Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Beat This Capton

I don't know about you but since mom and dad have been home all day I barely have the privacy to lick myself.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Monday Question

With the virus foremost in everyone mind's, we want to know if anyone in your family or extended family has to work and if anyone you know has got the virus.  If you have any stories please share them.

Pocket:  We have been lucky.  Neither of my parents has to work, although working helps with some bills, there are many more suffering worse.  Everyone in our family, and our extended families, are not working through the crises.  We have not heard of anyone getting sick that we know.  We pray it continues that way

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Peabody Crosses Rainbow Bridge

I don’t know if my good friend Peabody ever had an easy day during his twelve years as a mortal dog.  I am sure he lived happily and peacefully in his early years, but during the past few, it seems that our friend had fought off the dementors trying to claim him for the immortal life every day so he could stay with his mom.

Peabody had a myriad of illnesses.  He has been on prednisone for four years and was suffering from the side effects of his needed medication.  He had trouble standing and had to be held up when he got baths. He had frequent bouts of diarrhea and vomiting.  He suffered from terrible allergies and arthritis. He even was hospitalized for licking antifreeze. If there was a medical problem that could occur, it did to Peabody.  

No matter what was thrown at him, Peabody put his head down and studied himself for the fight.  He was undefeated up to last week. That is the problem when you spend your life constantly fighting diseases.  When you win, the game keeps going on, but as soon as you lose, it is game over.  

Peabody’s final battle was against the dog flu.  He had terrible tummy problems with bloody diarrhea.  He woke his mom up at night; When she took him outside, he passed nothing but blood.  Blood is the source of our power to fight illnesses, and if you lose it, you don’t have enough strength to fight.  He also had no appetite. The vet prescribed some medicine, but the disease had too strong a hold, and on Sunday night, Peabody gave up his struggle and arrived at the Bridge.

You would think if someone who had fought illnesses so long passed, it would not be shocking, but all Peabody’s Doggyspace friends were surprised to learn he was crossing the Bridge.  He had been undefeated so long that losing didn’t seem possible. He was like the Undertaker at Wrestlemania. But, in the end, even the great ones go down for a three count.

Doxie, who had preceded her brother to the Bridge by several years, was the first dog to greet Peabody when he crossed over.  Doxie gave him a long welcoming hug. Peabody moved gingerly. It had been so long since he had walked without pain that he forgot what it was like to do so.   It took him five minutes of walking, stretching, and rolling until he understood he was back to feeling like a young dog. He gave out a little yip of joy.

The happiness he felt was tempered by the knowledge that he had finally lost a battle, and that meant he would not be his mom’s constant companion, which broke both their hearts.  Doxie took him to visit his mom in her dreams, but the sorrow is so strong in her heart that it is going to be a long time before she can recognize her babies’ presence in her dreams.  

Peabody has been an inspiration to any dogfighting to be healthy.  He fought several illnesses without ever complaining. He took his medicine and suffered the side effect stoically.  Since his mom adopted him, he only cared about her and would put up with anything to be with her until the last cell in his body could not take it anymore, and he passed.

The mortals around the world mourned the passing of another irreplaceable heart dog.  The clouds filled with the tears shed by humans upon their learning that Peabody had passed over, rained on us for hours.  Doxie and Peabody swore to walk the road of grief with their mom. They knew it would be a long walk, but they hoped their mom would know, if only for a few footfalls, that they were with her. 

Peabody’s mom let no expense stand in the way of her taking care of him.  She devoted her life to him as he did to her. Now, his sister Doxie has to take on the burden of a grieving mom herself, but she is more than up to the task.

In this time of people worrying about themselves, let’s not forget to save a prayer for Peabody’s mom that she senses him and knows she will never be alone.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Bo and Terry For For a Walk

Bo lay in the sun, gently breathing.  He had been at the Bridge for almost ten years.  This was his preferred spot. He ventured into our society, to welcome friends when they arrived, and to spend time with Sandy, his more social brother, who joined him at the Bridge three years ago.  But, mostly, Bo lay in the sun, waiting.

Bo had two parents, Lea and Terry.  He was close to his dad. Terry greatly missed Bo when he went to the Bridge.  When he took ill, Bo left his sunny spot and flew prayers up the mountain for Terry to recover.  Bo knew his dad was quickly running out of heartbeats, but it was still his duty to make sure his mom and dad had as much time together as possible.

Bo was worried about his parents. He missed his dad with all his heart, but he did not want to be with him yet.  It is more traumatic for a human to pass over than a dog. It can take them a long time to recover. Since they live such long lives, and the careless way humans breed, they leave a more loved one behind than they have to wait for them.

Sunday was a beautiful day at the Bridge.  I appreciate the peacefulness more now than ever since the mortal world is in a state of constant turmoil.  Bo was lying in his sun puddle when he heard a familiar footfall coming towards him.

