Friday, July 30, 2021

Foley Recounts Her Own Olympic Failure

I was upset when  I heard that Simone Biles withdrew from the Olympics because of emotional issues that caused her to twist her body midflight, costing her points, possibly leading to injury, and then she suffered the ignorant comments from fat white men who never get off their couch while their stubby thumbs dance over the I-Phone screens creating malicious posts on Twitter, a place where those who can’t do, criticize.

    The year was 2012, and it was the dog Olympics.  I was eleven years old, past my prime, and could no longer do the physical events.  But, that was not my forte.  In 2004 and 2008, I took home the gold medal in the 1,000 meter cute and was favored in 2012. 

    The event was not challenging.  You slowly walked 1,000 meters while looking adorable.  I had a distinct advantage that my birth family had not docked my tail.  It rose over my back like a furry flower, the tip drawing attention to my face.  That, combined with my dark brown eyes, perky ears, slim hips, and Mona Lisa-like smile, made me the odds on favorite.

    I was on the sidelines warming up before the event.  Pocket was my trainer.  It was mostly an honorary title because I did not need help.  I was perfect:  You can’t coach that.  

    Pocket was combing my hair with her tongue.   I had recently got groomed and was thrilled with my new cut.  Every hair on my body fell perfectly against my skin.  I began dreaming of winning another Filet Mignon medal, the game’s top prize.  I had to make sure I didn’t embarrass myself as I did in 2004 when I ate the medal during the ceremony.  Being cute makes me hungry. 

    It was ten minutes until the event began when Pocket stopped combing and looked at me curiously.  I asked her what was wrong, and she informed me that I had snarled.

    She must be mistaken.  I am not a snarler.  I demanded that she bring me a mirror, and when she did so, to my shock, I discovered she was right.  I had the slightest off-putting snarl.  I could not win a medal with that expression.

    No one knows what causes them.  They come on for no reason and don’t last long, but I could not compete while afflicted.  Pocket tried to help me by saying how cute I was, building my confidence.  But, the snarls kept popping up.  Dejected and sorry I was letting down the Yorkie team, I withdrew from the competition.

I was unprepared for the backlash I would receive.  Dogs on my team, and commentators, called me a quitter.  Despite all the medals I had won, I was now an Olympic pariah.  I wanted to hide, but I thought our team could still win the event, just with a substitute.  A minute before the dash began, I told Pocket she was taking my place. 

Pocket suffered from nerves, and I had to get her competing before everything in her body turned to water.  When Pocket began her walk, she was scared, but fright brought out her cuteness, and the judges fell in love with her.  She got perfect tens and won the gold medal.  Because of her sensitive stomach and food intolerance, I ate it for her. With Pocket's victory, people forgot my “quitting.”

Pocket would win the medal again in 2016 and then retired; the competition is too much on her sensitive stomach.  

Pocket and I were still competitive about our cuteness and would often match people in our neighborhood as judges.  It took a few consistently tied scores to realize the winners were the people who saw us and judged our beauty.

Now, at almost 14, Pocket has stopped being professionally cute.  She only does it at home.  And next week, River will take on the world at her first 1,000 meters cute.  I don’t know if she will win, but she has already brought us glory by winning the 400-meter frown.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Redd Dog 1, Rattlesnake 0

 

I’d do anything, for you dear, anything, except maybe get between you and a rattlesnake.  I don’t want to mess with one of them.  

To begin with, I was very fortunate to have you as a mother.  You never lived anywhere that had rattlesnakes.  I appreciated that.  Snakes are disgusting.  I don’t trust anything that moves but doesn’t have feet.  It is contradictory to all the laws of nature.

Plus, they have the rudest way of protecting themselves:  They bite.  I know dogs do too, but only as a last resort.  Snakes do it out of boredom.  And our bites might cause you to get some stitches, but snakes will kill you. 

But Redd, a 7-year-old Labrador retriever, let none of those thoughts bother him when his human found a rattlesnake that was ready to bite.   

I wish I could tell you that the human who Redd saved was doing something foolish.  He is 18 years old, and his name is Timmy Lockhart.  Instead of hiking barefoot on an unmarked trail, he was doing his laundry.  Of course, most teenagers would have rightfully balked at the task since laundry is boring, and now, they found out, it can get you killed.  

