Thursday, September 30, 2021

A Trip to the Dark Side Part Two


My friend Willie told me about a friend of his from the mortal side, Spencer, who, because of a cleric error, they sent to the Dark Place, where irredeemable souls go.  Unable to find help, Willie turned to me, and I put together a crack team, with Smoochy and Ashton, to penetrate the dark side to save Spencer.  When we did, we were quickly captured, sans Ashton, and they brought us to the Dark Lords, who said we were in our forever home.

Because I was the one who put the expedition together, it was my duty to speak up.  "There must be some mistake!" I said.  "We have a forever home on the light side."
"Not anymore," he said.  "Didn't you see the sign above the gates?  In case you didn't, it says: 'He who comes in may never leave.'"

"I thought it said: 'Free cookies,'" Smoochy said.

"We do have those," the Dark Lord said and sent one of his underlings to bring us a tray of cookies.  Perhaps, we should have been more cautious because they were demon cookies, but we dogs can't resist.  Unfortunately, they were burnt, which we should have predicted, getting cookies from land sometimes called Hell.

After getting our cookies without milk, we were brought to a cell with hard beds and no light because that's how they do it in Hell.  "Foley, do you have a plan to get us out of here?" Smoochy asked.  I told them I did but was lying.

A little demon brought us three bowls of gruel, slipped them under the bars and into the cell.  Smoochy hurriedly went over and began licking it up.  "How can you eat that?" Willie asked.  

Smoochy stopped:  "You ever eat kibble?  This isn't that bad."

I noticed a bit of brown fur on the demon's arm and recognized it.  "Ashton!" I barked.  "Are you here to save us!"

"At first, that was my plan," he admitted, "but then I got this job.   It comes with good health care, a 401 K, six week's vacation, and four months' paternity leave.  Honestly, it's sweet."

"But you would have to torture your friends!" Willie said.

Sure, there are drawbacks," Ashton said.  "But there is free counseling, and the pay is fantastic!"

I had heard enough and ordered him to open the door.  He mumbled something about me not wanting to see other Yorkies get ahead, then opened the door.
We hurried out of the cell but did not know where to go.   Ashton said they had given him a Star of Earendal, which could shine light into the darkest of places.  He took it out, and suddenly we could see.

It was horrifying.  There were dogs in cages everywhere, all trapped in the darkness.  "We have to help them!" I said. 

"Some of them are here for a reason," Willie said. "We don't want to release a bad dog."

"There are no such things as bad dogs," I said.  "We are born pure, but humans make us evil,"  I told Ashton to open the cages and free the dogs.  He agreed and let them out.  They carefully moved to us.  In the last cell, we found Spencer.  Willie was thrilled to reunite with his friend, and then we began to lead the massive pack of dogs down the corridor.  Then we hit a wall and could go no further.  We would have to retrace our steps and somehow get past the throne room and into the light.  I told the group to follow me when I saw the only creatures who could take joy in imprisoning a pack of dogs.

There were squirrels of unusual size, all wearing armor and spoiling for a fight.  The only way out was through them.

We charged.


Wednesday, September 29, 2021

A Trip to the Dark Side


 There is a part of the Bridge we do not talk about.  It is called the dark side.  The sun never shines there, and nothing grows.  It is where the genuinely evil species go for eternity, and there is no way to become an angel for all those who enter.  

The Powers That Be here don't communicate with the demons who run the dark side.  They might be all-knowing and seeing, but they can't look into the darkness and don't want to either.

My good friend Willie likes to spend his days swimming in the river, but he also works in the Department of Angel Corrections, and while going over a list of dogs who passed but didn't come to the Bridge, he found a pup named Spencer, who he knew in New Jersey.  Spencer had been sent to the dark side after he killed a little dog in its yard.  But Willie knew it was the wrong Spencer, and he went to the Board with his findings.

The Board would not listen to him, so Willie came to me and said he was confident that Spencer had been sent to the dark side by mistake, and the Powers would not listen.  I hate to think of a dog suffering needlessly, and, even though it was perilous, I volunteered to go to the dark side and find the lost dog.  

