Friday, May 31, 2019

On the Tenth Anniversary of the Tanner Brigade Foley Looks Back to the Beginning

I got up early on a Saturday morning in late May of 2009.  It was odd that I had the energy to wake up early since the night before had taken part in what was called the raid on the castle.

A few weeks prior I was banned from the site called Doggyspace. Before this happened I was ready to stay there site forever  It was perfect for me. I had a thousand friends. It really was like a big playground. The friendships I had made there meant everything to me. I would fight to the death for my comrades.

One of those friends, Tanner, was growing tired of the increasingly authoritarian rule and unruly members.  Our dear friend Hattie had left the site, weary from being bullied by younger, unsupervised pups. Tanner was upset that his group Yellow Labs had been assimilated into another and all the threads and comments wiped out. He complained to the management, who was disguised as a Yorkie named Princess.  Her profile picture had been taken from a stock photo site. Her biography fabricated.

Tanner was told it was necessary to eliminate his group.  No amount of pleading could change the phony Princess' mind.  
A short time later Tanner was diagnosed with cancer.  After the discovery, he was accused of using a dog's parents name in a comment.  At the time of the infraction, it seemed minor but Tanner received a lifetime ban.

Since I never complained or had a complaint issued against me I assumed I was a Doggyspace member in good standing.  I sent a message to the fake Princess explaining that Tanner was going to pass over soon. He knew he had made a mistake but only did so because he was distraught. Certainly, the Princess could understand that Tanner needed all the support of his online friends in his last days   If it was not possible that the ban could be overturned maybe it could be delayed until Tanner had passed

I fully expected that Princess would understand and reinstate Tanner's profile because true dogs and their parents have great compassion for pups whose songs is ending. That is what a pet lover would do.  Instead, the Princess replied with a statement that shocked, dismayed and amused.

"As you know the rules are laid out clear, and we can not allow this bickering to continue, nor slander. It may be unforchunit for her personaly, however she knew she should not have done that before she even posted it, and we can not make exceptions in this case due to the size of the event.Dont expect it to be the last eather, the entire admin/support team are hunting down anyone that was part of the event on bothsides as its a clear break of the community rules. Its sad to see so many adults act like children."

After reading the response I decided to share it with other members via private message.  There were no rules about what could be shared by that method on Doggyspace. We weren't even aware that Big Princess was reading them. We found out when I received a 10-day ban for forwarding the Princess' message to others.

This called for a stupid and futile gesture.  I was just the dog to do it. I started the Small Tail blog and published the Princess’ letter. I also exposed the Princess' profile as being a fake.  Even though I didn't write a word of this on Doggyspace the thin-skinned, upper-class twit Princess barred me for life. I cannot say I was surprised.
I hoped to keep in touch with my friends via my blog.  Then Teddy Bond told me about an unused Ning site. It was like a fully furnished house left vacant.  I moved in invited some of my closest friends and we began to party. We even got the elusive Hattie Mae to join.

Then came the fateful Friday night.  Earlier in the day, we learned that Tanner would be going to the Bridge within hours.  In tribute, we went on Doggyspace, created fake profiles and posted pictures of Tanner on the site where he had been barred. Since the owner fashioned himself a Princess we referred to it as the raid on the castle.

We were all very proud of ourselves.  Then the very same cross little dog who got Tanner banned from Doggyspace joined our new site.  He lacked the basic kindness gifted to pets and their parents. In an unconscionable act, he criticized Tanner and his mom on the night of his passing. This was the kind of toxic personality we had all left DS to avoid. Our happy home was no longer safe
So there I was on a Saturday morning in May watching another group of friends being ripped apart.  Some dog had to do something. I decided that some dog would be me.

I opened Ning and created a new site.  I called it a Brigade because the night before we were an army invading a castle.  And I named it after the Bridge's newest angel Tanner. Most importantly I made it a site you could only go one if you got an invite.

I had wisely, in anticipation of being banned from Doggyspace, copied the emails of my closest friends.  I sent them an invitation to the newly formed Tanner Brigade.

I sent out a couple of dozen invitations.  Slowly my friends joined the new site. Baarney, and Tabaatha, known as the Laambis were the first to join.  Ashton and Chelsea were next. By the end of the day, dozens of dogs had joined including Hobo, Freddy, and Pepsi, Lilly, Sophie, Paco, Luca and Junior.

Over the coming days and weeks, more friends would join including the effervesant Hattie Mae.  A social network site for dogs and their parents, run by them, had never been attempted before.  Some scoffed at our motto: “Freedom to Bark!” borrowed from Donna Christopher, one of the earlier adminsators.  But we proved them wrong, and ten years later we are still going strong.
The Tanner Brigade constantly changes.  Many of the dogs who were big contributors in our first few years, Hattie, Koda, Cassie, Zoe Boe, and Brody, are gone.  Others, like Hobo, Lily, Cappy, and Paco have been with us for the entire ten years. We have added new members who have kept us going strong into our tenth year:  Geordie, Sabrina, Abby, Rosco, Wild Ones, Tashi and, after Doggyspace folded in 2015, the great Tommy Tunes and Freddy brought their magical profiles to our group.

Ironically, after Doggyspace was sold, we were invited back, and started the site where we made several new friends, who have followed us to Tanner Brigade.
The Tanner Brigade is a mom and pop shop struggling to keep members in the same community where Facebook seems to draw everyone away from smaller sites.  While we have a Facebook account and have been a member of Blogville for ten years, this is our home.