Timmy lived in San Diego.  You wouldn’t think of snakes there.  Mainly its beaches and liberals.  So, you would imagine Timmy was more likely to encounter David Hasselhoff or Bernie Sanders than a snake, although they can be equally deadly.

In San Diego, houses are slapped together quickly because it is a matter of time before an earthquake wipes them out, so why spend a lot of time building expenses?  Because of this, the family laundry room was separated from the house, and Timmy had to step outside to get to the dryer, where, under a table near the machine, a rattlesnake lay waiting.  

Lockhart was near the dryer when he heard the death rattle.  The snake slowly slithered towards him.  Suddenly, having heard the noise and knowing his human brother was in peril, Redd ran into the laundry room, situated himself between them, and growled at the rattler.  

Redd had a huge size advantage over the snake, but not the reflexes.  When Redd bent down to bite the snake, it struck at him, sinking its teeth into Redd’s tongue.  Before either Redd or Lockhart could react, the snake bit Redd on the neck and then slithered out of the room.  Redd knew he had venom coursing through him, and while he didn’t want to go to the Bridge, doing so saving a human was a noble death.

Lockhart scooped Redd into his arms and yelled for his mother, safely inside and not worried about sending her son into a snake pit to separate the whites from the coloreds.  She rolled her eyes, said, “now what,” and then realized that Redd, the only soul in the house she could stand, was in danger.  They rushed Redd to the vet; both afraid he would pass over in the car.  When they reached the doctor, Redd was given a few doses of anti-venom and kept for the night, while the mother took several shots of Seagram’s and Seven and passed out on the couch.

After two days, Redd was returned home with only nerve damage in the tongue that made him bark, “rush, rush,” and cause Geddy Lee to offer the family a million dollars to have Redd introduce his band at concerts.  Thankfully, Lockhart and his mom agreed the dog had suffered enough.

Sadly, despite Redd’s best efforts, the mom still will not go to rehab.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Blossom Knocks on the Door

 

I had it. There were far too many Bridge crossings in July. It was time for a stupid and futile gesture, and I was just the Angel to do it. 

I ordered my minions to build a door on our side of the Bridge. Without a way to access the immortal side, no soul could pass. I was looking at my creation when I heard a human clearing her throat behind me. 

I turned to see Miss Laura looking at me sternly. “What is that!?” She asked like a cross mother who discovered her child had scrawled on the wall. 

I explained how I was blocking the entrance so pups could not pass over. “You are just making any dog who leaves the mortal world walk in limbo,” she explained. “It won’t stop them passing.”

I explained how limbo would become full, creating a pack of undead dogs who would spill over to the mortal side, creating havoc. That would inspire humans to find a way to extend dogs’ lives, thereby lessening the amount crossing over. It was ingenious. 

Miss Laura told me that it would not work out that way and to take down the door.  I explained my minions made it with solid steel and assured me a nuclear bomb could not bring it down. Then I heard the familiar sound of a galloping greyhound.   

Our good friend Wishbone raced past us and slammed headfirst into the door, which instantly shattered. He was dazed and groggily asked me who had built the barrier. I told him I didn’t know but would investigate. 

Then I saw what brought Wishbone to the crossing. His sister Blossom had passed to the Immortal World. This was the exact scenario I wanted to avoid. 

Blossom was a bloodhound from Iowa who was more of a family dog than a hunter. She was brought to a shelter in Kentucky at six months old. The workers fell in love with the sweet and gentle soul. They would have loved to keep her forever, but that would be selfish. Her family was out there waiting for her, even if they didn’t know it. 

It turned out to be one of my favorite families:  The Campbells, who had rescued Wishbone after several Bridge brushes. They learned of Blossom and immediately fell in love.  The dad drove from New Hampshire to Kentucky and brought the precious girl home to her new family.  She paid them back with sweetness and devotion for 13 years. 

But even the most beautiful songs must end, and that is what happened with Blossom’s tune this week.   13 is quite an achievement for a bloodhound. I don’t know what ended her life, but I know it is love that sustained it. 

