Friday, November 30, 2018

Foley and the Sad Christmas Tree

This morning there was a loud knock on my door.  I got up and saw Max and Tupper standing on the landing wearing their winter best. “We are going to get a real live Christmas tree for our house,” Tupper said, excitedly.  “Do you want to come?” Ever since I lost track of a Russian I was charged with burying in the Pine Barrens, I have hated walking in the woods in the winter. But Max and Tupper were a lot of fun, so I agreed to go with them.

Tupper, Max, and I walked over the river and through the woods until we came to a vast forest of pine trees.  Max found one that would fit perfectly in their living room. Jasper pulled an ax out of his overcoat and began to swing at the trunk.

“Hold it!” a deep voice growled.  Our eyes darted around. “Up here,” the voice said. We looked up and realized the tree was talking.  “Do not chop me down!” it commanded.

Wow,” Max said.  “Trees can talk.”

“You’re damn right we can talk,” the tree said.   “And I am finally going to speak for all the trees in the forest.  We have had enough with your Christmas traditions. Someone has to put a stop to the madness.“

He shook his mighty branches.  “Once I was a young sapling, happily growing in a forest with many friends.   Then one day a man came and chopped me down. As he was walking away at me with his ax, I thought ‘you are a tree, you knew this day would come, and soon you will be at Rainbow Bridge, be immortal and never feel the cut of an ax again.’

“But, my mortal fate would be prolonged.  Instead of being allowed to ascend to the Bridge peacefully I was wrapped and kept alive.  Many of my friends and I, had been kidnapped and were being held in a parking lot. We were weak and barely conscious.  After a few days, I realized my friends were slowly disappearing. Then they came for me.”

“A man had bought me.  I was tied to the roof of his car like excess luggage.  Then I was dragged across the snow into a house. I thought that I would either be burned or hacked apart in some strange, pagan ritual.  Instead, I was stood up, and put in water, which I thankfully drank. At first, I was grateful, but then I realized they were going to keep me barely alive by giving me just enough water to help keep me alive  It was barbaric.

“Then they began to deface me most curiously.  They hung balls from me. They put garland and tinsel on my branches.  They even put lights on me, and, for the final humiliation, a star on top.  My limbs were weighed down and bent, my needles were falling off, and all I had was one little stand of water which they kept forgetting to fill.
“They seemed to enjoy having me in their house, but they were also highly critical.  The mom was upset I was losing my needles and kept telling people I was not ‘as full’’ as last year’s. The cat tried to climb me, and the dog kept peeing on me.  The family broke every article of the Geneva Convention.

I was treated the best at Christmas. The family gathered around me to open their presents.  Their happiness made me feel part of something. But once the presents were gone, I was abandoned again.  After that, the family stopped caring about me, and my water was filled less.

On New Year’s Day, they finally removed all the lights, garland and ornaments from my branches and I hoped they would release me to the forest.  Instead, they left me on the sidewalk where I received the sweet kiss of death and escaped to Rainbow Bridge. 

So, do you understand, that I cannot let you chop me down?  If I were to be struck down by lightning, I would grow right back and not be bothered at all. But for you to use me as a Christmas Tree means I am held against my will again and slowly suffer until I pass and grow again.  I hope you understand.

Neither Max, Tupper or I could answer because we were weeping.  Then we told the tree that he had found a bad home. There are many people who welcome the tree in their home and treat it like one of the family, and we would do that as well.  The tree agreed but would not let us cut it down. It followed us home; it’s roots leaving a trail of destruction. It settled in our backyard where we made it look beautiful. Have you ever made a tree smile?  It is a great sight. I don’t know if we will stay with us after Christmas, but we hope he does

If you get a real tree this holiday season treat it’s right.  In many ways being a Christmas tree is a thankless task so make sure you give it plenty of love.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

River Suffers the Horror of Christmas Decorating

After three busy mornings, I was able to sleep late Monday.  When I awoke, I did my business outside, ate breakfast, then expected to take a long nap.  But my busy-body parents had other ideas.

My Daddy went into the shed and began to bring out the colossal Tupperware tubs.  I hoped he was just cleaning it out, but those dreams were cruelly crushed when he brought the boxes inside the house, including the long one that looks like a coffin and contains a dead tree.

It must be dead.  It doesn’t smell alive.  And it has been chopped into three sections.  My parents dragged the dead tree in the house and, with three quick snaps, they raised it from the dead, although they needed to construct a stand to keep it upright.  I gave it a sniff — no a sign of life.

My parents started to put lights on the tree, and then something humiliating happened.  I don’t want to reveal it, but it involved lights and a photo of me that was taken without my consent.  There is talk of this picture being used on a Christmas card. I have a team of lawyers who have sworn that they can quash the picture.  Hopefully, you will never see it.

After that sneaky assault on my rights, I gave the crazed decorators wide berth.  My Dad went to decorate outside while Mommy stayed inside, the closest to a traditional hunter/gatherer/relationship they will have. I don’t mind the outside decorating.   We need our home to stand out for Santa to see it.

When I went out to pee, and check the work, I was horrified.  In some medieval warning, my Dad had stuck Santa heads on spikes in the garden.  What members of Clause Inc are going to visit our house after seeing how we treat Santa?  The entire display was barbaric.

With Christmas dead, I went back inside to watch my Mom continue to decorate unaware that her efforts were futile since Santa would never see her work.  I watched wistfully as the Olde English Villiage was placed on the television stand. Oh, how I would have liked to winter there. Their snow was white, but warm, and soft, and the people looked happy.  

Finally, my parents had caused enough disorder in the house to satisfy their anti-Claus genes.  I looked at the pretty lights as they sparkled, wondering if the effect was caused by my eyes which were in full squint, victims of a good nap spoiled.  I must say, it did look good. I guess I can put up with the decorations one month a year.

