Thursday, January 31, 2019

Pocket Relates How She Survives the Shutdown

Thank God the government shutdown has concluded. I can rest easier knowing the government agencies I rely upon are in place again.

I can safely eat knowing the people who inspect my crappy kibble and beloved treats are back at work. Every morning during the shutdown I questioned what crap was in my crappy kibble. It caused tummy unrest. Additionally, I sometimes snack on stray River stools which meant I was eating crap produced by unregulated crap. This shutdown was complicated.

The weather has been crazy since government regulation ended. In the space of three days we had rain, then snow, then ice, then temperatures in the 50s and then back to cold. I don't know how we survived without government controlled weather.

When I stopped by the vets for a simple rabies shot, there were lines like you have never seen. Usually, when I am just getting a shot, I am in and out of the vets in five minutes. This time I had to wait a half hour next to a shivering chihuahua. That little dog freaked me out. I am going to instruct my mama to schedule my annual checkup before February 15th, so I am not stuck waiting in the lobby with filthy animals infected with unspeakable diseases.

During the shutdown, the southern border of our crawlspace was susceptible to penetration by kitties trying to steal our heat. River and I did our best to sniff the grates and bark in hopes of scaring the infiltrators, but this method of securing our border is haphazard at best.

River and I have not been for a walk since this mishegas began. I don't know if it was the road conditions, the weather, or lazy parents but the shutdown interfered with daily strolls.

Because there was no NFL regulation, the Patriots are in the Super Bowl again. How did this happen?  I had been told that there would be one, possibly two, Patriot playoff games during the Shutdown which would cause loud and tense Sundays, and make my tummy flip flop,  but now, not only will there be a third game, but it is the loudest, most tense one of them all. Not only that but, with the game on, I can't watch Outlander. I can't sleep Sunday night without checking on Jamie and Claire.  Is anyone more dismayed that the Patriots are in the Super Bowl than I?

Since the shutdown began, mommy has found some dry pee stains on the floor.  I don't know how they got there, but I am blaming Sum Udder Dog. One good thing about the shutdown is that mommy could not send the pee out for DNA testing.  Our days of free peeing in the house may have ended now that the Shutdown is over.

I worry with Ranger Rick and his co-workers not reporting for duty that the squirrel breeding has gone unchecked meaning there are caravans of squirrels forming in our national parks planning to invade our yards and trees. If we can't control squirrel infiltration, then we don't have a home.

Now that the temporary shutdown has become a momentary” turn on” let's hope it becomes a permanent one and this little Yorkie can live in peace.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Beat This Caption

Hi Dad. I brought some friends home with me I found at the park. I hope you have enough kibble.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Monday Question

Do your parents have a special name for you when they get angry with you?

Pocket:  My parents add a Dog to my name.  Pocket Dog! they say, but the annunciate it.  "Pawwwkittt Dawg!"

River:  They usually only call me River but if they are mad they call me River Song and if they are really mad it is Miss River Song.  

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Gordo is our January 27 2019 Pup of the Week

Like our humans, we dogs are guilty of checking out Facebook when we should be working. I like to see dogs and their parents doing mundane activities:  A walk, a car trip, snuggle time. It reminds me of better days when my humans and I undertook similar endeavors.

One of my favorite profiles is as on Momma Teresa’s and Gordo’s page. No matter what they did together, even if it was sitting around the house, they did so happily.  The pictures were proof of the joy the duo felt just being together.

One day last week Momma Teresita awoke planning to have another fun-filled day with her heart dog. She found that Gordo was breathing heavily and his stomach and legs were swollen. She took him to the vet who said Gordo was suffering from congestive heart failure. There were treatments, but it was doubtful Gordo would improve. HIs mom asked him if he wanted to go to the Bridge and he put his head on her knee. Momma Teresita knew their song together was ending.

Like a giant maple tree that is uprooted by a sudden storm and abruptly transformed from a glorious living creature to an empty spot in the sky Momma Teresita’s and Gordo’s time together had come to an abrupt end leaving both mom and dog existing like shell shocked soldiers desperately trying to find their way back to friendly lines.

For Momma Teresita, every dawn brings another reminder of her loss.  There is food dropped on the floor with no one to eat it; treats found in a coat pocket with no one to reward — little gut punches of pain and memory that rise up every day.

Gordo followed the usual path a new angel takes:  From the water to the shore to the Bridge to the stairs and finally into the immortal world, and also from confusion to disbelief, to sadness then determination.

I saw Godro climb from the River of Life. He shook off the water, looked around, and began to cross the Bridge. He stopped, considering going back, but the Langoliers had eaten everything behind him forcing him forward.

Many cultures and religions have symbols of death.  In the dog world, it’s me. When Gordo saw me with my black book, he sadly nodded.  “What happened?” he asked with a tear in his eye.

Often dogs, like Gordo, who were suddenly snatched from the mortal side don’t have memories of their passing. I reminded him about his last hours with his mom. “This is wrong, I don’t belong here, you have to let me go back to momma!” Gordo cried.
I told him that, sadly he did belong here. Time comes for all of us and this time it has come for him.