I want to thank all the friends we have made for a great ten years.  As we step into our second decade we cannot say if we will reach twenty years, but freedom to bark will last forevr.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Pocket is Worried About Being Treated Like a Human

I was sitting next to Momma on the big recliner. I had achieved the perfect fugue state, neither awake or asleep.  I was in that comfortable spot in the middle, experiencing a peaceful easy feeling.

I lifted my head, yawned, then rested on mommy's leg. I glanced at her IPad. She was reading the most distressing article. It said humans are treating pets like they are human. What a revolting development.  

This news completely knocked me out of my comfort zone.  

I would not have been as worried if the story said we would be treated like babies.  Those helpless little creatures have their parents wrapped around their tiny fingers. No, what I had read meant human adults.  The bottom of the food chain.

For years I have enjoyed being treated much better than the way humans treat one another.   This would be a significant change in my lifestyle

If my parents started treating me like a human, what would happen the next time I pooped?  Humans don't clean up one another's excrement. You're expected to do it yourself. I don't even know where the poop bags are kept, never mind how to open them and put poop in. We're going to be reduced to the old lookout gullet here it comes technique

And what if we are expected to feed ourselves? I know in human households if a person makes dinner, she will make enough for everyone.  But if you don't want what's served, you have to figure out a way to feed yourself.

The container with the kibble is in the kitchen closet.  My pumpkin, wet food, and both are in the refrigerator.  They are on a high shelf. There is no way I can reach them.  The best I could do is pull out the kibble container, knock it over, and eat the kibble off the floor.  I'm sure if I was being treated like a human, my mom will want me to clean the mess up. I hope I'm hungry enough to do so.

Humans want other humans to get their room with their own bed.  I don't want my own room. I don't want my bed. They're probably going to want me to sit in my chair.  When will the insanity end?

And we are one of the few species allowed to end our lives with dignity. When it comes to end-of-life, we dogs are treated humanely.  Humans are treated inhumanely. I would rather be an old dog treated humanely then old human treated inhumanely.

When I got done, reading it seemed that somehow the writer thought being treated like a human being was better than being treated like a dog.  This is what Foley would call fake views.

I hope my species doesn't regress to being treated like humans.  I certainly do enjoy a dog's life.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Monday, May 27, 2019

Monday Question

Do you like to tip up tissue paper?

Pocket:  I ignore tissue paper.

River Song  I chew it up and leave it all around the house whenever I get the chance.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Barry is the May 28 2019 Pup of the Week

In my ten years of writing tributes to dogs who have passed to the Bridge three has become my least favorite number.  When I first started, I hated the number two. It was sad enough when one dog from a pack passed to the Bridge. A second was tragic.  The longer I have been on the immortal side; the more dogs have arrived. And some of these dogs have driven up the number of pets lost from a single pack to three.  That is why I hate that number.

We have had Tanner, Coco Puff and Ruger Ru arrive from the same pack.  Also, Hattie Mae, Fella, and Smartie. All of these pups became famous on Doggyspace and then followed us when we started the Tanner Brigade.   This week another TB family had sent a third pup to the Bridge when Mama Elisa lost Barry. He joined Benjamin the Sheriff of Fun and their brother Butkus the Grumpy.

When they were together on the mortal side, Benjamin, Butkus, and Barry could not have been more different.  Benjamin loved to have fun all the time. Butkus took his position as a dog seriously, the opposite of Benjamin's silly nature.  Barry was more stoic, content to watch the insanity unfolding in front of him than participate. They were like the Beatles. Benjamin was fun-loving Paul.  Butkus was sardonic John. And, Barry the stoic George. They also had their funny Ringo in Achilles who successfully fought off a calling to the Bridge after breaking his front legs and enduring several surgeries

Barry enjoyed a low-key existence. His favorite spot was near the pool. He would let his fur grow warm in the Texas sun. When it became too hot he took a dip    If any conflagration broke out, as it always does in multiple dog homes, Barry was content to let it play out in front of him. There was no need to get upset at such silly things

Benjamin and Butkus were waiting with me as Barry crossed the Bridge.  Benjamin was flying excitedly above us. "Will you settle down!" Butkus snapped.  "If Barry finds you acting like a fool, he will turn around and go back."

"Fine with me," Benjamin said buzzing Butkus who growled.

Barry reached Hobo's Landing where I swore him in  There's a lot to do on your first day on the immortal side.  You have to get fitted for detachable wings. You have a feast thrown in your honor.  You get flying lessons. And you will learn how to visit your parents' dreams and warg into flying creatures to visit your mom when the weather is beautiful. But, Barry postponed these activities He was on a mission.

Once Barry was sworn in his brother's began to argue over who would be the first to greet him. "Enough," Barry shouted.   "When Mama knew I was sick, she gave me a last request. She asked that when I go to the Bridge, I tell you that she said to stop fighting.  She knows you visit her dreams every night. And she loves that you do. But you leave her with a terrible headache the next morning.

Both boys seemed stunned by the news. "Doesn't she want us to visit?" Benjamin asked, shaking.

"Of course she does!" Barry said.  But without the fighting, which is why she appointed me to dream date referee. One misstep, and you're out of her dreams."

The brothers had never seen Barry so assertive, but an angel gets like that when he has got a direct order from his mom. Both Butkus and Barry promised to try and be patient with one another. As patient as Barry is with them.

And from that day forward peace was brought to the Lukanjo pack and the legend spread of Barry, the Patient.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Dream Our World: A Story of Fine Art and Sibling Love

Words are the tools of my trade. I'd be lost without them.  I remember how frustrated I would get when no one understood my barks.  That is why I learned words.

