Friday, October 30, 2020

A Real Ghost Story By Foley Monster


We dogs are all supposed to protect our families. I learned countless stories that exhibit our incredible feats of strength and bravery when something threatens their parents.  Sometimes, dogs make the greatest sacrifice while battling evil forces who put their parents in danger. When we become angels, we can no longer physically protect our humans. But, there are incredibly determined dogs, who have aided, or avenged, their parents from the mortal side.  I recently met one such dog who was visiting who from the land called Happily Ever After.  He walked the Earth in the 1700s, and to this day, angels recall him being a dog whose ghost spirit was so strong he avenged his death. This is Blue’s story.

    He lived in England with his dad, Randolph, who was a drinker and a braggart.  Randolph liked to go to The Rusty Nail, a local bar in Blue’s native Manchester.  A few days before Blue got sent to the Bridge, a barrister arrived at Randolph’s home and gave him a bag of gold coins that was an inheritance of a deceased uncle.  In his excellent fortune, Randolph took some of his newly acquired gold coins and went to the Rusty Nail to celebrate.  He began to buy rounds and boast about his good luck.  Blue tried to warn him that he was inviting trouble, but Randolph refused to listen.  Blue warily eyed two men sitting in the corner.  They had taken an interest in Randolph’s story, and they did not smell right.

    When Randolph left the bar, the two men in the corner followed.  Dog and his master were crossing a Bridge when they heard horses approachingBlue recognized the smell.  It was the two men from the Tavern.  They dismounted and approached Randoph with guns drawn.  The men demanded that Randolph give them the gold coins he had on him and then bring them to his house to get the rest.  Aware that his good fortune could quickly disappear. Randolph refused to oblige and tried to feign ignorance.

    The men pointed their guns at Randolph and demanded his money.  Blue was growling at them, and when they approached, he lunged.  One of the men lifted his weapon and fired, hitting Blue in the chest. He was horrified to see his only companion grievously injured. Randolph abandoned a life of cowardness and charged the men, who fired, hitting Randolph in the stomach.  The men, afraid that someone had witnessed the shootings, remounted and rode into the darkness. 

    Randolph and Blue felt their lives leaking away.  They passed over with hand in paw.  The duo arrived at Rainbow Bridge together and prepared to cross, when Blue stopped, told his dad to go ahead because he had one more task to fulfill.  

    Blue, in ghost form, went back to the Bridge, and while he waited, he summoned a lifetime of energy to make his spirit as robust as possible.  Blue knew how men behaved, and he was sure that the hooligans would return to rifle through his master’s pockets looking for money and a clue to his home, where more gold awaited.  In the middle of the night, the men reappeared and began to search the body.  When they bent over the man Blue, in ghostly form, attacked them, biting on the legs and arms, until they left in terror, in need of medical duty.  

    Blue jumped in the water, floated until he came to the Bridge, climbed out, and crossed over minutes before he would have been exiled from the afterlife and forced to walk the world as a ghost. Blue had gathered so much power trying to be a spirit that he left a trace of himself on the mortal side.   To this day, when people cross that bridge late at night, some report seeing a ghost dog who looks like Blue waiting in the woods.  When approached, he disappears.  

    On Halloween, ghost hunters, both professional and amateur, flock to the bridge, hoping to catch a glimpse of the spirit dog.  There is no reason for them to be scared.  The ghost is friendly.  Unless you are a criminal, then he is a ghost avenger, and you should be terrified.


Thursday, October 29, 2020

From the desk of Foley Monster: River's Attempt to Rid the World of Squirrels Causes Her to Believe the Wrong Person

River Song had enough.  Every morning she patrolled the yard and found the grass-covered in critter markings.  Neither she nor Pocket could drink enough water to cover the spots with their pee.  To rid her yard from the persistent pests, River needed a professional.

She searched Cujo's list on the Internet and saw a listing for Mr. Boone, who promised that only he could keep critters from sneaking into her yard.   River was sure this was the solution, but Pocket was skeptical.  Mr. Boone's Facebook page listed his occupation as a rainmaker, psychic, and snake oil salesman. Pocket cautioned River about Mr. Boone's credentials, but River had been bothered by critters for so long her desire to believe in a savior triumphed over her common sense.