Bo looked up and saw a figure in the distance.  He stood and wagged his tail. The person approaching him looked younger than the man he knew, but the smell was the same.  Bo slowly walked towards the man, and when he was sure, ran to him and jumped up, putting his paws on the man’s chest. Bo’s tail wagged so quickly it almost lifted him off the ground.  The man bent down, and Bo gave him a long face bath.  

The man gave Bo a long scratch like he was touching something precious that had been long lost.  Bo felt a teardrop on his black fur. There is so much that can pass between a dog and his human without words.  Bo leaned into his dad and took a deep breath, satisfying a craving that had gone unsated for a decade. They were sedentary so long, Bo leaning on his dad, his dad’s hand on Bo’s chest, that they could have been mistaken for a statue.  

The man slowly stood.  He asked Bo if he wanted to for a walk.  Bo’s eyes filled with tears. But, before they began their journey together, Bo ran to his sleeping place and came back with a collar and leash.  His dad thought it was strange, because there was nothing to fear now, and no reason for them to be tethered together, but Bo wanted to feel that reassuring tug on his neck, something that said: “you are not alone, I am with you now.”  The man went down on one knee and slipped the collar over Bo’s head.

They walked towards the sunset together, moving as one, enjoying finally having time together.  After a mile, Sandy joined them, racing around and barking. When they rested, they would wait for that day that they would all be together, and pray the day is far off.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Pocket and River Song Become Social Distancing Dogs

Like Pocket, I love having my parents home.  I have only been left alone for a couple of hours this week.  It has saved me a lot of energy trying to keep my mom from leaving the house by hiding on the porch or grabbing on to her leg and making her drag me.  Luckily, we all still get out of the house.

Weather permitting, and despite the stay at home order, we still take daily walks. We are not rebels.  We just need to get outside before the humans kill one another. Our park has wide streets and little traffic, so even if someone else is outside walking, they are easily avoided, and if they do come towards us, that is where my and Pocket’s training comes in.  

My parents did not know that Pocket, and I was secretly taking classes to help in this kind of scenario.  When we practiced, our parents, who were unaware that we are doing homework, tried to stop us.

Pocket and I are officially social distance dogs.  We were inspired by our friend Freddie Bear whose mom has an immune deficiency.  He blocks anyone who gets too close to his mom. We are not big enough to physically block people invading our parents’ personal space so we had to find another way.  We have to act so obnoxiously no one wants to come near us.  

My parents have many neighbors in their seventies and eighties.  You would think none of them would be outside, but there are still some stumbling around.  To protect my parents, and the seniors, as soon as we see people, we start barking loudly, and we don’t stop until we can’t see them, any longer thereby ensuring that the proper distance is kept between us.

While many in this country were unprepared for this outbreak we have been readying for it for years by barking at everything, we see.  Even if we see it from the kitchen window we bark at it because it could be coming to our house. Momma thought that we were barking for attention, but that was just our cover.  We were barking them away. 

My parents still shush and tell us to be quiet because they have yet to grasp the important service we are providing.  I don’t want them to get sick, but I know if they went outside without us, one of these infected older adults would stumble over to them and give them a wet kiss, probably to thank them for leaving the obnoxious dogs at home.  

All dogs should start protecting their parents' social distancing by practicing their barking right now and keep doing it all the time at anything, so you are ready when someone breaks the six-foot rule.  Your parents might get angry at you now, but they will thank you later. 

Their nerves will also be worked down to the nub, and they will have terrible headaches, but they will have achieved splendid isolation. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Beat This Caption

George was terrified when he was startled by Steve who once again had forgotten social distancing.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Monday Question

On a scale of one to ten, how stubborn are you?
Pocket:  I am a seven, I can be stubborn but I give in.

River:  Is there a number higher than ten?  I am not stubborn unless someone wants me to do something I don't want to do

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Ginger: The Dog Who Finally Found a Forever Home

In these terrifying days, I thought it would be a nice change of pace to tell a happy story or at least as happy a story as can be said about a dog living in a shelter for seven years.  

Angels get millions of prayer requests from homeless dogs a week.  We want to say yes to all of them, but there are not enough yesses to go around. Saving shelter dogs usually work backward.  We get a prayer from a human looking for a dog and then find the perfect one for them. It is much harder to get a human interested in a dog when they have no desire to add one to their home.

One of the many sad prayer requests we got from dogs living in shelters came across my desk last week.  I popped into the pup's dreams to tell her we were doing everything we could. We both knew this meant there was nothing that could be done.

  The dog looked a little bit older than most requesters. I asked her what her story was, and she said her name was Ginger and she had been in the shelter for seven years.
"Seven years!" I exclaimed. "How long have you been praying to us ?" 

