Sunday, September 30, 2018

Felix is our September 30, 2018 Pup of the Week

I dreamed a dream last night.   We were all young and again. We had just discovered social media.  It was like finding a vast field of fresh snow ready for us to put our paws in it and leave our marks.   And we did, a generation of dogs creating their own world, celebrating walks and treats, suffering when friends became sick or needed operations.  We were dogs We were finally being heard. And we ruled the world.

Some dogs became silent as their parents drifted towards Facebook, and some others expanded on the idea, creating well-read and influential blogs.  The golden age of dog blogging may have passed, as so many of those original writers passed to the Bridge, but the blogs themselves remain as long as the Internet keeps us all connected.

I woke up with Felix, coauthor of the award-winning Kol’s Notes next to me.  We had not knocked paws. It was just a friendly snuggle with a scared, lonely dog who became overwhelmed when he faced the prospect of living in the immortal world and needed a friend.  While we dogs all get the choice to retrieve the parts we lost during our mortal life, including our naughty bits, none of us want those troublesome organs. When you get those things back and start using them, the next thing you know you’re testifying before Congress.

Felix and I became besties ten long years ago.  His mom was studying dog nutrition and became, and still is, our go-to person for all dog digestion questions.  One night I had something strange in my poop.  My parents broke it apart, took pictures of it, and sent it to Momma Jodi.  They studied the poop until it was determined I had eaten a wax earplug. Momma Jodi was there for my parents, as she was for so many others. She also helped my parents find the right food for Pocket’s sensitive stomach.

Momma Jodi would not have been there to help diagnose my poop, find Pocket food, or help so many other pet parents, through Facebook posts and her awesome blog without her two inspirations, Kolchak and Felix.  The love they gave her, their perpetually smiling faces, their exuberance for life, inspired a blog that made all our lives better, with helpful tips, recipes, and answers when we needed them.

I think Momma Jodi knows more about dogs than any other momma I know.  But no momma knows enough to keep her baby with her when his heartbeats began to expire.  Felix’s body did not break down all at once but in increments. Felix tore his ACL. Given his age, Momma Jodi did not want him to have surgery so she researched everything she could about torn ACL and soon Felix, with the aid of some back wheels, was happily living his life as he had before his injury.

No matter what obstacle was placed before Kolchak, Felix and their mom she found a way to adapt to it.  But when Felix ran out of heartbeats, all that is left is saying goodbye.

Felix reluctantly crossed the Bridge.  He was not just an enormous part of his mom’s heart, but also the reason Momma Jodi helped so many others.  Felix was worried about his parents, his brother Kolchack, and his friends. He felt like he had let everyone down.

The good thing about having helped so many dogs is that, when you need help, your friends pay it back tenfold, and Felix’s did.  By the next day, Felix was playing and laughing remembering all the good times, back when we were young, and our lives were ahead of us.  

We all took turns guiding Felix back into his mom’s life, in her dreams, as beautiful flying creatures, and ghosting.  We all wanted to do it to help our friend and to let his mom know how much she meant to us. She would not remember it in her mind but she would in her heart.  
And we wanted her to know that we will take of her special boy, who is now running through the fields and meadows, using all his legs and laughing all the way.
We need to keep inspiring Momma Jodi.  Our parents and the mortal dogs count on her too much.  

I  know nothing can replace Felix in Momma Jodi’s heart, but we hope Felix and hundreds of other angels praying for her and visiting her will help heal her heart.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Dallas the Pit Bull Goes From Death Row to K9 Cop

Humans love two types of stories, one about someone who pulls themselves out of squalor to become successful, and the other about dogs.   This tale, about a dog who rises above a hopeless early life to become a hero, should be a popular one.

Dallas is a pit bull which was born in Canada and taught only one thing:  How to kill.  From puppyhood, he was part of a dog fighting ring.  He doesn't talk about his past, but he must have been quite accomplished at vicious combat because he is still alive.

When Dallas was found, one of 30 dogs seized from a pit bull farm he, and the other dogs, were chained to the ground.  Some were wearing muzzles.    On the site were training sticks, schedules, steroids, and suture kits.  Every dog showed scars from fighting.  Five people were charged with animal cruelty and weapons violations.  

Rob Scheinberg, co-founder of Dog Tails Rescue in Ontario, vowed to save as many of the dogs as he could.  Twenty-one of the dogs were given a behavioral assessment by OSPCA and were determined to be too dangerous for adoption.  They were scheduled to be euthanized. Dallas was among those dogs.

Scheinberg refused to believe that all these dogs needed to be put down.  He hired a lawyer, and for two years they battled OSPCA’s attornies who insisted the dogs were a danger to society.  Scheinberg began a #Savethe21 social media campaign, and celebrities joined the fight.   During the duration of the case, two of the dogs went to the Bridge, and one was determined to be beyond rehabilitation, but 18 more, including Dallas, were turned over to Dog Tails Rescue to be rehomed.  The Rescue vowed to pay all medical and travel expenses for the dogs.

Dallas was sent to jail but not because he was guilty.  He was given to a prisoner to socialize and train so hopefully he could be adopted.  

Nicholas Ramos, the inmate who worked with Dallas, thought the pup would be a fantastic K9 Dog.  But the training was expensive, and no dog before Dallas had gone from an execution sentence to being a police dog.

Carol Skaziak, whose organization, Throw Away Dogs Project, repurposes unique dogs, heard about Dallas’ potential, and contacted a police K-9 trainer her group worked with, Bruce Myers.  Skaziak sent Myers videotapes of Dallas training which peaked his interest enough for him to make a personal visit. 

When Davis saw Dallas, he knew the pittie would make an excellent sniffer dog.  His trainers began working on this specialty, and they were paid by Scheinberg’s organization.  Meanwhile, in Honaker Virginia, the police needed a K9 to sniff out drugs but did not have the budget to purchase one.  Pet Tales had found a police department in need, and Dallas was the perfect match.  

Dallas is now an officer with the Honaker police department and has a forever home with his partner officer Cody Rowe.

