Do you like to ride in the car? Do you stick your head out the window?
Sunday, May 30, 2021
Every village at the Bridge has a school. It is attended by pre-born puppies who need to learn what scientists call “instinct.” A group of the most learned dog professors teaches the pre-borns, led by Dean Apollo. Angels can train for as long as they want, and recently three of Apollo’s most tenured professors resigned. He needed someone he trusted and was an educator on the mortal side. There was only one dog. But, it would break their mother’s heart.
Friday, May 28, 2021
I belong to the most exclusive group at Rainbow Bridge: The Yorkie angel club. When we add a new member, it is bittersweet. The more Yorkies, the merrier, but it also means a parent has lost a beloved dog.
The biggest pack we have in our club is the M&M kids. They are a threesome composed of Mail-Bear, Meeka, and Missy-Diva. This week we were joined by their brother Monty.
Monty was the last mortal member of the M&M pack. He was his mom’s constant, helping her through the tragedies of losing three other Yorkies, as well as the passing of her husband. Monty borrowed and begged for heartbeats and refused to show any sign of illness, but it is impossible to hide things from a mom, who knews her little one’s quality of life was suffering. Monty’s mom let him join his siblings and dad.
Dogs hate leaving their parents but are delighted to be reunited with one they lost. When he crossed the Bridge I had a difficult time getting Monty to concentrate on the angel oath because when he saw his siblings standing at their Dad’s feet, he scampered up the steps ran to them, barking, spinning around, jumping, and giving his dad 1,000 kisses.
I tried to corral Monty and get him to concentrate, but I understood his excitement because that is a Yorkie’s default setting, and his equally elated siblings did not help. It was his dad who calmed Monty and instructed him to take the oath.
When the M&M pack visits their mom, their dad accompanies them, and while she is dealing with her latest tragedy, her dad told the pack they needed to see her more often. They knew that her mind would not remember the visits, but her soul would.
Monty’s dad also goes to the Yorkie club meetings, which is welcomed by all of us because a Yorkie’s favorite activity is to snuggle with a human, and Monty’s dad offers his lap to every dog. At first, I thought it was a sacrifice, but then I saw the smile on his face, and I knew he loves it as much as we do.
He is not the only parent in our club, but he is the best at throwing the ball for us. He never fake throws, which is good because it is one of the worst acts of trickery a human can do and would make him an instant minion.
We are also trying to help Monty with his transition to the Bridge. It is easier when you have a parent with you, but he still misses his mom, and their life together. One of the best parts of the Yorkie club is when we share stories about our parents, and no one has more stories than Monty’s pack.
I hope his mom knows that Monty is with his family, and is getting better every day. He no longer has any of the pain or sickness that plagued him the last days of his mortal life.
But, there is not a minute that passes when the pack, and their dad, don’t think of their mom.
We hope she can feel the love pouring across the Bridge.
Thursday, May 27, 2021
I am distraught about the dogs being returned as people go back to work after the pandemic. When COVID began, and humans emptied the shelters, I thought the dogs found their forever home. Unfortunately, humans lived down to my expectations. The dogs would stay loyal to their parents even if they were gone most of the day, but the parents did not return the love. To buoy my spirits, I searched for a story that would show dogs are always loyal and that humans are worthy of us. I found one in Palm Coast, Florida.
The story begins in the saddest possible circumstances. Dan, an Army veteran, lost his home and spent his day panhandling at exit 289 with his dog Belle, who sat in a wagon. Dan held a sign saying he was a veteran and wearing an army cap.
I was very proud that Belle stayed with her dad despite losing their home. Dogs never abandon their parents. I wish I could say the same of the latter.
That is when they drew the attention of a man named August. A fellow veteran, he saw Dan and Belle panhandling on the side of the road. He had seen dozens of people begging on the street, but this man in the veteran hat with the dog touched his heart. He parked his car and offered the man and his dog food and water.
The two veterans fell into an easy conversation, as ex-military members do. They can say more in between sentences than others do with a thousand words. Dan explained that rain was in the forecast, and he hoped to get a room for the night.