"I just started," Ginger said. I asked her what took her so long. "I felt there were other dogs needier than me." Right then, I knew we had to help this precious pup.

I met with my most trusted advisors, Tommy Tunes, Smoochy, Odie, Hattie, Lovey, Cooper, Geordie, and Hobo.  We decided to take a multi-faceted approach to the problem. First, Cooper went into a shelter worker's dreams and gave her the idea to post Ginger on line with this caption: "Hi! I'm Ginger! I've been here waiting seven years, nine months, two weeks, two days. I'm a good girl! I promise! I just need a 2nd chance."

Then we went into as many humans' dreams as we could,  convinced them to post about Ginger on Facebook and to ask people to share the post.   It went viral in a good way. It was shared 36,000 times. The post really took off when a site created by Ellen Degeneres shared it called "Paws Up" on Instagram. 

Ginger went from being a dog that no one wanted to a dog with dozens of people filling out applications to adopt her. The shelter worker picked the best candidate and introduced Ginger to her potential new parent. It was love and devotion at first sniff.

 Her forever home has no other pets, a fenced-in yard, and a parent who has worked with unadoptable dogs for years:  All the ingredients needed to give Ginger a perfect home. 

Ginger is finally a happy family dog.  I am so glad we got to help her, and a little sorry she didn't speak up earlier.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Nell the Dog Who Didn't Need to Be Saved

Even the bravest dogs need saving now and then.
    Nell is a border collie who has been specially trained to find lost hikers in Dundonnell Scotland.  Last week two ultra-marathon runners became lost in the Dundonnell mountains. Nell, a master rescuer, was one of the first dogs to locate the missing runners.  
    She barked until the two-legged rescuers reached the runners.  They contacted the coast guard who dispatched a helicopter to airlift the stranded couple to safety.  Nell dutifully stayed by the runners until the plane arrived, but the sound of the engine, and the chaos caused by the rotors, scared Nell, and she dashed off high into the mountains.  
    She tried to find her way home, but she kept coming upon cliffs that blocked her way.  The temperature dropped. She was cold, hungry, and ashamed. Nell was a professional who had allowed herself to get spooked and ran away.  She didn’t know if she could show her face at the rescue station again. When night fell, it grew cold, and her chances of reaching camp were diminished,  she began to pray for help.  
    The humans at the camp were distraught.  They had searched for Nell until it became too dark and cold.  Finding her was made more difficult because she was their primary rescuer.  When they returned to camp, they prayed also. 
    The combination of Nell’s prayers, joining those of the human members of her team helped me find her.  I could not get her down the mountain that night, so I showed her where there was a small divot in the ground.  Nell laid down and covered herself with leaves to keep warm. I was with her when she awoke. I was going to have to think hard about how to get her back to camp when she stood up and began to wag her tail. 
    “What is it?” I asked.
    “I smell sausages,” Nell said.
    I sniffed too.  She was right. It did smell like sausages.  I flew up and saw, at the base of the hill, two men cooking sausages on a grill, and they were calling Nell’s name. I was stunned.  How did humans think of this without angel intervention? This was unprecedented. If humans started solving problems without angels, we could be put out of business.  I flew back to Nell.
    She had a big smile on her face.  I asked her what she was doing. She said she was following the smells, getting reunited with her friends, and eating breakfast.
    “You can’t go,” I said.  “I have to think of a brilliant way to get you back with your parents, and they need to find you at the edge of the cliff.”  She asked why. “Because if you just go down the hill because you smelled the sausages, it is so anti-climatic.”
    But Nell didn’t listen.  She used her superior nose to sniff out the smell and ran down the mountain like it owed her money.  She had a joyous reunion with her humans. I was thrilled to see it.
    When I got back to the Bridge, I did fudge what happened to make it look like I intervened.  I didn’t do it for myself. If angels knew humans could solve their problems it would be horrible for our morale.
    It is up to me to make sure the angels are happy and ready to  serve. Anyway, how likely is it for humans to figure out how to save someone again.
    I can always count on the incompetence of your species.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Despite all her efforts, Pocket can't stop being happy about the virus

My parents are home almost every day now.  They don't want to contract this nasty virus that has sent so many people to the Bridge and made a hundred times more sick.  It even made Eldris Alba ill. If something makes him sick, it will run over my Dad like he's a cockroach.

  I am watching my parents very closely.  I lick their hands to make sure they don't have a temperature, and if they are going to cough or sneeze, I jump on their faces to keep them from spraying their sickness on the other one.  It is okay if I get the virus. To a dog getting it is like us finding food on the floor. Once we get it, we don't give it to anyone.

