Friday, July 31, 2020

Tilly: No More Pain

I don’t know why, but recently I have been overly busy greeting old friends at the Bridge.  I am always happy to see them, but I can also feel in my heart the sorrow on the mortal side after the new angel’s departure.  In the past month, the angels have come over the Bridge as relentlessly as the rain, and I keep praying that it stops.

I have been blessed with so many friends from multi-pet packs that it is becoming routine to see new angels reunited with the beloved siblings that preceded them to the Bridge.  Recently, I have watched the Golden Girls, and Maverick and Lily meet again on the immortal side.  Seeing how happy they are together helping to lessen the sorrow that follows when the mortal world loses another precious soul.

This week Tilly arrived at the Bridge and joined her brother Peabody, who passed earlier this year, and sister Doxie. It is terrible when a parent loses two of her babies in the same year.  It is like a ship being hit with a second wave after it had already been swamped.  

Tilly had not recovered from Peabody’s passing either.  She is a senior dog, and when her brother went to the Bridge, she worked hard to try to ease her mom’s pain.  But, in doing so, she used a lot of energy.  Between that, and the depression caused by Peadbody’s passing, Tilly’s little heart began to run out of beats.

Mother Janis, her heart, still under renovation following Peabody’s departure, noticed that Tilly was slowing down, and sleeping more.  Tilly still seemed content.  Mother Janis made her little pup promise that she would let her know when it was Tilly’s time to cross.  But, we dogs aren’t too good at giving the signal.  We always want to stay.  

But, when you are older, and you start to lose your energy, you never get it back.  If Tilly survived on 15 percent of her energy one day, that is the most she could use the next, and that number continually dwindled.  Soon, Tilly’s energy level was less than ten percent, and Mother Janis knew it was time to say goodbye, at least for now.

Mother Janis took Tilly to the vet, and they helped her to cross the Bridge.  All the pain that Tilly had been feeling was taken on by Mother Janis.  Tilly ran across the Bridge once again young and full of energy.  Meanwhile, Mother Janis was left to carry all the pain that brought Tilly to the Bridge on her own.

There are many different ways that angels greet their old pack members at the Bridge.  Tilly, Peabody, and Doxie decided on five minutes of sniffing.  It is actually an excellent tactic to use when you reintroduce yourself.  The bark can lie, but body scent never does.

Once the pack was done with their sniffing, they began to play like they were experiencing their second pup hood.  They smiled, laughed, danced, ran, rolled on their backs in the high grass, and splashed into sun puddles.  If they squinted their eyes, they could see themselves back in their yard, with their mom watching, delighted.

They would be thrilled if their mom could see them too.  They continue to play and create energy, hoping to knock a hole in the wall between our two worlds, so Mother Janis can see them, even if it was from far away, and she had to squint.  If these little dogs can do that, then there is hope for all of us.


Thursday, July 30, 2020

It's Not the Heat, It's the Stupidity by Pocket Dog

There is a round thing that hangs on the outside of our shed.  It has a hand, but it isn’t a clock.  I have noticed that the hand rises during hot weather, and falls when it is cold.  On Monday the hand rose higher than it ever has before.  It even passed the hundred mark.  Coincidentally or not, it was hotter than the dickens outside.

 That day my parents worked outside.  They knew it was dangerously hot, but they are old school:  There was work to be done, and it wasn’t going to do it itself.  They call this type of thinking old school because all of the people who subscribe to that viewpoint are all buried in the cemetery after dying from heatstroke.  

They worked for a half-hour, then came inside, sat at the kitchen table to rest and enjoy the air conditioning.  River and I barked and squirmed to be picked up so we could give them rejuvenating licks, and enjoy their sweet, salty skin.  Then they went back to work.

After a couple of hours of mowing, weeding, car washing, garden barrier construction, and rock spreading they were done.  They dragged themselves inside and collapsed onto the kitchen chairs.  Daddy had a brainstorm.  He went to Dunkin Donuts for an ice coffee for her and a Blue Raspberry Coolata for him.  They planned to shower then plunked themselves in front of the TV with their tablet and laptop, watched TV, and become a potato while their bodies healed.

Mommy was watching Catch-21 on TV.  She was barely paying attention to it, because she was reading on the I-Pad when suddenly both devices froze.  She dreaded telling Daddy.  He rarely takes such information well.  When she told him he unplugged everything, and plugged them back in. He waited for the cable box to go through the endless startup cycle.  But, it never was completed.  He received an error message saying the cable could not connect to the Internet.  This wasn’t good.  

Undeterred, Daddy unplugged the router then plugged it back in.  He waited for ten minutes.  Everything was still down. .  A computer voice said they would restart the modem, and everything would be okay.  They restarted the modem, but nothing was okay.

The disembodied voice at Xfinity said they were going to text Daddy back to see if the reset worked.  Apparently, Xfinity is already living in the future where there are no people, just computers chatting to one another. That text must be lost in the wind somewhere because it never arrived.  Daddy upgraded the amount of data on his cell phone account, and then downloaded an app and reported the outage.  He scheduled an appointment with a technician the next day.  Then they faced the bleak reality of a night without laptops, tablets, and worse of all television.

My parents have been married to 26-years.  They have had every possible conversation they could.  All they have now is commenting on new things visible on each other's bodies, and recommending they get that checked out, and if they are lucky enough to have dogs, ask one another about things that the pups do that they wished they wouldn't, then decide to get it checked out.  Despite that nothing ever gets checked out.