I had long thought that being without words was a disadvantage.  I had forgotten the entertainers, Harpo, Chaplin, Jaws, and Pluto who thrived without words.

But that was film. My venues were blogs and books.  You cannot succeed in those fields without words.

This past week my friends Toby,  Geordie and their mom J. Lawson proved me wrong.

I already owned one of their books, “Poopiter.”  It is a fanciful collection of humorous cartoons, sketches, and drawings. The humor was both in the pictures and in words captured by air bubbles that floated above the character’s heads.

I was eager to get their latest book “Dream Our World” (available on Amazon by clicking here.)  I anticipated more funny lines and pithy quips.

I opened the book and quickly flipped through the pages.  I admired the sturdy paper. Much more durable than the cheap stock I use.  Lucious artwork exploded from every page. But then I noticed that the words were missing. 

I flipped through the book again, figuring somewhere the words must be contained in a packet that needed to be added after purchase.  I held it upside down and shook, but no words fell out.
How can there be a book without words?  I decided to start from the beginning and find out.

The story begins with Geordie in his red collar and Toby in his green shirt entering the Museum of Imagination.  They look at and humorously react to the classic paintings on the walls. On closer inspection, there's something different about these masterpieces.

 Two dogs who look suspiciously like our protagonists scurry on the table at the Last Supper. A dog reaches out with a paw to God at the birth of creation.  Mona Lisa can't help but smile when she gets licks from a puppy. In American Gothic, the farmer and his wife look like Geordie and Toby's grandparents.

But this book is more than a story of two dogs reacting to fine art.  During the course of the book, the essence of their relationship is explored.  Geordie is every parent who's ever taken a child to a museum. At times exasperated, at time mused, at others patient and understanding.  Geordie patiently waits while Toby enjoys his lunch complete with the sippy straw. Geordie remains outside the restroom for his little brother.  At the end of the day when Toby's too tired to carry on, Geordie picks him up and sleeps on your shoulder.

Every writer needs a vehicle to tell their story, and the museum is the vehicle to tell the story of the love between two brothers.

It reminded me of my relationship with Pocket when I was a mortal dog. I think it'll make any sibling recall what it was like growing up with someone older and younger in the family.

And most of all they did it without words.  I didn't think it was possible.

A tip of the tail to my two wordless friends and their mom who can convey so much without dropping so much as a vowel.

Pick up a copy. It is guaranteed to make your day.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

River Song, the Upper Decker and the Three Room Johnson

As has been documented in this space previously, I don't squat still when I poop.  Pooping is a waste of time, which is why humans read when they do it. I am not granted this luxury.   When I hold a magazine and poop, I tip over.

I consider myself house trained with benefits. Before I lived with my parents, I went on the pads. When I arrived here, I took to doing my business outside right away, unless it was too cold, wet, windy, or I was not so inclined.

Usually, I poop on the pads. I still roam around a bit, but mostly I hit the target. The pads are placed in front of the north bedroom door. It is closed unless someone needs the room for storage or random spurts of exercise. The bathroom and laundry room are to the east and west of the two pads. (Mommy tapes them together to make them longer believing the bigger the landing strip you have the least likely I am to crash).

Usually, I drop my load on the pads, but occasionally I don't a factor for the artificial wind created by the heat or air conditioning which pushes my poop wide.  It ends up on the wood patterned illuminate floor — a regrettable flooring choice for someone who lives in the house of falling turds.

I am a considerate pup.  If I have passed on pooping in the morning or early evening and that unrelenting all familiar urge arises while my parents are eating in the kitchen within sight and smell distance of my pads I poop behind mommy's recliner. Pocket does her best to recycle the evidence.  Sometimes it takes a bit of time for the result of my mealtime mystery to be spotted. It is a pleasant surprise for visitors.

In the past two weeks, I have set the bar very high by performing two of the most significant achievement in pupdum.  

The upper decker and the three-room Johnson.

I didn't try for an upper decker. Sometimes poop happens. My parents were out of the house. I was pacing between windows.  I had to stand on my back legs to see out of the kitchen window. The back of the lift chair provided me access to the first living room window. I had to get on an end table to see out the other living room window
I must be on alert for when my parents are out.  I can't be lollygagging down where the pads are. If, during this time I need poop, I have to let it rip wherever I stand.  If my parents wanted clean floors, they never should have left the house.

On this particular Saturday, as was pacing, I felt the urge to poop.  I was pooping and walking like like a teenage ninja pooper when I heard a noise in the backyard.  Without finishing, I jumped onto the loveseat and then onto the end table. I searched the yard. It was all clear.

I climbed down.  Pocket, who was in her crate, mostly for own protection, said: “look at what you did.”

I had left in the very center of the table standing up straight like a rocket a perfect turd.  “You are going to get in trouble,” Pocket said.

“What do you mean trouble?” I asked. “This is a work of art. Did Vincent van Gogh get in trouble for “Starry Nights”?  Did Munch for The Scream?”

“I'm pretty sure they didn't poop on anybody's end table,” Pocket said.  Humph. What did she know about art?

My parents were more astonished than angry when they saw my art.  They asked me how I managed to do it. An artist never reveals her secrets.  
And that is how I did the upper decker.  

A few nights later, I completed the three-room Johnson.  I was pooping on the pads. I saw the bedroom door was open slightly.  I did my incontinent Groucho walk towards it. I hit the door free with my head turned to drop the turd.  I made it over to the laundry room to lose another. I saved one in the shoot to deposit in the bathroom. I was not even counting the hallway that's a three-room Johnson.