Dan was forthcoming about his situation. His drinking has to lead to his wife leaving him, which spurred an ongoing bout of depression. Dan stopped being productive and sank to the lowest rung of society. Belle stayed with him, going from the warm house to sleeping on a grate when it snowed. Like all dogs, as long as she was with her dad, she was happy.
When August got home, he went on a neighborhood social media app to share his experience. Dozens of people responded that they wanted to help.
Another veteran, who was more social network savvy than August, read about Dan and began a Go Fund me page. When Dan learned that people were raising money to help him and Belle get home, he was overwhelmed. Who knew the kindness of one person could change another’s life?
Because Dan is homeless, he relies on meetings with August to keep him informed of the fundraising efforts. Dan will soon have enough money to secure housing. The kindness of his community has inspired him to find work in his chosen field of air conditioning repair. There should be no shortage of jobs this summer. The only requirement Dan has of a new home is that dogs be allowed. After all this, he is not turning his back on the only soul who accompanied him on his journey to rock bottom.
I flew down to thank Belle for being part of a story that restored my faith in humanity while proving our loyalty. Belle had no idea why she was being thanked. Dan was her dad, no matter what they were doing or where they were.
If only more humans felt the same.
Wednesday, May 26, 2021
Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Monday, May 24, 2021
Sunday, May 23, 2021
Mollie was not the first friend that I lost to the Bridge, but she was the youngest. It seemed like she got diagnosed with IMHF and was gone within a week. That is how it goes with that horrible disease. One day she was lying in her sunroom, her favorite spot, and the next, she was at the Bridge. Her crossing over was when I began to understand how unfair mortal life can be.
When I went to the Bridge, Mollie was the first of my friends to greet me. She helped me adjust to the immortal world. I promised her whenever she needed help; I would be first in line to offer it.
This week, when Mollie said she needed assistance, I could not refuse. Tom Cat, her mortal kitty brother, was missing. Mollie couldn’t count on the cat angels to find him. They tended an investigation to stop and lick themselves or lay in the sun. They did not have the necessary attention span.
The good news was that when we flew to the woods near Mollie’s house, we found Tom amidst a pack of ferals. The bad news was that they did not want to come home.
The ferals were gathered in a clearing. They were using a tree trunk as a table and had somehow commandeered a pool table. They all wore motorcycle cuts with the
“Bad cats in black hats” scrawled on the backs. Tom’s said probie. They had on black fedoras.
Tom told us the ferals had been recruiting him for weeks with the promise that he would be able to get in touch with his wild side. They had already raided the neighbors’ trash cans and were running catnip into Northern Georgia. Tom had never felt so alive.
Mollie pleaded with Tom to return home. Tom said he would, but he would spend a few days getting in touch with his wild side. Mollie and I shared an uneasy look. These feral gangs didn’t let members out after welcoming them into their club. Mollie and I needed to be clever.
We needed a multi-pronged attack. Mollie remembered that her neighbor owned a sweet Bull Mastiff named Duchess. Mollie said she could get Duchess to chase the cats. I went to work on the mother.
I didn’t create a dream to communicate with her, but a nightmare. Visions of feral cats overwhelmed her, and when she awoke, she called animal control and demanded a half dozen cat traps be placed around her property. The reluctant animal control officer, clearly intimidated, agreed to loan her the requested traps for a day.
Duchess was harder to persuade than her mother. She had never harmed a soul and didn’t want to start on the cusp of her 12th birthday. I slipped back into her sleepy mom’s dreams and got her to agree to reward Duchess with a fresh steak bone if the dog helped her with the feral cat issue. Even the kindest dogs can’t pass up a steak bone.
Mollie and I returned to the kitty gang and “accidentally” let slip that Duchesses’ mom had a primo crop of cat grass. Bishop, the leader, yelled, “tonight we ride!” And then they planned their grass heist.
That night Bishop, Tom Cat, and the rest of the pack raided Duchess’s yard. The Mastiff held up her end by ferociously charging the cats. When they fled, they ran into the traps, except Tom Cat, who we guided to his grateful mom’s house.
While Tom Cat’s mom was just happy, he returned both Angel Mollie and sister Sophie barked at him for hours for causing his mom to worry. Hopefully, he learned his lesson.
