Thursday, April 30, 2020

River Song's New Game Show

During the new normal, my parents, on most days, have stopped midday for cheese and crackers, and to play trivia games on the tablet.  Some days, we take a walk first, but most of the time, it has been cold and rainy, so they get right to eating and playing.
They do not share their cheese and crackers with us, but they do put a plate full of our kibble on the table, and they give us some after every few questions.  Pocket stands on her back leg. and paws Daddy’s leg begging for kibble, but she tires easily, and she goes to sit in the little chair with the red blanket.  That leaves all the food for me.
Pocket is much more patient than I am.  Pocket gets a kibble, chews it, swallows, and gives it a bit of time to settle before she asks for another.  For me, there is a two-second turnaround, from getting the kibble to wanting more.  I just swallow without even tasting. 
 I have a big advantage over Pocket.  I can jump up on the dining room chairs.  I am still short enough that I can walk on the chairs and remain under the table so I can see stealthy move around until I am next to Mommy!  I try to force my head under her armpit so I can be closer to the kibble.  She tells me to get down.  Her lips say “no-no,” but her eyes say it…..nope her eyes say no too.  Abort!  Abort!

I quickly switch to plan B.  I start a foot from Daddy’s side.  Then I run forward, push off my back legs, and slam all twelve pounds of me into his thigh like a sled hammer smashing into a worthless piece of wood.  Sometimes, I struck him, he tips to the side.  But, that doesn’t mean I am going to be getting a treat.

So, I changed my position. Daddy sits at the head of the table, and I stand on the floor at the opposite end.   I lunge, with both front legs straight as two-by-fours, and I smash into his balls like a wrecking ball.
He makes a sound like air rapidly rushing out of a punctured beach ball, and falls to one side.  Mommy pauses the game until he is recovered, and she stops giggling.  Recently, I have added a new maneuver.  While standing up in front of him, I lift my left paw, then bring it down hard on his right testicle, causing him to double over and cry a little bit.  It is great fun, although it doesn’t make the kibble come any quicker.  But it is a distraction which you need under quarantine.  
While I await my kibbles, I thought of a fantastic new game show for humans.  It is a trivia tv show played by couples.  They build their money upon some easy questions.  But, once the questions reach five figures in value, a new twist is brought into the game.  Before the question, the woman can gamble either to, if they answer incorrectly, either forfeit the money and the game, or the man can get slapped hard in the nuts.
Everyone who has ever had a mommy and a daddy knows what the answer will be:  “Let it ride on the nuts.”  The question is asked, and if the dad gives the wrong answer, a flying Griffon will shatter his balls.  What fun!  What excitement!  What strategy!  I am calling it River’s Nut Sack.  It is for any human who loves game shows, trivia, and crushed nuts.

Forget the Tiger King.  I’m the Crushing Balls Queen.

Look for it on a streaming service near you.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Monday, April 27, 2020

Monday Question

Do you have a nickname that is from another living thing?

Pocket is called Monkey

River is called Buggy

Sunday, April 26, 2020

A Lost LIttle Dog Finds It's Way

You’re a five-year-old dog, and you lived with your dad in Malaysia.  Lately, there hasn’t been much food. Your Dad’s not working. There is no money coming in.  He despairs that he won’t be able to care for you any longer, but you stress that it is okay, as long as it stays you and him, nothing beats a pair.

You like to go for car rides.  Recently, they have been few and far between.  There has been no money for food, nevermind gas, and nowhere to go.  One day your dad, with tears in his eyes, opened the car door for you. You happily got in.  Your dad drove for a few miles. Then he pulled over. He hugged you. His tears landed on your fur.  He took a piece of paper and jammed it under your collar. He opened your door and pushed you out. You expected him to get out of the car too, but he hit the gas and left you behind. 

You waited for several minutes, thinking your dad would come back, but he didn’t.  You were confused. Where did he go? Did something bad happen to him? You began to walk down the street, hoping to pick up his scent.  You didn’t pay attention to the cars speeding around you. You have a mission, and nothing can keep you from completing it.
The skies grew darker and the sunset, but you kept walking.  The clouds opened up, and a soaking rain-drenched you. You didn't look for shelter.  You tried to find your dad's scent, as your heart grew desperate. Your dad has always saved you from situations like this.  Now, he wasn’t. You refused to accept what you knew was true. He had left you.

The sun came up, the rain stopped, and you kept walking, no longer looking, just trying to survive.  You heard stories of the men with the cages and the needles that sent you to the Bridge. You knew you had to avoid them.  You were wet, cold, and hungry, and mostly surviving on instincts, which told you to keep moving until you arrived at where you needed to be.

You sense a man is following you.  You see him a few cars back. You try to lose him amongst the cars.  You cross the street and see a grassy area. Sitting there, looking right at you is your purser.  He sits on the grass. You sit too, ten feet from him, and study his every move. He never wavers. You have a choice.  To trust him, knowing he might be the man with the needle, or to run, which was safer, at least for now. Maybe not when you grew weak from lack of eating.  You waited, ten minutes, fifteen minutes, then you made your choice.

Five years ago, you trusted your dad, and that had worked out splendidly, until yesterday.  You decided to trust this new man. You went to him and sat down. The man removed the wet paper from your collar.  It was a note from your father. It said that he could no longer take care of you the way you needed. It begged whoever you found and the letter to give you a home. It explained what a good boy you were and that you have been a perfect pet. The man was crying. You didn’t know why, but you were making a lot of men cry lately.

