Thursday, December 31, 2020

Twas the Night Before COVID

Twas a week after Christmas and all through the house.

The decorations were taken down by an unjolly louse.

The masks were hung by the front door with care.

With hopes that the COVID vaccine would soon be available there.

Two dogs were in bed, River above the covers and Pocket below. 

When River thought they heard a tiny hello. 

River lifted her head,  sniffed, then said, "oh snap."

She stepped on Pocket, waking her from her late-night nap.

In the living room, River heard a definite hiss.

And with Pocket jumped down to see what was amiss.

Off to the living room, they made a mad dash.

To sniff around the sofa and out of habit one another's ass.

The room was lit by moonlight reflecting on the snow.

And Pocket worried because the cold weather made her have to go.

Then their sniffing noses made it all clear.

The CORONA Virus on a recliner drinking beer.

River knew from senses unseen. 

That it was the dreaded COVID 19.

More sickening than the Grinch, it hissed and drank its beer.

It rattled off what was becoming increasingly clear:

"On death, on dying, on petulance, on fear.

I am going to rule things well into the new year."

River stepped up to the filthy virus.

And publicly inquired how it could elude us.

'I snuck in on a box of saltines," the Virus said with pride.

“The grocery store said they cleaned it, but they lied."

River knew the virus was a big bag of illness.

Her sleeping parents were nothing but helpless.

"Once I finish my beer, I will infect them all.

Then head to Ebola's New Year's Ball,"

His breath was like old fish, and his appearance vile.

His smell so disgusting River knew it would be in her nose for a while.

He was repulsive, smug, and glum.

Even high as a kite, this creature would be no fun.

River knew they had to rid the house of this claptrap.

She turned to Pocket, who was taking another nap.

When Pocket was awake, they hatched a plan.

To give the disgusting virus a lifetime ban

They snuck into the kitchen where the disinfectant lay.

The very tools they would need to win the day.

They came out of the kitchen, blasting the disinfectant spray.

The virus laughed at them and said they would have to do so much more to win the day.

The Covid then blew a breath towards them, so gross.

It's knocked the siding off the house.

The Virus mocked them for trying to beat him with a little can of gas.

Then it remarked:  "Don't forget to tell Dr. Fauci to kiss my ass."

The girls knew they had to stand down and reload.

River took Pocket to the front room and hatched a plan so bold.

They re-emerged with River sitting on a Shop-Vac set to blow.

When she turned it on high, the disinfectant burst out, and the Virus knew it was time to go.

They followed the virus as it slithered in its attempt to flee.

Pocket then covered its trail with her own disinfecting pee

My sisters took a few seconds to celebrate.

They didn't overdo it because the virus was still free to procreate.

Before the virus slumped out of sight.

It remarked, “With me free, you will never sleep a good night.”

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Sunday, December 27, 2020

A Foley Christmas Carol

When Edwin Snout was a boy, he had a remarkable beagle for a best friend named Benji.  Edwin grew up in his family's mansion without friends.  The product of uncaring parents, all he had to love was his little dog.  When Edwin was 15, Benji went to the Bridge. It changed Edwin's heart forever.

As he grew into adulthood and beyond, whenever he saw a person with a dog, he was filled with jealousy. He hated the people who owned them,  and he came to hate the dogs too.

Now, decades later, two pups lived on the same street as Edwin.   He was annoyed by their barking, and when one of them pooped on his grass, Edwin called the police and demanded that the dogs be confiscated.  The families were upset that they wouldn't have their dogs for Christmas, but Edwin said it served them right. 

Benji was dismayed by her former friend’s behavior.  She came to me with an idea.  Benji would pop into Edwin’s dreams and tell him that he would be visited by three spirits representing his past, present, and future.  Benji wanted my help in recruiting the angels. The plan sounded familiar, but I agreed that I didn't think there were any copyright infractions.

On the appointed night, Benji appeared as a ghost in Edwin’s dreams wearing the chain Edwin had walked him with.  He told his friend that three spirits would visit him that night to change his heart before it was too late.  Edwin said he would refuse to go with any spirits and cast Benji from his dreams.  It could not have gone worse.

Tommy Tunes visited him an hour later.  He told the man that he would prove to him how much he had loved dogs in the past. The room dissolved around Edwin, and he found himself in his childhood bedroom.   Young Edwin was sitting on his bed playing tug of war with Benji.  The older man smiled at the sight.  