If Santa reads this, perhaps he will take pity on Pocket and me, and as he flies over, bomb our house with toys.  But do not stop here! We cannot have your head on a pike

Sometimes it takes the holidays to find out how vicious your family really is.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Monday Question

Do you put up a Christmas tree?   

Is it real or artificial?

How big is it?

Does it bother you?

We do put up a tree.  It is artificial and it is about six feet tall and not very wide because we live in a small house.  We don't pay any attention except we don't like the day it goes up and down but after that, we don't care.  

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Jake the Rake is our November 25, 2018 Pup of the Week

Us angels know lots of secrets, even secrets we are not meant to know.  We can slip into our parents’ subconscious where all their secret’s vaults are open.  We know everything about them, even those things that are hidden from others. But we don’t judge our parents.  We unconditionally love them.

But, like all beings with a soul, we need to unburden ourselves.  We live in paradise, so we have no worries of our own. What troubles us is our mortal parents' problems, both what they tell us and what we secretly learn.  Often, we have to talk with friends about our parents' secrets. When we slip back into their dreams, we can’t have a single thought about what our friends confided in us, or a secret might be exposed.

Sometimes, the secret is that an angel has arrived at the Bridge.  There are instances when a parent does not want their friends to know they have been struck by such an unbearable burden.  The pain is so crippling that even kind words and love from friends are painful. Eventually, the truth will come forward, but until then it is up to the angels to keep secrets.

On November 5, our dear friend Jake the Rake crossed Rainbow Bridge under cover of darkness. It was done in secret.  Only I came to greet him. His mom, Ann, was not ready to share her grief with the world. Jake knew his passing would be too hard a secret for all the angels to keep.  As a Judge, I had taken a vow to keep his arrival secret.

I whispered the Rainbow Bridge pledge to Jake, got him some detachable wings, then disguised him as a yellow lab, and we walked to my house.  Once inside Jake resumed his mortal form. He had had cancer. Now his body was young, his lungs full of air, and all he wanted to do was run!

But he couldn’t.  We had to keep his presence at the Bridge a secret until his mom was ready.  I asked for a treadmill, and the Guild of Dogs provided one. His first night Jake ran on it until dawn. He understood why he could not visit his friends.  It was like when his parents told him to stay. He just had to wait for his mom to say “Go, Jake, go.” He was willing to wait to hear those words for eternity.

He is good company.  Jake always makes me laugh.  I was getting used to having him around when we heard a voice on the wind.  Momma Ann said the words “go, Jake, go,” and man did he go.

He ran right through my door like a Flintstone leaving a big Jake sized hole.  He began barking to all his Doggyspace friends as he felt the fresh air in his lungs.  He ran around the houses, gathering all our buds until he got to the Doggyspace town square where his friends surrounded him and jumped up and down like he was Rocky Balboa Philadelphia Museum of Art.

His friends got right to work teaching Jake how to do his most important task, get in his mom’s subconscious where he could whisper the most important secret of all:  He was okay, and someday they would be together.

He will tell her to look out for butterflies, hummingbirds, and any insects or flying creature that seem out of place or his mom sees out of the corner of her eye.  They will all be Jake attempting to reach her.

Jake the Rake has always been a good boy and done what his mom wanted and needed.  He is not going to let a little thing like Rainbow Bridge stop him now.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Pocket Cannot Stop Winter From Coming

When the garden season ended, I thought that we would have some cold, wet days but I did not think we would have snow. Then Mother Nature went ha!

Three nights later I went outside to do my business, and the most terrible thing happened.  I put my paws down and immediately felt two of my least favorite sensations: cold and wet.  I put my nose into the white stuff and felt a sinus freeze down to my paws. It was snow!

How did this happen?  It was much too early in the season for such an abomination.  I know many dogs who love snow and God bless them. But their bodies and their private parts are high off the ground.  They don’t know how difficult it is to spit out a few drops of pee and having to concentrate on pooping with your shooter pressed up against the snow.   And humans complain about a cold toilet seat!

It wasn’t much snow, but when you have short legs a little is a lot.  The night the storm hit I had to go out for my midnight poop. It was the worst.  I was shivering, and wet. The wind was blowing sharp little flakes in my face. It is too wet to walk on the grass so I have to do it in the road and make sure there are none of the monsters who dump large chunks of winter at the end of the driveway approaching because I would have to stop mid-poop, which is like stopping mid-child birth, or end up in a snow bank until spring.

The weather voices said that the snow would be gone by the next morning, but it decided to stay through the weekend.  Before then it was cold, but that is to be expected as the holiday season kicks off.  I feel bad for dogs who live with the same temperature year round.  Do they know its Christmas time at all?

When the snow melted, it left the ground squishy.  I am lucky that I am light. When I poop all my weight goes on my back legs, and when the ground is wet, I sink.  Luckily I don’t go far.  If I landed in my own poop, it would be so humiliating.

There is one aspect of snow that I do enjoy.  Snowflakes pick up so many different smells when they fall to the Earth.   They pass Rainbow Bridge, the planets, the asteroids, and our atmosphere before they finally nestle on the ground.  When the snow melts, there are a thousand different smells that settle on to the grass including messages from our angels.  Have you noticed how much we dog love to sniff the ground after snowmelt? There is so much to learn under a snowbank.  If only our parents could sniff the heavens like we do they would understand our intensity and not yank us away.

Snowfall before Thanksgiving means I am going to have five months of snow.   That is almost three years in dog time, which is a lot of ice under the paws.

Praying to Mother Nature for warm weather and sunny skies. I hope she is finally over menopause.  

Thursday, November 22, 2018

This Year's New Rainbow Bridge Angels Make Thanksgiving Dinner For Foley, DS and Blogville

Every Thanksgiving us dogs at the Doggyspace section of Rainbow Bridge gather for a feast cooked by the angels who arrived here after last year’s Thanksgiving.  Each year our table gets bigger as we are joined by more angels, but our laughs, love, and stories grow too.

