Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Beat This Caption

The next time you wonder why I pee on the floor think of this moment and ask yourself why you had to take a picture before you rescued me.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

I Will Follow You Into the Dark

Amico, a brown dachshund, from Italy, borrowed all the heartbeats he could, and fought off the Bridge Dementors who were determined to bring him to the Bridge with every ounce of energy, until, as is true with all of us, finally he had to submit, and pass on to the immortal side.

Amico, for many years, lived with his mother and father.   They were two senior citizens with little to do but dote on their loving little boy.  They were a close pack of happy thieves.  But, illness caught up with his dad, and a year ago, he went to the Bridge, leaving his wife and dog with only one another.

If you had to choose a time to leave the mortal world last year was perfect.  The past six months have been a disaster movie with no ending.   Amico and his mom Marie, who was unable to leave the house,  spent every minute together.  They would have anyway, but it is different when you have no choice. Amico and Marie were also getting old simultaneously, and they hoped that they would go at the same time, but life is rarely fair in that manner.

During the pandemic, Amico began to take ill.  Marie had promised him she would always be his side, and if he went to the vet, because of government restrictions, they would be separated.   Marie knew Amico and could tell her baby was very sick.  If he entered the vet’s, she doubted she would see him again.  Also, she was having breathing issues and had no stamina. The end was near for both of them.  When the end came, they would face it as they had lived for the last dozen-plus years.  Together.  

Secretly, Marie wished to go first.  Amico would not understand what happened if she passed first. Also, she knew Amico’s father, Anthony would be on the immortal side waiting for him.  Marie thought that she could handle being alone better than Amico could.

Marie lay next to Amico in their bed and whispered to him, “fly away to God’s celestial shore.”  Little Amico breathed his last.  That is when I, with Anthony next to me, saw Amico standing on the other side of the Bridge.  As happy as Amico was to see his father again, he would not cross.  His Dad walked down the steps, and they spoke from opposite sides of the Bridge.  Anthony told him if he didn’t cross, Amico would become a ghostly spirit sentenced to walk the Earth unseen for eternity.  When Anthony came back alone, I was afraid of the dog’s soul.  But, Anthony repeated to me what Amico had told him.  He was waiting for his mom, who would be there presently.

If a story is happy or sad, it depends on how you interpret it.  I call it the cereal box theory.  If you look on one side, you see the name of the cereal and the logo.  On the other side, you see games, jokes, riddles, and pictures.  It is the same box, but the perspective is different.  When days passed, a strange smell seeped from inside Maria’s house, and her neighbors gained access, they found Maria in her bed, expired, her body curled around Amico, who they determined died a short time before her.  It was seen as a tragic story of a broken-hearted woman who couldn’t go on without her dog.

But, at Rainbow Bridge, we saw Maria, looking young again, running to catch up with Amico, and then crossing the Bridge with him, where Anthony, now young as well, waited with open arms.  They met for a long, lovely hug that left us all in tears. 

For we angels, it was a beautiful reunion.  On the mortal side, people were sad that Maria had died alone from a broken heart with no one to mourn her.  Conversely, that meant Maria, Antony and Amcio left no one behind and could move directly to Happily Ever After, where they would never encounter another sorrowful moment.    If something tragic happens, look to the sky, try to see the clouds from both sides, and remember behind them is the sun.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Pocket Gives a Tour of Our Gardens

It is nearly the end of the most stressful June Tiananmen Square and I decided it would be the proper time to write a garden report.  It has been a tough year for delicate flowers.  Spring arrived late, and the perennials are a few weeks behind.   Almost all the flowers Mommy planted after her first foray to the greenhouse didn’t take.  Trying to make the world beautiful has proved a greater task than ever before

One thing that had grown this year without hindrance is various families of weeds that are threatening to take over the garden and bring both my parents to their knees, mostly to pray, but while they are down there, to attempt ripping up the hideous vegetation including an especially stubborn growth that may be bind wood, a determined weed that roots deep in the ground then spreads like gonorrhea at Mama June’s family reunion barbeque.  

    We have lived in our current home for eleven years.  My parents liked the gardens when they moved in.  Over the years they have expanded all of them tripling their size.  When they are battling the weeds they curse the expansion the way the United States does whenever anyone acts up west of the Mississippi.  But, people need to spread and create.  We never want to make more.  Except for holes.  

    We will start our tour by the light post where the clematis has bloomed beautifully this year.

 It usually climbs to the top of the pole, but the sign with our family name and street number on it rotted off the front of the house, so we have to keep the plant from climbing over the number, which is how I like it, because I am close to the ground and can smell it.  