The man began walking away, then turned back for you.  You were undecided for several seconds, and then you followed.  He opened the car door, and you got in the back seat. The two of you stopped at a pet shop, and he got you a new collar and leash, along with food and a bed.   You mourned the loss of your first dad, but you were excited about beginning life with your new dad.

You walked into your new home and immediately recognized the smell of another dog.  You had always wanted a brother. Then you saw him, tall, tan, and sleek, and you smiled.  He smiled back and said, “get out of my house!” He tried to bite you. He made sure you knew he was the only dog in a one dog house.  Your new dad did not remove you from the home immediately. He gave you your own space. But, he also knew how his other dog was and knew this wasn’t going to work out. 

The other dog was scary, but you understood that some dogs are meant to be only dogs.  You figured you would get some food and drink, get a good night’s sleep and begin your travels in the morning.  You heard a door open and smelled another man, whose scent was remarkably like the man who picked you up. You wandered out of the room to meet the two men, who were brothers, and the new one took to you right away, and you took to him.  He asked if you would like to be an only dog in his house, and you agreed.

And now you have your new forever home, after experiencing three dads in two days.  You hope your old dad is okay, but we dogs live for right now, and right now, things are good.   That is the best we can hope for.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Hetty Arrives at Rainbow Bridge

We had an exceptional dog come to Doggyspace at the Bridge this week.  Her name is Hetty.  She is a beloved therapy dog who belonged to Jessica Calvo, a Spanish teacher at Verona School District in New Jersey. 

Hetty is a yellow lab who managed to hold off the Bridge dementors and stay with her mom long past Hetty’s time.  She lived fourteen years until the evil angels gave her a neurological disorder which she could not defeat.  The disease led to seizures, and as they often do, that brought him to the Bridge. 
Hetty had a lot of reasons to resist the angels and stay with her mom.  Not only was she a vital therapy dog to Jessica, but she also provided the same service for the Veronica school district.  She was beloved by all, but especially by her mom.
Most labs are full of energy, prone to being overly exuberant and excitable, which can make them become a service dog problematic. Still, Jessica said that Hetty was an old soul who was naturally gentle and sweet.  Hetty served her humans by giving them lots of love and gratefully accepting their love. 

Jessica has been blind since birth.  When she was five, she told her mom that she was going to get a guide dog.  She was disappointed to find out that she had to be in high school to qualify for one.  When she turned 17, she was given an application for a guide dog who, when everything was processed, became Hetty.  

Hetty was a graduate of The Seeing High in Morristown, New Jersey.  She joined Jessica when she graduated from Clifton High School and Caldwell University.  Then Jessica joined the staff at Verona High School.

 As she aged, Hetty’s energy level dropped, and her mom decided to retire her as a guide dog.  But Hetty still wanted to serve, so Jessica spoke with the student assistance coordinator for the Verona School District, who had been considering getting a therapy dog for the district.  When the school year opened, Hetty had a new occupation.   
In her new role, Hetty comforted children and got them to open up about their lives or something that happened at school.  Her work did not require more than showing up and being herself, which she was good at.  Frustrated or nervous kids would come to the counselor's office, Hetty sat at their feet, and her inner serenity, and sweet goodness, calmed the child so they could return to school.  

One student was a six-year-old boy suffering from cerebral palsy.  He had trouble walking.  One day the child was struggling down the hallway when he saw Hetty in front of him.  He began to walk faster, then picked up Hetty’s leash, and started walking behind her with an assurance he had never shown before.  It is just one example of the work Hetty did with the students. 

Hetty didn't want to come to the Bridge because she knew that people wouldn’t need her here the way they did on the mortal side.  When she arrived, she was thrilled to feel healthy again, but since life on the mortal side is perfect, her thirst to help went would go unsated. 

I wanted Hetty to be happy, so I made her in charge of minion rehab.  Minions are souls who die, but their misdeeds on Earth stops them from being an angel.  They serve as our minions until they learn their lessons and earn Angel status.  Sometimes they need help along the way, and now they have Hetty to help them.

I am sure we will have fewer minions soon, and that is awesome

Thursday, April 23, 2020

River Finally Gets out to the Garden

We waited all winter for spring to arrive:  The day the warm air chases the cold away, causing it to retreat until it mounts an October resurgence. Once the warm air enters, everything opens up, like a million tulip buds.  We thought spring had arrived in mid-March when temperatures rose to the mid-sixties, but the cold air snuck back in with a vengeance, as did the nasty virus, and everything that should have opened closed down.

    All winter long Pocket and I have been planning our gardens.  We had prepared for prolonged cold rain, late-season snow, and flooding, but not for a pandemic that would stop Mommy from being able to elbow other people out of the way to buy the best flowers at the greenhouse. 

    The good news is that we won’t need to buy flowers until the end of May. The ones that fill up our early spring gardens are annuals planted long ago.  We can always count on them.  They are tough little buggers.  Not even a skiff of snow last weekend can slow them down. 

Our first garden day was three weeks ago.  It was the warmest of the three workdays we had this spring.  Mommy cleaned out the front garden, Daddy raked and mowed the back lawn, which for some reason was three times as high as the front.  My parents lined the driveway, and the edges of the gardens, with solar lights.  It helps Mom and Dad find their way home at night, but I always worry that a confused pilot is going to try and land his jet on our small strip of tar.