Jasper and Sophie walked out of the kitchen and announced that dinner was served.  They said they were both acting as hosts this evening and the would take care of all our needs.

Abbie, her face, once covered with white fur, now all spectacularly black, presented us with vegan stuffed mushrooms. Before we began the scrumptious appetizer, she informed us that she had picked all the mushrooms and vegan food from the garden behind her house.  Perfect!

Lily, from the Doxie Life blog, served us her fresh autumn salad.  She had been inspired by her friends’ beautiful Friday flower blog.  When she learned about the dinner, she made room in her garden for squash, sweet potato, and quail.

Once we had finished, our salad MacDougal appeared with some Balvenie Scottish whiskey to help clean our pallets.  MacDougal gave us two shots and took one for himself. I don’t know if he filled all the glasses before he passed out under a tree.

Then the meal came to a halt. Hattie Mae stood on the table wearing a sparkly short sleeve skater dress.  She wore it like magic. She stopped midway down the table, snapped her claws, and suddenly was wearing a lace cap sleeve bodycon dress.  Before she got to the end of the table, she changed into a spotted dobby long sleeve dress. We gave her a standing ovation when she reached the end of her catwalk.

Ginger Lynn, who arrived at Rainbow Bridge earlier last year, but did not join Doggyspace until this year, made delicious corn fritters that, after the drink and fashion show, were delicious.

Abigail, another precious Yorkie, brought us a ricotta and strawberry toast.  I was reluctant to try it at first. It seemed like an odd combination. But it was scrumptious.  We Yorkies are so smart.

Holly, a member of another popular blog, the DeWeenies of Florida, passed over in early February.  She knew that, on Thanksgiving, she would have to make a dish, and she presented a perfect creamy feta stuffed pepper.  It was so good we all licked our plates.

Then Jasper brought us a package from Catville.  It was from our sweet friends Meow Meow and Kit. It was a lovely collard and Brussels sprout salad.  It was so good. I ignored the cat hair because they were sweet.

My good friend Shiloh the Stargazer did not bring food.  Instead, she turned the sky from day to night, and she had the stars dance for us.  It was a lovely display as the stars zipped across the sky. We gave Shiloh and the sky a standing ovation.

Sarge surprised us with a peppered goat cheese with citrus-carrot marmalade.  I had to give credit to this new group of angels. They had been preparing this meal for a long time and giving us delights we have never tasted before.  Thanks to Sarge our pallets were being challenged.

Guinevere, one of the Goldens, surprised us with Kenyon Johnnycakes.  They were so light and fluffy. Who would have thought a golden retriever could make a Kenyon Johnnycakes?  We have such talented dogs.

Prince then topped them all by serving fresh buttermilk cheese with spice figs, pickled fennel, and pistachio crust.  That was so good it overwhelmed us, and we had to take a nap break.

We were awoken by our friend Jessie who gave us each a sweet kiss.  It was a lovely way to come out of a nap. We found resting our bellies gave us an appetite for a lot more food.

Before we began our next round of food Molly the Wally came out and performed an awesome puppet show that had us rolling on the ground in laughter.

Then Cammy surprised us all.  We thought the next course was going to be turkey, but he brought out a herbed chicken with beets and brussels sprouts.  It was so tender the meat fell off the bone. I had to hand it to Cammy. Chicken was the way to go.
Silly Hannah Banana came in with a chef’s hat on.  She gave us some slow cooked mashed potatoes the complemented Cammy’s chicken perfectly.

Daisy was up next with more fresh vegetables then I have ever seen.  A farm dog in the mortal world she now has one of Rainbow Bridge’s most prosperous farms.  Her corn was sweet, the peppers wonderfully crisp, the tomatoes bursting with flavor. I know Daisy would be eating with us next year, but I might ask her to cook again
While we ate Hobo Hudson began his presentation on helping our parents with their finances. When we were mortal, we did not care about money, but now that we can get into our parents’ dreams and whisper advice Hobo says we can help them with stock tips.  I think 2019 is going to be a good year for our pet parents
We resumed the food with a vegetarian dish.  Casey wanted to show us that not all food had to be meat.  His whole roasted cauliflower was excellent. I am not about to give up meat, but it was food for thought.

Little Scooter brought out a red chili orange glazed turkey.   For the first time, our eating area smelled like Thanksgiving. The other food was great, but Scooter’s turkey really hit the spot.  

Stella Rose, who is still staying on the top step of the Bridge so she can be nearer to her mom, did come by for the celebration.  She did not have a lot of time to make something, but she served a lovely grape salad which went perfectly with the Scooter’s turkey.

Presley brought us our second turkey dish of the day; turkey roulade cooked three ways. Even our immortal bellies were getting stretched past our limit.  But the food kept coming.

Lil’ Girl presented us with a rosemary monkey bread stuffing to go with Presley’s turkey. At first, I was reluctant because I didn’t want to eat any monkey but I didn’t want to appear rude, so I tried.  It was terrific. If you ever get a chance to eat monkey’s bread you should.

Felix served us tiny biscuits.  It wasn’t a full course, but it tasted very good.  Suddenly our appetites were back. Felix had created a never-ending appetite biscuit.  He was working on new food for every dog’s’ needs. The never-ending appetite biscuit will change our lives, although some humans will say that describes every dog before the biscuit.

Kaizer, a proud and loyal German Shepherd, had spent weeks working on his turkey, wanting it to be perfect.   He stood at attention while we ate. We told him it was perfect and he grinned widely and let out a self-satisfied yip of joy.

Jewel made crispy garlic smashed potatoes to go with Kaizer’s turkey, and they were a rousing success.  I like my food a little spicy and Jewel’s dish was the first taste of heat I got all day.

Lucy knew we could use something sweet and she brought dozens of pumpkin pies. We dug into them getting our first tastes of desert for the day.  It was perfect.

