My Life and Adventures in Doggy Heaven
Flurry D. Dog
This is a diary about my life in Doggy Heaven.
I want you to stop your misplaced misery on my passing. I know you miss me terribly, but I am fine. I am loudly barking, “dogs never die, they go to Doggy Heaven.” At least good dogs, which are all dogs.
I am writing this as I am sitting in comfort in Doggy Heaven, a wonderful place. I am surrounded by all my departed doggy relatives and friends; we have food and fun in abundance.
The fantastic thing is that I can see straight into the daily life of my Earth family, but they cannot see me. I miss them, and I want to share my days with my Earth family, so I have decided to write a diary and send it to them! I might drop it from a cloud or something, I will find a way, just like a determined dog will find a way to get over a fence. Most of all, I want my family to know that I am fine. I am fortunate to be one of the few dogs that can write, because on Earth, I got higher education at the Agility Academy.
The First Year
May 7 – D.O.A.
“He’s dead. I’m sure,” Mom leaned over me but did not touch. “He looks all stiff, his mouth is open, I’m sure he is dead,” she sobbed.
Dad: “Yeah, he looks dead.”
They were right, I was dead. Had been dead for about half an hour. It was a relief. I had a good life, but recently, there was so much pain. Pain in my back, tummy pain, teeth pain, butt pain, you name it. Could not even enjoy food. I was old.
Dying was not hard. Mom and Dad knew I was at the end and carried me for hours. When I sank into a deep sleep, they gently placed me on my bed in front of the fireplace. My dream was light and pleasant, or maybe it was not a dream. I could see my old body lying in front of the fireplace, but I did not bother breathing. Then I kind of transformed into my old self, strong and feeling that life was fun and exciting again. I was in a better place and in way better shape. Woof!
Mom and Dad wrapped my old body in my best towel and drove to Dr. Vet. Dad wanted to put me in a black trash bag, but Mom said, “NO WAY.” Mom said that I was meant to go to see Dr. Vet for the final time the next day, but she was relieved I had died at home, so she did not have to feel guilty. (I am not sure what she meant, she never seemed guilty any other time when she took me to Dr. Vet.)
We passed the line in the waiting room and I was laid down on the examination table. Doctor Vet came in and listen to my heart. Then he wrote on some papers and handed them to Mom. It said: D.O.A. It means Dead On Arrival.
I was taken away and cremated in my best doggy towel. That was it for my Earth life, I was moving on. I gave Mom and Dad a virtual last lick before I got teleported into Doggy Heaven. “I’ll keep in touch,” I barked, and they waved.
May 8 – Arrival
I landed on my four paws in a garden. All the pain was gone, I felt strong and ageless. There were dogs sleeping in the sun, dogs playing tag, dogs sipping from the water fountain and dogs gnawing on bones. They wagged their tails vigorously to indicate my welcome. I knew right away this was Doggy Heaven.
Loba and Zorro are my aunt and uncle and they were waiting for me. Loba gave me flowers and we hugged. They had followed my life from a distance while in Doggy Heaven. I had heard a lot about Loba and Zorro when I was on Earth. They lived with my family in South America before I was born. I understand that Loba and Zorro came from the street. (I was bought from a breeder for top dollars).
Zorro means fox in Spanish and Uncle Zorro has a reddish-brown coat much like a fox and he is strong and manly, a bit like a German shepherd. Zorro explained that he will show me all about life in Doggy Heaven and he is my protector. He is staying at my side most of the time.
I am not sure who my doggy Mom really was, but Aunt Loba calls me her long-lost son and puppy. She gives me lots of licks. Loba’s coat is short, and almost white. She has an unusual look, one blue eye, one brown eye, one ear up and one ear down. Loba means wolf in Spanish and Zorro says she has Husky in her blood which explains her wild and roaming instincts. Mom used to say that Loba had the crazy character to match her looks!
I also met old Aunt Kara. She is an Airedale terrier and Moms first dog, when she was a child. Aunt Kara gave me a soft blue bed to sleep in. Then she took a nap in the bed.
I am a miniature Poodle. The paperwork said apricot color but that washed off when we came home. My real color is yellowish white, just like Loba’s, and my family loved me in any color. I was bought for Elise who was sad that we moved from South America to North America. She was 10 years old and gave me the name Flurry because on TV and radio they always talked about another flurry of snow.
Elise is now big and have moved away to University while I stayed behind and kept Mom and Dad company. (Until this morning.)
May 9 – Second Day
Dear Dairy, this is my second day in Doggy Heaven. Aunt Loba and Uncle Zorro are at my side all the time. All the dogs walk around in small packs and are wagging their tails. Everyone is polite, so different from Earth where I often got snapped at.
Aunt Loba repeats that I am her long-lost son, but Uncle Zorro disagrees. “How would that work, she is fixed,” he whispered to me. “By the way, I am intact”. I do not know what that means, and Uncle Zorro does not want to explain. I asked if I am intact, but he changed the subject. In any case, I don’t know if Loba is my doggy Mom, but we have the same fur color and she loves me!
I noticed that Mom and Dad were eating fish today. They lamented that I was not there, how much I would have liked the scraps. Oh dear, they don’t know that Zorro, Loba and I went to a pile of dried fish and each grabbed a big cod which took us hours to finish off. (I could not finish mine, but Zorro helped). Then we slept a long time.
Everything is still very new, but I think I like this place. Mom, Dad, do not worry, I am fine.
May 11 – The Spa
In Doggy Heaven, we have free entry to the pantry and can choose anything we like to eat. Just saying.
Today, Aunt Loba and Uncle Zorro had sardines from a tin. I had the same because I did not know what to select. Sardines are really yummy, lovely fish smell.
Afterwards, Loba and Zorro took me to the grooming parlor, also called the spa. I was a bit hesitant, but Aunt and Uncle explained that the grooming parlor here is not like the Earth ones where they clip your nails and hair and comb out knots and other tortures. This one is how dogs like it.
Aunt Loba and I spent the afternoon being tummy rubbed while Uncle Zorro had his fur infused with oil. “You have to keep a shiny coat,” he says. Suitably groomed, we all went to sleep. This place is like heaven! Oh, I forgot – it is Doggy Heaven.
Meanwhile, Mom and Dad took a lonely walk in the rain. They seem miserable, I am getting worried about them.
May 13 – A Real Dog
Uncle Zorro and I are walking around the Heavenly neighborhood. I am very safe with Zorro; he protects me. When I lived on Earth, I often met big and nasty dogs that used to lunge at me. Therefore, I did not like meeting dogs, except for small dogs like Iggy the Chihuahua, Potato the Pug and a few more.
I am not sure I am a real dog. I may be a sort of human dog? Like a pet? Is that a real thing? I have questions.
With Zorro it is different. He is strong and has a shiny coat, he is a real dog and proud of it. “It is the Omega -3 in the sardines,” says Zorro. He polishes his fur every morning and flexes his muscles in front of the mirror. He chides me for not looking after my fur enough. “Your fur is your armor,” he says. My fur is rather tangled… Zorro also has powerful jaws. He smiles and shows his teeth in front of the mirror.
Walking with Uncle Zorro makes me powerful. “Keep your chest out and tail up,” says Zorro. “Nobody messes with us.” When I think about it, I have not seen any dog fights at all in Doggy Heaven. Still, I am glad I am with Uncle Zorro.
May 15 – Zorro’s Ancestry
Dear Diry, today Uncle Zorro has explained his genealogy to me. It is something like this: he is of Royal Scottish ancestry, but not in a direct lineage. He does not know how his lineage came to South America, but he thinks it was with the confiscadors (whatever that is). The evidence of Scottish blood is, according to Zorro, a tartan patterned collar that Master put around his neck. (Zorro calls Dad Master and Mom Mistress.) Uncle Zorro claims he has served in the British Royal Guard’s regiment because he came from the subdivision guard house in South America. (I am not really following his reasoning here; his ancestry is extremely complicated, but it appears to be important.) His real name could be MacZorro, or Sir Zorro, but I can call him Uncle Zorro.
I am not aware of any of my own ancestry, but I think I am related to somebody called Pedigree.
“We are related through Master and Mistress,” says Uncle Zorro. Aunt Loba does not mention her genealogy. Uncle Zorro says it is best not to talk about that. He whispered to me that she was picked up from the side of the road where she was abandoned and that her mother was a loose bitch.
Aunt Loba whispered to me that Zorro was picked up from the subdivision guard house where someone had dumped him. Zorro refutes the word dumped and says he was allocated to guard the subdivision due to his superior breeding and military experience.
It is unclear to me how Zorro is royal, if it is on the mothers or fathers side.
Lamb chops for dinner, a first for me. I got very tired listening to all this genealogy stuff; I think I will take a nap. Good night Dary.
May 17 – My Sweater
I notice that Mom and Dad still have not put away my bed. “Maybe one day we get a doggy visitor that will need the bed,” Mom said. Then they looked at some old pictures of me. I was wearing a blue and white striped sweater because it was a cold day. I look distinguished in the picture!
Uncle Zorro peeped over my shoulder and giggled. “I wish I had lived with you because I like to have walked on the Boulevard all dressed up and elegant! I would have used my Scottish accent and wear tartan!”
It is true that many of the dogs on the Boulevard have some sort of clothes. Aunt Loba says it is not natural, but as everything is comfortable in Doggy Heaven, she could consider a pink tutu, or maybe a cute bow on the collar. She has never had any clothes. Uncle Zorro suggested a red rose behind her naughty ear. (I wonder if he means the ear that is up, or the ear that is down?) “But most important of all,” Zorro says, “is to walk with your tail high.” Then he made us practice walking in a circle with a high tail. It is tough for me because my tail is short. Loba calls it cute, but Zorro just looks pained, although he tries to hide it. “Very good,” he says, “tail up and you get respect.” I heard him mutter that he is glad that chopping off poodles tails is banned.