    In front of the house is what we cleverly call the “front garden.”  We added a new little white wagon this year.  My parents wanted to take a picture of me in it, but thankfully it was filled with flowers, before I was subject to that humiliation.  We have some pretty flowers in the center of the garden too.  I took a side view picture too.

    Across from that, and running the entire length of the driveway, is the side garden.  Every season kept getting bigger until last year, when the entire area became a garden.  Their neighbor on that side grows nothing but crabgrass, which spread to their yard and drove my parents crazy. That is why they made it all garden, and have been weeding fools ever since.  In that garden are two different types of littles and daisies.

    The front garden has been a struggle this year.  All the flowers that were originally purchased did not take.  We had to plant new flowers in the bicycle planter and near the front of the garden. We think we finally have found the flowers to make our window boxes beautiful.


Here is a picture of our front wall window box which has done nicely.  The bird on the right of the box is purely decorative.  Above that is the hanging plant that has done spectacularly, and behind that is the balloon that Foley made and I floated away in eleven years ago.  Some of you who have been with us for the long haul may remember that story.  

    This is Foley’s Garden.  Nothing has bloomed yet.  It is a little late, but Foley is not a morning dog so we can’t expect her garden to be an early bloomer.  We put Saint Anthony in Foley’s garden because there is less wind there and Anthony is tipsy, and falls over, which always makes him cross.

    My Dad’s grandfather’s rose bush has been teasing that it will bloom for two weeks.  It looks promising, but we have learned not to count our roses before they bloom.

    To the left of the rosebush, across a strip of lawn, on the other side of the shed, is the second chance garden, where the plants that didn’t make it in the main gardens try to prove their worth.  This year’s crop looks pretty good.  I know they yearn to be back on display in the front of the house.

    Finally, I present to you the bird feeding station.  We provide them with the best food and they watch over our gardens for us.   You have to treat the birds right.

    Thank you for taking part in our tour. Our gardens always change so I am sure I will take you on another tour before the end of the year.  


Thursday, June 25, 2020

Maya Arrives at Rainbow Bridge

I loved going on walks when I was a mortal dog.  I sniffed everything I could.  I became excited when I picked up the scent of a strange animal.  Occasionally, I went for a walk in the woods, before ticks became such a threat, and I thought I smelled everything there was to sniff in the world.  I did not realize how naive I was until I arrived at the Bridge and met real dog explorers.  

    At the Bridge, dogs learn to explore.  What held us back from such endeavors as mortal dogs, were collectively entitled “The Worst That Could Happen,” and often included being sent to the Bridge prematurely.  When you arrive on the immortal side of the river, the worst that can happen as already occurred, it is very freeing. 

    I have enjoyed exploring the mountains since arriving at the Bridge.  I began to think of myself as a real expert at high elevation sniffing.  But then a friend joined me at the Bridge this week who taught me I knew nothing about living high above river level.  

    Maya lived in the Colorado mountains her entire life.  She was strong from climbing up steep rises in pursuit of exotic smells.  She has encountered moose, elk, lions, and bears.  She has blazed her way through snow four times higher than her.  She has done her business in the unimaginable cold.  When I learned about her life, I learned what a flat landed squirrel sniffer I was.    

    While Maya and I lived very different lives, they were both filled with our parents’ love.  While Mommy and I experienced a much more sedentary lifestyle, with no long hikes, beautiful nature, or extreme weather that Maya and Mama Kelly encountered, at the end of the day, when we were all safely inside sheltered from the elements inside we were equally adored.

    Being a dog surrounded by nature changes the relationship between dogs and humans.  Because they are experiencing the world together, they become partners, discovering new things, and protecting one another from the wild. It bonded Maya and Mama Kelly in a way I could never do with my parents.

    I would have thought being an outdoor dog and an explorer would make Maya immune to the ordinary diseases that lay us low, but this was not the case, as Maya was diagnosed with, and ultimately passed to the Bridge from, lymphoma, quite an ordinary way for such a courageous companion to pass over.  But, Maya took it in the same stride she did when she came nose to snout with a bear.  With bravery and dignity.   

    There was a lot of rain before Maya passed over shed by the people who mourned her, the most coming from her heartbroken mom.  Maya’s siblings, who preceded her to the Bridge, most of whom she only encountered in dream visits, were the first to greet her.  

    I swore my friend in as an angel and asked her where she chose to live.  “Where I am comfortable,” she said.  “In the mountains.”  