 After two hours of this excruciating boredom, Daddy decided to see what he could do to fix the problem.  All our wires run underground.  They connect to our devices through wires that surface by the gas meter and run exposed in the one-foot crawl space under the house.  Daddy removed a  slat, and then climbed under the house, where he found the wires and tightened them.  It worked!  Our Internet and cable were connected again!

For years people will tell the story of the day my dad crawled through a river of shit and came out the other side clean so h,is dogs could post on the Internet and he could watch old game shows until his brain atrophied.  Everything was back to normal in the house.

I was very happy.  If my parent,s don’t have a TV to watch then they watch me.  It is very disconcerting.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Beat This Caption

I can't wait until they get finished painting my sister's apartments and he and her husband move out of here,

Monday, July 27, 2020

This one is about your parents?  Have they ever been bitten by a dog bad enough to draw blood?

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Maverick and Lily are Reunited at the Bridge

Dogs are put on Earth to be best friends with their parents but sometimes dogs bond so strongly with their siblings that a pooch becomes the most critical relationship in a pup’s life.  That is why dogs can suffer when their siblings pass the same way that people do.  They don’t follow their kin into the light, but the magic goes out of them.  Their loving parents recognize there is something different in the pup. It is as if part of their souls were attached to the departed. It could not be retrieved until the day that they were reunited.

Father Tim knew that Maverick was a unique dog.  He loved the little boy with all his heart.  It was shattered when Maverick made his final journey to the Bridge.  Father Tim knew he was fortunate to have Maverick’s sister Lily with him, to help ease his pain caused by Maverick’s passing.  After an extensive search, Maverick found a dog who was worthy of living with his dad and Lily, named Marshy.

Before Maverick left, he had a long talk with Lily.  When he got sick, Lily told him that she couldn’t live without him.  Maverick promised her that she had the strength to survive, at least until their dad had recovered from Maverick’s passing, and a new dog was perfectly trained by Lily to emulate them both, so his dad’s heart would not want for anything when Lily joined him.

Lily promised she would stay, and she did for months, but then she took ill.  The confusion that haunts some mortal dogs when they age got its grip on her, and would not let go.  It got to the point that Lily did not recognize her dad.  But she did know one thing, the ghostly form of Maverick, who led her around the house and showed her what to do. 
Finally, Lily gave her dad her last bit of devotion. Then Maverick came to her in a dream and told her to follow him one more time without question.  Lily trailed Maverick across the floor they had once played on, past the bed they had snuggled on together, on to the lawn where they romped, and then up to the stars, and down to the water.  They were submerged, and when they broke the water, the confusion that had clouded Lily’s mind dissipated, and she saw the Bridge, and on a cliff, all her friends who had preceded her to the immortal world.

Lily followed Maverick over the Bridge and up the steps to Hobo’s Landing, where I gave her the sacred angel oath.  While Lily mourned not living with Marshy and her dad, in her heart, she was happier than she had been since her brother left her for the immortal world.
While Father Tim's heart broke again when Lily followed Maverick to the Bridge, there was also a joy because his connection to her was so strong, he knew she was where she would be happiest, and he was thankful for the days they had together.

Now Lily and Maverick are together again, romping through fields, sharing a bed, playing their silly games.  Lily has her soul intact and is content at the Bridge, where they will never be separated again.

While no pup passing can be said to be happy, this one was close.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Willamena the First

I was fortunate not to be born at a puppy mill like so many of my friends.  I knew love from the first moment I opened my eyes.  That is the difference between being born at a puppy mill and a puppy farm.  But, sometimes, certainly not in my case, puppy mill dogs, because they did not have love from the first moment they opened their eyes,  become more loving towards their parents.

    I recently learned the story of Sarah Kells.  She was a married woman with four rescue pups, all seniors.  Sarah and her husband divorced.  Over time all the dogs went to the Bridge except for Chloebelle a Bichon.

    Chloebelle’s angel siblings began to search for a new pup for their mom but were hoping they could locate a dog who could do much more.  They were looking for the right dog to redefine their mom’s life.  The angels directed her to a shelter and then to a pup who had been used for breeding purposes.  Sarah decided the Bichon with one eye would be the new pack member, as her angels had hoped.  Chloebelle and her mom both got decked out to make an impression on the person conducting the home visit.

    The home visit went swimmingly.  Sarah was given an address where she could pick up her new dog, who she planned to call Willamena.  When she arrived at the rescue, she was picturing a little white ball of love awaiting her.  What she got was a thin, urine covered dog who trembled at every sound.  Sarah could not go back on her commitment, but she was afraid she had made a terrible error.  

Instead, on the ride home, Sarah decided to devote her time to discover what happened to Willamena, while giving her all the love she had in her heart.  This is precisely what her angels wanted to happen:  For their mom to have a new focus in her life.

When Sarah was not providing care for Willamena, she was researching puppy mills on the Internet.  She was stunned by what she saw.  How could people treat the souls who were devoted to them so cruelly?  All the things that she thought were vital before she met Willamena were no longer essential to her now.  She dedicated her life to righting the wrongs done by her fellow humans.  She started by volunteering to foster dogs from the rescue that had saved Willamena.  

Since then, she has fostered more than 150 puppy mill dogs while officially adopting another 13.  She knew her neighbors thought she was a mad dog lady, but they still aided her when they could, knowing her heart was pure.  

