Tuesday, September 21, 2021

A Pirate Tea Party Part Three

 I grabbed the pouch of golden eggs and slipped off the whale.  Pocket initially found it while Hattie, Lily, Tiara, and I had tea by the river.  The discovery caused pirates to kidnap us, toss us in a cell below deck and then force us to walk the plank.  Benny, the whale, saved us after Pocket removed a golf ball from his spout, helped us find, and destroy the pirates' ship.  Just before it sunk, I retrieved the booty.
Pocket, the only member of our party who talked whale, told the curious mammal what I had retrieved.  Benny hit the brakes like a green line conductor seeing a drunk BU student on the tracks, and we almost slipped off. 

He began speaking in his strange tongue.  Pocket nervously rejoined us after their conversation and reported that Benny recognized our bounty.  It belonged to the ferocious golden alligators of Skull Island.  The horrible pirates must have stolen them.  If we didn't return them soon, the alligators would leave their island, swim to the shores, and wreck havoc on all that stands in their way until they find them.

"Oh no," Hattie said.  "I cannot go to a lizard island.  

Not with these shoes on."

"Tiara," Lily said. "You are from Florida. Are alligators friendly?"

Tiara shook her head.  "Not at all.  Mommy told us we could never go near them or we would be lunch."

I asked Pocket if we could get near the island and throw the eggs towards the shore, but Benny said the alligators live inland, and someone else could steal the eggs.  We would have to take them.

"Well, there is no reason all of us go," I said.  "Let's send Pocket."

"I have heard of Skull island," Tiara said.  "There are many warring creatures there, the ones that rule have the golden eggs, so every living thing that wants them."

"That's good," I said.  "Since I have the eggs, I am their ruler.  Maybe we can buy a villa overlooking the sea and retire there."

"It doesn't work that way, "Tiara said.  "You are not a reptile."

"She is cold-blooded," Pocket said in an aside.

"Well, what the worse that could happen?"  Hattie asked.  "We are angels; if we get eaten, we will come right back in another body."

"And get eaten again, over and over, until they get tired, which could take years," Tiara said 

While we each hated the idea, we would all have to go to the island, travel together, find the alligators, and not get eaten.  I preferred the plan where Pocket took the satchel in her teeth and ran for it, but I was outvoted.

Benny dropped us off near some logs, and we floated ashore.  The island had been noisy, but when he landed, it became still.  We slowly walked through the brush.  We came to a clearing, and Tiara said she could smell the alligators.  She took the lead, and we had only taken a few steps before there was a hissing sound, and snakes surrounded us.  Their leader demanded to know why we were there.  I immediately peed myself and clutched the satchel closer.

TO BE CONTINUED

Monday, September 20, 2021

A Pirate Tea Party Part Two

 

My friends were upset with me. What had started as a lovely picnic with Tiara, Hattie, and Lily ended up with us in a cell in a ship's hull, captured by pirates, all because Pocket found some golden eggs, and I insisted on keeping them.


"I told you that we shouldn't have taken those eggs!" Hattie barked sharply. Every time we found booty and ended up captured by pirates, she blamed me. Lily said there was no time to access blame; we needed to get off the ship. Tiara noticed we had gone out to sea and needed to find another mode of transportation. Pocket chewed on a bone she found in the corner.


Long John Hudson walked down the stairs on his peg leg. He ordered us out of the cell and to go above deck. "That is a wise choice," I told him. "You don't want us as enemies." When we got above deck, a dozen pirates were holding weapons forcing us to go to the bow, where the plank hung over the water. "You can either walk to plank or live in a cage below deck the rest of your life."


"Are you insane?" Hattie Mae asked. "I can't get this dress wet."


None of the pirates were concerned with fashion. They pushed us all onto the plank and chanted jump.


"We are angels," Tiara said. "We can't drown!"


"No, but we are so far out you will be swimming for months before you get home," Tunes said.


Well, that was unfortunate news. I challenged him, asking what would happen if we didn't jump. Long John pulled a gun from his Pocket and said, we would be holy angels. What a fiend! But I had to admire the pun.


They pointed the guns at us, and we had no choice but to jump. We splashed into the cold water and began swimming away. We argued about which way we should go; all of us wanted to go in separate directions. Pocket began to make an odd sound. When I asked her why she said it was whale calls, she learned how to make them in angel school. I asked her why when suddenly a whale surfaced next to us. "I think the better question is, why don't you?" Pocket asked.
Somehow Pocket and the whale talked and reached an agreement. If we could clear the block in the whale's blowhole, he would take us to shore. Everyone thanked Pocket, except for me, who is not overly impressed with whale imitations.


Pocket crawled onto the top of the whale, reached her tiny paw into it, pulled out the obstruction, and held it for all to see.