We dogs have a confession.  While the world is suffering from a terrible pandemic, the economy is crashing, and people are panicking, I have to admit that things have been pretty, pretty good for dogs.  Our parents are home much more than usual. It is like we have been hit with a blizzard without having to trek through the snow. It is kind of awesome. 

Knowing that people are suffering while we are enjoying life has set up a terrible paradox for dogs.  We are supposed to serve people and make them happy. When they are unhappy or stressed out, we should be the same. It's just hard to be either of those when your human is always with you.

To be sympathetic to my parents, I tried to be upset as I snuggled on their laps all afternoon.  I think bad thoughts which will make me sad and nervous like them. But when I do, the comfort of the lap takes over, and I am content. Darn it!  I spent my whole life trying to relax and think good thoughts. Now that I want to do the opposite, I am stymied.  

 River does her best to make me as miserable as my parents.  She tells me that I am dumb, old, ugly, and not loved as much as her.  Bless her heart. She is trying her best, but it just doesn't stick. I have tried to help her by doing the same thing, but she nips me when I do.  I guess when you have a resting bitch face, it is easier to become unhappy. I respect that.

 Even Foley tries to help.   She comes into my dreams and tells me she has seen the future, and I am destined to die a horrible, hideous death. Usually, that would bother me for a week, but now I don't care. She's a good angel for trying. I hope you have one who will come in your dreams and hurl rapid-fire insults at you to make you sad.

Of course, our happiness will end quickly if one of our parents gets sick from the virus.  Maybe we are doing the right thing. We need to enjoy today because the Lord knows what tomorrow shall bring.
If you think about going out, don't do it, if not for you, your neighbors, or society at home, hunker down for the dogs.  We will show you our appreciation.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Beat This Caption

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet wet from the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how couldn't it be so? It came without drinking. It came without parades. It came without public urination, bar fights or beers. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if St Patrick's Day he thought, doesn't come from a bar? What if St Patrick's, perhaps, means a little bit more?

Monday, March 16, 2020

Monday Question

Has had COVID-19 affected your family so far?
Pocket:  Everyone is fine at my house.  Daddy isn't working for the foreseeable future.  Since retirement is his main source of income he can afford to sit this one out, and his job requires in store sales.  He would like the company to lay him off since no one can work. Mommy is going to be home a lot. All entertainment, restaurants, bars, most movie theaters, are shut down here.  They are still going to have to make supply runs but hopefully they can just pick up and won't have to go into stores. My parents aren't afraid of the illness but they sure do respect it.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Teenie's Time Ends and Begins

The young always believe they are invincible.  We dogs are no different. When we joined social media more than ten years ago, we invented terms that have become part of our vernacular and created the way we communicate with one another online.  We were in the prime of our lives. The moment our heartbeats expired seemed off in the seldom thought about distance.

Then one day we take ill.  All our youth and vitality are stripped away. Our parents and the vet begin to have a hushed conversation about us.  Suddenly our heartbeats start to expire. It happens in the blink of an eye.

I remember when we thought the Min Pin gang was invincible.  Four beautiful little dogs, Tennie, Mouse, Scooter, and Rabbitt, who happily lived with their parents.  But one night, the lions came. Their parents split up as did the gang. Tennie and Rabbit went to their dad and Scooter and Rabbit.

Sometimes during divorces, humans take things because they want them, and other times they take things because they don't want the other person to have them. I don't know what the Min Pin's Dad's motivation was when he took half the pack, but when he surrendered Tennie back to her mom, she was gravely ill, and we couldn't help but think it was the latter.

Rabbit went to the Bridge under his dad's care, and Teenie was malnourished, sick, and had diarrhea.  Her dad offered to help her mom with any treatments or expenses, and then he took a little walk out of Teenie's life forever.  It would take a lot of tests and even more money to determine what was wrong with Teenie and if she could be helped. But mama Paula is a dog mom, and when their babies are sick, time and money mean nothing.

Teenie was diagnosed with IBD/PLE and hypoalbuminemia.  Her mom finally found a food she could tolerate, and slowly nursed her baby back to health.  Teenie had to take medicine every day, and her mom nearly went broke paying for it, but she didn't mind, her babies always came first.  
Two years later, brave Teenie encountered an illness that neither she or her mom could defeat.  She was diagnosed with liver cancer. The malignant tumor was removed at the beginning of February, and Teenie seemed to be recovering, but on March 4, her tiny body gave out.  She wouldn't eat and had explosive diarrhea. Her mom and her vet tried everything, but Teenie kept getting worse. Her mom knew Teenie was suffering and sent her baby to the Bridge, then took all Teenie's pain on herself and found herself on the dark road of grief once again. 