Recently Willamena, the dog who started it all, passed to the Bridge.  In time she had become a perfect pet, giving her mom love and support.  When she arrived here, Willamena was thrown one of the largest parties we have witnessed at the Bridge.  So many dogs would never have known love in their life did, thanks to Sarah, who either fostered them or welcomed them into her pack, with Willamena as her inspiration.

Willamena moved into a mansion with her angel siblings who had told their mom to adopt the one-eyed urine covered dog and gave Sarah the courage to take Willamena home, the first domino to fall that would leave to hundreds of dogs being saved.  
They are hard at work right now, finding new dogs for their wonderful mom.  The saved has become the savior, just the way it is meant to be.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Pocket on Bedroom Tusselss and River Getting Tied Up

River Song and I have always tussled.  It begins with us making snarling noises.  Then we get on our back legs and begin trying to bite one another like tiny versions of Godzilla and Mothra.  We don’t do much harm.  Sometimes, River nips my ear, and that hurts, but that is the most damage we do. 

    In the past couple of months, our main fighting has occurred in bed at night and consists of River attacking me in my sleep.  This not only angers my parents who don’t like being awoken by a fight that sounds like two muskrats having sex, and having to break us up, but it upsets Foley too, who always instructed us to respect the bed as a place of peace.
River doesn’t attack me for no reason.  She is very protective of our Mom.  She doesn't always sleep snuggled up next to Mommy’s top half, but she doesn’t want anyone else to do it either.  She lets me sleep against her below the waist, but anything north of the Mason Dixon is River’s territory.  If I get too close, she attacks like the army Lincoln wished he had.

Mommy and Daddy have the same nighttime ritual.  They watch Family Feud; then Mommy goes on her tablet while Daddy reads.  Mommy falls asleep first, and that is when we take our positions, and River is most likely to strike.  It started to become a nightly occurrence.

River is also a lousy waker-upper.  When she gets unexpectedly aroused, she lashes out like a drunk arising from the barroom floor.  She opens her eyes and lashes out at the first thing she sees, which is usually me.  For a week, every time the alarm went off, River jumped me.  It was an effective way to make sure my parents didn’t sleep through their wake up time.  

While there were no injuries, the situation was becoming untenable.  Both my parents were worried that River would push me off the bed, or fall off while charging me. They had two options; the first was to take River on a strenuous training course that would take weeks.  The second was bedroom bondage.

When River first lived with us, she behaved the same way.  My parents put a leash on her in bed, and when she lunged, she woke them up, and they pulled her back before, or just as, she made contact.  After a few weeks of unsatisfied lunges, River curbed her behavior.  We don’t know why she started again, but my parents hope the same treatment would work similar magic.
Now, when we go to bed, River is hooked to a four foot leash, and Daddy holds the loop end.  Even in his sleep Daddy can feel the loop tighten when River is on the prowl and he yanks her back.  The situation is getting better except for two areas.

Every night when Mommy goes to the bathroom just before bed River stares at me like I’m a pork chop. Daddy holds the leash tight.   River waits, and waits, then lunges, moves an inch, turns around, looks at Daddy and says “What the Jake?”

The second one is that, when River does successfully lunge, and is yanked back, she loses her balance, and falls, which is when me and my three teeth attack her.  You have to make the best of the opportunities the Lord provides you. (Pocket: 316.)

After  we fight, and are separated, we approach one another, and begin sniffing all over, as if we were assessing any damage we may have done.  Just as suddenly as it began it was over.  We are a mysterious duo.

Regardless, River has stopped jumping me when the alarm goes off, and the only time she does is when Mommy gets up in the middle of the night, and that is lessening.  She is still intent on a pre-light’s off attack, but as long as she is held she can’t achieve her goals, or give me a chance at retaliation.

While my parents aren’t happy with our behavior they are happy for one thing.  They are glad we aren’t bigger.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Beat This Caption

Sam was at his worst when it was Yom Kippur and he did not get his breakfast. 

Monday, July 20, 2020

Monday Question

If you were a human and went to a party, how would you act?
Would you be the life of the party?
Would you be shy?
Would you eat all the food?
Would you ask people to dance?
Or something we did not think of?
Let us know in the comments below:

Sunday, July 19, 2020

A Golden Girls Reunion

When we began on social media, some of us, like me, were known by our individual names, while others, such as The Killer K9’s, and the MinPin Gang, went by what their pack was called.  One of the most popular of these groups is the Golden Girls.

As you may have determined by their name, the Golden Girls were three golden retriever lollipops.  They lived with their mom Sharry and shared with her an unbreakable love. The Girls lived glorious lives, filled with sunny days, playtimes, treats, food walks, competitions, and blue ribbons.  But then the lions came, first for Misha, and then Guinevere.  That left Daisy as the last original Golden Girl.

Daisy became a bridge between the original pack and a new Golden Girl group, consisting of Breeze and Ari.  Before Daisy departed for the Bridge, she needed to make sure the new members were prepared to help their mom through what could be the most devastating loss of them all, for when Daisy departed the tie to the original Girls would be broken.

    Daisy was stricken with vestibular disease, which viciously robbed her of her equilibrium.  The dog who had run for hours now could barely walk.  It was heartbreaking to witness.  In a dream meeting, Daisy made her angel siblings promise that they would help her stay until she thought Momma Sharry was strong enough to handle her passing.  They readily agreed.