We had a pause in the festivities as Wishbone ran out with his namesake in his mouth.   He selected two angels to split the wishbone. It took a lot of pulling by the two dogs, but finally, it snapped.  Wishbone told the winner that their parents would get good luck over the holidays. I don’t want to say which parent it was, but if something good happens to you over the holidays, you will know it was Wishbone’s wishbone
After the wishbone splitting Summer asked us to go down to the river.  She said the best thing for us after eating so much food was exercise. We all jumped in the river behind Summer and swam for however much we wanted which for me was not much. Then we laid in the sun until we were dry.

When we were dry, we went back to the table.  Before we could see if we could smell the turkey.  Moose had made a herb and citrus butter roasted turkey.  When Moose served it, we found out that it tasted better than it smelled.

Sully wanted to show off his New England heritage and give me a taste of our old Thanksgivings in Massachusetts by making rosemary-port cranberry sauce.  He nailed it. His mom would be so proud of him. I had two helpings.

Bailey also wanted to show off his heritage.  He is a Portuguese dog and made us a fine kale soup, or what, in Mommy’s family childhood home was called Portuguese soup.  It kind of looks like garbage but what do we dogs care? It was perfect.

We heard barking and saw Jake holding a turkey over some strange, hot, smoking contraption.  He dropped it in, and a few minutes later he brought it back out. It was a fried turkey! He served it to us, and it was really good.  Jake’s tail wagged back and forth in excitement watching us eat

To go along with the fried turkey, Mia made a pickled peach and cranberry salsa.   This was another meal I was not sure about, but it tasted awesome with the fried turkey.

Fallon brought in his desert, but first, he ran around the table getting out some of his greyhound zooms.  He then presented to us a maple granola pecan pie. It was another excellent dish. I tipped my tail to all three of them.

Muffin knew she had a tough act to follow with the fried turkey, so she decided to make a more elegant bird.  She presented us with a pear-thyme glazed turkey, and it was so good.

Our good friend Madi, the cat, visited us and she told me to lie down.  She then walked on my back. It didn’t make my belly pain go away, but it did make my back feel good.  I hopped back on my seat for the next course.

Then Axel served a lemon coconut tart.  It was light, sweet, and very good. I was surprised such a rugged dog could make a delicate dish.

I looked to my left, and I saw Harlee the cat licking the table.  We would have chased her off but we were too tired from eating, and we decided to let her stay and enjoy our last few courses.

Chase and Gucci came running in together, as they always have, because the two are inseparable.  They made a salt and pepper turkey with rosemary and bourbon gravy. I don’t know if the turkey was food or that there was more bourbon than rosemary in the gravy, but the two littles poms made me devour their course and want more.

Our meal ended with an All-American apple pie made by Butkus.  He did not have long to put his meal together, but he still did a great job.

Next year, those who served us today, shall eat with us, and continue to do so for years to come.

There were a lot of courses today because there were a lot of new angels.

I give thanks for those who are still with their parents and ask that next year we don’t have as many courses because we don’t have as many angels.

I would be happy to go hungry next Thanksgiving if every dog got to stay with their parents.


Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Beat This Caption

Weeeeeeee!  That was the most awesome slip and slide ever.  Now that I'm here what's my name and where's the food?

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Butkus is our November 18, 2018 Pup of the Week

It is ominous when a momma is mentioned in consecutive Pup of the Week blogs.  Last week, I wrote about Achilles, who stared mortality in the face and thankfully, wrestled it to submission.  He was attacked, after he encountered a newly rescued dog off the streets, and suffered two broken legs. This week one of Achilles’ pack members joined me at the Bridge.  Momma Elisa had to free the tormented soul trapped inside her beloved 13-year-old Butkus' failing body so he could be young, happy and immortal in the next life.

When a pet parent delves into social media they will usually find one pack member to be their spokesdog. In Momma Elisa's pack, for many years, that was Benjamin.   The small, cute, dark Pomeranian soon became the personification of fun and mischief. His friends appointed him the sheriff of Doggysapce, a job he happily undertook  Often, our stories need an antagonist. For fun little Benji it was Butkus who would much rather rest than play with his high energy brother.

Benji went to the Bridge where he became the Sheriff of Fun.   Butkus was happy to let his little brother Achilles become the face of the pack. It did not mean he was loved any less.  Butkus was a quiet boy satisfied with the million little things that make a dogs’ life pleasurable. When those things were no longer enjoyable and life became too heavy a burden for Butkus to carry his mom helped him go to the Bridge.

Benji was bouncing with excitement before Butkus appeared. At first sight of his brother, Benji ran down the hill and gleefully jumped on Butkus' back, riding him while covering him with dozens of nips and kisses.  They both arrived at Hobo's Landing and Butkus' shook off his excitable little brother. \

"Hello, Foley" Butkus' said.  I quickly administered the Rainbow Bridge oath as Benji playfully bit his brother's tail.  

"Foley, did you hear?”  Benji asked excitedly. “Butkis is going to be my under deputy of nothing but nonstop fun.".

I.was taken aback. I knew Butkus wasn't the most exuberant dog and would rather be relaxing than playing.  "Yes," a resigned Butkus admitted. "I did agree to be your under deputy.". Butkus' dropped his head by my ear and whispered.   "I said that so he would stop haunting me. I just wanted to sleep."

Butkus was about to sentence himself to an eternity of non-stop fun, something not in his nature.  "I am sorry," I announced, “but I cannot let Butkus be the under deputy but I need him to be the secretary of mellow.'

Butkus sighed in relief and then we turned to Benjamin hoping he wouldn't object. Benji began to jump up and down excitedly.  "Oh my dog," Benji yipped, "you're a secretary and I'm a sheriff? Momma is going to be so proud. We’re going to visit her tonight.  Are you going to get a badge?" I assured him Butkus would. "Awesome!" Benji said then ran off to tell his friends.