Dear Dairy, I start to understand why most dogs disrespected me on Earth, my tail is too short.
We had chicken for dinner, (pollo according to Zorro). Mom and Dad had salad; their diet is falling to pieces.
May 18 – Scottish After All?
Dear Dairy, I have thought about Uncle Zorro’s Scottish ancestry and how we are related. I am from Nova Scotia, that means New Scotland. I think Dad might have been from Scotland, he had a coffee cup with a sort of crest on. I wonder if Zorro’s ancestors are from New Scotland or Old Scotland? I also wonder if Zorro and Loba are married?
May 19 – Fifi
Dear Diary, today I met Fifi, my Jack Russel Terrier friend from Canada! We had a lot to talk about, we had not seen each other for years because I moved. I told her about Texas, and she told me news about the neighborhood in Nova Scotia. Who had puppies with who, new dogs on the block, cat fights and dangerous people, especially one she called “Kicker.”
Fifi has become friends with Loba in Doggy Heaven, they both are adventurous and have free spirits. In her Earth life, Fifi used to run away for the whole day. She would ask me to go with her, but I would never leave the yard. I could smell danger everywhere, racoons, deer, porcupines, foxes, even coyotes! You name it, it all passed through our garden. I do not know how Fifi survived in the forest. “I run fast,” she says, “and most wild animals are asleep during the day. A few times I had to fight, but I was never seriously hurt.” Fifi lived to be an old lady, I think she was lucky.
Fifi is nice to me when she is around, which is not often because she and Loba are usually far away hunting. Uncle Zorro says that Jack Russel Terriers and Huskies are the worst sort for roaming. He is glad I am here in Doggy Heaven now to keep him company because he is tired of Loba’s gallivanting. When he is in a good mood, he calls me hijo. It means son in Spanish. I do not know what gallivanting means; it possibly has something to do with cockerel chasing.
All this talking made us very hungry and we had delicious mackerel for dinner in Heaven and so did Mom and Dad on Earth. Bon Appetit! Bon provecho, said Zorro, (it is Spanish for good eating).
Oh boy, this is life! (Or should I say death?).
May 21 – Why Dogs go to Doggy Heaven
We dogs go to Heaven because we serve people on Earth.
Take the mailman for example. The mailmen (or women) are constantly trying to intrude peoples houses, no doubt attempting to access the food supply. There is an attempt most days. We dogs are vigilant and warn them with our barking until they go away. Another job well done by dogs!
May 23 – Gardening Club
Dear Dairy, we had really fun today! Uncle Zorro and Aunt Loba took me to the Gardening Club. We were given bones to bury. When they were deep enough and covered, we peed on the spot to mark it as our own. Every meeting, we are going to dig down some more bones, they will be there if there is a food shortage, and for when we just like to dig up bones. I am so pleased with my garden plot.
The club is run by the terriers. They are ferocious gardeners and can get a hole down in 30 seconds – unbelievable skills! Zorro and I are just casual gardeners, but Loba is very enthusiastic. She has twenty bones buried deep down. (My bones are sticking up here and there.)
Fifi is one of the most active dogs, she is on the gardening club steering committee. She is a true Jack Russell Terrier.
May 24 – A Fox is Sighted
Dare Diary, Zorro can be a bit annoying. Today I was sleeping peacefully in the sun, dreaming that I was back at Earth with my family. It was a pleasant day and Dad was barbecuing while Elise rubbed my tummy. Mom was cutting up some choice pieces of meat and putting them in my bowl when Zorro woke me up.
“Flurry, wake up, there is a fox in Master’s garden!”
Zorro: “A fox in Master’s garden. What are you doing about it?” He looked frustrated.
Me: “Nothing, what do you think I can do? I am dead.”
Zorro thought about it for a while. “I guess you are right. Sorry for waking you up then. Disculpe.” (It means sorry in Spanish).
But the damage was done. I could not go back to sleep and I never got to eat the bowl of my dreams.
May 27 – Heaven for Loba and Fifi
I have not done anything special today, but I will describe a typical day in Heaven for Loba and Fifi.
They get up early, jump over a few fences, climb over a few walls, dig under a few more fences and then run for miles in the woods and fields. There they follow smells of rabbits and they stick their noses deep into rabbit holes. They find a stack of meat bones which they gnaw up and then they stretch out to sleep in a sunny spot.
Waking up, they bark hysterically to a few birds. Tiring of that they jump into a lake, get up and shake themselves, wildly smattering everyone nearby with water. Then they will find a trash heap, preferably with rotten fish, which they will roll around in (why after the swim)? They finish the day by digging many holes in a field. That is Doggy Heaven for them.
Zorro and I find them tiring, but they look at us and giggle before gulping down some fresh mackerel and falling asleep on the porch. We join them in the eating and sleeping.
May 29 – Zorro’s Medals
Dairy, not much has happened here in Doggy Heaven the last few days. Life is good, we eat, and we sleep. Uncle Zorro has showed me his medals, they are hanging proudly on his collar. He is a noble dog! One medal is from the king, it has Royal written on it says Zorro. He speculates he might be the king’s illegitimate son. I tried to read the writing on the medal, I thought it said Rabies, but the lettering is very worn. Royal, asserts Zorro.
Aunt Loba rolled her eyes behind his back. She does that a lot. Maybe her eyes are hurting.
Good Night Dariy.
May 31 – Scottish Heritage Again
Old Aunt Kara says she is of Scottish heritage because she is an Airedale Terrier and that is a Scottish breed.
“There you see,” says Zorro, “Scottish heritage, it’s all in the family, Royal Scotland for sure.”
Loba asked how a dog from Europe is related to him, that is from South America. “Through Master of course,” said Zorro, “we are all related, it makes perfect sense! We are family.”
Uncle Zorro has a strong sense of family. But what about Mistress (I mean Mom), does she not count? Aunt Kara was her dog after all. Maybe Zorro is a chauvinist?
Aunt Loba brought jerky and that stopped the discussion. She called it a royal jerk event and giggled. I still wonder if Uncle Zorro and Aunt Loba are married?
June 2 – Zorro is Bored
Uncle Zorro told me he would like to be a police dog if he came back to Earth. He says he used to do some policing around Master’s house. Once he bit a boy. “Just a little nip to teach him a lesson, but the boy kept coming back to the door with his Dad, again and again. Every time Master and Mistress seemed distressed and apologetic. Maybe I did not bite him hard enough,” says Zorro thoughtfully, “if I had done a better job, he would not have bothered Master ever again.”
If I get back to Earth, I want to be a pet with Mom and Dad, and for sure, I do not want to be a police dog. Zorro thinks Heaven is a little dull at times. He says he sometimes miss the action at Earth. I asked him what action, and he said: “the street brawls, Chihuahuas, you know”.
No I don’t know. Chihuahuas?
We had bacon for dinner. That is the best thing about Heaven says Zorro, the food.
June 4 – King of the House
Dear Diry, Aunt Loba and Uncle Zorro have told me something shocking. In their Earth life with Mom and Dad, they did not live in the house, they lived outdoors! They were outdoor dogs. I am disturbed, I guess as a pet, a bit more human and not suited for the outdoors, honestly, I do not think I would survive that sort of life.
“There was no problem,” says Loba “we got food every day, a large garden to live in, a family to protect and a doghouse. It was a healthy lifestyle and we lived like Kings and Queens.” “I was Rey de la Casa,” said Zorro. (It means: King of the House).
Uncle Zorro explained that he was on guard duty for the family, assisted by Aunt Loba. “I take my assignments very seriously,” said Zorro. “It was my duty to protect the perimeter of the garden and I always do my duty. In fact, I have been awarded a medal for most dutiful dog.” He pointed out that he could open the gate lock with his teeth, but he stayed on duty in the garden (most of the time) out of loyalty to Master.
“And for the food,” said Loba.
Zorro is so accomplished and unselfish. I wanted to see the medal, but unfortunately, it got misplaced in a move.
Loba said all this is humbug and the reason they could not live in the house is that Zorro peed on the Christmas tree and the furniture when he was in the house.
“Marking is necessary,” says Zorro.
June 6 – Dogs go to Heaven
It is one month since I departed from Earth. Every day, Mom and Dad still take the same walk as we use to take together. Today they met another small little poodle. “Just like our Flurry,” explained Dad. “He is dead now. Died of old age a month ago.” This got lot of simpering sympathy. “But we still feel like he is with us,” said Mom.
Of course, you do, I am right here, following you from Heaven
June 8 – Earth Memories and Doggy Heaven
Dear Diario, I am feeling a little down because I have been thinking about all the dogs that bullied me on Earth:
Winston, Sparks, Lilly (Yorkshire terrier, so aggressive), Comet, Lulu (no, not cute), Lisa, Tornado, Pepe (Bulldog mix, huge), Joker (mixed breed, no joke), Barton, Rita, Batman, ZsaZsa (Afghan, sneaky), Snippet, Apple, Ripley (aka rip your ears off), Sonny, Amanda, Orlando (Dachshund, thinks he is a bulldog), Risto, Barkley (bark loud, I say), Phantom, Carlton, Aristo, Mancos, Dumbo, unknown, unknown, unknown, unknown, unknown, unknown, unknown, unknown, unknown, …. the list goes on.
If I went on a walk, someone would have a go at me. It usually went like this: I am strolling peacefully on the leash minding my own business. The offending dog sees me at a distance. They perk up, lunge forward ripping the arm of their owner and barks and snarls aggressively at me for minutes while their owner shouts: “he/she is not dangerous, just wants to say hello”.
Funny way to say hello, growling and showing your teeth. Delusional owners.
Another style is the dog that walks orderly beside their owner and makes a surprise attack when we are side by side. This time the owner says “he/she has never done this before”.
Sure, except it did the same thing yesterday and last week too. The owners are trying to blame me for inviting an attack and being scared. It is their dog that likes to be a bully. The worst is when they blame me for being scared. Saying that it incentivizes the attack… No, I will not fight back, I do not want a fight, I want to get away and not get hurt.