    While all five members of the Golden Girls, both mortal and immortal, tried to prepare their mom for the moment that Daisy’s soul crossed the Bridge, losing a family member, even when it is inevitable, and scheduled, is still heart-crushing.  As much as Momma Sharry knew what would happen when she took Daisy to the vet for the final time when her heart would beat it’s last, the grief was bound to hit Sharry like a runaway truck, as it did.  On the positive side, when Momma Sharry got home, she was met by Breeze and Ari, who had been well taught how to ease her pain.  

    Meanwhile, at the Bridge, all of Daisy’s Doggyspace and online friends, plus those she had met at competitions and on walks and had preceded her to the Bridge, most importantly Guinevere and Misha, awaited to greet the Golden Girl.  When she emerged from the River of Life and began to cross the Bridge, her fur looked like spun gold.  We all howled a hearty welcome to her.

    Angels are supposed to wait for a soul to cross the Bridge before they approach, but there is no controlling love.  Misha and Guinnervere burst past me, ran down the steps, over the cobblestone path, and leaped on their sister while she was still on the Bridge, almost knocking her into the river, and then they began all biting and licking one another in a big golden heap.

    When angels are reunited they become like mortal dogs who find the gate open,  lose all reason, and run, which is exactly what the Golden Girls did.  Our part of the river is on an endless loop, so if you run to the west, in a minute, you will approach from the east.  It was like watching the Golden Girls circumnavigate the world, which I am sure would have been their druthers. 

    When a soul crosses the Bridge it is a highly emotional moment.  There is a joy because the new angels see their loved ones that have passed before them, feel relief that they are no longer in pain, and sorrow because they are no longer with the ones left behind.  The Golden Girls knew all that would come to Daisy in time, but for now, running cured all.

    I waited for hours for them to stop running, but they kept going, so I went to bed. I could swear Daisy in when the Golden Girls stopped.  And that is when Daisy would begin to deal with the emotions of passing over.  For now, I let her run, not away from her problems, but just in the moment.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Roland Arrives at Rainbow Bridge

I have had a busy time swearing-in, welcoming, and helping to assimilate new angels at the Bridge the past few days.  First, there was Harley Davidson, then Josie the guinea pig, and finally, Roland, a friend from my old Doggyspace, and early Tanner Brigade days.  

Roland is the nephew of my great friend Tanner, who the Brigade is named for. When this kind and sweet boy crossed Rainbow Bridge, more than a decade ago, he was rewarded a huge mansion for all his good works on Earth.  After living with a big family, he was lonely, so he invited Rommell, who preceded him to the Bridge to live with him.  Over the years, Max, Cocoa, and Ruger, all pups who belonged to his mom, joined him, along with Roland’s sister Savannah, living at the house.  It was a rocking and rolling angel home. 

But, it was not a home that was looking for new members.  Unfortunately, the one thing we always get here is fresh angels.  With so many family members at the Bridge, the angels prayed that Roland, who was the surviving mortal dog, would be granted extra days.  Sadly, that was not to be, as he passed to the Bridge at 11, young age in the times of modern medicine. 

Roland had been fighting the dementors, who were determined to bring him to the Bridge for months.  His parents knew he was losing the battle, and could not let him keep fighting for them, because that is what good parents do, so they told Roland he could stop the war and helped him pass to the Bridge. 

I was overwhelmed by the number of dogs and cats who awaited Roland, not just from his extended family, but from the hundreds of pets he touched on social media.  It was quite the reception for a dog, who, at one point in his life, no one had wanted. 

Roland’s Mom first met him at a shelter.  When they saw each other, it was love at first sight.  Mama Ashley convinced the shelter that she would be the perfect mom for Roland, which was fortunate because Roland wasn’t going home with anyone except her.

From that day forward, through some challenging times, Roland was both her heart dog and her rock.  Even during the darkest days, he was there like a best friend, knowing that his mom didn’t need to hear words of comfort, but just the heartbeat that belonged to a soul that loved her beating in time with hers.

Roland stayed right next to his mom during both good times and bad, like a ship captain’s pup, who stood by her, drenched with seawater, riding out the swells, until finally they came to the doldrums, and could rest until the waves caught up with them again.   

Luckily, for Roland, and his mom, he is currently living with family members who have, over time, become adept at visiting their parents while they are dreaming.  Roland is anxious to let his mom know that his spirit still exists, stronger than ever before, in a place just beyond the horizon, that can only be reached when the last journey is embarked upon. 

I don’t know if the walls in Mama Ashley’s mind will come down enough for the message to get through, but if any pack can accomplish their goal, it is Tanner’s Pack.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

River Wants the Rid the World of Fireworks

Some dogs see things the way there are and go hide under the bed.  I see things as they should be and ask, “why not”  On July 4th weekend, when the world was exploding around me, and my parents were complaining about how this illegal activity was happening everywhere around them, I wondered how the behavior could be changed.

    It would seem like there were countless fireworks celebrations going on around us.  With all that noise, I imagined there were thousands of people joyfully lighting up the sky and causing earth-shattering booms.  In reality, there were dozens at the most.  And then I asked myself how many dog parents were there?

    There must be a thousand dog parents for every one person who thinks they have the right to shoot off fireworks.  If just half of those people have dogs who become trembling wrecks as Pocket does, then that is an impressive number.  The people who set off the fireworks are anarchists breaking the law for their own pleasure and creating chaos.  The only way to stop chaos is organization.

    Dog parents are agreeable sorts.  They understand that once or twice a year, they are going to have to put up with a short, government-run fireworks display.  It is like thunder.  You don’t mind it once in a while.  The police have acted upon the same lines. They reason that it is only a few people setting off backyard fireworms who are a nuisance on a specific night.  But those people who were given leeway to break the law have taken advantage of the situation with multiple people setting off fireworks over weeks.   They have gone far over the line.  When that happens, the course correction should be severe.