"Is that a Titleist?" Tiara asked, seeing the golf ball.


Pocket confirmed it was. She listened to the whale. "His name is Benny. He was happily swimming along when two dog pirates began firing golf balls at him. He had been hoping to get revenge."


Pocket told the whale where we last saw the ship. We climbed on the back as Benny raced through the water. In ten minutes, we saw the boat "Ramming speed!" Lily shouted as we headed to the ship. Benny crushed in the side, and it began to sink. We laughed at Long John, and Captain Tunes slid into the water.
Before the ship went down, I saw my bag. I climbed aboard, grabbed it, and climbed back on the whale.


"I don't know why you got that," Lily said. "It's more trouble than it's worth."
Little did I know how right she was.


TO BE CONTINUED.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

A Pirate Tea Party


 

  The tea parties I hold on the third Sunday of every month are getting bigger.  At first, it was just Tiara and me.  Hattie and Lily joined when they arrived. Today would be the first tea party with Pocket. I hoped she did not ruin our quiet gathering.

I packed the tea bowls, cups, finger sandwiches, and a blanket into my Galifrey satchel, specially made bigger on the inside than out. The girls arrived at noontime, and we set forth for a relaxing day by the River.

Tiara, Lily, Hattie, and I spread out a blanket, poured the tea, bit into the sandwiches, and began to relax. Pocket, who was inspecting the Riverbank, started barking. I knew she would ruin the tea party. We followed her yipping, and found her standing by an open chest. When we looked inside, we saw golden eggs.

"Pocket" I exclaimed. "Where did you find those eggs?"  She explained that she saw the round end of one sticking up from the ground.  Thinking they were tennis balls, she dug them up. "But they don't bounce," she said, pointing to a broken shell on a rock."

We inspected the eggs.  "There was a goose who laid golden eggs; maybe these belong to her," Tashi wondered.

"That's a fairy tale," Hattie offered.

"Anything is possible here," Lily reminded her, then asked what we were going to do.

I looked around and did not see anyone.  "Let's put the eggs in my satchel and take them to Freddy's brother's Pepsi's store.  He can tell us how much they are worth."

Of course, Pocket didn't think it was a good idea, but she was a newbie.  We seasoned angels knew better.  We shoved the eggs into my bag and began to slink away when we saw two dogs dressed like pirates in front of us.  

"Excuse me," one said.  "I am Long John Hudson, and this is Captain Timmy Tunes.  We had to throw a valuable chest overboard.  We found it on the Riverbank, but it was empty. Would you dogs know anything about that?"

Pocket started to speak, but I nudged her to be quiet.  My Gallifrey satchel looked too small to hold the golden eggs. We just needed to get past these pirates, and we would be fine.  

"What have you been doing?" a suspicious Long John asked.

Tiara told him we were having a tea party but were finished, and she needed to go home and open her beauty salon.  "I like tea," Captain Tunes said.  "Why don't you join us on our ship for some?"

We looked at one another uneasily, and each tried to make excuses for why we could not go, but the pirates were having none of it.  "I know Long John," Lily whispered.  "He is Hobo's uncle and a well-known angel outlaw.  They live on the sea out of the angel police's reach.  We should give them back the gold."

I wouldn't hear of it.  We worked hard to stumble upon the gold eggs, and they belonged to me.  I told my friends we should go with them.  The booty was in a secret compartment in my satchel, and they couldn't find it. Once they searched us, we would be let go.  And, I heard pirates had great scones.  

We climbed aboard and soon were sitting on the deck, eating scones, and drinking tea, with a dozen pirates when one of them came forward and said they had searched our belongings and we didn't have the eggs.  I stood, thanked them for the scones, and prepared to leave when Long John noticed my pouch and asked if it was from Gallifrey.  I said no, but he pressed me where I got it, and when I couldn't produce a good lie, he snatched it from me.

He opened it, and couldn't find anything.  I told him I expected an apology when he turned it over and shook it.  The eggs fell out of the secret compartment.  "How did that get in there?" I asked unconvincingly.  

The pirates forced us all into a cell below deck, without even a scone to eat.  My friends and sister were pretty angry with me.  I told them not to worry.  I had a plan.

I just had no idea what that was.

TO BE CONTINUED

Friday, September 17, 2021

Foley, Tommy, Napa and Finley Search for the Queen's Crown Bones

 

Despite being born in America, my line comes from England, and my heart will always belong where my ancestors roamed. I suppose that is why, when someone stole the royal bones, Queen Victoria came to me to find them.

 

I put together a crack team to get the bones back, lead by Tommy Tunes, the great strategist, Finley, a tiny dog adept at sneaking in and out of places, and Napa. He commanded an army of homeless pups which he watched over before they arrived at the Bridge. 

