Dogs are put on Earth to care for their parents above all others. But, sometimes two dogs become so codependent that their bond with one another trumps that of the bond to their parents, and they cannot live without each other. I met Chase and Gucci a decade ago at Doggyspace where parents communicated through their pups. There were no affiliations, no Democrats or Republicans, just people learning to be like their dogs, living in the moment, not worrying about what comes next. These were the days before Facebook and Twitter took over the Internet when friendship mattered more than opinion, which people now carry like a flag that needs defending. When a dog comes into their parent's lives, they must take care of their humans. When the pups age their parents begin to take care of them. There are times each day that tether moms and dads to their dogs. They have to be there for shots and medication. The dogs become even more of a constant in their parent's lives, and
This week the carnival came to Doggyspace. I awoke to find a huge Ferris Wheel in the middle of our square. I ran towards it. Other angels joined me, our tails wagging in unison. We came to the gate where a Great Dane stood. He promised us wonders beyond imagination including The Bridge’s tallest man, the bearded lady, Cheng, and Eng the Siamese twins, and the wolf boy. “This is awesome,” Buck said to me. “I can’t wait to see them.” I ran to the Ferris Wheel and rode it with Brooklyn. As always my Boston Terrier friend had a tennis ball in her mouth. When we got to the top Brooklyn spit out the ball, and we watched it fall endlessly until it hit the ground and bounced high in the air. We both let out howls of joy and then looked towards the horizon, boasting that we could see our moms’ house. Brooklyn and I could have stayed on the Ferris Wheel all day, but there was a long line, and we weren’t selfish. Brooklyn ran off to find her ball, and I went to the food stand. I bo
The baseball team my parents root for, the Red Sox, are going to the World Series. This is devastating news to a nervous little Yorkie like me. I like a calm house. An evening with my parents reclining in their chairs, watching something relaxing, like “Dancing With the Stars,” is perfect for me. I find a lap, listen to the music, and float away. I could be a therapy dog for humans coping with hypertension. Whenever either of my parents tenses the slightest, I am next to them, using my right paw to jostle their arm. I know what cures a tense human: Rubbing my soft fur. Life certainly comes with enough tension: Money problems, illnesses, arguments, the state of the world. There is no escaping it. So why do humans watch sporting events that makes them nervous and often leaves them sad? It is one of life’s greatest mysteries. It is bad enough that the Patriots keep going to the Super Bowl. Year after year, no matter what happens, they are there. Does the rest of the count
Do you wear a jacket and if so when do you wear it? Pocket: We do have jackets. We wear them if it is raining or snowing. If we are going on a walk and it is below freezing we put them on, but it has to be near zero for us to put them on just for a quick pee or poop.
Two friends arrived at their Forever (And Ever) homes at Rainbow Bridge this week. Momma Cindi’s boy Axel crossed the Bridge on Thursday. His old body was giving out, and his mom gave him the ultimate gifts: Youth, vitality, strength, speed and a sharp mind. The gifts were a tradeoff. To get these things for Axel Momma Cindi had to give up one of her most precious treasures, more time with Axel. She would never see her baby again. Parents have trouble understanding when they let us go that they are doing an eternal kindness. We return to being puppies or any other age we choose. We have thousands of dogs to play with while we wait for that glorious day when pup and parent are reunited. For us, while we miss our parents and mortal family and friends, we know the answer is patience. Our parents have to give us up. What a terrible trade that is. We dogs get everything, and our parents have so much taken away. While our wait to be reunited is equal in length, our parents as
One of the advantages of being a dog at Rainbow Bridge is that you get to meet dogs from centuries ago and listen to their remembrances of bygone times. There is much to be learned from these wizened creatures. From George Washington’s dog I discovered the first President was a terrible rapper, Abraham Lincoln’s dog criticizes his master for remembering to free the slaves but forgetting his walks, and Tom Edison dog said his dad was “just a lucky dullard.” Recently I learned that dogs are the true creators of Halloween. To fully understand all the details I had to travel back to the days of our wolf heritage. We dogs are not much different from our wolf ancestors, we want to eat, and for many wolves the only food that was available was lamb. To be able to sneak up on the lambs the wolves disguised themselves in their prey’s wool coats and feasted on them. The farmers, angry that they were losing their flock, took up arms against the wolves. After months of wolf and lamb de
When I was a pup, before Foley got us barred from Doggyspace, she published a blog called “The Pissing Contest” chronicling Foley and me peeing on the same spot continually to get the last pee in. Unfortunately, despite all the good that resulted from us being banned from DS, we lost access to our blogs, including Foley’s magnum opus about pee. I would never dare to compare my writing ability to my sister, but it has bothered me for most of my life that the pissing contest blog had been dried up by the cold winds of history and I felt compelled to revisit the subject. So, I present, “Pissing Contest II, a River Runs Through It.” (I know, how disappointing! There are no original ideas in blogging anymore, just remakes and superhero origin stories.) In the morning I am the first out of bed. I accompany Daddy as he holds me with one hand and begins his own “pissing in the water bowl contest” with Mommy. Mommy usually wins these contests, I guess the older you get, the better