    One of the things that hinder action is a feeling of helplessness.  What can we do?  We can’t stop it.  Well, that is true if you only complain to one another or on social media.  I propose you do something far greater, for all dog parents to act as one and try to get fireworks completely outlaws in the United States.  And you are just the people to do it.

    I am asking all dog parents to write to their congressmen and senators asking that fireworks be made illegal in the United States of America, even for government controlled celebrations, because if those are allowed, the backyard ones will follow.  While the reason for this might sound cold, it has to be, to meet the legal requirements.  The shooting off of fireworks damages your personal property, specifically your dogs.  There is no law that allows people to damage your house, your car, or any other property.  While we dogs are your heart, and your love, we are also your property like a boat, and we are being damaged, both in the short and long term by fireworks.  Dogs are the only unprotected property.  That has to stop.

    Furthermore, if dog parents pull together, they could create a grass-root movement, that, if it gets promoted, or shared enough, may just change the law.  There really isn’t an economic reason for fireworks.  They are a frivolous expense that keeps being spent because it always has been.  It is time to stop.

    I don’t know if it will make a difference.  It probably won’t.  But parents should still do it.  Not because they want to win.  Not because it will save lives.  But because it is right, and it is kind.  If nothing is done, then the fireworks will get worse.  We dogs can’t change it.  We need you, people, not to succeed but to do something even more.  To try.  

    Maybe, someday, if you try, pet parents will be able to celebrate our Independence Day again and not hide from it. 

You can sign the petition to ban fireworks here

Monday, July 13, 2020

Monday Question

What would you do if you were with their parents and they were in danger and the assailant offered you a treat?  Eat the treat while your parents were assaulted?  Protect your parents?  Hide?  Run away? 
Pocket:  I would run for my life.
River:  I would protect Mommy with my life.  If it was Daddy, well, he can handle himself, at least until I am done eating my treat.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Welcoming Harley to Rainbow Bridge

No dog wants to go to the Bridge.  Even ones that are homeless with no love in their lives, and little chance of finding any, want to stay because all dogs believe that tomorrow will be a better day, even if all evidence points to the contrary.  That is why so many dogs, when their heartbeats expire, and the dementors summon them to the Bridge, fight so hard to stay.
    The dementors will give a dog illness, then step back to see if that brings the pup to the Bridge.  If not, they keep adding problem on top of problem until the little soul can no longer bear the weight and finally succumbs.  Humans see their dog become sick, then get better, only to become ever further ill.  It is a frustrating ride, as they think they are out of the darkness and then dragged back into it.  This is how Harley Davinson went to the Bridge and why his passing took an especially hard toll on his mother, Jerri.
    Harley, a darling Schnauzer, who was able to avoid the dementor's reach and advance to his senior years,  had been stricken with two cases of pancreatitis, once, when he was a puppy, which almost brought him to the Bridge, and a few years later, which was caught early and dealt with.  When Momma Jerri saw Harley exhibit the same symptoms he had shown when dealing with the illness, she rushed him to the vet.  The doctor gave Harley some pills to help keep ahead of the dementors and cure him of the sickness.
Unlike the other times, Harley had pancreatitis. The dementors were determined that this time he would succumb. Over the next few days, his mom was heartened to see him acting like himself, eating like a horse, and taking his pills without issue.  Five days after he went to the vet, the dementors revisited Harley, gave him a terrible pain in the stomach, and his mom took him back to the vet.  
The angels received hundreds of prayers for Harley, because he has many online friends, and had touched even more lives as a therapy dog, which brought him to nursing homes, and other places were to feel a dog was like getting a cool glass of water after being lost in the desert.  The angels sent an army to protect Harley, but we can seldom fight off determined dementors.  They fight dirty.  
At the vet’s, Harley was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis.  He had lost three pounds and had a grade five heart murmur.  That was a tall order for the angels and Harley to overcome.  The next morning he was home.  He forced himself to eat a little and enjoyed a slight walk.  His mom hoped he had turned a corner. 
On July third, a week after the dementors set their sights on Harley, they added a fever to his list of ailments.  The vets worked hard to bring his temperature down, but it was becoming apparent Harley, and the Angels would not be victorious.   The next day, on the Fourth of July, Harley became immortal.
Harley was admired by the angels for several reasons:  He fought ferociously to stay with his mom; he is a devoted dog who loves his family with all his heart; he is always kind, and he spreads love and joy wherever he goes as a first-rate therapy dog. 
When Harley arrived, the humans whose lives he had touched shed so many that fell like rain at the Bridge our village almost flooded with them. Harley will be living at Dogster with his friends from that site who preceded him.   It is built next door to Doggyspace so I can see him whenever I want.
Harley will be visiting his mom every day, in her dreams, and like a bird, butterfly, or some other creature that seems to linger a bit longer than usual, to try and let her know that he is young and healthy again and that he is looking forward to showing her.  Just as he was a devoted therapy dog, he will be a tremendous angel for his mom.  Hopefully, that will be enough to ease her pain.

Friday, July 10, 2020

There is a New Specie At Rainbow Bridge Doggyspace

Today we were celebrating my friend Odie’s Bridge Day.  Four years ago, on this date, he crossed the river and became immortal.  We celebrate such days because they are sad reminders of what we have lost.  Humans think that you should celebrate when you are happy, but we dogs know you celebrate when you are sad because that is when you need the party the most.

