Friday, January 31, 2020

Foley Makes a Spotify Playlist for Dogs

  The Spotify angels have asked me to compile a playlist for dogs.  I had to search through millions of songs to find the right ones. Here are the ones I chose.

“What a Barkable World” by Louis Barkstrong.  It begins, “I see bowls full of food / and water too / All filled up high / For me and you/ And I think to myself/ What a Barkable world.”

“Imagine” by Beatle Bug:  All dogs instantly become calm, hearing the words: “Imagine there are no squirrels.  It isn’t hard to do. No tree rats scurrying across the lawn. And no chipmunks too. 

“Hey Bone” by the Beagles:  When the Beagles began singing:  “Hey bone, I love to chew. You take a good bite and make it better.  The minute I get you into my mouth. My day starts to get better.” I can't help tapping my paw.

“Yesterday,” another Beagles song also made the list:  “Yesterday, all my troubles were so far away. Because my Mama doesn’t work Sundays.  Now I believe in yesterday.”

“Blowin’ in the Wind” by Dog Dylan:  The song makes us think deep thoughts, which puts us to sleep.  “How many turns does a frisbee make, before it falls to the ground? And how many bounces does a tennis ball take, before it comes to rest? And how many twists does the can opener make before it becomes a meal?  The answer my friend is blowing in the wind.”

“Stairway to Bedroom:” by Fred Dachshund:  We all love to sing “There’s a lady who knows where the dog needs to go, and she’s climbing the stairway to the bedroom.  When she gets there, she knows, upon the bed, we all go, after climbing the stairway to the bedroom.”

“Peed on the Floor:” by the Arf.  Every dog can identify with. “No one knows what it’s like to be the bad dog, to be the sad dog, who peed on the floor.”

“Here Comes the Bacon:’ by the Beagles.  We love any song with bacon, but this is our favorite.  “Litte darling, it’ been a long time since you’ve eaten.  Little darling, soon, the food will be here. Here comes the bacon.  Here comes the bacon. It’s alright”. 

“I Can’t Get No Left Over Supper” by the Rolling Balls. We all feel the singer’s frustration when he barks: “When I’m sitting on the couch, and mom comes in the kitchen, cooking more and more of the food we won't get to eat because it’s always out of reach:  I can’t get no, I can’t get no, I can’t get no leftover supper."

“Only the Hungry” by Mutt Bassett Hound:  It breaks our hearts when I hear: “There goes my kibble, there goes my broth, they’re gone forever, they’re not in my mouth.  Only the hungry. So far apart.”

“Great Bouncing Balls” by Jerry Hound Lewis.  Even the sleepiest dogs will get up and run around; he hears:  “You make me zoom, fly and run. You provide me happy hours of fun.  You move so fast, giving me a thrill, goodness, gracious, great bouncing ball.”

"Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad,” by Pug Loaf:  I always sing along to: “I peed outside, I barfed outside, but there ain’t no way I am ever gonna poop outside but don’t be mad, because two out of three ain’t bad. “

That is a playlist for the ages

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Pocket Leads the Three Wise Pups as They Visit the Green Puppy

There has long been a myth in the dog world:  Someday, a pup would be born, green of color, and his birth would signal the age of man had ended and the time of the dogs had begun.

Many scoffed at the prophecy.  We dogs were put on Earth to support humans, not to rule over them. But, others have seen changes in the world, forecasting the rise of the Green Pup. Recently some of us have been allowed to go inside the mall, the supermarket and even ride in the human part of airplanes.  Many say this is the first sign that dogs will ascend to power, and they began awaiting the birth of the Green Puppy. I remained a skeptic.  

But then word spread through the land that the Green Puppy had been born in North Carolina, the Bethlehem of the Western world.  We knew that three wise dogs were needed to travel to the Holy Land and bear witness to the Green Messiah’s birth.  

River and I asked our friend Toby to join us.  We brought with us gifts for the newborn: Gold, frankincense, and bone.  Before we departed, I read the sacred texts, and it called on us follow the flickering light in the southern sky.  I saw the heavenly grow on the horizon and traveled towards it. It turned out to be the lights from an abandoned K-Mart off the interstate.

It took us a day to reach the Green Pup’s place of birth.  We, after we were recognized as wise dogs were allowed access.  The Green Pup was sleeping on a pillow made of straw. “He really is green,” I said.

“As the prophecy foretold,” River Song said.

“He smells like poo,” Toby responded.

I was never good at picking wise dogs

The little German Shepard yawned.  His birth mother gingerly came into the room.  “Are you the three wise dogs?” she asked. We said we were.  “And what have you brought for him?” We told her gold, frankincense, and bone.  “What the hell he supposed to do with frankincense?” she asked. We didn’t know. They were the only things available at the airport duty-free shop.  

The little dog began to stir.  We all knelt closely by him to hear what wisdom he had to offer.  He yawned, stretched, and spoke. “Feed me, Seymour!” he barked. Who was Seymour?

“I have a cookie in my beard,” River offered.  I told her that the puppy needed food that had been carefully inspected.

"Give me a cookie!" The Shepard demanded, ripped it from River's beard then scoffed it down.

His mom laid down and let the baby feed.  It was a beautiful sight, except from our vantage point.  We were provided an angle which made this natural bodily function inexplicably hideous.  Breast-feeding is totally a point of view, kind of thing. When they were done, a curious Toby inquired about the immaculate conception.  “I wish,” the Green Pup's mom said. “It happened behind the garage, and when it was done, I had to get my knees washed.”