And if you are in the Virginia area looking to adopt a cat beware of the tattooed ones wearing biker cuts and smoking catnip. They are kitties with attitude.
Friday, May 21, 2021
I always loved my harnesses. They were comfortable and made sure if I trusted my instincts and ran after something I saw on a walk, I would only be able to advance six feet. It did so without aggravating my trachea. Plus, I rocked them. When I visit Mom as a ghost, I check my statue to see the last harness I wore, which is now on my doppelganger. It almost looks as good as it did on me.
It was never a problem finding a harness for me. I have the perfect body. But, it is a challenge to locate them for my sisters. The Gods cursed them with freaky bodies: River has a tiny head and a big chest, while Pocket has a small head and an even more petite body. All her clothes are Pocket-sized which means they are small enough to be smuggled into an average person’s pocket.
This week my parents undertook the task of finding new harnesses for them. I don’t know what was wrong with the old ones. Mommy said they were old and faded, which I thought matched my sisters perfectly.
My parents made the correct decision not to take them with you to the store. It is one thing for your neighbors to know how obnoxious the terrierist duo is, but if people outside the village find out, they will begin to question my mom's reputation as a good pup parent.
The thing about harnesses is that there are no standard sizes. One company’s small is another’s large, and there is no way of telling which is which. Buying for Pocket is easy; she is smaller than an extra small, just but the tiniest thing available, but pin-headed big-bodied River was difficult.
Mommy brought the harnesses home and prepared to put them on my sisters. I flew down to bear witness to the mishegas. They did Pocket’s first because there was a greater chance of success with her. Of course, like all dogs, she made the trying on of the harness as difficult as possible.
My Mom put the harness on the floor, placed Pocket over it, put her paws in the holes, pulled it up, and the legs were not inside. She repeated this five times, each one sure you had done it correctly, only to see Pocket’s leg tucked inside the harness. Finally, she got it on perfectly. She tightened the front and back as much as possible, and it was still loose on her. I told Mommy she was going to need a ferret harness. Pocket did not think that was funny. It did fit loosely. Luckily Pocket does not try to escape, and if she does, she has nowhere to go.
River was trickier. She cooperated less than Pocket. After ten attempts, the harness was on, yet somehow, it was too long an unheard-of occurrence. It bunched up around her neck. Mommy tried it in different ways, and they all failed. “You’re why we can’t have pretty things,” Pocket told her.
Mommy put the faded harness back on her, then got another one from PetSmart that was identical to Pocket’s but was also too big. River was in that spot that the small was too little and the medium too large. It looked like River had nothing but faded harness days in front of her.
Then Day found one that was previously purchased for River and put it on her. Between her coming to live with you and when you got the harness River got a bit fluffy. The harness was too small, But now, thanks to her green bean diet, she isn’t as fluffy, and the old blue and green harness fits (barely), but that night River refused to lie down because the harness was bothering her, so it was back to the old faded harness for her.
Mommy should know that things become old and faded they work the best.
Thursday, May 20, 2021
You humans know nothing about the next world. Sometimes you do get close. One way is how you dress up corpses for a funeral like they will be wearing that outfit when they cross the Bridge. They do wear clothes, but it is what they wore when they passed. It is for the best. No one wants many naked humans walking around, mainly because, at the time of passing over, humans look they're worse.
Clothes are not the only item that comes with the new angel. If they are wearing jewelry, it comes with them too. It is true with dogs as well. All collars, harnesses, or outfits transfer to the new world too.
Casey spent his time on the mortal side hiking through the woods, hills, and valleys surrounding his home. The yellow labrador was a terrific sporting dog and loved every minute of life. If the cosmos were fair, he would have got 30 years to be with his dad. But, it was only 12 when he got cancer and had to join us.
In his last moments, the pup’s dad slipped his tracker onto Casey’s ankle, kissed him, and said that this way, he would always know where his boy was. He had no idea how right he was.
Casey visited his dad in his dreams to help him with his grieving. When he wasn’t there, he walked the same ground he had as a mortal.
One evening, Mitchell, Casey’s dad, got hit with a rogue wave of grief and decided, one more time, to check Casey’s tracking device. What he saw shocked him. It showed he was on one of the old trails.