Mr. Boone arrived the next day. He assured my sisters he knew more about vermin than anyone else, and only he could fix the problem.   He told them to go to sleep, and when they woke up, he would have solved all their problems.  Best of all, Mr. Boone promised he would not charge them a dime.  "All I want is a positive Yelp review."  What could be better?

Pocket and River did as instructed, and when they awoke, the house had a 10-foot wall with no gate surrounding it.  River ran outside and saw Mr. Boone standing on top of the wall.  "What have you done?". River cried.

"I built you a wall so the critters can't get in," Boone said triumphantly.   "Here's your bill.” Mr. Boone handed it to River.  "I thought you said there'd been no charge," she said.  

"Not for me but the supplies," he explained.

Pocket looked at the invoice.  "It says make check payable to Boone's Big Wall Supplies," she observed.

“'it's my brother's company—no connection to me. I used to own it.  My son runs it. You can make the check out to me.”  When Pocket saw a squirrel climbing over the wall, Mr. Boone said:  “That’s not a squirrel; I didn’t build that part of the wall, it’s just a furry duck.”

River knew her parents, who were shopping, would not be able to get to the house because of the wall, and even if they could, they would not be happy being surrounded by cement. Mr. Boone told River he would knock down the impediment and use another method to keep the squirrels out.  He told my sisters to go inside and relax.

They went back to sleep, and when they woke up, they smelled something most foul coming from the lawn.  When they went outside, they saw Mr. Boone on the grass, smiling broadly.  “I have covered your lawn with wolf pee,” he said.  It was horrible.  The girls couldn’t even get close to the grass without wanting to throw up.  “No squirrel will come on this lawn now,” Mr. Boone announced.

“No one else will either,” River said.  She looked down on the lawn.  “It’s killing the grass!” she barked.  “You have to get this smell off the lawn before my parents come home.”.  Mr. Boone agreed but gave River a bill for “Mr. Boone’s Big House of Large Wolves with Small Bladders.”  Mr. Boone claimed he was owed 120 pounds of kibble.  Frustrated, River told Mr. Boone she hoped he had better results with his next attempt.  He swore to River it would. 

A half-hour later, River went back outside.  The smell and the wall were gone.  Mr. Boone stood in the middle of the lawn, smiling broadly.  “I have removed all the squirrels from the yard!” he announced.  “I want you to tell your friends if they need a vermin free yard to contact Mr. Boone.”

“There’s a squirrel on the lawn,” Pocket said, pointing to one.

“No, there isn’t,” Boone said.

“Yes, there is,” Pocket insisted.

“I don’t see anything,” he said.

“How about the chipmunk near the garden?” River pointed out.

“It’s not there.  The chipmunks are all gone.  You are chipmunk free.”

Boone denied more vermin sighting.  An angry River insisted that Boone do something.  “I could give you all COVID-19,” he said.  “Then, no one will come in the yard.”

Determining that she did not want to send good kibble after bad, River gave in and told Mr. Boone she would send him payments, seriously curbing her food intake, which reminded him to produce a third bill, for Magic Vermin Repellent from Mr. Boone’s store. Finally, he packed everything into his bright orange truck and disappeared around the bend.

I do not blame River.  She was upset, wanted change, and believed someone too good to be true.  I don’t think she was the first one.  Hopefully, she is the last.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Beat This Caption


Tucker had long dreamed of his perfect Halloween costume:  Dog Delivering Beer While Getting Anal

Monday, October 26, 2020

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Baxter and Nigel Loving Like Cats and Dogs by Foley Monster