The front door opened, and the doctor came in.   We gave him a wide berth. The health of the messiah was paramount to us.  Green Pup's human mom came into the room, and they began discussing why the puppy was green.  I smiled to myself. A human would never understand.  

The doctor said the green color came from meconium. 

“What’s that?” I asked.

He explained that the puppy pooped during the birthing process.  This made his fur green. It should fade in a few days.

“I knew he smelled like poop!” Toby barked.  

“No! I’m the savior! Bring me gifts!” the puppy cried.

I checked the pup’s backside.  It was already turning yellow. Soon he would be a properly colored pup.  The prophecy remained unfulfilled.

We decided to return home. We tried to gather the gifts, but the entire litter growled as us. We left them.

It was an eventful day, and we learned a valuable lesson.

Not all green pups are alike. 

Monday, January 27, 2020

Monday Question

We all fart but not all farts are alike.  How are our farts?  Loud, smelly, frequent?  Let us know.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Amber Da Weenie Arrives at Rainbow Bridge

I love to read my friends' blogs, but sometimes they end with little warning. Writing blogs requires a lot of different things, but the biggest one is time. For every day, a human lives the following day is a sliver shorter. People don't notice it at first, but then they remark how it seems that time has flown by. There is never enough of it. Blog time becomes lost time, so the parent has no choice but to abandon it for more pressing concerns.

Sometimes I lose touch with my blogging friends. Then one day, I will be swearing in angels at the Bridge, and I will see a blogger pup I had not barked with for a long time. When I do, I experience the four stages of Angel grief: 1 - shock. 2 - denial. 3. - acceptance. 4 - butt-sniffing.

I was stunned when I saw Amber from the Florida Da Weennie dogs crossing the Bridge. In recent months she had seldom posted. I had read that she had gone through a medical ordeal but knew nothing else. Apparently, that tail had an unhappy ending.
Amber was at the bottom of the steps, preparing to climb the cliff to Hobo's Landing, where I awaited to swear her in. I hoped I had mistaken her for another Weennie  dog, but when she came closer, I knew it was her. 

I quickly administrated the angel oath then we gave one another the familiar butt sniff greeting. I was about to ask her what calamity had caused her Ascension to the Bridge when we were both bowled over.  

Holly, Amber's sister, who had come to the Bridge two years prior, saw her sister, was overcome with happiness and plowed into us. Then the two Da Weennie  took off running and barking together. I knew it wouldn't last. Newly arriving, Bridge angels go through a process too: 1- Relief 2- Happiness 3-Realization 4-butt sniffing.

When Amber ran off with Holly, she was transitioning from relief to happiness. During their run, Amber realized that she would never enjoy life the way she had before. Her days living with her parents in their house were over. In the middle of her run, Amber stopped. We call it the realization rigor when an angel first understands how much their life has changed.

That is when all Amber's angel friends rallied around her and let her know she was loved and pledged to make her smile, laugh, and enjoy the passing of time until all her loved ones arrived at the Bridge and they could move to Happily Ever After.

We gave Amber a big party, and she spent time with her angel friends, which lifted her spirits. At the end of the day, she told me how her mortal life had ended. She had lost her eyesight and was suffering from kidney failure. At first, she adjusted to the lack of vision, and the meds helped with the kidneys, but it was only temporary. The pain became too much, and she stopped battling the Bridge dementors, who were determined to bring her to the immortal world. Amber signaled her mom that it was time. Her brave mama transferred Amber's pain into her own body, restored her beloved dog's health and set her free

          Amber's momma knows the road of grief all too well. She has had lost many dogs in her life. But, there was something special about Amber. Her mom knows she will be taking a long journey through grief , down some dark paths, because when you love with all your heart, the journey can stretch across the universe. 
Her mom knows that, even though she won't be able to sense them, that Amber, and all the dogs she lost, will be walking with her. 

            Hopefully, this will provide comfort until she comes out the other side into the light.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Foley Gives Angel Advice to a Woman Torn Between Getting a Dog and Keeping a Husband

Today is my day to review prayer requests. Here is one I got this week.

“My husband and I have been together for 20 years. I grew up with a menagerie of pets, and he didn’t have any. (His mother hates animals.) Today we have two cats, though I desperately want a dog. We both work full time, but I permanently work from home, so I would provide 100 percent of the care (as I do for the cats—I don’t mind; I’m the animal caretaker). He’s ambivalent about the cats, but he says we can absolutely not get a dog. He says they are too messy, smelly, and expensive, and he gets angry when I bring it up. But really … those are not good reasons to me not to adopt a dog! We have a huge property, and both work in the tech industry, where we make good salaries. I’ve wanted a dog for 20 years and have never been able to get one, but Hubby spends freely on his incredibly expensive hobby. Is my marriage doomed? Is there any way to convince him to “let” me get a dog? (By the way, I know pets are generally a family decision that should be unanimous, but I consider myself a modern feminist, and the idea that I need my husband’s permission for anything really, really irks me.)

Is there any hope? I want a dog in my life, and I’d like to keep my husband too.
My family says I should just get the dog and let the chips fall where they may.
Please help me convince him that a dog is not the end of the world!”

Dear Lady:  You’ve got a lot of problems.  The biggest of which is that you married the wrong guy.  How does someone who loves dogs marry someone who doesn’t?  It’s like a Liberal marrying a Conservative. I don’t know your background.  Maybe you were desperate. I know women who will marry anyone, but even they make sure the loser she moves into her house likes dogs.  