 

The Queen kept the dog toys in her royal box. Basil, her heart dog, and his unyielding pack had left the palace to go for a walk with Victoria when the culprit struck. By the time they got back, the priceless bones were gone.

 

Immediately, Napa picked up the scent. He walked with his head down, sniffing until we came to a river, where it ended. Tommy stood on the banks, looking both ways, and concluded the villain could not swim with the royal bones and that he must have taken a boat.

 

Finley observed a frog on a lily pad. They keep their council, but Finley is a pleasant chap and charmed the little amphibian until he ribbetted that a black and white dog had rented a boat to ferry boats down the river.

 

Tommy negotiated a reasonable price to rent a boat, and we took off down the river. Napa, who claimed he could smell royal bones, kept his nose in the air and pointed which direction to go. I was dubious of his abilities. All bones smell similar to me.

Halfway down the river, we saw another boat traveling in the opposite direction. I ordered Finley, our captain, to pull up next to it. Perhaps this was the boat that transported the Queen's bones. When I saw Kane was piloting the vessel, I thought it was another false lead. Instead of hailing us as friends, Kane sped up and tried to outrun us.

 

This was odd. We had all been friends for a long time. I ordered Finley to follow. When we got near, Tommy jumped from our boat to Kane's. He landed hard on the deck and came up with a gold bone in his mouth. We were stunned to have found our culprit. 

 

Knowing we had caught him, Kane stopped the boat. I asked him what had happened. Before I questioned him, I hoped there was a good reason for the theft.

 

Kane explained that he was a dog who grew up on a farm. He met many cows in his time and had befriended them. When Kane reached the Bridge, he continued the friendships and met more bovine, including those specially raised to feed the royal family. When a cow named George introduced himself, he told Kane that he had provided meat for the family and bones for their dogs. The pups brought them to the Bridge. Now George had a rare opportunity: To hold his mortal bones in his hoof. Kane knew where they were and snuck into the palace to steal and reunite George with his bones.

  

Kane then showed us the bones, which he was returning. I knew the Queen would understand, and I gambled she would do more than that. When my team returned to the palace, we came with Kane and a cow named George. 

 

The Queen welcomed George back to the family. Her dogs told George he could keep the bones. They didn't need royal ones; any would do. We left George and his bones in a big field by the palace, happily chewing on grass. 

 

When we got back to the Dooggyspace village, I thanked my friends and crawled into bed. Pocket woke up and asked where I had been.   I enthralled her with the story, but she remarked that it was creepy that. George wanted to have his bones back.

I agreed and said I was happy to be cremated.

 

There were no bones about it.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Abbie Has an Important Message to Deliver

 

Abbie had a message that she desperately needed to deliver.  Having exhausted all the possibilities, she could imagine she came to me for help.


I asked who she meant the communication for and what was in it.  She answered that it was private.  This would make it challenging to help, but difficult is my middle name:  I remember being told I was the most difficult dog in the world.  


I hoped it was someone at the Bridge; that would make it easier.  Alas, she meant the message for a mortal.  "Your mom?" I asked.  


"I should have known you would figure it out," Abbie said.  As much as I like to give myself credit for being clever, there was only one being on the mortal side it could be.  
I inquired what the problem was.  "Every time I try to get my message to mom, her subconscious blocks me.  
It was a common problem.  Humans are the only ones with a subconscious.  The rest of us have enough problems dealing with a conscience.  People have developed one to block from what they can't accept:  Dream message from dogs included.  


It was a problem as old as time.  Abbie and I sat on the grass and tried to think of a way around this problem.  "I wish people could remember the good dream-thoughts like they do nightmares," she observed.

 
That was it!  Nightmares always have a way of worming past the subconscious and being remembered, at least briefly.  If Abbie could access one of them, her mommy would see her and hopefully remember.


But, accessing nightmares was a particularly tricky business. Demons create them in a cave beneath the Bridge, ringed with fire, so there are no trespassers.  No dog had ever got through the barriers to be part of a nightmare, but Abbie was determined.


We bravely jumped through the fire and then carefully put out our burning tails. Demons ran around the office like  The Weather Channell meteorologists when a hurricane hit the upper east coast.  We had to move carefully until we came into the room where they created the nightmares.  Fire, horrific screams, sharks, vampires, pantless students, and a second Trump term could be seen everywhere. Abbie found her mom's nightmare.  She was driving back from visiting her brother on a dark road when she got lost. 

Demons began to appear walking down the street.  Abbie bravely jumped into the nightmare, and I, too afraid to stay, jumped after her.  