Edwin's parents began fighting downstairs.  Benji and little Edwin climbed under his covers and hid from the words. When Little Edwin emerged, he realized they had missed supper, so he went down to the large kitchen and made a sandwich. 

Edwin shared his meal with his dog, and then they lay in bed.  Edwin promised Benji that someday he would rescue all the dogs from the shelters and have them live with him in the big mansion. Benji gratefully licked his hand.

“I am no longer that boy,” Edwin said. Suddenly they were back in his bedroom. “I was young and thought I could change the world. I learned the hard way.” Suddenly Tommy was gone. Edwin blamed the nightmare on too many lunchtime shrimps and tried to sleep.

He heard a soft growl at the end of his bed, sat up, and saw Hattie Mae wearing a hat, a white dress, a yellow belt, and yellow boots standing on the comforter. “Let's go; I have people to see and places to be,”  she yelled. Edwin refused to go, so Mattie relied on what she would do when she was a mortal dog. She sat and barked and whined until Edwin gave in and agreed to follow her wherever she went.

Suddenly a shelter appeared around them. There were five cages, and each one held a dog. The last pup looked so much like Benji that Edwin's heart skipped a beat. He asked Hattie what was to become of these dogs.

“They will be sent to the Bridge tomorrow because no one gave them home or loved them.  Perhaps if you had opened your heart to one of them or their predecessors, they wouldn't be facing death tomorrow.  When people shut their hearts to good dogs, this is what happens.”

Edwin cried that it wasn't his fault and kept doing it until he realized he was back in his bedroom.  Standing at the end of the bed, representing the dogs that had yet to come, was me.

Edwin begged me not to show him what happened to him in the future, but I had no choice. I told him to grab my fluffy tail, and then we were transported back to the shelter, one day after he and Hattie had been there, as the bodies of the dogs on death row were being disposed of.

“No, no, no,”  Edwin repeated, looking at the dogs. We went to a long-term facility where he lay dying alone.  He took one more gasping breath, then expired.  The room dissolved, and we were outside next to his grave with no flowers left on it. His name was written on the stone because no one can think of a fitting epitaph appropriate for a cemetery. And finally,  Edwin saw his fate at the Bridge as a minion cleaning up after dogs until he did enough good that he could become an angel.

He begged me to tell him if his future could be changed, but I did not know. I slowly faded from his sight, and when he woke up, he was alone in his bed. He jumped up and went to the window.  He saw a boy walking on the sidewalk. He asked him what day it was, and the boy told him it was Christmas Eve. Edwin still had a chance to be a good person.

Edwin went to the shelter before the dogs were euthanized and adopted every one then made the worker promise before any more pups were euthanized, they would call him, and he would at least Foster them until they could be found a good home. Edwin found his neighbors’ dogs that he had sent to the shelter and insisted that he be given custody of them so he could bring them home before Christmas. Normally this would not be done, but the worker just felt there' was something he could trust about Mr. Stone, and he released the dogs in Edwin’s custody.

The first family he returned the dog to was thrilled to have him back and told Edwin he didn't need to apologize.  Mr. Stone promised to be a better neighbor and told the woman who answered the door that her dog could poop on his lawn whenever he liked.  Then Edwin went to his other neighbor.  Little Timmy opened the door, let out a cry of joy, and hugged his dog.  Again Edwin apologized and told the boy his dog could stay at his house anytime and play with his new pups.

As Edwin and his pack walked down the sidewalk, Timmy smiled and yelled, “God bless dogs, everyone.” Edwin could not agree more. 

Friday, December 25, 2020

Shiloh Saves Christmas


When I last left you, my sisters had ruined Christmas when, after forcing Santa to undergo a test for the dreaded 19 and finding that he had the disease, River chased off the reindeer stranding St Nick at our house on the Knoll.

My sisters made the right decision and contacted me.  When they told me about their difficulty, it made me understand why something had happened earlier in the week.  

Three days before Christmas, one of our Original Doggyspace alums, the beautiful, soulful, kind, funny, supportive pitbull named Shiloh, crossed the Bridge after wrestling with lymphoma for months.  She even had the dreaded disease defeated earlier this year until it rallied back in mid-December.  I didn’t know why she was chosen to come to the Bridge during Christmas week, but as my sister told me of their dire predicament, it became more apparent.  