My parents were less impressed with us, and then they were with the upper decker. A three-room Johnson is on an acquired art.

I was excited earlier this week when I saw that my friends Artie and Mabel had gone to the Utah desert.  If they had just traveled to the borders of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and  Arizona.

For now, that is the top item on my bucket list.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Monday, May 20, 2019

Question of the Week

"Are you a digger?"
Pocket: Not me. My precious nails
River: I dig on the bed everywhere. There is a method to my madness. The mattress was made in China.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

JuJu is the May 19, 2019 Pup of the Week

Pepper and Juju were the perfect pack mates.  Both girls, of similar size, age and temperament were like peas and carrots, inseparable, until late 2017 when the Bridge snatched Pepper away.

Juju did her best to adapt to the sad new normal. She gave her two moms lots of attention and tried to mend their broken hearts.  She welcomed her new sister Penny into the family and made sure the rookie knew what their moms needed to ease their loss.

It was a struggle for JuJu. She had a terminal illness and suffered from seizures.  Mama Cathy called her the miracle dog Even the vet did not know how she kept going Juju used her heartbeats sparingly so she could stay with her mother and sister until their terrible transition to a Pepper-less life was completed.

Juju's final day arrived on Wednesday.  A vicious seizure signaled to her moms that it was time.

In her eleven years on social media, Juju had made hundreds of friends who were now angels.  They began lining up in two rows from the rail on the immortal side of the Bridge, all the way up the stairs, past Hobo's landing where I would swear her in, and to Doggyspace town proper.

Pepper stood next to me. She had visited her sister several times in their dreams, but this would be the first experience they had in the same dimension since Pepper had passed over. She’ was nervous. Her back paw tapped the ground.  

We heard the cheers from those standing closest to the Bridge and knew Juju was here. At the first sign of her, Pepper wanted to run and greet her sister, but I told her to resist the urge. This was Juju's moment.

Juju shook paws and gave kisses to her friends as she climbed the steps. The crowd fell in behind her when she approached us. There were dozens of pups following her.
After I swore Juju in, I stepped aside, and Pepper gave her sister a long hug. While Pepper’s going to the Bridge had been hard on JuJu, she still had her moms. Pepper had been alone.  We had done all we could to keep her occupied for 17 lonely months.

When the clouds filled with our parents' tears rolled in, we knew that Juju's passing had been posted. Before social media, a dog's passing would bring a few showers. Now dogs are widely known, and news of their passing spreads like wildfire and causes a deluge falls.

Juju discovered that all the illness, the aches, and pains, that she had later in life were gone. Juju and Pepper could play like puppies. They scampered into the meadow playing bite the tail.

Despite having Penny with her, momma Cathy is going to need nightly dream visits and several ghostly bird and butterfly encounter before she can start rebuilding her heart.  Luckily, Juju had the advantage of an experienced sister to help her learn how to perform her duties.

While Pepper isn't happy that Juju has joined her because it means her mom is sad, she does enjoy her sister's company and loves playing like puppies again.
Together they can do anything.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Foley Test Drives A Crow Body and Gets in Trouble at Home Depot

When I was asked to test fly one of the new 2019 bird models, I hoped I would get something cool like a bright red cardinal, a pretty hummingbird, or even a sweet singing Robin.
I got a plain Crow.

Getting a bird body is like reserving a rental at the airport.  You may ask for a Lexus but end up with a ten-year-old Hyundai with no air conditioning.  The crow is the bird equivalent of a ten-year-old Hyundai.

I had to test drive it in the Northeast on a cold drizzly day.  I hate getting my wings wet. When you are a Crow, a single raindrop can be a deluge.  Also, I found out the brakes were faulty after I flew into a tree.

I was about to abandon my test fly when I saw a Home Depot on the horizon.  I set course for the garden department. I flew in the open doors and perched above the entrance that connected to the main store. When shoppers walked thru I flew into the safety of the store.

I don't know why humans find these places useful, but if you test flying a bird body on a cold day, there is no better spot.  You can soar unimpeded to the rafters without having to worry about a bigger bird picking you off. You can sit high above the humans and enjoy the spectacle of their shopping.  And if you get tired, you can stretch your wings and fly for as long as you want.

I found a sweet, warm spot in a vent. I shut my eyes and fell asleep.
When I woke up, I was hungry. I saw a young associate by the cash register with a plate of carrots and hummus.  Would I be so bold?
I waited until she wasn't paying attention then swooped down.  I flawlessly grabbed the carrot and flew back up to my perch; I gave a caw of triumph, and I looked down. The girl was staring up at me with malicious intent.

She grabbed a net from the swim section.  I laughed. Did she think she could catch me with a net?   I was up for the challenge. I dove towards her. She waved the net but came nowhere near catching me.  I flew back to my perch cawing.

She disappeared and came back with another net.  She taped the two ends together, so She had two nets on opposite sides of the pole.  

It was time to teach this whippersnapper a lesson.  I flew around the store and then came at the girl with high speed.  At the last second, I pulled up. Suddenly, this girl became Arya Stark.  She was twirling the nets around like she been born to be a bird catcher. She trapped me inside.

She screamed. I cawed.  I fought and struggled inside the net. Thankfully it was a cheap Home Depot net.   I found a tear and used my claws to open it wider then I flew out. I went back to my perch, scared, and exhausted. 

I looked down at her, and she looked up at me. We nodded to one another. Two worthy competitors were acknowledging the other.  When the doors opened, I flew out and brought the bird body back to Rainbow Bridge.