We landed on the road with the demons where Abbie saw her mom in the car and ran towards it.  Her mom screamed and backed away.  A confused Abbie didn't know why she was leaving when I caught our reflection and saw that we looked like rabid raccoons because it was a nightmare.
I told her not to dismay; the first thing we did was chase the demons away, so her mother could get out of the nightmare.  Being a rabid raccoon gave us super speed, and we chased off the evil and then led Abbie's mom from the bad dream.  


Before her mom woke up, Abbie, in raccoon form, jumped on the hood of the car and gave her a message:  "I love you, Mommy."


Abbie would have liked to give her message in her own body, but her mom got it, which is what mattered.
And, if Abbie's mom happens to read this, and you are wondering why a raccoon loves you, understand it was Abbie, getting you a message against all odds.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Beat This Caption

 

Larry's dad left him to find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  Larry got even.

Monday, September 13, 2021

 

I am a velcro dog.  I stick next to Mommy all the time, and if she goes somewhere and shuts the door I will sit on the other side and wait for her to come out.  How much of a velcro pet are you?

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Barney Joins the Angel Army

 


 When we lived together, I  considered Pocket\to be a bit of a wimp, but when she became sick and didn't betray her pain for weeks, I realized what a tough little dog she was.  

She was not unusual.  When they begin to feel poorly, dogs know that their condition will separate them from a beloved parent, at least for treatment of the problem, and at worse, until the parent follows them over Rainbow Bridge.  Because we never want to away from our parents, we hide our pain until it becomes overwhelming.  That is what Pocket did, and Barney, cut from the same devoted cloth as my sister, repeated her behavior.  

By the time Barney began showing symptoms, it was too late for him to recover.  After he came to the Bridge, I examined his medical records and discovered if Barney had shown his symptoms months ago; the result would have been the same, but he and his parents wouldn't have the extra time together Barney's determination granted them.  

It was ironic that Barney became sick when the football season started because he had so much wrong with him; each treatment the doctors tried was like a Hail Mary to the endzone. The endeavor was noble but fruitless.  It became clear to Barney's parents that the end was now, and they sent him to the Bridge, taking on all the pain that Barney had been suffering from so he could be free.

In the end, life is lovely, but getting there is a bitch.  In the mortal world, mental and physical suffering fades away like an uneventful nightmare.  Angels miss the souls they left behind, but a grand reunion is inevitable.   It just takes time.  Most importantly, you never lose anyone again.  There is nothing but reunions here, like an airport that only has arrivals.

The brain is a complex organism.  No one can control it.  As is true of all parents, Barney's mom, Rebecca, knows he is gone.  The ache his passing caused is a constant reminder.  But, there is a part of the human brain that doesn't listen.  The section makes a parent reach or a loved one who is no longer there and the perpetually empty dinner bowl, or expects, for a flash, to see the departed.  It is a spasm in the brain that no one can trust, and it, briefly, rips open the wound again.

Barney happily crossed the Bridge, experiencing the joy of being free of pain and excited to see his many online friends and pack members, both quad and bi pawed, who passed before him.  Of course, his heart ached for his parents, but it will ease until it is more like a craving than starvation.

Barney joins the good fight we have been combating in the angel army since crossing the Bridge. It is a battle for our parents' hearts and minds to stop the ache in their chest and cease their mind's obsession with our passing.  All angels are good gardeners who clear the tangled brush that clouds the mortal mind and then plant new growth to bring more love and happiness into their lives.

Gardener Barney is prepared to work in his mom's garden, to remove the pain and longing so that she can go one to dram and love again.

I think when Barney undertakes this arduous task, he will show he was a green thumb.

Friday, September 10, 2021

Frodo's Greatest Challenge

 

For 18 years, Frodo managed to avoid the dark angels who brought souls to the Bridge.  Perhaps he had a ring that made him undetectable to them.  Whatever Frodo's secret was, he managed to live a long and happy life.

Three days ago, Frodo decided to leave on his terms.  His body was wearing out, and he knew it was time, so he began to bark for the dark angels to take him.  It took five minutes for them to find him, and then, in a blink of an eye, Frodo cast off his mortal coil and arrived at the angel side.

Mama Terrie, who had the privilege of sharing Frodo's life, knew what the barks meant.  She was able to hold him, give thanks that he was her boy for so long, let him know she loved him to the moon and back and gave him her heart before she left.

It wasn't just the dark angels who came for Frodo, but the light ones as well, and when Frodo departed, and something big left the mortal side, the room, filled with a heavenly light.  

Mama Terrie knew Frodo's heart better than he did and was aware that it was failing in his final days.  She permitted him to expose himself to the forces that would take him to his last forever home.  As much as it hurt her, she encouraged Frodo to leave, become young again, leave all his pain behind, which she would take, and the enormous pain he had felt after he was gone.