There was a massive celebration of love, sorrow, happiness, and reconciliation at the Bridge when Shiloh reunited with Hattie, Benji, Felix, and many other old friends.  Tears shed by humans on the mortal side rained down on us during the swearing-in ceremony.  When it was over, Shiloh ran to his grandmom, who preceded her to the Bridge, and whom she would live with at a dog-friendly mansion.

That is where I found her on Christmas Eve, hosting a party with our friends.  I took her aside and told her what happened.  “Boy, your little sisters are Christers,” she laughed.  Then I told her my plan, and she excitedly agreed.  She recruited her friends to help her. 

We went to my parents’ little house, where my sister sat with a sad Santa on the steps.  I have been friends with the merry elf since I spearheaded an effort to bring shelter dogs Christmas Gifts.  Santa was happy to see me and said he hoped I had an answer to his predicament.

I told Santa that I could not let him go into people’s houses when he had COVID.  Santa sadly sighed, realizing that there would be no Christmas this year.  I told him not to be down.  I introduced him to his COVID replacement:  Shiloh Claus. 

Santa had never let anyone drive his sleigh, but when he saw Shiloh, his face lit up.  If there was an angel he could trust with his sacred duties, it was kind and faithful Shiloh.  Santa readily agreed to let her take his sleigh and said he wanted to give her a big kiss but couldn’t because of the dreaded 19.

“We still don’t have anyone to pull the sled,” Santa said, his hopes sinking.

    “Don’t worry,” he assured him.  “We have a team even better than your reindeer.”  That is when eight angel pups appeared and fastened themselves to the sleigh.  Santa laughed.  “You dogs have thought of everything.”

    Shiloh climbed on the sled, sat on the seat, wrapped the reins around her paw, and commanded:  “On Hattie, on Tommy, on Baron and Benji, on Smartie, on Felix, on Beaux Jangles and Summer.  The angel dogs dug their paws in the lawn and began to run.  When they flapped their wings, the sleigh was silhouetted against the moon; they disappeared into the stars.

    Shiloh did such an exceptional job; it was impossible to tell she was not the original Santa.  Dogs who waited under the tree to see St. Nick were delighted to discover his duties undertaken by a pittie.  Shiloh made sure all pups had special treats, and she shared the milk, cookies, and other snacks put out for the big man with her reindeer.  By Christmas morning, her work was done.  She returned to my house, picked up Santa and brought him home to be cared for by Mrs. Claus, and to take part in the post-Christmas feast for Santa, the elves, his helpers, and reindeer.  Santa was relieved to find they had flown back home, and he did not blame them for running off.  Everyone agreed that it was River’s fault.

    I don’t pretend to know why angels have to come to the Bridge when they do.  There is seldom any rhyme or reason why.  But, with Shiloh, I understood.  Sometimes the fates can see into the future.  They must have known Santa would be disabled and need a substitute, and the only soul who could accomplish this was Shiloh.  She was brought to the Bridge to save Christmas.  Sadly, she can’t go back to the mortal side.  Now she is her mom’s all-encompassing angel. Shiloh’s next miracle will be rebuilding her mom’s heart.  Stepping in for Santa was easier.

    I hear rumors that Santa may be splitting duties next year with Shiloh Claus.  If you look to the sky on Christmas Eve and see a bright light moving along the skyline and then hear barking make sure you stay awake to greet Shiloh Claus.  Also, bacon is preferred over cookies for a snack. 

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Foley Writes About How Pocket and River Ruined Christmas


Things at the Bridge can get a little timey-whimey, especially at Christmas time.  You may be reading this before it happened.  It is just like how things occur in Australia before they do here.  Think of Rainbow Bridge as being just east of the Great Barrier Reef.  It is the place where things happen first.

    River and Pocket pledged to wait up for Santa this year.  They didn’t do it to see the magical elf or to be the first in line for presents.  My sisters take their role as family protectors seriously, and they were not allowing anyone to enter the house if they suffered from the Horrible 19 virus.  River put her worries into words:  “With all the milk drinking and cookie eating, without handwashing, the fat bastard was bound to pick something up."

    To prepare for their night, River Song and Pocket watched Home Alone.  After my parents fell asleep, my sisters crawled out of bed and hopped onto the floor.  River had confiscated wire to help them capture the Big Man.  “We need to put it in front of the fireplace and trip him up as soon as he slides down the pipe.”

    “We don’t have a fireplace,” Pocket advised. 