Mitchell tried to think of the logical reasons why Casey’s tracker was active, but there was only one. His little friend’s spirit was revisiting all their favorite places.
Every night Mitchell checked the tracker, but it was not visible. He was beginning to think it was a strange anomaly until, a month later, he saw the tracker again, moving on a trail a half-mile from his house. He switched the app to his phone, grabbed his coat, and ran to the spot.
Mitchell got to the place where the tracker projected Casey was, but he could not see him. He was about to go home when he noticed a dog just out of the corner of his eye. He slowly turned, making sure he did not lose the image. He got it centered and saw his beloved boy, younger than when he last saw him, brighter and more alive than he ever had been. He reached with a shaking hand to Casey and stroked his soft fur.
Mitchell was able to see Casey because the sight of the tracker on his computer opened him to believe in the unmanageable, that Casey had returned as a ghost and was still exploring property behind his house. That is why he knew that Casey hadn’t been wrongly diagnosed or climbed out of the grave but that he was a ghost, who Mitchell could see, as long as he believed.
Mitchell walked to a tent he had kept on the trail, with Casey following behind him. They went inside, and Casey took a treat from him. Then they laid down next to each other, and Mitchell stroked the fur he so loved, and in Casey’s eyes, he saw it all, his past, and all that lay before him. He closed his eyes and fell asleep while still petting Casey.
Mitchel woke up alone. There was no sadness. He was grateful for getting what every parent wished for, just one more day with their dog. And, he knew, if the stars aligned, the moon was holding water, he would see the blip on the screen and revisit his friend. Someday, he would have a son, who would join him, and learn how miraculous the all world really was. He knew that because he saw it in Casey’s eye, the place where all answers could be found.
Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Tuesday, May 18, 2021
Monday, May 17, 2021
Sunday, May 16, 2021
Even before Mouse went to the Bridge, the Min Pin gang knew their mom was a person who would not be happy unless she was living with a dog. They had a secret that they didn’t share with Mouse during dream visits. Before her passing, they began interviewing homeless dogs who could repair their mom’s, broken heart.
Mouse was his mom’s heart dog and knew her better than her siblings, so she immediately called a family meeting when she crossed the Bridge. She told them that they needed to start interviewing homeless dogs. Her siblings grew uncomfortably quiet, and Mouse inquired why. “We’ve already been looking,” Cricket Anne said.
“You were interviewing my replacement before I was ready to depart?” Mouse asked indignantly.
“We couldn’t wait,” Teenie explained. “Every day that mom lives without a dog will be harder for her. But, we decided to give you the right of final approval.” Scooter showed her the dog resume and videos. Mouse put them in his mouth and went to the TV room to study them.
After watching the video, Mouse emerged and announced that she had made a decision. The newest dog and potential gang leader of her own was a tiny dog named Minnie. She is a two-year-old pup who was found running in the streets of Chicago during a snowstorm. The Chicago Animal Control saved her. They found she had no chip or collar. She was spayed and taken in by a rescue. “She is perfect!” Mouse announced.
“We’re glad you feel that way,” Teenie said. “We already offered her the position.
“Before I had the chance to vet her?” Mouse exclaimed.
“We knew you’d pick the right one,” Tennie said. Still, the fact that such an important decision was made without her input aggravated Mouse. She had forgotten how hard it was to control a group of rambunctious Min Pins.
Mouse was intent on seeing Minnie before her mom adopted the pup. Five minutes after meeting her, Mouse knew she was a perfect addition. She was both sweet and funny. She had traits of each member of the Min Pin Gang but not so much of an individual’s ones that Minnie would remind her mom of her lost dogs.
Now that the pup was selected, the Min Pin gang had to convince their mom in her dreams that getting another dog and her being happy was all they wanted. Mama Betty had been thinking about another dog. She woke the following day, knowing her gang was enthused about her getting the pup. She did not remember the dream, but deep down, Mama Betty knew she had received their seal of approval.
There were a few minor hurdles that needed to be cleared before Minnie moved into the gang’s home. One of them was approval from the rescue, but it would be evident to anyone who spent a minute with Mama Betty that there was no better do mom around.