The second garden day was on the following Tuesday.  It was the most productive session we had, even though it was cold and wet outside.  Mommy vacuumed the patio and began cleaning out the massive front garden while Daddy mowed the lawn, and then went to work on the grass in the back.  Last fall, he dug up the dead spots, and spread seed, but he did not use enough sod on the places he repaired, so the yard was filled with divots that we spent the winter stumbling over.  He had to dig it up again and make sure the sod was level with the ground.  Meanwhile, Mommy began pulling weeds out of the front garden, by the bucket full.  If only we could grow grass in the backyard like we grow weeds in the front garden.   

  Monday was what they call around these parts, "Patriot's Day."  It is when the Red Sox play a home game at 11:00 AM, and runners compete in the Marathon.  None of those things happened this year, because of the virus making the day just like any other in a string of cold, wet days, which made people unable to go out even if it was legal.

   My parents didn’t work in the yard for long.  It is no fun to toil in a spring garden on a cold, raw day.  At the end of our brief garden day, Daddy put out the rest of the decorations, including Saint Anthony, in the hope that once back in the garden, he would bring spring, and cure everything that ails this country.

We had big plans for our gardens and the world this spring.  Forty-eight hours later the wind had blown Saint Anthony facedown in the garden.  Oh, Lord.  2020 killed Saint Anthony.  We are screwed.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Monday, April 20, 2020

Monday Question

A question about your parents? 

Did any of them play an organized sport or have a special talent when they were young.

Pocket: Neither of my parents is especially talented.  Daddy played a little bit of basketball way back in the day.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Boris Karloff's Final Journey

This is not a story about me, but to tell it accurately, I have to begin by letting you know that I am in a bit of hot water with the Angel Authorities because I have written so much about mortal dogs borrowing heartbeats and scheming to keep themselves with their parents longer than they were scheduled to be that the practice is becoming more prevalent.  If anyone thinks I am going to stop, they are mistaken. I would give up my outstanding looks if I could give a parent one more day with their pup.  

 No one knew the importance of one more day than my friend Boris Karloff.  In 2017 his brother Tupper became extremely ill and was having seizures. He had fought the dark angels, whose job it was to claim dogs for the Bridge, as much as he could.
While Tupper was struggling, his brother Max began limping. It didn’t seem to be serious, but when she didn’t respond to treatments, the vet took more tests and determined Max had bone cancer.   Tupper and Max passed over within days of one another, breaking their parent's hearts. Boris bared witness to his parents’ pain. He knew if he passed to the Bridge, they would relive that devastation. 

There are a few moments more frightening for pet parents than when a dog has a seizure.  It is like their precious baby is being possessed by an evil entity. Usually, the seizures are a harbinger of an upcoming passing—parents who go through it once never want to do it again.  But, Boris’ parents weren’t spared further pain. Boris, like Tupper, began having them suddenly, and without warning To his parents, it was like they were reliving Tupper’s seizures, and they could not believe they were going through this torture again.

There has never been a worse time for a dog to take ill than now when the world has turned upside down.  Parents always promise their dogs that they will be with them through whatever medical ordeal they are facing. Still, until the disease is eradicated, precious pets have to be passed through a car window to a vet tech like they are the product in an illicit drug deal.  Poor Boris was trembling, perhaps from fear, or the illness, or the fear that this could be their last moment together. It was at that point, Boris swore that no matter what, he would not let their story end like he was a Big Mac at the drive-thru.

After his initial diagnosis, Boris held out for four days. He tried very hard to battle his deteriorating body and give his parents some good days during the worst of times.  On Sunday, his parents gave him permission to stop fighting and join his brother and brother. They promised him that, while they would be devastated they would go on because that is what all their angels wanted.

Boris got a massive ovation as he climbed the steps to join the angels at Doggyspace.  He had been friends with hundreds of angels during his mortal life, and they were all there, led by Max and Tupper, who started the applause, and were incredibly proud of how Boris behaved in his last few days, and how he lived for his parents.

Boris took to being an angel in no time and now the three angels are working against tremendous odds to bring their parents' comfort.  We wish they could see their three babies together like when they were young and full of life. That is one of the rewards waiting for them when they finish their long journey through the mortal world.
Having three strong angels isn’t as good having three healthy pups, but in this world, we need all the angels we can get, and Momma Pam has three of the best.

We know it isn’t nearly enough, but we hope it brings her heart some comfort.

Friday, April 17, 2020

From the Desk of Foley Monster: The Story of Abby Which Starts out Sad and Turns Out Happy

I am in charge of monitoring mortal human moods across the world, and when they get too low, I find a happy rescue story to lift their spirits.  Today, more than ever, one of these stories is needed
    This is a tale about Abby.  She had a home, a mom, and a dad.  But the dad, an army veteran, with several tattoos, and who projected an off-putting appearance, was deeply troubled.  One day, he approached strangers, acting extremely agitated, with his uncared for hound on a leash, begging for someone to take the dog.

    He saw a man park his car by the town hall and approached the driver, who he stood head and shoulders above. The man began yelling, and the driver could not understand what the man was saying.  The driver looked down at the cowering dog. He got down on one knee and called for the dog. She didn’t move.