I am glad all that is over and that I am in Doggy Heaven. Maybe it is Heaven, maybe it is the protection from Uncle Zorro, I don’t know, but it is over. Finally, I have don’t have to look over my doggy shoulder all the time.
June 10 – Therapy Dog in Heaven
Aunt Loba is concerned about my lack of confidence around other dogs and she suggested that I see a licensed therapy dog. It is a Golden retriever that used to visit people in hospitals on Earth. Apparently, the people told her all about their problems and petted her and after that they got better. Her name is Dr. Goldie. (I am sure Goldie liked being petted and getting treats.)
Uncle Zorro is scoffing at the idea and says that I only need to walk with my tail up, chest out and have a menacing look in my eyes and I will be perfectly ok. If a dog still is rude to me, Uncle Zorro says he will deal with it.
I don’t really feel I need to see a therapy dog, after all it is the other dogs that should work on their attitude problems, but Aunt Loba insisted, so I said ok and went.
Dr. Goldie was kind and showed me a couch, and I took a nap on it.
When I woke up, Goldie said we had a good first session and she looked forward seeing me many more times. I do not know if Loba paid her, or if the sessions in Heaven are free. Dr. Goldie had a stack of bacon behind her desk. It was a comfortable couch.
Are the other dogs kinder now?
June 12 – Street Dogs in Doggy Heaven
More disturbing details about Aunt Loba and Uncle Zorro’s life in South America are surfacing. Their doghouse in the garden was of concrete and occasionally, scorpions came in. Loba and Zorro calls them alacranes. I almost fainted. “Don’t worry,” says Loba, “the inside of Moms and Dads house was not better, they had alacranes too! As a former street dog, I could deal with alacranes, a quick flick with the paw and they were gone.”
Uncle Zorro does not want Aunt Loba to talk about street dogs, and tells Loba to shut up about her background, but she refuses. Loba says she is not ashamed of coming from the street. “I am as good as any of those pedigree dogs. In fact, I am better, I can open a tin of sardines with my teeth, I can climb any fence, I know all the trash heaps and water holes, I can live off the land if necessary and I am certainly not inbred!”
Then both Uncle Zorro and Aunt Loba looked at me. I turned away in embarrassment, did not dare to tell them about sleeping on the sofa and a bed in front of the fireplace.
June 14 – Pests in the Garden
Uncle Zorro has recently checked on Mom and Dads garden, and he found a squirrel infestation and other intruders. Zorro call the pests “varmints”. He says that one of the more important duties for a dog is to keep the varmints away from their Master’s garden. (He never mentions Mistress’ garden). Then he told me stories of varmints he and Loba had chased away in South America. Small rodents, possums, sloths (what is that?), poisonous critters like spiders, alacranes (scorpions), snakes, and larger animals like other dogs, foxes and even people.
“The craziest day was when the monkeys came,” explained Zorro, “they threw sticks at us and we could not get them in the trees, although Loba tried. It was constant work, sometimes we took turns sleeping. We were on the job, day and night”.
Uncle Zorro asked about my varmint strategy and what had been the most common problem. I did not have any answers, other than that my job as a pet was to be a companion to the family and that I did not deal with the garden much. I told him that I once saw a deer through the window, and it was very scary and huge, so I trembled and hid in the kitchen.
Uncle Zorro was rather careful in his wording, but I think he insinuated that I had been lacking on the job. He showed me a book; Varmint Identification for all Dogs by Dr. Bite Bark, D.bs, C. Sc., A. Bc., and B. sh. Zorro asked if I had ever seen the book, and I had to admit I had not. “Hm,” said Zorro, “I thought you were an educated dog”.
“I never took varmint control at the Agility Academy,” I defended myself.
The book was rather well read, it had pawmarks all over and some gunk that I think was drool, on the pages. Zorro showed me pictures of rats, squirrels, racoons, and much more. You could read all about the varmints as well, which time of day and year they like to show up, what they eat and how they defend themselves. Zorro cannot actually read so I guess he just looked at the pictures and worked out his strategy by trial and error. I did not really like the book, but it is Zorro’s favorite. (That, and some old and torn calendar of Chihuahuas that he keeps under his bed.)
“We save the scary pages for another time,” he said. “That will be cats, snakes and large predators.”
I am glad I am in Heaven for dogs.
June 16 – Dogs are Vindicated in Heaven
Diary, the dogs have been vindicated.
Today, I read in News from Earth that people are given tablets with baby poop as medicine for treatment of various illnesses. Finally, they learned!
We dogs have always known the benefits of poop eating, and we were always told off about it! Life is unfair. And poop tastes good, especially rabbit poop and baby poop.
Taste that, Diary!
June 18 – The Happy Couple
Finally, I asked Uncle Zorro if he and Aunt Loba were married. “Of course,” said Zorro, “would not have it any other way. We were married by Master in the garden in South America and we have been sharing bowls ever since, on Earth and in Heaven.”
Loba said she never got a ring and that there has mainly been sharing of her bowl.
Apparently, it was an arranged marriage.
June 20 – Pet Adoption Day
Dear Diary, I am a little upset. Today, my Earth parents went to a pet store on adoption day to see if there were any dogs available. Maybe they were thinking about getting pest control for their garden after all?
Just to look, said Mom, she is still in mourning after my demise. There were only cats in the pet store – of course, leftovers, who wants cats? Clearly cannot give them away.
I think it is too early for my Earth parents to have a new pet. They just looked and went away. Good decision, I am relieved.
June 22 – There is a Cat Heaven!
I have learned that there is a Cat Heaven too. Fortunately, it is separated from Doggy Heaven by a tall wall. I have heard some scary wailing over the wall. Why would cats have a Heaven? It is not like they are repenting and converting to being dogs.
“Don’t worry your cute little head,” says Loba. Let us just go and get some ribs from the pantry to chew on.
So, we did, yum, yum, yum.
Dear Dairy, I am trying to forget about the cats.
June 24 – Zorro Meets Tiger
There is a story going around Doggy Heaven that Uncle Zorro once climbed into Cat Heaven. He challenged any cat to have a fight with him and he was matched with a stripy beast called Tiger. Tiger was large and muscular and had huge teeth, but Zorro did not hesitate. “Come on, come on” he baited Tiger.
The tale goes that the creature took Zorro in his claws and threw him into a basketball hoop where he got stuck. The cats detached the net with Zorro inside and carried him back into Doggy Heaven with a stern warning to not come back.
As far as I know, Uncle Zorro never tried to climb that wall again. He does not want to talk about it.
June 26 – Meat on the Bone
Dear Dairy, I noticed that Mom and Dad had BBQ today.
“What a pity our little Flurry is not with us anymore,” said Mom, “he would have liked some pieces of grilled meat.” “Yes, he always used to keep me company at the BBQ,” said Dad. “Missing the attention from the little chap.”
“BBQ day is a red-letter day,” said Uncle Zorro. He is always on about red-letter days. It is the day off work for humans, marked red in the calendar. “On red-letter days, the family in South America had BBQ and Master gave us meat on the bone” Zorro continued, and he was salivating.
Hmm, I never got bones from the BBQ… “You are too fragile,” explained Aunt Loba, “Zorro and I were tough outdoor dogs.”
Hello there on Earth! We dogs can have BBQ any time in Heaven and we get the whole piece, bone and meat. Finally, meat on the bone for Mee Too. Good night Dearli, I must gnaw now.
June 28 – Angel Dog Song (Änglahund)
In her Earth life, old aunt Kara lived in Sweden with Mom. Today she showed us a Swedish song called Änglahund, it means Angel Dog in English! The chorus goes something like this:
Can I take my dog with me to Heaven?
He is good and he’s been a real friend
He is smart and cute, the license is paid
If I can, music man, then I’ll be so glad
We dogs in Heaven really like this song and we are planning to form a rock band and put it on our repertoire. The band will be called Zorro and the Howlers. Lots of dogs wants to be in the band and Uncle Zorro is taking applications now.
Just a thought, I have not actually seen any people in Heaven. Aunt Kara says there is another Heavenly department where dogs and their owners live together!
To answer the question in the song: yes, dogs can go to Doggy Heaven and I am a Doggy Angel.
Änglahund, by Hasse Andersson (loosely translated from Swedish)
(Search youtube for this wonderful song.)
It was late one night, and we had played at a market
Cold and tired, I stood behind the stage for a while
I heard someone mumble about some worry
there in the grass sat a man and a little dog
Hello music man, please answer my question
It is honest and I mean every word
When our Lord puts the flame of life out
and it’s time to leave this Earth
Can I take the dog with me to Heaven
He is good and he’s been a real friend
He is smart and cute, the license is paid
If I can, music man, then I’ll be so glad
I answered simply, what else could I say
Your dog will surely go to Heaven
when it dies
Someone yelled, it was time to leave
When I sat in the car, I thought about
the question again
To him the question was important
An honest answer, he deserved
but who can really answer?
if dead dogs must stay on Earth
July -1 Zorro and the Irish Wolfhound
There is an Irish Wolfhound called Goliath here in Doggy Heaven. He lives quite far away from us, but Uncle Zorro and I met him while taking a stroll in the park. I noticed some tension between him and Zorro. Goliath gave us a huge smile (lots of teeth) and turned to Zorro:
“Are you the fellow I had an encounter with, in South America?”
“Indeed, I am,” answered Zorro. “You are Goliath, I remember having my head inside your jaws, was just checking your tonsils.”
“And I remember that I cleaned your ears,” said Goliath. “Well, have a pleasant day.”
And he moved on. Zorro looked after him. “Not sure I am over that incident,” he muttered.
Later, on a park bench, Zorro explained. “Goliath and I lived on the same street in South America. I never liked the guy and especially, I did not appreciate his superior attitude. He always made me move out of the way when we met on the street. He thinks he is so clever and brave, but he is just big and quite stupid. Once he got fooled by two cats, he chased one while the other took his lunch. Clueless.”