"Thank you, Foley," Butkus said. "I was not looking forward to an eternity of fun."

“I'm with you!" I told him. "Too much fun gives me a headache."

I asked him if he wanted to lie down in the sun with me and he happily accepted.  We lay back to back basking in the warmth, two chill dogs waiting for eternity to pass.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Foley Shows Old Man Dog How Modern Dogs Live

A few weeks back I wrote about an Old Man Dog who lived on the streets here at Rainbow Bridge.  He crossed over in the early 1970’s, and he never knew what it was like to live inside or eat proper food.  He taught me how to appreciate the life we have and understand the differences between us.

Recently I went back to visit Old Man Dog.  I wanted to show him how dogs live today.

We used bird bodies to fly back to the mortal side so he could witness dog’s lives in 2018.  The first dog we saw was wearing a new wool coat.

“What the hell is that dog wearing?” Old Man Dog asked me.  I told him it was a coat bought at PetSmart. “Why does he need a coat?   We were born with a warm coat attached to our skin. Who needs a second one?”

“But they are warm and snuggly!” I countered.

“Snuggly!” Old Man Dog harumphed.  “We are dogs; we don’t need snuggly.  We need an open heat grate to sleep on at night.”  He further studied the dog. “Good God! What is the on his feet?”

I told him they were booties. “Booties!” Old Man Dog yelled. 

 “Why the hell would a dog need booties. We have tough pads, and we don’t let heat, rain, snow or ice bother us.”

“They keep our paws from cracking,” I told him.

“Paws cracking?  My paws used to crack four times before supper.  Those were a badge of honor. Don’t you dogs have any toughness about you at all?”

“Sometimes, when it is not raining too hard, we will go out without a raincoat.”

“A raincoat!” he bellowed.  “God gave us a raincoat. Why would we need another?”

“Because, if your fur gets wet you are going to get a bath.”

“A bath is something you get twice a year if you need it or not,” Old Man Dog said.

“Not for us,” I told him.  “I went to the groomers every six weeks.”

“What, in the name of dog, is a groomer?”

“That is someone our mom hires to bathe us and cut our hair.”
Old Man Dog’s eyes popped out of his head.  “Who is your mother, the Queen? Your parents can’t bath you so they hire someone to do it?  Do they hire someone to bathe their children?”

“Don’t be silly,” I said.

“So dogs being clean is more important to the parents then their children being clean?”

“Yes,” I told him.

He paused.  “Well, that’s an idea I can get behind.  So, the modern dog is not only equal to children but actually superior?”  I said that was true in many ways. “How did that happen?”

“Years of training and sucky kids,” I told him.

“Well, more power to the modern dog,” he said.  “The next thing you know dogs will be wearing diapers and humans will be picking up their poop in colorful plastic bags.”

I told him to sit down.  The next thing I was about to tell him would shock him.  When I told him our parents do pick up our poop in colorful bags, and, if we are on a walk, they put the poop in their pockets, the Old Man Dog finally understood.  We had risen to become the superior being.

“I guess I should not judge you foofy little dogs,” Old Man Dog said.  “I prefer to live in my era of freedom, but I must respect those of you who live in the age of dominance.

We flew back to the Bridge together, each in our way, masters of our domain.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

River and the Last Garden Day of the Year

On Monday we had our final yard day of the season.  It is always a solemn occasion. Summer Mondays are filled with new plants either put in the ground or springing from it, bright, high green grass, which, after it is cut tickles the inside of our noses; and hot sun, beating down on our buggy as Pocket and I bark orders from inside.

There were no new plants, growth, nor angels disguised as butterflies zig-zagging in front of us. The sun was behind dark clouds blocking its warmth.  Pocket and I stayed close together relying on our proximity for warmth as we watched our parents.

Mommy dug up the autumn flowers she had planted two months before.  They were still pretty, but could not withstand one more below freezing night.  They were put in biodegradable bags and then the trash where they will go to the landfill and perhaps, will become soil for new flowers in the future.

Daddy pulled out the solar lights that went around our gardens and up our driveway.  They were a great aid showing us the way when we went out to pee on summer nights. Some of them were placed in a container for next year, and others were disposed of, their light no longer shining brightly.  Someday this will be all our fates.

Mommy likes to wash off all the outdoor items before putting them away, so they look like new come spring.  Daddy went in the shed to remove all the clutter to make room for the decorations. The shed is strange. It is a very small house with no heat, furniture or food.  I don’t know why humans have to build a house for their tools. I’m glad they don’t for their dog.

Daddy found the bag of grass seed that had remained, despite hours of searching,  hidden all year. He discovered more solar lights, only to discard them. Lights have lousy lives.  Then he wrestled the Snow Joe snow blower that certainly blew, just not snow, and jammed it under the house, where everything that displeases my parents go, until someday they hire someone to take it away, or let it tip over the house.

Then there were the final rights of the season.  First, my dad appeared from the shed with the snow shovels in his hand.  It sent a shock through all of us. It was the final sign that winter is coming.

Second, my Dad put St. Anthony in the shed. The statue came from his mom’s house and having St. Anthony in the garden is a nice connection to the past.  St. Anthony gets a special place for the winter.

Finally, it was time for Foley’s solar angel.  Mommy promised Foley that she would be getting a new angel next year since her light was dimming. When Daddy was putting it away, he dropped it, and one of Foley’s wings broke off.  It may have been the second week of November, but we still heard a mighty rumble of thunder coming from the skies. Foley was displeased. We will be able to determine how upset Foley is by how bad a case of diarrhea Daddy gets tomorrow.  

Then he shut the door and locked spring, summer, and warm, sunny days away.  A stiff, cold breeze blew through the yard.

When we got back inside our warm house, I snuggled with Pocket, and we began to plan next year’s garden.