I hope one day to return to Home Depot with a better body. One sleek and aerodynamic.  Then I will face off with the bird catcher again in, and I shall be triumphant, or my name isn't Foley the victorious.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

River is Frustrated by Pocket's Slow Eating Habits

My sister is slowly driving me to madness.  Not just in her usual ways of getting me stirred up by needlessly barking, or taking my spot on Mama's lap.  Since she got her teeth out, she's eating so slowly that I can't stand waiting for her.

We both dine twice a day in the living room.  I eat out of a bowl she eats off of a plate. I begin inhaling my food as soon as my bowl is put down.  Pocket walks around her plate like she has discovered an ancient fossil. After a bit of coaxing from my parents, she begins to eat. Meanwhile, I am halfway through my food.

This is how I eat: slurp, slurp, slurp, slurp, slurp, slurp.  This is how Pocket eats her food. Sniff, sniff, bite one kibble, drop it, bite another kibble, drop it, pick it up, chew, chew, chew and swallow. Only another 10,000 kibbles to go.

You may wonder why I care about how long it takes for my sister to eat.  It ‘s because I get her leftovers. With every kibble, she bites I think she's full.  She noses around a few around the plate, begins to walk away, comes back, and eats another one. It makes me go AAAARGH.

Humans don't understand. It’s like being at a restaurant waiting for a table while some old biddy eats her salad bit by bit.  And you have to sit next to her at the table. And it's your favorite salad. And if she eats all of it you don't get any. And the salad is full of meat.  It's torture.

And the worst part is if Pocket doesn't eat enough food I still don't get any.  “That's too much for you River,” Mommy says eyeing the leftovers. Would it be too much to ask for someone to separate a little bit for me?

I am rooting Pocket on for the first 80% of her dinner.  During the last 20%, I pray she is finished.

Watching her slowly make her way through the last few kibbles is unbearable.  She might have ten left then a minute later nine then a couple of minutes later eight.  With each bite, hope is drained. The sound of the final kibble being crunched in her mouth is devastating.

Pocket can even wear out my parents' infinite patience.  When they have somewhere to be, or just want to get on with the rest of their lives, and there are less than 20 kibbles left they will split them into two piles. They scoot the kibbles on the floor towards both of us. I realize that I am running after kibble and eating it off the floor. If you wanted a pet with dignity, get a cat
Sometimes I am fortunate to sneak away with a kibble intended for Pocket.    That is a triumph.

A couple of times a week it works out splendidly.  Pocket finishes her food with the right amount left.  The plate is slid to me, and I devour the remains. On days like that, it makes a living with these two people and their crazy little dog worth it.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Monday, May 13, 2019

Monday Update and Question

A few weeks ago we wrote about a puppy who was bitten by a pit bull in PetSmart.  We are happy to report the dog is fully recovered.  Looking at the pup you can't tell there was an incident.  
All your prayers are greatly appreciated.  

This week's question:  What stores have you go into?

Pocket:  No many for River and I.  I think just Petco.  Foley had been to several small stores in her stroller.  When my parents travelled Foley went with them.  Now they are homebodies.  That is fine with us.    

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Pokey, the Dog Who Keeps Saying "Not Today" is our May 12 2019 Pup of the Week

The young woman has just barely escaped her ferocious enemies and besieged on all side, was asked by the red witch “what do you say to the god of death?”

“Not today,” she answered. Then she left the castle to save the day.

All dogs dream of saying “not today” to the god of death.  Some of us are successful for a short period. But, there is a one dog I know who has been saying it for years and continues to do so.  He must know something we don't because he's still on the mortal side with his mom.

I have a particular spot in my heart for  Pokey the dog who said no. He belongs to Mama Laura.  He is one of the few online friends I've actually met. Pocket and I spent a lovely day with Mama Laura and pokey eight years ago. I liked his online presence, but when I met him for real, it was love at first enough sniff.

I was a couple of years older than pokey.  Since I was smaller, the mystics predicted that I would have the longer mortal Life.  But The fates had other plans. And I was never good at saying no.

I was a couple of weeks shy of being thirteen when I went to the Bridge. Pokey was 11, and I figured he'd be joining me in the next couple of years. It seemed more likely when he got diagnosed with a heart murmur and then cancer.  I knew the god of death was coming for him. I left a light on for him.

It is five years later. Pokey is still with his mom.  I asked the god of death why. he said every time he went for Pokey he was told “no.” He was befuddled.  No one said no to him.

I visited pokey in his dreams. “I didn't say no I said not today. No is rude,” he said. Pokey has always been a polite Dog even the face of the god of death.

His vet had been pestering Mama Laura to let him do dental work on Pokey. At Pokey’s age, she had been reluctant to have the procedure. But the vet convinced her that pokey would enjoy his life more once his teeth were cleaned. Her babies’ quality of life has always been Momma Laura’s biggest concern. She agreed to have the procedure done on Thursday.

On the day of his procedure, We Angels received Many prayer requests for Pokey. while the work was being done. We formed an angel ring around him. I could see that old god of death lurking in the shadows. The procedure went splendidly, and all that was left was for pokey to wake up and go home.

Somehow, the god of death flanked us and flew down to where pokey slept. He hovered over our friend. He said it is time to go to the bridge. Pokey looked up unimpressed and announced ‘not today.”