At week’s end, Minnie moved into her new home. She found that everything smelled like her new friends who rewarded her with this beautiful home and family. She had been told how to emulate her predecessors and make her mom smile. In less than two weeks, Mama Betty had another little heartbeat in her house, as well as the patter of four paws on the floor. It is the most comforting sound she could hear.
There is still sorrow in the house and will be, but little Minnie is a sorrow buster and smile creator, and that is the remedy to drive the sadness out like an exorcist does the devil.
Friday, May 14, 2021
When I was mortal, I was always looking for an angle. I was interested in anything that brought me fame and fortune. My sisters don’t have the same lust for life. It is up to me to infuse it in them.
When the mortal world became too hard for me, I used to sneak out of the house and go to the local bar for a Foleytini. Some nights I drank so much I crawled home. I offered to be the bar mascot but was rejected. Now, a major brewer is in search of one.
Since I am unable to oblige, I had to find a substitute. Pocket was out: Every time she drinks, she pees, which isn’t on-brand. That left River. She has a great look for an alcohol spokesperson: Someone who is angry that her martini did not come with extra olives.
River is a teetotaler: Of course, she never had my responsibilities or stress level. I appeared to her in a dream and said I had nominated her to be the Chief Tasting Officer for Busch Beer. River was thrilled until she learned it was a beverage and not food.
I assured her that beer was delicious, and to prove it, I took a big drink of Busch Dog Brew. Oh my God! It tasted like goat ass which is the lowest form of ass. “It’s yummy,” I told River, trying to hide my grimace.
River smelled it. Her perpetual scowl looked even more perturbed. “I don’t think I want to taste it,” she whined. I told her if she became the Busch Dog Brew spokesdog, she could make $20,000 a year and get free medical insurance which was a sweet perk because this crap would surely leave a hole in her colon. She did not care even when I told her Mommy would get the money.
To prove to her that the product was edible and delicious, I read her the ingredients. As I went down the list, which was topped by beef broth, and after that unidentified chemicals, I realized the brew was non-alcoholic. We dogs are not waking millennials who consume near beer. If we’re going to drink something disgusting, we better get a good buzz.
Luckily I always carry a flask of gin under my tail. I poured a shot in, hoping the thick gravy would become a potent potable. Unfortunately, the gin rejected the swampy mess and puddled on top. Somehow adding my favorite beverage made the concoction even less appetizing.
I love my sister and want her to have the fame and fortune I can no longer achieve, but this bitter brew did not deserve recognition from either of us. I dumped the gross concoction out. I was not surprised when it stained my dream space.
I poured River a shot of Gin. She demurred, but I assured her daydream drinking did not count. She imbibed, and soon I could see a smile on her face. Then I realized it was her usual frown, and I was looking at her upside down. Feeling quite merry, we invaded Pocket’s dreams as stampeding Heffalumps. We enjoyed her panic expression as we circled her until we tore off our costumes and exposed ourselves. Sadly Pocket’s sense of humor has not improved since I departed.
While I was disappointed that River did not achieve the fame, she deserves I enjoyed my daydream drinking and bonding with one sister while scaring the absolute crap out of the other.
Thursday, May 13, 2021
A dog who lives with a young, single person knows that one day they won’t be an only pup living with an only human; because another human will become more important than them. Then the couple will have children while the pup is pushed further down the affection ladder. Of course, all those people will love the dog too, but we never think that far down the road.
Five-month-old Cockerpoo Boris knew his dad had a girlfriend and that she made him happy. Boris pledged to make sure his dad was content every day; he was extra cute, so the girlfriend loved him. He did not want to be the reason she stopped coming round.
Because of the pandemic, Boris attended a virtual class at the Dogs Trust Dog School. He learned all the basic commands, such as sitting and staying, but there was one special mission his dad asked them to teach Boris. His owner, Matthew, wanted Boris to help him propose to his is girlfriend Keeleigh.
Boris was not sure what to do. He loved his life with his dad and didn’t think they needed to add anyone new to the mix. On the other paw, he had sworn to keep Matthew happy. Unsure of what to do, he prayed on it.