How many souls go from a court-ordered death sentence to becoming a police officer?  Dallas has achieved the impossible, thanks to many caring humans who never gave up on him.

We dogs know there are many good people in the world willing to give us a second chance.

We hope they have the heart to give humans a second chance too.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

River Wonders Why Humans Need Soul Mates When They Have Dogs

I enjoy having two parents.  With a duo, there is less waiting for a warm lap.  I am not sure why humans need to live with another person.  Sure, they want children, but kids are a bother, and some of them, when they grow older,  move away, burn the bridge from their lives to their parents front door and never cross back.

Pets are a big improvement over children.   There aren’t months of diaper changes, messy cleanups, or walking lessons.  I do understand that, despite their many faults, babies do fill some need in their parents’ lives, which is the only reason that, at birth, they are not sent to a facility in Colorado to be raised until they become productive members of society.  But humans still go to extraordinary lengths to find a person to cohabitate with, even if the result isn’t children. This behavior puzzles me.
What a waste of energy.  Who needs another human when you can have a pet?

A dog never falls out of love with you.  You could leave us on the interstate during a thunderstorm 100 miles away, and we would find our way home to you and give you a lick when we saw you.  Humans seem to fall out of love on the first day they become bored.

Humans often break up because of financial issues.  We would go from sleeping in your bed to sleeping in a cardboard box on the median strip with you without complaint.  We don’t care about money. If there is no food, we will get our wolf on and hunt for you.

We would never leave you for another person or cheat on you by snuggling with someone else without your knowledge.  Sure, we might sniff a stray butt every once in a while but who doesn’t?  And we know our parents give other dogs attention, we can smell it on them, but we forgive them.  We are certain that there will never be another dog for them.

People break up because of trust issues.  Dogs always trust their humans, even when they do the stupid fake throwing the ball trick.  We would like our people to trust us, but sometimes, when we are alone, we do bad things, but only because we are worried about our people.

We never have different aspirations than our parents.  Ours stay constant, food, a walk, a lap, and whatever our parents want to do.   Some humans break up because their spouse is too clingy. We live for clingy. No dog has ever walked away from a human because they needed some me time.  Nor do we ever want to leave because we are not into you.  We are always into you. You are the fascinating creature on the planet.    One of us will never outshine the other.  We are equal in all aspects of life.  We are not concerned about what happens in the bedroom as long as we are allowed inside.

We are the perfect partners for humans, and you are the perfect partners for us.

I just wish we could convince our parents that. Then they would not waste so much time looking for their soulmate and realize they already have one.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

For Madi. A blog from September 18, 2018 Called Good Kitties

Today, when Pocket and I went to get the mail, only to find out that
we had none (sigh), we saw a handwritten note taped to the community
board. "Last Cat: If found return to Unit 20."

I thought of Boots and his adventures and wondered if the cat had
jumped on my windowsill and copied my download codes. Then I studied
the note carefully. "Lost Cat." Could they have been any vaguer?
Perhaps: "Missing Mammal" or "Misplaced Carbon Based Unit." Could
they post a picture of the kitty? Or at least a description?

Pocket doesn't scrutinize events the way I do. She just wanted to
find the kitty and reunite it with its Mom. "But Pocket, we don't
know which kitty it is!" I pleaded.

But you can't talk to a dog with a diaper on her butt, and she was
off. A few minutes later she returned with a baby chipmunk.

"That's not a cat," I said folding my paws across my chest.

"Vit vight vee," Pocket said holding the chipmunk in her mouth. The
chipmunk, meanwhile, was professing her innocence, stating that while
she may have moved the squirrels nuts, she did not lick them.

Pocket went running to the woman's door. I followed. Pocket scratched
on it until she answered. "I found your kitty," Pocket said as she
dropped it on the ground.

"That's a chipmunk," the woman said.

"Oh," Pocket said scratching her head. "Sorry, you can go," Pocket
said, nosing the chipmunk-like she does the ball when she wants
someone to throw it.

The chipmunk took several steps away, stopped, and shook her butt at
Pocket. I growled at the brash rodent. Only I get to butt shake

"We'd like to help you find your kitty," I said. "Maybe you can give
us a description, or give us something to smell."

"You two aren't scent dogs," the woman said.

"You have never stood downwind from Pocket," I told her. I asked her
for a picture, and she said she didn't have one. My gosh, was this cat
her pet or was she just renting her a room? I asked for a

"She's white and gray," the woman said. It was like saying she lost
an old white man in Congress. I told the woman I would keep my eyes
open. I then walked away, ready to climb on my blanket and nap
through the day.

But at three years of age, I must admit Pocket has learned. She cut me
off. "You know where the kitty is," Pocket said.

"Leave it alone Pocket, we don't need to get involved," I said.
I watched Pocket heading to the wall on the other side of the street, and I knew she didn't pay attention when she crossed the road. I ran up to her, took her by the paw and helped her across the road.

As many of you have commented Pocket, and I are too tiny to scale a wall. "We could just go around it," Pocket said. We just went around it.

And where did we emerge? Was it on the island with Ben and Hurley? In the Emerald City from the Wizard of Oz? To some, but to us it was just the state mental institution.

Now don't go jumping to conclusions. The kitty hadn't gone crazy. The kitty had gone wild.

At the State Mental Institution, they were called feral cats. These are bad cats. The kind of cats who knock over cigarette trucks and sell the cartons on the cheap. The kind that runs shines out of the back of the old maintenance building. The kind that doesn't get spade. The kind that stays in heat so long the eventually go poof in an orange ball of flame on a hot summer day. The kind that calls themselves "Good Kitties" like " this is Snowball, she's a good kitty." The kind no Yorike goes near.

But Pocket is not just any Yorkie. She's nuts. The maintenance men, long ago, guys with names like Sid and Ike, began leaving food and water for the stray cats on the site, in old maintenance shed. Soon the maintenance men abandoned that shed. But the kitties did not. And although all those old maintenance men were long gone, someone still feeds those kitties. Some told tale of the ghost of Sid filling the kitties' bowls every morning. Then again this is the state mental institution so let's not get carried away.