Blossom was greeted by her Angel siblings Cleo, Ed, Dakota, and Annie. Also, there was Paula Malatesta, who originally rescued Wishbone. Between her family angels, both pet and human, plus two great dog rescuers, Blossom could not be in better hands for eternity, or at least that far distant date her parents arrive. 

Blossom’s mom asked for her friend Miss Laura to greet her newest Angel. I hope she is comforted knowing she did and that Blossom will always feel the love and devotion she showed her parents. 

And we hope Blossom’s family finds dogs who will make them feel the same. 

 

Friday, July 23, 2021

Bullett and Bolt Find the Perect Dog to Rebuild Their Mom's Heart

 

Bullett and Bolt were two happy chocolate labs living an idyllic life with their childless parents, who treated them like they were kids.  Sadly, the lions came for them both, inflicting the two dogs with cancer and snatching them from their beloved parents.    Bullett and Bolt knew that their parents could not exist without a dog, and they immediately began searching for a replacement, but none of the applicants were suitable for their parents’ needs.   Also, they were so broken-hearted; anytime the angels tried to broach the subject in their parents’ dreams, their subconscious blocked the word dog, making their efforts futile.

Instead of being discouraged, Bullett and Bolt saw it as an opportunity to find the perfect pup.  They slowly and methodically interviewed pups with no luck.  They did not know the right candidate was not yet in the shelter.

Meanwhile, Floyd, a two-and-a-half-year-old Great Dane, born in a shelter, then adopted, was returned when his family could no longer care for him.  For six months, Floyd was a sad pup, with little hope of a family, until one night, Bullet and Bolt interviewed him in his dreams.  Floyd presented himself as a well-trained, intelligent, loving, and protective dog. Personality-wise the angels thought they were looking in a mirror.  Bolt said they would tell their parents they found the perfect dog, but they didn’t know if their words would penetrate the wall their parents had built around their subconscious.

Neither of their parents mentioned that they thought they were ready for a dog, not wanting to reopen a wound.  But, both had pups on their mind, and they were susceptible to dog-related suggestions.  

First, they dream suggested to Floyd’s caretakers that they do a Facebook post relating the dog’s story.  When the people arrived at work the next day, it was the first task they completed.

Floyd’s availability now easily verified, as was the information about adopting him; Bullett and Bolt entered their parent’s dreams and continuously told them about Floyd.  They did so all night, like furious telegraph operators on the Titanic who kept sending an SOS hoping someone heard it.

The angel duo was lying on the kitchen ceiling the next morning when their parents met at breakfast and simultaneously remarked that maybe it was time for a new dog.  The mom, who was always the more attentive, said she would poke around the Internet to see if any dog was available.  They agreed they were no in a rush.

But, when the mom saw Floyd, she knew she had to make him part of the family. She called the shelter, and both she and the woman who answered the phone were thrilled to learn he was available, and she was interested.   

That afternoon the couple who were not in a hurry rushed to the shelter and, just as Bullett and Bolt knew they would, fell in love with the rescue and brought him home.   

They were warned of Floyd’s quirks:  He did not like children, cars, things with wheels, and he needed a cytopoint injection every month to support his immune system.  None of that bothered his new parents.

Today Floyd is getting daily walks, new toys and has run of the house.  Most of all, he is succeeding at the job Bullett and Bolt needed him to do. He is rebuilding his parent’s hearts, and the two angels will be forever in his debt.  

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Who Needs Branson and Bezo When You Have River and Pocket?

 

I, Foley, often report to my mom about my sisters' activities.  This is one of those reports:

If only you were aware of what occurs when you are away. 

On Saturday, as soon as your car left the driveway, River opened Pocket’s crate and told her she needed assistance. 

Pocket groaned. Having lived the first half of her life with me, she knew that she was only needed for bad things. She told River she was too old for adventures and, after nearly 14 years, had earned the right to rest. 

River said that she got into a Twitter war with Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos to go deeper into space. “As a fellow billionaire, I must meet their challenge.”  

Pocket reminded River she was not a billionaire. 

“I have eaten a billion kibbles.  And they are stored in my belly. I can regurgitate them when needed.  It’s a new currency I created with another billionaire friend Elon Musk:  puke coin.”