We gathered for a massive party with Odie as the guest of honor.  His angel brothers Scooby and Rusty sat at the head of the table with him.  His mortal brothers Max and Baron were present in dream form, as were River Song and Pocket.  Then we got a most unexpected visitor.

A tiny fuzz ball landed on the table right next to the roast beast.  We dog love these little animals.  They have never sat on a porch and mocked us or snuck into our garden to eat our plants and vegetables like bunnies, chipmunks, and the dreaded squirrel.  Still, it was strange to see one in Doggyspace.  Why he was with us was solved when Odie proclaimed, “it is Josie.”  

Odie picked up Josie and gave her a gentle hug, then asked her why she had crashed his party.  The answer was most tragic.  That morning, with little warning, Josie discarded her mortal coil and crossed Rainbow Bridge.  Odie felt guilty.  He inquired if this was done just so his furry little sister could go to the party, and Josie assured that it wasn’t.  She would have liked to stay with their mom and dad longer, but the fates and other plans.
 Odie’s brothers wanted to rush home to see their mom, but Odie said they would do that after midnight while she was sleeping.  For now, they were all needed to help Josie accumulate to the immortal side and bring her to small animal land.  When Josie heard this, she balked.  She wanted to stay with her brothers at Doggyspace.

There was a stunned silence at the table.  No small animals had ever lived at Doggyspace.  It just wasn’t done, and that was all there was to it.   But, then I remembered.  I was a distinguished judge, and it is my burden to make these decisions.  I immediately said I would hear from both sides on these issues.

Willoughby, a french bulldog, who had been at the Bridge for years, was the most furious about Josie moving to Doggyspace, and he gave a lengthy impassioned speech about keeping Doggyspace pure and not allowing any other types of animals.  I had to smile.  I had heard the arguments made when people asked if their small animals could join the website Doggyspace, some humans argued against it, and they were told no. 

I did not let on, while Odie was making a passionate speech to allow Josie to live with him, that I had not already made up my mind.  When I began creating my own pet-related website, I made sure it was open to all.  How could I allow Rainbow Bridge Doggyspace to be any different?  When Odie finished speaking, I gave my ruling to mostly raucous cheers. 

Josie went with Odie to small animal land, but not to live there.  Instead, they brought all the furry little creatures their mom had owned over the years to live with them. Scooby and Rusty expanded their home so the little guys had their own rooms.  Then the angel dogs played with their siblings for hours.  They had never been able to do it before because the dogs could inadvertently injure their little friends.  At the Bridge, no one gets hurt.  

At midnight all of Odie’s mom’s angels went into her dreams.  It was an overwhelming amount of activity for one person.  We don’t know if she woke up remembering her dreams or just exhausted from being mentally awake all night, but hopefully, she recalled the reunion subconsciously, and it eased her pain.

And now we have a lot of small, furry, funny animals living at Doggyspace.  It is like having pets of our own!  It is awesome except when they make us take them out to pee or wake us up early in the morning for food.  I think we will get used to it.  If our parents did, then we sure can.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Pocket Reports From the Battle of Independence Day

The Independence Day war is over, and, with the possible exception of some ill-digested meals, there were no casualties, at least on this front.  

 In the weeks leading up to the battle, we heard artillery in the distance.  The sound was far enough away to be drowned out by the television and air conditioner.  But, each day, it got closer.  

On July 3, an attack occurred at our home.  It was launched from the east.   As soon as dusk settled in, the bombing began.  When the first explosion occurred,I lifted my head, and when the second happened, I sprung into action.

 I have been tasked, since coming into the family, with protecting my parents.  This is a challenge for a five-pound, four-inch-tall dog, but I take my duty very seriously.  When I was sure that we were under attack,I decided to save my Dad.   I climbed up his chest and sat on his shoulder.  My parents thought I did this because I was frightened.  They could not be more wrong.  I climbed on top of my dad, so I could catch any artillery shells that burst through the roof and save him
 It also gave me the advantage of seizing the higher ground.  I could see the bombs bursting in air.  I looked down at Private River, laying next to our mother, unfazed.  I told her to go into my condo and get the rocket launcher.  Unfortunately, River is not good at taking orders, or putting her tail on the line for others, so she ignored me.  Oh, how I longed to have General Foley with me.  We would have put down this disturbance with no fuss.  Now the enemy could continue to move forward without resistance. 

There was a huge explosion over the house.  I hated to abandon my Dad.  I knew his nerves were becoming more frayed with every attack.  If his mental state deteriorated further, I would have to give him a big lick in the face just like Patton.  For now, I determined he would be fine and got down, then walked under the end table. 

Mommy remarked that I was scared and had taken cover.  Again, she misunderstood my intentions.  On the bottom of the end table, which my parents could not see, was my command center with radar of the surrounding area.  From there, I could call in counter airstrikes to strengthen our position.  

When I got connected to the radar, the attack was going much worse than I had anticipated.  The enemy had surrounded us and seemed to have an endless amount of ammunition.  I tried to contact the angels, but the messages were getting lost during the rocket attacks.  I began to consider the unthinkable.  We may have to abandon our position.  If we did, I didn't know if we would ever get back.  

I had to rely on a seldom-used talent.  I began by standing still, then I shook like a well charged Mama’s Little Helper.  After that, I began to paint.  I signaled to all my friends to do the same.  I hoped all of us dogs shaking and panting together could create enough energy to block the enemy’s transmission.  Soon across the land, dogs were shaking and panting as we raised a counter-attack.