“One day,” continued Zorro, “I decided to teach Goliath a lesson in respect and I stood my ground when he approached. Well, we had an altercation and somehow, I ended up with my head inside his mouth. Yes, I saw the inside of those jaws. Master saved me by forcing open the jaws of Goliath. We may be in Heaven, but I still do not like Goliath. And his tonsils are smelly.”
Loba asserted that what Zorro said is true.
“Zorro bites above his weight,” she added.
July 3 – Back to the Therapy Dog
On Earth, most people who did not know me, called me puppy, even when I was a senior and graduate of the Agility Academy. Little children would go all enthusiastic when they saw me, and their caretaker would ask if their little pumpkin could pet the puppy? I was 14 years old and they still called me a puppy!
Basically, I was a miniature poodle, cute and fluffy. I sat down nicely and let all children pet me. Most were good, some were rough, but I never complained. I was good at being a petable pet, but it was not really my thing.
I talked to Dr. Goldie, the therapy dog, about the lack of respect. She says I was called puppy because of my personality but I don’t think Dr Goldie is right. She thinks that because she as a Golden Retreiver, was not called puppy after the age of 6 months.
People really do judge the dog after the hair and the size. Dogs don’t care much about the hair, mostly they worry about the size and how they smell.
I wonder what is wrong with my personality?
Dr. Goldie’s place smells of bacon.
July 5 – My Worst Earth Memory
A stray cat came to our house and Mom and Dad gave it food. Of course, the stupid thing would not be thankful and go away. I do not know what Mom and Dad was thinking. The outrage was, the cat got better food that I did, like meat and sardines, when I was eating dry dog kibbles.
The stinking creature was at the door every day, making its sucking up “meeoo meeoo,” and everyone was uttering stupid noises of sympathy. “Oh, you poor thing, oh, are you hungry, oh, are you cold.” It was nauseating to see how easily my people were manipulated.
After a few days of this, the beast got bold and entered the house and went straight to my food bowl and eat up my dog biscuits as well. I was beside myself, barking and trying to get somebody to do something! My people, my own family, just laughed…
Eventually the cat disappeared to never return, but it almost gave me a heart attack. The cat threatened me, and I never did anything bad to it. After this, I don’t like cats, don’t trust them. I am grateful that the cats are behind a wall and contained in Cat Heaven. I hope it is a big wall.
July 7 – Doggy Metoo
Results of recent survey in Doggy Heaven about life on Earth:
I like bacon. Metoo 100%
I was uncomfortable at the vet. Metoo 97%
I was served dried biscuits that tasted like cardboard. Metoo 94%
I was kept on a short leash. Metoo 81%
I was regularly left home alone. Meetoo 77% (of dogs with a home)
I was not allowed on the bed. Metoo 27%
I had to live with a cat. Metoo 9%
I was served bacon at least once a week. Metoo 0.1%
It is clear that we have a bacon discrepancy between people and dogs.
July 9 – Identity Questions
Am I a dog? Or am I a pet? Or a human? I feel Loba and Zorro are a bit more doglike than myself. For example, they did not live in the house. Zorro claims this is because he was on garden duty, and I was on house duty, but I am not sure that is the whole reason.
Sometimes I slept on the bed. Zorro gets very irritated when I explain this. I had a sister that is human. Maybe I am in between? I would eat on the plates but only when the rest of the family was finished. Does it mean I was human but lowest in the pack? I did have clothes sometimes, especially when it rained, or it was cold.
Zorro says I am in Doggy Heaven, so I am a dog and that is the end of the discussion.
July 11 – Zorro and the Howlers
Dairy, I have exciting news.
We have formed the rock band: Zorro and the Howlers!
Zorro is band leader and lead guitarist, Loba the lead singer, Fifi plays keyboard and I am the drummer because I could not play any instruments. I find it hard to play to the beat but Loba told me to follow her wagging tail, and that works fine. There are a lot of disappointed dogs that did not make the cut, but they are forming a fan club.
Our repertoire so far is: Bad to the Bone (Zorro’s choice), Puppy Love (My choice), Born to be Wild (Loba’s choice) and Angel Dog (Fifi’s choice).
(If you want a taste of a song, search youtube for Bad to the Bone artist George Thorogood or ZZ Top).
We are sounding great and very loud, and we got some cool outfits too. Zorro’s stage clothes have lots of medals. Loba wears a pink bow in her ear and a nice dress, I have sunglasses (but it is difficult to see anything on dark nights which can be a problem if I must follow Lobas tail). Fifi has a long-haired blond wig, she says she always wanted long fur.
Now we are looking for gigs.
July 14 – Thought of the Day
If dogs ruled the world, who would be top dog?
Can a Yorkshire terrier be top dog? I think there are some that like to be, is it possible? Uncle Zorro insists that he is top dog, but I am hesitant, he does not have higher education from an accredited institute. I have a feeling that Goliath thinks that he is top dog. What about me? Who decides anyway?
Aunt Loba is just laughing at my thoughts. “Dont get into that hornets nest, why don’t we go to the spa for tummy rubs.”
Loba knows how to keep her focus on the important stuff.
July 16 – Free Misty
Dear Diario, we have a serious situation. I have been shown a dog on Earth who lives with 6 cats in a house with a crazy cat lady! It is a white and furry Terrier mix called Misty, the cats are large, smelly and have sharp claws and teeth.
This is a horrible and abusive situation – imagine – living with six cats! The smell, the allergy causing fur, the incessant meeoo, meeoo, and evil jumping up on furniture every time you try to defend yourself. Would not be surprised if the poor dog must eat cat food as well, (although Loba says it’s really tasty).
The dogs in Heaven agree that this dog abuse cannot go on; Misty must be freed. Because I can write, I have been assigned to write a complaint to the Earth Authorities.
Here is my letter: Hello Earth Autrocities, Misty lives with 6 cats and must be rescued and moved to a no cat home immediately. Act now. Signed: Dogs in Heaven.
Many dogs in Heaven have signed with their paw print – we are disgusted and disturbed. We will keep on fighting for Misty, it has become our pet charity cause, (pun intended).
Loba is mailing because I don’t know where the mailbox is.
Peace and Love.
July 18 – Rocky the Dachshund has Arrived in Doggy Heaven
Dare Diary, interesting news; Rocky has arrived in Doggy Heaven. Rocky is a Dachshund that came to stay with us after the big flood when his human parents had to live in a hotel which did not accept dogs. It is sad that racism is so prevalent, so I agreed with Mom and Dad to do the right thing and give Rocky temporary shelter in our lovely home.
Earth Rocky was ok, (I guess), very polite. But he was hyperactive and had only three legs after being hit by a car a few years earlier. Rocky knew he was a guest in my home, and he left me alone, even though he barked and lashed out at all other dogs. We occasionally played ball, but we slept on different beds. He vigorously chased the squirrels in the garden, and he was annoying at feeding time, tried to eat my food!
“You snooze, you lose,” said Mum and laughed. But she did keep Rocky away from my food bowl. I never touched Rocky’s bowl. I got a bit resentful; I was behaving well, but somehow, I got the impression that Mom and Dad thought Rocky’s pushiness was a good thing, or at least funny. Not funny at all to me.
It is so crazy, first your owner train and teach you to obey every order and impress on you that this is the behavior they want. You comply. Then they call the rule breakers for “get up and go types”, “entertaining”, or “takes initiative”, and somehow it is a good thing, and those who follows the rules are losers. Can humans please think this through!
When the water retreated from the streets, Rocky went home to his own family again. (I was glad to see him go, although I did not tell him that. I had done my duty to a dog in need, Dr. Goldie.)
The strange thing is – when I met Rocky in Heaven, he had his leg back. Rocky was his old self, running here and there, chasing squirrels and generally being macho. He made friends with Zorro right away. They got involved in a discussion about how to keep varmints out of the yard. Rocky reported to Zorro that I did not keep Moms and Dads yard clean of intruders and that he had done a heck of a job cleaning the place up.
Can I get my stuff back? I am talking about my tail.
July 21 – Thoughts at the Beach
Today, we spent the day at the beach, it was a fun change except that everyone asked me to swim. “Come on you are a Poodle, you love water”. No, I do not like water, I am a Poodle who fears water. Always suffering for it, but get it, I am a pet Poodle and I do not like water. Stop racial stereotyping.
Zorro was cautious in the water but Loba and Fifi were wild, jumping and diving! They have no breeding and composure according to Zorro. Then he shook his wet fur all over me, just like a stupid dog.
Lots of interesting fish smells on the beach. I wonder if the fish are in fish Heaven? Or is it regular fish? If we eat the fish, are they suffering? I think that is when they go to fish Heaven. So, a bunch of regular fish must do fish duty in our Heaven before going to their own fish Heaven. This is how it must be. Probably.
July 23 – Varmints in the Garden
Mom and Dad had a raccoon in their garden today. Uncle Zorro and Rocky are discussing what they call “the situation”. Rocky insists that it is my fault, he kept the garden varmint free when he lived there temporarily, but apparently, I did nothing to help. They are blaming me for a raccoon when I am dead?
Anyway, if you want pest control, get a dog, or call the bug guy, if you want company, get a pet.
July 25 – Positive Thinking
This week, I talked to Dr. Goldie about my fear of cats. She told me it is all in my head, cats are not a danger to dogs, and in fact, many cats and dogs are great friends!
I told her about the cat that ate my food and she advised me to be more assertive. “It is easy,” she said, “you approach the cat with determined steps and a stern expression, and it will go away, guaranteed. If necessary, you can give a sharp bark, and its done.”
I tried to say it was easy for her, because she is bigger than the cat, but she would not agree. “There are plenty of Yorkshire terriers and Chihuahua’s that can frighten away cats. The fear is all in your head, think positively, be confident and you can do it.”