Frodo traveled with his parents, exploring all corners of the country and leaving pee-mail in 32 states, where dogs learned about his fascinating life. In 2006 he was the Grand Prize winner in My Space and Electronic Art's Perfect Pet Contest, besting 2,400 dogs.  His parents didn't need a title to know he was perfect; he showed it to them every day.  

Frodo had been failing for so long he had forgotten what it was like to feel healthy, but he had only taken a few steps over the Bridge when his pain was gone, and he felt like he had during the W. Bush administration.  The lively Jack Russell bounded up the stairs, where the angels stunned him by giving him a hero's welcome.  He was so busy traveling and being the perfect dog that he never realized his parents were celebrating his life on social media, which, along with his leaving pee mal in the majority of states, made him known and respected throughout the dog world.  

He told me the Grey Havens was more beautiful than he had imagined. Pocket whispered to me that Frodo thought he was somewhere else.  I patiently told her the Bridge was whatever you wanted it to be, and if it gave Frodo comfort to call it the Grey Havens, then that is what it was.  

Once he arrived, Frodo began to undertake the most significant task anyone with his moniker had attempted.  He had to ease his mom's pain and get her away from the Gates of Mordor, where the darkness of despair and depression took residence.  Mordor's pull is strong, but so is Frodo's love.  He has been underestimated before and beaten the odds, per example:  How he lived for 18 years in a world where some pups only get half that. Mordor has never been a match for Frodo, and it is assured it would not be now.  It won't' be easy, and will take time, but Frodo is tenacious and won't rest until all the pain Mama Terrie took on when he passed over is gone:  Because Frodo's love rules them all.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Geordie, Sabrina, Tango and the Bacon Volcano

 


 I woke up to someone banging on my door and Pocket barking.  Transitioning to the mortal side has not curbed her from doing so every time she heard a knock.  We both got out of bed, opened the door, and saw Geordie, with a rope over his shoulder, and Sabrina and Tango were standing behind him.  I welcomed them inside and offered them some bacon cereal, but Geordie said there was no time.  

"Have you heard the legend of Franklin T. Pig?" he asked.  I replied that I had not.  He ceded the floor to Sabrina, the investigator.  

"There was a tribe in Africa that lived in the shadow of a volcano," Sabrina explained.  "To make sure it stayed dormant, they would sacrifice a pig every month.  It worked until Franklin, who, when he was sacrificed, caused the volcano to erupt.  There was no record of Franklin ever reaching the Bridge.  But, there is a legend."

Tango picked up the story.  "We know everything that passes from the mortal world comes to the Bridge," Tango said.  "But, no one had ever thought about dormant volcanoes resurfacing here.  I think that Mount Dog Leg, in the Angel Mountains, is actually Franklin's volcano, and he is still down there."

I admitted it was a fascinating story but asked why it concerned me.

"Franklin is a pig at the bottom of a volcano," Sabrina explained, "with all that heat and fire.  He's roasting down there."

"It's the sacred mountain of bacon," Geordie said excitedly.

I had heard the legend of a volcano filled with bacon, but I thought it was a myth.  Now that Sabrina had a location, I knew we had to look for it.

We set off towards the mountain at noon-time.  It was a lengthy journey, and we split up the travel between flying and walking.  It was 3:00 when we arrived.  Since my three friends had found the volcano, I took it upon myself to figure out how to get the bacon from inside.  I had a simple plan.  I was throwing Pocket into it.

I hadn't told her my plan, and when I told her to jump in the crater, she barked that she balked.  I was furious and said to her that she was letting the team down.    Geordie stood between us and played peacemaker.  He was willing to get lowered into the volcano.  

We put Geordie in a basket and lowered him.  We were almost out of rope when it hit bottom.  We had told Geordie to tug twice when he wanted to come up.  A minute after we lowered him, we felt the tension and brought what we thought was Geordie to the surface.  But, instead of it being our friend, it was Francis the Pig.

He was relieved to be out of the mountain finally.  He had become trapped down there, and, just as the legend said, he kept burning.  Luckily, he got a new body every time it happened, but he had to live with his former body's remains for decards.  

"You mean, it's true?" I asked.

"Yes, it's a volcano full of bacon." We asked where Geordie was.  "He said he wanted to stay and eat it all, and I replied it was okay as long as he doesn't light a match.  That will ignite the volcano."

Then the ground began to shake.  I asked if Francis was sure he told Geordie.  The pig said he couldn't remember.  Swine are so unreliable.

Suddenly, there was a great rumble down under, and the volcano erupted.  A thousand pounds of bacon shot into the air, with Geordie riding the top like a cowboy.  When the eruption ceased, it eased him down.   There was nothing but crispy bacon for miles, and we could only get home by eating our way out.  It took us about 20 minutes.  

When we finally got home, we removed our fat, swollen, bacon-filled bodies for ones not so bloated.  Then we slept soundly, with satisfied bellies.  