You are mostly to blame for not preparing.  When my Daddy was dating my Mommy, he knew she did not love dogs, so he prayed to his angel dog, Dirty Barney, who arranged for a Shih Tzu to jump out of the window of a car stopped at a red light car by Mommy’ home.  Dirty Barney guided the dog to Mommy’s house, where she fell in love with the baby. Dirty Barney made sure the dog was returned home to its family after a couple of days, thrilling the dog and her family but breaking Mommy's heart. It had only been a weekend, but that is enough time to change a wandering dog into a part of the family.  The Shih Tzu had done her job by showing Mommy how special a dog could be. Within three years, Mommy agreed to get a dog. You did not arrange with your angel babies to convince your husband what a great addition to the family a dog is. Now, 20 years later, you are up Shih’s creek without a dog.

It has been my experience that divorcing someone after 20 years of marriage is the exact right time.  My Mommy divorced her first husband after 20 years, and it was the best thing she did.

I know you have tried to fill the dog-sized hole in your life by getting cats, but that never works.  When a person loves dogs, cats are an ill substitute and vice versa if you like kitties. If you need constant attention and adoration, you must have a dog.  Cars are roommates. We dogs are lovers.  

My advice to you is to go ahead and get a dog.  There is no better way to measure a person’s worth than to see how they react to a pup.  If your husband does not immediately fall in love with the dog, then he is not worth your time.  

You are still young enough to marry again, this time to a dog lover.    People break up over not agreeing about having children, so why not break up over not wanting to have a dog?  If you don’t remarry, you shall be pleased living with your dog. They are much better than men. They will get you through many a cold night. 

You will thank me for it later.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

The Canine Calmer Makes River Song Nervous

My parents think Pocket and I are both too nervous. I don’t believe that is true. The only time I am genuinely anxious is when my parents leave the house. I don’t know where they are going or what they are doing, but I do know they are two homebodies vastly unprepared for the wicked world they have to travel through. They are so naive they could be taken in by a stranger with candy, brought to an undisclosed location, and kept away from us for weeks, which means I would miss 857 meals. Pocket gets nervous too, but only during the time between sunrises. 

A surefire way to stop a dog’s separation anxiety is for our parents never to leave the house, but humans never choose the easy option.  They search for ways to combat our stress, which includes experimenting with ridiculous products that wouldn’t make it past the first round of Angel Tank.  My parents, because I am such an influential blogger, are sometimes given products to rate. The good news is that both my parents are illiterate, so I am allowed to write an honest review.

 My parents were sent a product called “Calmer Canine.”  Upon hearing the name, I immediately grew excited because I thought it was going to be a big box of hemp.  I was chagrined to discover it was a harness with a small strip that connected the top and bottom parts. On the top of the harness was a pole with a halo attached.  I wanted no part of this contraption, but I am a small dog, and I am quickly forced into doing what I don’t want to do. 

First, they slipped the harness behind my front legs, then they velcroed the single half around my chest, and adjusted the halo, so it was above my head.    Mommy was reading the directions. “Her halo is drooping,” she said. “It has to be right over her skull.” Daddy held the halo-like he was trying to disguise the fact that I am a fallen angel.  

 They asked me if I felt anything, and  I didn’t, except for terrible humiliation.  Mommy read that the halo is supposed to send out  “a microcurrent signal which is invisible and sensation free.”   I would argue that the reason something is invisible and sensation free is that it doesn’t actually exist, but what do I know.  I am just a dog. “It says here you have an out of balance brain,” Mommy told me. Sure, they were putting me in a harness with a halo that gave off weird vibes, but I was the one with the out of balance brain.   

They were supposed to make me wear the contraption twice a day for fifteen minutes.  If you wear it for fourteen, there is no change, and for sixteen, your head will explode.  It only took my parents one session to decide that this product, which has zero scientific studies behind it, was another contraption created to separate worried dog parents from their money.   The cost of the halo harness is $229.00. If your parents are that interested in humiliating you, they should send all their money on 50 bumblebee costumes. It will work for anxiety too. If you are hiding under the bed from the embarrassment, you don’t have time to feel nervous.

The Canine Calmer was not a totally useless product.  When it is windy outside we put in on Pocket, the breeze catches the halo, and we fly her around like a little kite.  It is kind of awesome.  

Monday, January 20, 2020

Monday Question

What is the most useless thing your parents have bought for you and wasted their money?

Pocket:  Mommy spent money on Thunder Shirts for both of us.  She put it one during a Thunderstorm.  It didn't help, but after that whenever we saw the shirt we would shake thinking a storm was coming.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Gizmo Arrives at Rainbow Bridge

I always thought of my friend Gizmo as a brother from another mother. He is as beloved as I am; he adores his humans as much as I do, he is a big ferocious big dog in a tiny dog's body just like me, and he even has a pest for a little sister named Pocket.  Despite all those similarities, I never thought that he would go to the Bridge the way I did. 

I spent the last 48 hours of my mortal existence in an oxygen tent because of a rapidly growing tumor in my lungs. I was full of spunk inside the oxygen tent, but once removed, I couldn't draw a breath.  There's no getting past not being able to breathe when the dementors are summoning you to the Bridge. 

The same calamity befell my friend Gizmo. He did not have a tumor, but congestive heart failure proved to be his undoing.  Gizmo had borrowed a lot of heartbeats to stay with his family, but his ticker became so damaged during that time it could not support his active lifestyle. 