Baxter and Nigel Loving Like Cats and Dogs by Foley Monster
People tend to think the battle between dogs and cats has been going on for centuries. The real struggle began when we became domesticated. We started to fight over attention and, most notably, the lap. When we were outside, we enjoyed chasing cats, but that was partially their fault because a cat scent can resemble a squirrel's if its blowing in the wind.
Before we began living together, dogs and cats ignored one another. We felt cats were overly prissy, totally untrustworthy, with sharp claws, and used sarcasm deftly. Cats thought that we were clumsy, drooled too much, and were obsequious. We were two species never meant to cohabitate. We are like the Democrats and Republicans of the animal world. I will let the reader decide which affiliation to assign their pet depending on which pet you like the most and political party you like the least.
Dogs and cats devoted themselves to humans. The difference being dogs put people first while cats keep the top spot for themselves. But the cats love their humans as much as dogs do. This mutual devotion has caused the strangest of mixed marriages, with cats and dogs forced to share the same abode.
Over time dogs and cats have built a relationship based on neutral respect and parental devotion, but every once in a while, the moon is holding water, dogs and cats become actual siblings.
This was the case with Baxter, the cat, and his bulldog brothim Nigel. He proceeded him to the Bridge by a few years. Maybe it is because bulldogs don't have the energy that terriers do or are not annoying, and they prefer to curl up in a sun puddle all day, which makes them the perfect companion for a laid back cat.
When Nigel found Lucy and Carli to take his place, Baxter agreed to serve as an older sibling to the youngsters and be a role model so Carli and Lucy would be the perfect dogs for their parents.
This week when Baxter crossed the Bridge, the first angel he wanted to see was Nigel. Unfortunately, a cat is required to cross the River on a Bridge designed specifically for kitties. Nigel would be there as an observer. That was not good enough for Baxter.
Frustrated that he was not getting his way, Baxter stopped midway across the bridge, jumped up on the wall, and settled in. This was a disaster. It caused a back up in production. Until we solved the slowdown some cats would be delayed in becoming angels. As anyone who has dealt with cats knows, when they make up their mind, there is no changing it. To break the logjam, I approached my kitty, counterpoint Cotton.
We had to act quickly. If Baxter didn’t cross the Bridge, the powers that be could subjugate him to being a ghost for eternity. Cotton agreed to let Nigel accompany us. During his life, Nigel has proven himself to be fair and understanding. He sat next to Baxter and said he would walk with him up to the spot where the swearing-in would take place, and when finished, they could live anywhere he wanted, which, we knew, meant with Nigel.
Baxter and Nigel walked down the aisle that led through rows of cats to honor Baxter, like a father guiding his daughter to the next life. After Baxter received the angel oath, he followed Nigel to his new home, a replica of their mortal house, except for the two people they missed the most.
Baxter and Nigel can teach us how to reach across the aisle from the dog side to the cat side.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Simba's Journey From Caribbean Street Dog to Liverpool Rock Star by Foley Monster


People love to vacation at places with white sandy beaches, blue oceans, and dozens of activities to pleasantly pass the time. It is a relaxing and memorable time as long as you stay on the main roads. If you stray, you might find all the poverty swept to the side by the local governments.
One of those things that get hidden on the side streets is stray dogs. In some countries, the roads get clogged up with abandoned and never loved dogs like America is with homeless people.
Georgia Harding and Sam Blackburn are a couple from Liverpool, England who went to Barbados for a quiet vacation, never thinking their lives would change forever.
They were driving to the beach when Sam showed off that famous British sense of direction by getting lost. As they were traveling down a street, Georgia saw something slowly moving in the tall grass. She told Sam to stop, and she got out of the car. She saw, hiding in the grass, an emaciated young dog, trembling, despite the high heat and humidity.
While some people would have ignored the dog, and others try to give it a meal and get it to the proper authorities Georgia and Sam are dog lovers and immediately decided to take the most costly and challenging choice ahead of him. They picked up the dog, brought him to their car, and tried to find a way to get him back to Liverpool.
The dog, who would be named Simba, lived in poverty with his family when the expense of a pet became too costly for them. They drove across the island, led Simba out of the car, and left him. Every night after, as he went without food, grew skinnier and sicker, he prayed to us to let someone find him. We feared if we found an islander with the high cost of living and low salaries they are currently subjugated to, Simba is abandoned again. We had to find a vacationer, and with Georgia and Sam, we thought we had located them.
We were lucky to have found them, and that Sam was easily confused by directions, which made it easier for us to steer him to Simba. The lost dog was nervous that he would behave incorrectly, but he was naturally pathetic. We told him just to act the way he feels, and that was the difference.
The authorities tried to squelch Sam and Georgia’s plan at every turn. Some governments hate to release an asset, even if it is a sick dog. They added countless fees to their application process, but Sam and Georgia persisted. When asked, they pushed more money to the center of the table until it was enough for the powers that be to relinquish Simba, with a little help from determined angel dogs guilting their parents in Barbados’ government, and let him find happiness and love in Liverpool.
When Sam and Georgia brought Simba to the vet, they learned he would need surgery. They had left most of their money on the island, but they had generous friends, and, after posting Simba’s story on a fundraising page which drew hundreds of responses, they had more than enough money to pay for all Simba’s needs.
Simba is now happy, healthy, and well-fed, with a loving family. Sometimes when you go on vacation, you get much more than you anticipated.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Foley Tries to Teach Pocket to Be a Brave Dog and Gets the Shock of Her (After) Life