We were able to stop the shelling at our house, and at several more.  Some of my unfortunate friends suffered through the night and did so day after day.  I know they did all the shaking and panting they could even though they were not as successful as I was because some of our enemy's attacks were more powerful than others.   But, when morning dawned, we stood victorious.  As in my case,I stood victorious with diarrhea, but the important thing is that I was standing and ready to renew our battle next year.

No retreat! No surrender!

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Beat This Caption

This was the exact moment when Dave realized being a drug sniffing dog was a bad career choice.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Monday Question

What was the first site where you posted as a dog?

Ours was Doggyspace, a very fun site for eight years.  I still remember being very moved the first night because of all the kind people we met there.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Keeping Henry Busy at the Bridge

I am very partial to Shih Tzus.  Twenty years ago, I came home to find Blake, my first and best sister, in my house, and she taught me so much that I wouldn’t be the dog I am today without her.  While I love all pups, I have a special place in my heart for that breed.  That is why I try to make their arrival memorable. 

    When I learned that my old friend Henry the Shih Tzu was arriving at the Bridge after a period of failing health, I invited Blake to come with me.  Every breed experiences crossing over differently, and I figured Blake could help Henry with the transition.  

    Shih Tzu should be in their group.  All dogs have a specialty, even the little ones like Yorkies, who were bred to chase ratters out of small spaces.  But, Shih Tzus were meant only to love.  They were produced to sit with humans and keep them calm, and nothing else.  That creates for a relaxed and peaceful relationship with their parents and strong codependency.

    That is why we knew Momma Lynee would be especially devastated when Henry ran out of heartbeats and had to leave for the Bridge.   We angels would try all our tricks to get her to feel better, but since I have been blessed with the ability to communicate between worlds, I think what would be best is to show her that Henry is safe and with friends. Parents can put up with a tremendous amount of pain if they know their baby is safe.  

    By the time Henry approached me, and his mom’s angels, who were waiting for him, all his pain and suffering had abated, and he was back to being young, healthy, and carefree.  I would like to tell his mom that he did not have a care in the world, but after years of her being his one concern, he could not shut his love off like a valve, and, as always, she was foremost on his mind.

    We immediately took him to Tommy’s house, where there are rows of televisions, all showing our parents going through their mortal day.  He found the remote and switched on to see his mom, who was missing him very much. We knew we couldn’t let him wallow.  Tommy’s huge Fourth of July party was upcoming, and Tommy put Henry to work.  Shih Tzus are at their best when they are helpful, and soon Henry was whistling while doing his chores.

Everyone kept Henry busy right up to party time.  He saw so many of his old Doggyspace friends who were now his neighbors that he lost count.  He helped Teddy Bond carry in boxes of silent fireworks.  Teddy promised this would be the grandest display ever.  Hattie Mae set up her kissing booth, while Smartie sold her designs at half off for the holiday.  Tupper and his pack grilled up vast plates of food.  I whipped up a vat of Foleytinis.  Daisy promised Henry the first dance.  Junior and Chelsea dragged their pool over so we could swim.  Summer said Henry could ride on her back in the deep end.    Barnum and Bailey brought lots of games to play, and Tiara and Lovey offered him a makeover before the party.  

We partied long into the night, none more than Henry.  By the end of the night, he was happy and content, snuggling with Summer and Willie as he watched the silent fireworks light up the sky.  I wish his mom could have seen him so happy.

We are going to work to make him feel that way every day.  All we are going t have to do is have a big party with lots of fireworks every night.  I think the Doggyspace dogs can pull it off for Henry.

Friday, July 3, 2020

When Ken Lost Zack He Learned the Value of Friends and Strangers

On Sunday,  I told you a story about a mom who followed her pup into the dark.  It was a joyful reunion.  But, it doesn’t work like that all the time.  Seniors lose their dogs tragically every day and do not immediately follow.  But there are times when the passing can still be a life-changing event that restores people’s faith in humanity.

Ken is an 80-year-old man who lived with his beloved dog Zack in a retirement community, much like ours.  They were seldom seen on the site, except when they took their daily walk.  Ken would offer a friendly hello but no conversation.  
Two weeks ago, Ken found himself in a situation where he had to rely on the people who he had been successfully shunning for years.  

A neighbor of Ken’s, Carol Burt, was considered the development’s dog expert, having fostered pups, and successfully diagnosed the ailments of pets in the community.  She was startled by a loud banging on her door.  When she answered, she was told that Ken needed her desperately. 

Carol was told that Ken needed her because Zack was very ill.  Carol rushed to the house and found Ken holding Zack, who was in severe distress.  Ken was in tears.  He knew his beloved dog was in failing health, and he did not have the money for the needed veterinary visit.  

Carol needed to raise money quickly.  None of the neighbors had funds to spare, so Carol took to social media.  She put a story about Zack’s plight on Facebook.  She figured she might raise $100.00.  Within an hour, she got a call from the founder of the At-Choo Foundation, a rescue that usually raised money for rescue dogs but also helped those in need.  Carol was instructed to take Zack to the vet right away.  The rescue would cover the cost.  

Carol ran back to Ken’s house and told him to get his coat because Zack had an appointment with the doctor.  Unfortunately, Zack was already too close to the Bridge to save.  Ken wept uncontrollably when he said goodbye to Zack.  Carol took a snapshot to commemorate the moment.  She sent the picture to Elaine Seamans, the founder of At-Choo rescue, who recognized the picture was the perfect embodiment of the pain every parent feels when they say goodbye.  