I was waiting for Gizmo when he crossed the Bridge.  He was pleased to be able to breathe again. He had been hiding his condition from his mom for months because that's what dogs do.  We never want our parents to know anything is amiss unless it's something serious like the water dish is empty or it's time to eat, or we have to go out, or we think there might be something outside. Did I mention the time to eat? Dogs are like middle-aged men.  There is no cause great enough to make us want to go to the doctor. Whatever it is, we are confident we will be better by morning and if not the next.  

Gizmo was enjoying his recently healed body.  Then he remembered where all his pain had gone.  When his mom helped him cross the Bridge, she took on all his suffering, and it devastated her.  Sadly, what parents need the most after taking on all their new angel’s pain, is the recently departed pup.  Life is a cruel circle. 

Gizmo wanted to get to his mom.  He tried to recross the Bridge, but every time he did, he landed back where he started.  The builders of the Bridge developed tricks to ensure no one could get back to the mortal side.  Stubborn Gizmo tried to swim across the river to no avail. He was stuck like the rest of us. 

It took an hour to calm Gizmo down and get him to understand where he was.  He kept saying he wanted his Mommy. I told him he could be with her, but not in the way he remembered.  He said he didn’t care how it was; he just needed to see her again. 

There was not enough time to teach Gizmo how to use his angel powers to become a ghost.  But I might be able to take him to see his mom. I gathered all my energy, took Gizmo by the paw, and we materialized as ghosts in his living room where his toys were still on the floor.  Of course, Pocket saw us and barked, just like my Pocket. So unprofessional. But this Pocket is young. She will learn.  

Gizmo’s mom was sitting in her chair, deep in painful memories.   Gizmo climbed up on her shoulder and gave her the briefest kiss. His mother smiled for just a second, and then the sensation was gone. 

I am working with Gizmo to teach him how to use his powers so he can visit his mom for longer and bring her more comfort.  It won't be the same as when he was mortal, but these small moments of pleasure can ease her long torturous nights of grief.  

I know Gizmo, his mom’s little angel, will do everything he can to smash away at his mom’s grief until he destroys it forever.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Foley Rips the Cover off the British Royal Family Split

I have ripped the cover of the story of the century of the week.  I know why Prince Harry and Megan Markle have left England for the great woods of Canada.  It was not their decision. Their pets wanted to go. In fact, they are already on Vancouver Island waiting for their parents to finish up their royal business and join them. 

  The Prince and Duchess of Sussex have two dogs, one, a beagle named Max, and an intact pitbull called  Grandmaster Pimp Larry. The pittie angered the queen by turning her beloved dogs into cheap hos. Larry told her you could take the Pimp from the street, but you can’t take the street from the pimp. 

  Even for dogs, there is a right and a wrong way to interact with the Queen. When Max arrived at the castle, he quickly took to the rules:  1) No getting on the Queen’s lap, 2) no jumping on the Queen, 3) no bowel movements anywhere near the Queen. Every time Grandmaster Pimp Larry saw the Queen, he put his head right up her dress, and she said, “Ohhh, that dog!” 

  The Queen is not Grandmaster Pimp Larry’s most prominent critic at the Palace.  That would be Princess Kate. She found Grandmaster Pimp Larry walking around the house, carrying Prince William like he was a squeaky toy.  Princess Kate ripped Willam from the Grandmaster’s mouth, threw Prince George on the ground, and told the dog to play with that one. “It’s not like we are going to need it.”  

  Grandmaster Pimp Larry has a little known cat sister called Pebbles.  While the dogs belong to Megan Pebbles is Harry’s kitty. She came into Harry’s life at the same time that his wife did.  Some say that Harry loves Pebbles more than anyone else. Pebbles was the first one to grow tired of living at the palace and insisted that Harry move out.  She didn’t like being bossed around by the Queen more than normal cats hate being told what to do. That pussy controls everything that Harry says and thinks. Since he first met her Pebbles, he acts like she was the first pussy he has ever seen.   Poor Harry has gone from being a carefree playboy to being totally pussy whipped.  

  Between Pebbles insisting that she did not want to be a royal cat, and the refusal of the family and the staff, to recognize that Pimping Ain’t Easy,  (except for Prince Phillip who keeps bringing Grandmaster Pimp Larry into the shower with him to lick the soap off his privates, something he hasn’t had done since Princess Anne got off the funny juice) the animals insisted that the Windsors have fled to the new world where they can all live in peace. 

  Everyone seemed to be happy until the Queen saw how much less money there was in the royal coffers since her dogs stopped being pimped out.   It put quite a dent in the crumpet budget. She has rethought wanting Harry, Megan, and their brood. When Kate complained, the Queen told to to“no one cares Grandmaster raked your boob.”

So the palace is in an uproar, and there are lots of questions that need answering:  Will the Queen allow Grandmaster Pimpdaddy Larry to whore out her dogs? Can Larry and Kate live together?  Will Harry get the upper hand on Pebbles? And what about Max?

I promise to keep my loyal readers informed of the ongoing scandal. 

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Pocket Tries a New Training Product

I, like all dogs, hate to be left alone.   I am the kind of pup who needs to be in a crate when my parents are gone. In the past, they have allowed me to be loose, and when they got home, they found me in a corner trembling while everything inside of me turned to water.  

For the first part of my life, I lived with Foley.  When my parents went out, she laid on top of a blanket and chilled.  Now I live with River. She does the opposite. She paces, pants, climbs on the furniture, sits on the kitchen table to look out the window, and has, on occasion, stranded herself on the vanity because she insisted on seeing out the bathroom window and couldn't get down The only thing worse was her in a crate. She was so determined to get out she would get stuck in the door.  I would rather have Foley relaxing on a blanket then River’s anxiously tramping around the house.    