“No,” Gordo insisted. “My momma will be lost without me. I can’t let her live brokenhearted. There is no one there to clean her floor or eat her biscuits.”

“Yes, she can,” I told him. “It will be hard but every angel has a mommy who went down grief’s dark, lonely road and they will help your mommy find her way out.  She is a strong lady. And we are going to teach you lots of tricks so you can help her.”

“You promise you will teach me how to make mommy better?” Gordo asked.
I assured him.  “Maybe you will help your mom find a new dog to fill that horrible hole she has in her chest from when she gave you her heart.”

“I think, after a time, she would like that, ” Gordo said thoughtfully.  “I am going to start looking tomorrow. It is going to take a lot of searching to find a dog who is worthy of my mom.  The pup also has to be worthy of my biscuits.”

Gordo and I walked towards the Doggyspace village where he would find a home specially built for him.  From there he could watch over his mom and plan his dream visits. He wasn’t happy, nor was he sad. He was accepting, and determined, which is the best we can hope for on a dog’s first night at the Bridge
Perhaps happiness will come tomorrow.  Sometimes happiness is something out of focus that we can’t see or a smell that we can’t quite place.  It is nearby, but elusive. I hope Gordo finds it someday.

Then he can tell me where it is.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Boo and the Price of Fame

I was sleeping in bed when I was awoken by the sounds of a hard rain falling on my roof and a soft scratching coming from the window screen.

I rightly figured the rain was caused by the passing of a well-loved pup. I wondered what dog could have prompted such an outpouring of tears. The scratching remained a mystery that could only be solved by me sitting up in bed and yelling “Who Dat?”

“Foley Monster,” a voice squeaked, “I had to come to the Bridge incognito because I was afraid my notoriety would cause a stampede of angels to greet me. If you could please administer my oath and help me, I would be very appreciative.”

Great, just what I needed, another little dog with delusions of grandeur. I opened the front door and let the little guy inside. I could barely see his face because his long hair was soaked. I gave him a towel and a hairdryer and let him fix himself up.

He was finished drying, and his hair was poofed up I recognized him. “I know you,”  I said. “You’re Boo the Pomeranian. I've seen your pictures on Facebook and Instagram.”

“Yes,” he said sheepishly. “I guess people thought I was cute which caused me to become the world's most famous dog. It's not something I ever wanted.”

“Well, one of the most famous,” I said trying to hide my jealousy.  “I got a blog, and the most popular posts have been read by somewhere between five and ten thousand people.”

“That's great. My Facebook page has 17.5 million-dollar likes but between 5 and 10,000 is good too. You should be proud of yourself.”

17.5 million my tail! I reminded myself it didn't matter who was famous and who was almost famous, it was my duty to give Boo the Angel oath, which I did, and then I helped him acclimate to his new surrounding at the Bridge.

I told Boo it would be best for him to wait until dawn to make his first appearance public appearance.  He sat in my rocking chair and told me about the circumstances that brought him to the Bridge. He liked being a famous dog.  He got to go places most dogs could only imagine. He met people from all over the globe. But what he loved most was the time with his brother Buddy, who Boo could escape from all the trappings of fame with, and just be a dog.

 “When Buddy left us in 2017 I missed him so much my heart sped up, and I quickly began to burn through my remaining heartbeats. My grieving mom, who was the best parent in the world, had to let me live with Buddy again. Can you help me find him?”

I put an alert on The Angel Network asking for help from anyone who could find Buddy. I then made Bo a delicious cup of hot chocolate, something he had never been able to try before,  He was very appreciative.

We talked for 112 minutes until I heard the familiar sound of a tail slapping against my door. I opened it and saw my bestie Odie accompanied by another furry little Pom. When the dog saw Boo, it yipped in excitement and sped across the floor. Boo jumped down from the chair and gave his brother Buddy a long hug.  Then they began to run around my house barking loudly, nipping at one another, rolling up into one Pom ball, untangling and running again until Boo ran out the door followed by Buddy and they yipped loudly and bounced high until they were across the horizon. Odie, who never missed a good dog run, happily took off after them leaving me to clean up the mugs and the mess that the reunited rambunctious two caused.

As I did, I reflected on the price of fame. Certainly not more valuable than a good romp with a loved one.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Winter Has Come and River is Not Happy

I had a dream that became a memory  I was in Winterfell, home of the Stark family in “Game of Thrones.”  I was lying next to one of the dire-wolves who is sworn to protect his humans. “Winter is coming,” he said menacingly. I asked him what his winters were like.
“The undead rise and walk amongst us. They tear down the wall separating our lands. They fly across the sky riding undead dragons that breathe ice. They will not rest until we are all dead, and our newly reanimated corpses are fighting for them.” He let the horror settle over us before he asked how my winter was.

“It is cold.  My paws get wet when I go out. I even shiver.”

The dire wolf contemplated me for several minutes.  “You win,” he said while putting a paw on my shoulder.