Foley says I need to be tougher. I think, at 13, I am what I am, but my angel sister sees room for improvement. The angels assigned her to interview a courageous yellow lab who, through persistent and will, helped find a missing hiker in Colorado and would be receiving the dog medal of honor at an upcoming dream ceremony. Since the questioning would take place in the dog’s dreams, Foley ordered me to attend to see how a hero dog acts.
I was thrilled to meet the beautiful and heroic dog. Foley asked several questions about how she had saved the woman. Foley made a point of telling me that I had a lot to learn from this dog. Before we left, Foley remembered an important question and asked her what her name was.
"My name is Pocket," the sizeable yellow lab said politely. I could not believe my ears. I was so proud. Meanwhile, Foley was wondering how could such a brave, heroic dog be named Pocket? She loudly opinioned Pocket is for pathetic, whiny, nervous little girls, not heroes. She asked Big Pocket how she came about such a moniker.
“There is a little Yorkshire Terrier named Pocket in the Northeast. She is just the cutest dog. I love reading her blogs. She is so brave and quick-witted.” I was stunned. I stepped right up and introduced myself. Big Pocket hugged me and said it was an honor to meet me. Foley interrupted our hug and said: "If you think that is impressive then you will be thrilled to learn that I'm Pockets sister Foley Monster."
Big Pocket smiled and informed Foley that she was not familiar with her work.
"How is that possible?" Foley barked nonplussed. "I am the one that got Pocket started on social media. No one would know her if it wasn't for me."
"I am sorry," Big Pocket said. "I'm sure I heard your name once or twice and forgotten it."
"Forgot it? How do you forget the name Foley Monster? Were you dropped on your head when you were a pup? Did a bad parent abuse you one time too many times? Were you born daft?"
Big Pocket apologized. Foley was like a rabid dog with a bone who could not let go. My sister asked Big Pocket if she had heard of River Song.
"Oh River Song, what a scamp. I love that face. She has had some corking adventures."
"So, you know River but not me?" Foley yelled. "I can understand you not knowing River but knowing Pocket. I can understand you not knowing Pocket but knowing River. I can understand you knowing me and neither of them. But how the hell do you know them and not me?"
Having spent my formative years subject to Foley’s temper I intervened and told her I needed to wake up and pee, if I didn’t I would leak on the bed next to Mommy, which would upset her greatly. Foley, aware of my small, unreliable bladder, and still devoted to our mom, ended the interview, and we all disappeared back to our lives like the victims of Thanos’ snap.
When Foley returned home, she felt awful about her tantrum and begged Big Pocket to let her introduce the guest of honor during the award ceremony. Being a forgiving dog, Big Pocket agreed. During the speech, Foley gave Big Pocket so many compliments it made Big Pocket sound like the most incredible dog in history. And when it came time to introduce her, Foley said, “Everyone please give a warm round of applause for Plunkett.”
She just couldn't bring herself to say my name.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Beat This Caption


Mom, what did I say about raptors at my birthday party.  They always eat the candles.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

The Brightest Star by Foley Monster


It's is time that I told you another secret about the Bridge. I know you have been brainwashed by big astronomy to believe that those bright lights in the sky are suns millions of miles away. How silly!  Big astronomy developed this theory to explain something they didn't understand. The truth is when you look to the sky and see stars; they are just angel shadows.

Shadows work differently at the Bridge. Being here is like living in the upside-down. Our shadows cast towards the sky. When the sun is out, no one can see them.  But as soon as night falls, they twinkle in the dark sky.  And we always shine the brightest for those we love.

This week we are fortunate enough to get a very bright star in the sky. Coincidentally the angel shining that light is named Star.  She belonged to aunt Gail's pack.  She had been in a lot of pain before her mother helped her pass over. Her spine was making it too painful to walk.  Then the dementors gave her a seizure to signal her time as a mortal being had expired.  Her mom helped her take the last steps towards Rainbow Bridge.

When Star passed over, it was comforting to see how all the maladies that had affected her just minutes before dropped away like shedding fur.  In a minute, she was running.up the steps to Hobo’s landing and then did several spins around, celebrating being pain-free for the first time in a crow’s age.