The man grabbed the hound by its fur and yanked her up to his shoulders.  He then began to spin around. The dog trembled. Just before they both crashed to the ground, the driver caught them.  He opened the back hatch of his Prius. The dog jumped in, and the man ran off. The driver looked at the dog, then got in his car, and brought Abby home. 

As the driver left the scene, his car filled with the smell of the dog poop mixed with pee and spoiled roadkill.  When the driver got home, he parked in his garage and closed the door. He opened the hatch, and the dog got out. She stood on the garage floor, trembling. Her hair was matted and hung off her like thick, dirty ropes.  She had seeds, thorns, and dried leaves attached to her. She could not be coaxed into the house, preferring the safety of the garage. The driver decided to let her be. As day turned to night, the dog finally came inside, drank a bowl of water, sniffed around the house, and settled on the living room floor at the foot of the driver’s recliner. 

That night, the agitated man who surrendered the dog to the driver killed a woman shaking the small town where they lived to its core.  The woman, who needed a walker to maneuver, had just opened the door when she was gunned down. The last business the man did before the killing was surrendering his dog.  Who knows what the dog had seen, been through, or why the man needed to surrender the dog before he killed? The only thing the driver knew was that what happened was not the dog’s fault, and in whatever amount of time the dog had left, she would be loved as much as any dog alive.  

It took a lot of love and coaxing, but soon the dog, who was named Abby, became part of the family.  She is smart and sweet. She never has accidents in the house. She has a big yard filled with sunny spots where she loves to spend her day.  She watches the comings and goings of her people and their visitors. At night she snuggles with the driver, who is now her dad, in his recliner, where she licks and snores intermittently.

  She sleeps at the foot of her parent's bed. Some nights she wakes up barking, and her parents wonder if she is remembering something or scaring off some unseen threat. She has befriended all six of her parents’ grandchildren and gotten lots of hugs.

Was there angel involvement in getting Abby away from that terrible home and to a stable one?  Maybe. But the star of this piece is Abby, who has put all the evil behind her and is living her best life.

I hope we all will be soon.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

ISO Olympics, Remembering Foley and Pocket in the Two Dog Bob Sled


 In order of Olympics Day, we got back to 2010 when Foley competed in the Bobsled. 

Bob Papa: I’m Bob Papa, hello, and welcome to Vancouver Canada, where it’s 76 degrees, sunny, and the Italian Ice concessions are now selling Slushies.
Lewis Johnson: And I’m Lewis Johnson, here to bring you the finals of the Bobsled competition and to remind everyone who is coming out to see the event live, bring sunscreen and one of those mini fans because it’s hot out here.

Bob Papa: This year, we have a first for the Winter Olympics.

Lewis Johnson: Synchronized swimming on the speed skating track.

Bob Papa: No, from the nation called, I believe, The Tanner Brigade, two dogs, Foley Monster and Pocket Dog, have been given a bye and will be competing in the finals of the Bobsled.

Lewis Johnson: It says here this Tanner Brigade is an online community. I was unaware they were allowed in the games.

Bob Papa: They weren’t until it was discovered that Liechtenstein is actually a Facebook group for Affenpinscher lovers. That opened the door to other online communities.

Lewis Johnson: Let’s go down to former Olympian John Morgan with the brave dogs.

John Morgan: Thank you, Lewis, let me just put down my Pina Colada and Parasol. I am here with Foley Monster and Pocket Dog, the two members of the Tanner Brigade Bobsled team. Now have either of you ever operated a bobsled before?

Foley Monster: No, sir, I just Googled dog and sports, and it said sled, so I knew this was the sport for me.

Pocket: Well first, she tried the biathlon, but she shot our neighbor.

Foley Monster: That reminds me, get well soon, Tommy!

John Morgan: You do realize that in a dog sled, you pull the sled but in a bobsled, you ride in it?

Foley Monster: That’s the great part. All we have to do is ride.

John Morgan: Foley, I think you should understand…..

Bob Papa: Sorry to interrupt your John but we have a breaking story, US Olympic ski medallist winner Lindsay Vonn had her leg crushed by a drunken Zambezi driver in the parking lot at the training facility.

Lewis Johnson: Olympic officials are saying that the accident was not caused by the drunken Zamboni driver but by walker’s error.

Bob Papa: That’s correct Lewis, just because Lindsay is an Olympic athlete doesn’t mean she can adequately walk in a parking lot.

Lewis Johnson: Especially around a cocked Zamboni driver.

Bob Papa: I know there has been a lot of criticism of the Vancouver Olympics but remember the Daytona 500 was held up because of a pot hole so no city is immune from errors when putting on a major sporting event.

Lewis Johnson: So come to Vancouver, the Daytona of the Northwest.

Bob Papa: And, given the weather this week, they should have a bumper orange crop this winter.

Lewis Johnson: Well it looks like Foley and Pocket are getting ready for their run.

Bob Papa: Pocket will be pushing and Foley driving.

Lewis Johnson: Pocket is digging her little paws in, and I think she’s got it going.

Bob Papa: And they’re off. Foley and Pocket have allowed us to mike them for this ride so let’s take a listen.

Foley: Weee, this is great.

Pocket: OK, we’ve got a turn coming up, make sure you steer into it.

Foley: Steer, how do you steer?

Pocket: I thought you studied on line last night.

Foley: I was going to but I ended up talking to Hattie Mae all night.

Pocket: Look out for the turn.

Foley and Pocket; AIIIEEEEEEEEEEE.