We may have just signaled the onset of winter, but we are also one day closer to spring.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Beat This Caption

Why can't I get this damn thing down?  I swear, nothing works at this place.  I am getting too old for this.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Monday Question

How do you act when you meet strange people or dogs?\

Pocket:  Sadly, not well.  We were not the most socialized dogs as puppies.  We tend got bark a lot at either people or dogs.  We want attention from people and don't want dogs taking attention from us.  We are not aggressive at all and wouldn't hurt a fly but we kind of embarrass our parents with our barking and behavior.  

Sunday, November 11, 2018

A Recovering Achilles is our November 11, 2018 Pup of the Week

Sometimes your pet mom rescues a dog from the streets, the pup takes to you right away, and you become best friends. Sometimes it is apparent from the moment you are introduced that the two of you are not compatible. And sometimes things go very wrong.

Momma Elisa is a Level One dog rescuer as recognized by the Rainbow Bridge Rescued Dogs Association.  She would put her own life in danger to rescue a pup. But she would never put one of her own babies at risk.  Unfortunately, that was the consequence of her latest rescue
Momma Elisa, like many of our moms, cannot bear to see an unloved, malnourished, homeless pup.  She has a type of OCD when it comes to dogs. Like someone who has to move the salt and pepper shakers when they are misaligned or change the toilet paper when it is hanging incorrectly when Momma Elis sees a homeless dog, she cannot resist the urge to bring it the love and comfort of a family.

She had frequently seen one such pup at a park near her house. She knew this dog would make a magnificent new family member for someone if she could only coax him to trust her.  After many attempts, this stray trusted Momma Elisa enough to go home with her.

There were already three dogs in the house when Momma Elisa brought the newly rescued dog home. She watched as the first two dogs interacted with the new member without incident.  If this dog got along with the larger siblings, certainly Momma Elisa’s third pup would not be a problem.

Achilles is a dog much like me.  Small, perhaps even the dreaded word foofy applies, but we are all heart, with a spirit that will not allow us to back down to any challenge.  I don’t know who laid down the challenge: If it was the new dog, Achilles, or just playing time that went wrong, but Achilles was attacked and had to be rushed to the vet’s where he was diagnosed with two broken legs and needed surgery.

At first, Momma Elisa kept the news of the attack to a few people.  While she was finding other living arrangements for the new dog, and worrying about her baby, she was afraid that, if this story hit the Internet, people would stop rescuing dogs in fear that their dog would get injured too.

That is the risk that people who rescue dogs take, not only that one of their babies will be hurt, but they can be mauled too.  It does not happen often, and a champion dog from the finest breeder can also clash with and injure an established dog too. True, hero, dog rescuers, like Momma Elisa, accept these risks, because they are doing the Lord’s work, bringing together God’s most perfect creatures and worthy humans.

Achilles is back home and is rapidly recovering.  A little thing like being attacked is not going to slow down lap dogs like Achilles and me.  And Momma Elisa is still looking for dogs that need help and saving them.

She will take extra care introducing the new dog to the mighty Achilles because he may be small, but he is fierce.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Dear Aunt Foley: Parent's Edition

Dear Aunt Foley:  We recently got a four-month-old Havanese puppy from a pet store which is very scared of people, especially my husband. She barks at him and pulls away when anyone on the street stops to pet her. How can I help her become comfortable with new people and situations? - Hanover Hannah.

Dear Hanover Hannah: Lose the husband.  Your dog is signaling that this guy cannot be trusted.  And what are you encountering strange people on the street for?  If you are walking down the street without a dog and a stranger approaches you requesting intimate stroking you call a cop.  Why is it different from a dog?

Dear Aunt Foley:  My puppy has "accidents" in the same spot in my house. What can I do to prevent her from using the tile hallway as her personal Port-O-Let? - Bill from Billerica.

Dear Bill:  Is your dog having accidents or is your toilet in the wrong spot?  If he is going to the bathroom in the same place every day then doesn’t that make that spot the bathroom?   Put some pads down and be happy your dog only goes to the bathroom in one place.

Dear Aunt Foley:  Why is my breed acting against type? Like, they told me he'd be mild and docile — but he totally isn't! What can I do? - Wally

Dear Wally: Oh, so you are one of these “All Yorkies look alike,” people.  When you see a pit bull, you think, “Oh, that’s one of the good ones.” You think all Shih Tzus are lazy, all chihuahuas are rapists and murderers, and all chocolate labs are coming to take your food.  We are not defined by our breed. We are defined by our individuality. And I have no time for a breedist like you.

Dear Aunt Foley:  My three-and-a-half-year-old cocker spaniel barks nonstop when people come over to our house. She recently recovered from autoimmune hemolytic anemia and had since become extremely protective of my husband and me. The dog has never bitten anyone, but with the tone of her bark, I'm afraid she may someday — my worst nightmare. Would it help to socialize her, or is she too old? - Mooning Miriam.

Dear Mooning:  First, your dog has been through a major illness.  Maybe she doesn’t want visitors. Or, if she does, perhaps it would be nice if they brought the poor dog something in recognition of her recovery.  If these people are going just to show up empty handed of course, she is going to bark. And she is protective of her parents because if someone hurt you, then she would be stuck in a foster home with no one to pay all those expensive vet bills.  And you don’t like her tone? I would like to hear your tone when someone tries to cut off your Sugar Daddy and doesn’t even bring you a gift.

Dear Aunt Foley:  I have a one-year-old female Rottweiler/German shepherd mix who pees when she meets new people. I’ve consulted a veterinarian, and she has given some suggestions — asking people to ignore the puppy when they come in and not using a high-pitched voice to greet her. Unfortunately, none of these ideas have worked. Do you think she’ll grow out of this behavior? - Irritated Iris

Dear Irritated:  Well don’t introduce her to new people.  Who wants to meet new people? At one point you have just met enough people.  Your veterinarian’s suggestions are foolish. What person can ignore a dog? And no high pitched voice?  It’s like trying not to let out a yip when your paw is squished. Do you want my opinion? Walk your freaking dog before new people come over.  Yeeesh.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Pocket and the Lopper

It was ‘round midnight October 30.  In a few minutes, Halloween would commence.  Daddy took me for my midnight poop. Where we live is always quiet at night.  We are surrounded by the elderly who are fast asleep hours before our late night sojourn.  It is rare to see a soul.