Pocket saw two kitties, leaning up against the old maintenance shed, smoking Lucky Strikes, and spinning a mouse on a rotisserie over a fire. I shouted at her to wait, but she began to run towards them. Really? What is it with her and all the running? She ran right up to the cats. She asked if she could go inside and look for a friend. "I could be your friend, Buttercup," one of the kitty toughs said.  "But you're not white and gray," Pocket answered.

I walked up to them and said I wanted to go in. They asked me what the password was. "Swordfish," I answered. They stepped aside.

"How did you know that?" Pocket asked.

"The password is always swordfish," I said.

"Well what 's the point of that?" she asked.

"Look Pocket, we're in, stop over analyzing this to death."

We entered the room. There were several playing pools. Some were licking catnip right off the bar. Several others were enjoying their own private parts. I know, we all do it, but in public? Unprofessional. Pocket was ignoring it all; She saw the brown and white kitty being given a big bowl of milk by two rough looking kitties and hurried over to her.

Fearless, or senseless, Pocket ran right up to the kitty and told her that her Mommy missed her and she had to return home.

"Buzz off hairball," one of the older cats said. "This here is our prag, and you are getting in way over your head."

"Yeah," the kitty said. "You go back and tell my Mommy I'm never coming back. I'm sick of her stupid rules. Don't get on the couch. Pee in the litter box. Stay off the bed. I don't like rules."

I sauntered next to Pocket. "Maybe we should leave her alone. Her Mom seems like a bitch." But Pocket insisted that the kitty belonged with its Mom.

A fat cat wandered over and told us it would be best if we leave, but Pocket insisted the kitty come with us. Then I saw one cat who had been eyeballing me. He walked over, spat some hair out at my paws and told me he remembered me. "Five years ago you chased me up a tree, and I got stuck there for a week. The fire department had to come to rescue me. I was humiliated. And now you dare to show your face in here."

"That wasn't me," I said. "I had a sister who looked like me. Bad dog."

"No that was you, Foley," Pocket said. "I remember you telling me about it and laughing."

"I think it's time you have chased up a tree," he said, and the kitties surrounded us.

We were in deep Vick now. I knew we shouldn't have gone over the wall. Then we heard the squawking. The Canadian Geese Police had arrived.

I told Pocket to head for the door, but she grabbed the kitty in her mouth. We ran for the door, got outside with the scrambling cats and pecking police, broke away from them, went around the wall, and returned the kitty home. We brought the kitty into the house and told the woman to let the kitty on the couch, the bed, and to let her pee where she wanted. "But this isn't even my kitty!' she said.

"It sure as shit is now!" I yelled.

Pocket and I ran hard towards our doggy door and hit it hard before we realized we didn't have one. Ouch. We climbed in through the window.

We both sat down on the couch breathing hard. Pocket looked at me. "There's one thing I don 't understand," she said. "Why was the Canadian Geese police?" she asked.

I put my paw on her shoulder. "Because sometimes Pocket you just need to find your way out of your blog."
"No, it's like Boots, we need to save this kitty like Boots was saved.
And you know where the kitty went, she went over the wall."

"Listen to me Pocket, we have this place on the market, we could move
soon, and then we would never have to worry about what's on the other
side of the wall again," I said.

She turned. "I'm going. I'm going over the wall to save the kitty."

"No Pocket, no, not over the wall." But she didn't listen. She
walked towards the wall. I couldn't let her go alone. But I couldn't
go over the wall again either.

I knew what I had to do.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Beat This Caption

All I ask for when I get home from work is 30 minutes to enjoy a beer and check Instagram.   Is that too much to ask?

Monday, September 24, 2018

Monday Question

I, Pocket, have been recovering from a nasty allergic reaction to ragweed.  This is the first time I have had an allergic reaction.  Are you allergic to anything or ever been diagnosed with an allergy?

River Song:  I have had yeast in my ears twice and a foot infection which I licked raw.  They were all environmental allergies. 

Sunday, September 23, 2018

September 23, 2018: Muffin in our Pup of the Week and Madi is our Cat of the Week

My Blogville friends, Lily and Muffin, are perfect examples of heart dogs.  They are their parent's children, best friends, nurses (helping their mom recover from several life-threatening surgeries) and constant companions.  Muffin has bravely battled congestive heart failure for more than a year. Last December, while their parents were nervously waiting at the vets as Muffin was being treated for breathing issues, Lily went into respiratory distress and slipped away to the Bridge with little warning, ripping away half their parents’ hearts.

Lily has worn a half-heart charm on her collar since she arrived at the Bridge.   Muffin has the other half. Lily worked very hard to make sure Muffin was with her parents for every available heartbeat, but this week Muffin succumbed to CHF and joined her sister at the Bridge.  

Of course, losing the two dogs who they shared their lives with for more than a dozen years devastated their parents.  They are now dogless, in a house full of silenced sounds and duties which no longer need performing. They have been trying to keep themselves busy, which started when they lost Lily, and have intensified their efforts with their latest loss. They need lots of prayers for comfort, acceptance, and love.  I know I can count on my friends to perform this important duty.

Lily and Muffin are going to spend lots of time visiting their parents and trying to heal them.  Every night the duo will be in their parents’ dreams. Their mom and dad won’t remember them in their minds but they will in their hearts which will help comfort them.  Also, they are going to encourage their parents to use their third eye to see them when they are visiting as ghosts. It is a tall order for two little dogs, but I know Lily and Muffin have a strong bond with their parents and can do it.

I hope it will help their parents to know that Lily and Muffin were delighted to be together again.  The first thing they did was to put their two half hearts together to make a whole one. If they can mend this broken charm, they can restore their parent's hearts.  The Doxie twins are inseparable again, playing, laughing and running. They bring joy wherever they go, as they did on the mortal side. Crossing the Bridge cannot change that.

Cats cross the Bridge at a different point not very far from us and live in their villages, but if dogs and cats want to live together, they can do so wherever they like.  When Madi, the diva queen cat from North Carolina crossed the Bridge the day before Florence hit, all her dog Blogville friends, including myself, the Doxie duo, Easy, Whitley, Lexi, Bilbo, Bailey, Greta, Mabel, Thunder, Dakota and many more hurried to see Cotton swearing in Madi.