Bob Papa: Well the Tanner Brigade team is making great time.

Lewis Johnson: They are, but there seems to be some yellow liquid discharge coming from the back.

Bob Papa: That looks like pee.

Lewis Johnson: If anyone knows pee it’s Papa. And now there is something brown.

Bob Papa: Papa know poo too.

Lewis Johnson: I think this is great stratergy by the Tanner Brigade team to lessen the weight in the sled.

Bob Papa: Either that or they are scared shitless.

Lewis Johnson: Let’s listen in to them.

Foley Monster: Hit the brake, hit the brake

Pocket: What’s a brake?

Foley Monster: Do something besides peeing and pooping.

Pocket: At least I did that weeeeee

Lewis Johnson: Ooops Pocket just got thrown from the sled.

Bob Papa: Well this isn’t the fault of the Olympic Committee at all.

Lewis Johnson: Well I can see why they call her Pocket Rocket, look at her fly.

Bob Papa: Foley, going solo, goes high into the turn, comes down, and Pocket lands right in her lap.

Lewis Johnson: Let’s take a listen.

Pocket: Holy vick I could see Russia.

Foley: Get off of me I can’t see to steer

Pocket: You haven’t been steering this whole time.

Foley: Oh my God the wall Holy mother of Lassie we’re going to die!

Lewis Johnson: High in the turn, they’re coming down, and now they’re crossing the finish line, and a new world record.

Bob Papa: Incredible, and look they’re not stopping, they’re going right over the wall.

Lewis Johnson: And they seem to be landing, oh, right on Lindsay Vonn’s Subaru.

Bob Papa: Not the fault of the folks here in Vancouver at all.

Lewis Johnson: But I think they’re all right. They are being swarmed by the other Olympians.

(A half hour later Foley and Pocket are awarded the gold medal and the Tanner Brigade anthem begins to play.)

O Tanner Bub!
Our home and Yellow Lab!
True canine love in all thy dogs command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
To bark loud strong and free!
From far and wide, O Tanner Bub,
We boot up our computer for thee.
Tanner keep our site glorious and private!
O Canada, we boot up our computer for thee
O Canada, we boot up our computer for thee

Pocket Invents the Real Yorkie Face Mask

I have come up with the most fabulous idea.  Because I am under quarantine, I can’t market it to the mortal world, which is unfortunate because I told the Shark Tank about it via email, and all of them wanted to invest.  The dolphin and swordfish tanks were interested too, but if you're going to make money, you have to have a shark. If someone markets my idea, they promise to help. It will help humans and Yorkies also. My idea is the Yorkie facemask
    And not just a facemask with a picture of a Yorkie on it, which would be awesome, but not the true perfection that is my intention.  I have invented a way to use a living Yorkie as a mask. It will protect you even more than wearing a frog on your head. 

    There are several different ways to wear a Yorkie that protects you from the virus.  If a Yorkie has a big fluffy tail, she can sit on your shoulder and cover your mouth with a simple wag.  Once this method of using a Yorkie mask becomes popular, then maybe humans will stop the hideous practice of docking Yorkie tails.

    Yorkies with tails are as rare as a cure for the virus, so I had to come up with other methods for implementing the Yorkie facemask.  The easiest way is also the most taxing for humans, and that is to hold the little dog up to your mouth to protect it.  

I have developed several other methods, as well.  You can loosely wrap a scarf around your head and then put the Yorkie in it.  She can snuggle right next to your mouth, and you can freely breathe without the threat of dropping dead a few minutes later.   A person can get a head sock four sizes too large and shove their Yorkie in it and pull it over their mouth. If your dog is calmer than the average Yorkie, you can put their right legs behind your ears and balance them on your chin.  Or, you can use the mug on the muff method and bury your face in Yorkie naughty.

There are so many advantages to having a Yorkie mask.  Since we do not get sick, even if we get the virus, we not only block the vicious droplets spit, but we suck them up like Spock absorbing radiation in “The Wrath of Khan.”  We also can sharpen our abilities as anti-social networking dogs by using our three great powers: Farts, surprise peeing, and an evil growl, to scare off anyone who is sick, or an insurance salesman. 

I know that there are other breeds that would like to help their parents the same way, but we are uniquely suited for the job.  Other small breeds like chihuahuas don’t have the hair that we do, and English Sheepdogs are too big and hot to wear.  

So before you go out, strap on a Yorkie.  You will be safe and stylish.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Beat This Caption

Heard you built a robot dog.  Well, guess what I built!  How's it feel now! Not too good does it.   

Monday, April 13, 2020

Monday Question

What have you missed the most since the virus began?

Pocket  We miss going up to strangers on the streets and getting lots of attention.  Now we just bark at them. 

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Little Girl Lost and Lucy Too

We get lots of requests from dogs who are lost.  We angels work together to get them home then we watch their joyful reunion with their parents.  This week we got a prayer request from a lost girl named Lucy, but this case had a twist.  

Lucy said she was on a walk exploring woods in Alabama and had gots separated from her nanny. It didn’t sound like Lucy had gone far, and we thought it would be an easy retrieval:  Then she told us the bad part. She had a little girl human with her. 

We dogs are rarely called to find missing humans.  There is a whole human-angel department for that. But, we recognized this was an urgent case, and we could not wait for a referral.  If someone was going to save this little girl and her dog, it had to be us.  
Evelyn Sides, who goes by the name Vadie, was walking with Lucy and her caretaker through the woods in Loachapoka, Alabama.  Lucy must have some mighty strong legs because somehow, she outpaced her adult and became lost.  