 I wish Aunt Gail could have seen the way that Star and Abby played together. It was as if they were reliving their puphood.  As with every crossing, the laughter became sorrow when Star remembered about the pack she left behind. Most of all, she missed her mom Gail who had loved her with every bit of her heart.  Gail got that love reciprocated by her dogs.  It was more than she had ever received from any human.

The grieving process is much easier for us than it is for humans.  We have various ways to visit our parents after we cross the Bridge.  Also, we know we will see our parents again someday.  Most humans believe very strongly that they will see their beloved pups in the future. But no matter how much you believe in something unless you know it for sure, doubt lingers.  Our job as angels is to erase doubt.

Their creators have presented many gifts to humans.  But humans had to give up gifts too. One of those was the ability to understand what was happening in the next life.  It's a hefty price to pay for opposable thumbs.

I have explained the many ways angels try to contact their parents. But, after giving up that sense, it is difficult for people to see angels. Babies can, but once they learn how to use that thumb, they lose it.  I think that is why angel shadows go up.  If you need to know, your angels are looking out for you; look to the night sky and see them twinkle.

I hope Aunt Gail realizes the brightest of those stars belongs to her Star, trying to break the laws of physics as she attempts to shine so brightly it turns night into day.

It's the least we can do for those who did so much for us when we were mortal.  It is not their fault that they are all thumbs.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Dasiy Mae: Newly and Forever Young


You humans are lucky.   You age slowly.  When you see a person every day, you don’t notice the other is getting older, probably because of dual eyesight failure.  Most people don’t change remarkably over 15 years, but a dog’s appearance gets overhauled over the same time.  In the time frame, when humans need a touch more makeup or something to mask the grey hair that suddenly appears, we go from puppy to adult to old dog.  When when we become seniors, our parents are shocked because it seemed like yesterday when we were babies.  

    For we dogs, the change comes just as quickly. Unlike humans, we are not obsessed with our appearance.  People spend a quarter of their lifetime in front of the mirror.  They fret over their reflection, making sure every little hair is in place, their clothes fit properly, and nothing sticks to their teeth. Their behavior is hugely problematic because that is the time they could spend playing with us.  We are a lot less forgiving than a mirror.  We don’t care what you look like.  We love you, no matter your appearance, and always see you at your best.  We never preen in front of a mirror.  We see our reflection so infrequently that when we see ourselves, we bark because who’s in the mirror.

.   But, we still know we age. One day we feel a twinge in the back, or a leg, which we ignore, figuring that it is just a slight injury.  But the spasm becomes pain, and then it pops up in other parts of our bodies, like bindweed, attaching deep to the bone.  We can no longer jump on furniture or run like we used to do; walks become a chore; we tell ourselves the squirrels are getting faster, but deep down, we know the truth.  Then our breaths become shorter, our eyes fail, as do our ears, and in no time, we are a senior dog.  Some, like me, hold off the aging process to the end, while others, like our Aunt Judy’s beloved Daisy Mae, who went to the Bridge on Wednesday.

    I remember Daisy Mae as a puppy.  I have been her friend for at least five computers (soon to be a measure of time, I am just giving you a preview.)  We played together in virtual Doggyspace, with all our friends, and we felt like we were never going to get old.  When I passed to the Bridge, and the corporate stooges closed online Doggyspace, I saw less of Daisy Mae.  When I did see her, she was still beautiful, but one by one, the Bridge was claiming her, taking her golden fur and replacing it with distinguished grey, her eyesight, and finally her remaining heartbeats.  She had become a senior dog in the wink of an eye, and while Aunt Judy knew it, when she looked at Daisy Mae, she saw her as a playful puppy.  

    It is sad that the people who love us the most, watch us suffer during our final days, and see our last breath, don’t get to see all the pain, the suffering, and the old age, be wiped away as we cross the Bridge.  I think it is set up that way for a reason.  If people saw how much better it is for their pups now, and for the other people they have lost, they might fall to the temptation to end their duties on the mortal side.  It is best left a mystery.  If it weren’t, there wouldn’t be enough souls left on the mortal side to field a ball team. 