Teenie ran across the Bridge and joined Rabbit and Scooter in a game of pinscher chase and play.  The trio was thrilled to be together, and they got to work trying to reach their mom's dreams and to visit Mouse, the surviving member of the min-pin gang.

That night the min-pin gang got together with me, Tommy Tunes, Hattie Mae, and other Doggyspace friends, and we talked about when we were all young and had our futures ahead of us.

And then we realized we still had our futures ahead of us.  We were now immortal. When our parents sent us to the Bridge, they made us forever young, and that's an excellent gift.

We all visited our parents in their dreams that night to give our parents a kiss of thanks.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Murfee Gets Elected Mayor

As bad as politics is in the mortal world right now, I try not to get involved. But then I learned of a situation that begs for some Yorkie influence.

I call your attention to Fairhaven Vermont in Rutland County home of the fighting Ruttles. For the past two years, they have lived under an authoritative regime administered by an ignorant loudmouth orange face dictator.  Of course, I can only be referring to Lincoln, the goat.
It has been a hard two years for the good citizens of Fairhaven living under a despot who is against any legislation that aids dogs, cats, or other household animals. No matter how well the dog and cat council does in explaining their legislation, the mayor's reaction is inevitably a braying neigh.

I received many prayers to help the woebegone dogs and cats living under the iron-fisted rule of Goat Lincoln the First.  The pups and kitties only ate the most basic food filled with additives, preservatives and by-products. Their treats were hard and tasted like cardboard. Meanwhile, the barnyard animals got the finest oats, barleys, and whatever else they ate.  I could only help them so far. They needed a dog to rise.

I searched for a dog to run for mayor with the same fervor I used when I looked for a new pup after I went to the Bridge. I slipped into the dreams of a King Charles Spaniel named Murfee.  He had deep brown eyes, a beautiful smile, and a sparkling personality. The voters would love him.

Unfortunately, Murfee showed no interest in politics. He was happy sitting at home with his parents eating stale treats and bad kibble, as long as he had a soft bed and a warm lap to snuggle.  I knew I had to take drastic action to get Murfee to run for office. I brought him with me as I visited the other dogs in Fairhaven. When he saw some of them hungry and others unhappy, he knew he had to act.  I solidified his feelings when I brought him to the barnyard, and he witnessed everyone living high off the hog. He vowed to make the lives of dogs and cats better and to get all those animals off the poor hog.

A debate was quickly organized.  Murfee was prepared and professional.  Lincoln was obstinate and unrelenting. While Murfee gave long, thought out answers, Lincoln answered each question with "bah!" or "neigh." His barnyard supporters, a group of pigs, asses, and chicken supremacists, (Make the Sty Stink Again) insisted he was telling it like it was.  Murfee went door to door to meet the voters. Lincoln stayed at home, tweeting "BLEAT" ten times a day. As soon as it was posted, it was liked and retweeted thousands of times.  

I don't know if it was because Murfee was a strong candidate or the voters were suffering from Lincoln fatigue, but the dog won in a landslide, an avalanche, a rainstorm, and a small fire started by the mice in the woodshed.  Lincoln had to be dragged out of office when he refused to move. Reports differ on whether he refused to accept the results of the election or if he was just acting like a donkey.  

The citizens of Fairhaven are resting easier tonight with a smart, savvy, and cute Mayor who is treating everyone kindly.   

No matter what happens, you can't go wrong with a dog in the oval dog crate.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Why River Song Doesn't Like Tax Day

This Monday was tax day, one of my least favorite times of the year.  My parents sit at the kitchen table with documents strewn about, and they argue with each other and the computer while Daddy furiously bangs on the keys, until the taxes are finished.  Hopefully, they are satisfied with the outcome, and there are a few more dollars in the treat jar this year. 

Besides the tension, I don’t like tax day because my parents sit on hard kitchen chairs, and there is no place for us to sit.  For the first five minutes, we pester our parents trying to either convince them to stop and return to their comfortable recliners or make room for us.  Pestering is very tiring, so eventually, we sadly retreat to the living room and sit in the chair solo.

Pocket curled up and went to sleep, but I am more curious.  I listened to my parents talked about when their dads’ did their taxes.  While the failure for documents to load, and pages that couldn’t be closed because a mystery question needed to be answered, brought tension to my parents’ efforts. Apparently it was nothing like what their dads went through trying to do the same without the help of things that needed to be plugged in, sans a lamp.

Mommy’s Dad would sit at the kitchen table just like she did now.  He was surrounded by paperwork. He had compiled a million receipts during the year, all crammed into a cigar box, which, in the ’50s, was where people kept their most precious possessions.  Mommy and her brother knew to stay out of the kitchen when their Dad was hard at work inventing new cuss words and groundbreaking tax law. After hours of waiting, a white cloud would emerge from the kitchen window signaling that it was safe to go inside and get a cookie.  