Thankfully, for a second consecutive week, I had no mortal members of Doggspace, TB or Blogville cross the Bridge. I can’t remember the last time two week passed without a crossing. We are very lucky. But there are some of us who need prayers and, if you don’t mind, I would like to concentrate on them this week, starting with my bestie Reese. I can’t believe my beautiful little boy is nine years old. I guess this is what happens when you while away five years of eternity at the Bridge. Reese was such a sweet boy when I made my journey. He checked with my mom every day to see how she was coping with her loss and to smile at her. Earlier this year Reese tore his ACL. His Dad and their vet Linda discussed possible options. They thought the best course was for Reese to keep off of his leg, take it easy and be put on anti-inflammatories and pain medication. Unfortunately, Reese has never been good at staying off things or taking it easy. He has a brace that he refuses to wear, frus
The things I do to make a friend happy. I got a direct message from my friend Bishop this week. He adopted a pet snake named Mr. Belvedere. Bishop loves all creatures so it is not surprising that he would adopt a snake. I try to avoid the vile beings, but I am not in the position to tell a dog who they should and shouldn’t love. Then something happened I did not expect. First Mr. Belevedere passed over the river of life, not surprising because all beings must, then Bishop asked me to let Mr. Belevedere live with Bishop’s family at Doggyspace. Of course, I promised I would. But it really wasn’t my place to promise. It was up to the Group Of Dogs who oversee Doggyspace. I often have to go before them to defend my decision making or ask for special favors. They are never happy to see me, and this favor was a doozy. “Absolutely not,” the most senior member of the board barked at me. “We cannot have snakes wiggling on the ground scaring all our angels.” “Well,” I said slo
What the Barney Frank is going on at my house? Two weeks ago my parents left me alone and took Pocket with them. Why would they do that? What does Pocket have to offer that I don’t? I am cute, witty, and charming. If need be my resting bitch face can chase off the most determined criminal. How could they take Pocket and leave me? When they got home, I cornered Pocket and asked her what was going on. She told me she went to the vet because she had a rash on her belly. I made her roll over. It looked red. I gave it a whiff. It didn’t smell like yeast. Pocket said it was ragweed. I had no idea what that smelled like. I asked her what happened after the diagnosis. She said she got two shots, one for the infection and one to stop the scratching. The whole thing seemed fishy to me. When I have gone to the vet for allergies or infections, I have have had to take pills afterward. Pocket was sent home with nothing but a red belly, which looked like it could have been drawn with
How would you best describe the way you bark? Pocket: I have a high pitched bark that comes in several small, loud yips that can hit you like a knife being jabbed into your skull. At least that's what Mommy says. River: I lay down a basic track of one long growl, and from that, I form an "O" with my mouth and let a quick, short, bark.
It was a quiet week here, friend wise. For the first time in months, I did not have to swear a friend in as an angel. I have enjoyed the pleasant break. But I still had to Christian, an angel. Roddy is a beautiful black and brown dog who lived with his 84-year-old mom in Hlobane Farms, South Africa. Two weeks ago the mom was cooking guava outside her kitchen when she heard Roddy bark. Three teenage boys appeared with guns demanding cash and a cell phone. The woman told them she had neither. Then Roddy appeared, eager to protect his mom. He chased the boys, one of whom fired a gun, sending beautiful Roddy to the Bridge. Roddy flew back to the mortal side to spend time with his traumatized mom. He will be there until she is ready to depart and continue to try and protect her from the bad men in the world. Hopefully, my friend, Nico won’t be arriving at the Bridge anytime soon, but she is going to need prayers. The 11-year-old pit bull was going on a pleasant walk wi
Despite humans’ assumptions that dogs watch TV, we ignore the annoying blather coming from the television. When our parents find us staring at the screen they believe we are paying attention. Actually, we are trying to decipher what about the talking picture box so occupies our parents’ time. There was one show that caught my fancy. I was enraptured by the time-traveling adventures chronicled on Doctor Who. I would love to time travel. Even after I crossed the Bridge, it was a secret fantasy of mine. Yesterday morning I awoke to a whoorp, whoorp sound. I opened my eyes to see a blue police box at the end of my bed. I crawled from under the covers and saw that the blue box’s door was ajar. I trotted to the edge and opened the door to see a vast room. The blue box was the Tardis, the time machine the Doctor uses to travel. I walked inside the room, impressed that the machine truly was bigger on the inside. I yelled for the Doctor and the companions he travels with, bu
It rained on Monday. It was supposed to be our garden day. When we awoke, it looked very promising. The sun was high in the blue sky, and the air was warm. Then suddenly, without warning, fall arrived. We were outside, River Song and I in our buggy, when the sky turned gunmetal grey. The clouds slipped one under another until the sky turned dark. Then the rain fell as Mommy deadheaded flowers and Daddy mowed the wet lawn. Once the grass was cut Daddy told Mommy, there was nothing to be done that couldn’t wait another week. Instead of working outside, getting smelly and wet, we were inside, where it smelled clean, pleasantly dry, and we took advantage of our cleared schedule to have a snuggle day. The next morning it was still raining, but the air smelled crisper. The wet grass was cooler on our paws. The green leaves had changed overnight. They were now red, yellow and orange. They looked prettier. Leaves have that advantage. They are brightest just before the fall.
What do you do with leaves when they fall? Do you bark at them? Play in them? Chase them when they blow around? Eat them? Something else? Pocket: We bark and sometimes sniff and chase. We think they are alive.