    I know that the pain Aunt Judy feels would be gone if she could see Daisy Mae as the young pup she loved, who no longer is in pain and isn’t suffering.  Maybe, if the fates align, she will see Daisy Mae, as she is now, in a dream, and be able to remember it.  It would help rebuild her heart and quell the tears.  But, unless the rules change, all we can offer as angels are these few meager words.  May they be more powerful than the pain.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

River Recounts Her Past Life as Christopher Columbus' Dog



Most dogs live their lives, use up their heartbeats, go to the Bridge, wait for their parents, then ascend to Happily Ever After, where they will spend eternity with their mom and dad.  My problem is, I have never, until now, had a parent I wanted to be with forever.  Because of that, I have made good use after I reached the Bridge of the reincarnation clause, which allows a soul to go back with a new body and try to find their match for eternity again.  I have been doing this for centuries.  I usually don’t talk about my past lives, but this week it was Columbus Day, which caused me to remember my time as Christopher Columbus’ dog.  

    Daddy Chrissie adopted me in Italy, weeks before he went to Spain, to convince Ferdinand and Isabella to finance his journey to find a shorter way to the far east by traveling west.  “Chrissie’s directionally challenged,” his brother Kenny told me.  Columbus finally convinced the Spanish sovereign to pay for his travel expenses by promising to bring back Chinese food, specifically General Gao’s chicken, because Ferdinand likes his chicken spicy.  Among the firsts that would occur during this time was initiating the practice of “You buy, I’ll fly.”

    Daddy Chrissie took me to see his ships.  “Aren’t they beautiful?  They are called the Taint, the Jock Strap, and Rectal Itch.”  I suggested he change the names because if he were lucky enough to find the new world, children would be asked, for centuries, to memorize the Taint, Jock Strap, and Rectal Itch.  Daddy Chrissie was reluctant, but when I told him his legacy could be affected, he agreed.   

    Getting the crew to agree on the perilous journey was difficult. They thought they were going past Africa, but when told they were going west, they rebelled because they wouldn’t be going by the Cape of Good Hope Barbeque, where everyone loved to stop for brisket.  Daddy Chrissie tried to tell them of fame and riches they would surely achieve, but the crew was adamant.  Finally, he reminded them that, as short Italians, they always got their butts kicked when they played intramural basketball with the natives.  He had heard whispers of a team in the west, called the Knicks, who always lost.  Inspired by hoop dreams, they agreed.

    When we hit the high seas, I realized why I was on board.  Daddy Chrissie said he was counting on me to point them in the right direction.  I tried to explain I wasn’t a pointer dog, but you know dads don’t listen.  It wasn’t hard work.  Every morning I got up, looked where the sun was rising, and pointed in the opposite direction.

    It must have worked because one morning, I caught a strange scent in the air, which smelled like a buffet. I ran to the bow and barked in joy.  “Casino ho!”  In front of us was one of the biggest casinos we had ever seen.  The men began sailing towards it.  We soon docked and were anxiously met by our hosts, who referred to us by a word in their strange tongue.  “Pigeons.”  The tired, hungry, thirsty seamen attacked the buffet, blackjack tables, and whores.”  

    Daddy Chrissie did not go with the men.  He stood triumphantly at the bow and declared:  “I claim this land for Italy, and I call it My Balls!”  I told him I was not sure if that was a good idea.  He questioned why and I said he wouldn’t want people to remember that he went across the Atlantic to find his balls.  He considered the idea and agreed, saying he would call it Hisponala instead.  He told me that meant “My Balls” in Spanish.  He wanted to call the natives “My Ball Lickers,” but I told him it might be better to call them Indians since we were supposed to be in India, and they did own casinos.  He agreed, and we both said the name wouldn’t last forever!  Little did we know.  

We met with the newly named Indians, and Daddy Chrissie said that he was thrilled to be the first white man to find this new land.  “Not the first one,” an Indian said and pointed to a dilapidated casino with Trump on it.  “He is from Germany.  He came here, bought out the casinos, put his name on them, went bankrupt, and left.”  We agreed not to mention him.  It’s not like he would keep coming back to do it over and over again.  The men all lost their shirts at the gambling tables.  Daddy Chrissie said that was okay.  The shirts were all infected with smallpox anyway.

When we got back, I was exhausted.  I passed on soon after that.  But don’t be sad.  My adventures were just beginning. 


Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Beat This Caption


I don't care if Chewy is delayed or not.  I suggest you immediately go to the store, buy my bag, bring it home, then feed me.  And I don't want to hear another word about it. 