Daddy’s father sat in his office with a similar cigar box at his side, smoking a pipe, and praying, if it is to be assumed that taxes were the cause of his cries of “Jesus!” and “Oh, Christ,” bellowing from the study. He was a very religious man at tax time.  He had the minimum taken out of his weekly check because he wanted his money to earn interest for him and not the government. He waited until the Master’s weekend, which always came just before the 15th of April, to do his taxes, holding onto his money as long as he could.  Daddy would sit in the living room, hoping his Dad would finish and watch the tournament with him, but the money Grampy owed rose every time a putt filled the hole until both Grampy’s bank account and the winner’s total were far under par.
During their time, a woman helping them do taxes was a laugh.  Women didn’t know anything about taxes! It’s too complicated.  In all probability, their spouse’s help would have cut their preparation time in half if they made room for their wives at the table  Most daddies have learned to accept their wives much needed help or not argue when the ladies join them at the table.

Filing taxes had changed a lot since then.  There are no cigar boxes, no multiple receipts, no pencils, calculators, or calculation sheets.  But there is still swearing, mostly due to uncooperative computers. The swearing is mitigated by moms, now allowed at the table, who let the man rant for a bit, before calming them and figuring out their error.  

Instead of taking two days, the process took two hours, thanks to computers and mommies at the table.  And, there is extra money in the treat jar for this year.

Most importantly, I didn’t go lapless for a whole weekend.  Thank heavens for moms, computers, and extra money in the treat jar.  I didn’t like tax day, but it could have been worse.  

Monday, March 9, 2020

Monday Question

This is a human question, not a dog question, but if we know more about our parents then we know more about one another.  What does your parent do for a living, or what did they do?

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Trixie Arrives at Rainbow Bridge

I welcomed my sister from another mister Trixie to the Bridge this week.  Trixie and I are both incredibly cute Yorkshire Terriers, the kind of dogs who, when a human sees our pictures, they wish they had one.  Like me, Trixie is an advertisement for Yorkies, but neither of us accepted a dime in endorsement money. We believe we are a superior breed and are happy to spread the word for the betterment of all.

Trixie and I are sisters for more profound reasons than what is on the surface.  Both our moms contracted cancer, which left them very sick and scared. We stayed with them during their treatments, operations, and subsequent recovery, playing nurse, and being their best friend and loyal companion.  There is a special bond that is created when a dog nurses their parent back to health. Trixie and I, along with our moms, are blessed to have experienced that bond. 

Trixie and I had one other common trait:  The way we arrived at the Bridge. Both of us caught the terrible, horrible, terrifying, terrible cancer.  Mine came on slowly. I began panting a lot and didn’t want to take my walks. Then I started coughing, and a week later, I accepted the post of Rainbow Bridge Judge, and my suffering ended.  This week one of the dogs on the essential Yorkshire Terrier Council left with his parents to the land of Happily Ever After. I had to fill the seat and knew Trixie was tired and running out of heartbeats, so I offered it to her, and she gladly accepted.  I know she will do a fantastic job.

Sadly, like me, Trixie left behind two loving, devastated parents.  Who would have thought, when man and dogs were created, that something so small could hold so much love?  Her mom Tricia Ann called Trixie her heartstring and rock. Both her parents are heartbroken, and their eyes keep leaking tears. While Trixie joining the council will make life better for Yorkies everywhere, her parents have to deal with a new normal that does not include their sweet baby.  

Many dogs adore Trixie at the Bridge, who turned out in full force to greet the little dog when she crossed the River of Life, climbed the stairs to Doggyspace, and became an official angel.  I politely wait while an Angel is greeted by all those who want to welcome them. The sun traveled across the sky and began to sink before the line for Trixie finally dissipated.

Trixie was hurried into angel training taught by her parents’ pups, who preceded her.  She was visiting her mom and dad in their dreams, popping in for ghost visits and will, when the weather clears, borrow the bodies of winged creatures and fly down to see her parents, but for now, their grief is too strong to recognize the visits.  Like with all things grief, it takes a lot of travel down the road before healing, and the seeing angel’s signs will begin. 

`We hope they travel the road quickly.  Meanwhile, they should be comforted in knowing that Trixie is trying to reach them, and making essential decisions for Yorkies and dogs everywhere, bettering their lives. 

I know her parents feel cursed that she is gone, but we are blessed to have her.

Friday, March 6, 2020

To Sam Who Never Stops Caring

Most dogs don’t retire. Mainly because we don’t do much, it is hard to retire from a sedentary lifestyle.  What are we going to do? Not lie in the sun for hours, sleep half the day, or beg for treats? The last thing a dog wants is to retire from being lazy and become active in their senior years. 