Elaine put the picture on her website and asked if her followers could end Ken's condolence cards.  Thousands of people responded with cards, letters, an offer from an artist to paint a picture of Zack and Ken, and a pledge from someone to pay for food for Ken’s next dog for life.  

When Carol brought the cards to Ken, who had been struggling mightily with Zack’s passing, the gentleman was overwhelmed that so many people he did not know would be kind to him.  As Carol sat with Ken, his tears alternated from sorrow to happiness. 
Unfortunately, the onrush of emotions was too much for Ken, and he had a heart 
attack.  It could have been another parent and child reunion at the Bridge, but the talented doctors kept Ken on the mortal side.  Carol visited him every day with more cards, letters, home-cooked meals, and, most importantly, one of her fosters to fill the tremendous need in his heart for canine affection. 

But, the time with the foster dogs only lasts so long.  Ken’s eyes will drift to the plaque honoring Zack that was gifted upon him, and the little box with Zach’s remains, and Carol knows that Zack is visiting as a ghost and leaves so the two of them can have time together.  

Carol has reported that her followers have pledged, when Ken is ready, to pay for the adoption fees for a new pup.  Currently, Zack is interviewing hundreds of dogs for the position. Ken does not have to worry about food and vet bills, that has all been paid for. All he has to do is love his new companion with his heart for all the days of his life.

The truth is, while the humans all rightfully feel that their generosity has inspired Ken to go on and to get another pup, it was Zack pulling strings all along.  He knows his dad is a fantastic pet parent and wants at least one more dog to know the pleasure of living with him.  To make that possible, Zack and his angel friends did all of it, the inspiration to take, send and post the picture, the raising of money, the pledges, and giving his dad the will to go on.  From the perspective of the mortal, it looked like the residue of human caring and understanding, but we angels know who was truly behind it.  

All that matters is another dog knows Ken's love. Zack won't rest until he finds the fortunate soul.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Pocket and the Parental Pee Torture

We dogs have a marvelous sense of when something is bothering our parents.  If they are sad, we try to act in a manner that will cheer them up.  If they are nervous, we must take all the worry out of their minds.  Most of the time we try to make things better, but sometimes, just to entertain ourselves, I must admit, we do the opposite.  
    We are also very adept at identifying when something is physically wrong with our humans.  When a dog is specially trained, we can even sniff out cancers and other maladies.  We are even being taught how to identify COVID 19 just by the smell.  A much better alternative than a footlong Q-Tip up your nose.
    We can tell when our humans have minor discomforts too.  Sometimes they worry us more than they do them, who can be stubborn.  Often, like an experienced diagnostician, we use both physical and psychological clues to determine what is wrong.  One of our specialties is telling when our parents have to pee.  
    If you are like me, a lap dog, you can spot a human in need of pee by a slight tensing in the groin area.  If our humans have reached a certain age, from which there is no return, we can hear a slight drip, like from a far off leaky faucet.  If we were genuinely serving humans, we would immediately jump down.  But we pups have a bit of mischief in our hearts.  We recall the number of times our parents made us hold when we had to pee, and, at least for female dogs, payback is a bitch.  
    When the need for pee expands, we turn to our parents and give them the most content look in our repertoire.  They don’t have the heart to disturb us.  So they sit, tense their most sensitive muscles, and pray that we might get the urge to jump down soon.  Sometimes, if they are crafty, or desperate, they will knock their knuckles on the floor, hoping we will think its the door, but we are not fooled.  If I were to work against my species, which I am willing to do, for a price, I would suggest an app on the phone that rings your doorbell.  That, and, over time, a sense of compassion, are the only things that will make us get down. 
    Eventually, we will get down, perhaps out of boredom, or a sense of compassion.  What happens next is why you should, once a month, when you have not been let out at your regular time, have an accident on the floor, or even better, on the furniture.  Put a nugget in their mind that you might pee on the floor, so, instead of doing the sensible thing, and relieving themselves first, they leash you and take you out, telling themselves it will be quick.  
    We don’t do this to our mom.  The only time she takes us out is when Daddy is out of the house.   She’ll just let us pee on the floor, clean it up, and won’t tell Daddy.  A little pee never hurt anyone.  Unless Daddy has to pee when we do.  Then Mommy instructs him that he better take us out first because pee on the floor is the worst thing imaginable.  That is when the genuine fun begins.  
    Because, no matter how badly we need to pee, we know Daddy has to do it more, and he is built differently from us, making his urges more painful. Typically, we pee within a few moments of being taken out, but if we know Daddy has to pee, we sniff around a lot and even do a fake pee, then rise and take more steps.  Daddy says:  “Please pee, please pee; please pee, for the love of God, will you pee.”  Inevitably he will get the idea of peeing on the grass too; what’s a little more pee?  But he knows Mommy would be able to tell.  She’s a witch, that one.  
    Finally, we relent and pee.  Daddy rushes us into the house.  We roll over to make unleashing us as difficult as possible.  Then, if Mommy is on the ball when Daddy runs down the hall to go to the bathroom, she is on the throne, making him scurry to the bedroom and use that bathroom.  
When you have been locked in the house because of social distancing, this is the most fun we have. 

The Ruby Rose Report: The Crate Door

  My parents had a cookout to go to on the Fourth of July, one that I was neither invited to nor barred from. My participation was fully at...