    I asked her if I could accompany her, and she agreed.  We were having a pleasant conversation on the road up into the clouds when a lion jumped in front of us.  I thought I would need a new body after this encounter, but Maya and the lion hugged like they were old friends.  She introduced me to the feline, and I hoped she didn’t know all the bad things I had said about cats before I came to the Bridge.  The lion joined us, and then we met a huge black bear.  It was another of Maya’s mountain friends. He was a fine chap and let me ride on his shoulders.  Finally, we met the biggest moose I had ever seen.  Then we came to a clearing.  We made a fire, roasted marshmallows, and talked until I fell asleep against the bear.  In the morning, Maya led me back home and told me I could join her whenever I wanted.  I plan to do so soon.

    If you talk to Maya’s mom, tell her that her baby misses her with all her heart and that she is just a little further up the mountain, and always looking over her.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Monday, June 22, 2020

Monday Question

Have your parents ever taken you to the vet because they talked themselves into believing you were sick, when, in fact, there was nothing wrong?

Pocket:  My parents took me to the vet for a growth that was a tick.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Zoe Arrives at Rainbow Bridge

Dear Sweet Mommy:  I have been fortunate to make many kitty friends since I arrived at the Bridge.  When I was mortal, I had a problematic relationship with cats.  The only ones I knew were outdoor kitties, who did not respect boundaries and would sit on my porch and taunt me.   I never met an indoor cat, which is a whole different species.  
    Now I count several house cats as my closest friends and even a couple of law-abiding outdoor kitties.  I have had the distinct pleasure of meeting Brian and his large cat pack.  He, and his siblings, have taught me to appreciate kitties’ strange and somewhat mysterious ways.  Not only are cats no longer my enemies, but they are also some of my best friends.
    That is why I traveled to cat landing, where Simon swears in the kitty’s who cross the Bridge.  Zoe, Brian’s sister, after a long battle with illness, was arriving at the Bridge, and I promised to be there to greet her and help her adjust in any way I could.  
    I often write about how dogs fight to keep from going to the Bridge.  Cats can battle just as hard.  I know there is the legend that kitties have nine lives because they survive many death-defying situations, but like all mortals, they only have so many heartbeats.  They are just stubborn when it is time to go. 
Being stubborn about going somewhere is how Zoe became part of the family.  When her dad went to the Kitten Action Team to adopt her and her sister Angel Gracie, who stood next to me while we waited, Zoe jumped over a concrete barrier signaling to her dad that she would never be a cat who agreed to go somewhere easily.  That attitude would do her well throughout her life. 
There would be many times in her life when Zoe underwent operations for hairballs and dental work.  Zoe was not blessed with a body that could tolerate anesthesia, so each time she was put under, there was a risk she would not wake up.  When the Bridge angels came to her and asked if she had enough, she jumped another wall and kept going.   
Zoe handled those minor ailments with panache, but when she contracted Stage 2 chronic kidney disease, her parents feared that she would not be able to fight off this illness as easily.  Zoe proved them wrong; her numbers rose instead of fell and were almost normal during her last test. 
As we have learned, the Bridge Angels are persistent and will keep giving their prey illnesses until she joins them.  Zoey was stricken with lymphoma, a disease that was a sign that the Dark Angels really wanted her at the Bridge.  Zoey, along with her parents, who yearned for her to be with them for every minute she could, fought together to hold off the worst effects of the illness for a long as felinely possible.  
Zoe also had diabetes, which she handled quietly.  When she was diagnosed with lymphoma, she was prescribed prednisone, which caused her numbers to spike, so she had to go on insulin.  Zoe went to the doctor last week, and when her parents got her home, they knew something was wrong.  If Zoe could have talked, she would have said she was fine, but the family knew differently. 
Knowing their girl wasn’t feeling herself, and recognizing the many years she had battled, her parents decided to let her stop.  Zoe had given every bit of her devotion.  With a heavy heart and teary eyes, they said goodbye to their little girl so she could shake off all those illnesses and feel like a newborn kitty again.  It would have surprised no one if Zoey jumped a wall trying to avoid going on her trip. But she acquiesced.  
I wish parents could see their babies cross the Bridge, to witness them running as they did in their youth, to see them breathing easily, and the smile that comes on their faces when they see the siblings who preceded them.  Zoey did all of these and more.
As soon as Gracie saw her sister, she ran to greet her. They hugged, danced, and were joined by more of their angel pack members.  Dog welcomes are very loud, with a lot of barking and howling.  Kitties are greeted by purrs.  It is enchanting.
I left before the welcoming feast.  It is always fish, and I am not a fan.  But, if my friend needs me, I will come running in barking.  We are all friends here, no matter which species it is.  I wish the same were true on the mortal side.  
Love Foley Monster

Friday, June 19, 2020

Foley Borrows a Black Butterfly Body and Learns an Important Lesson

It is the middle of June and a perfect day for me to visit my mommy on garden day as a butterfly.  I got up early.  I wanted to be the first in line at the store.  I hoped to pick out a beautiful butterfly with red and purple swirls, and some green sprinkled in.  When I got inside the store, I was thrilled to see my chosen outfit was on the rack in pristine condition.  