Madi ran to her dog friends and got one thousand kisses from everyone and then we all played together.  When we were done Madi hosted a large feast where the dogs and cats could come together as one. After we were done eating she rallied us all to pray for her mom and the rest of the people affected by the terrible storm.  Even at the Bridge Madi is taking care of her mom.

Madi is another fighter.  She has battled kidney disease for more than a year.  She took her medicine without complaint. She knew it would keep her with her mom.  As the disease took its toll, Madi slept more, and deeper. Little by little she was fading.  Madi’s mom took her to the vet the day before the storm to make she sure would not have a medical emergency during the hurricane.  The vet tech told her that Madi was known as “Madi, the Miracle Cat of the Clinic.” Sometimes, miracles expire. During the examination, the vet found a heart murmur.  She had fluid in her lungs. Her mom knew it was time and sent Madi to us.

Madi, more than any other angel, will bridge the gap between dogs and cats because both species love this special girl.  She may end the feud that has gone on for eternity. Dogs and cats could be best friends a decade from now.

And she will be visiting her mom often.  They had an unbreakable bond that even crossing the River of Life can’t sever, as do the Doxie duo.  Rainbow Bridge is a better place with them here.

Sadly, the mortal world is worse.  May there be dogs and cats somewhere in need of homes who are special like Muffin, Lily, and Madi to make up for the hole they have created by passing over the River.

Friday, September 21, 2018

The Last and Greatest Day of Sake's Mortal Life

The second a dog enters their home for the first time they are part of the family forever, even if it is for a short time.  For Sake, it was only a few hours.

I don’t know much about the first twelve years of Sake’s life, only that she was betrayed.  When she should have been home, living out her senior years in comfort, she was in a kill shelter in California having been abandoned by her family.

Sake knew something that none of the people caring for her realized.  Sake’s heartbeats were ending. She was due to pass to the Bridge with no family.  We would treat her like a queen because we knew she would never have that magical moment when she was reunited with her people.

Carol Overland, who lived two time zones away from Sake, in Red Wing Minnesota, saw the pup’s profile on the Internet and decided she would not let Sake spend the rest of her short in a kill shelter.  She would give Sake a home.

Momma Carol drove approximately 2,000 miles to get Sake, and the same amount to bring the very grateful dog home.  Sake smiled the entire way. She slowed down those expiring heartbeats because she did not want to die on the road.  She had to step into her forever home just once so she could be a family dog.

Sake made it.  She walked into the house and heard the spirits of the dogs who had preceded her cheering loudly as her new sister Sadie provided a welcoming lick.  Sake had tried hard to hide her illness during the trip, but she dropped the facade after reaching her destination. She began circling and leaning as she walked, and her legs were giving out.  Momma Carol realized something was very wrong.

Sake lost her appetite. She began to have trouble breathing.  Her temperature soared. Those last few heartbeats came at a high cost, but Sake did not mind.  Even as she was rushed out of the house for the final time, to go to the vet, where she would pass to the Bridge from distemper, she was happy because she was not passing alone.  She was passing with a family.

Momma Carol was there like she had been on all her dogs final days when Sake passed away.  As Sake reached Rainbow Bridge the ailments that had hampered her existence were swept away.  I have never seen a dog so happy to cross the Bridge. When she reached Hobo’s bluff, she hugged me.  “I made it,” she said with tears in her eyes.

“I am a family dog!  I am going to have parents to greet when they reach the Bridge.  They are going to let me live with them. I am saved! I am saved!” Sake barked then fell at my paws weeping tears of joy. 

When she stood, I had more good news for her.  Sake was now a Doggyspace member because once you become a Doggyspace’s Mom’s dog, you become a part of our group.  I introduced her to everyone in our neighborhood, and she had hundreds of friends within minutes. Now every door is open to her, and she can call them all home.

I don’t know if Momma Carol knew what she was doing when she drove halfway across the country to save a shelter dog.  She wasn’t saving a dog. She was saving an angel for eternity. Sake’s immortal life would be much different without Momma Carol’s sacrifice.  To us angels, who see dogs that were never rescued every day, and knowing they will never be reunited with a family, Momma Carol achieved the ultimate save.

And we all tip our tails to Momma Carol and Sake promises to be your most magnificent angel forever looking over you until that day when he is reunited with you, and all your loved ones will move to Happily Ever After.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Pocket, Her Parents and the Rash Decision

I have been going to the vet so often they should give me a punch card, so I get a free examination every tenth visit.

Four weeks ago I had my anal glands expressed.  Starting that night, and continuing onward, I became obsessed with licking my butt.  I don’t do it often, but when I do, it takes a nuclear explosion to make me stop. I was not showing any other symptoms of anal gland problems.  No scooting, no discharge, no bad smell, just licking.

My parents have had dogs who damaged themselves by licking a problem area. Mommy needed to discourage my self-grooming.  A cone was discussed, but I would be miserable wearing the funnel of shame, and they were worried it would have an adverse effect on my trachea.

I have, from time to time, in certain high-stress situations, like storms, guests and playtime, suffered from excitable pee syndrome.  Because of this, my parents have always kept a pair of diapers nearby. I didn’t mind wearing them. If I did pee the diapers kept me from getting yelled at, so that was fine by me.

When my parents were trying to discourage my butt licking, they discussed several options.  The easiest, and seemingly safest alternative was for me to wear the diapers (I prefer to call them pants).  While I could still get to my butt, I couldn’t achieve a good lick. It was very frustrating. When the diaper came off I would lick, when it was on, I refrained.  

Until two night ago.  I was pantless and licking.  Daddy pulled my head from my special area and noticed a rash had broken out on my belly.   We were going to the groomer, who is a great judge of my health, in two days Mommy said they would get her opinion on my rash and anal glands.

It was a rainy, windy day when we went to the groomers.  Several times we had to slow down as our car passed through flooded roadways.  We floated into the groomers, and Mommy told her the sad tale of what was going on under my tail.

