Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Beat This Captiion

I was sitting here minding my own business when the chair split open and a family of squirrels ain out.   Honest!

Monday, April 29, 2019

Monday Question

Where do you sleep at night?

Pocket:  We sleep in between our parents in the big bed.  I am usually closer to my parent's heads  River stays near the bottom because she is a big woman and needs a lot of space.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Sabrina is the April 28 2019 Pup of the Week

Hard times should come and go. But sometimes hard times linger and only grow worse. When there is long-suffering the initial hard times Are looked back at fondly as being the good old days.

New angel, Sabrina's family has seen enough suffering to equal the quota for an entire sub-Asian village. Four years ago Sabrina’s father Ward suffered a debilitating stroke. Sabrina's mama Dolores and papa Ward had promised one another they would never allow the other to be placed in a home. But when you're young, you have no idea just how horrible a debilitating illness can be, and the enormous effort it takes to care for a soul who can no longer do so for themselves.

The worst part of Papa Ward’s stroke was that it stole his memory. His body was the same. To Sabrina and her littermates, he smelled the same. But he was no longer there. Something had stolen his body and was using it.

Each morning Mama Delores would dress Papa ward.  She would make his food and feed him. She would take him wherever he needed to go. As the years progressed, Papa Ward lost control of his bodily functions. Sometimes he knew he needed to go to the bathroom but not what to do when he got in there.  Inevitably there would be a big mess. Other times he would soak through his Depends. Hollywood spends a fortune on screenwriters who develop horror stories. For both Mama Dolores and papa Ward this was beyond any horror they could imagine.

To add to the problems Sabrina and her two littermates Tori and AJ were getting older with their medical concerns. There was arthritis, Cushing's disease, kidney disease, dementia, ear infections, and those little everyday things that lead to vet visits and more debt in what would become a forever growing mountain of bills.

Sabrina and papa Ward grew worse in tandem. Both had dementia and interrupting Mama Dolores’ few hours of sleep a night. Papa woke her with his yelling and setting off the electric mat on the floor that signaled Mama Delores that he was wandering off, and Sabrina did so with her late-night pacing as she tried to identify something that would trigger her memory.

There comes the point during every caregivers’ service when they realize they can no longer properly tend for their patient. Each day Ward became more confrontational, His incontinence grew worse, and He had to be helped wherever he went. Being in Mama Dolores’ care became detrimental to both their health. It took her a long time, to decide to put Ward in a care facility so he could receive the treatment he needed. But she knew she had no choice.

Papa Ward was put in a hospital while they waited for a bed at home to become available. But hospitals want money. And one thing ward and Mama Dolores did not have a lot of was money. There also was a question of insurance coverage. Mama Dolores’ head was spinning. They never had children, so she had to face this problem alone. With the help of a senior attorney, Papa was finally placed in a home. But everything came with a cost. It was More money than Mama Dolores had.
There was also the guilt and sadness. Mama Dolores could keep herself busy during the day but the nights were long and lonely.

Sabrina did everything she could to extend her time with her mom. She knew she was needed, but her heartbeats were long past the expiration date.  One day last week Sabrina was no longer strong enough to withstand the Bridge’s powerful pull. She could not walk and would not eat. Everything pained her. And she was exhausted.  Momma Delores knew she had to let Sabrina go. We were left to wonder How much heartbreak one soul could take?

All the pups at the bridge knew what happened to Sabrina and her parents. Being angels, we had received a lot of prayers for Papa Ward, Sabrina, and their pack.

Like all dogs, Sabrina wanted to get back to her mom. She insisted Mama Dolores needed her urgently.  But I had something to show her.

We went back down the steps and then followed the river to a particular Grove.  I told Sabrina to wait. I would not be far away.

Suddenly, before her eyes, a dark shape resembling Papa Ward appeared. He stroked Sabrina and said how much he missed her.  Sabrina had waited so long for this moment. She asked her papa if he had passed.

“Not yet,” he said, “But part of me has. When you lose an arm or a leg, it comes to the bridge to wait for you. When you lose your memory, it comes here too. And that's all I am Sabrina your dad's memory.  I can't cross the bridge yet because I am not whole. So I wait here. Would you like to wait with me?”

Of course, Sabrina did.  And that is where I left them with Papa Ward little more than a shadow softly petting Angel Sabrina's head as they waited for better days

Friday, April 26, 2019

Foley and the Robot Dog

I got a message that a new dog had arrived at the Bridge.  As I walked to Hobo’s Landing where the dog waited to be sworn in, I noticed that no other dogs, not even a litter mate was there to greet him.   Did this dog have no one to mourn him?
Then I saw the newest angel.

You would think, after being at the Bridge for almost six years, that I would have seen everything. But the sight of a robotic dog patiently waiting for me to usher him into the Rainbow Bridge community was something new.