Incredibly Displeased At The M is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Dogs Going Through Some Serious Stuff

Monday, October 12, 2020

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Kiki's Sudden Depature

I know how shocking it is for parents to be left behind after we suddenly depart for the Bridge.  I was fine on a Sunday and gone within a week.  Truthfully,  if my vet had done x-rays, I wouldn’t have lasted that long.  While it seemed sudden to you, the truth is that things were going on inside of me that you could not see and had been developing for a long time.  You just caught the final scene.  That is how illnesses work.  They stay hidden, and when it raises its ugly head, it can be too late to stop it.  


    The same type of tragedy affected my sweet friend Kiki the Huskey this weekend.  Like me, she seemed perfectly fine during the week, and then on Saturday, developed a cough, which made her parents fear she had been exposed to kennel cough.  On Saturday morning, she enjoyed her walk but showed no interest in food, something quite strange for a chowhound like her.  Her parents went to the emergency vet for what they had thought would be some anti-biotics.  The technicians took x-rays, and her parents were relieved that there was no sign of cancer, but Kiki needed oxygen.  As the day progressed, her breathing grew more labored. The vet tried different medications, but nothing worked, and Kiki, like me, could not exist outside of the oxygen tent.   As my parents did nor me, Kiki’s made the decision the let her go. 


Humans don’t love mysteries, but they are bothered when one goes unsolved.  The vet is trying to determine what occurred that lead to Kiki’s transition.  On the x-ray was a couple of unidentified shadows that the vet did not believe was cancer, but couldn’t identify. I have learned, from my seven years as a judge at Rainbow Bridge, that, unless it was a condition that could lead to other dogs having their lives extended if found, it doesn’t matter what brought us to the Bridge, because we are all assigned so many heartbeats, and when they expire we go to the Bridge.  In tragic situations like this, it is better to remember that what happened to Kiki is what it is.  The Bridge rarely answers the question of why.


Kiki knew her breathing was becoming more laborious in the days preceding her crossing, but, as all dogs do, she did not let her mom know of her troubles.  Dogs have been put on Earth to make their parents’ lives better.  That is why we silently try to manage our illnesses until the last moment, as Kiki did.  All the time she spent masking her symptoms was worth it for her because it gave her mom joyful days.


But now those have come to an end.  When a tragedy occurs which happens quickly and is unexpected it takes time for the mind to accept what it has happened.  That delays the grief process.  Kiki’s mom is slowly coming into the acceptance phase, and she will begin to walk through the dark forest that surrounds the road of grief.  Its length is determined by how much you loved, and miss, the newest angel.  For Kiki’s mom, it is going to be like walking several marathons before she emerges.  


Kiki misses her mom, and sister Rosie, although Rosie has the advantage of remembering Kiki’s dream visits, something the human’s mind need for reason blocks.  Kiki will try to break down the dream wall so her mom remembers at least one of her visits.  She will also be visiting in various flying forms.  She knows her mom’s heartbreak will continue for a long time, but all Kiki wanted from life was a happy mom, and Kiki supports her mom in her efforts to find some smiles again, even if that means inviting a new dog in the house, when she is ready. 


When she walks the road of grief to keep looking in the shadows caused by the towering trees   That is where the angels hide.

Friday, October 9, 2020

Ward is Made Whole at the Bridge

People say we are here for an eternity.  When we are waiting for our parents, it certainly seems that long.  It is rare for people to pass before their dogs do.  That is why so few are waiting for us when we cross the Bridge.  When a human passes over, it is damn pcrowded in the waiting area.  If the person had been lucky and lived a good life, they end up with more loved ones on the immortal side than the living.  Ward Lawson lived a long and blessed life.  There were hundreds of souls waiting for him as he crossed.  But, there was one more—his shadow.

    Ward spent his last years living with dementia. Every day for years, he got a degree worse until his wife, the remarkable Delores, could no longer care for him.   She made the difficult decision to place Ward in a nursing home.  It was the correct choice because a few weeks after being placed, Ward lost the ability to care for himself in every way, and needed around the clock nursing and attention.  Delores still went to the home every day to sit with a man who no longer recognized her.  There are many living hells on this earth, and that is one of the worst ones. 

    When the pandemic shattered our lives, nursing homes shut down as they became the trailer park to the virus’ tornado.  Dee couldn’t visit Ward for months.  She was recently allowed to see him outside.  The dementia was like taking an original and making a copy, then making another copy of the last one for years, until what is left seems nothing like the original.  That is how Ward looked, hundreds of copies removed from himself.  When the nursing home called Saturday to say Ward’s song was ending, the family arrived to say goodbye.  He did not leave, never one to be the center of attention, until he was alone.  Sometimes passing over is a private affair.