Willie immediately said he wanted to go with me.  There was no place on the immortal side more dangerous than the darkness.   We needed a team of brave angels.  I chose my fellow fearless Yorkie Chelsea and Smoochy, who never met a challenge that caused him to back away.  

We had to go over the mountains and continue to head north.  Smoochy and Willie led the way, while Aston and I needed several breaks.  The larger dogs were patient with us.  Then we came to the gates with nothing but darkness behind it.  I asked them if they wanted to turn back, but none of them did.  We plunged into the night.  

I had brought a backpack filled with supplies.  The first one was a flashlight.  I turned it on, but the light barely cut through the darkness.  We tried to light matches, but the darkness snuffed them out.  While not being able to see was a hindrance, dogs rely on smell, which would lead us to Spencer, or so we hoped.  

Willie took the lead.  He was the only one who knew what Spencer smelled like, and hopefully, he would recognize his friend's scent in the darkness.   We could not see the nose in front of our faces and kept bumping into each other. Ashton asked me to switch places.  I thought it was because he was brave and wanted to cover my back, but my head went up Smoochy's butt every time we stopped.  It wasn't fun for either of us.  I didn't appreciate Ashton snickering each time it happened.

Suddenly Willie stopped short, and we all crashed into one another.  It took us a minute to realizes that something had trapped us in a cage, and Ashton was no longer with us.  Suddenly dark hooded creatures began dragging us.    We were brought into a dark castle and dumped on the floor.  We looked up to see a massive, dark lizard sitting on a throne with a long tongue.  "Welcome to your forever home," he said chillingly.  


Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Beat This Caption


This is why I wanted her to pick up the paintbrush in the Doljanchi ceremony and not the stethoscope.


Monday, September 27, 2021

Sunday, September 26, 2021

The Search For Maggie

I got a visit from my good friend Abbie this morning. Since arriving at the Bridge months ago, she has been looking for her Shih Tzu sister Maggie, to no avail. At her wit's end, she appealed to me for help. 


The powers that govern the Bridge try to keep siblings together, but with hundreds of thousands of pups passing over a day, it is easy for a dog to slip through the cracks and get lost.


I immediately seized on the most straightforward solution and told Abbie to wait for Maggie to appear in her mom's dream and tell her where her sister was. Abbie told me she had but wished she hadn't. Maggie had left her section to find her sister and was lost in the wilderness. 


Rumor was years ago, a dog named Moses left with his followers to find a land promised to him by a sibling and ended up wandering in the bridge desert for 40 years. That wasn't good. We couldn't let Maggie do the same. She might miss her mom's arrival, and that's would be a tragedy. 


I needed some advice, so I assembled my small council of advisors. Geordie excitedly reported he had created a new invention. It does smell what an amplifier does to sound. Maggie could pick up the smell hundreds of miles away, follow it and find

Her sister. We decided to give it a try. 


Abbie stood still as Geordie put what he called the smell amplifier 2000 around her neck. He turned it on, but nothing happened. He removed it from Abbie's neck and put it on the ground. He fixed it and was going to test it by putting it in a pile of leaves. Soon the whole Bridge would smell like a mid-October day. Just as Geordie turned it on, a skunk emerged from the pile and began to spray. The smell was so bad and widespread we had to shut down the Bridge for three days while it rained tomato

juice to get the smell out.


When the odor was gone, we met again and immediately passed a motion to dismiss any ideas proposed by Geordie. Then we got back to the matter at paw. Aran suggested I get one of my birds to search for Maggie from the sky. I had a better idea. The bird would carry Pocket by the collar, and she could search for Maggie.


"Excuse me?" Pocket, who had been chewing on a bone and not paying attention, asked. I told her my search plan. "I don't think so," she said. I explained that it had to be her because she was the smallest. Selfish Pocket still balked, but Abbie begged her to try. Pocket can't say no to a friend, and soon she was in the mouth of my best eagle Roe, searching for Maggie.