Some dogs work.  I greatly admire them.  Sam, from the Tails Around the Ranch blog, is one of them.  Sam was employed as a therapy dog at the Lutheran Medical center.   He met with patients, soothed their worries, eased their pain, and showed them love, something people in hospitals need as much as morphine.  Very few performed their duty as well as Sam.  

If you believe in the theory that a dog ages seven years for every human’s one, then Sam worked until the was 98.   At the time he stopped five weeks ago, he was showing signs that the job was taking its toll. It took him longer to recover from a day’s work than it did in his youth, and he was slowing down.  Sam would have gladly continued on his rounds, but his mom knew it was time to stop so that Sam could live an ordinary life. 

All the patients at the hospital loved Sam.  He knew who needed extra attention. He was a barometer for their heartache and gave them enough attention to heal.  Sometimes patients need more than what human medicine can provide. Dogs like Sam provided it.

When a human passes a month after retirement, people conclude that the job was providing them a reason for living, and shake their heads at the tragedy of a soul who was robbed of enjoying his retirement.   Sam doesn’t want anyone to feel that way about him. The truth is Sam had been hoarding heartbeats for a long time. He knew he couldn’t leave his patients, or let them learn of his death, while they were confronting their mortality.  Sam waited until his job was done, then gave his mom a month of family time, until he finally stopped putting off the dementor angels and surrendered to the Bridge. 

Sam was sent to my district of Rainbow Bridge, and I was tasked with swearing him in.  When I went to Hobo’s Landing, the cliff that overlooks the Bridge and the stairs that lead up to Doggyspace, where we stay while awaiting our loved ones, there was a long line of people anxious to greet Sam.  I learned they were from the Lutheran Medical Center. Sam had comforted them at the end of their mortal life, and they wanted to do the same for Sam at the beginning of his immortal life.  

Sam received one of the grandest welcome parties I had ever attended.  He spent time with all the Lutheran Medical Center’s patients or their families. Sam graciously greeted each one and kissed them. 

Of course, Sam wanted to learn how to dream visit with his mom, but he also asked to go into the dreams of anyone in a hospital who was in despair so he could comfort them, continuing the work he had done so well on the mortal side. 

I know Sam will be just as dedicated to helping people as an angel as he was as a therapy dog.  But now he can visit hundreds of patients a night. The world will be a better place with Sam as an angel.

Great therapy dogs like Sam don’t retire.  They become immortal and carry on.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Pocket and the Very Bad and Messy Week

Oh, what a terrible, horrible, awful week I had. It began early on a Wednesday morning. Daddy heard a strange noise, like someone trying to force a baby rabbit down a water slide.  It was my belly. I have had a troublesome tummy for years. The doctors called it “stress colitis.” It is an apt term. When I get colitis, I get stressed. Loud, unexpected, or high pitched sounds can turn everything in my body into water, which I expel, bit by bit out my butt. The noises, which I named “Prelude to diarrhea,” is like the newest Jurassic Park movie.  It promises to be bigger, badder, and faster moving.

I don’t eat when I am not feeling well.  Basically, I need to be perfect, and the weather 60 degrees and sunny, or I ain’t eating.  But on Thursday morning, I happily ate my food, then marched into the kitchen and left a river of poop smelling foulness you can’t even imagine. 

My parents and I have an agreement:  They don’t get mad when I have an accident on a bad belly day, and I never mention it again.  I want to say that was the only accident I had that day, but it would be a lie. Whenever there is something foul inside of me, I want to get it out like it is Damian, and I am Rosemary in the delivery room pushing like a trucker trying to hide an illegal rig under an off-road bridge with the staties on his tail.

After my major eruption, I left little dribs and drabs everywhere:  On the couch, the recliner, Mommy’s bath mat, and towel. River told me that I don’t know how to fart.  She says that most dogs just fart, but I fart and push until something pops out. “It’s a good thing you never got pregnant,” she said.  “First, cramp, and you would shoot the kids across the room.”

For years I have followed the same pattern.  I have a bad day, then I get it out, and I am good for a few weeks.  Usually, on squeaky tummy days, I skip breakfast, which gives my tummy time to rest.  But that morning, I had breakfast, and that set off an unprecedented series of events.

The next morning I felt worse.  I wanted nothing to do with food.  I turned my nose up and my butt down to everything. While Daddy worked, I left poo puddles for Mommy to find.  After a particularly revolting poop, I began eating again. That is what I do when I am healed. Big poop, big eat, get on with life. My parents thought that the issues were over.  Then, at 2:00 AM, I crawled up the bed to Daddy and said: “you up?” He tried to shove me under the covers, but I kept popping up and staring at him. Finally, he got up and put me on the pee pads, which I immediately christened the “messy poop pads.”  The poor pad was a one and done. There was no leaving that thing down for re-use.