    When we saw Ward starting to cross the Bridge, his shadow walked towards him, and they merged in the middle, and Ward became whole again. I wish Dee could have seen him then, walking confidently like he had when he was younger, remembering and recognizing everything.  His years of torment were over.  AJ, Sabrina, and the other dogs that Ward loved during his life waited for the human loved ones to greet Ward.  When they finished, Ward got on his knees, and the dogs jumped on him, licked his face, with wagged their tails.  No Bridge crossing is a happy occasion because there are loved ones left behind, but this was close.  

    Seeing Ward at the Bridge is a beautiful experience.   We are very happy for AJ, Sabrina, and the other dogs who have patiently waited for their dad to return, some of them for decades.  It is both what we hope for the most and dread.  Sadly, the people who left behind on Earth can’t see him.

    Ward gave everything he had to the people he left behind.  He lived like the Giving Tree, and, like that story, he ended life as a stump, not the evergreen he once was and is now after crossing the Bridge. 

    A soul’s passing is always sad, but sometimes just for the people left behind.  As, in this case, they can be very joyful.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Cali's Final Mission


When my good friend Cali got sworn in at the Bridge, it was at another district miles from mine.  After Cali made the long trip to our village, I investigated why the pup didn’t arrive where she should have.  I am surprised by what I found and more aware of why Cali is a spectacular dog and angel.


When any soul passes, they have to go directly to the River of Life to begin the trip to the Immortal Side.   If they don’t, it is akin to missing a flight and taking another one with many connections and layovers.  When a river wave goes by, it is impossible to determine when the angel will catch the next one, reach the Bridge, and cross.


But, Cali had something more important than to arrive at the Bridge immediately and be directly brought to us.  Cali knew her mom was going to be devastated by her passing.  There was only one path out of the nightmare Miss Nancy would face after Cali shed her mortal coil, and that would be the distraction another pup in the house would bring.


You can only enter a human’s dreams as an angel, and Cali needed to do it herself  Miss Nancy would not be accessible when Cali went to the Bridge, but Cali’s skin sister, Vicki, might be.  Cali had a plan:  She would become an angel, slip into Vicki’s mind, tell her what her mom needed, and then catch a later wave on the River.


Cali departed the mortal world in her mom’s arms.  Her spirit flew above Miss Nancy, holding the body that the pup had shed like an old suit of clothes.  Cali found herself pulled towards the river, and the pup had to fight against it, like a small fish trying to swim upstream.  She freed herself and found Vicki, who was awake, but susceptible to a daydream.   When one started, Cali snuck into her mind and told Vicki when and where to find a new pup for her mom. Vicki snapped back to reality and told her mom to go for a ride with her.  Vicki drove her mom to the shelter.  


Cali had to go to the shelter before her mom and sister arrived and quickly interviewed the dogs. It can take weeks for an angel to find the correct pup for their mom but Cali had less than an hour.  Luckily, she met the right dog immediately.  Cali told this pup how to do the little things that her mother would surely notice.  When she saw her sister and mom enter the shelter Cali caught a wave and left for the Bridge.


The dog, who would soon be named Casey Jr, did as she was told.  Miss Nancy didn’t know why she was drawn to this dog.  She was still in a daze Before she was certain what was happening, she was filling out paperwork, then Casey Jr. was in the car, and after that home..  Even though Cali was lost at the Bridge, with no one who knew her, she was happy she accomplished her goal.


Casey Jr. had not made their mom forget Cali, not by any stretch, but she has helped her deal with the heartbreaking loss, and given her a reason not to wallow in her sorrow. Cali was absolutely right.  Without another dog in the house to rebuild her mom’s heart Miss Nancy may have slipped into a depression for months.  Cali, Casey Jr., and their brother Hurley have saved her from that fate.


Casey Jr. the family just before the shutdown hit so she got to bond with the pack immediately.  She has proven to be a beautiful, crazy puppy, who is just shy of nine months old.  Casey is a true hit at the dog park where she is earning quite a reputation.  Most of all, each day, she is healing her mom’s heart.


Now, Cali is home with us, after making a big sacrifice for her mom even after passing.  The world may not be right, but it might be bearable 

Wordless Wednesday