I retreated and immediately called a meeting of the Rainbow Bridge High Counsel. The four members, Easy the Weimaraner, Tommy Tunes, Odie, and  Paco, guided me when I made the most difficult decisions. Whether we should allow the robot dog into our community was one of the hardest I had faced.

I immediately told the council my predicament. Easy ran out of our meeting place.  I didn't know if he was investigating or if he was overcome by the need to Zoom.

Within two minutes Easy was back, panting heavily. He took several long drinks of water from the communal dish.  He then sat back down at the table. “I licked his nose,” he said "he tasted like metal. I sniffed his butt. It smelled Like metal. I think the dog’s metal.”

What is this metal?” Paco asked. “is this dog is going to interfere in our affairs? Or is it like crazy?  Is he going to keep us awake howling at the moon?’

I explained to Paco that it was made from elements and ran by computer.

“Elephants?” Paco asked confused.  I must get a translator.
Tommy stood up.  ‘I have run a background check on him.  He's from Japan. He lived with an elderly couple. They always had dogs, but they moved into a community where dogs weren’t allowed.  So they purchased this robotic dog, named it Jackie and loved it like it was real.”

“Makes me wonder if we are all going to be replaced by robots,” I said.

“Robots will never replace us,” Odie exclaimed. “We are too beloved.”

“Tell that to the horses,” Easy said.

Several moments of uncomfortable silence passed between us. Finally, Odie broke it.

“What is a dog. Or any pet for that matter.  Is it the eyes the nose or the mouth? Is it the fur or the nails.  Or is it the love? It's like The Velveteen Rabbit without the horribly painful ending.

“It seems to me that if someone loved Jackie, then they would want to spend eternity with him. If we don't allow him here, then we are no better than the souls who tried to keep dogs out and lead to the Great Fido uprising of 1025.”

We took a vote and agreed to let Jackie join the angel dogs.

We went back to the landing where Jackie waited. He asked if there was a problem.  I told him it was just a paperwork issue. Then I swore him in.

A minute later a happy pack of little dogs joined us jumping on Jackie and nipping at him. I surmised it was the dogs that had once belonged to his parents. They were thrilled to play with their brother.

Odie and I watched them frolicking. “It makes me wonder if he is real,” Odie asked  

“There is an old saying,” I told him. “Angels who live in glass clouds don't throw stones.”

Thursday, April 25, 2019

River Solves the Problem at her Southern Border

For the past year, we had waged war on the feral cats who snuck under our house, damaged our dual HVAC unit and caused us to have a very chilly weekend before it was fixed.

Until they lost the heat, my parents took a cavalier attitude towards the kitties invading our southern border. "They aren't hurting anything," my parents said. They had unwittingly created a sanctuary crawl space under the house. Their policy of open skirts had resulted in a hefty heating repair bill.

My parents finally understood they needed to secure our southern border. Still, they would not listen to me about the necessity for a wall. They took extra care in making sure they had a tight skirt.
One day last week as I was looking for the perfect spot for a daily double poop and pee I dragged Poppa past the HVAC unit. The piece of the skirt by the unit was pushed in. I wanted to give him my superior I told you so look, but that's hard to do while popping.

Papa came inside and told Momma about the damaged skirt. "Damn cats," she said. It was a far cry from "they aren't hurting anyone."  My parents began to scheme how to keep the cats out.
The following Saturday they went to Home Depot for supplies. That Monday they began Operation Pussy Block.

Poppa removed the skirt from the driveway side of the house. My parents shove anything they no longer have use for there.  Lying on the dark cement are gutters, broken air conditioners, old printer, unused siding and skirts, and paving stone
Poppa removed the paving stones, put them on a dolly and went to the HVAC unit side of the house.  I was supervising momma in the garden, so I did not witness what he was doing. Later I saw him take things from the trunk, but I could not tell what they were.  What was happening on our southern border was a mystery to me.

It wasn't until we had completed the work day that I got to inspect the new kitty batter. There were eight bricks stacked alongside the unit where the skirt meets it to keep cats from sneaking inside. I went to the skirt and sniffed. I could smell the paving stone, and the smell went up instead of staying flat. I stepped back and smiled because they had not built a wall. They had made three.

I had an enjoyable evening waiting for my parents to thank me for the wall idea, but they never did. I went to bed disgruntled then fell asleep and entered my papa's dreams.

“I see you took my advice and built a wall,” I said.

“I did no such thing,”  Dream Papa said. “I stacked up some stones and brick. That does not make a wall. “

I was stunned.  “Of course that’s a wall.  That is the very definition of a wall.  It is an impediment.”

“There are lots of impediments,” Papa said.  “What I built is more of a barricade. We would not build a wall.”

I had trouble getting back to sleep when I awoke from the dream. First, no one would listen to the Griffon, and now no one would give due credit to the Griffon.