I took the prayer request and flew down to see the conflicted Cocker-poo. He was worried that when Keeleigh became part of the family, he would be shunned. I told him that Keeleigh and Matthew would live together too so that Matthew would be home more, and two parents meant twice the love. Feeling better about his situation, Boris decided to cooperate to make his parent and his soon-to-be parent happy.
It was the third anniversary of their meeting, and Matt told Keeleigh the would have a fantastic day together. They would go for a walk on the beach with Boris. Keeleigh had no idea what Matt was really planning.
Before their celebration began, Matt asked Keeleigh to stop by his parent’s house to drop something off. After she left, his mom and dad, who were in on the plan, called Matt to tell him she was on her way. Matthew had to get Boris prepped.
When Keeleigh entered Matt’s place, she was stunned to hear her favorite song playing in the background, the house was full of candles, and Boris sat in the middle of the room holding a sign between his teeth that read “Mummy, will you marry Daddy?” As well as being overjoyed with joy that Matt had popped the question, Keeleigh was very impressed that Boris sat perfectly still with so much excitement around him He stayed that way until Matt came around the corner with a ring in hand. Then Boris joined his parents in an enormous hug with lots of teats.
Before the lockdown, Matt had thought of and dismissed a dozen romantic ideas about how to propose. One night, sitting with one hand on Boris and contemplating the idea, he realized the perfect way to propose was at the end of his fingertips.
It took a lot of training for Boris to sit perfectly still and not react when he saw Keeleigh. He was thrilled to do it because he knew it made his parents, new and old, happy.
Now Boris is going through a new type of training, how to be a ring bearer. We are sure he will do a first-rate job
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
Tuesday, May 11, 2021
Monday, May 10, 2021
Sunday, May 9, 2021
We pets take Mother’s Day very seriously. It is a problem for us. We are devoted to our moms. We love them with all our hearts, we can’t give more. So we try to be extra good on Mother’s Day. Unfortunately, if moms are lucky, they get visitors on, and we are never at our best when there are guests. So, we try to give the only gift we can, by being there.
Duchess had been battling cancer for months. Every morning she woke up, hoping to make it to the end of the day, and by managing heartbeats and ignoring pain, she did. She rarely looked beyond today, but Duchess did hope to reach Mother’s Day. It would be impossible for her mom to have a happy day, having just lost Duchess or another part of her pack.
Duchess took sick in February and was diagnosed with cancer. Her mom refused to surrender the pup without giving her every opportunity at life. Her surgery was risky, but she would only have days without it. Duchess was a survivor and would not listen to the whisperers trying to lure her to the Bridge. She came through the surgery and began chemotherapy.
There was no local clinic where Duchess could receive her chemo treatments. Her mom had to drive six hours round trip so her pup could have her IV. She was also given pills. Duchess didn’t like taking them, but it meant a lot to her mom, and she needed to do it to survive another day.
Every day became harder for Duchess. Her heartbeats were expiring faster than she wanted, and Duchess had acquired every available one. Her siblings Sandy and Kramer lent her some, knowing they would not get them back, but Duchess didn’t want to take them anymore because her mom would need them with her for a long time when Duchess passed.
Three days before Mother’s Day, Duchess was struggling. Her mom made the hardest decision and freed the pup from pain and misery. When Duchess crossed the Bridge, she was young and whole again, while her mother inherited her suffering.
Duchess was joyous upon crossing, as we all are. Then, the realization of her fate froze her, as she understood that she had not made it to Mother’s Day. She immediately became depressed. She stayed at the bottom of the steps, refusing to climb to our village and be sworn in as an angel. I went down and shared an important secret with her.
In the wee hours of Mother’s Day morning, when our moms are deep asleep, their favorite angel appears and brings them for a dream visit at Rainbow Bridge. It is our chance to honor them on their day. There is excellent food, mimosas, and most of all, videos of all of the memories of special times between angels and moms. They can be witnessed on the back of the angel cereal boxes.
Because we are at the Bridge, we can verbalize how much we love and miss them. There are many tears, but unlike the ones that fall from clouds when a pup passes, these are joyful ones.
This year’s party was another smashing success. Everyone loved seeing their mom again, and Duchess did the most because she could say goodbye correctly and thank her mom for all she did. The feeling was more than reciprocated.