We were a hundred feet from our home.  We had just passed the crossroads when we heard the most terrible grunting and snorting.  Was it some wild animal? We have seen deer and turkeys running in the moonlight. But this sound could only be made by a wild boar or a mad human.

Daddy turned and looked down the western crossroad.   He saw a figure, slowly moving forward, grunting and snorting, moving his hands in front of him, parting the air, like he was doing the butterfly stroke.  He was certainly not a resident, and who would be walking in our neighborhood at night when all the residents were asleep? Could it be the lopper?

“Don’t say anything,” Daddy said to me.

“Woof, woof, woof, woof,” I said.  Sorry, instinct!

The lopper turned towards us, and then slowly walked, snorting, grunting, and stumbling, like the undead.  Daddy reached in his pocket for his phone thinking about calling mommy, but there was no time. The lopper was ten feet away and closing.  “Can I ask you a question?” he growled.

When you meet a grunting, snarling creature near midnight on the day before Halloween, you never want to be asked a question.  It could be “Have you ever danced with the devil by the pale moonlight?” It could be “Why so serious?” it could be “do you mind if eat your brains?” or “Have you ever been lopped by the lopper?”

Daddy told him he could.  I stepped behind him to protect his rear and keep him between me and the lopper.  “How do I get out of here?” the lopper asked.

Daddy told him to turn around, take a left at the end of the street, to keep following and he would come to the main road.  The lopper thanked him, said his name was Chris, he had gone out to get some cigarettes, decided to visit his grandmother, and got lost.  He thanked Daddy and began walking towards the exit.
We walked 20 feet away.  Daddy wanted to keep plenty of room between us and the lopper.  When we turned around, he was gone. 

We hurried home, and Daddy told Mommy the strange tale.  
Halloween night, at midnight, we were back outside, under the moonlight, passing the crossroad.   We stopped where we had met the lopper. It was 120 feet from home. Daddy realized that the night before when we moved 20 feet away from the lopper, he should have been 80 feet before the curve in the road, and still visible.

  Also, our neighborhood is not hard to navigate, there is no place within a mile to get cigarettes, and it is doubtful he was visiting his grandmother because our pack is the only souls awake in the park that late at night.

A question whispered through the trees.  Was it real? Or was he a lost soul, since departed, pushing through the dimensions, snorting in frustration, looking for his way to the Bridge, and his grandmother, who was waiting?  A chill passed through us both. Was it an encounter with a strange human or with a spirit in the night?

Mommy thinks the lopper story is just a couple of overactive imaginations run amok.  But every time we go out at night, our eyes and ears are open for the return of the lopper.  He is still out there, when it gets dark, grunting and snorting, looking for his grandmother and the way home.

If you go out, with only the pale moon to light your way, and hear snorting and grunting, watch out for the lopper looking to get home.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Monday Question

How much does the time change bother you?

Pocket:  Our parents are lucky because we love being in bed.  We don't wake them up.  But we do start looking for our supper earlier and I had an upset stomach on Monday.  I don't handle change well.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

November 4 2018 Pups of the Week: Trip and Lily

Thankfully, we have had a quiet week here at the Bridge.  My blogger friends let me know a buddy of theirs, Dennis the Vizsla, had crossed.  We had never barked at one another but have common friends, so I made sure Dennis was brought to the village that borders Doggyspace, Blogville, so he could meet all the friends that preceded him to the Bridge and learn how to visit his parents and try to ease their pain.
Once Dennis was settled I searched for dogs to be named Pup of the Week who should be recognized for their bravery, perseverance, and most importantly, love.

First is Trip.  This poor baby spent nine years in dog prison forced to breed to make puppies for his “owner” to sell.  I know there are hundreds of frat boys who heard this story and said “locked up and forced to have sex, score!” but dogs are not made for such a life, and hopefully no one is driving the frat boys to vote Tuesday, although it probably won’t matter, because they would just write in “me” on every line and wait for their cool new job.

Sorry, I digressed.   Trip and many other dogs were pulled from their puppy mill hell by the National Mill Dog Rescue.  The confused, but grateful pups were put in a van and driven to one of National Mill Dog’s facilities.  No one knew why Trip only had three legs, but that did not slow him down a bit. He enjoyed every moment of his new burst of freedom and charmed the Rescue’s workers.

Trip did have his down moments.  He had to get a bath and a brush.  There were lots of shots and even an operation to have him neutered. Trip was grateful for the surgery.  After nine years enough with the sex!

Trip was adopted shortly before Halloween and is now living like a prince getting all the love and attention he was cruelly denied.  I hope he has lots of years to make memories with his new family, so the bad memories fade away forever.

Rescue groups do a great deal of good work, but I also know a lot of parents who have got lost in the bureaucracy rescuing dogs create.  In Houston that almost led to a pug and her mom, who was suffering from cancer, being permanently separated.
The hero of our story, Lily, was in her Houston Texas backyard in August when she saw an opening in the fence and decided to explore the neighborhood. Before she could find her way home, a concerned citizen found her wandering the streets and turned her over to Animal Control.  Lily knew she had made a horrible mistake. She did not have tags or a chip and could not tell the people at Animal Control where she belonged. She was then given to the Rescue Group PugHearts.

Her frantic owner Rhina Cantu, who was undergoing chemotherapy at the time, searched for Lily.  By the time she called Animal Control Lily had been surrendered to PugHearts. China contacted PugHearts, and they said the Rescue required proof of ownership before they would turn over Lily.  Rhina had not got a license for Lily and did not have a sales receipt. PugHearts would not turn return Lily until they were sure Rhina was not trying to swindle them.