It indeed was a superb plan. Pocket could see for miles, and I think she was on the hunt, but angry dogs from other districts, upset that they had to spend three days inside because of the skunk cloud, used a catapult to launch poop at Pocket and Roe, causing them to retreat, and return home Maggie-less.


I was worried that we had no way to unite Maggie when Chey came up with a brilliant idea. We would acquire silent fireworks, shoot them into the sky where they would spell: "Maggie: It's Abbie. I am here." Maggie will follow it, and they will finally meet. We voted to buy the fireworks.


I asked my financial advisor Hobo to go with me to the cat side. The only place to buy fireworks is a shop in their village owned by Siamese twins. When we arrived, one was sitting on the counter and another by a window. I got a stern look from Hobo when I said I thought they would be connected, and he told me they were not that kind of Siamese. Despite me getting the negotiations off to a bad start, Hobo negotiated a fair price, and we brought them back to Doggyspace Villiage and set them off.  


Chey was right. Maggie saw the fireworks high in the sky and followed them. Two hours later, she emerged from the woods, and she and Abbie shared a long hug, and then we had a massive party for her. Maggie told her stories, and we told her ours. Then Maggie went to Abbie's house. That night they visited their mom together. Hopefully, two dogs visiting will make her mom feels twice as good as one. 

Saturday, September 25, 2021

For Bentley



 it is always a mixed blessing When a friend joins us at the Bridge. While we are happy to see them, we are sad they have arrived. It is the same emotion people have in the Jury House on Big Brother:  great to see you. Sorry, you’re here.  

When word came that Winston from the great state of Maine was arriving, I had to quell Pocket’s enthusiasm. While they never met, my sister did spend an afternoon at Aunt Laura’s house where she was chief snuggle bug and cuddled with Bentley’s momma Madison. Pocket investigated all of Bentley’s scents, and when Momma Madison got home, Bentley did the same with the smells Pocket left. Subsequently, they became sniff pals.

Bentley was one of the few original members of Doggyspace, where dogs and parents met via the Internet 14 years ago and became lifelong friends. Bentley came to the Bridge a couple of weeks shy of his 17th birthday. His mighty, tiny body had finally succumbed to age. His mom knew Bentley was in her heart, and the only way to set him free was to shatter it into a million pieces. Bentley was free, and Momma Madison faced her greatest challenge:  living with a massive hole in her heart without her best friend.  Bentley’s brother Winston is with her and working on driving the sorrow away, but it will take time. Little dogs leave big holes.

When comforting a bereaved parent who has lost a dog they have lived with for more than a decade, people desperately trying to find the right thing to drain the fountain of sorrow will remark that the parent should be happy the pup lived a long life. But every day you live with a dog, they claim more of your heart that they take with them when they go. Parents don’t feel fortunate they had a dog that long. Grief is the enemy of reason. They want the pup today. Yesterdays are gone, never to come back.  Yesterday doesn’t matter when there is no tomorrow.

Bentley had, in his final mortal year,  an eye surgically removed. Anesthesia is dangerous in Smart and older pups. Bentley came through the surgery like a champ and didn’t let his lost eye slow him down. A week before his passing, he walked around the block. As much fire still burned in Bentley, his heartbeats were expiring, and when they did, his mom knew she had to make the ultimate sacrifice and send him to their forever home for the long wait until she joined him.

Bentley, being a friend of mine, had an advantage other new angels did not. I had visited him many times in his dreams and advised him what to expect upon passing over. Bentley ran over the Bridge with his tail wagging. He bounced up the stairs to Hobo’s landing and gleefully took the oath. When the rain seeded by the tears of so make people who mourned Bentley began to fall, I gave him another important lesson:  he no longer had to pretend he wasn’t in pain so his mom wouldn’t worry. Bentley nodded, and his tears joined those of the mortals on the grass.

Fortunately for Bentley, he is a Doggyspace pup and has dozens of angel friends who began working to repair his broken heart. Once we do, he can start working on his mom’s. On his first day, Bentley met so many old friends the sadness began to drift away. By the weekend, Bentley was strong enough to start helping Winston help their mom.

Doggyspace may have shut down five years ago, but to us dogs, we are still family and will work together to heal all our mons’ hearts until all members, their siblings, and parents make their final journey.  