 “Why didn’t someone tell me?” River lamented.  She put her paws over her eyes and thought hard.  Her head bobbed up.  “We could use the space heater in the front room.”

“How is that supposed to work? Pocket whispered.  “It’s a fake fire. There is no pipe for Santa to slide down.”

“It’s fire!” River insisted.  “Santa emerges from it every Christmas to save the world.”

Pocket did not have the heart to tell River that she had again confused Santa with Bruce Willis.  They put the wire in front of the space heater, and another is stretching across the front door where Santa traditionally enters houses without a chimney.”

Uh oh, Santa was infected by the Dreaded 19.

"That is what happens when you buy your COVID vaccine from the same place that you get Cialis,"  Santa complained.  "What am I going to do?  There are good children in the country who are counting on me. Their number dwindles each year, but there are enough to keep me busy.   I can’t disappoint them at the end of a disappointing year.”

Pocket ran into the bedroom, opened a drawer, and pulled out a Yorkie mask.  She gave it to Santa, excited that the man who would be delivering gifts to almost a dozen children would look like a Yorkie.  She advised Santa to take the precaution of cleaning all the presents before leaving them behind and not to "ho, ho, who”  so much since that causes the expulsion of droplets.  Santa disagreed that his new catchphrase should be a deep breath in and jazz hands, but he had to agree. For the kids.

After Pocket quizzed Santa on social distancing, she was confident he could finish his rounds without endangering anyone else. It was then that Pocket noticed River was missing.  She heard barking, growling, and then sleigh bells growing softer. Santa ran outside and saw his reindeer, spooked by River, flying high in the sky, abandoning Santa. 

"What did you do?" Santa asked.

"They were pooping in my pee spot!" River said like that justified her behavior.  "Santa, you need to be harder on them."

Santa sat down on the lawn.  “There won’t be a Christmas this year," he said dejectedly.  "First COVID and now my reindeers. I am afraid sometimes things don't work out."

Pocket could not let this be the year without a Christmas.  She made a rare good decision and contacted me. I didn't know how to save Christmas, but I knew someone who did.  Tomorrow I will tell you their story and how Christmas was rescued by dogs again.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Beat This Caption


Despite several recounts and lawsuits, all ending in failure, Lil Donny still insists he won Westminster 

Monday, December 21, 2020

Monday Question


Did your parents have to change their Christmas plans because of the Wicked 19?  Will the plans be good or bad for you?

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: Piper Tries to Fly Homes


Today, I got a prayer request from my good friend Lightning of The Chronicles of Woos Blog.  My buddies there had a tumultuous year, COVID, lockdown, and Presidential politics aside.  Against all odds, having survived separation, several surgeries, and illnesses, the Roos dogs were together for Christmas. A week before the grandest holiday of all, I got a message from my friend Lightning telling me something was amiss.  I went to him immediately. I had hoped my friends would get a quiet Christmas. Lightning’s summons made me realize that wish, like so many in 2020, would be denied.  

When I accessed Lightning’s dreams, he told me why the request:  His beloved bird Piper had gone to the Bridge. “You have taught us how winged creatures can fly back and forth from the Bridge.” Lightning said. “I was hoping Piper could come home for Christmas to surprise my parents.”

I was given the unenviable task of informing Lightning that while Piper was a bird, he was not eligible to come back and visit them. Lightning looked disappointed and softly asked why.

Every bird looks for love throughout its life. Even after their passing,  birds fly back, hoping to find a person who will treasure and care for them, not leave them out in the freezing temperatures or prey upon by hunting animals. Most birds never know love. But for a select few are fortunate to receive it from kind people who enjoy their sparking songs and inquisitive personalities.

Piper was one of those birds. He delighted his family with his beautiful songs. When anyone came into his room, he played with his toys for them. He was a bit of an attention hog.  He hadn't been feeling well as of late. The doctors could not pinpoint what was wrong.  He tried to borrow some heartbeats to make it to Christmas, but sadly, he was denied and a little over a week before the big day, he flew to the Bridge.

Usually, birds go to Bird City after they fly over Rainbow Bridge, but Piper asked if he could live with his Angel Dog family.  His request was immediately approved.

Then he inquired about flying back to visit his mom using his own body. This request was immediately rejected. Piper was told once a bird was loved and then passed to the Bridge; he could never use that body to visit his parents because it would reveal too much about the next world.