    I started walking to one of the changing rooms when I was stopped by a salesperson standing in front of a rack of plain back butterflies.  She asked me if I would like to try one on, and I thanked her but explained that I already had the body I wanted.

    “You don’t want to try on a black one?” she asked.

    My face scrunched up, betraying my dislike of the suggestion.  “No, thank you, I prefer my bodies to be a little more flashy,” I explained.  I tried to move onward.

    “Bland?” she remarked, offended.  She held the butterfly body up for me.  “It is simple elegance.”

    I shook my head.  “I like something that my Mommy can easily see.  A black body can meld in with the houses.  I discovered this the last time I used one.  I was right in front of her, and she couldn’t see me.  The black body will do in a pinch, but I need something Mommy can see.”

    “A pinch?”  Now I had really offended her.  “Is that what black bodies are to you,  just something to wear when there is nothing else?  Should our motto be ‘better black than naked?’  Let me ask you something, are you anti-black because black butterflies matter?”

    I was not getting out of this without getting labeled as being something I abhor.  I gave up my beautiful body and took the black one. When I checked myself in the mirror, I had to admit it was elegant.  I flew down towards my house, determined to show my mom how proud I was to have this rocking body.

    I saw two white and yellow butterflies by your hummingbird feeder, and I flew down to have a drink.  When they saw me, they took off like they heard a gunshot.  I thought that was strange, but I enjoyed the nectar.  I heard another butterfly hovering over me.  “Wouldn’t you be happier drinking out of the birdbath?” I was asked by a  Monarch.

    “No, I like it here, the nectar is really good.”  Then two other butterflies forced me off my feeding station.  I tried to wiggle back in and asked them to excuse me, but they would not budge.  How rude!”

    I flew over to where you were to say hi when two bumblebees buzzed me and forced me to land.  They demanded I give them my identification papers and were not happy that I was renting the body.  They told me I could not stay in the yard.  I insisted that this was my house, but they would not listen.  

    I flew in my mom’s direction.  I figured she would know it was me and buzz off the bees.  That is when one of them stung me in my hind parts.  It really hurt.  I began to fly around in circles and then crashed to the ground.  The body was giving out.  I had to leave, and my soul went to the River.  

    When I emerged from the river, I had my Yorkie body back.  I walked to the rental shop and sheepishly told the owner what had happened. “Don’t worry,” she said sweetly.  “It occurs all the time.  A black butterfly shows up in the yard, and inevitably someone reaches for the swatter.”

    But I did worry.  I had never been treated like that before, even when I visited as a common slug.  I was convinced that black butterflies were being tended to differently, and I would not stand for it.  

    I have gathered some friends together, and on Sunday, we are going to borrow black butterfly bodies and bombard big city parks.  We will stay there all night.  We don’t care if it makes the other insects crazy.  We have the right to live in this world, even if we are angels.

    Black butterflies are just as important, beautiful, and elegant as every other color, and if insects treat them differently, I will come back as a spider and slap them out of the sky.

    Please remember back butterflies matter.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Pocket Explains the Difference Between A Walk and a Sniff

On most days Mommy and Daddy take us for a walk, but sometimes Mommy is not up to it so she stays home.  Daddy leashes us and takes us down the end of the driveway where we begin our journey.  But, we don’t go on a walk.  We go on a sniff. 

    The difference between a walk and a sniff is that on a walk you take a lot of steps with a little sniffing in between and when you go on a sniff it is a lot of smelling with some steps in between.

    When we go on walks we stay either on or on the edge of, the road, depending on how hot the surface is.  There are a lot of good smells wherever we go, but only from my fellow dogs and maybe a stray cat like Ugly Joan.  Mommy doesn’t have much patience when we smell on walks.  She never comes on sniffs with us.  We don’t know if she would have no patience if we walked instead of sniffed. 

    But, Daddy knows the need for a good sniff.  I am not sure if he would be a patient if he did not have a smartphone.  When we get to a sniff spot and start examining it he pulls it out his smartphone and waits for us to tug on the leash to let him know we want to move onto the next exhibit.

    There are two different routes we go on sniffs.  One is to the back.  Near the edge of our development, there are some stones, a creek, and a field. It is a great spot.  We could sniff here for days.  The problem is it takes a long time to walk there, and sometimes we have to quit sniffing early because of exhaustion.  