I have never sought the limelight the way Foley did.  She decided to be a social network dog. I was happy to be an anonymous pup, quietly living my life.  I joined Foley on Doggyspace, to support my sister, and I continue posting in her memory. Because of this, everyone considers me a dog influencer.  Entrepreneurs ask me to test and spread the word about different products.

This week I was asked by the Go Dogo people to review their new online training device.  The only thing I dislike more than being left alone is when I am forced to train. I never went to school and was barely taught by my parents.    Foley came to my parents as a ten-week-old dog who knew everything. They thought I would be the same way. That assumption would repeatedly prove to be false.  

           I swore to be open-minded.  The device consists of two different parts:  There is a treat dispenser that mounts to the wall over the television and connects to the TV through an HDMI cable.  I am not a fan of the tv. It makes unpredictable noises and takes attention away from me. But, even if we hate something, once it gives us treats, we love it. 

` There is also a camera that is attached to the side of the television which is solely there to spy on us, although it won’t be long before parents are using it to see what their teens are doing when they are home alone.  
The device is controlled through an app.  Our parents can schedule our activities from anywhere.  When they activate the program, the TV magically comes on, a trainer appears on the screen, and he orders us to do various training exercises. If we do them, a treat comes out of the dispenser. It is supposed to take our downtime and turn it into training time.  

I sat in front of the darkened TV and waited.  The first time it came on, and I heard the trainer’s voice, yipped, ran out of the room and hid under the bed.  When I came out, River was standing on the edge of the slim TV with a screwdriver in her mouth trying to get the treats out of the dispenser.  The voice magically came on again, and I ran under the bed. After a day, I was trained to be scared of the TV, and River had broken the dispenser. 

I would have to rate the Go Dogo an abysmal failure unless you want your dog afraid of the television, then it works swimmingly. 

If humans have to leave us alone, at least they can let us be during that time and not give us work to do.  

We are animals who can be trained but only by a human.

And there isn’t an app for that. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Monday, January 13, 2020

Monday Question

Have your parents ever witnessed a litter of dogs, cats, or something else being born?  Our answer is no.  If your parents did what was that like?

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Jackson Arrives at Rainbow Bridge

When I first delved into the world of social media, one of the most beloved and influential dogs I met was Morgan the Miracle Maltese. Morgan was already a teenager when I first barked at him. He understood everything about being a dog and navigating the world of social media. Morgan also had a long list of ailments. He always seemed to be on the cusp of going to the Bridge. But he became extremely adept at acquiring new heartbeats and keeping one step ahead of the reaper.  This allowed him to stay with his beloved Mama Jane until he finally gave up the fight and became a very influential Angel.

When Morgan left his mom, he knew he was creating a crater where her heart had been.  He needed the perfect dog to become Mama Jane's new rock, to help her navigate the road of grief, and walk with her through this scary and continually deteriorating world.  When he interviewed Jackson, he knew he had his boy. 
Morgan was sure Jackson's beautiful face, the kindness that emanated from his eyes, his everlasting devotion,  and his empathy would make him the perfect dog to help repair his mom's devastated heart. He had everything Morgan wanted in a dog, except for longevity .

I don't know why Jackson was barely given half the life span that was awarded to Morgan.  Maybe the fates punished him because Morgan had manipulated the system to provide himself with longer life. Perhaps the demons got to Jackson when his angels were otherwise occupied, or it was because there is an insurmountable evil in the world.  I don’t know the reason that Jackson was sent to the Bridge at nine years of age. I just know it was grossly unfair. 

As is often the case, Jackson went from being perfectly fine to very sick in a brief period. One day he had a seizure and was never the same.  Somehow, the seizure monster had crept into their home and latched ahold of Jackson. The episodes came rapidly. With each attack, Jason seemed to fade further away, like the seizure monster had taken control of him, making him less himself and more something unknown living in his shell.

Jackson went to the vet several times.  They eliminated the less life-threatening causes first.  Every time they determined what it wasn’t, it became more likely it was something fatal.  The final test was for a brain tumor. The result was positive. There was nothing anyone could do.  Jackson’s ticket for the Bridge had been punched.

There was a brief hope among people and angels that Jackson would prove to be another miracle dog-like Morgan, but miracles don’t repeat, which is why they are unique.  Just after the New Year, Jackson went to the Bridge, where Morgan greeted him. The first thing Jackson did was apologize to Morgan for not staying with their mom longer.  Morgan told him not to be silly. “It is not the amount of time you spend, but the quality of time spent," Morgan sagely told him. “No one made better of their time with their mom than you.”  Then Morgan kissed Jackson.

Sadly, the cruelty of Jackson’s passing has left Moma Jane devastated again. She does have Jackson’s sister Ginger, who is working very hard to help her mom on another horrific walk down the dark path of grief.  Her two angels will be with her, too, even though she won’t know it unless the light is right, and the planets align, so she can sense them for just a second, which can make all the difference to a grieving parent. 
Moma Jane had Morgan the Miracle Maltese and Jackson the Joyous.  She needs to remember she made both dogs that way. She is a great dog, mom.  Her angels will help her through the sadness and maybe find another pup as perfect they are if her heart desires. 

Moma Jane had devoted her life to rescuing dogs.  She deserves the best. She may feel like she won’t recover, but her angels will make sure she does.  Love does that.  