My parents knew this wasn’t one of my ordinary bad poops spells but something more persistent.  They switched my diet to chicken and rice. I had my scheduled yearly vet visit for Monday. We would have to ride out the poop tornadoes for two more days.

I ate breakfast on Saturday and seemed to be on the mend until my Aunt and Uncle came over for dinner, and I took a smelly post-meal poop in the living room.  No one got upset. I have been blessed with a very pathetic face. Who could get mad at me for being sick? Anyway, they got dinner and a show.  

On Sunday, my belly was cleaned out of everything but chicken and rice, so I didn’t poop everywhere all day long, but I was still loose.  When I went to the vet on Monday, everyone was very nice, even though the tech had to take four shots at finding a vein in my leg to get blood.  I got a stylish pink bandage.

My examination went very well.  They ordered some exceptional food for me that River can’t eat because it is mine, medicine, and over the counter powder for gut health.  I am going to be eating my chicken and rice, which I love until the new food arrives.

We think the culprit was a small package of wet food.  My tummy had been good for two months, and Daddy thought I could try something new.  I only get a spoonful a day, so how much damage could it do? If you ask Mr. Floor, who may never feel clean again, a lot.

It has been so far so good tummy wise this week.  We will see what the future will bring.

I don’t know if I want to be as regular as River.  I have to do something to keep my parents on their toes.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Monday Question

What is your relationship to the toilet bowl?  Do you ignore it?  Drink out of it?  Sit on it?  Step on the rim and look down like there is something good down there?

We art too little to drink out of it.  I ignore it  River likes to jump up on the seat to sit.  I think she is trying to figure out what is so special about it

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Foley and the Cat in the Hat

Happy Dr. Seuss day. This is one of my favorite days of the year because I have always thought of myself as a Dr. Seuss character. If he had met me, I would be a lot more famous than that stupid Who hearing Horton.  

This morning it was raining.  I heard a knock on my door and opened it to find my kitty brother Gizmo wearing a fedora on my front step.  I was wary of him. I came into the family right after he went to the Bridge. He still blames me for usurping his position in the family.

"Hello Foley, it is I the Cat in a Hat," Gizmo said confidently. 

"No, you're not you're a freak in a chapeau." I shot back. 

"Same difference," Gizmo remarked arrogantly. "Blake asked me to come by and check on you."  

I knew this was a lie.  While Blake and Gizmo had happily lived together on the mortal side, Gizmo was always full of mischief. Here at the Bridge, Blake worked hard to keep a clean house. When Gizmo visits, he rips up the furniture with his sharp claws and defecates in any kind of box he finds.  Blake was the only dog who Gizmo listened to, and that is why he was barred from the house unless she was home.

I told Gizmo he could wait on the lawn until Blake returned. Just then, my three younger angel siblings Copper, Jax, and Skye ran down the stairs. "The cat in the hat is here, the cat in the hat is here!" Skye yelled excitedly.

I told her it wasn't a cat in a hat, but just Uncle Gizmo under felt. But Sky and her siblings begged him to do the trick. I knew it was a mistake.  But I hate to say no to the kids. 

Gizmo dragged a small unicycle and an umbrella into the house and tracked mud on Blake's clean floor.  He began to ride it around the house while using the umbrella to balance a ball. Suddenly he stuck the umbrella under me and lifted me in the air. I had to balance on top of the umbrella while he unicycled the circumference of the parlor. 

I repeatedly yelled at Gizmo to put me down.  He kept making the stunt more difficult. He balanced me on an umbrella with one hand and a fishbowl on plates with the other and then began riding on the furniture. He was trying to jump from the sofa to the recliner when he misjudged the length, and we crashed on the floor. The fish tank and the plates smashed apart, creating a big wet mess on Blake's new rug. 

Gizmo told us not to worry and brought in a crate containing two little kittens he called Kitten One and Kitten Two.  He promised that they would clean the house, but they only added to the destruction. They ripped down curtains and tore open couch cushions.  They got into the kitchen and knocked all the spices off the top shelf. They worked a big hole in the rug and gleefully ran through it. I thought the carnage would never end.  That is when I saw Blake walking up the path.

While I was heartened to know Gizmo would be in trouble, I knew it was my fault for letting him in.  I ran outside and showed Blake some new shoots coming up in the garden. They were probably weeds, but I was desperate to distract her.  I looked inside and saw Gizmo riding what can only be described as an eight-armed Zamboni. He was cleaning and repairing everything in the house. I kept Blake outside long enough for the house to be returned to its original condition.  When Gizmo and the kitties left, we went inside. 

Blake walked into her sparkling clean house and saw her three siblings asleep on the sofa. "What have you children been up to today?" she asked. 

What would you say?

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