Pocket considered River quite insane and doubted she had a rocket. Still, she balked at going until River told her you were bringing home chicken and she would give Pocket her share. Puke coin billionaires are crafty. Pocket knew it was a lie, but she could not pass up chicken and agreed to go. 

River removed the top of the air conditioner vent and slid down, followed by Pocket. Once there, Pocket saw the rocket ship. “How did you get it down here?” An impressed Pocket asked. 

“I didn’t. Ugly Joan, the feral cat built it.”

“We are going into space in a rocket built by a cat?”  Pocket exclaimed. 

“Why not?  Alan Shepherd went up in a rocket built by a Nazi. We are all comrades in space. “

River got in the pilot's seat and Pocket the one behind it. She didn’t think they would ever get off the ground, but when River started the engine, the rocket jumped through the slats, cleared the neighbor’s roof, and jetted into the sky. 

The G forces pushed them back in their seats. River held an altimeter in her hand. When they reached the heights, Branson had River turned to Pocket and said she was leaving her mark.   They were at zero gravity, so River tied her leash to her seat, opened the top of the cockpit, floated into space, and peed, marking this height as hers.  Impressively, she had written her name.

Satisfied with her achievement River got back inside just as the rocket tipped and sped back into the atmosphere.  Something buzzed by the window, and Pocket saw a modified fighter jet built for high altitude.  “It’s the space force!” River yelped.  “There must be a UFO around here.”

The jet fired two more times, narrowly missing them.  “Yeah, it’s us!” Pocket yelled.

“Well, they aren’t taking me down without a fight,” River vowed.   She reached over and pulled out a gun.

“You can’t fire on the space force!” Pocket cried, but Griffons weren’t built on listening.  

River fired two shots.  “Are those missiles?” a trembling Pocket asked.

“No, it’s cat poop surrounded by litter.”  The space force had thought of every contingency in building their space war machine, except one—windshield wipers.  Ugly Joan’s poop hit the glass, blinding the pilots as my sisters’ ship fell from the sky.  

First, my sisters celebrated, but then they realized they were free falling.  “Don’t you have a way to stop it?” Pocket asked.

“We never thought about landing, only rising,” River said.  “It’s okay,” she tried to calm Pocket.  “We’ll be fine.  All I have to do is aim for the birdbath.”

Pocket braced for impact.  The rocket hit the fern trees by the birdbath and got caught in the branches.  My sister climbed out, and Pocket swore she would never leave the ground again.

They got in the house, and River began to make plans to get the rocket back under the house when they heard it refire.  My sisters ran to the window to see three squirrels in the cockpit disappearing into the blue sky.

Now, thanks to River, we have space squirrels, creatures too hideous to consider.

But, until the space squirrels attack, River is satisfied that on this day, she went faster, higher, and longer than any Griffon ever!

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Beat This Caption

  

\What do you mean you are deciding not to get the vaccine?  Can you do that?  How come I can't?  I am tired of living under an oppressive regime that doesn't care about my rights.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Finley Comes to Rainbow Bridge

 

When my dear Blogville friend Finley Westie crossed the Bridge, she was greeted by her sister Whitley who barked, “What the hell are you doing here?

IWhat made Whitley react harshly when greeting Finley was a promise the latter made to stay with their mom and teach her siblings to be proper pets. Whitley saw her arrival as breaking a vow. 

“I couldn’t stay forever,” Finley defended herself. “I tried to hide my pain from mom, but you know how perceptive she is. When I became incontinent and couldn’t settle down without yelping in pain, she made a choice to send me to the Bridge because she cares for me more than she loves receiving my adoration. She would sacrifice her heart to take on all my pain so I can be comfortable once again. 

Even Whitley, who is totally devoted to their mom, had to admit Finley tried to fulfill her promise.  She gave her sister a hug and kiss and welcomed her to a new life at Rainbow Bridge. 

I often concentrate on the pain felt by parents when a dog crosses the River, but they are not the only ones to suffer. Finley left behind Brinley and Kinley, who never expected that either one of them would have to take over her role as the boss. 