Friday, January 10, 2020

AJ Confronts the Troubles and Makes an Important Decision

There are particular creatures who are impossible for humans to detect and discreetly wreak havoc on their lives.   Some carry disease; others bring financial distress and a few spread sorrow. The worst of them take what you love, and his name is Mr. Galumpus.  

Collectively they are known as the Troubles.  In the days before movies, television, computers, and phones, when the eyes' ability to see what is genuinely there had yet been dulled by screen time, the faint outlines of these creatures could be detected walking next to or following their victims.  Those witnessing these bearers of ill will stalking their prey would say, "there is poor Liam. He is with Trouble." As the eyes began to be burned by screens, people changed "with Trouble" to "in trouble." Trouble stopped being a proper noun. That is when the real trouble began.

You can't get yourself out of Trouble. Trouble stays with you until either it's mission is accomplished, or it grows bored.  Trouble is not to be confused with the Blues, which can be swept away. Trouble is persistent.

Mister Gulumpus Trouble moved into our friends Sabrina, Abigail Jean, Tori, and their parents Walt and Dee's house years ago. He caused Walt to have a stroke that left him incapacitated, and then Gulumpus gave Walt dementia. Mama Dee tried to take care of Walt at home, but Gulumpus continued to take away from him until Walt could not recognize anyone and looked like a thin piece of paper that would disintegrate if touched. Dee had no choice but to put Walt into a nursing home where he seems to be forever fading away.  His essence has long since gone to the Bridge to await his body and the rest of his family. 

A year ago, Gulumpus made Sabrina so sick she had to go to the Bridge and be reunited with her father's essence.  Her mom and sisters were left behind to battle Gulumpus, who was not finished, bored, or going anywhere. 

Then Gulumpus took unprecedented advantage of the situation and invited his friend Jack Skinflint, the Trouble that causes financial distress into the home. Skinflint brought with him a mound of bills, mostly having to do with Walt's care, which Mama Dee deftly handled with the help of insurance and Medicare.  But Skinflint kept the bills coming. Abigail Jean and Tori were both dealing with expensive maladies ranging from lupus to kidney disease.

Both girls were sick, but they promised their broken-hearted mom they would not leave.  Skinflint made the costs of their medical expenses skyrocket as Gulumpus caused their conditions to worsen. Some of their mom's "friends" suggested she send the expensive little dogs to the Bridge to save money.  But, Mama Dee would never do that

The girls were both making deals with black angels and borrowing heartbeats to stay with their mom, but they knew the situation was untenable.  They could not bear what Galumpus threw at them. But if one went to the Bridge…..

There is one way to counteract the Troubles, and that is through praying to the angels.  We can’t defeat them, but we can pester them until they move on. We had been buzzing around, prodding and pushing both Gulumpus and Jack Skinflint, but they wouldn't leave Mama Dee’s home.  Maybe if we had another angel fighting with us, it might tip the scales in our favor.   

Abigail Jean and Tori discussed what would be the most beneficial for their mom.  They knew one of them would have to go to the Bridge to counter Skinflint's bills and add another angel to the group pestering the Troubles.  AJ said there was a door in her mind behind which she kept all her pain. If she were to open it, even an inch, the pain would spread through her body in minutes.  AJ remembered her Mom saying she would only send one of her babies to the Bridge if they were in pain. Abigail Jean decided to open the door and let the pain ravish her.  Hopefully, this would make her Momma send her to the Bridge. From there, she could join the angels in their attempts to drive the Troubles away. AJ let the pain out. That left her in a terrible state for a long night.  The next morning Mama Dee knew all she could do was let her baby go. 

Have you ever been underwater too long, and when you finally break the surface, the first gasp of air feels like you are being filled with life itself?  That is how it was with Abigail Jean. Before she went to the Bridge, the pain was strangling her. Once she arrived, she could breathe without pain and fill her lungs again.

Sadly, for every soul saved from pain, someone takes it on, and that is Abigail Jane’s mom, who did not care how many bills Jack Skinflint produced or what misery Gulumpus caused.   She would have suffered all of it to be with her babies. It hurts me to see her in pain; it must be a thousand times worse for Abigail and Sabrina to witness.  

After AJ and Sabrina had played with each other until they were exhausted, and they had spent time with their dad, they joined other angel friends, including expert pest Geordie, Abbie, and Tiara and others in attacking the Gulumpus and Skinflint.  We were not able to drive them from Moma Dee’s house, but I know we are getting to them. We hope with AJ’s help; the Trouble will leave Moma Dee’s forever.

Abigail Jean has always been an asset to her family.  If she can help drive the Troubles from her house, she will be a true hero.

But, to her mom, she always has been.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

River Song Struggles to Make and Keep a New Year's Resolution.

I have been told I need to make a New Year’s Resolution.  I don’t know why it is necessary. I am perfect in every way.  What is there to be resolute about? 
Arguably, I improved myself last year by losing weight.  I did not resolve to do it, but, in my attempts to impress humans, I will claim any slight self-improvement I achieve is because of a resolution I made.  It makes me look like I can accomplish my goals and spruces up a resume. 

Pocket makes a New Year’s resolution every year.  I understand why she does it. She has a lot of room for improvement.  Pocket has been making them for thirteen years, six with me, and she hasn’t gotten any better.  This year she resolves to not bark at everything she sees. I don’t know why. I do the same thing, but I think it is an attribute. 

I could ignore the whole resolutions thing, but everyone in my family is making them, from my mom resolving not to have any medical procedures to my Dad resolving not to have to take care of mommy after her procedures — quite a wide range of lofty goals. 