Two hours later my parents returned, wetter, and slightly shakier.  River Song was brought out first, and the groomer told my parents that she had impacted glands that were expressed.   Then I was brought out. The good news was that my anal glands were empty with no sign of infection. The bad news was the groomers were concerned about the rash.

She told my parents if I was her dog she wouldn’t rush me to the vet.  My parent took that advice to heart. They waited a whole day.

My Dad was sure my rash was caused be me wearing a diaper which aggravated my tender belly.  Mommy thought the culprit was the No Scoot chewable I started taking, which are made from brewer’s yeast.

My parents are terrible vets.   I was brought into the examination room, which, by this point should be called the Pocket room.  The vet entered, gave me a quick exam, looked at my belly and diagnosed a severe skin infection from ragweed.  I got two shots. One was an antibiotic and the second was a steroid. I did not mind the shots themselves, after getting a finger up, your butt shots are nothing.  Also, I was given a follow-up appointment in two weeks, because the vet cannot go long without seeing my face.

I did not consent to the steroid shot.  I hope this doesn’t get me suspended or keeps me out of the Dog Hall of Fame.  I swear on a stack on Dogster magazines I never knowingly juiced.

The good news is the diaper is now far back in the junk drawer hopefully never to be warned again unless I am feeling pretty it and works in my ensemble.  If I knew I could have got rid of that thing by interacting with a little ragweed, I would have been sniffing that stuff by the bowl full.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Beat This Caption

I am the one who rode all through the night and General Bulldog falls asleep

Monday, September 17, 2018

Monday Question

Have you ever, by accident, or even on purpose, nip a human?

Pocket:  Nope, never.

River Song  Yep, twice.  Both times Pocket and I were fighting.  I gave Mommy a small nip and bit Daddy hard right on the fingernail which made his finger swell and was quite painful.  Ooops.   

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Fallon is our September 16, 2018 Pup of the Week

We stand up to cancer!  We fight it, we raise money to research it, sometimes we even wrestle it to a draw.  But in the end, it either wins or something else takes us, before cancer can finish the job.

The list of angels whose mortal life ended because of cancer would fill 1,000,000 blogs.  This week another cancer warrior, Fallon, joined us.

Fallon battled the cancer demon with such ferocity that I thought she would escape its evil grasp.  She surrendered her front leg to the cause and continued onward with her life like a tick had been removed, not a limb.  Every soul who knew Fallon rooted for her with all their spirit. Sadly, we are only given so many heartbeats, and those can be robbed from us.  Nothing steals heartbeats like cancer.

A little less than a year ago, at age 11, Fallon was diagnosed with osteosarcoma and given a devastating prognosis.  Her parents had two options: Amputation or Rainbow Bridge. Fallon was in pain from the tumor, but she was courageous and enthusiastic.  Her parents could not send her to the Bridge when she was in high spirits. The decision was made to amputate.

How would a greyhound, who loved to run, like Fallon adapt to losing her front leg?  The answer was swimmingly. Fallon, no longer in pain from the tumor, barely noticed the missing limb.  She was back to being the dog her parents remembered before cancer affected their baby.

Fallon would stay with her parents past her twelfth birthday.  There were wins and losses, as there always are with cancer. Shortly after her birthday, the stolen heartbeats exceeded the remaining ones.    Her parents had fought, along with Fallon, so hard against cancer, and it was hard to accept the battle was ending. When you have a sick dog their health becomes the center of your life.  Without having Fallon's struggles to concentrate on, Fallon’s parents would be adrift. But, they loved their girl, and, despite the pain it caused them, they sent her free.

Meanwhile, on our side of the River of Life, we waited for Fallon to arrive.  We didn’t see her, but the dust cloud caused by all four of her paws digging into the ground and pushing off, as she flew through the air, enjoying running like she had when she was a puppy, could be seen for miles.

She ran past all of us awaiting her and kept going, over the fields, through the meadows, into the hills, and over the mountains.   She was enjoying having the legs, hearts, and lungs of a young dog again, but also running away from the sorrow of losing her parents.  We dogs do run from pain, and Fallon felt a tremendous amount after leaving her parents, so she kept going. Fallon heard pounding paws next to her and turned to see her sister Willow, who had arrived at the Bridge previously, alongside.  The former greyhound racers challenged one another. Willow was the better runner, but she kept dropping back to keep her sister nearby.

We waited for hours as Fallon kept trying to run the pain away until she and Willow finally joined us, We gave her wings in case she wanted to fly and watched the sisters soar together even faster than they ran.

That night Willow took Fallon to see their parents, which eased her sister’s pain.  Unfortunately, humans are not allowed to see their angels. We pray for their parents, so they can somehow overcome their anguish.

Maggie, who joined their pack after Willow went to the Bridge, can see her angel sisters, and she is being taught how to make her parents smile.   Willow and Fallon are confident that Maggie is the dog to do it.

Willow and Fallon want their parents to know, if they ever see small clouds in a row, they were caused by their two greyhounds, running hard across the sky.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Bretagne, the Last 9/11 Dog to Arrive at Rainbow Bridge Remembers Those Left Behind

September 11 is an emotional day for everyone, in both the mortal and immortal worlds.  I was still a pup, two months past my first birthday, on that terrible day. My parents were working.  Blake and I were asleep in our bedroom, oblivious to what was happening 200 miles to the south. When our parents got home, we knew something terrible had occurred.

Our parents took us to the state mental hospital across the street from our condo.  It was a beautiful day, the sky a vivid blue. Blake and I began our walk, scampering over the green grass, and we both turned to give our parents broad smiles, and for just a few seconds, everything was okay.

Every year, at Rainbow Bridge, we hold a remembrance ceremony to mark that horrible day.  There are several speakers, some who became eternal angels that day, some who were already here, and explained how the immortal world shook as it expanded to welcome so many new souls, and some who worked Ground Zero looking in vain for any surviving humans.

They are all at the Bridge now.  Every dog who ran into the buildings, or searched for remains, has become immortal.  