Before her departure, Finley gathered the Harris family pets, including Kitty Bowie and Angie the cat, together. He told them that she would soon be departing to the Bridge, and one of them would have to be the head of household. They knew from watching Finley what an arduous task that was, so none of them stepped up to take the role.  Finley selected a reluctant Brinley even though she secretly thought Angie would fill the void because cats abhor a vacuum.  Of course, to be in charge means forgoing the nip, which is a tall task for any addicted cat. 

Having set her affairs in order, Finley was ready to leave her family and friends to sail on the River of LIfe into the sunset until she reached the Bridge. Along with the love she gave her mom Finley also provided a valuable lesson. Finley was her last dog acquired from a backyard breeder who was more interested in money than healthy dogs. Finley suffered through heart murmurs and allergies her whole life. Some parents may have found her upkeep too much to handle, but her mom kept her on the mortal side for more than 15 years through the power of love and prayer. 

Her mom treated her to one final night of family fun as she got ice cream and steak, a fit final mortal meal for any dog, plus lots of love and attention from everyone. 

Soon the Angel Westie duo was joined by Crocket, Jezebel, Charlie, and Maurice the Harris’ family  Angel cats. They had fallen asleep and missed Finley’s arrival; at least, that was their story.  Cats keep their own schedule.

They found a tree to lie under and exchange stories. Their laughter sounded like soothing music. Finley and Whitley were reminiscing about when they would ride in the basket attached to their mom’s bike handlebars. The three cats told them they had a surprise for their dog brethren. They ran behind a bush and returned sitting on a bicycle made for three with a wire basket on top of the handlebars. Jezebel told the two dogs to hop on board. It was bike riding time. 

The sight of two dogs sitting in a basket of a bicycle built for three pedaled by three cats may be an unusual sight on the mortal side, but to us, it's just the sign of another sweet family reunion

Friday, July 16, 2021

When Monty Jones His Pack at the Bridge Foley Decides To Confront the Big Guy

May be an image of dog

When I first arrived at the Bridge and had not learned of the arbitrary manner that pups cross over, would, after a friend passed under extraordinarily tragic circumstances, climb the highest mountain to where the Big Guy resides, (so he can see both sides of the river), to rail at him for the unfairness of the latest passing.  The longer I have been here, the less I make that journey.   But, when Monty passed, just weeks after his sister Heidi did did, the pain their poor mom was forced to endure enraged me.  Unable to control my anger I put on two pairs of snowshoes and began to ascend the mountain to let my displeasure be aired. 

    Perhaps, my anger was fueled by the fact that Monty. Heidi, Meeka, and Missy-Diva were Yorkies, like me, and old online friends.  But, I like to believe I would take up the cause of any mom who had her heart ripped apart just as it was being rebuilt.  

I found the Big Guy sitting on a stage high above me in an old wooden chair writing like he was running out of time. Without lifting his head he asked me how he could help. 

It always unnerves me how he knows I am there before I enter. I looked up at him and said I believed there had been a mistake because my friends Heidi and Monty had arrived at the Bridge just weeks apart. 

“There are no mistakes,” he said, “only unfortunate circumstances.”

“Well, I have been up to my neck in unfortunate circumstances for weeks.  I have written so many blogs for passed friends the obituary writers guild is asking for dues. Still, I haven’t complained. But taking Monty and Heidi so close together is cruel.”

“Every death is cruel,” the Big Guy said.   “But, things cannot be changed, it has been written.”

“Well maybe if you didn’t write so much all these deaths would stop.”

He chuckled.  “If I stop writing all life ends.  In December of 2020 I got a cramp, paused, and when I looked down at the page COVID had happened and millions of people died.  All of them were tragic too, but there was nothing I could do.  It was written. 

“Then the prayers came for the deliverance from the disease, so I created several vaccines, and people didn’t like my answer and rejected it.  Sometimes I think I gave them too much free will.  It makes them unwieldy.”

As usual, while well-spoken, his words were a worthless riddle.  I was going to leave but paused to ask how the Yorkie’s mom was supposed to survive having her heart ripped from her chest again.  

“I have given humans all the tools they need to survive including the passing of multiple loved ones, but two of those tools are sadness and tears, which need to be suffered through, so the heart and the will to go one becomes stronger.   I think your friends knew that, if you had taken time to question them with the intensity you did me.   Now, I must get back to my writing, so,” he coupled his hands over his mouth, and blew, sending me out of his cave, down the mountain, and back to Doggyspace.   