So I had to come up with something.  But what could it be? I couldn’t get any better looking.  That was impossible. It was going to have to be a change in personality, but I was reluctant to modify anything because I am utterly charming. 

I discussed my problem with Pocket.  “You could resolve to stop attacking me,” she offered.  I looked at her curiously. Why would I want to do that?  Anyway, I am justified in my attacks. I only do it when she moves around the bed and startles me (I am not the best waker upper) when I have established a cuddle position next to Mommy when I think she is trying to usurp me, or when I am bored. 

But I agreed because I had no improvements I could make. "I will not attack Pocket" meets the minimum qualifications for a resolution.  Preceding preliminary strikes would not make me a better dog. It was just giving up a habit I enjoyed. I should have saved it for Lent. 

On the night of January 1, I was happily sleeping under the covers when Pocket jostled, waking me with a start.  I bared my teeth and prepared to lunge. “Resolution!” Pocket said. I sat down. This sucked.

The next morning I was sitting on Mommy’s lap when Pocket jumped up on her legs and pawed me to move over.  I wanted to snap at Pocket so bad! But I didn’t. This was torture. 

When we were eating Pocket looked at me while I was licking my plate.  Unacceptable! I don’t want anyone eyeballing my food. But I couldn’t do anything.  This resolution was only two days old, and I was stressed out.

That night in bed, when Pocket tried to steal my snuggle spot, I couldn’t take it any longer.  I jumped at her and gave her a nip on the leg. “You broke your resolution!” a shocked Pocket exclaimed. 

Yes, I had.  When someone resolves to stop smoking cigarettes, then breaks down and takes that first glorious puff, it is a great feeling, but nowhere near as good as the rush I got snapping at Pocket. 

I wish I had made resolutions before.  They may be a bother to make, but they are a blast to break.


Monday, January 6, 2020

Monday Question

This might take some thought.  If there was a movie of a TV show about you what would it be called?

Pocket:  Smighties:  Small and Mighty Friends

River:  The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Tiger Becomes a Christmas Miracle

 There is no worse time to lose a dog than just before Christmas, but that was the fate facing my friend Tiger's mama Vicki when Tiger was diagnosed with cancer at the beginning of December.  The doctors said he would be at the Bridge before the holiday. 

I have been blessed to know Tiger most of his life.  He came to his family in the fall of 2011 as a foster dog, but his sweet disposition and snuggling ability made him a foster failure.  He joined Sierra and Nase (the blob) as Mama Vicki’s babies. When Sierra went to the Bridge, Tiger helped his mom walk the road of grief.

Mama Vicki has not traveled the road since, but when she received Tiger’s diagnosis, she knew she had to pull on her hiking boots.  She had a sad journey ahead.  
For Tiger, the end began with a limp.  He came in from going potty with a hunched back, wearing a pained expression, and favoring a leg.  His condition presented itself like a pulled muscle, but when he didn’t respond to treatments, dread began to creep into his mom’s mind.  This was something much worse. 

Tiger underwent numerous tests, but there was nothing conclusive.  When he was on pain medication, he was still the same active boy who chased squirrels and zoomed around the yard, but he was restless and breathing rapidly.  Others may not have noticed, but a mother does.  

After a week, the diagnosis was confirmed.  Tiger had cancer and was given, at most, four weeks with his mom. Tiger would never reach Christmas.  Mama Vicki brought him home to provide him with all her love for his remaining days.  

Tiger is a determined dog.  He knew his body was failing him, but he did not want to ruin his Mom’s Christmas.  He pledged to make it through the holiday, no matter how many deals he had to prepare for extra heartbeats or the pain he would endure. It would only be for a couple of weeks. He could make it for his mom. 

Faced with this reality, Tiger did the only thing he could do.  He rallied. He chased squirrels with unabashed vigor; he ate as if he would never eat again; he ran, jumped, and snuggled with his mom enough to qualify for a year’s worth of snuggling.

Sierra gathered her angel friends, and we used our immortal powers to give Tiger more energy.  This was a violation of our angel oath, but it was Christmas, and that was the best time to break the rules.

Tiger had been given so many heartbeats, so much energy, and possessed such an overflowing reservoir of determination, that he made it four days past Christmas.  Then his breathing became labored, and his mom knew she had to provide him relief. It broke her heart to help him go to the Bridge, but Mama Vicki was grateful for the extra days and that she got to celebrate Christmas with Tiger.  She knew it was a holiday miracle. 

When Tiger arrived at the Bridge, he took a big breath.  It felt so good to have his lungs filled with air again. He ran up the steps and then went flying past the waiting angels.  Sierra joined him. It had been years since they had run that way.

They have not forgotten their mom.  They are working with Nase to make sure she finds her way through the road of grief quickly, and that they shelter her from the rogue waves of sorrow. 

I am looking at Tiger right now, and he is smiling happily, remembering being a foster and ending up in the best possible family, which allowed him to be a Christmas miracle.  

Friday, January 3, 2020

Foley Trains Dogs to Help a Large In Need Community

2019 was the beginning of a dog revolution.  Pups were hired to work at hospitals, courtrooms, police stations, libraries, college campuses, airports, anywhere that people were under stress or needed comforting.

Next year I am happy to lead the movement to bring dogs to another needy part of the populace:  Assholes. 

Did you know that 68% of American families live with an asshole?  The number of people affected by assholes jumps to a hundred percent when we include people who watch the news.  The asshole problem in the United States has never been greater, and it keeps growing. I am not referring to the complaining, bitchy type of assholes but full-on red-faced, hate-spewing men's assholes.