But, I did not need credit.  The most important thing to me is to have our southern border secure, and now thanks to me, and my very big brain we will never be invaded at our southern border again.


Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Beat This Caption

Reputed dog mob boss Sugar Plum has escaped from prison.  On the left is what he looked when  he escaped and on the right what he would look like after grooming and when someone put a comb up his butt

Monday, April 22, 2019

Monday Question

A simple question this week.  How much do you weigh and are you considered overweight?

Pocket: I weigh six pounds.  I still have my girlish figure.

River; I weigh fourteen pounds.  Mommy keeps an eye on me.  I love to eat, but I don't like to move so if I overeat it is going right to my hips.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Hazel is the April 21 2019 Pup of the Week

When something big arrives at the Bridge the ground beneath us shakes. I am not talking about from weight but from the space, a soul takes in human hearts. When Hazel of the Idaho Pup Ranch arrived this week something big shook the ground for sure.

Hazel is a giant in the dog world.  She is a champion athlete who has won scores of ribbons for agility, and a faithful blogger who provides her friends with thousands of laughs, emotional support, a furry shoulder to cry on,  and powerful prayers when one of her readers take Ill or passes over. 

But most of all Hazel was the perfect family dog and pack leader. There has been a lot of tragedy at the Ranch in the past. After the loss of little Greta who passed over much too young and her brother Bailey who arrived here last year, It was Hazel, the heart of the ranch, who helped both humans and dogs through the long road of grief.  She guided them into the sunshine.

Everyone on the Ranch knew Hazel would get her family through anything. But what would happen when this sweet girl's song ended, and the family was left alone?

Hazel celebrated her 14th birthday last year. Her body and heart were beginning to fade, but her spirit was strong. But Even the most strong spirit cannot stave off passing over once the heartbeats start to expire. As the first signs of spring appeared at the Ranch Hazel's time with her family was dwindling. Her heart beats lessened.  What should have been pumped away was not. Last week, during a spot of diarrhea the doctor checked Hazel. Her poor heart was swimming in fluid. A few days later, while Hazel was in her dad's arms and her mom held her paw they took away all her pain and sent her on her journey.

She floated through the air until she came to a stream which carried her to the River of Life. A wave scooped her up and deposited her at the base of Rainbow Bridge. Having visited her angel siblings Greta and Bailey many times before she knew where to go.

She ran up Hattie's steps, ascended Smoochys cliff and stopped at Hobo's landing where I administered the Angel oath. Then Bailey and Greta hugged her and gave her 1000 kisses. The three of them began playing together as we prepared her welcoming feast. The hundreds of dogs who had preceded her to the Bridge and whose life she had touched attended. We all told our favorite Hazel stories, ate plates of Bison and toasted her. It was a pug wake which is like an Irish Wake, but the guest of honor can bark back.

Bailey and Greta showed Hazel the ranch where they lived.  She was given a tour of the birds and pretty insects closet where the bodies of the winged creatures they dress as when they visit their parents were kept. The largest room had been kept vacant for her. There were framed pictures of her and her parents on the table tops and her championship ribbons on the wall. Hazel gave her brother and sister a kiss of gratitude.

That night Bailey, Greta, and Hazel went, for the first time together, into their parents’ dreams and to the visit their surviving sister Mabel.  I waited in their back yard, sitting in a lounge chair, overlooking the River, and sipping my Foleytini.

When they returned, Hazel joined me.  I passed her a big cigar because there is something funny about a pug smoking a cigar.

We sat quietly until she asked me when the pain of missing her parents and watching them suffer, would pass.

I put my paw on her leg.  “It’s been almost five years for me.  I’ll let you know when I get there. But until then we will keep doing what we can for our parents, and trying to make each other happy.”

Hazel lifted her glass and clinked it against mine and then we looked out across the river to where the lights from our parent's houses twinkled in the distance.

Friday, April 19, 2019

A Horrific Sunday Morning At PetSmart

This week’s post won't be light or funny. It is the story of something horrific that happened at a PetSmart on a Sunday morning.

The sun was shining brightly. The temperatures were in the 60s. It was the first day people left their jackets at home and wore their short sleeve shirts. The weather made everyone at ease. Winter was over. The carefree days of summer were in view.

A puppy training class was scheduled to begin in fifteen minutes. Some students had arrived early to get their dogs acclimated to the store before class started.

A young woman with a corgi was talking to the mother and her adolescent daughter. At the end of their lead was a four-year-old long-haired dachshund.

A young man with a pit bull entered the store. The pit bull had recently had a litter. Her long hanging nipples were the sign of a dog that had been over bred. When approached by staff the dog backed away. The man said he had the dog for a month. He adopted it from the city shelter. He had been working with the dog. Now he wanted to socialize it. Perhaps the fact that he lingered while looking at the muzzles should have been a clue. But store associates have been taught not to judge by appearance.