There I found Monty, Heidi, Meeka Missy Diva, and their dad, who shares a birthday with Monty, and was the last dog their dad bought for their mom before he crossed, playing ball, but mostly rolling on the ground together, giving licks, hugs, and cuddles, as happy as they were when they were young and mortal. 

I don’t know why, but seeing them together happy and carefree, made me realize the tool that the Big Guy gave everyone, which is time.  It does heal, and it gives and takes, but it leads to the Bridge, where eternal happiness awaits.

I just wish for Monty’s mom’s sake the waiting for eternal happiness was not so painful, but needs to be

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Foley, River and Pocket Attempt to Blow Up all the Fireworks

 


For all dogs, but especially those sons and daughters of Yorkshire, England, the Fourth of July is the worst night of the year. I know humans complain that we dogs make noise, but no creature on Earth raises an annoying cacophony than an American celebrating its independence. While we can adjust to the fireworks sponsored by local municipalities, which are usually short, it is the illegal backyard displays that last all night and seem to be occurring on every block that frightens us and can disrupt the digestion of our precious bodily fluids.  

I hoped to take legal measures to stop this terrible practice during the past year, but battling COVID and the election dominated lawmakers’ schedules last year.

I vow to redouble my efforts to end the practice in 2022.

But, that did not solve the most pressing problem:  To wit - stopping backyard fireworks this year so dogs can have a peaceful night. For that, I had to rely on my sister's Pocket and River Song and the secret codes I procured that allow dogs to upload themselves anywhere in the world by typing in a URL, then sitting on the mouse.

Thanks to top-notch angel scouting, we discovered that all fireworks before they are distributed are kept in a large warehouse in Raliegh, North Carolina.  My sisters would have to go there and destroy the fireworks before they were distributed.

    I gave Pocket the codes because River simply cannot be trusted with them.  Last month, when the house was quiet, and the humans were asleep, my sisters bravely uploaded themselves inside the factory where I awaited them as a ghost.  It was a simple plan:  Fireworks don’t work when they are wet.  

While my sisters could not transport water over the Internet, the Lord gave them their own irrigation system.  Pocket pees all the time; while River is a less frequent urinator, she can fill an entire pad with one piss.  

Pocket and I once had the adventure to help a skunk escape from a dumpster covered in snow.  

She drank bowls of water and then peed on the snow until it melted.  And her bladder is even weaker now. I had not told Pocket of the fireworks plan since she usually responded that my brilliant schemes were a “bad idea.” But, once my sisters were downloaded in the warehouse, I told them that a peaceful Independence Day for our species depended on them peeing.  River, who is willing to put anything in her mouth, wagged her stubby tail and frowned in joy; Pocket whined “again” (jeesh, the dumpster incident was ten years ago), but she hates fireworks, so she began to drink.

I got a message from my supervisor asking me to do a swear-in ceremony at the Bridge.  I told my sisters that I would be back and to do nothing but pee.

I should have known that was too much for them.  When they both had full bladders, they prepared to pee Pocket suggested, since they didn’t know how much time they would have, to urinate on the loudest fireworks first.

It was too dark to read the boxes, so River suggested they light a match.   They began to search for one in the darkroom when three incidents happen simultaneously.  One is that Pocket walked into a gas can and spilled it; the second is that River found a lighter and lit it, then I appeared as a ghost, frightening River, who dropped the lighter. I realized what was about to occur and screamed at them to run.  My sisters barely got outside when the building blew.  People say it was the most spectacular fireworks display in North Carolina history.  But boy, were the dogs living there mad at me.  Worst of all, the good fireworks were kept in the cellar, which was fireproof.

Big fireworks had foiled me again.  But I have not begun to fight!  I will not rest until the Fourth of July is as quiet as a baby’s room at midnight.

Even if I have to make a lot of noise to do it. 

 

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Toto's Tails From Rainbow Bridge: Toby's Song

 

Toto wagged his tail and looked at his mom with bright eyes as she said goodbye and went to work. When she was gone, he collapsed on the floor. “It gets harder every day,” he said to his brother Max. 