I guess, maybe … but I am not so sure a cat would move if I approached. I guess her talk was meant to make me feel safe around cats, but it only made me feel … like a failure.
Then she asked if I was not glad to share my food with a homeless cat? She said I would be happier if I was more generous to the needy and that I must stop focusing on myself. Dr. Goldie suggested that I volunteer in a homeless animal shelter to see how the less fortunate live, but I pointed out that we are in Heaven and no one is homeless. (I also do not think Uncle Zorro would share his food bowl with a cat, even a homeless cat, but I did not say that.)
Before leaving, Dr. Goldie told me she was a motivational speaker and she would love to talk about “Positive Thinking” at the Gardening Club. She asked me to recommend her to the board, her fee is payable in bacon. She also asked if I had any bacon to share, which I did not.
I wonder why she does not go to the food store and get some bacon, it is free in Doggy Heaven?
July 28 – Licks of Love
People on Earth say that the World has gone to the dogs, but we do not agree. The people are not going with enough food to the dogs!
Aunt Loba and Uncle Zorro are concerned about their old friends in South America and are collecting donations and sending food parcels. They are getting a lot of bags of dry dog food which all dogs are generously donating.
Before Loba packs the food, Zorro goes through the donations and removes everything that is perishable. He licks the food to make sure it is tasty. The charity is called Licks of Love.
The dry dog food is very nourishing for dogs in need. It feels good to do good.
July 30 – A Heavenly Drink
Diary, I overheard this conversation today:
Dad: “What is that slurping noise from the kitchen?”
Mom: “It’s just the dog drinking.”
Dad: “The dog is dead; we don’t have a dog.”
They both rushed out into the kitchen. After a few minutes they located the noise as coming from the water filter. “Weird,” they said.
Not really, I was drinking in Heaven. They just don’t know how it works, Diary, I wish I could tell them. We need to establish contact.
August 1 – Debating Club
Der Dairy, have I told you that Zorro is running a debating club in Doggy Heaven? He is a natural leader! Zorro says there are many responsibilities for a top dog like him, and he likes to hear from all audiences. The debates are usually between the pedigree dogs and the mixed breeds, but there are other groupings as well. For example, the working dog group against the hounds, the sporting dogs against the non-sporting etc.
Zorro is usually agreeing with the pedigree dogs, he insists that he is of Royal Scottish Guard breed. Well, Zorro is good looking, but I have never met another dog of this rare breed.
Today there was a debate between Zorro and Bernie (St Bernard, a working dog) on the topic: What is better: sardines or bacon?
Zorro argued that bacon indeed smells and tastes deliciously but cannot beat sardines! And sardines are healthy, while bacon gives you blocked arteries, so sardines are better.
Bernie argued that dogs do not know anything about arteries and the debate is really about taste and bacon simply tastes better.
Dr. Goldie asked to speak, and she said that bacon is good for the soul. Then someone barked that sardines are good for your fur. Lucy, the mediator (a Sky terrier) lost control over the audience and uncontrolled yapping broke out. The crowd separated in a sardine and a bacon side, I stood cautiously in the middle. It started to look ugly when Loba intervened and suggested that bacon wrapped sardines was the best and why don’t we all try it out? So, we all got to the canteen and ordered some up and everyone agreed with Loba.
Dr. Goldie ate more than everyone else, then she puked. “I have a sensitive stomach, she said.
August 4 – Welfare Check on Misty
I have made a welfare check on Misty but there is no change in her situation and it prompted me to write another letter:
Atrocities, I need to draw your attention again to the huge suffering on Earth by the dog Misty, forced to live with 6 cats. Misty is surrounded by evilness and cat poop. The cats have to be removed immediately.
As the previous letter had no effect, I added a threat: You are being watched by all the dogs in Heaven.
Signed by Flurry D. Dog, The Angel Dog
This should do it.
Loba will mail.
August 6 – A Rabbit on the Front Lawn
Another day of harassment from Zorro over varmints in Master’s garden. Like I can do anything, I am dead. DEAD.
This time it was a rabbit on the front lawn. He can see them from Heaven. “Can you explain how rabbits are allowed to live in Master’s yard?”
Well, when I was alive, did not invite them. Why ask me? In fact, Mom fed the rabbit carrots.
Then Rocky chimed in “And squirrels, when I came to live with Flurry during the flood, the garden was inundated by squirrels! I had to work 24/7 chasing squirrels – and that with my three legs! I am afraid Flurry was useless, just slept on the doormat, taking no notice.”
I am tired and upset by these insinuations. What the dogs here do not understand is that I was a pet. My job was to look cute and cuddle with my family. And Rocky should shut up (but I did not tell him that), he enjoyed chasing squirrels, he had a great time threatening little critters that posed no danger to him.
August 8 – Gardening Club with Dr. Goldie
Dear Dairy, another fun day with the Gardening Club. Today we focused on digging up the bones we planted a while ago. I got most of mine back, Uncle Zorro had a huge pile. He says I can have some of his, they are the biggest and juiciest. My bones are good, but a little dry. Aunt Loba says that next time, I should bury them deeper.
The Terriers got carried away as usual, they just kept on digging, long after all the bones were harvested. We had piles of dirt everywhere. After harvesting we had a dinner with Dr. Goldie who spoke on the topic of “Positive Gardening.”
Loba asked if she knew anything about gardening, she said not really, but she knew a lot about being positive because she is a Golden Retriever. Positivity is a concept that can be applied universally.
“Approach every task and creature with a positive attitude. Dig, dig, dig, how fun it is to be a positive gardener! Dig up the tulips, the roses, the dahlias and the peas, fun, fun, fun. Love all creatures, love your owners, love the mailman, love your fellow dogs, love the cats, the foxes and hamsters. Lick, lick, lick, give everyone a lick that you meet, hug, hug, hug. Now everyone turn to your right, lick who is next to you, then turn to your left, hug who is next to you, do it.”
Fortunately I had Loba to the right and Zorro to the left, so it was no problem for me, Zorro had to hug a Chihuahua, he was okay with that, but Loba had to lick a Bulldog, but she got through it. She whispered to me that the Bulldog was an overenthusiastic hugger.
“Positivity gives you advantages, people love you, they pet you, give you treats and tummy rubs, all day long. Just go up to a person and put your head in their lap and all good things will happen, guaranteed! If you snarl, you trigger bad vibes, you can get kicked and you will definitely be restrained. It is simple, Positive is Power.” Then she made us recite Positive Power 5 times in unison.
I think it is an interesting concept, but Loba said it was typically Golden Retriever talk, that it works for them and Labradors, but not so well for street dogs. Zorro whispered to me that the only true power is biting power.
Somebody asked how to deal with people frightened of dogs, but Dr. Goldie did not understand the question. A German Shepherd wondered if a working dog would not get the same advantages by working? Goldie said no, it is not what you do, humans do not understand results, it is how you are perceived. Then she asked for her payment in bacon, lots of it.
I am a little concerned about being positive toward cats, it did not work for me on Earth, but maybe it was an exception? I will consider being more positive in the future, I am trying to be a good dog.
August 11 – A Dinner Party
We have decided to have a dinner party for our friends. Loba and I will prepare the food because there was a disaster when Zorro prepared the food last time; all the bacon disappeared and now Loba does not allow Zorro to get near the kitchen.
This is the menu: For starter, sardines in olive oil topped by bacon bits, main course will be bacon wrapped steak and for dessert, bone filled with marrow and bacon.
You cannot go wrong with bacon, says Loba.
When the dogs arrived, we went straight to the food and Loba and I got a lot of compliments. After dessert, Zorro and the Howlers played, and all the dogs rocked to the wee hours. When we sang Bad to the Bone, we threw bones to everyone. (Zorro had licked them clean first). We had a howl-along at the moon, we scratched each other’s backs and fell asleep all in a big pile. I will now join the zzzzzs, good night Diary.
August 13 – Zorro has an Itch
Tired this morning, but no need to clean dishes, it is all well licked.
Zorro has an itch. He thinks it can be an allergy he picked up after delivering the party trash to the dump. He is quite whiny. Loba told him to go to the Vet but Zorro does not want to, he is sure he will be fine soon. Loba and I have been massaging him and trying to keep him comfortable. Loba says he is a big baby and calls him povrecito Zorrito. It means poor little Zorro in Spanish.
I think I have an itch too. It is not that bad, but…. I saw Loba scratching as well.
I am not feeling great.
Going to sleep.
August 15 – Social Distancing in Heaven
Dear Diary, this morning we got worried about Zorro, his fur is in tatters and has bloody spots. Loba wanted to check if it could be fleas but Zorro got angry and said it would be impossible because fleas only infest street dogs.
In the end, Loba decided that we must go to the Vet, but Zorro refused, so Loba and I went without him as we also showed symptoms. Can you believe it Dear Diary, we tested positive for fleas!
The Vet explained that fleas also go to Heaven and there has been a recent security breach and now we are infested. Well, we could only conclude that this started with Zorro. The Vet said he had to do contact tracing and asked if we had been in contact with other dogs?
Oh no! The dinner party!
All our dinner party guests got called to the Vet and were given flea medication, including Zorro. As he was the source of the infestation amongst our friends, the Vet called him a super spreader. Zorro was furious and said it must have been someone else!
Now we must practice social distancing until the outbreak is under control. We will keep distance and communicate with wagging tails. No hugging and licking, Dr. Goldie! (Don’t tell anyone Dear Diary, but it suits me fine).
August 18 – Can Heaven be Full?
Dare Dary, we finally got rid of the fleas. They got herded into their own Heaven, the authorities were very apologetic about the flea breach, but we must avoid crowds for a while. Which brings me some deep thoughts.
Can Heaven be full? The dogs just keep on coming.