The mother with the dachshund handed her daughter the leash and went to the grooming salon at the back of the store to make an appointment. She left her daughter by the end cap to the right of the dog food aisle. The pit bull owner selected a 24-pound bag of Blue Wilderness and placed it on his left shoulder. He held the leash with his right.

They walked around the corner. The pitbull and dachshund suddenly were face to face. Without even a growl the pit opened it’s mouth and bit the puppy on the snout sinking its teeth in and clamping on.  The puppy’s screams were the thing of nightmares. The little girl yelled, dropped the leash and ran for her mother. The woman with the corgi followed.

It happened within a foot of where Daddy was standing. Knowing if the pitbull shook the puppy, it would kill it. Daddy jumped on the pit bull’s back to keep it down.

The pit bull owner yelled its name, then said it had never done anything like this before.  He, the store manager and two associates hit the pit bull and tried to open its mouth to free the puppy.
The trainer opened the kit with the tools to stop dog fights. She took out the air horn and blasted it in the pit bull's ears. It would not let go. She then sprayed two cans of scintilla in the pitbull’s eyes. It still would not let go. The trainer picked up the signs that display the weekly deals brought them over her head and smashed them near the pitbull. None of the recommended remedies worked. The puppy still screeched. Blood pooled on the floor.

Convinced that the pit bull would never let go Daddy ran to the back of the store. He found a heavy wrench. As he walked to the front with it he was unsure if he could use the weapon on the dog, but nothing was working, and the puppy was being killed.

Moments before Daddy got to the scene the trainer and another associate each grabbed one of the pit bull's back legs and lifted up and away like trying to break a massive wishbone. This caused the pit bull to relinquish its grip. It snapped at its dad opening a wound on his arm. Then the owner pulled the dog down the aisle.

The store manager and an associate ran out of the store with the puppy. They drove to the animal hospital ten minutes away.
The mother and daughter emerged from the grooming center. The young girl looked like she had encountered a monster. Tears ran down her face. The staff hugged and tried to comfort her but how do you comfort someone who just saw their dog almost eaten?
Animal control was contacted. The pit bull owner agreed to stay.  He could have left. Who was going to stop them? He was placed in a secure back room with the pitbull.

The trainer got information from both parties. The mom was given directions to the hospital.

The staff at the store were like a shell shocked army on the losing side of a battle. They were stunned but still had to do their job.

The animal control officer arrived and talked with the pit bull owner. The ACO determined that something had occurred between the two animals which caused the incident. She did not think the pit bull was dangerous and let them go. They passed the associate washing up the puppy blood on the way outside.

The puppy was in shock. When his mom and the girl arrived at the vet, he still managed to wag his tail. Miraculously the puppy only had a few jaw fractures.  After two weeks he was scheduled to come home.

What happened was the perfect storm of events:  If the man had not lingered over the muzzles, if the mother had not gone into grooming, if either had just moved a few feet away. These were the little events that led to a tragedy.

The only positive note was the humans who with little regard for their safety worked so hard to free the puppy.

This is not a negative pitbull post.  There are thousands of happy, calm, non-threatening pit bulls in the world.  This is just the report of something that happened on a sunny Sunday morning.  And, it is a warning to remember when you are with your dogs in public you need to be hyper-aware of what is going on around. Danger can develop in less than a second.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

River Song Celebrates the First Garden Day of the Year

Monday was also going to be the start of our long-awaited gardening season.  But, per usual this spring, it rained. We were more disappointed than 1,000 wet marathoners.  

But Tuesday broke warm and sunny.  For the first time in five months, my nose was filled with freshly mown grass, tilled Earth and warm air.  After a day’s delay, Mother Nature finally let us have a garden day.

My parents insist on garden days once a  week. If they miss one, they'll fall behind, and their gardens will go all season being just a little behind.  

This winter has been so raw that the ground itself is two weeks behind. The back of our shed where the gutters empty is the only place where the grass has grown green and thick.  There are some sprouts in Foley's garden, but nothing has bloomed. If you are close to the ground, you can hear the roots singing if as they make their way to the sun.

During the cold winter months, we met Foley in our dreams and planned the upcoming garden season.  Each winter she insists that we build a statue of her in her garden. By January she abandons her plans after promise that we'll build one the following year for sure.

Foley also acquiesced to moving the Gay family rose bush from her garden to the back one. Five years ago Papa's cousin gave him a shoot from what had been his grandfather’s rose bush at his family home.  It is now four feet tall, but because it never gets sun, it doesn't bloom. Every year Foley says this season it will. Now that it's been moved to the sunny back garden hopefully she'll be right. 
And if it does, she will demand a  shoot be replanted back in her’s
When my parents start to work in the yard Pocket, and I are placed in our supervisory stroller.  From there, using a series of barks, yips, squeals, and paw language we direct our parents what to do.
Of all the days we work in the yard opening garden day is my favorite.  When the yard is raked, and the garden tilled all the scents trapped under the frost are released.  It smells like the world has been reborn.