The night before my dream we had our first winter storm of the season. It had been cold, windy and snowing all day. Before he took me out Daddy put on his sweater, his jacket, and his hat. He leashed me and we walked on to the enclosed porch. We passed my jacket hanging on its hook. I looked at it. “You won't be needing that,” Daddy said.  “We aren't going to be out long”

We aren't going out for long? If the length of time we were to be out was the issue why did you have to put on a jacket, or sweater a coat, or a hat, or gloves?  I'm the one going out there against her will. You’re going to be you just standing there holding the leash. Why do you get to be warm?

There is nothing colder than snow on warm paws.  I did my pee business immediately and turned to go back inside. “Hold on River,” Daddy said “you didn't poop last night, and you produced two bags full this morning” (don't pretend you're not impressed), “I don't want you to be uncomfortable tonight, so you need to poop.”

Uncomfortable? I was standing bared pawed and unjacketed in 3 inches of snow which was still falling.  When did my level of comfort become a concern? That's it! I called a wild cat poop strike. We stayed outside until he, in the coat, the sweater, the hat, and the gloves got cold.  I tell you it's a dog's life.

The next morning Pocket went out first.  She came back in cold, wet and shivering.  I asked her how it was, and all she did was shake her head forlornly.

When it was my turn to go out, I knew it would be record-breaking freezing because Daddy grabbed my coat. When he tried to put it on, I kept pulling my legs out of the holes just to frustrate him.  We went outside, and I walked into an episode of Deadliest Catch during Opilio season: Nothing but cold, rain and ice. Like those crab men I stepped out to do my business but unlike them I was about to take a crap on the deck.  I quickly did my business but kept some poop inside so I could release a healthy quarter pounder with cheese onto the emergency poop pads in the kitchen while my parents ate breakfast. I'll leave a trail of it at the hallway from the pads onto the wood floor which camouflages my little dumplings increasing the chance that they will be smooshed.  Upon completion, I will ask: “Sorry, did I make you uncomfortable?”

Vengeance will be mine saith the Griffon.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Wordless Wednesday

Ask Uncle Enzo Is Back ( A Message From Angel Foley Monster)

I have been negligent in not posting any Ask Aunt Foley blog recently. I know you have many questions about the dog world and about human behavior. I have contracted my wise and dear mountain dog friend Uncle Enzo to succeed me in answering your questions. Please do me the largest of favors and check out Uncle Enzo's blog here

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Beat This Caption

Get outta the way, Mommy! We're running off together. We are in love and no one can tell us its wrong.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Monday Question

Are you a collared dog, a harnessed dog, do you go bareback? Please describe your collar, or your harness and your leash.

Pocket: I have a red harness with a cloth under the neck that had a red sky with stars and planets.  We have two leashes. One is a purple Kong leash that is six feet long and has a second handle near the bottom and another leash that matches River's harness.
River: My harness (that matches one of our leashes) is pink, green and white and has flowers on it. It is getting kind of worn. I think I need a new one. 

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Lady is our January 20 2019 Pup of the Week

Some dogs take a long time to adjust to life at Rainbow Bridge. Others adapt to its mysteries like they were childish riddles. I met such a dog this week.

Many dogs assume I know every new angel before I give the Angel Oath.  The truth is I often encounter pups for the first time while administering the Pledge.  This week I greeted Lady, a lovely little dog strongly devoted to her mom, Patrica Elliot Nie Towriss. Lady had battled renal failure with every her heartbeat but the illness, as it often does, waiting for Lady’s allotted heartbeats to expire then forced Momma Patricia to make the hardest decision.  She took away all of Lady's pain by taking it on herself so that Lady could be young and pain-free at the Bridge.

I watched as Lady slowly crossed the Bridge. All the pain her mortal coil held was swept away with each step. By the time she reached the stairs, she was running. When I met her at the top all her physical pain was gone.

Lady impatiently listened as I recited the Angel oath. She quickly barked “I do.” Then she was greeted by the several friends who had preceded her to the Bridge.  I introduced the many angels who would be aiding Lucy in her transition to immortality. Lady was polite, but I could tell she was anxious. I asked her why.

“I am worried about my mom,” Lady said. “I need to let her know that I still exist and I am waiting here until we can be together again.’

I told her there were many possible ways. There were dream visits, borrowing the bodies of winged creatures who fly to and from the Bridge, and  there are two that require years of practice: Ghosting, whereby a dog sends their invisible spirit to be near their parents and Rainbowing which is caused by an angel loving their parents so much a rainbow goes from their hearts to their moms. This technique is how Rainbow Bridge got its name.

Lady insisted she was going to try Rainbowing. I tried to dissuade her, but she is a stubborn little girl. She concentrated on the love she had for her mom so intensely she began to shake. Suddenly a rainbow appeared on the ground next to her that rose into the heavens.  It touched down on the ground near her mom. I checked mama Patricia's Facebook page. Not only had she seen the rainbow she knew it was a sign from Lady.

Having seen the rainbow other angels came running to find who had performed this unique trick. They, many of whom had tried rainbowing to no avail were stunned to see it was accomplished by a rookie. Everyone tried to get Lady to share her secret.  “I thought about my love for Mom hard,” Lady`said. The dogs howled in astonishment.

Some angels suggested we study Lady so everyone could learn her acquired skill, but I squashed that idea. I showed Lady her new home and left her intently trying to signal her mom.  I had no idea how Lady had Rainbowed but didn't think she had any unique ability beyond love.