The god of death was so frustrated I thought he would explode.  “You don't get to say not today to me!” He heard us laughing at him.  “Fine, he can live forever for all I care.” The god of death said before disappearing in a black Puff.  for ten minutes, We all cheered Pokey

While we know Momma Laura would love Pokey to live forever someday he, like all dogs, will leave for the bridge.  But it will be strictly on his terms. He won't be told he is going. He has earned the right to pick the time and place.

For now pokey is the dog who said “not today.”  

May he continue to do so for months and years to come.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Tails From Rainbow Bridge 2 is Now For Sale on Amazon

After delays, one lost Word file, one computer crash, and two restarts I am pleased to announce that Tails from Rainbow Bridge 2 Tributes and Observations written by me, Foley Monster can now be purchased on by following this link.  It should also be available in Kindle. Form.

The dogs written about in my book are listed below.  Included in this work are my observations about life at Rainbow Bridge, as well as some adventures undertaken by my angel brethren and me.  

The tributes are mostly accumulated between 2016 and 2017. Some, like Nigel, who was somehow was not included in my first book are written about in this one. If you had a pup pass to the Bridge during 2016 or 2017, you remember me writing about them at the time of their passing,  and are not on the following list kindly let me know. Pepper, I know I did not include your December 2017 passing in this work, but I am already formatting my next book which will cover 2018 and 2019. Hopefully, that work will be available in early 2020. Pepper, the first tribute in that book is yours.

There are also stories about pups who discovered their forever homes and the angels who worked so hard to help their parents find the four-legged little wonders who would help rebuild their shattered hearts.

Most of all the book is a collection of stories about dogs, their parents and the undying Love that not even passing over Rainbow Bridge can lessen.
Here is a list of tributes in stories in this book. 

Thank you.

Sarah Jane
Greta and the Breast cancer pin
Freddy’s operation
Gracie Mae
Saint Annie
Willie gives Foley a swimming lesson
Smoochy to the Moon and Back
Rain, Clyde, and Quincy
Whitley the Westie
Dirty Harry
Tommy's testicles come to the Bridge
Lucy and Carley find their forever home
Watching Ruger Ru
9/11 Rescue Dogs
Vicki Tankersley
Welcoming Misty
Junior Johnson
Welcoming Baron
Buddy Boy Smith
Leo’s Mission Accomplished
Jazzy, Star, and Abby
Barney the cat
Icy Wind
Beaux Jangles
Paco’s Undying Love
Rose Lawson
Cocoa Puff
Baron and the Great Escape
Hannah Banana
Chelsea Johnson
Angel Copper and Chipper
Michelle Kenny
Jasper and Sophie Rae
Saving Private Enzo
Hattie Mae's Christmas Hat
Penny, Charlotte, and Noel

Hattie Mae

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Pocket and River Song Save an Actual Human

It was a lovely early spring evening.  River and I were looking forward to a pleasant stroll. I walked with River beside me.  Papa held on to both our leashes in his right hand. I was feeling a little draggy, so I deposited a poop to lessen my load.  We began to turn onto another street.

Help help” we heard a human voice cry.  I being a socially conscious dog walked towards the sound.  River wanted to ignore it. I understood. She was still carrying a full load.  Papa was frozen, not sure what to do.

We heard the plea again. Papa sided with me, and we hurried to the sound. River lagged behind wanting us to stop for just a minute so she could unburden herself.  I told her she should have thought of that before we left the house.

We walked up the driveway. A white car was running.  Ahead of it was a red 2016 Camaro. A distressed senior citizen sat in the front seat.  

“Thank God you stopped,” the man said breathing heavily.  “I'm trapped inside here. It's been two and a half hours I really have to pee.”

“I know how you feel,” River said.

Papa tried to determine how the man had got himself into this unfortunate situation.  The trapped driver said he had covered up his Camaro during the winter season. Now that spring had arrived he wanted to get it back on the road. He removed its tarp, started the white car behind him planning to use its battery for a jump, then got in the Camaro and closed the door.

He opened the glove compartment to check the manual and see if he could jump start the car using the auxiliary battery in the trunk. He read that this was not recommended.  He would have to pull the white vehicle onto the grass next to the Camaro. What a bother.

Then he grabbed the Camaro door handle to get out, but nothing happened. He looked for a way to manually unlock the door, but there was none.  Then he remembered the salesman telling him that everything ran off the key fob. All he had to do was press the open door button, and he would be free.

He pressed the button on the key fob and nothing happened. The fob powered the doors, the fob was powered by the battery, and the battery was dead.

Papa knew that newer cars with similar operational systems had a small key Inside the fob that, if placed in the right slot somewhere on the door would unlock it.  The man looked at Papa helplessly. ‘I think I'll call 911,” Papa said.

The operator did not seem to be impressed with this particular emergency. She repeated that there must be a way for the trapped man to open the door. Papa agreed but said conveying that to a panicked 85-year-old man trapped in a 2016 Camaro would be challenging In the extremes.

Now Papa, River and I along with the man in the car waited. Papa and the man talked about the neighbors, the weather, sports, and whatever else people talk about when one's waiting to be rescued.  River and I found the whole thing very exciting. We were going to get to see actual fireman up close — # Bestwalkever.

Then the firemen arrived. They didn't look anything like the ones on the program 911.  They were short and had too much hair. Some of it came out of their nose. I guess TV firefighters have more time for personal grooming.  The fireman approached the man in the car. Papa put us on the grass at the top of the driveway to watch. I was aghast when I saw River was taking a poop. “You know what I am like when I get nervous,” River said.

The distressed man was able to find the small key hidden inside the fob but could not find any way to open the door.  The firefighters were able to slightly lift the car’s detachable roof and get the key from the man. They opened the back and pulled him out.