When the day's work was completed, and we were allowed to go on the grass the scents overwhelmed our little noses. It was like we could smell deep into the bowels of the Earth. Pocket likes to walk across the lawn taking in all the smells at once. I prefer to find one spot, bury my nose in the grass and take several deep breaths until I am nudged out of my stupor.

Now that opening day is behind us we begin our weekly garden time again.  On Mondays, Pocket and I will be in our strollers, our parents in the gardens and yard and Foley will be fluttering around like a butterfly, and we will work together to make our little section of the earth more beautiful because if God gives you spring it is the least we can do.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Monday Question

How much exercise do you get and how often do you get it?

Pocket, when we get a walk it is for around 20 minutes.  Our walks depend on our weather.  In the summer we can get walked every day.  In the winter months, we are lucky to get a walk a week.  But we aren't' breeds that need a lot of exercises so we're good.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Harley is the April 14 2019 Pup of the Week

After being shattered by the deaths of many beloved friends in the past few weeks, and having to watch their parents grieve, we here at rainbow bridge District four got a much-needed reprieve this week.  There were no new angels and no newly broken hearted parents.

And now I can do something I haven't Been able to do in a hound’s age.  I can celebrate a hero who still walks among you.

I present for your approval Harley from Round Rock Texas.  Harley is a pitbull mix. If we were not domesticated and living in the wild, the Pitbull would be, with his strength and intelligence the leader of the dog world.  But we have allowed humans to rule us by serving them. Instead of ruling pit bulls live on the edge of the dog world. Some communities shun them altogether.

I got to know Harley through his prayers.  He was born feral. His mom was a pittie disowned upon pregnancy.

Harley was born in an alley on a cold and rainy day.  His mom found a place behind a dumpster to nourish him and his siblings.  When they got old enough, and the animal control visits became more frequent, she told her puppies to run and never to get caught.  She knew what happened to homeless pit bull puppies.

Despite being born on the streets, Harley did not have much Street Sense.  He tried befriending a stranger. This got him a trip to the Williamson county regional animal shelter.

Luckily the staff took to Harley.  He could chase down and sniff out tennis balls for hours.  Shortly after he arrived at the shelter, he was adopted. In even a shorter time he was brought back.  He was far too rambunctious for a family. They didn't have time to provide him the strict discipline he needed.

Harley was in the shelter six months before I heard his first prayer for freedom.  I entered his information into the prayer database. There was a Possible match. It was a long shot but so was Harley's entire life.

Round Rock police officer Noah Moncivais had been praying for a canine partner.  I slipped into his dreams to plant an absurd idea. Instead of getting a dog bred and trained purposefully for police work why not go to the local shelter find a sweet Pitbull and adopt him as a partner?

Harley took right to the life of a police dog.  He had found what he always needed — a task to do where he could all his energy.
For five years Harley and Moncivias were inseparable.  They performed rescue missions together, acted as ambassadors to their community protected them, and served honorably.  

At six years of age, Harley was retired from the police force. It was an involuntary retirement.  Every morning Holly jumps in the back of Moncivias’ patrol car ready to go to work.

But Moncivais brings Harley back inside and reminds him that he has new duties. First Is to be retrained as a house dog.  The years of living on the street, and then the high energy life of a police dog do not translate to long days sitting in the sun and being a lap dog.  But Moncivais and Harley are making strides every day.

Harley still has a purpose.  To be a pack leader to the three other dogs in the house and to serve and protect Moncivias’ family and most importantly his three-year-old son.

Moncivias knows he doesn't trust anybody with this task more than his old partner.



Friday, April 12, 2019

Foley Recounts Her Own MeToo movement

In 2010 I was a nine ye.ar old little fireball.  I had already made a name for myself on social media. Every dog knew Foley Monster.

I began to think of myself as above the rules. When I saw an unknown cat entering a neighboring house, I stopped him from going inside and accused him of being a cat burglar. Unfortunately, I was wrong. I had blocked a cat from going in his own home The next morning the news reported that I was an anti-catdite.  Kitties picketed my house. You can read the original recounting here.

Fearing a permanent schism between dogs and cats President Obama invited the cat and me to meet at the White House and resolve the issue. You can read about that historic meeting here.  

There was an encounter during my White House visit that I thought best left untold. But now, amid many terrible stories about powerful men humiliating women by treating them as sexual objects I am compelled to come forward with my tale.

After meeting with the President and the kitty, I excused myself and went into the bathroom. While I was checking my hair in the mirror, I heard the door open and shut. I was not concerned. This was a public bathroom. But then I felt something all lollipops dread.

There was a cold nose pressed against my anal sack. Then I heard the sound of deep breathing. I spun around. “Who's there?” I commanded.