Without Francis to guard the volcano, we hope it will erupt again because bacon from a volcano is the best.

Monday, September 6, 2021

Monday Question

 

I got an awesome lick mat that I use when my parents are having a snack in the living room so I don't get in their faces and bother them.   I used to have a marrow bone filled with treats, but my mouth and the bone were not a good match.

Do you have any toys that contain treats a little bit at a time?

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Saving Calvin, the Dog in the Well

 

Once again, the tiny, terrific terrier duo was called upon to save a dog, and this time I can honestly say I couldn’t have done it without Pocket. 

    I was lying in the backyard getting some sun when I saw the Foley signal.  I yelled “To the Yorkie Poles,” and Pocket joined me as two of my minions, the Stavinsky brothers, natives of Warsaw, and terrible dog parents, dragged us in a rickshaw to the site where the prayer was issued. 

    We looked around and didn’t see a dog in need, just two standing by a hole staring downward. I checked my IPaw and it said the dog, Calvin, was praying for salvation after falling down a well.  We flew inside it, and sure enough, we found the 12-year-old Golden Retriever desperately treading water twenty feet below the ground.

    This is where working as a duo paid off.  Calvin was in desperate circumstances.  He was growing tired and needed encouragement.  But, more imperative was getting him help.  If I had stayed with Calvin, the rescue would not occur, but he would have become weary and drown if I left him alone.  Thankfully, Pocket was with me, and she could stay with the dog while I got help. 

    Usually, I could wait until nightfall and drop into a dream to tell the parents where their missing dog was, but everyone was wide awake, and by nightfall and dream time,  it would be too late.  They were working in the yard.  It was impossible to get their attention; I had to get Calvin’s siblings, Ava and Aubrey, two purebred miniature poodles, to stand by the hole and bark like they never had before. Being naturally chatty, the girls began perfectly barking and got their parents' attention.  The duo was somehow surprised that their aged, half-blind dog had fallen into a large open hole on their property.

    Pocket stayed with Calvin, encouraging him to swim.  He continued to say that he wanted to rest for a moment, but the dog was not buoyant enough to stay afloat on his own, and Pocket kept telling him just one more minute than he could rest.  Pocket yelled to me that Calvin didn’t have too much longer.  

    We had to communicate to the confused parents to call 9-11.  Dogs cannot speak, but we can bark in short bursts and make it sound like a phrase.  I asked both girls to bark “9-11.”  It only took the dim-witted parents a few minutes to recognize it and call.

    Pocket knew Calvin was failing. She remembered she had a treat in her ear she had saved for later.  She got it out and then flew over Calvin, with the treat just out of reach.  Pretty clever for a second sister.  Still, even wanting the treat, Calvin had minutes left before we would be greeting him at the Bridge. 

    The emergency responders arrived.  Pocket kept telling Calvin one more minute.  After ten, she was losing faith as Calvin’s eyes were closing, and he was barely staying afloat.  Just before he went under, a man repelled down, grabbed Calvin then pulled him to safety.

Once we knew Calvin was safe and his stupid parents would cover the hole, we went home. The pocket was very excited about the save.  It was her first one where the subject was so close to passing.  She sat at the end of my bed, nervously talking about it.  Finally, tired and wanting to go to sleep, I asked Pocket to settle down.  She did but still fidgeted and kept me awake. 

And that is how I ended up playing ball with her in the middle of the night.  And she still doesn’t bring it back.

Friday, September 3, 2021

Pocket the Half A Bee

I do not like to assume a bug’s body unless in an emergency.  They are cheap and always available but are unsteady, not cute, and unwelcome by humans.  Also, when you borrow one, you must get expensive insurance because they are easily squishable.  

    When Pocket came to me and said she wanted a bee body, I tried to tell her that she wouldn’t like it.  But, you know how persistent she can be.  So I took her to the hive and let her pick out a bee.  She wanted the smallest one available, nothing more than a baby.  She gladly paid the insurance for this very squishable body.  

    Pocket shocked me by saying she wanted to go at night.  I told her no one would be able to see a little bee in the dark, but she persisted. 

Before Pocket made her switch, I noticed a twinkle in her eye, the kind she used to get before she played with me.  I knew she was up to mischief, so I borrowed a moth body to keep an eye on her.  

We flew down to the front yard, and she settled on a flower while I fluttered by the window, trying to discover her motives.  Then I heard the door open and saw River walking on a leash.  I could have flown down to warn her, but I wanted to see what Pocket’s play was.

When Pocket saw River, she flew her little bee body towards the pup.  I thought she was going to bite.  I wouldn’t blame Pocket.  River took big chunks out of her a few times, and Pocket had become an avenging angel.