Lucy barked, and Vadie yelled for the nanny, but she didn’t answer.  That is why when you are hiring a nanny; you need to hire a Poppins. When they lose a kid, they just open their umbrella, do a grid search of the area and find the kid.   Vadie’s nana was no Poppins.

I flew down to meet with Lucy.  I asked her how long she had been lost, and Lucy told me that it had been more than a day.  Lucy and the girl had become separated when Vadie slipped down a small waterfall. The first night Lucy spent using her sniffer to find Vadie, and then snuggled with her for warmth.  Then they began to pray to the human angels, but they were overwhelmed with the virus. That left it up to the dogs.
When the frantic nanny returned to the home, she had to start the hardest conversation a caretaker can have:  The one where you tell a mother that you lost her four-year-old daughter in the woods because you couldn’t keep up with her.  That sparked hundreds of search and rescue workers, volunteers, and K9 unit officers, including helicopters, to search the area looking for the missing duo.  The forest was very overgrown and difficult to search. Some dog angel intervention was needed.  

We tried to help the search and rescue workers to find Vadie, but it was getting dark, and there was too much undergrowth.  We angels formed a protective circle around the pair to make sure no wild animals bothered them as they spent a second night in the woods.  The next morning, after we had visited the dreams of the rescue works, they found Vaide and Lucy huddled together.  

Despite being slightly dehydrated Vaide was fine, as was brave Lucy who never deserted her little charge.  By that night, everyone was safely inside, and the great Vaide’s adventure was over. 

We dogs were happy to step in to save a little girl while the human angels were otherwise occupied.  If we may share an idea: Make Lucy the nanny.
She didn’t lose Lucy, and she works for food.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Foley and the Easter Bunny in the Time of Covid-19

I don’t know how he ended up in Doggyspace Town Square.  He was slumped in the gazebo, with a bottle of carrot water at his feet.  There were colored eggs scattered on the floor. He was talking in his sleep.  “Washed up, I’m washed up, I am.”

 I jumped on to the bench next to him and licked his hand.  “Mr. Bunny?” I said softly. “Are you okay, Mr. Bunny?”

He woke up with a jerk of his head.  He saw me, and despite being five times my size, he began to tremble.  “Don’t hurt my little dog,” he said.

I’m not going to hurt you,” I said, putting a paw on his arm.  “I hadn’t harmed a rabbit since I got to the Bridge unless you count a few random, non-Lutheran words uttered at them when they raided my garden.  “Mr. Bunny,” I said softly, shaking his arm to rouse him from his self-pity. “Tell me what I can do.”

He smiled.  “First, you can call me by my given name, Easter.  I am upset because I have spent the past year making special eggs for everyone, and now because of the virus, I can’t get into their houses.”

This damn virus.  It’s always the fictional rabbits who suffer the most  Harvey is in isolation, Peter is going hungry because Mr. McGregor can’t plant his garden. Rabbit is in the 1,000 Acre Woods Psychiatric hospital with nervous exhaustion.  They are the silent victims of this disease.  

But the Easter Bunny had the more pressing problem.  The holiday was right around the corner, and there were children waiting for their chocolates and eggs.  What we needed was an Easter Miracle. Everyone raves about Christmas miracles, but no one pays any attention to Easter Miracles except, you know, for the first really big one.
I asked the Easter Bunny if he was sure he couldn’t still bring his eggs and goodies to the children.  “I did a trial run in upstate New York last week,” Easter explained. “Governor Cuomo came after me in a tank and demanded I get off the street.  I told him I was the Easter Bunny, and he said, ‘sure, and I am Santa Claus now go home.’ I don’t think he’s Santa. If he were, everyone would be leaving pasts and cannolis at Christmas and not cookies.“    

This was a conundrum.  I laid on the seat and thought about the problem for a long time.  Suddenly, I got gobsmacked by an idea. “People have to be off the street, but not dogs!” I barked excitedly.  “We could deliver the treats!” My fluffy tail wagged excitedly.

“How are we going to get the treats to the dogs?” the Easter Bunny asked.  

I said I could ask Santa if we could use his sleigh. “No way!” the Easter Bunny said.  “I am not working with that tank, driving Bastardo!” There wasn’t enough time to explain away the confusion. Then I had another idea.

“The only other souls allowed on the street are Amazon drivers.  You ship the eggs to our houses by Maundy Saturday, and our dogs will deliver the eggs,” I said, happy I had solved the problem.

“Maundy Saturday, what the hell is that?”

 I didn’t have time to teach something to the Easter Bunny. He really should have known anyway.  I had to work all night to get all the eggs mailed. On Easter Eve, the dogs will slip out of the house and deliver the treats.  It will be a real Easter Miracle.

And maybe, someday, children will wait up Maundy Saturday night for Foley the Easter Puppy to arrive. 

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Pocket Investigates the Origins of the Virus

I am getting more suspicious about this virus. Things are working out too well for us dogs.  The latest development is that the Shenzhen province in China has banned the hideous selling of dogs for food.  It is something that we have fought for years. Now, thanks to the virus, that dream has become a reality.