The last 911 dog to cross the Bridge was Bretagne who lived 16 years and arrived in 2016.  He was our guest speaker. He looked out at the assembled angels both, dogs, and humans, and began.

“Today we honor the dogs who worked so hard to help the victims of the 911 attacks.  They are now all here, and they may be luckier than the humans left behind.
“Those first responders, who ran into the fire or worked on the heap for months searching for remains and removing debris, have developed cancer at an alarming rate.  No wonder, since over 400 tons of asbestos was used to build the Twin Towers, and all of it turned to dust, that was inhaled by the workers.

“The human Congress, after a long fight, established the 911 Victims Compensation Fund to pay for the medical expenses of those first responders who developed cancer and other medical problems after the attacks.  Each year more people have filed claims after being diagnosed, and the VCF has to be increased, which leads to fighting in Congress This past year the number of claimants has risen by 36% as almost 35,000 more cases were filed.  Also, sadly, the number of deceased claims from families who lost someone who worked at Ground Zero nearly doubled to 720 from last year.

“I know humans have things they don’t want to pay taxes for, planned parenthood on one side of the aisle, a wall on the other side of the aisle, but does anyone want to say to my colleagues who worked in a literal death pit filled with asbestos for months searching for trace matters of people so their relatives would have something to bury,  that they cannot have their medical expenses paid, or be compensated for the salaries of loved ones who are too sick to work, or worse, have crossed over? Yet every time the fund needs to be increased the number of nay votes grows. If I or any other dog who worked at Ground Zero was sick, or in a shelter, people who gladly send us money. Not that I am complaining but why do people treat dogs better than humans?
“88,484 first responders have registered with the World Trade Center Health Fund, and of that group 10,000 have cancer.  That number grows every day. The period from exposure to asbestos to becoming sick is up to 16 years so the butcher’s bill will be due soon.  It is estimated that every three days someone, either a first responder, a survivor, a person who lived in the area, a volunteer, or a member of the trade union died from World Trade Center-related illnesses.  

“2,996 people died during the 911 terrorist attacks, but that isn’t the final number, it grows weekly.  We say never forget but why have so many of the survivors been forgotten.”

Bretagne stepped away from the podium, saluted the flag, and lay down on the green grass.  He mortal work may be done, but he is still trying to save humans.

He is a figure for us all to emulate and we must not forget the brave colleagues who worked with him and are now suffering.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

River Introduces WAGZ, the new App for Dogs

I, River Song, am ready to make a significant announcement.  Before the end of the year my creation, WAGZ, the first app just for dogs, will be on the market and soon change your life.  

WAGZ is an interactive app where dogs can both post information and read the same.  It is going to change the way we dogs do everything.

Do you get tired of walking with your nose to the ground looking for the scent of a friend’s pee-mail?  With WAGZ your days of time-consuming sniffing are over. All you have to do is download the app at a cost of just a few kibble,  take your phone with you on walks, or, if your parents belong to the close-minded few who don’t believe dogs should have cell phones, download the app on their phone, then, when you have something to report, just bark what you want to be posted and the app will recognize your voice.  WAGZ will post your message on the network.

Per example:  I urinate then bark “I have just peed an important update by the big rock at 156 Natick Drive.”  All my friends on the WAGZ network will get a notification that I left important information at that place.  When they go on their walks, they don’t have to sniff everywhere looking for my message. They can walk with their heads up, enjoying the scenery, and not use all that energy needlessly sniffing.  When they come to the rock at 156 they can, with just one smell, download my message.

WAGZ is not just for pee-mail.  It is going to revolutionize the critter hunting business.  If all the dogs in your neighborhood have`the WAGZ app and they see a squirrel, they can notify you by sending out a Rocky Alert.  There is no longer the need to sit on alert looking for vermin. A simple text will get you out of the chair and barking hysterically within seconds of the squirrel spotting.

You can also let your friends know when you are going on your walk so they will know exactly when you will be walking past and can bark hello for 87 minutes.
What is that noise outside the window?  A visitor, the UPS driver, the postal delivery, or just a branch?  No need to run to the door. Just check the WAGZ app from the comfort of your bed.  

WAGZ allows you to have more time on your mom’s lap, or to lie in the sun, and less time staring out the window.

If your parents are Amish, app illiterate, or just plain weird, and refuse to give you access to a phone, don’t cry.  Just pee. When one of our WAGZ users finds your pee-mail, they will send out a message to your friends so they can get an app notification with your pee update.

You can program WAGZ to do anything you want.  Have you found a delicious new treat? Let your friends know about WAGZ.   Do you want to brag about how quickly you destroyed a stuffie? WAGZ is the way to go.  Once you use WAGZ, you will wonder how you ever survived without it.

WARNING:  WAGZ is addictive.  Your parents may complain that instead of spending time with them you have your nose in the cell phone all the time.  If this happens to you bark this message to them on WAGZ.

“Now you know how we feel.”

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Beat This Caption

Brutus, enjoy your time in the bed with Summer, but, when I tell her I saw you sniffing Penelope's but I will be the one in the bed and you will be stuck on this stinking towel.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Monday Quesiton

Do your parents ever leave you for overnight or longer and where do you stay?  If your parents don't leave you do they have an emergency plan if they have to leave you?

Pocket:  Our Mommy has not left us in years.  If they have to we would go to her daughter's Kim's house.  I haven't stayed there since I was a puppy and ma not looking forward to having to do it again so we are hoping there are no emergencies. 

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Mia is our September 9, 2018 Pup of the Week

I dread whenever a friend crosses Rainbow Bridge.  I know their humans are going to be heartbroken and lost.  A dog is constant. We are always home. We want to be by your side.  Our parents pour so much of their love into us and receive an equal amount in return the when we pass the poor dears are left with an excess amount of love to give, and an infinitesimal amount in return.

My dread is tripled when a pup bounds across the Bridge, climbs the stairs to Hobo’s bluff, greets me with a hearty hello, tells me how great it is to see me again, and I stand there with a befuddled look on my face.  That happened this week when Mia, a lovely chocolate lab, crossed from the mortal world.