Is there a Heaven for snakes? For mosquitos? For bacteria? Clearly the fleas have a Heaven. Why is it right to exterminate bacteria that cause illness but not rattlesnakes? I have read that there are good bacteria, but surely non-poisonous snakes can also kill rats and mice? I have heard that cats can deal with snakes, maybe they could share their Heaven with snakes.
Existential questions are tiring, says Aunt Loba, she does not think I should worry about these things. She says the key to happiness is to eat well, stay with your pack, play hard and sleep a lot. That is what we do in Doggy Heaven.
Pork chops for dinner. Chuletas, as Uncle Zorro calls them. He now thinks the source of the flea infestation was the Chihuahua he hugged at the Gardening Club.
August 20 – Varmint Education Day
Dear Diary, not a funny day. Uncle Zorro has been annoying and overbearing. It started right after breakfast, he asked me to come and sit with him for a while, that he wanted to show me something. I thought it could be a bone, a piece of bacon, or at least a bouncy ball, but it was that unpleasant book by Dr. Bite Bark: Varmint Identification for all Dogs.
Zorro said he needed to educate me. I had seen him read the varmint book many times with great concentration.
“Here, Flurry, here is a squirrel. See the long furry tail. These are very common, in fact, they are inundating Master’s garden. Did you ever see any squirrels there?”
I looked at the pictures, yes fairly familiar, but no, I can’t say for sure they were in Master’s garden. Maybe they were the annoying creatures that threw nuts at me.
“Really,” said Zorro. “Look again. Long tails, scurrying up and down the oak tree? Have you really not seen them?”
“NO, I answered strongly. I have not seen them, and I don’t want to do this anymore!”
Zorro did not take no for an answer. “Let’s change page,” he said. “Look here, this is a rabbit. Long ears, soft fur, pretending to be cute. Did you ever see a rabbit in masters garden?” I said, maybe.
Truth is, ok, I did see the squirrels and the rabbits, but I do not care for them. I looked away. And why would I care? I remember Mom putting out a carrot for the rabbit at Christmas, she liked it.
Zorro let me go. I hid in the doghouse for the rest of the day.
This is what Zorro does not accept: I came from a breeder; I have breeding, and I am a pet. Inbreeding scoffs Zorro, whatever that means. I start to think Zorro has Chowchow in him. He can be quite bad tempered.
August 22 – My Education
Dear Dairy, I think I should have more respect from Uncle Zorro because I have been to Doggy University, the Agility Academy to be exact and I have a degree in Agility. Aunt Loba is immensely proud of this fact, she often mentions it to her friends. She and Uncle Zorro never got an education, but Zorro denies this. “Master trained us to sit,” he says.
In charge of the Academy was an important lady called Professor Morag. Every class, I went to greet Professor Morag and show my respect, but she barely gave me a glance and told me to get back in line. I was in awe of Morag.
We had to learn tunnel, jump obstacles and then advanced subjects like teeter -tooter and weave pools. I was good, I am a Poodle. Professor Morag had two Shelties of her own in the class, they were good too. Some of the other dogs in the class struggled.
One time, a Pug disappeared in the tunnel. When he got out, he had pooped. I don’t know if he just needed to poop, or if he was scared, or if he was protesting being in the class. I suspect he protested. Morag did not like the Pug after that. We other dogs giggled.
After a lot of classes, I graduated with flying colors and Elise put me in a competition. There were some of the dogs from the class but also a lot of other dogs, including Morag’s highly educated Shelties. The course was easy, and I won first place! One of Morag’s Shelties came second. “You are not meant to beat your teacher” said Morag jokingly to Elise. The Sheltie was angry, I think Morag was angry too.
Elise entered me into more competitions, but I was done. Agility was not what I wanted to do with my life. I pleased my parents by getting the degree, but enough was enough. I simply refused to do the course and returned to the sideline and got disqualified. I did this on three separate competitions until my family got the message! Not for me!
They were devastated, tried to convince me I had a great future, talked about my talent, about the sacrifices they made to pay for the Agility Academy. When that did not work, they told me they were disappointed, that they do not understand. I did not change my mind; agility was not my thing.
Morag and the Shelties were pleased that I quit.
August 25 – Loba’s Climbing Skills
Diary, I remember Mom and Dad often talking about Loba’s climbing skills. When she was a puppy, Mom and Dad put up a 3 feet wire net dog enclosure in the garden. Loba wagged her tail goodbye and jumped out in the first 5 minutes. After a while, Zorro was also out.
Then they upgraded to a fence about 6 feet tall. Loba climbed up the side, heaved herself over the top while the wire swayed under her weight, and taking gigantic leap to the other side.
Zorro could not get over this fence and he was furious. Mom and Dad added a barbed wire leaning inwards on the top, but it still would not contain Loba. She climbed on the metal netting and scraped through the barbed wire without flinging. After that, they gave up on fences and Loba and Zorro were not allowed to have a large dog enclosure. They had to stay inside a safe smaller walled area, which Zorro was very angry about. He says that Loba just can’t behave in a civilized way, that she has street dog habits.
Fortunately, Mom and Dad soon moved to another much larger house with a huge garden that had a tall brick wall which Loba could not defeat, because there were no grip for her paws. The garden was a lot of work for Zorro to keep varmint free. “I was young and strong,” said Zorro, I was Rey da la Casa and feared in the neighborhood. Mom and Dad said he and Loba did a good job. All this happened in South America before I was born.
August 27 – Band Practice
The cats in Cat Heaven have started to make a racket when we have band practice, but we just
howl sing louder.
Zorro has discovered that I am writing a diary for Mom and Dad. He seems upset.
August 29 – Letter From Zorro
Dear Master and Mistress, this is Zorro speaking, the late pet Flurry is taking my dictation. First, I like to congratulate you on still being in good health on Earth, as you know, the Lady Loba and myself went to our eternal rest some time ago. We send our warmest regards to Master and Mistress, and would like you to know, that we still are at your service. Now we are looking after your pet Flurry, he is comfortable and doing well in Doggy Heaven. I am concerned that the garden in North America is not kept free of varmints, security is lacking, but I assure you that would not have happened on my watch and
I am teaching Flurry some basic skills in this area, but he is disinterested and hard to train. The Lady Loba and I are well and safe in Doggy Heaven. Signed: your valuable servant Zorro and the Lady Loba.
September 2 – Mjauu Too
Dear Dairy, we have a difficult situation to deal with. The cats in Heaven say that the dogs are harassing the cats on Earth. It started with a cat called Miss Kiss that told another cat that when she lived on Earth, a neighboring dog constantly attacked her. When she was stalking a bird, the dog would come out of nowhere and chase her away, if she were sleeping in the sun, the same. The dog seemed to think this was a fun game.
I can see this was irritating to the cat.
Well, then, another cat said this happened to him as well, Mjauu Too, was the phrase, and then another one and another one, Mjauu Too, Mjauu Too, Mjauu Too until the air was filled with so many Mjauu Too that the noise got over to Doggy Heaven.
It seems that dogs harassing cats on Earth is a widespread problem. I am confused, my old doubts about being a real dog are back. I mean, the cat chased me away, it is not how it is supposed to be, is it? Maybe, I am not a dog, I might be a sort of human, or something in between, like a pet. I am quite confused about this; I don’t know my identity.
I need to talk to Dr. Goldie about this.
September 4 – Bite Marks on Furniture
Mom and Dad are polishing their dining room table and chairs.
“What are we going to do with Flurry’s bite marks on the legs,” asked Mom? “They are too deep to sand away.”
They decided to just smooth the edges of the holes and polish over.
“Flurry lefts his marks,” said Dad. “Yeah,” said Mom, “scratch marks on the doors as well.”
I think they are pleased to have little memories from me.
September 5 – Toff
We have a new arrival in Doggy Heaven, a somewhat “large” Bassett called Toff. The dogs are whispering that Toff was very rich on Earth, his family owned a dog food factory. Toff had a billion tins of dog food, the soft and meaty, yummy type. He may have been the richest dog on Earth.
Toff is strolling in the park with a pack of curious admirers. “Stupid,” says Loba, “he was not able to bring the tins with him to Heaven. Toff is not interesting without his tins; he does not want to play.”
A black Labrador called Charlie told me that Toff was a good dog on Earth, he gave a lot of free food to homeless shelters. Loba scoffed, “only because he realized he had no friends after hogging all the food for himself and the tins were out of date and unsaleable anyway. Toff does not really care about the homeless dogs. He only cares about himself.”
Charlie did not agree, he said Toff had created a yearly award of 1000 tins to feed deserving street dogs. It is called The Toff Award.
“Yeah,” said Loba, “it is tax deductible.”
Then Charlie called Loba negative, I guess that is to expect from a permanently positive Labrador.
Toff is walking with a confident stride. I think I keep out of his way; he reminds me of the bully dogs.
September 7 – Zorro’s Pay
Zorro has been doing his accounts, he sets his own pay. He has a notebook where he has written up everything he did on Earth. A tin of sardines for guard duty, meat on the bone for chasing away an intruder. He says he was underpaid on Earth for intruder chasing, Master owes him!
Loba whispered to me that Zorro can’t count or write. “What intruders?” she asked. “The mailman,” said Zorro, “came almost every day. And hundreds of little critters”. Loba had to agree.
I wonder if Zorro is jealous of Toff?
September 10 – Sensitivity Training
After Mjauu Too, the Heavenly Authorities have decided that the dogs need to see the cats as equals. The dogs must undergo sensitivity training toward cats by Dr. Goldie, the licensed therapy dog.
Loba asked Dr. Goldie if it would not be better if a cat did the training, but she said that no dog would listen to a cat, so she will do it. “I had lots of cat friends on Earth,” she said, “we used to play fun chasing games.”
So we had to go to the park and be trained by Dr. Goldie. This is what she said:
“This is a conversation going around all the structures. Identity and anger is on the agenda as an issue of class, spotted and breed. Cats are cats, and dogs are cats, cats are dogs and we are fusing a brighter future for a greener discussion of the spiritual world. Tolerance is a low carbon solution of a less brutal anger management and positive democracy. Impact, is what we are having on the new reality, tearing up institutionalized truths and wind power. My message to you is; make friends with a cat and definitely, stop chasing them.”