    Most of our parents are home for the vast majority of the time. The shelters are emptying because humans are in desperate need for companionship. People, desperate to get out of the house, are taking us for more walks.  Humans have noticed and are commenting about our good fortune in the time of misfortune. Now I am worried about a backlash. 

    At first, I thought that it was merely a coincidence, but there is just too much good happening for us.  But then I began to think: Maybe we dogs were being set up. Rumor is that the virus was begun by someone who ate a bat.  Was this the bat’s revenge against us? And why were the bats mad? I put on my Inspector Pocket hat and decided to investigate.

    Bats are just as disgusting.  They live in these disgusting caves along the river bank.  I walked in gingerly. I saw a thousand bats swoop at me. I almost peed myself.  I swung my paw in self-defense and hit one. “What’s the big idea?” he asked. 

    I asked him why they started the virus.  At first, he claimed ignorance, but then he admitted that the bats were paid off to do it.  They have never cared about people. When was the last time you heard of someone cuddling with a bat?  He said that they made a deal with rats, who agreed to bring fruit to the mortal bats in exchange for starting the virus.   He had no information about why rats wanted to infest humans with a deadly disease. I had to now go to a place even worse than a bat cave:  The rat hole.  

I traveled to Big City. I didn't like it there. Things moved too quickly.  I went down to the subway and found the rat hole. It smelled terrible. I begged a piece of pizza from a nice lady and then laid the slice outside the rat hole. When one of the rats came out, I put a box over him.  He was one angry rodent. I said he could go free if he told me why he paid off the bats to infect the humans with a terrible illness. He said it was the squirrels’ idea. Squirrels! I knew it. When I asked what the rats got out of the deal, he said, “just laughs.  We’re like that. That’s why they call us rats.”

I wanted to smack the rat but I had bigger fish to fry.  I found some squirrels in the park. I chased one and grabbed it by the tail.  I shook it until it told me why they created the virus. He said they did it to make humans mad at us, and then the tree rats would take our place as man’s best friend.  The squirrel told me they had overestimated human intelligence. People had yet to falsely deduce that we dogs had benefited so much from the illness that we must have been the ones to start it.

It was a wicked plan that only the squirrels could conceive of, but it was unsuccessful because humans know we would never think of such a scheme.  The squirrels are paying for their choice. Because of social distancing, no one is going to the park to feed them, and after the humans overcome the disease, no one will be slowing the car down to avoid the furry tailed rats on the road either.

Thirty days to slow the virus, then sixty miles an hour to kill the squirrels.  Sweet revenge will come one day.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Monday Question

Do you have bad breath?
Do you get anything to combat it if you do?
Have you ever had dental work done?

 Pocket:  Neither one of us have had bad breath since we were puppies.   We used to get our teeth brushed but it freaked us out so now we have something added to the water.  I have had two cleanings and several extractions.  River still has a virgin mouth.  She has never had a dental.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Lola Joins Her Pack at Rainbow Bridge

First came Fudge, then Sebastian and Noah, followed by Tess.  This week Lola joined them. A year ago, all these members of the Portuguese Water Dog pack were living in the mortal world with their parents; now, they are here at the Bridge.  In this time of terrible suffering, the Water Dog Blog pack has been hit with tragedy after tragedy, yet they are still standing.

    Every dog leaves their parents with a gift.  I left my parents with good humor and creativity.  The Portuguese Dog clan had grown up together.  They were a beautiful sight to behold.  But, they knew that they would all be leaving for the Bridge at the same time, so they gave their parents much-needed strength to get through another heartbreaking loss.

    Lola’s parents represent the resilience all humans have developed over the centuries.  Their race has been knocked down and picked themselves up repeatedly from horrible wars, plagues, epidemics and pandemics, and the worst that they could imagine doing to one another.   The Portuguese War Dog pack parents have experienced each pet’s passing like it was a body blow that knocked them down. I marvel at parents who lose one pup a year and keep on pushing forward. I have no idea how anyone could lose five. But, they did.

    I check on my friends as much as I can.  The last time I saw Lola, she was suffering from alopecia X that caused her to lose a lot of her coat, especially from the back end.  I flew a prayer up the mountain, asking that she be cured of this disease and return to normal. Three days later Lola couldn't get up.  Her feet and her legs didn't work. She was put on a pillow but was still confused and frightened. Her parents decided to give her use of her legs again, and ease her confusion, by sending her to the Bridge.   If I had known, I would have continually delivered prayers for Lola. I don’t know if it would have done a bit of good. As Lola’s parents have learned, sometimes the day a dog breathes its last earthly breath is written and cannot be changed.  

    Fudge, Sebastion, Fudge, and Tess knew that Lola was going to arrive before I did.  When I got a summons to swear her in at the top of the stairs that rise from the Bridge, the foursome was already there.  I guess when you live with a dog for long enough, you learn all their secrets, including their last one. As Lola approached, we could see the pain on her face that she felt leaving her parents and the other pack members, but also the excitement to be with her angel family once more.   Dogs experience a lot of emotions on those stairs. That is why they are there. It gives a dog time to think and reflect after crossing the Bridge but before entering the immortal world.  

    The Portuguese Water Dog Pack had a joyous reunion.  This was the fourth dog from the pack that Fudge had greeted in the immortal world, and he had become an expert in acclimating a pup to the next life.  The five dogs gathered together in a furry huddle, and Fudge barked at all of them, reminding them that no matter where they were, they were a pack, and there was nothing stronger than that.  