Two mornings later there was a knock on my door.  I opened it and found Lady beaming in my entryway.  “I did it again, I did it again,” she barked excitedly.  “I visited mama in her dreams. This morning I checked her Facebook page, and she remembers my visiting.”

I said “hush little one there is no need for the others to know our secret.  Many angels would be thrilled if their loved ones remembered their dream visits. If they knew what a knack you had to communicate across the River they would hound you until you spilled your secret. ” Lady readily agreed to keep her powers to herself.

Maybe someday when Lady's mom and her loved ones are all here, and Lucy no longer has a use for her unique abilities, she will teach others.  Until then the secret of how special a little girl Lady is will be kept by her mom and me.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Foley Debunks Popular Myths About Dogs

I, Foley Monster,  am here to answer human questions about dog behavior. I will give you what science believes is the cause of our peculiar traits, and then the real reason we do it. Dear human, you are about to become a more knowledgeable pet parent.
Why does my dog eat grass?

What they say: Dogs often ear grass if they have an upset stomach.

Real reason: Human, I see you, on your cross country trek, tired and hungry, stopping at some Family Buffet-style restaurant. The food is lumpy, stringy, cold and gross but you don't care. It is there, and you're going to eat it. The same is true of dogs and grass. Many dogs are in a perpetual state of hunger and exhaustion.  Grass is nature's smorgasbord. Sure it has been stepped on, spent too much time in the sun and is covered in fecal matter but so are the offerings at the Family Buffet. We are hungry; it's there, we're eating it. It might make us vomit, but less regularly than eating at the Family Buffet will make humans barf

Why does my dog tilt its head?

What they say: To help us to hear.

Real reason: Unlike humans, dogs use their entire brain. If there is nothing interesting happening, we power down by turning off half our brave to save energy. Then, if something occurs, we don't understand we tilt our head to the side to activate the other half of our minds giving us super intelligence and problem-solving ability. The reason we do this so much around humans is that you are such a deep mystery to us.  When dealing with you, we need all the brain power we can summon.

Why does my dog bark in their sleep?

What they say: Quite simply they're dreaming

Real reason: Simple dreams? There is nothing simple about a dog's dreams. Most of our dreams occur because or dream dates. This is when we go to Rainbow Bridge in our sleep to visit the angels who have passed. These angels can be dog siblings, pups your family has owned, friends or perfect strangers. Dogs go to the Bridge in their dreams, to run, which explains that shaking a leg, to play and to bark. You might be hearing your dog back hello or goodbye. Sometimes a pup lost to you will use a sibling's mortal coil to bark hello to their parents. So don't dismiss your pets talking in their sleep. It could be a  message from the other side.
Question: Why do dogs eat poop?

What they say: To hide it or to clean the den vitamin deficiency.

The real reason:  Again, we are hungry. It is there. And it is better than Family Buffet. Don't judge us. You, humans, spend five days stranded in the snow at a high altitude and you are carving into one another the first time someone sniffles. At least poop doesn't have opinions. There are different levels of poop eating.  There is “eat your own.” At least you know where it came from and where it's been. Humans can't say that for most of the food they eat. And, like humans who unleash a horrific fart that drives everyone but them from the room, ours don't bother us too much. The second level is eating a siblings poop. Pocket, a long time poopaholic does this.   I don't mind. She covered up for me pooping in the house many times. And I am not the one she kisses on the lips. The third is the dog who will eat any random poop they come across. Just pity these poor poopaholics and thank the Lord it isn't you

From Judge Foley Monster world's foremost authority on dog behavior from a dog.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Pocket Is Sleeping With a Bed Bully

Every night I am forced to go to bed with a big bed bully.

I am referring to my sister, River Song. Don't let her size fool you. She is a warthog in the sack. She bulls around the bed like an offensive lineman lumbering after a fumble. How can anyone get sleep with her is beyond me?

We both get placed in the bed before my parents get in. Once they are settled, Papa pays us back for all the good we accomplished that day by giving us scratches and rubs for up to a half hour. When I am sated, I lay down by Momma's waist.  River sits up getting her belly rubbed until she passes out where she stands.

My sleep position is under the covers next to Momma. River can lay wherever she likes as long as it is not my spot.  If she does, when Momma shuts out her light and lies down I have to go across Papa's legs, get to his side of the bed and rely on Papa's assistance to get to my snuggle spot under the covers.  If I go directly past River, she snaps at me. Bedtime can be stressful.

Papa stays up late reading. When he shuts out the light River wakes up like a slumbering bear. In the darkness, she begins to navigate across the bed. Each step feels like someone dropped a bowling ball on the mattress.  Occasionally, like a drunken patron trying to order one more, River paws Papa hoping for a belly rub. Denied, she collapses against one of my parents, like a sack of nickles slamming into their side, then begins to loudly snore.

She will repeat her late-night excursions several times before morning.  Sometimes, instead of collapsing, she will sit near my parents’ heads and stare at them until they open an eye, the dog version of "ya up?" Other times she will because fascinated with a body part and loudly lick it until one of my barely conscious parents tell her to stop.