Pocket settled on her leg, and I waited for the yip from River as Pocket stung her, but there wasn’t one.  The river began walking into the house, and I saw Pocket’s bee body holding on to River’s leg.  I could not believe what I was seeing.  Pocket was getting into the house in a body.  Since humans learned to put doors on dwellings, this has rarely happened.  

I flew to the window and watched.  I saw River begin to shake her leg like she was trying to kick a thousand little soccer balls in a row.  Pocket continued to aggravate River by running up and down her leg.  Finally, the humans noticed River’s odd behavior and dropped to the floor to discover what caused this spasm. 

When Pocket was found on River’s leg, I shut my eyes, expecting her body to be squashed, but something strange happened.  Pocket was put on a finger, and she got to feel what all angels long for, their human touch.  It lasted several glorious seconds until, because no one knew it was her, she was dropped in the sink and sent to the sewers.

I flew back to the Bridge, where an excited Pocket had happily paid for the lost body. She told me how wonderful it was to be touched by a loving human again, even if they found her revolting.  It was an angel’s dream come true.  While I wish I had thought of it, I was proud of Pocket.  

So, next time there is a bug in the house, before you kill it, give it a little pet because you never know who it is.  

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Two People and a Dog in Search of a Vet

 


Sketchy is a tiny chihuahua who lives with his two parents.  Now that he is a senior, he loves it when they carry him.  But, he still has the instinct to bound to the door whenever he hears someone outside.  Lately, he has been mistaking different sounds for a knock.  On this day, when a car door shut, Sketchy unexpectedly pushed away from his dad and fell to the floor.  When he landed, he yipped in pain and began limping.

His concerned parents picked him up and maneuvered the leg, hoping it was just a sprain.  Sketch’s shriek of pain proved otherwise.  It was on the weekend, so their only choice was to take him to the emergency vet.  With his mom holding the injured pup, his dad sped to the pet ER they regularly used.

Per COVID protocols, his dad texted the office that they had arrived and the issues that brought them.  A masked tech came to the car while Sketchy’s mom told him that he had to go with her, but his parents would be anxiously waiting in the car.  His dad rolled down the window and carefully lifted Sketchy to pass him to her.  

“I’m sorry,” the young tech said. “We can’t take your dog.  We are full.”

The woman took Sketchy’s dad aback.  “What do you mean full?”  He had never had a dog turned away at the emergency vet before.

“We can’t take on any extra patients; our recovery room is full.”

“We are not looking for Sketchy to stay overnight,” the father explained.  “We would just like an x-ray and maybe a splint.”

“Yes, I understand, but we could find something on the x-ray, like bone cancer or a condition that requires surgery, and we would have to admit him.  We wouldn’t be good doctors if we sent a patient in need of medical attention home.”  

“But, you’re not letting us get medical attention!” Sketchy’s dad shouted.  “How is that any better?”

“It’s like a pair of socks at Christmas,” the girl said.  Sketchy’s dad, his anger growing, held up his hand and shrugged to convey that he did not understand.

“Before Christmas, everything is wrapped under the tree,” she said excitedly, “There might be a box under the tree that catches your eye.  You get excited about what it could be, and then when you open it, you find out its Christmas socks, and you are disappointed and have to find a place in the drawer for them.  We don’t want to find out Sketchy is a box of socks so that we won’t be seeing him.”  She turned and walked away.  

Sketchy’s dad wanted to follow the woman and continue to argue, but his mom said they needed to concentrate on the dog’s health.  She convinced him to drive north, where there were several emergency vets, and hopefully, one of them could see Sketchy.

None of them could.  Each ER insisted they were full and sent them to the next one further North, until they had traveled 120 miles to New Hampshire’s Lake Region, where they drove to the shore, handed over Sketchy in a plain, brown paper bag to two indigenous people who canoed him to an island where an unlicensed shaman chanted over Sketchy, then put an ill-fitting splint on the poor baby.  When Sketchy’s dad tried to pay with a credit card, he was waved off and told they would take six fresh catfish as payment.  After a night of fishing, the debt was paid, and Sketchy returned home with his parents.

While fishing, the dad accidentally embedded a hook in his hand.  During the trip home, it became infected.  They stopped at a hospital and went to the emergency room.   They told him they could not see him because the facility was full.

They suggested a hospital on an island run by a shaman.

The dad told the tech it was okay.  He would take his chances with the infection.  So much for modern medicine.  

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Foley Writes About Pocket Helping a Blind Dog and Seeing Eye Cat

 

I have been very impressed with Pocket’s quickly adjusting to being an Angel. She has ascended to the position of patron saint for the infirm and scared.  I think it is the perfect position for my sister.  Mortal dogs like her are wearing bracelets that say “WWPD” for What would Pocket do.