    The Water Dog Pack has five angel members. Five angels are a sign that a change has begun. We pray that change is for good The Water Dog Pack, their parents, and the world has suffered enough in the past months.  We are due for some good. Hopefully, the Five Angels can do that.

    The world surely needs it.

    And maybe it would help to make some sense of all the heartache the pack has endured.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Jubilee Finds Her Beauty

It is time for a story with a happy ending.  This one is about a Siberian Husky named Jubilee.  Her first owner wasn’t a true dog person. If the owner were, he wouldn’t have surrendered Jubilee because, in his opinion, Jubilee looked “weird.”  This was the second time Jubilee had been abandoned. Her breeder did so the first time because she thought Jubilee’s strange looks would make her impossible to sell. 

For two years, Jubilee waited in a shelter.  Some people laughed at her. Others were scared of her.  No one wanted to adopt her. A rescue group, Husky House, shared a picture of her on their Facebook page.  The photo was accompanied by a heartbreaking caption: “I wish I were beautiful, so someone would want me to be their dog.”

I don’t know if it was Jubilee's unique look, how the post was written, or maybe there was a little help from the angels, but suddenly everyone saw the post.  It was shared more than 47,000 times and drew 23,000 comments.  

Even though Jubilee had earned a lot of attention, it did not translate into applications.  Husky House shared this on Facebook.  

Jubilee’s crossed eyes were caused by a congenital issue that affected her eyelids.  She was examined at the South Brunswick Animal Hospital in New Jersey. The problem was purely cosmetic.  Husky House sent Jubilee to a groomer to make her look gorgeous and then took her to an adoption day.  

A family who had found a forever dog through Husky House previously met Jubilee and knew she would be a perfect fit for their pack.  But, even in her new home, Jubilee did not forget her friends who rescued her. Her face appears on a Husky House t-shirt. Purchases of the shirt have raised over $2,000 for the rescue.  

 Jubilee’s story is awesome, but I have been trying to temper some of the enthusiasm about her.  Everyone finds Jubilee cute, but if she catches the eye of breeders, they could start creating dogs with special features that were considered drawbacks but would become attributes, the way that mixed breeds dogs have become.  I don’t want to see any cross-eyed huskies, drop footed Lasha’s, hair lipped Doberman or flat-footed greyhounds. The American way usually goes is hideous, to cute, to profit.  

Through all of this, what has bothered Jubilee the most, was that she never knew what made her different from other dogs.  We animals don’t do mirrors. We instinctively think that the mirrored reflection is another dog, and we bark at it. If we are missing a leg, or walk funny, we know it.  But Jubilee didn’t know until she saw her face on a t-shirt that she looked any different than the other dog. When she finally did see her face, she didn’t know what the fuss was about.  She thought she was beautiful.

    We would have to agree.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

River Writes About Trying to Raise Parents in the Time of Covid-19

My parents have been trying to adjust to the new normal.  They are home a lot. Two dogs can be in the same room all day with no conflict, but for humans, it is different.  This is the curse of talking. People think it is an advantage, but it is not. Dogs have one opinion: It is woof.  People have a million different opinions, and many of them conflict with their housemates. When you are inside for days on end, these conflicts keep building up until one day someone says something, and the other starts wondering how they are going to survive locked up with someone as dumb as their partner.  They say something and bang: It’s on. Things get loud, and everything in my body turns to water. It is always the Yorkie that suffers. It is like being in prison, but you don’t have to cook or clean in prison. That’s a big advantage for the prisoners. People should stick to woof.

Being home all day with nothing to do does make our parents understand us better.  We bark when we see or think we see something, in the hope that the monotony of the day will be broken.  My parents used to tell me to stop barking at nothing. Now, if they think they hear something outside, they stand up and run to the window, yelling, “someone is here!  Someone is here!” It is often just a squirrel. My parents bark at it to get out of their yard.  
We used to bark just a happy hello to the delivery men who leave things on our porch.  Now, when they arrive, our parents are twice as excited as we ever were. They run to the window and tap on the glass.  “Would you like a cup of coffee?” they ask. “Or a piece of cake?” The delivery men shake their heads. “Don’t leave us!”  our parents yell. “Talk to us! Tell us about your day! What is it like out there! Don’t go!” It is sad, pathetic.  

One day this week, the doorbell rang.  River and I go crazy when the doorbell rings, but nothing like my parents did.  They both jumped up and began dancing around. “Someone is here! Someone is here!” they shouted.  “We are going to get to talk to someone who isn’t you,” they yelled at the same time. They excitedly ran to the door.  No one was there. Then the doorbell rang again. They looked at one another, confused. I didn’t have the heart to tell them it was just the TV.  

Our parents are so hard to manage when we take them for walks.  We make sure there is no one walking on the same side of the street as we are so they don’t come within six feet of anyone.  When my parents do see people, they start yelling at them and pulling on the leash to get to the humans. We have to dig our little paws in the dirt to keep from getting dragged across the street.  If not, they would break free and begin to jump on the people and lick their faces, a big social distancing no-no.  

With each passing day, it is getting harder for we dog to keep these wild humans at bay.  They are so annoying with their running, their anxiety, their jumping every time they hear a sound, their food guarding, their leash pulling, and their chasing squirrels like the furry little creature will be their last meal.

I don’t know if I can last much longer.  These untamable dogs humans are driving me crazy

Wordless Wednesday