River pays no attention to where she is walking.  She steps on my head, my legs, and my stomach. If I have a dingleberry in my chute River stomping on my belly causes it to ejaculate prematurely, or, in the common vernacular have “poop dreams.” Mommy gets angry when she finds a dingleberry on the sheets in the morning.  I say to her “You lay in bed locked and loaded, have a moose step on you and see if you can keep your berries inside.”

Some mornings River will poke at Papa to make him get out of bed. He gets dressed, then, because I go out first,  gets me leashed and takes me out in the cold. When we get back, River is on his warm spot in bed with a big smile on her face.

River does love the bed.  I just wish she respected it and the others who used it as much as she likes it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Beat This Caption

I'm all set.  Zip up and don't forget to let me out when we get across the border

Monday, January 14, 2019

Monday Question

Do you snore?

Pocket:  Not at all.  I am a delicate sleeper.

River Song:  I can wake up people in the next county

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Max is our January 13 2019 Pup of the Week

Once Max had a home. He had a warm and dry place to sleep.  He had food at scheduled times. He had a family. But lions came roaring in the night, ripping apart all that Max had.  His family moved. Max was left behind with nothing but his name.

Max had choices, but they were all bad. He could sit on his former lawn patiently awaiting the parents who would never return. He could curl into a ball surrendering himself to the lions. He could wait to be carted off to the pound with a future of loneliness until he received the final needle.  Or he could fight to survive. He chose the latter.

Max quickly adapted to being a street dog. He knew he had to be quick, courageous and cunning.  He combined this with what he had learned from his abandonment, never to trust a human again.

There was one human, Momma Gail, who had vowed to protect Max.  She knew his parents were abandoning him and hoped to take him before they left. Regardless, his parents absconded without notice.  Momma Gail began leaving food for Max at dinner time and hoped the wayward soul would find it.

Max did. He approached the bowl tentatively well aware animal control was laying traps to catch him. He soon learned he could trust Momma Gail, at least for food. He shied away from physical contact, rightly judging a scratch would lead to a grasp, and then he would be taken somewhere against his will even if that somewhere was a safe and warm house.

Max would disappear for days at a time. Momma Gail left his food out and prayed for his return. Sometimes other dogs would eat it, and snap at Max when he appeared trying to claim Momma Gail's offering as their own. Max always found a way to outwit his fellow street dogs.

Momma Gail prayed to her Angel Abbie that someday Max would let Momma Gail touch him, then follow her into his forever home. Abbie slipped into Max's restless dreams to try and convince him that Momma Gail was nothing like his previous humans and that she would never abandon him.  "I am sure she is," Max told Abbie, “but I will never trust another human.”

Until the day came that he did, it is unknown if it was the onset of winter, Abbie's visits or Momma Gail's kindness that finally convinced Max it was time to let a human touch him, but he relented, and walked into Momma Gail’s house, where his siblings awaited him, like it was his place and he had never left. Max was finally in his forever home.

Until he wasn't, a few days later Max slipped his collar and ran.  Perhaps the still intact boy smelled a little something on the breeze, or he got the vagabond blues. Whatever the reason Max skedaddled ignoring his mom's frantic calls to come back. Momma Gail prayed very hard for his return. The next day Max trotted up the walkway and went in the house.

A day later Max jumped the fence and took off, then, when he was hungry and tired, he came back and got on the bed.  Momma Gail's house was his forever home, it was just his forever and almost always home.

Momma Gail hopes that when Max is fixed this week and his balls are sent to the Bridge to be hung off the Neuter Tree in case he wants to retrieve them at a time after his passing, that his desire to run will be sated.  Momma Gail spent enough time fretting about her new boy surviving long, cold, dark now nights.

Let's give thanks that Max is finally in his forever home and pray that once he is fixed his desire to roam from his yard is eradicated forever.  

Friday, January 11, 2019

Foley! The Musical

It is the summer of 2009. Foley Monster has been suspended from Doggyspace for publishing a letter written by the Princess, who ruled over the kingdom of Doggyspace.  The poorly written missive proved to many that the Princess was not fit to rule and a new, secure site was needed. As we open Foley is meeting with her trusted advisors Hobo Hudson, Hattie Mae, Ashton and Lily to decide if they should rise up against the Princess and start their own website emphasizing the Freedom to Bark.
Act One, Scene One:  Foley is at the dog part with her friends Hobo, Hattie Mae, Ashton and Lily
I am not throwing away my bark
I am not throwing away my bark
Hey, you, I’m a scrappy little dog,
Yearning to freely write my blog
And I’m not throwing away my bark
I’m locked out of Doggyspace left in the cold
I was just protecting a sick friend, sorry if I'm bold
I put friendship ahead of the rules
Those who don't make me want to fight duels
With every word, I tell the truth