She kissed me and said she was happy to finally meet me for real.  I smiled at her, looked down at the paperwork, saw it said Mia and tried to think of a Mia I knew.  “Don’t you remember me?” she asked.  I made a noise like I was losing at tug of war. 

  “From Doggyspace.  You remember Jack, Mia and Phoebe don’t you?”

Oh!  Jack, Mia, and Phoebe, of course, I remembered.  That was the problem with groups of dogs on DS.  Their names ran together. Jackmiaphoebe. Mia got lost in the middle.  I threw my arms around her and gave her a big kiss.  “How have you been?” I asked excitedly.

“Not too well,” Mia said.  “I recently got sick, and my mom couldn’t stand to see me suffering so she sent me here so I could be young and whole again.”
I have to stop asking new arrivals how they have been.  I told Mia that I was very sorry and promised to teach her all the angel tricks she could use to see her mom again, and possibly, if she were lucky, her mom could see her too.

Then I introduced Mia to all the dogs that Momma Alice loved before Mia arrived.  I left them alone as they hugged, cried, and talked about how much they adored their mom.  Then they began playing, because Mia is a chocolate lab, and they can’t go long without running.  Mia was happy to discover she could run for hours without getting tired. She and her new pack chased each other until the sun went down.

When they were done, Mia’s pack brought her to their new house, a replica of the place they lived in Melbourne Australia.  I followed them home then told Mia to shut her eyes and let me take her by the paw.  I brought her to the Doggyspace town square where her angel friends, Tommy Tunes, Morgan, Apollo, and so many others had come together to honor Mia with a big welcoming dinner.

We ate, drank and celebrated Mia’s arrival deep into the night.  We did this because we love a good party and to keep Mia’s mind off the sadness.  But, on the walk home, I could feel her despair growing. When we reached her house, I gave her a package of the tears her mom had cried over Mia’s passing.  I told her to sprinkle them in her garden, and her flowers would be the most beautiful at the Bridge.

Mia said she was exhausted and wanted to lie down, but then her door burst open from the inside and her pack surrounded her and said they were going to visit their mom.  They gave Mia her wings, and she joined them as they flew towards the moon where they would enter their mom’s dreams.

Mia was learning that an angel is always kept busy because when you are idle you get to missing people and that makes you sad.

If only we could all keep going all the time and never miss anyone.  That would be a wonderful thing.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Foley Teaches Humans About Their Imaginary Eye

I have received permission, because my readers are the most loving pet parents in the world, and, it has been noted, by some very important souls here at the Bridge, that many of them are grieving a lost pet, to let them know that a new way has been discovered for them to see their angels after they go to the Bridge.

All parents have to do to see their angels is to activate their imaginary eye.

Humans are born with an imaginary eye.  When they are infants and toddlers, they use it frequently.  They can see invisible friends, unicorns, and anything else they can create.  Young children are regularly telling their parents not to sit in a spot because their friend is there.  Their parents humor them because their imaginary eye has been extinguished.
This process begins when children go to school.  That is where students are introduced to facts. During this process, they learn the difference between fact and fiction.  Fact is real. Fiction is not. The imaginary eye, which the body uses to create fiction, begins to be diminished.

The downside of an imaginary eye is that no one else can see what you see, even if their imaginary eye is fully activated.  Your imaginary eye only sees what you imagine, and no two humans can imagine the same thing at once.

The imaginary eye stays strong in single children, or those who are lonely, but slowly, as they grow older, they let the adult voices tell them that imaginary things are for little kids, and humans lose their valuable sixth sense:  Imagination.

But I am writing this to get you to reactivate this valuable tool.  What you have to do will seem simple, but is quite hard. You are going to have to believe:  Believe that you can see things, like a beloved pup, sleeping on your sofa, or striding next to you, when no one else can.  To do this, you are going to have to tap into your faith. That is what makes you believe things that can’t possibly be true are real.  If you can find your faith, you can activate your belief system and see it all.

The trained part of your mind is going to keep telling you that it is silly and childish.  Ignore it. When you are ready to close your eyes and picture your angel, then open your eyes and look around, to a piece of furniture, or the floor, or a car seat, wherever you want, and then picture your angel there.

When you do that we will appear, looking up at you.  I bet our tails are going to be going a mile a minute.

I know, there are downsides to the imaginary eye.  If the loss of your pup is still fresh seeing them with your imaginary eye can be a painful reminder, since none of the other senses, smell, hearing, touch, or taste, are activated by the eye.  But, if you can master your imaginary eye, you will be able to see your baby again.

Speaking for the angels, I can assure you that we are hoping you can use your imaginary eye, so we can see you looking at us with a heart full of love.   We would love to see it again.

As my good friend Mr. Wonka said:
“There is no life I know
To compare with pure imagination
Living there, you'll be free, if you truly wish to be”

Let yourself believe, open your eyes, and see us.  Then let our love wash over you. 
And don’t let anyone tell you we are not there.  They are just blind to the possibilities of imagination and should be pitied.

Hopefully, you will see us soon.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Pocket Reflects on Turning Eleven

Somehow, I have reached my eleventh birthday.  Through bad teeth, irritable bowels, food allergies, impacted anal glands, luxating patellas, collapsing tracheas, skipped meals, ghastly poops, and general malaise I have officially begun my twelfth trip around the sun.

When I was young and went through several sick periods, my parents did not expect me to see this day.  When Foley left unexpectedly, they became slightly obsessive about my health, because they did not want to go through the heartbreak again, and they love me.

I know, at 11, no longer a pup but not quite a senior, that I have more yesterdays than tomorrows, and that is fine.  I scared my parents when it took me just short of two weeks to recover from having a giant’s finger poking around in my rectum. Two days after I was violated my irritable bowel, angry over my treatment, flared up, leaving me finicky about food, and uncomfortable, for 24 hours as my tummy rolled like the Bering Sea.  I also expelled a poop that resembled a Hieronymus Bosch painting of a crime scene.  As always, given time and pumpkin, I bounced back. After a week of ignoring my little red ball, which I usually chased with abandon each morning, I dropped it at Daddy’s feet yesterday and barked until he threw it.  Little Pocket was back!