Rhina brought them pictures of her and Lily, but PugHearts told her they still were not proof of ownership.  Rhina asked to see Lily, knowing the dog would respond to her. But PugHearts refused. When Rhina hired a lawyer, PugHearts said Lily had been adopted by a family in Illinois.

Lily had not been rehomed. Last week a happy Lily was reunited with Rhina when the rescue decided not to contest the lawsuit.  Lily gave her mom 1,000 kisses and danced happily, just as Rhina said she would. Rhina knew the Rescue was doing its best to makes sure her baby was not put in a bad home.  She just wished she could have met with Lily weeks before and the Rescue could see how the little Pug reacted when she saw her mom.

There was a lot of unhappiness for Lily and Trip, but the important thing is that they are in their forever home with their loving parents.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Judge Foley Has an Order: Vote

On Wednesday my parents put Pocket in her crate, and left River, standing on her back legs, looking out the window, as they departed in their tiny white car.  My sisters were puzzled about their destination, but I knew, they were going to early voting.

Dogs don’t get to vote.  We are allowed to run for office, because of a quirk in the regulations.  Pocket ran the for the Massachusetts open Senate seat in 2000, and did surprisingly well, until she withdrew from the race, against my advice, after she pooped on the floor during a debate, certainly not the worst debate performance this century, but enough to shame Pocket.

It is a shame that dogs are not allowed to vote because only we, at least the nonworking ones, have a schedule flexible enough to study all sides of the issues and reach a reasoned decision.  Unfortunately, we are also the Lord’s most loyal creatures, and, when we enter the voting station, if our parents told us to vote a certain way, we would do it, even if it went against our interests because pleasing our parents is what we dogs do.  Word of how easily persuaded we are would spread, and unscrupulous characters would empty out the pound days before the election to put their candidate over the top, then return us once their mission was accomplished.

Here at the Bridge, where we have angels who have roamed these lands since the beginning of time, the right to vote is precious.  So many souls who were subjugated to the rule of others, without getting a say in their government, are thrilled that humans have the right to participate in government and elect their leaders.  They are stunned that people could have this precious right and not exercise it. The fewer people vote, the more unworthy their government becomes.

I beg you all, as a representative of those who never got the franchise, to make every effort to cast your vote this election.  I am not campaigning for one side or the other. Vote for who you want, but don’t let that vote define you. Your political views are a small slice of the pie that makes you the person you are.  Your neighbors, co-workers, relatives, and friends may not see the world the way you do and vote differently, but that does not make them a bad person. When judging a person do not just look at their political views, step back and see every piece of the pie.  The loving dog parents, the good companion, the supportive friend, and the caring mom or dad.

Here at Doggyspace, we stand united.  I wish I could say the same of the parents who helped us create our original online world.  Some of them are no longer friends because of who they for voted for. They may be only concentrating on a person’s single piece of the pie, or the person themselves overinflates the importance of that one slice, but it is a shame because what dogs have brought together no human should drive asunder.

So please, go vote for who you want, and then contact a friend you know voted the other way, and send them love, because, in the end, they are who you will rely on.  No one ever passed away surrounded by the people he voted for. Family and friends, more than a political alliance, gives you a rich life.

And of course, the dog.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

River and the Invading Halloween Caravan

When our home was built, by the original owners, before I was born, it did not We have an enclosed porch.  That was added later, to the side of the house, where the main door is. This directs the flow of traffic to the steps, which are by our big kitchen window, so I can see anyone who attempts to enter our home.

When my parents are out of the house, and I am anxious about their whereabouts, I jump on to the dinner table so I can see the entire driveway, and get down to bark when they arrive and my torture ends.  Please, don’t tell my parents I do this. They would be very upset if they knew I got on the table. I don’t know why. They walk over the spot on the floor where I eat, why do they care if I walk over the spot they eat?  

I could not get up on the table Wednesday night, because my parents were home, but I wish I could.  I needed the vantage point. During my walk earlier in the day I had sniffed out a report of a caravan, mostly children, all dressed in costumes, some in masks,  some accompanied by adults, moving, in a hoard, towards our southern border.

There was no information peed about what this caravan wanted, but the rumors were that they desired to take our hard earned candy, and if we did not meet their demands they would show their true terrorist agenda by playing a “trick” on us.  How barbaric. 

This could not be tolerated. I instructed myself, a Griffon army of one, to take a position on the love seat and look through the kitchen window, towards the south so that I could see this caravan approaching.

I did not expect to see them during the day.  Of course, they would wait to nightfall when the costumed hoard could invade our neighboorhood unseen.  I prepared to use my two greatest assets, my resting bitch face and loud bark. I would scare these marauders from our borders permanently, then call a meeting of the elders, because there really ought to be a wall.

Shortly after dusk, I saw the first members of the caravan, disguised as a vampire, Wonder Woman, Batman, and a princess. I had to respect their willingness to blend in with us Americans, albeit only at Times Square, but they would not fool either my family or me. The costumes seemed hastily put together.  Obviously, they were not sending us their best people.

I began my warning bark.  Pocket joined in.  She didn’t know why.  She just barks when I bark.  We scampered to the window.  They were gathered outside our porch door just waiting to invade.  Our eyes were on them instead of our dad.  I never expected him to go on the porch with our candy, but that is what he did. He was going to negotiate with these terrorists.  He opened the screen door, just what the caravan needed to invade our house!  He held out the candy, the mauraders took it and retreated.

My Daddy came back inside.  I tried to tell him that opening the door to the invaders was a bad idea but we would not listen.  Several groups came to the house that night, and all retreated back south once they got their candy.  It was a risky play, but it proved that anyone invading our country could be turned back with kindness and candy.
Make sure you have a bag full of Snickers at all times.  It is our only defense from the costumed, marauding caravan that invaded our communities once a year under cover of darkness.  

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...