Dogs can say more than ruff
Only seven years old but my dog age is older
Now the DS castle giving me the cold shoulder
This burden, this disadvantage
I have to learn how to manage
I need to bark, like a thirst to quench
I can't stand being on the bench
My voice has to be heard
I need you to spread the word
That the F-O-L-E-Y wants to create
Her own dog web site that's right
Is any dog willing to stand up and fight?
Stand with me through this dark night
The Princess will surely issue a decree
To keep her decendants from being free
So we need a new site this century
Please listen I am more than a busy bee
Want history to remember you?  Stick with me
I know I have the key
Eventually, you will see our ascendancy
And I am not throwing away my bark
I am not throwing away my bark
I am not throwing away my bark
Hey, you, I’m a scrappy little dog,
Yearning to freely write my blog
And I am not throwing away my bark

Hobo Hudson
I dream of life without this monarchy
Is it time for some controlled anarchy?
Princess, you can't lose members in this economy
The financial report should leave you panicky
And its time to unleash my bark

Hattie Mae
Yo I'm just a seamstress
Left DS weeks ago due to the stress
I need a site that quiet and private
No young dogs stirring up a riot
I'm going to unleash my bark

I’m just a little Yorkie you see,
But tiny ones can hit strong like a bee
Follow us Yorkies, we will set you free
And being able to post independently
When I unleash my bark

Geniuses, lower your voices
Hobo, my love, don’t limit your choices
Don’t stumble around in the dark
Let’s make a plan to take down this monarch
Just let me unleash my bark

Lily, check out who we got
Hobo Hudson, smart and brave like Lancelot
Hattie, your dress looks hot
Ashton, your hearts bigger than I thought
When we’re done they will say “how those dogs fought”
Who could imagine the Big Guy putting us in the same spot
We’re going to post freely whether the Princess want us to or not
I know I am a bit of an exhibitionist
Now someone show me where the ammunition is
Oh, am I barking too loud?
But I’m tied of only being to say what I’m allowed
I never had a group of friends before
I promise I’ll make all you dogs proud

Let’s get this girl in front of a crowd

I am not throwing away my bark
I am not throwing away my bark
Hey, you, I’m a scrappy little dog,
Yearning to freely write my blog
And I’m not throwing away my bark
Come on, let’s go
Rise up
If your not free you rise up
Tell your brother to rise up
Tell the lollipops to rise up
When are these dogs going to rise up?
Rise Up
I imagine a safe site we can all bark free
Where we can log every memory
Is it going to be up to me?
Who would ever follow me?
I have many friends but would they flee
To join a site where success is no guarantee?
All I have is daring and panache
I know some think I am a little pain the ass
But what if their anger can be turned to a movement?
My friends join me when Princess asks “where has everyone went?”
I think it is time someone took a stand
Pups need to be lead to the Promised Land
Where we will find independence
A safe place for our descendants
It is time to make a move for these DS transplants
A new private site, that will be exciting
I will name if after Tanner, now at the Bridge, he had to stop fighting’
It will be a Brigade where dogs can be barking and writing
Where we will form a more perfect nation
A site that will meet everyone's expectation
Welcome to the Tanner Brigade, my new creation
Give us a bone and we will suck out the marrow
I am finally thinking past tomorrow
I am not throwing away my bark
I am not throwing away my bark
Hey, you, I’m a scrappy little dog,
Yearning to freely write my blog

We’re gonna rise up (time to make a bark)
We’re gonna rise up (time to  make a bark)
We’re gonna, rise up, rise up
It's time to take a shot

Thursday, January 10, 2019

The Cats are Back and River Song is Ready to Declare A National Emergency

It was New Year's night. After a tumultuous holiday season, my parents settled down at the dinner table for a relaxing meal.  I was in the chair to my Mama's left, laying across it, with my head on her lap, hoping chicken was on the menu and I would be offered a piece or seven. Pocket was in the living room, playing hard to get, at least when it comes to food. Halfway through the meal, her resolve melts, and she begs for a taste.

Suddenly, as if from the depths of the earth, came a blood curdling, "meow.” I jumped from the chair forsaking the chicken, put my nose to the floor and began sniffing. Pocket charged in from the living room barking "man the battle stations, hoist the flag, raise the periscope, damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead.  We have cats!”

We met under the table. We could organize a methodical grate by grate sniff search of the house until we pinpointed where under the floors the cats were, then scare them into leaving.  Or we could run around the house barking hysterically. We chose the latter.

After a few minutes of barking, with no results, mama yelled at us to stop.  "But mama," Pocket barked forlornly, "they’re cats who have come for our chicken."

Last winter our claims of cat infiltration and constant grate guarding were dismissed by our skeptical parents. This time, we were listened to, thanks to a neighbor who, last summer rapped on my parents' door, and when Papa answered informed him that we had cats living under the house.  They had gained access via a small hole in the plastic skirt surrounding the house. Their presence was further confirmed via visual contact. Papa saw two little kitties poking their heads through the hole by the HVAC unit while he mowed the lawn. The kitties meowed a complaint about the noise.  

After the first meow warning shot, the security council consisting of my parents and no one else met to address the kitty issue. They recklessly decided to continue with a pacifistic approach.  My parents wagered that, since we live in the middle of the development with two streets on either side of us, and that there are many similarly built houses between the woods and our house, that these were not feral cats but pets belonging to one of our elderly neighbors who put the cat out before bedtime, which, for them comes at 7:30, and let the kitty back In the next morning not realizing the cat only kept itself from freezing by going under our house and stealing our heat. My parents don't want to trap the kitty and have animal control cart it away because it was more than likely some senseless seniors’ pet.