 There was a time, although it seems unfathomable, that I was even smaller, a two-pound puppy who fit in Daddy’s pocket, hence the name.  I was introduced on social media at ten months, despite the objections of Foley, who was becoming a star and did not want her little sister sharing the limelight.  Foley said I could not go on Doggyspace until I was fully housetrained.  After a few weeks, Mommy overruled this regulation.  Thank God!  When it comes to house training, I am nearly there.

When Foley went to the Bridge, she left me to manage the Tanner Brigade and our blog.  Foley was a constant presence on the site, trying to make sure every member was happy.  I am less intense.  I want everyone to have fun, but leave them be, and ask that the last one out hits the lights.

I lived six years with Foley, and I am now beginning my sixth year with River.  It doesn’t seem possible I could live with River longer than Foley.  When she was here, Foley was clearly the boss. When River arrived, twice my size, we tussled over who would be the pack leader, before I stepped aside with a sigh.  I am a snuggler, not a leader.   I can still show River my ferocious side when I am angry.  Otherwise, I give my sister a wide berth.  That resting bitch face of hers turns into a real bitch face in a hurry.

My birthday passed quietly.  We didn’t have a party because I don’t play with toys, except my ball, and any stuffies would be ignored, although River would be happy if September 4 were her second birthday.  And since my tummy only allows pumpkin, turkey kibble, low sodium turkey breast, bacon treats, and an occasional bite of chicken, cakes or treats, while appreciated, are not practical, although River would beg to differ.

What I wanted for my birthday was normalcy.  A snuggly morning in bed with my parents, a good poop, a healthy appetite, an intense game of chase with my ball, my choice of two warm laps, a walk where I can bark at all my neighbors, and more snuggling.  To me an average day is heaven.

I am hoping, for this trip around the sun, that there is no turbulence or drama, but if it occurs, and it is bound too, that’s okay, that’s just life, and I am going to continue, thanks to my parents and my friends, live it happily, as I look out the window as this fascinating planet continues it’s journey forever and anon.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Beat This Caption

Everyone get out of my way.  I am late for work.   Oh no!  I'm behind a school bus!  I hate when summer ends and the kids go back to school.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Monday Question

Do your parents work?  If they do, what do they do, and if not, what did they do before they retired?

Pocket:  My Dad was a public housing manager until he retired five years ago.  Daddy know works part times doing in-store sales for Blue Buffalo which means free food!  Mommy retired from being a teacher's assistant in 2011 and is now a full-time dog mom which is good because we need one.  

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Jake is our September 2 2018 Pup of the Week

A dog’s life is always too short, but a dog and their parents should have at least ten years together.  Anything less is tragic.
This week my friend Jake came to Rainbow Bridge after just under six years with his parents.  That’s barely a blink of an eye. But Jake made an impression that will never be forgotten.

It was shortly after Amber, who was known for the famous goggles w\she wore while riding with her dad went to the Bridge that Jake joined Momma Carola’s household.  Amber had been a quiet, well-behaved dog. Jake would be a challenge.

It had taken a while between Amber’s passing and Jakie’s arrival.  There was a new job, and a new house, before Amber’s parents were ready to adopt a pup.  Angel Morgan and Jackson’s Momma Jane was fostering Jake, who seemed perfect. Once they were situated Amber’s parents adopted Jake.

On Jake’s first walk with his new parents, he went into their friend’s house and promptly pooped.  That was a sign of things to come.  Next came a benign skin tumor and an anal gland infection.  Then his legs began to betray him causing him to hobble.  He was put on steroids, and the doctor hoped the problem would work itself out.

Perhaps, because of his health issues, Jake became aggressive.  He snapped at his mommy’s nephew and growled at a nice senior woman.  He was a terror on walks as he pulled and barked. His parents tried a citronella collar and a Gentle Leader to no avail.  On his walks, Jake had what his mom termed a “demonic fit” by barking and spinning. He snapped at a woman, barked at everything and began chewing his fur causing sores.  Jake was not quiet Amber.

A lot of parents would have written Jake off as a foster failure, but his folks refused.  Jake was their dog for better or worse, and since they were getting a lot of the worse, they believed better days were ahead.

And they were.  Little by little Jake became a success story.  He finally was a happy little dog his parents could enjoy, with a bit of spunk.

Parents that adopt are the best.  Who knows if Jake ever would have found a forever home if he wasn’t adopted by Momma Carolla and her husband, Charlie?  The rewards adoptive parents get are many, but what they lose is time, and in five years Jake already showed signs of aging.

The dementia monster attacked Jake robbing him of his memory; then he became incontinent, his leg problems returned, he was diagnosed with Cushing’s Disease, and had gone deaf.  His parents knew Jake was no longer Jake and the only way to return him to his former, happy self and that was to let him go.

I could tell, as Jake was crossing the Bridge, that he was loved by many souls because the clouds brought human tears that drenched us.  Then the sun came out, and Jake ran over the Bridge, up the stairs to the recently named Hobo’s Bluff where I swear in the new angels, and then past me, across the fields, and up to the mountains, barking all the way.

Jake was feeling young again, and with that came the mischievous personality he had suppressed for so long.  I knew exactly who could manage Jake. I whistled for Benjamin, the Sheriff of Fun, and told him that he and Brody had a new member of their happy pack.  Benjamin watched Jake running around and wondered out loud if even he could contain the ultimate free spirit, but then he stopped thinking. He and Brody chased after Jake barking all the way.

When Jake stopped for a minute to watch his parents on Tunes’ vision, he was shocked to see how upset they were.  Jake realized he was the one who had brought light into his house. He was as essential to a happy home as the roof and windows.  Jake was missing from his house now, and coming so closely after Amber’s passing, it hit his parents hard. Jake put his paw on the screen and promised that he would think of something to make them happy again. Momma Carola, if you wake up one morning and don’t feel sad know that Jake had been in your dreams, staring at you with those beautiful dark eyes and then dancing around just to lighten your heart.

Please don’t worry about your baby.   We angels are taking care of him. And he will soon take care of you.

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...