Sadly, the party is wiped away from our mom’s minds as soon as they wake up, but their heart remembers and is a little lighter for the rest of the day.
One day, at the end of their mortal life, they will remember all of it and ease the sorrow of dying with the promise of never-ending life.
Friday, May 7, 2021
When I visit the mortal side, I like to stop at the pet store, to see the new fashions, offer representation to the jailed birds who are facing an uncertain future fearing they will be sold like chattel, and to check out current developments in the dog food market.
When I was born, there were four foods for dogs: Alpo; Alpo and Cheese; Alpo Alpo Alpo Whole Grains and Alpo; and Alpo Grain Free Free. By the time I went to the Bridge, a dog food boon had occurred. Hundreds of companies began making kibble with spurious claims. They advertised that their protein comes from fish and animals who lived in the lap of luxury until they voluntarily gave up their lives to provide sustenance for dogs, and would, in the words of Mr. Waits:
“it mows your lawn
It picks up the kids from school
It gets rid of unwanted facial hair
It gets rid of embarrassing age spots
It delivers the pizza
And it lengthens
And it strengthens
And it finds that slipper that’s en-lodged under the
Chaise lounge for several weeks.”
Dog parents are so nervous about buying the best for their pets that they are susceptible to the most outrageous claims. Pocket was eating some exceedingly expensive prescription food that was supposed to be good for her digestion, and it caused her to poop several giant turds multiple times a day. Pocket’s colon is like an old water heater: Every couple of weeks, it needs to be flushed out to get rid of the rust. The food made the hot water flow all the time, which required frequent flushing. Pocket is back on her much less expensive food and produces a manageable turd, to the delight of my poo-obsessed parents.
While browsing in the store, I came upon an unfamiliar bag. It was called Jiminy. I checked out the ingredients and saw that the protein was crickets. Bugs?! This was an improvement? Give me Alpo, Alpo, Alpo, Whole Grains, and Alpo any day.
I have many complaints about this food, starting with the name. They named a product consisting of dead crickets after the most beloved bug who didn’t sleep in Charlotte’s web. It is like calling a chicken-based food Foghorn Leghorn, a fish-based on Dory, or Pedigree cuts the subterfuge and names their food Seabiscuit. To make this little bag of horror worse, there is a picture of Jiminy on the bag. Imagine a young child, fresh off reading Pinocchio, and recognizing the little cricket on the bag asking: “Mommy is Jiminy Cricket in this bag?”
“Not any more sweety, now he is in the dog’s tummy.” Good luck getting Jiminy to pay for the kid’s therapy.
Then there is the price point: Per pound, it was the most expensive food in the food. What is the overhead? There isn’t a need for cricket husbandry. There aren’t cricket farms. They seem to live in a box in the fish section at Petco and on our cellar floors. If we want one, all we need to do is go to the basement and be patient. It happens so frequently we don’t even note it, as we would if we found a cow scurrying along the ground. I can picture the Jiminy owner going on the bug equivalent of Shark Tank, Roach Motel, and getting funding for something that costs 13 cents to make, and they charge the consumer 20 dollars.
But, I have found that the longer I am an angel, the more things change on the mortal side. Maybe this new, young, hip generation will love cricket food. To test this hypothesis, I brought some to my siblings when they were alone.
I placed a bowl of kibble in front of both dogs. Pocket, a reluctant eater, to begin with, took one bite and spat it out. “What the hell is this?” she asked.
“It’s cricket,” I said.
She looked at me crossly. “You have done some mean things to me before, but you never fed me bug,” I told her it was an actual cricket-based kibble. She sadly shook her head. “Another person who went COVID crazy.”
Then we looked at River, who was happily finishing the last kibble. “How can you eat that?” Pocket asked.
“It’s great,” she said.
“It’s a bug,” Pocket countered.
“Bug is good!” she said. “Got more?” I gave her the rest of poor Jiminy.
River did prove a point. Some dogs will eat anything, even kibble-covered cricket., but that doesn’t mean parents should buy it.
My product review: Zero stars. My recommendation: Give your conscience a break and don’t eat a cricket.