    We prefer to walk to the front.  The sniffing begins at the bend in the road four houses down.  Our development is called Rocky Knoll.  Our house is on the knoll’s rise which means whenever we are going home we are always going up no matter what direction we walk.  The rocky part comes from the number of big boulders in people’s yards and along the roads.  We didn’t get a rock in our yard.  We think the previous owner took it with him because the people here who knew him said he lost his marbles.  

    When we get around the bend there is a grassy area, with boulders five feet apart, and an old wooden fence along with the neighboring property.  This is the glory hole.  Every dog who walks the road stops here to leave a message.  That would be reason enough to visit the rocks.  But it isn’t just dogs who visit. 

    There are woods surrounding our development and an abandoned barn behind the fence.  At night all sorts of creatures emerge to walk our roads, dig through trash, and leave their markings on rocks.  Their smell is fascinating.  River and I can spend five minutes at one rock, which, if you compute that to human time, is like spending a week on a cruise.

    Then we go to the fence.  There is a slight opening under it where animals slink back and forth. There are terrific smells there as well.   Then we illegally go behind the barn.  There is a No Trespass sign there, not because it is private property, but because any dog under the age of four with an undeveloped sniffer who goes there couldn’t handle the scents.  They could easily get overwhelmed and never sniff again.

    Somedays the smorgasbord of olfactory pleasures at the barn satisfies our sniffing needs.  If we still yearn to smell we walk towards the mailroom, which has a plethora of human scents including anticipation, disappointment, anger, and exhaustion, which we can detect near the ramp, which some of our older residents waddle down like Trump after a speech.

    From there we go to the back of the mailroom.  There are not a lot of smells, but it does have thick, green grass that tickles our paws as we walk and sometimes rub our tummy.  We smile the entire way.  Then we go to the small cluster of trees to enjoy some much-needed shade.  From there we walk back home, sniffing the backside of the rocks, which is like an epilogue to what we originally read. When we are done sniffing we walk home for a big drink of water, find a cool place on the floor, and think of all the smells we sniffed.

    I hope you get to go on sniffs too.  Your nose will thank you.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Monday, June 15, 2020

Monday Question

When people meet you initially, what is the first thing your parents say about you?

Pocket:  My parents apologize for our barking and tell people we really are friendly when we calm down.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

A Determined Tupper, Max, Boris and a Villiage Bring Their Mom and Lily Together

When Boris joined his siblings Tupper and Max at the Bridge in April, he quickly rebounded into his mom’s dreams. He had a prescription for what he knew was the only medicine that would rebuild his parents’ broken hearts:  Another dog.
    But his mom told him that there were several reasons why they could not acquire a new pet, the main one being their health.  They were not capable of raising a puppy.  A disappointed Boris told her he understood and kissed her.  Both he and his mom were upset the next day because Boris could remember what was said, and his mom had no recollection of the visit. 
    Tupper consoled his brother.  Max insisted that they knew what their parents needed more than they did.  He suggested that they overwhelm their parents' dreams by continually bombarding them with the suggestion that the only way for them to be whole again was to get another dog. 
    Tupper told them it wouldn’t work. He knew his parents needed more of a reason to get another dog than just to make themselves happy, even though it surely would.  The only way they would obtain another dog only if it would benefit the dog more than them. 
    He also knew it would take more than just dream visits to persuade his parents.  Their friends, especially the ones who were dog lovers, needed to intervene.  Max and Boris wanted to help, so they were each sent out to go into one of their mom’s friends' dreams.
    Max took Angel Misha with him into the dreams of the Golden Girls’ mom Sharry.  They explained how Momma Pam needed another dog, but she was reluctant to look for one and needed encouragement from her friends. Misha’s mom Sharry agreed to help.
    That morning Tupper and Max found a new dog for their mom, a six-year-old Labrador Retriever named Lily, whose family had to give her up.  When the trio tried to enter their mom’s dreams to suggest she search for Lily, they encountered a brick wall.  Then Boris went with Scooter into the dreams of his mom Betty.  They explained how Momma Betty could help.   They needed her to find Lily on the Internet.  She did not let her angels down.  
    When Betty located Lily, she called Sherry.  The two of them talked to Lily’s mother, who explained what a sweet dog Lily was,  that she was calm, and needed nothing but a good home and love.  Max, Boris, and Tupper knew it was the perfect dog for their mom.  Now they needed their mom’s friends to convince her of that.
    Both women talked to Momma Pam, who was reluctant but agreed to call Lily’s mom. During the conversation, they decided on a time for Momma Pam to meet Lily.  There were no promises made.  Momma, Pam, would decide when she met Lily.  Most of all, she was looking for signs from her angels that she would allow Lily to become the newest member of their household. 
    Momma Pam brought her husband and grandson to meet Lily and help her look for signs from her angels.  When Momma Pam walked outside, she saw Tupper in the guise of a beautiful monarch butterfly and knew that he approved.  Max made his mom recall the Lily of the Valley that was planted along her grandmother’s driveway when she was growing up.  Then Boris K reminded her that he went to the Bridge on Easter Sunday.  The Easter Sunday flower is the Lily. 
    When Momma Pam and the family saw Lily, every bit of reluctance was swept away, and her heart started to rebuild at first sight.  Lily is now in her second fantastic home.  She has been told by her new siblings how to make their Momma heal, and Lily has been doing a terrific job.  Thanks to her, Momma Pam’s heart will be whole again soon.
    Tupper, Boris, and Max are thrilled that their mom and dad have a dog in the house again, and that she has made it a home. They recognize the smile on their mom’s face that has been long kissing and say they are grateful to every parent who made it happen.   
    It takes a village to find a good dog, a home, and a mom a good dog.