Piper was saddened he could not sing one more time for his parents on Christmas morning. I'm an angel who strives to make dreams come true. I took Piper by the wing to the Rainbow Bridge bird store. I announced that he wanted to switch bodies with another bird to visit his parents on Christmas.  No one stepped up to volunteer.  They liked walking around in cat or dog bodies, and even the occasional lizard.  Another bird was boring. 

On Christmas, we should make sacrifices for our friends. So I offered a crow the greatest Christmas dinner he had ever eaten. He could invite other birds too. And they would be waited on by Angel Ciara, Dakota, Thunder, and Phantom, Piper’s family.

It took some wing twisting, but the crow agreed to exchange his body for Piper’s, and in return, we would serve him Christmas dinner with all the fixings.  Piper was upset that he would have to sing to his parents using an out of tune crow voice, but we convinced him it was better than being unable to sing for them at all.

So to the Woo parents: On Christmas morning, listen for the sound of a bird song and know it is Piper wishing you a Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: Bella Learns to Love Again


Bella vowed to be loyal to her owner, even though he hit her, left her locked outside in cold weather, and fed him heaping amounts of expired Old Roy dog food.  Then came the trip to K-Mart. 

    Bella was excited to go for a car ride.   She thought it was the perfect opportunity to bond with her dad.  When they reached the plaza, the man got out of the car, grabbed Bella by the scruff of the neck, threw her from the vehicle, and sped off, abandoning the German Shepherd puppy.  

    Despite the abuse and neglect, Bella still felt like she had failed in her sacred duty, and she was disqualified from having a family again. Bella knew that people would try to woe her to live with them, but she would not let this happen.  She couldn’t fail again. 

Bella managed to live in the parking lot and avoid humans for a year.  She experienced one of the harshest winters outside with little shelter.  Bella considered it her punishment for failing her family. 

    Bella survived thanks to the kindness of strangers, who threw her food from their car windows so she wouldn’t starve.  When they tried to approach, she quickly retreated, feeling unworthy of love. 

    We Angels watched over Bella.  We attempted to coax her into going with a new family, but she would not listen.  She confided in Benny, an angel who spent time with her during those cold nights, that she wanted to be there when her father returned.  Benny tried telling her he wouldn’t, but Bella was a stubborn and broken-hearted dog.  

    We knew that Bella would never surrender to rescuers. She would have to be caught like a wild horse.  Volunteers from a local rescue began to visit the parking lot every day to feed her and start to bond. She would come within a few feet of the rescuers but never allow herself to be touched.   

    I kept visiting the rescuers in their dreams to encourage them to continue to try and save Bella, and Benji attempted to persuade her to surrender.  One of the most significant issues with living on the street is that it is where cruelty exists, and it is impossible to keep it at bay.

    When the local newspapers began to write about the vicious dog in the woods by K-Mart, the rescuers, in partnership with two vet techs, made one final attempt at saving her. It took an hour of chasing to get her surrounded.  Finally, one of the techs injected Bella with the sedative.  Bella collapsed, and then to the shock of those trying to help her, she stopped breathing. 

    One of the rescuers took Bella in his arms and ran with her to their car.  As they sped to the emergency vet, a tech repeatedly did chest compressions until Bella began breathing independently. 

    I visited Bella with Benji.  We told her that she had been reborn and could start life with a new family. Bella reacted enthusiastically.  

    Miss Kelly, one of the rescuers, decided that Bella would be her dog.  Bella, newly born, having shed the soul who had previously failed, was ready to get off the street.  It took a year of training, but together Miss Kelly and Bella worked until they were mom and dog, the most sacred bond in the world. 

    Bella now lives with three other dogs who she adores.  She has a loving mom and dad, goes on long walks, plays in the yard, is well-fed and cared for.  She spends the night not in a cold parking lot but on the foot of her parents’ bed.  Thank God, in Bella’s situation, that kindness won.

    We need it to win more. 

Thursday, December 17, 2020

River, Pocket and the Santa with the Poor Hands


On a Saturday last year, when their parents were shopping, Pocket and River Song downloaded themselves to the local PetSmart.  Word had gotten back to them that Santa would be there.  They wanted to get a photo with the big man and give him their Christmas lists.

    They landed in the office, which was, thankfully, for them, empty.  The tiny, dastardly duo found themselves locked inside and had to bark without abandon to draw the attention of the confused manager, who opened the door and freed them.