It was the President’s dog Beau, a Portuguese Water Dog. He had a sloppy smile on his face. “Did you just sniff my butt?” I asked.

“Yes,” the slobbering Duffus said. “That is how we dogs say hello.”
“Not polite dogs.  Who trained you, Joe Biden?”

He stood between me and the door.  “Will you play with me?” Beau asked.  “I'm a show dog. I am only here to be shown.”

I told Beau that I sympathized with him, but I was here for an important meeting.  I would be happy to play with him at some other time. But Beau didn't want to hear no.

When I tried to get past, he playfully pawed at me.  I was able to sneak past him and get to the door. I opened it, but Beau’s big paws slammed it shut.

“Come on just play with me a little bit I'm lonely,” Beau insisted.

  “No means no Beau’ I snapped at him.  

He bit me on the back of the neck and tried to flip me over.  My teeth sunk into his foreleg. He yelped and momentarily backed off.  I tried to run through the doggie door. After a mad dash, Beau decided to do the unthinkable.  He grabbed my back end with his strong paws and began to hump me. I pulled forward with my front legs and got out.  I ran from him and ended up in Mrs. Obama's bedroom.

At first, she was surprised to see me and then she saw Beau running in after me.  “Beau did you try humping this girl?” she asked disgustedly. She got her answer when Beau looked down ashamed.

“That's it,” the first lady said. “I don't care what they did in the jungle Barak comes from you're getting neutered.’

“You mean Africa?”  I asked her hoping I had a big scoop.

“No the southside of Chicago.  Its a zoo don't ever go there.”

She leashed Beau and informed the secret service that they would be going to the vet.  “You look like a nice dog,” she said to me, “nice dogs don't last too long in this town. The men are all dogs, and the dogs aren't neutered.”

But on that day, thanks to the First Lady and me, a prominent Washington male dog was neutered.  And I have a message for all the big male dogs still in Washington. The lollipops are coming.  Prepare to be neutered.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Pocket Makes a Change in Her Nightly Routine

Every day our bedtime routine is the same.  First I go out for my last poop. I am taken alone because River Song is a selfish pooper.  For her and her expanded butt hole pooping is a breeze. But I am short, fluffy and tight all over.  I can't just stop and pop. I have to sniff, circle several times like a bombardier sizing up its Target then let my payload out and hope gravity does the rest

If River is with me she gets done first then begins pulling to go home.  How rude! Usually, it is right when I am circling my target. If you jostle the bombardier, you put the mission in jeopardy.  And if the mission fails tragedy will follow in the form of me getting gas and nasty diarrhea

I am lucky Papa recognizes the danger and arranges to take us out separately.  Humans, unless at one point they were forced to poop as part of a chain gang do not know how difficult it is to poop tethered to another soul.  I don't think that even the thieves, murderers or fornicators would begin to leave the stall while their mate was in full. Squat. If they did, after working all day in the hot sun next to someone covered in their own excrement they would learn never to do it again.  That is why I would rather poop tethered to a criminal than a River.

After our pooping mission is complete and we are both back inside it's time for our most useless activity: tooth brushing.  When I was a young pup and Foley was in charge we never got our teeth brushed. Then Foley had to have her teeth cleaned and pulled.  After that, we got brushed every night. After five years I had to have a dozen teeth pulled and now, two years after I am going for extraction and cleaning at the end of the month.  Obviously brushing is a waste of time. But I still get subjected to it every night. “if River is getting it done so are you,” my parents tell me. But I go along so at least something on River will be white.

After our teeth are brushed, we are brought into the bedroom and placed on the bed.   We both get a handful of kibble. Then Daddy goes to the front bathroom while mommy uses the one off the bedroom.   I knew what Mommy was doing because I could see her. What Daddy did was a mystery. One day last week I tired of sitting next to River while She licked herself and I hopped down from the bed to explore what Daddy was doing.

I found him in the bathroom doing what Mommy does but standing up.    How gauche. With nothing to see there, I decided to explore the house.   In a matter of seconds, I realized I had never been left alone in the house before.    I could explore without my parents telling me to leave something alone or my nosy sister butting in.    I could spread out on the loveseat, curl up on the recliner, climb up high on the lift chair and no one would know.    I could make a sandwich. I could turn on the TV and watch what I want to watch. It is a few minutes of splendor a night.  

And now the hop off the bed to see what Daddy's doing and then explore the house without distraction is part of my nightly routine.  I cherish those two or three minutes when I can have the house to myself just let pocket be pocket.

But not any longer than that.  A pocket gets lonely.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Beat This Caption

Game of Thrones fans were stunned to learn George R R Martin is really a Wheaton terrier.  

Monday, April 8, 2019

Monday Question

What is the strangest animal you have ever had in your house?