 

Spike is the first dog who sought Pocket’s help.  A quiet, unassuming pup, he spent most of his life outside with his only friend, a cat named Max.  They had both been abused by their owner and were scared of humans.  When Spike began to lose his eyesight, he prayed to the angels for help.  Normally, I would have taken the case, but I figured Pocket would be the one to speak with Spike. 

 

Pocket told Spike that she could arrange for the duo to get a new home. She knew that their parents had hurt them, but those people were outliers.  The vast majority of humans, especially those looking to help him, were kind and would make his life better.

Spike had one good reason why he did not want another home.  He was afraid that they would separate him from Max, who had become his eyes in the world.  Pocket promised they would not be apart.

 

Pocket knew she had made a vow she could not keep and didn’t know what to do. At wit’s end, she came to me for help to keep Spike and Max together. 

 

She told me I was the only Angel she knew who could help her. Pocket knows nothing motivates me like flattery, and I said I would enter the parent's dreams and convince them that a blind dog and senior cat were too much for them and Spike and Max should be surrendered.  Meanwhile, Pocket prepared them for the abrupt change in circumstances that would be upcoming. 

 

Even if a dog is unloved and abused in his home, being surrendered is still a frightening proposition. Every dog is afraid of the needle that sends so many to the Bridge without love. After being left at the shelter in separate cages, both pets feared being sent to the Island of Misfit dogs, an urban legend commonly believed to be where unloved pets are fated to go.

 

A sign that they were undergoing a reversal of fortune was when they were removed from their respective careers and handled for the first time with kindness and love. 

 

The staff quickly determined Spike needed eye surgery for painful cataracts. At first, he had difficulty recovering from the procedure, but the dog immediately perked up when Max was put in his crate next to Spike. The staff realized they could not be separated.

 

As I have said, every pet in a shelter needs a hook to get adopted, and Spike had two.  He was blind and needed a seeing-eye cat. 

 When the shelter posted their profiles on the Internet, people were immediately interested, and the workers we able to pick the best possible homes for them.

 

Now, Spike and Max are in a new home together, always inside, not suffering from the rain or the cold.  They are fed regularly and get a lot of love.  Their lives are perfect, even with only one of them being able to see.

 

And it was another victory for the teeny tiny terrier duo.

Friday, August 27, 2021

On Grief

 

It moves in without you noticing to be a permanent resident. It seeps into your mind, heart, and soul, dominating your thoughts. Its name is Grief. 

Grief turns everything dark and makes you shun the daylight like a vampire. All the sun does is cast empty shadows reminding you who is missing. 

Grief brings his sister, Guilt, with him. Together they whisper in your ear that you are to blame. Grief is as mischievous as Loki and as powerful as Thor.

Grief hates laughter and causes you too to do the same. It makes you want to yell at giggling fools, “what’s so damn funny?”  And if you laugh, Grief brings Guilt to berate you.

Grief has a cousin called Misery. He is more social than Grief. He loves company. Grief hates it. Go away; I am with Grief. 

Grief loves the rain. You can stand with Grief during a storm and weep. It looks like you took too many raindrops to the face. Grief prefers anonymity 

Grief enters your mind and puts it in a vise lock. You have thoughts not connected to Grief, but they all lead back to him. Grief strives to be the center of attention.

Grief abhors sleep. His hosts must constantly engage grief. If you somehow ignore him and fall asleep, he will prod you until you are awake and slam into your weary state like a massive wave on a skiff. 

Grief remembers all the times he encountered you in your life and ties all the losses together in a black bow. 

Grief puts everything into perspective. What bothered you before he moved in is now trivial. Grief conquers all. 

Grief is angry that he doesn’t get more respect. Companies give their employees months off when a child becomes part of the family and a couple of days when someone dies. Grief thanks, it should be equal time because he knows no one can work with him dominating their thoughts. Grief is hitting people harder to prove his case. 

Grief is a Yankees fan. 

Grief prefers the respect he got in the past when people wore mourning clothes that signaled they lost a loved one and permitted them to be a bit of an asshole. You could get away with a lot wearing mourning garments. Then full-time assholes realized they could act with immunity by wearing them. The phony mourners ended the tradition. Their ancestors are currently making fake vaccination cards. 

Grief has a point. 

Grief has no patience. Grief is always itching for something to start. Grief can morph into anger easily.  Grief elevates the indiscretion of others. Grief makes you want to punch someone in the face.  If you do so, Grief will not join you in the jail cell. His cousin Terror will. It's another argument for mourning clothes. 

Grief never leaves. Grief becomes bored and turns into acceptance. Grief stays in this dormant state but can arise again on birthdays and anniversaries. Sometimes without warning, it comes back and slaps you in the head when you least expect it. 

Grief is relentless

Grief is here. 

Damn grief.