At the Foley Monster Dog Training School for assholes, we train dogs for two different needs.  One for the asshole, and the other for people who are affected by assholes. Humans usually know which dog they need, but if they don't, it is because they are an asshole, and they will get the appropriate dog.

Dogs assigned to help assholes will be trained to sense when the asshole is about to let his asshole flag fly.  They will first try to distract and calm the asshole by stopping, sitting, and either nuzzling him or licking his hand.  If this does not mollify the asshole, the dog will stand on its back legs and put tender paws on the asshole's thigh or chest.  If that method fails, and the asshole is becoming more insufferable, then the dog will bite him. Nothing stops an asshole in mid-ass like a dog bite.
The dogs will wear a bright red vest, signaling that they are an asshole's dog.  If the asshole complains that he was bitten, the responding officer will recognize the vest, and tell the injured party that they shouldn’t have been acting like an asshole and excuse the dog.

The vest also acts as an early warning system.  When a man approaches with a dog in a red vest, everyone will think, “Here comes an asshole.”  If someone gets in a confrontation with a person walking a red vested dog, he will be told: “You knew he was an asshole, and you argued with him anyway.  It's your fault."  

If you start a fight with an asshole, it makes you an asshole.  The good news is that you will soon qualify for a new if somewhat nippy dog  So, next year, keep away from the person walking the dog in the red vest. They're an asshole.   

Dogs that work with the asshole's family members provide comfort and support.  They are excellent listeners. Although they can’t answer the question, “How did I end up with such an asshole?” they can look sympathetically at the speaker and ease the effects of extended time asshole exposure.  

We currently have hundreds of dogs in asshole training, but that will only cover a small fraction of the number of assholes presently plaguing society.  I urge everyone if they know an asshole, or even someone with asshole tendencies, contact us today by either sending an email to or calling 1-800-asshole. 

With your help, we can end the scourge of assholes in this country and be asshole free by the middle part of the next decade.

Don’t ignore your asshole.  Act now!

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Never Trust A Green Man by Pocket Dog

 When  Mommy went out with her daughter on Monday, leaving Daddy home alone with us, the Christmas decorations were still up.  She asked Daddy not to touch them until she got home. Technically, he obeyed. But, by the time Mommy got back, all the decorations were gone:  Maybe for good.

Five minutes after Mommy left, there was a knock on the door.  A green man with curly feet and slight facial hair stood on the other side.  He introduced himself as T. Grinch, Christmas consultant. He told Daddy he was offering a free service to people in the neighborhood.  He would inspect all the Christmas decorations and give us a report on how to improve them for next year.  

River and I didn’t trust this guy, and we growled.  Daddy allowed the man into our house and threatened to crate us if we were not quiet.  Poor Daddy, he is an excellent judge of dogs but not of people.  

The man produced a red sack.  “When I was outside, I saw the two star-showers you have shining on the house and trees.  The lights are getting dim. The garland on the light pole is worn, and one of the lights you have wrapped around the pole was out.    Let me take these back to the shop where I can fix them.” Daddy did nor want to have a dim star-shower or droopy garland, so he agreed.

The man stopped in the kitchen.  He saw the balls hanging from the sunlight, the Christmas hand towels on the stove, and a stuffed snowman on the refrigerator.  “Marvelous,” T, Grinch said. “So tastefully done. But, some of these balls have lost their luster, and the snowman could use to be restuffed.  Let me take these back to the shop where I can fix them.” River and I tried to bark no, but Daddy wasn’t listening.  

He walked into the front room and picked up one of the dancing, singing stuffies that Mommy had put in the front windows.  “Those are fine; it’s just that the batteries don’t work.” T Grinch said he would take care of that and stuffed them into his bag and threw in the electric candles too without mentioning what was wrong with them.

He walked into the living room, where we had the brand new tree.  Certainly, he could not find anything wrong with it. “Very, very nice,” T. Grinch said feeling the branches. 

 “This is going to last a long time.” I was very relieved to hear this. I would hate to lose our new tree. “Have you had it, raincoated?” he asked.

Daddy asked him what that was.  “That protects the branches. These will dry out over a year or two, and then one night, you turn out the lights and bam! The whole place goes up.”

“I don’t want that!” Daddy said.

“Let me take the tree for you.  I will get it raincoated and have it right back for you.” the man said.  

“Do you want us to remove the ornaments?”

“That’s okay I will buff them up for you.  You don’t want a new tree and dim ornaments.”  Then the man grabbed the rest of our decorations.  “All this stuff should be shined up. You are going to have the best Christmas decorations on the block next year.  You are going to win a contest.”

River and I tried to run under the man’s legs and trip him.  We knew Mommy would be mad when she got home, and the decorations were gone.  But the man deftly moved around us. He went outside, threw the bag in a sled, and disappeared down the road. 
Daddy got our leashes and took us out to do our business.  Mr. Walker from across the street stopped by, and warned us that the Grinch was in town looking to steal Christmas decorations.  He showed Daddy a picture, and of course, it was the man.  
When Mommy came home, Daddy first said he took down the decorations for her and then said he gave them to the Little Sisters of the Poor.  It shouldn’t take long for Mommy to find

If any of you see a decorated tree with a picture ornament featuring me let me know.    After getting Santa in trouble, I am desperately trying to save next Christmas.

And no matter the season, don’t let the Grinch in your door.  

Monday Question

 What is the oldest thing in your house that has been used by pets long before you moved into the house, and do you still use it?   Ruby'...