I say the cats incursion onto our property is a full-scale invasion.  I know our silly senior neighbors to the south aren't sending us their best cats. They are sending us their hairball hurlers and mouse tormentors, their incontinent and intact, who want to come to our house to have their babies and take advantage of our health care. I am sure some of them are good kitties, but the rest are either lazy, pregnant, or have bundles of catnip tied to their undercarriages. Believe me. Believe me!

The problem with the flimsy skirt that blocks the crawl space is that it poses no impediment to whatever vermin want to get under the house.  Right now the cats are streaming under the house, (probably Stranger Things, via our Netflix account.) We need a deterrent. We need something protective. We need a wall!

A great big beautiful wall that goes around the skirt and stops thousands of cats getting under the house. I have stared into my parents’ eyes trying to convey my message “BUILD THE WALL” to no avail. My parents are for open skirts.  They are for mass penetration. If you can't secure your property how can you have a house?

Join with me to urge my parents
What's that Pocket?  And the cats will pay for it? Don't be daft Pocket!  Why would the cats do that?

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Beat This Caption

It looks like a bone, but it don't smell like a bone or taste like a bone.  What sort of trickery is this?

Monday, January 7, 2019

Monday Question

How do you let your parents know that you love them?

Pocket:  At any sign of my parents getting upset I put my paws on them, their legs if they are standing, their lap if they are sitting and look at them letting them know it will be okay.

River Song:   I never let them out of my site.  My constant presence is a sign of my love.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Peco Dee, A Little Dog in a Big Controversy is our January 6, 2019 Pup of the Week

This week I planned to write about the passing of my old DS friend Peco Dee’s mom Mary.  The news of her passing spread among her Facebook friends at the end of December. There were dozens, perhaps even hundreds of comments left on the page Peco shared with his mom Mary and on the Facebook group Dog Euphoria that Peco had administered since Doggyspace folded.

Mary was very private.  Few knew how old she was or what she looked like. They did know that Mary had been ill. There was a post in March about her falling and breaking a hip. A couple of weeks later Peco announced his mom was okay. Astute observers of Peco’s page and his Dog Euphoria profile realized something was off. The voice they had known as Peco’s was different by just a tad. And occasionally there would be pictures of Peco pensively looking off into the distance while underneath the caption read “Thinking of someone I miss in heaven.”

After hearing of Peco’s mom's passing one parent, in a quest to get more information, and knowing Peco’s mom’s elusive last name did an obituary check of the St. Paul's area. They found a person with his mom's name, but she had passed in March around the time of her fall. 

For their friends on Facebook Mary and Peco were indistinguishable. In December, when their friends learned of Mary’s passing, they were heartbroken, and when it came to light that she had really passed seven months earlier their emotions were raw, and they felt betrayed.

Peco’s mom’s son Tom, either at his mom’s request or on his own, at her passing, decided to keep Peco’s profile unchanged.   Mary had been a very private woman and may not have wanted her passing known, or for people to make a fuss. Or that Tom, in his grief, just wanted to keep something of his mom alive. 

 Perhaps, in retrospect, he should have let people know his mother had passed and that he would be taking over the reins on Peco’s page and at Doggy Euphoria. But who makes good decisions when they are grieving?  We have all suffered together at the passing of a pup friend. We know there is no wrong way to grieve. 

The people who loved Mary and Peco were hurt.  Love is a big soup made up of lots of ingredients like faith, hope, and kindness.  When dishonesty is added, it turns the broth bitter, and people react to it. This lead to the unit-Peco backlash that occurred when the news broke. It is a byproduct of being hurt after betrayal, not deliberate unkindness.  

Humans don’t adapt well to the fact that two opposing opinions may both be right.  You need to be a Republican or Democrat, Red Sox fan or Yankee, bagels or English muffins.  How can you be both? I call it the cereal box conundrum. I sit on one side of the box and say there's a big picture of Tony the Tiger on it and you sit on the other side and say “no, there’s a  puzzle on it.” Both are right. It's just a matter of perspective. Peco’s brother’s perspective was that he was doing right by Peco’s followers and his mom. Some to their friends perspective was that they felt betrayed. Both are right, and if you can’t see it, you need to get up and look at the other side of the box.

Peco’s momma Mary is with us at the Bridge.   She has a huge farm that she shares with her pets that preceded her.  She has provided a home for thousands of dogs who never found love in the mortal world.  I have sat with her and watched everything that has unfolded since Christmas. She has been upset because she only wanted Peco to be loved as she loved him.

For everyone still hurt by these events, I can tell you what the old dogs told me.  Jump in the swamp and shake it off. Then go back to honoring the little dog who brought so may together:  Peco Dee

Friday, January 4, 2019

Abandoned by those they Love Sam and Cosmo Find A Way

New Year’s is a time of hope, but it is also a reminder of the cruelty and uncaring nature of certain humans.  A couple, and a veterinarian, in Valparaiso Indiana, have personified both sides of the scale.