It was a powerful meeting, I felt chastised and humbled. But I am so scared of having to make friends with a cat. I am also not sure I understand everything Dr. Goldie said, but I must think positively, Positive Power.
September 12 – Chasing Sainthood
This is something I have observed with rich individuals. First, they want to make a lot of money and generally be the best and the winners of everything. When they have it all, they look around for more, and find one thing, one only thing they do not have.
Respected, but not liked they create a massive charity to gain sainthood on Earth. Like The Toff Award.
September 15 – Secret Stash of Food on Earth
Today, Zorro told me that if I ever must get back to Earth, he has a secret stash of food in the garden in South America I can have. He used to bury leftovers for a rainy day.
I asked Loba about it, and she whispered to me that she ate it up when Zorro was asleep.
September 17 – Show Time!
Dare Dary, what a day!
Zorro and the Howlers had a rock concert in the park today and it was a success! A huge crowd came, rocking and howling from the afternoon into the night. We opened lightly with How much is that doggy in the window, followed by Me and You and a dog named Boo on Loba’s suggestion. (She said something about having a hit with it on Earth.)
When we played the Angel Dog song, the whole crowd joined in the chorus and all the dogs hugged each other and held up candles for their missing Earth people, it was beautiful. When Zorro sang Bad to the bone, some teenage Chihuahuas fainted, they seem a little emotional. The crowds were cheering, it was an exhilarating evening, I am all worked up.
It is exhausting to play rock, but I am finally getting some respect from other dogs. I even had to write autographs to a pack of young Cocker Spaniel girls. They giggled about Cockapoos, but I did not see any, so I am not sure what that was about.
All the Chihuahuas in Heaven want to have Zorro’s autograph, they call him “El Zorro.” As he cannot write he gives them his paw print. Loba wrote an autograph to a Coyote, it is a sort of wolf. He liked her version of Born to be wild. Then he asked her out to go howling at the moon, but she had to decline, explaining that Zorro would not allow it.
Afterwards we had pizza, drank from the water hose and now we are napping on the stage. Chihuahuas keep on stepping on me, I wish they would go away. I hear some lonely howling. Good Night.
September 19 – Clouding
Dear Daiary, the Cocker Spaniel girls are crazy! A whole pack approached me today and asked if I wanted to go clouding with them. It was embarrassing, I did not know what that was. “Come on Flurry, pleeease,” they giggled, “we show you,” and then they giggled more. Aunt Loba and Uncle Zorro looked at each other for a while and then nodded at me encouragingly. I had to go.
When you are clouding, you catch a passing little cloud, jump on it and kind of surf it until it disintegrates. Then you fall to the ground, but it is never far, and we can use our wings if necessary. It is quite scary but also a lot of fun. The first time, I jumped too hard and fell right through the cloud. The girls giggled and showed me how to slide onto the cloud and then move the legs around to keep the cloud speeding forward. I soon got the hang of it and it was so fun, and the cocker girls and I kept on clouding for hours. We laughed and laughed. Best day for a long time!
I don’t think I played much on Earth, especially not with dogs. Cocker Spaniel girls, where were you on Earth?
I’m in Heaven….do do da, la la la…
September 22 – Zorro the Brave
Zorro is a very brave dog. You may call him crazy. Zorro never backs down for anything. The wolfs in Heaven treat Zorro with respect, he was that brave on Earth.
“Guard service,” says Zorro. “That is my job, to be a guard dog. From the Royal Guards of Scotland”.
That is when it gets weird. Loba looks away and she has whispered to me that Zorro has never been to Scotland.
September 24 – About Yapping
Small dogs yap so people don’t step on them. Big dogs don’t need to yap.
Don’t call me yappy when you almost step on me.
Flurry D. Dog, a Miniature Poodle
September 26 – Toffees
Dear Diary, I have a feeling Toff is going to be a problem in Doggy Heaven. Toff says he is an unusually excellent dog that used to live in No Joke. Zorro is not sure, but he thinks it is an important place on Earth. Toff and his pack are claiming all the best toys and sleeping places and they are always at the spa. Loba calls the followers the Toffees because they are sticking to Toff’s behind. They have still not received any tins of dog food from him.
“Toff is not a Royal Scottish Guard dog, like me,” says Zorro. “In fact, I have heard that his pedigree is shady. If we were not in Doggy Heaven, I would challenge him to a dog fight, then we would find out who is top dog! I heard that Toff never fought on Earth because of an ingrown claw, his Master had to defend him.” And then Zorro laughed and laughed, very loudly.
Loba is in a bad mood because a Toffee took her spot at the spa.
September 29 – Miss Chihuahua
Zorro has an old and well-thumbed magazine called “Miss Chihuahua”. It is full of pictures of Chihuahua girls. “Give it back to me” he snapped when I looked through the pages.
“What’s interesting with this” I asked him, but he just muttered that I could never understand because of my unfortunate fate.
Understand what? Chihuahua girls, yappy, I say, happier without them.
“Don’t tell Loba,” Zorro said.
Like she would be interested in mini dogs that can’t go roaming with her. Zorro is just weird.
October 1 – Dog Racing
Dear Diary, some of my friends in Doggy Heaven are a little tiring because they like to do running races. I am talking about Zorro, Loba, Fifi and Rocky. Running is not my cup of tea.
Zorro boasts that he always wins. “Every day in South America, we were let off leash and Loba had a head start but I always caught up with her! It drove me nuts that she did not wait for me, I wrestled her to the ground and gave her a good telling off. Still, she never changed.“
“Yeah,” said Loba, “that’s right, every day you had to tell me to stay behind you.” She whispered to me that Zorro is a control freak and a chauvinist.
Fifi is a very strong dog but she cannot run as fast as Zorro. Rocky is also very energetic and is trying hard, but his short legs does not cut it.
“Tunnel racing is my game,” says Rocky. And then he challenged us to go into a badger hole any day! We declined.
Zorro thinks he should be a racing dog, apparently there is big prize money in dog racing. Tomorrow there are Greyhound races in Doggy Heaven, and we have decided to go. Well, my friends decided to go, and I am tagging along to be social because Dr. Goldie told me to get out more.
October 3 – At the Dog Races
Der Dary, I will tell you about the races. It was a big and tiring day. For the first time, Loba was wearing a hat, it was pink and had roses. Fifi’s hat was yellow and Rocky had a green baseball cap. Zorro had a top hat, like the magicians on TV. I did not know we were supposed to wear hats, so I grabbed my old Santa hat. (By the way dear Diary, only in Heaven does dogs wear hats voluntarily. Don’t make dogs on Earth wear hats!)
The race arena was intimidating; lots of dogs everywhere, betting, eating, barking and creating a racket in general. Some were elegantly groomed with decorated collars and scarves.
The racing dogs were another breed, literally. Quiet, slinky, shivering Greyhounds. They are beasts, extreme running machines. I could not believe how fast they got around that track. I think Zorro was flabbergasted too. Rocky, Fifi and Loba were cheering and screaming for the leader in every race, but Zorro was quiet. Maybe he was losing money?
A pack of Italian Greyhounds were seated next to me and they were so excited. One called Sliver told me they are here to learn the trade until they have grown up. Sliver had been a pet on Earth but always wanted to be a racer. I did not have the heart to tell him the truth. Sliver said he was training every day.
The most important race of the day was won by a stripy grey and brown Greyhound called Blizzard. He had been a racing star on Earth as well. Blizzard walked around with a wreath around his neck and gave autographs. Loba and Fifi got one, but Zorro and Rocky did not bother, I did not care either. Blizzard seemed kind of haughty.
Zorro says he will not go back again. “Don’t agree with all that gambling, it is not moral.”
I don’t think I like the races either, too much commotion. And the Greyhounds have a superior attitude. Like they are looking down on other dogs.
Must stop writing, need to sleep.
October 6 – Lazy Greyhounds
Tell me this Diary: Why do Greyhounds spend all day in bed? With all that running ability you think they could run errands or something. Oh no, they save their energy. Dogs without running ability must play fetch.
October 8 – Doggy Ambitions
“What is your thing” Loba asked me today. I have thought deeply about that. What is wrong with eat, sleep and tummy rubs? Seems to work for the Greyhounds most of the time.
“You should work for your living” says Zorro, “contribute. I myself was a guard dog, the best.”
Then he shakes his head so the medals attached to his collar makes a clanging noise.
“Really, if I come back to Earth, I want to be a police dog. I would be a great police dog. Bite first and bark later, he, he.”
Zorro keeps on repeating this, and he looks smug when he is finished.
Loba says she would have liked to be a circus dog on Earth. “No, you don’t” says Zorro, “they just walk around in circles on their hind paws. Not your style. You want to be a Ninja dog. You know, the type that overcomes impossible obstacles.”
Loba was a legend in the neighborhood in South America and she would have made a great Ninja dog. “She was impressive in her younger days” says Zorro. “But I did not need to climb, I could undo the bolt on the gate! Brain over brawn.”
October 10 – Guard Dog Needed
Mom and Dad are concerned because there has been a spate of break-ins in the neighborhood. Mom said that they need a guard dog.
“I can fix that,” said Dad. Then he made a sign saying Beware of the Dog and put it up in the front garden. The sign has a picture of Zorro. “This will do it,” said Dad.
Zorro is very proud. “I control the neighborhood even in my death,” he says.
October 13 – Zorro’s Zecurity
Zorro is planning a new business in security. His specialty will be intruder and varmint control around properties. Loba came up with the name: Zorro’s Zecurity.
Charges will be paid in tins of dog food and sardines, double fee for jobs outside the fence. “Outside the fence is very risky,” says Zorro, “there is the dog pound people, not to talk about coyotes and cars”.