They began charging the auxiliary battery in the back. They weren't worried about anything going wrong.  The first responders had already responded.

In less than a minute the car came to life.  The man activated the key fob and opened up the door.  The firemen looked all over the inside of the door, but they couldn't find the keyhole either.

Like all 85-year-old men who lock themselves in a car, badly have to pee, and need the fire department rescue them, he wanted to chitchat. After politely listening for five minutes the firemen left.  There is always a senior somewhere who needs to be saved.

It was time for us to go. The man must have been tired.  But, he continued to be chatty. He told Papa that he remembered him walking by with the two noisy dogs.  He had prayed that we would do so today and his prayers were answered.

And that is how River and I saved the man who got stuck in the car with a dead battery.  If you're on a walk and your parents tell you to be quiet make sure they know so your barks could someday save a life.  

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Beat This Caption

"I think all my problems are linked to me being taken from my litter too soon.  My feelings of inadequacy come from being removed from my mom's tees to early."

"I am sorry, we are out of time.  We will pick this up during our session next week." 

Monday, May 6, 2019

Monday Question

What kind of computers, tablets or phones do your parents use on the computer?

Pocket:  Out main computer is a Toshiba Satellite laptop that is older than dirt.  A few years ago we replaced it because it wasn't working properly.  Then the replacement broke and we began using the Toshiba on an emergency basis.  It has been working perfectly ever since then.  We do figure it is going to die soon. My parents also use an IPad and Pixel 3 phone.  

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Ace is the May 5 2019 Pup of the Week

Two weeks ago I wrote about a dog at PetSmart that was attacked by a pit bull.  It was horrifying, But sadly only a prelude to what would happen in our city a few weeks later.

A woman was walking her daughter’s seven-month-old puppy named Ace on Broadway near the center of the city.  This is an area with a lot of apartments, and where people sometimes don't make the best decisions

A man opened his door.  His Pitbull ran outside and began chasing the woman, and the dog.  The man held the door open telling the Pitbull to get back inside. This allowed his five other pit bulls to follow the leader, and they too chased the woman and the dog.

The Woman picked up the puppy to protect it.  The pit bulls tore into her thighs and calves.  They ripped at her flesh until she could no longer stand. SHe tried to cover Ace with her body, but, now she needed to save her own life.

She was on the ground as the assault continued.  Now, her side and shoulders were bitten. She tried to fight the dogs off. The puppy had no defenses.

A police officer in a patrol car drove down the road. He leaped out of the vehicle to assist the victim. But, there were too many pitties attacking.  He fell back on his training which called for him to try and startle the dogs. He blasted his siren, and the attack stopped.

The officer, with the assistance of a good Samaritan, helped the injured woman into the car.  He got in the unit. He had left a window down. One of the pitties, unsatisfied with the damage it had already inflicted tried to jump through the squad car window.
Finally, the pitbull's’ owner wrangled the dogs back in the house.  The Woman was taken to the hospital where she remains, still unable to walk.   She has needed several operations and skin grafts.

The Animal control officer seized the pit bulls, and they are being kept under observation.  The ACO said the owner would have to pay a “hefty fine.”

And we got custody of Ace.  

I have never seen a dog cross the bridge in fear.  Ace ran like the devil was on his heels. I stopped him when he got to the top of hobo’s landing. He was convinced the pit bulls were still After him. It took me several minutes to convince him they weren't and a few more for him to understand he was now on the immortal side and would not see his family for a long time.

He kept nervously looking over his shoulder.  “‘do you think they will send the dogs who took me away from my family here?” I told him it was possible.  “then I don't want to stay here.”

“If you do see them they won't be mean or violent.  They'll be sweet and gentle. An abusive human triggered the behavior that caused them to attack you. when the pit  bulls pass over all the hate and violence that had been taught to them will be swept away, and they will be back to being the playful little puppies they were when they came into the world.”

“And the man who kept them?”

“Humans who abuse animals are turned over to us for trial upon arrival.  We sentence them to be minions to us dogs. They serve until such a time as we determine they have been rehabilitated.  And, when this particular bad human comes, we will make him be your minion.”. Ace nodded.

“I still don't want to be around any pit bulls,” Ace said.

He shuddered when he saw the looming silhouette of a pit bull above him.  “my name is Summer, and I would love to be your best friend and protect you,” Summer the pitbull said.

He shook his head, but SUmmer persisted. She let the little black dog sniff her all Over.  “The only way to conquer being afraid is to know there is nothing to fear,” Summer said. “You spend time with me at my house, and I will teach you that and so much more.”

Tentatively Ace took  Summer's hand, and they walked off together new best friends who can never be broken up.

It is going to take a long time for Ace to no longer be nervous around big dogs. Even On this side of the River of Life the evil that men do still touches us.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Foley Takes A Pupless Woman for a Walk

Not every dog finds a home and not every home finds a dog. It just works that way sometimes.

Some people want a dog their whole life and Are never able to get one. It Could be for financial reasons, allergies, or dogs not being allowed where they live.

These people come into the next life dogless. But this is the place where dreams come true.

Many of us dog Angels volunteer to spend time with humans who never had a pup on the mortal side.  It is gratifying to work.

These people are usually housed together.  If pups want to interact with a human, they can visit their home, and in some rare cases, the dogs can even adopt the human.

I wasn't looking for anything long-term, but I thought it would be nice to walk with a person again.  The dog manager at the home gave me a Leash and brought me to meet a small woman named Esther. “Keep her out for about a half hour or so, make sure she gets water, and maybe a poop,”   I told them she was in good paws.