    The manager gave chase, determined to find who belonged to these two troublesome dogs, but Pocket and River are Hide-n-Go Seek masters and scurried into the food section, crawled on to the bottom shelf, and wedged themselves behind bags.  While they were waiting for the search to cease, Pocket heard crunching.  River Song had ripped open a bag and was helping herself.  

    When the manager gave up the hunt and returned to her duties, Pocket came out of hiding, then had to wait for River to fill her always empty tummy.  River confidently came out and told Pocket they had to wait in line.  When they came to the picture-taking area, it became apparent to them they needed humans to say they were pack members.  There was a couple with three Shih Tzus.  River and Pocket stayed close to them, and the person taking the photos assumed the two little dogs were part of their pack.  

    The line moved slowly.  Pocket was anxiously looking around at the other dogs and people doing a threat assessment of her surroundings.  River, always impatient, fussed and growled, willing the line to keep moving.

    Eventually, they were the next in line.  River said they should let the Shih Tzus go first, and then when the parents were waiting for the photos, get their pictures taken, and leave the lists.  For a River idea, it was sound.

    The people in front of them had brought a baby.  This incensed River.  They were at a place where dogs were getting their pictures taken.  Kids could get their Santa photos done at places where dogs weren’t allowed, like the mall.  Pocket tried to get River to stop growling, which aggravated her sister and made her louder, which got Santa’s attention.  At that moment, the baby moved, Santa didn’t, and the kid fell face-first onto the floor.  

    First, there was an audible gasp, then a yell, as the father ran to pick up his fallen son.  The boy seemed fine, much better than his dad, who began to yell in disbelief that Santa dropped his baby.  The mom took her child, who had started to cry, not from the fall, but the fallout.  Recognizing his faux-pas, faux-Santa pointed at River and claimed that her growling had distracted him.

    All eyes turned to River.  She saw their accusing faces and then used a gift she had been given that humans can never obtain:  Smelling.  She sniffed.  And that is when she learned the truth.

    “He’s not Santa!” River announced. She leaped up and pulled the disguise off the man who had dropped the baby.  “He’s the fish guy!  He reeks of goldfish!  No wonder he dropped your baby.  He’s all wet and scaly.”

    Usually, this would be alarming information, except all the humans heard from River was “yap, yap, yap, yap.”  The father, having identified Santa, from River’s unmasking, as the guy who sold him some defective koi, punched the Saint Nick want-to-be right in the old Blitzen.  A real bruhaha began, featuring two strangely vicious Shih Tzus.  During the commotion, River and Pocket retreated to the manager’s office. They uploaded themselves back home, having failed to get their picture taken or leaving their list, but did raise the bar for Santa’s everywhere.  The entry questions for Santa school are much more complicated, and every applicant must pass baby catching classes before getting their Santa Certificate. 

    And that is the story of how River and Pocket snuck out of the house to get their picture taken, exposed a fake Santa, and tightened the Santa school standards.  A productive day for sure.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Beat this Caption


Anthony, have you used my computer to download porn?  Well, there is porn on my computer, and I didn't put it there.  Do you expect me to believe it just magically appeared? 

Monday, December 14, 2020

Monday Question


What is your most common sleep position?  Stretched out?  On your back?  Curled in a ball?  On your side?  On your tummy?  
If you sleep with your parents or another dog, do you snuggle with them, or do you need a break from them at night?

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Tasha's New and Vitally Important Job


Sometimes, dogs are more used to their parents as an angle than with them on the mortal side.  It is a hard day when one gets their assignment to go to the Bridge because no dog wants to leave their parents, but if they are needed on the other side, they go without complaint.  Such is the life of one who has taken a sacred oath. 

    Two of my favorite parents, Myssy and Don Sullivan, have been fated to suffer from more medical problems than a wet monkey on a rock.  Whenever they seem to be getting ahead, they get yanked back.  Loyal angels at the Bridge who used to live with them have come to their air because they love them and are extremely committed to their healing, but lately, the angels have become overwhelmed. They fight the demons that relentlessly pursue their parents.  But recently, the demons have been getting the upper hand.

    The angels formed a committee to discuss how best to manage the duo’s illnesses, and they decided that their brethren were getting overwhelmed.  They needed a new pup from the Sullivan brood, one who is steeped in kindness and wisdom.  There was only one choice:  The brilliant, loyal black/white male husky with deep blue eyes named Tasha.