He was referring to arthritis that made it almost impossible for him to move. But, he would not let his mom know how much pain he was in, saying that she had enough to concern herself with. She needn’t be worried about him. 

“She’s already concerned about you,” Max told him. “She knows something is wrong. You can’t hide your pain forever.”

But that was exactly what Toto planned to do. We dogs are excellent at hiding our pain until it becomes too overwhelming to conceal. Toto was close to that point, but he always had a smile and tail wag for mom until it came. 

But our parents are often wiser than we give them credit for being. Toto’s mom watched him closely, often out of the corner of her eye, where secrets are revealed. She saw her beloved boy struggling.  When his pain was obvious as she directly looked at him, she knew it was time for a vet visit.  

Upon learning of the appointment, Toto told Max he would be back, confident of his ability to fool the vet. Not wanting to contradict his brother, Max told Toto he would save some kibble for him. He knew Toto could not see himself.  If he did, he would know it was his final trip. 

When a parent helps their dog cross the Bridge, they can often feel light-headed, weak knees, and nauseated. They attribute that to their grief. Actually, it is from the wave of pain and illness that are removed from the dogs’ bodies when they pass and hit the parents unexpectedly. 

It affected Toto’s mom immensely because she had given the pup her heart and could not retrieve it before passing. When Toto got to the Bridge, he realized it was still beating in his chest. He felt terrible about taking it but knew the heart would get him through some long lonely nights. 

He was greeted by all the pets his mom had lost in her life, led by sister Abbie. They laughed at reuniting, then cried over his passing but soon were laughing again.  Like rain on a humid day, sadness doesn’t last long at the Bridge, and when it dissolves, there is no trace it existed.  

     Toto also met the feral animals that lived on the mortal side without food, shelter, or love until his mom helped them.  To them, she is the real Angel.  

While Toto knows he left his mom with a shattered heart, he has a family:  led by Max, who has sworn to make her heart stronger than ever. After Abbie passed, the pack did so under Toto’s tutelage and, having taught them everything he knows; he is confident his surviving siblings can do it again. 

Life is measured through heartbeats and durability. Toto passed because his body had been broken beyond repair, but his heart, filled with love, will never stop, especially as it is beating right along with his mom’s. 

Friday, July 9, 2021

Foley Tells the Tale of Monty Who Wil Always Walk With His Dad

 

Every dog boasts that their parents are the best, but Monty, a labradoodle, hard facts to support his claim.

    Monty and his dad Carlos loved hiking.  Every weekend brought another adventure.  Monty not only loved accompanying him, but the higher he went, the smells became stronger and more exotic.  Monty, a very well-trained pup, climbed off-leash and was allowed to explore places his dad could not go, but he always came right back when his dad emitted a sharp whistle.

    As Monty aged, his dad noticed his best friend’s energy waned, and their rest periods grew longer.  When Carlos took Monty to the vet, his fears were realized.  Monty had leukemia, and there was nothing Carlos could do but keep his friend comfortable.

    Monty still wanted to go with his dad on their hikes, but his spirit was stronger than his endurance.  When Carlos knew he would have to give Monty the greatest gift by freeing him from his pain and sending him to the Bridge, he decided to take his friend on one more hike.

    Carlos recognized that Monty could not climb, so he decided to place his best friend in a wheelbarrow and push him up the mountain.  It was an arduous task, but it was powered by love. 

    While they climbed, with Monty lying on a blanket in the wheelbarrow, their fellow hikers, who had come to know the man and his sweet dog, stopped to say goodbye to the pup.  Monty was full of smiles and licks.  Finally, Carlos pushed Monty to the trail’s highest peak; he removed the dog from the wheelbarrow, and they looked over the trails they had freely climbed when Monty was younger, and they snuggled together. 

    Ten days later, Carlos held Monty on his lap as he departed for the Bridge with a heart full of love. 

I saw Monty run across the Bridge and transform from a tired, sick dog to a pup bursting with energy.  He patiently took the Angel oath; then I introduced him to Cassie and R, the black dog, two Angel friends who were dedicated hikers themselves. They promised to take Monty into the mountains to find the trails he took with his dad. The Bridge is a two-way mirror of the mortal world. It reflects the land we once romped in, and we can see the mortal world while all the living humans see shadows.