Friday, June 12, 2020

When Nickelodeon Threatens to Fire Patolman Chase Attorney Foley Comes to His Defense

  Dogs do an excellent job of keeping our lives, and all the drama that occurs outside our walls, separate.   We have learned to accept that we cannot change what goes on outside our walls and have the strength to manage what occurs within.  
    I have observed humans for close to two decades. I know that when they think an injustice occurs, they overreact, swinging the pendulum too far to the other side.  Mostly, I find their decisions humorous until that pendulum touches our lives.
    That is what happened this week when humans suggested that Nickelodeon had to remove Chase the police dog from the Paw Patrol program, for, according to one person, “brainwashing children to think law enforcement is a noble profession.”
    Chase, who had the reputation of being an exemplary officer, was distraught that his program had gone dark for several days, and, if it does resume, he may no longer be part of it.  I knew Chase needed legal representation, so I put aside my judge’s robe and temporarily stepped down to give the officer the best legal representation an angel can provide.
    First, I set up a meeting between Chase and the Nickelodeon board.  They are a group of five-year-old programming prodigies.  When we entered their pastel-colored boardroom, the executives began clapping their hands and running around in circles yelling that Chase was here.  The President of daytime programming got so excited he peed himself.  Several girls climbed in Chase’s lap and kissed him. I wondered who was in charge of HR.
    A cute little boy, sitting at the head of the table, ordered everyone to sit.  He yelled to his secretary for more juice, then read to me actual comments from their audience demanding that Chase’s merchandise be removed from the shelves, that the Paw Patrol be defunded, and in one offensive tweet, that Chase be euthanized.   “I don’t know how we can possibly keep him on the force,” the chair boy said.
    I stood on a chair to make sure the children could see me.  “I understand your concerns,” I announced.  “But none of those accusations apply to Chase.  Unless you have specific examples of  wrongdoing by my client and not these random observations about a few bad cops in general, I move that the case be closed, and Chase allowed to stay on Paw Patrol.”
    The board members roared happily and prepared for recess. Still, one of them,  a snooty girl who I could tell doesn’t like dogs and will grow up to live alone with a dozen cats all named Poochy, said that she received several reports claiming that Chase sniffed a woman’s butt without permission, that he had been caught taking treats out of the bowl in a store, he was seen humping a street dog behind a kitty strip club. Three chihuahuas had filed excessive force allegations against him.
    I requested a moment to speak with my client and asked him if any of the chargers were true.  “Of course not,” he said.  “I mean, I might have sniffed a random butt now and then, but who hasn’t?  And the store owners want us to have free treats so the Paw Patrol will protect them.  As for the sex, the bitch was in heat and seduced me.”  I asked him about the chihuahuas.  “Sure, I have hit a chihuahua or two but who hasn’t taken a swing at those yippy bastards?”
    I met with the Board privately.  I determined the less that Chase said in his defense the better, just like Joe Biden.  I based my arguments on Jessica Rabbit  vs. Warner Brothers in 1988.  The courts ruled that no toon could be held responsible for his actions because he was not responsible for his behavior.  He was just drawn that way.  
    I took a lot of persuading but I convinced the board that Chase should be allowed back on the patrol.  When I told him he could resume his duty but would be closely supervised he growled.  He tried to protest when he learned he could not examine every woman’s crotch for contraband because he’s not the President.  Then I told him he could no longer accept treats for protection.  He began to bark and I shushed him.   Finally,  I said he would have to attend chihuahua sensitivity training and get spayed. 
    Chase was frustrated but he took the deal.  “I knew the snowflakes wanted to rip the balls off of law enforcement, I just never knew it would be literally,” he complained.
I went back to the Bridge and put robes back on.  I had learned never to decide if someone needed to be defended or condemned without learning the facts first.
At least the chihuahuas can sleep better. 