I hooked the leash to my collar. The manager had opened the door to Esther’s unit.  I entered the woman's quarters. There was some food out, a jug of water, and toys on the floor. I was impressed by how Clean it was.

I asked Esther if she wanted to go for a walk.  She was so excited she jumped off the couch and began dancing. I thought I'd never get the leash around her hands.

I wasn't ready for the way she pulled me down the street.  She began sniffing the air like there was something she had to find. I tried digging my paws in, but I was still b dragged.

She stopped in a field and laid down.  She began rolling around on the grass enjoying how cool it was on her back.  Suddenly, I noticed the leash was no longer wrapped around her hand. I tried to gently put it back when she saw we were no longer tethered together. The old lady ran.

I called after “Esther, Esther you're a bad girl,” but she kept running. I was going to be in so much trouble.  The last thing the dogs in this neighborhood needed was another Human roaming around breaking into garbage cans, harassing house cats and trying to make them sit on their laps.

I followed her trail.  I asked dogs if they had seen her.  “Oh she passed by me running like the wind and wearing a big grin on her face,” Pepper said then pointed in the direction she went.

Esther was such a lousy human.  I picked up her scent down by the docks.  I walked into a fisherman's bar and saw Esther dancing on a table. I began to think that they gave me a human who hadn't been spayed

I walked into the bar and told her to get down right now.  The sailors said to me to mind my own business. Great, I was given a bitch in heat, and now she was surrounded by horny sailors.

Two hours passed until she finally laid down under the bar. I wrapped up her hand with the leash and dragged her home.  It was exhausting.

“Where have you two been?” the Dog manager asked.  I told him we had just gone for a long walk.

“Has she pooped and peed?”

“Pooped, peed and contracted gonorrhea,”  I told him as I was going out the door.

Take my advice if you're at Rainbow Bridge and you're asked to walk a lonely human make sure they've been spayed first. An unspayed human is nothing but trouble waiting to happen.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Pocket Has More Teeth Removed From Her Head

We dogs are born with two brains. One is for show. This is the goofy one with the wagging tail that seems perpetually confused.

The second we keep hidden from humans. This is the one that knows everything that is going on. It remains in the shadows. We lose our advantage when humans realize that we understand more about life than they do.

I knew I was having my teeth done on Tuesday, but the part of my brain that understood that stayed tucked in bed that morning.

I got up as happy as a clam. I did my outside business, and then things began to fall apart.  Mama was already dressed. She was going somewhere. Then I realized that somewhere was with me. River pouted that she was being left behind. But nothing good happens to me when River is left behind.  Plus, there was no breakfast. .Da da dum.

We all got in the car.  I sat in the front seat with Mommy instead of being put in my bag in the back.  I was interested in all the hustle and bustle occurring outside during the car ride.  People sure are busy early in the morning. That's why I like to sleep in. As soon as I saw the doctor's office, I began barking loudly.  I was trying to wake up the other side of my brain so I would know what was going on. But it slumbered.

Daddy carried me inside the office with Mommy behind us.  A couple of minutes later I was brought into an exam room.  What were they going to do to me? A butt pinch? A poking and prodding examination? Something blown my nose? The dreaded multiple needle pricks?

A tech came in with papers for my parents to sign.  Then my parents handed me to the tech. They gave me scratches and said goodbye.  The only time they're supposed to say goodbye to me is when I'm home. And they are leaving. This was bad

I was placed in a  smelly cage. You would think with all the business I have brought them I would have better accommodations.  There should at least be a couch or maybe a bed to rest on.

A few minutes later I was taken out and put on a cold table. I considered asking for a different one  I hated a table by the restroom. Then they stuck something in my leg. Suddenly I was very relaxed.

I woke up in the cubby hole.  What had they done to me? I sniffed my butt, and it smelled normal.  I stood up, and everything worked Properly. I licked my gums and ouch.  I should have known they took more of my teeth. I don't know what They wanted them for. Tiny piano keys perhaps?

Then my second brain activated and I understood that the last time I was here, the vet said I needed more dental work. Everything became clear to me. At least it's clear as can be to a 6 lb dog was under heavy sedation.

I kept slipping in and out of sleep. Suddenly I heard my parents’ voices. I wanted the bark, but I farted. Anesthesia messes up where things come out.

I was brought out of my cubby hole and handed back to my traitorous, traitorous parents. They were thrilled to see me. To keep my tail from wagging as long as possible, I thought of baseball players’ names.

While mommy paid the bill and went over the Postop instructions, Daddy took me outside to pee. There were so many smells out there I nearly tipped. Or I could have just been high.

We got home, and River sniffed me all over.  She needed finishing school. I got up on the recliner with Mommy, and I slept for a long time.  She tried feeding me, but for some reason, I had no appetite. Later on, they gave me some gross liquid medicine.  Was there no end to their torture?

The next morning I woke up with a healthy appetite and little pain.  I was back to being myself.  

I heard my parents talking about me. The techs all said what a sweet girl I was and very brave.  I’m used to being sweet but not courageous.

Now that I've had my teeth removed twice and I'm still chewing kibble with the few I have left maybe it's time to retire pocket this sweet and give me a new name

So henceforth I will be known as pocket the brave. Just remember to ignore my frequent shaking.

Poetry Thursday

  It is a new segmant of  Angel Sammys and Teddys Pawetaton  in pictures….here is the photoi followed by my poem.  Who can take bananas? Pil...