     They asked me if I wanted to accompany them. I was not much of a hiker, but I was up for an adventure. They generously waited for me as we walked the trails Cassie took with her father, and the high mountains and valleys R made his own. 

Then we came to Monty‘s trail, and we saw his father slowly and sadly walking alone.  We motioned to Monty to join his dad. Only we could see his ghostly form following the man’s footsteps.  Monty was trying to use his angel power to be seen.  While he didn’t take Corporeal form, he did in a flash appear, step on a branch and snap it, and was gone again. 

His dad stopped walking.   He knew there was nothing on the trail that could make that sound. Then he sensed Monty rubbing his muzzle on his leg. A recognition came over him, and as he moved on, he slightly smiled, knowing he would never take this walk alone again.  

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Foley Remembers a Big City Adventure with Pocket

 

I knew Pocket wasn’t feeling well earlier this wek, so I decided to fly down as a ghost to see her and reminisce about some of the great adventures we had together.  “Remember when we went to New York?” I asked. She groaned and said she would rather forget.  I knew she had lost her sense of daring-do, and I would have to restore it. 

She was just a puppy, four months old when I learned that if I went on the computer, typed in a zip code, highlighted it, then clicked it, I would upload to where the zip code was from. When everyone was working, I took Pocket from her crate, held her paw, and uploaded us to New York City. 

Pocket and I landed in the lobby of the Empire State building. “We are going to go to the top!” I said excitedly. “I bet we could see our house from there. Pocket balked saying she was scared. “It’s perfectly safe,” I told her, “unless you put your paws on the glass. Then you will fall to a terrible death.  Now follow me.”

 I snuck through a door that was jammed open.  The only thing that was between us and summitting the building was a few stairs.  When I told Pocket we just had to climb a bit, she said: “Are you crazy?”  I told her it would only be a few floors.  After 87,000 steps, Pocket laid down and told me to get her after I reached the top. I was beginning to regret bringing her.  She was a drag.  

I went to the top, looked at my people, took a picture of our house, then went back down only to discover, Pocket was gone.  I checked the stairs and floors.  I shouted her name, but she didn’t answer.  I had to find her.  I couldn’t go home alone.  Pocket hadn’t been around long enough to worm her way into my parents’ hearts, but she did cost money, and that would be missed.

I ran around the streets asking if anyone had seen a two-pound Yorkie pup, but they all pretended they did not understand my barks.  I remembered I had a superior sniffer and that Pocket smelled faintly like pee.  Sadly, so did the entire city.  Then I heard a familiar yip and ran down an alley pursuing the sound.

I saw Pocket with a group of stray bulldogs.  I caught up to them and confronted the leader, telling him I wanted my sister back.  “Forget it, lady,” he said. “Pocket is with us now.  She’s still got all her lady parts and is young and fertile.  She can raise a gang of her own.”

“I am going to be a stud!” simple Pocket boasted.  I explained to my sister that our parents would miss her, but I had told her that they didn’t need another dog for so long she started to believe it.  “I am better off here,” she said.  “You are right, I can’t be housebroken, and I don’t listen.  Mommy and Daddy won’t miss me.”

I reminded her of the soft touches she would get at home, the big bed, the unconditional love.  “But I won’t be getting dumpster chicken,” she said before spitting up something gross.

I asked her what she wanted to come back home, and she said the ability to pee wherever she wanted, me to treat her with respect,  and the space in the bed by my parents’ knees, which is the warmest.  I offered her two out of three, and she agreed.   

But, we still had a problem.  The street dog would only let her go if I fought for her.  I knew it would be challenging, but I was tough and a great knee biter.  We charged at one another, then he bit me and tossed on to the top of the Statue of Liberty.  

Then I saw Pocket lunge at the big dog and push him back, ordering him to leave her sister alone.  She showed such ferocity the gang ran away.  We reunited at Lady Liberty’s big toe.  We snuck into the office and uploaded us home, getting there just before the humans did. 

When I got done with my story, I could tell Pocket felt better and got some of her grit back.  I want her to be happy, healthy, and wise but will settle for two out of three.  I do not want my sister to come to the Bridge anytime soon.  When she does, I know she’ll never leave.  I swear she will be here for an eternity.