    As could have been predicted, Tasha balked at leaving his happy Alabama home.  I joined the angels as they conveyed to him the reasons he had to shrug off his mortal coil and become an angel.  He battered back every suggestion like a tennis player hoping to outlast his opponent by protecting the baseline.  But, there was one he couldn’t return.  It was that he was needed at the Bridge, and if he stubbornly kept refusing to go, it could be his mom or dad who would be called home; when the angels put it like that, Tasha had no choice.  He surrendered his remaining heartbeats, submerged himself in the river, came out on the Bridge said, crossed, and because of all the excellent work he had done as a mortal, became a mighty angel.

    The angels who make these decisions are rather cold and rarely recognize emotion.  Even though they were right:  Having Tasha creating prayers and persuading the powers that be to ease his parents’ pain and sickness, they did not take into account the incredible sadness that Myssy and Don would suffer when Tasha went to the Bridge.  Maybe they are right; when it comes to critical issues, like a person’s health, emotion should not be part of the equation, but I bet Tasha’s parents sure wish it was. Any parent would take on illness for one day more with their baby. 

    Such is the duality of mortal and immortal life.  Tasha is working hard, so his parents don’t see him for a long time, and they wish he were still with them, for an equal length.  I hope they take comfort in the fact that Tasha is always waiting for his parents to fall asleep, either a quick nap or a long night’s sleep, to go into their dreams and try to provide emotional comfort to them.  It is an arduous task, but Tasha is always up for a challenge.

    Sometimes, to cure an illness, the medicine is worse than the disease.  I don’t know if, in the long run, that is true in Tasha’s case, but I know his parents would give up 1,000 days for one more with him, and he gave up 1,000 days to try to ease their physical pain.

    It is a real sign of love on both sides, and they need to remember that someday, they will all be angels working for their loved ones.

Friday, December 11, 2020

Tales From Rainbow Bridge: Gunner's Big Birthday Party


 Sometimes, even with angels intervening, heartbeats being borrowed, and millions of prayers, final wishes are not granted.

 Sweet Gunner yearned to make it to his tenth birthday.  There was a big party planned.  As much as he would love the attention and the gifts, he knew his birthday bash would lift his parents’ spirits and be a needed distraction from COVID.  But, often, fate is cruel. It was Gunner’s destiny to fall just short of his tenth birthday.

    Gunner fought so hard to make it to this important date that he had no more energy left and slipped into a coma.  His mom couldn’t bear to see him suffer and aided his journey to the Bridge just days short of the targeted tenth birthday. 

    Gunner’s angel siblings, Maria, Mia, and Mabel, wanted to do something special for their sweet brother.  Since he was denied his birthday party, they tried to throw him the biggest party in the bridge’s history.  We all love a celebration, so we agreed and got to work on the bash.

We scoured the land for the finest bones, the tastiest bacon, the thickest steaks, and the most potent beer broth we could find.  We invited all of Doggyspace to come to the party.  They were all friends with him when we were all young, healthy, and the future was before us like a clear highway.

We kept the party secret from Gunner.  He was busy learning how to be an angel, to visit his mom in her dreams, to borrow bird bodies, and fly to the mortal world that he did not realize the intense planning which was going on around him.  On his birthday, we told him he needed special angel training in a secret spot, and he needed a blindfold to go there.

When we brought him to the clearing, we told him he could remove his mask, and then he saw all his friends barking “Happy Birthday” to him.  The sight of the dogs gathered for his tenth birthday overwhelmed him.  Tears came to his eyes, and he told everyone how much their effort meant to him. 

Gunner sat at the head of the table that stretched for more than a mile so all his friends could fit.  Our minions, souls who were bad during their time on earth, and sentenced to do our bidding until they pay off their debt and become angels, served us the food. Tommy Tunes gave Gunner a huge picture of him and his mom that he hung in his bedroom; Hobo Hudson gave him stock in his company; I presented him a coupon for the best bird body to visit his parents when they are available in the spring, and his siblings gave him a big bed with silk sheets.  He got so much food and gifts that the minions made a dozen trips pushing wheelbarrows full of presents to his house. 

We were all aware Gunner would rather have been with his parents on his birthday, but he loved his presents and appreciated our efforts.  Trying to make dogs happy is our duty as angels, especially on their birthdays when they recently arrived at the Bridge. 

Turning sad times into happy ones is what we do.  Now Gunner and his siblings have to try to do it for his grieving parents

Wordless Wednesday