Pocket:  Before mommy and daddy were married mommy had the first floor or a two floor, two family unit.  The man upstairs liked the feed the ducks.  If mommy left the door opened the ducks would come inside.

One night Daddy got home late and there was a bat in his apartment.  It took him a half an hour to get the thing outside.   It was quite the battle

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Tiara is our April 7, 2018 Pup of the Week

There was a time as recent as five years ago that we knew everything our pet friends did during the day.  We were aware of each bump and bruise. When one of us was sick and in need of prayers, hundreds of them were heard above the clouds.

The number of dogs that keep us informed of their daily lives has diminished to just a few dozen over the last few years.  All across the internet dog sites are closing because of lack of interest. More and more people invest their time on Facebook, Twitter and other sites that reaffirm what they believe about the world no matter what that may be.

Tiara is an old school friend.   She kept us posted about her life with her sisters Trixie and Tasha.  No matter how mundane those activities may have been the Triple T’s made them fascinating.

We knew immediately when she was diagnosed with diabetes, and we prayed. We knew when the vet said she had congestive heart failure and we prayed harder.  And we knew that on Thursday she was going for a glucose test. So we prayed for good numbers.

Never did we, or more importantly, her parents think Tiara wouldn't be coming home from that appointment.  

While she was at the vet’s tiara’s blood pressure fell. Then her breathing became difficult.   Her doctor put her on an IV drip and placed her in an oxygen tent. The vet called tiara’s parents, alerted them to the situation and said they would call back when she was stable.

But the next call brought the worst of all possible news. Tiara had gone into cardiac arrest. She could not be revived. In the space of a few hours, Tiara was gone.

Of course, the hardest thing for her parents to deal with not being able to say goodbye. They never got that last snuggle. There were no final kisses.  For her parents, it was the cruelest of passings.

I knew Tiara was in distress when I saw angel lovey, her beloved sister, nervously pacing around her yard. When I inquired, She told me tiara was very ill.  We both began praying hard and bargaining that neither one of us would ever do anything wrong again if Tiara could heal. Sadly our prayers were answered with a no.

I burned with anger. Another senseless death of an innocent creature who only brought love into the lives of all who knew her.  In my younger angry days, I would have railed against the big guy demanding answers. He would have given me some politically correct proverb about how we are only given so many heartbeats.  I didn't want to hear it. This is one of those passings that even the truth could not help.

Angel Lovie and I hurried to hobo’s landing where all angels are sworn in. We saw Tiara running towards us. We both felt tears on our faces.

She ran up the stairs like a puppy,  jumped on her sister and licked her face a hundred times. She then greeted me, and I administered the oath. Angel lovey took her aside and told her all her secrets so she could be the best possible Angel for her mom.

We asked her what happened. Like her parents, she was most upset about not getting to say goodbye. While she' was at the vet she began feeling poorly. She didn't want to extend her parents suffering by lingering a few days. She figured a clean break was better. And now she stood in front of us. We both gave her a big hug. Our tears mixed with our parents That were now falling from large clouds in the sky.  The rain of tears from Tiara’s passing was so intense we were soon drenched, and there were deep puddles around us.

We gave Tiara a feast, and she reconnected with dozens of friends who had preceded her to the Bridge.  The sound of her precious laugh filled the air. When we were done eating it was time for Lovey to show Tiara the way into her mom’s dreams, how to borrow bodies from the winged creatures, and to become a ghost, all to try and reach her parents and perhaps briefly soothe their broken hearts.

For so many people, when Tiara passed, it was like a member of their family was gone.  Her loss was devastating. And it was a mere fraction of the sorrow her parents felt.

They are in the thoughts and prayers of families across the world.  That may not ease their pain, but hopefully, they will realize how many hearts their little dog touched, and how loved she was.

If life is measured in love, then Tiara lived one`of the most significant lives of any soul who walked the Earth.  

Friday, April 5, 2019

Maverick's Mission Fulfilled

Some parents need another dog in their lives after a loved one goes to the Bridge faster than others. This need is expedited by having a surviving dog in the family. The parent may not be able to admit to themselves that they need a new pup, but they will still get one “for the sake of my other dog"

When Maverick arrived at the Bridge less than a month ago, he knew his dad wouldn't wait long to add another heartbeat to the household.  Maverick had a co-conspirator in his quest to find another dog for the family - his mortal sister Lily.
My parents went through a similar period after I passed.  They watched Pocket closely to see how she was adjusting to being a single dog

“I think Pocket is missing Foley,” Mommy said,

“Actually, I am doing quite fine thank you,” Pocket said.

“Poor baby needs a new sibling,” Papa said.

“Not at all,” Pocket said. “I am enjoying the individual attention.”  That is when my parents decided to get another dog, who turned out to be River.