My parents told me, when I was particularly persnickety, about the dogs who did not sleep inside, had to lick frozen water bowls in the winter, and didn’t eat healthy kibble, so I would realize, and appreciate how privileged I was.

But, they never mentioned, and maybe could not comprehend, people so heartless that they would send a dog to the Bridge prematurely because of a human lifestyle change, or change of heart.

This is what happened to Sam, a pointer, and Cosmo a lab mix, from northern Indiana.  First, their life was turned upside down when their parents got divorced. The dad got custody of the duo.  He met a new woman who was allergic to dogs, then opted for a “convenience euthanasia,” and brought these two perfect souls to the vet to be put down because they no longer fit in his lifestyle.

(Note, as an angel,  I sometimes know, but cannot say, who is going to the Bad Place.  So, I am barred from naming the owner who requested the euthanasia, but, if you are reading this, and surrendered two dogs with matching names in northern Indiana, you might want to get used to the hot weather and to wield a  pitchfork.)

The blessed veterinarian refused to perform the euthanasia and talked the owner into surrendering the dogs to the Begin Again Rescue in Valparaiso.  The owner did not care if his companions lived, or died. He just wanted to be rid of these loyal souls. He left his two confused dogs with the vet.  Hopefully, he will never get another.

Poor Sam and Cosmo did not understand what was happening.  At first, they were part of a loving home; then their mom disappeared, then their dad left them at the shelter.  But, they knew they had one another.

The pair was given to the Peoples Animal Welfare Society in Tinley Pak Illinois. Knowing that Sam and Cosmo had led tumultuous lives the rescue did want to separate them.  Finding a family who would take them together made the adoption process slower, but the good people at PAWS knew they would find the right family for the two, charming but horribly mistreated dogs.

Eric and Tiffany Dybas of Lockport, Illinois, heard Sam and Cosmo’s lament and were happy to open their home to two adult dogs.  From the second the dogs entered the Dybas’ home the pups knew they would be loved for the rest of their lives and beyond. They had a yard to play in, and two parents to sleep with on the big bed.  Life was good, and their troubles gone.

The world needs more dogs like Sam and Cosmo, whose charm and tenacity kept them from being euthanized, and more parents like Eric and Tiffany, who opened their hearts to pair of older dogs, and less selfish, uncaring people like the dogs’ original owners
Someday Sam and Cosmo will be at the Bridge, but only because they ran out of heartbeats, and their original owners will their too.  Perhaps, instead of going to the Bad Place the parents can become minions and wait on Sam and Cosmo hand and paw.

That would be a fitting eternal punishment for the people who tried to end the lives of such beautiful creatures. And perhaps, if their parents’ fate was known, no parent would ever try to do “convenience anesthesia” again.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Pocket's New Year Resolutions

The New Year arrived quietly at my house, as it always does.  My parents are far beyond the days of celebrating the New Year. We lie in the big bed together, and when the clock strikes twelve, my parents discuss what fresh hell 2019 will present.  My parents do know; whatever it may be, they will handle it together.

My parents have this same dread every year, and for the most part, it is unfounded.  Whether that will be the case this year, I do not know, but I am vowing to not contribute to any tension that may be waiting.

I resolve in 2019 to make sure I pee on the pad. Being in the same room as the pad, or a neighboring room is no longer good enough.  I must have all four paws on the pad, not just the front two leaving the back end off as my pee splashes on the floor, puddles under the pad and spreads like a stubborn rash.  I also vow to fully empty my bladder when I go outside and not cut short my urination time so I can get back inside, get my treat, then trot over to the pads for a squirt.

When I miss the pads, by forty feet or so, its usually because I am running around the house chasing my ball. I am very good at tracking it, but I need to improve in other aspects of this activity.  Sometimes, opening my mouth and grasping the ball is too much work for my nearly toothless face. I look at the ball, then bark for my human to retrieve, and throw it, so I can do what I do best, tracking.

I also vow not only to pick up my ball but to carry it back to my Papa, who does the majority of ball throwing. Until now I became so excited while carrying the ball I barked with joy, dropped it, then yipped at Papa to crawl over and throw it again. 

 Playing ball with me is very much like being a receiver for the Jets There is a lot of frustration, bending over and picking the ball up. But, no more. You have my bark.

Some mornings I am not hungry.  Occasionally this is followed by bag poops. I always eat by evening.  But, when I don’t eat, it makes my parents worry that the bad poops are coming, or, worse that I won’t eat at night, or the next day. I have to remember I am going to be 12 this year and any missed meal, limp, or yip will send my family into a fury of worry.

I told my resolutions to River and suggested she make a similar list, perhaps including not being so bitchy and snappish all the time.  River succinctly told me that these behaviors only bothered me, which, to an extent is true, but she still causes unrest, and no one wants unrest.

I am hoping for a low key year for myself, my parents, my friends, and their parents, although given what the strange white disc in the kitchen that, in a severe monotone, reads the headlines each morning, no matter how we dogs try, there will be more unrest in 2019 than we can handle.  

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Beat This Caption

Don't interrupt me.  You're going to be neutered whether you like it or not.

Wordless Wednesday