Thursday, June 11, 2020

River and the Dog Across the Streeet

I am a peaceful dog who loves everyone except the dog who lives across the street. I spy him from the only window I can see without climbing on a perch, in the kitchen, by the porch.  He comes outside, and I begin to bark with a ferocity that can be little matched in this or any other neighborhood.

    My Mommy tells me to be quiet and that I am over-reacting.  The officious dog is a senior beagle, who is blind, has no teeth, and takes stiff steps because of his arthritis. Mommy tells me he is harmless, but I see through that veneer.  He is pure evil.

I have only come snout to pressed in snout with him once.  It was shortly after he moved in with his parents.  Pocket and I were in our front yard, enjoying our soft grass and beautiful flowers when the beagle’s dad made the brutal mistake of leading him outside.  I pulled on my leash and stood on my back legs letting loose a string of vitriol that would make sailors blush.  Pocket joined me, not knowing why I was barking, but she always has my back, unless she is the one I am sniping at.

The beagle had the gall to not react.  There I was, hitting him with all the evil I had stored inside the darkest part of my brain, and the beagle doesn’t even give me a glance.  His dad detected my ferocity and decided correctly that I, while smaller than the beagle, and being totally snoutless, could still put quite a hurt on the account of the beagle’s vision, orthopedic issues, and me being a tiny ball of rage, so he took his dog to the back yard ending our interaction.

When we got inside I growled about the unsatisfactory interaction I had experienced.  I could not believe the beagle had not reacted to my best barks.  Pocket suggested that perhaps the intrusive dog was hard of hearing.  She could be right.  That would be just like him.

We have a very dog friendly neighborhood.  People don’t mind if a dog picks up a scent, travels a few feet up their driveway and pees.  This greatly expands our urination distribution area.  

But not all driveways are constructed alike.  We have the greenest grass in the village.  Our flowers are carefully selected, planted, and cared for with love.  Our neighbors walk by and compliment my parents on their floral choices.  We are all quite pleased.

A few days after our initial encounter I saw from my window the dog and his seeing-eye human on a walk.  I shouted like Trump at a female reporter, but again, he ignored me.  I watched him cross the street.  He was on our green grass.  Then his dad let him take a few steps up my driveway.

Then Mr. Magoo peed in my yard, and on my flowers.  Oh, the humanity!  I barked with every bit of air in my lungs.  At first, I thought he would ignore me, but before he left, he back kicked the dirt, surely a dismissive gesture.

I barked that I needed to go outside.  Daddy leashed me and I, ran on the lawn but all was ruined.  I had spent weeks peeing a five-gallon autobiography for my friends to read and M,r. Magoo pissed on it ruining the story’s flow.  It was sacrilege.  It was plagiarism!  It was vandalism! It smelled like vinegar!

So now it is war. A pissing contest to end all pissing contests.  If you read this and can spare some pee, please mail it to me.  As a dog as my witness, I will cover up his pee if I have to drink a dozen bowls of water a day.

Never piss on, piss off,  or piss on the piss, of a Griffon.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Beat This Caption

I had them all by myself and didn't even get an epidural.  I hope their dad shows up for a midnight feeding sometime soon

Monday, June 8, 2020

Monday Question

Does your name have any significant meaning?

Pocket: The day I met my parents they remarked that I was so small I could be smuggled out in a pocket.

River Song:  I was named after a character in Doctor Who and because my parents thought the name was pretty.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Guardian the Dog who Lives Up to His Name

Like all creatures, dogs have fears.  The biggest one is that something will happen to our parents.  That goes with our second biggest fear, being homeless.  If we lost our parents, not only would we be beyond heartbroken, but if no one took us in, we would have to live on the outside. The only comforting thought about being homeless is if we could have a dog family member with so we weren’t alone.

 A pup, who the humans have named Guardian, was homeless with his sister in the city.  Life was difficult, but the two of them made their way, always watching one another’s’ backs and giving each other someone warm to cuddle with at night.  They were inseparable.
It was a dangerous existence. They would have to fight for food and dart across roads.  They did it successfully for a year, but one of the truths about living on the edge is inevitably you fall.

One morning Guardian and his sister were crossing the highway when she got hit.  Her soul left her body like it had been fired from a rocket.  She sprung from the River of Life confused and began looking for her brother, unable to remember what brought her here. She refused to cross the Bridge without Guardian.