Maverick’s sister Lily was a lot more willing than Pocket. She truly missed her brother and longed for a companion especially when her dad was out of the house. This became Lily’s time to act out and display her dissatisfaction with being an only dog.
Once Papa Timothy had made his decision to get another dog Maverick knew he had to act quickly. This dog needed to be special.  A pup who had never known human love. One who would be a challenge.

Maverick found the perfect pup. His name was Marshy

He wasn't a puppy, but he might as well have been. This poor 8-year old boy never experienced living in a home with a family.

The poor boy had spent the first seven years of his life being used only for breeding. When he was rescued, he had no idea how to eat from a bowl, stand on grass, wear a collar or walk on a leash. At first, he was frightened of everything, but thanks to the good people at New Leash on Life Rescue Marshy slowly learned how to become a house dog and not a caged stud. (Trust me, boys, it isn't as good as it sounds.)

Now that the right pup had been found Maverick had to let his dad know where to find him. But he encountered an obstacle. Poppa Timothy had so much on his mind; it had shut itself down to new ideas to protect itself.  But Maverick has always been resourceful, and he thought of another way.

He entered the dreams of his dad’s friend and told him to email Maverick’s dad with the link for Marshy. Without knowing why the next morning the friend dutifully did so.
Papa Timothy opened the link and saw what he knew would be the perfect addition to his family.

Marshy was a lap dog so he would match perfectly with little Lily. He was timid so he would not challenge her. And he was a project something his dad needs while he grieves Maverick.

While it will take a long time before things are normal in Maverick’s pack they are now one stronger.

Maverick can now help Marshy have the life he always should have had, and they can both help his dad rebuild his heart.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Small Tales: Walking Time Means Barking Time

Small Tales: Walking Time Means Barking Time: Because the temperature has risen, we have started walking again which means Pocket, and I bark at anything we see.  Usually, it's jus...

Walking Time Means Barking Time

Because the temperature has risen, we have started walking again which means Pocket, and I bark at anything we see.  Usually, it's just humans out for a stroll. We bark for attention, but we rarely get any. The barks that say “we are fierce creatures that will rip you apart” are the same as the “come play with us” with bark.  One of the few design flaws dogs have.

It isn't only people who are on the receiving end of our barks.  There are those home-wrecking cats that are always lurking about causing who knows what mischief.  There are the plump turkeys that somehow stay upright despite their fat bodies and spindly legs. We bark at the cats to chase them.  We bark at the turkeys to scare them off. And then there are the dogs.

Dogs understand our barks.  If there is a pup inside their house we back a friendly greeting of "Hello, bark bark.  How are you, bark bark?" If our parents could understand us, they would find this exchange as dull as our monotonous barking.

.There are two different barks for dogs who are walking their humans.  If the other dog barks first or responds to us with some of their yips, we both boastfully bark that we have terrific parents who give us the best of everything. It is like a noisy Christmas letter.  

Then there are the dogs who are tied up outside.  If they're on the grass, they bark at us to stay off their property.  We bark back that we're going to pee on their lawn and claim it as our own. Sometimes if we are on the same side of the street and we have anything left in the tank, we will leave them an infuriating little squirt.

Sadly, we see dogs chained up by the front door.  There is no dirt or grass where they are trapped, just tar, and cement.  They can't lie down. The surface is hard and unforgiving or, in the summer, unbearably hot.  They are told to do their business, but they resist because we are clean animals. We don't want to poop on a hard surface and live with it next to us for the rest of the day.  We don't want to pee on cement any more than a man wants to pee within six inches of a brick wall. The splatter gets all over us, and we are instantly labeled incontinent.

The poor dog is barking "free me, free me.  Let me go on a nice long walk with you. At least let me lay down on the cool grass."

We are talking too.  ‘Hey, lady get out here and bring your dog in the house.  No dog should have to live on cement.”

My parents comment about the poor baby.  But they don't bark. Humans are too polite to bark everything they feel.  Barking that someone is a bad dog parent will only bring trouble down the road.  But they do sympathize with the poor pup, and we are reminded how lucky we are.

Then we return home tired from our long walk.  We sit in one of the recliners and rest our weary bones and are aching vocals.  

But then we see through the kitchen window two people walking their dog down the street, and we take off barking for the humans to play with us and for the dogs not to pee on our lawn.

"Is there any off switch for these dogs,"  my parents wonder.

But we know they don't want that.  The sound of silence is the most deafening of them all.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Beat This Caption

I like her.  I don't think she needs to be changed.  Do you want to try and take her away from me?

Monday, April 1, 2019

Monday Question

Are you or your parents on other social network sites and if so under what names?

Pocket:  We are on Blogger under the name Small Tails
               We are on Facebook under the and Marsha andTed Gay

               We are on Twitter under the name TedG63 but we never use Twitter.

The Ruby Rose Report: The Crate Door

  My parents had a cookout to go to on the Fourth of July, one that I was neither invited to nor barred from. My participation was fully at...