washing machine and found all the clothes soaking wet.  The agitator was broken. They hired another plumber to look at that, and he said the part would cost as much as the machine, which makes no sense, since, if that were true,  every other part of the washer would have to be free, but what do I know, I’m just the dog. “It’s only two years old,” he said. “It shouldn’t have done that.”

We heard a lot of that.  My Daddy called Whirlpool and ended up buying an expensive machine that was discounted because “it shouldn’t have happened” but still cost a wicked amount of money.  That was scheduled to come on Tuesday. The plumber for the water heater was coming on Monday.

On Monday the water heater was fixed. The plumber played with us a little bit.  On Tuesday two men came in with the washing machine, and we were put in the bedroom and did not get played with at all.  It was the first day in more than a year that all the appliances worked. Almost.

That night the air conditioner froze up.  At first, my parents hoped it was a freak thing.  We went to the groomers that day for a summer haircut which is exactly like a winter grooming except it is warmer out.  When we got home, on a humid day, the air conditioner was not working. So much for our appliance streak. Daddy called another plumber.  Plumber is a term meaning ‘I only work on one appliance.” The plumber said, “well that shouldn’t have happened.” Whatever was wrong with the washing machine the HVAC unit probably caught it.  The plumber said he would send his partner to our house at 2:30 the next day.

Daddy was at work.  He had been told he would get a call on his cell phone before the plumber arrived.  2:30 went by, 3:00 went by, 3:30 went by. Daddy called Mommy and asked if a plumber had arrived.  She said no through the sweat drops. Daddy called the elusive plumber several times with no answer.

When Daddy got home, the plumber called.  His partner, before our scheduled appointment, had fallen off a roof.  Man, everything happens to us. The plumber’s partner had only sprained his ankle. 

  It must have been a tiny house. The plumber with two good ankles said he would be over in the morning.   Mommy took some happy pills, and we all tried to sleep in the bed without touching one another.

The next morning the plumber came and fixed the HVAC unit.  He said a bunch of stuff that amounted to “well that shouldn’t have happened.”  I would like to say things were fine after that, but it had been very humid when the unit was not working, and the house was stuffed with hot air, much like the plumbers.  It took a day to cool off.

Now we are on a streak of a few days with all the appliances working, but we know we are just a few days away from some other appliance catching “well that shouldn’t have happened” and needing repair.

Foley's Tail From Rainbow Bridge: How An Angel Handle Annoying Prayers

  I am an angel judge so I am required to answer all prayers, even the most annoying ones. The most annoying prayers come from my Dad.  M...