A soul only has a limited amount of time to cross the Bridge or they won’t be allowed to access the immortal side.  They are doomed to roam the earth as ghosts, a lonely and ghastly existence.  We have a select few angels who have lived at the Bridge for decades and have no family on the mortal side, or any reason to go back, who are allowed to cross over and persuade the reluctant pup to join us.  Luckily, on this day, they were successful  Guardian’s sister crossed the Bridge, and once I swore her in, she was placed with a wonderful family so she could live with the love denied her as a mortal.

Before she could begin her life as an angel, we had to go with her as ghosts to the mortal side because Guardian refused to leave her remains and snapped at the people who were trying to help him.  When his sister appeared to him in a form, none of the humans could see his eyes filled with tears.  That is when she remembered the truth.  They had both dreamed about being adopted, but she didn’t think it was likely for them to be chosen as a couple.  She was sure that Guardian would be a much better pet than she would be, so she sacrificed herself.  She knew Guardian would never leave her, so she had to leave him.  His first steps away from her would be the first steps towards his forever home. When Guardian stayed by her side, he became famous for being loyal and loving.  Fame is critical when you want to be adopted.

Guardian did not want to say goodbye until his sister promised to visit him every night in his dreams, where they could rummage through dumpsters together, chase street vermin, and lie in the sun all day long.  But now, Guardian had to live the mortal life they both deserved, with a family, and love.  His sister said that was all she needed to finally be at peace.

Guardian relented and went with the rescuers.  The video of him protecting his sister soon went viral.  Guardian became famous, and soon he found his forever home, where he is happy, not just for himself but for his sister too.

Being on separate sides of the River cannot keep them from being together.  Nothing can.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Dreyfuss, the Little Dog in the Middle of the Big Mess

I am getting tired of people misbehaving and their dogs being the ones to suffer.

    The entire world knows what happened in the part of Central Park known as the Bramble, where bird watchers congregate to see several different species, including ground birds.  That is one of the many reasons that dogs should be on a leash in the Bramble.  A loose dog will disturb the ground birds.

    Amy Cooper let her recently adopted dog Dreyfuss off his leash in the Bramble.  She was confronted by a black man named Christian Cooper, who was bird watching.  He asked Amy to leash Dreyfuss so he wouldn’t disturb the birds.  She reacted by calling the police and falsely saying the man was threatening her.  Christian recorded the exchange, put it on Facebook, and soon the video went viral.

    While she did lose her job, Amy Cooper was not criminally charged for her actions.  But, as usual, it was the most innocent party involved who paid the highest price.   Dreyfuss was returned to the Abandoned Cocker Spaniel Rescue.

    I take great offense to that decision.  Dreyfuss was let loose in the Bramble by his mom and did as any dog would, he ran around, chased birds, and enjoyed the day.  He didn’t break free or disobey anyone.  He was not aware he was breaking the rules, yet he is the one who loses his family and freedom?  Talk about persecution. It just goes to prove that no matter what happens, humans will always blame dogs.

According to the Rescue, they are keeping Dreyfuss until their investigation is over.  I don’t know how this benefits him.  His mom hasn’t been criminally charged, although she did show terrible judgment by first letting Dreyfuss run where he shouldn’t, then not just leashing Dreyfuss when she was told to do so, and finally by calling the police on Christian and creating the story that he threatened her.  Sure, she is a racist and a bigot who tried to frame Christian for a crime he did not commit and wanted the police to go all Central Park Five on his ass, but if racists weren’t allowed to have dogs, there would be a lot more dogs in shelters now.

I went to visit Dreyfuss, who is back in a foster home, and very confused.  He was having a fantastic day at the park.  He was running free, sniffing all the smells there was to sniff, and he met a nice man who wanted to give him treats and took a video of him, then his mom grabbed him by the collar, and she began to freak out, which caused Dreyfuss to freak out because anxiety travels down the leash.  A few hours after the incident, the phone started ringing, such a bother when you are a tired dog who was just running in the park, and his mom became very upset. Then the rescue came and removed him from his home.

Dreyfuss is sorry if he did anything wrong.  He wants to go back to his mom, but if she doesn’t want him, or can't keep him, he will gladly go to another family, preferably one further removed from the Third Reich than the previous one.  If he is put up for adoption, it shouldn’t be hard for him to find a new home.  Dogs that go “viral” are always quick to be placed with a fresh family.

I hope Dreyfuss is either allowed back to his mom’s house or finds a home, and he no longer suffers from stupid patent syndrome.

(This morning, for better or worse, Dreyfuss was returned to his mom.)

The Ruby Rose Report: The Gift

  I had finished my walk with my Dad, having inspected the homes and gardens en route, and barked instructions on how to bring them up to...