Friday, September 24, 2021

A Pirate Tea Party: The Final Chapter


 First, while I was on a picnic with Hattie, Tiara, and Lily, Pocket found a chest of golden eggs.  Pirates, who had hidden the eggs, captured us, took the booty, and made us walk the plank.  Thanks to Pocket speaking whale, one named Bennie saved us and helped me retrieve the eggs, then he told us the eggs belonged to alligators who lived on Skull Island and were going to attack our village to get them back.  We had to find the alligators and return the eggs.  We swam to the island, and the snakes immediately surrounded us. 
"Foley, what are we going to do?" Lily asked as we stood tail to tail while the snakes squirmed around us.
"Give them Pocket and run?" I suggested.
"Don't be ridiculous," Tiara scolded me.  "She is not a filling meal.  She is an appetizer who would only leave them wanting more."

Hattie enthralled the snakes.  They gathered in front of her and poked their heads at her shoes. "What are you wearing on your paws?" I asked.

"My rattlesnake pumps," she answered.
I knew someday her fashion sense would be the death of us all.  "I think the snakes want them," Lily said.
"Well, they can't have them!" Hattie barked.  "They are the only footwear I have that matches my purse."
"Hattie!  Give them the shoes!" Hattie snarled.
"Heavens," she said.  "Why am I always the one who has to make sacrifices?" 
She kicked off her shoes and handed them to the snake.  Suddenly, they began to bow their heads to her.
"They are acting like you're their leader," Tiara said.
"Eww!.  I don't want to be a snake leader.  Arent' there salamanders in need of a monarchy?"

Regardless of her wishes, the snakes chose Hattie, lifted her by their heads, and carried her to a throne. Occupying the sear of power changed Hattie's disposition.  "Finally, a species who treat me with respect."

She ordered the snakes to leave us alone.  I asked her to inquire about the alligators, and two of the snakes offered to lead us to them.    When we started, Hattie stayed on the throne, enjoying her kingdom, until Lily reminded her that there were no sewing machines here.  She dropped down to join us, and every step of the way, she complained about her missing shoes and the sharp ground. 
We came to a tranquil pond.  Our snake guides slunk into the bushes.  Then slowly, the most giant, angriest, looking alligators, tinged in gold, rose from the water and lined up in front of us, with their sharp teeth twinkling in the sun.  Their leader stepped forward and asked why we were here.
I opened the pouch and carefully spilled the golden eggs on the ground.  The alligators roared and asked where I got them.  Before I could speak, Captain Tunes and Long John appeared with muskets.  It seems they had a whale of their own. and had been following Bennie.  'Now give us back our eggs," Long John said.
It appeared like, after all, we had been through, that the pirates would win.  Long John and Captain Tunes bent over the eggs just as they began to hatch.  A little alligator, who was very cute, popped its head out and sprayed a green liquid into their eyes.  They cried out and stumbled backward into the water.  There was a rush of activity by the bodies.  We didn't want to think about what the alligators did to them.
Then the recently hatched alligators turned to Pocket and said, "Momma! "  They all gathered around her.  "Foley," she said excitedly.  "I am  a mom!" 

I was sure this was the last step in our becoming alligator lunch, but instead, they gathered around Pocket and told her that she was welcome to stay and raise the babies.  She was excited to be a mom until she realized she would have to live in this swamp.  She explained to the babies why she couldn't stay, and with a tear in her eyes, began to leave.
I stopped our group and asked the alligators if they wanted to have tea.  They agreed, and we had a wonderful time with them while Pocket played with the babies.  When we left, we decided to visit once a month for an alligator tea, and so Pocket could see her little ones, we could have tea, and Hattie could be queen for a day. 
Bennie brought us home.  We were pretty exhausted and slept very well that night.

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.


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.


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.


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.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

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.  

Foley's Tail From Rainbow Bridge: How An Angel Handle Annoying Prayers

  I am an angel judge so I am required to answer all prayers, even the most annoying ones. The most annoying prayers come from my Dad.  M...