I asked how he would get outside the fence? He said those jobs are for Loba. He would keep gardens clean and my job would be to count the pay.
Do we really security in Doggy Heaven? Or is Zorro dreaming of Earth time? ZZZZZZZZ.
October 15 – Debate about Greyhounds
Zorro had planned a debate today with this topic: Are Greyhounds naturally talented runners or is their speed due to training?
There was no debate because no-one wanted to discuss it. Speedo the Greyhound barked that he for sure trained hard. Then he went to sleep. Blizzard was nowhere to be seen, there is a rumor that he is being pampered by the Authorities. Fifi muttered that the debate is meaningless. Slinky the Dachshund rolled his eyes and said he wanted to bite the legs of all the Greyhounds and Whippets. We had to hush him down because aggressive talk is not allowed in Doggy Heaven.
October 17 – Dog Sitting
I noticed that Mom is dog sitting on Earth. This time it is a Chihuahua /Dachshund mix puppy called Polly. She is sniffing all my old spots where I used to pee in secret, especially under the door mat. Mom and Dad have not been cleaning properly, I don’t know what is wrong with people, can’t they sniff anything?
October 20 – Bilbo the Labrador
A Labrador named Bilbo arrived today, he was only 6 years old. Apparently, he had eaten 4 tennis balls, 3 ping pong balls, 1 mobile phone, 11 plastic bags, and a load of knick-knacks, including rubber bands. It was the battery in the mobile phone that got him.
I am not sure Labradors are that bright, even though they say so. I guess he subscribed to Zorro’s motto of “eat first and taste later.”
October 22 – Air Flights and Dogs
Dear Diary, the days in Doggy Heaven are passing fast with not much to do, which is how I like it.
Today I read in Earth News of a dog dying during an air flight. I was once flying in the cargo hold and I do not want to do it again – it was one of the worst experiences of my life!
Now, I discussed the horror with Zorro, but he does not believe I have been flying in an airplane. He thinks I was transported in a truck overland because I was in my cage. I am sure I was flying in an airplane, but it was window less so I could not see out. I had that flying feeling and all the other dogs around me said we were flying to Juiceston. It was an awful racket when the plane took off and we all peed ourselves in fear.
I am sure I was flying. The cage was dropped off and picked up at different airports. Years later, we drove near the airport in Juiceton and I got so nervous, I pooped in the car. Mom said I had the memory of a Poodle!
Zorro is just jealous of nothing to be jealous about. Fortunately, I never had to fly again. I don’t think dogs should fly; it is not safe to leave your territory anyway, people and their dogs should stay at home!
October 24 – Doggy Purgatory
Dear Diary, today I listened to a weird discussion: Zorro asserts that Loba was not meant to be in Heaven, but that she was sent to purgatory for constantly escaping on Earth. Zorro says she is in Doggy Heaven because she climbed over the fence from purgatory!
Loba says that Zorro is barking rubbish and insists that she was teleported directly to Doggy Heaven from Earth. She landed in a beautiful pink bed, soft and full of gifts, such as meat bones, dried fish and other doggy treats. I think it can be true because she showed me the bed.
Loba says it was Zorro that had to plead his case at the pearly gates to be allowed into Doggy Heaven. She whispered to me that he had to answer questions about jealousy and haughtiness and why he used to eat up her sardines. After a long review Zorro was allowed into Doggy Heaven only because of extraordinarily devotion to Master. That is was Loba told me, I don’t know what to believe.
Fifi and Loba say that Zorro is full of hubris and BS. I don’t know what hubris is, or purgatory. I know that BS has something to do with poop and that Loba can climb high fences, if needed.
October 27 – People are Weird
We dogs love people, but they are weird and not logical. For example, they get dogs to keep them company and then they go away to work and we must worry about them all day. And if we happen to pee after waiting for hours, they get angry. Even if we are as careful as can be and pee in a corner they rarely visit.
More questionable behavior: they pick up dog poop. Why? Are they trying to stay incognito? In that case, it is not helping, the more odorous pee is still on every corner. It is quite stupid.
Where does people poop go? I know they poop indoors; I can smell it. Do they really think we don’t know they are pooping behind that closed door? We dogs (housetrained) know to pop outside, I think people should do that too!
Will we dogs ever fully understand people? We try, and we forgive them their silliness, time and time again. Especially at food time.
October 29 – Debate in Doggy Heaven: Are Wolves Dogs?
Zorro introduced Balto the Alaskan Malamute and Cuddly the Cocker Spaniel as debaters, and he was mediating.
Balto: “Wolves are dogs. When I lived in Alaska, I encountered them frequently, and we spoke the same language, albeit with an accent. They ate our food, they took our females (and vice versa) and hey presto, we had half breeds. Wolves are dogs, but of a different culture.”
Cuddly: “I ask you this, do wolves serve a human master? The answer is no. The meaning of life for dogs is to serve humans, but wolves do not have the inclination, so wolves are not dogs, case closed.”
The crowd got all confused and a commotion of barking and howling broke out. If we had not been in Doggy Heaven, I think a dog fight would have followed. Zorro decided to break up the debate and told everyone to go home.
Loba whispered to me that the debate was lacking “What about half breeds? What about dogs that bite their master, what about dogs that like to roam?” She did not want to say it out loud.
The wider issue is: should wolves be allowed into Doggy Heaven? Right now, they have their own section. I am not a racist, but I would not be comfortable with wolves running around in my neighborhood. Zorro says that he might be partly wolf so I need to be more tolerant. Loba scoffed, (she does a lot of scoffing) and pointed out that her Mom was probably Siberian Husky, and it is more likely she has wolf genetics.
What breed is Zorro? If you ask him, he says “royal ancestry” or “Royal Scottish Guard Dog”. In any case, he is a healthy and able dog. Loba says she is a street crossing and proud of her varied DNA. Then she stiffened her up-ear and drooped the down-ear and looked coy.
October 31 – Ghost Howling
I am sad to learn that nothing has been done about Misty’s situation of living with many cats. In fact, the situation is getting worse, now there are eight cats in the house. I am losing sleep over the suffering of this poor dog and I will be ghost howling all night. Beware!
November 3 – The Cost of Independence
Dear Diary, I am trying to understand wolves and this is what I conclude: Wolves and dogs are the same species, and indeed, we interbreed when we meet. But the wolves in Heaven keep to themselves in a nearby department, we do see them sometimes but overall, they are a little distant.
The interesting thought here is that on Earth, wolves are free and dogs are tied to people. The dogs that succumbed to serve and obey people have become phenomenally successful, particularly in numbers, while the wolves were almost extinct for a while.
Wolves are independent and do not take crap from people but that attitude got them into trouble. Dogs take crap, but some dogs go to spas and are really spoiled. So, I think wolves are just dogs with too much pride and as a consequence, they are not pampered.
I think Loba has got the right balance. She pretended to belong to Mom and Dad and showed them affection. She got many good meals and a nice house. But she could jump that fence anytime she liked, and she did. I think she is part wolf, after all a coyote tried to date her. Born to be wild, I guess.
November 5 – Royal Corgis
Today, Zorro had a discussion with some Corgis. The Corgis claim they, and not Zorro, are Royal and that they used to protect and amuse the Queen of England that is also the Queen of Scotland.
Zorro whispered to me that the Corgis would be useless with their short legs and he does not believe a word of what they are saying. Zorro also said that he is related to the royal family, but he does not say it out loud anymore because he gets so much backlash. (I am not sure if he means he is related to the Corgis or the royal people.) Zorro says his royal ancestor chased a loose “female” onto a ship that sailed to South America, but his heart is still in Scotland. I am not following the logic here, but Zorro is very adamant, so it is probably something to his story. Best to be quiet about it, I do not want to be lashed on my back.
In the evening we had band practice with Zorro and the Howlers. The cats threw bricks at us over the wall, we are that good. Loba trained in a cool dance avoiding the bricks; she steps to the left; she steps to the right and then the howls at the cats. Royally cool!
November 7 – News about Dr. Goldie
My appointment with Dr. Goldie for self-esteem issues got cancelled today because Dr. Goldie is in hospital being treated for an eating disorder. She has an addiction to bacon.
“Incredibly sad,” says Loba who knows everything, “she has had the addiction for a while but managed to hide it. The Heavenly Authorities banned her from the free pantry a long time ago, she had to eat delivered food parcels, guaranteed to be bacon free.”
It is rumored that Dr Goldie started the therapy business in Heaven as a scheme to get access to bacon!
Recently she was running low and getting desperate. Dr. Goldie snapped a piece of comfort bacon right out of the jaw of one of her clients, a Dachshund being treated for anger issues. He got so angry he bit her on her nose until she dropped the bacon. The Dachshund left with his bacon and Goldie went to the pantry with the bleeding nose and said she needed to do a bacon wrap on it. When the care taker told her to go to the Vet instead, Goldie tried to break into the pantry, but she could not access the locked bacon cupboard and she had a barking fit and made a scene until she was carried away in an ambulance.
Loba says that Dr. Goldie got destroyed by being a therapy dog on Earth, everyone gave her bacon bits. She got addicted and Goldie believed life was simple and easy. The good news is that Goldie is reported to be doing better, she says she is positive about recent events which will bring her much needed treatment and she will be fine in no time.
I think Bilbo also has an eating disorder, you know the one that eats tennis balls and rubber bands. Or is it a lack of intelligence in his case?
November 10 – Climbing Competition
Today we will have a climbing competition, just for fun. It was Loba’s idea, and Zorro volunteered to be the judge and told me to be the score keeper. That is fine with me, I was never good at climbing.
Thirteen dogs signed up. I took their names and gave them a number each. This is the list:
- Pawpaw the St. Bernard
- Buster the Bulldog
- Shelley the Sheltie
- Carita the Chihuahua mix
- “Lady” Loba the Husky mix
- Fifi the Jack Russell Terrier
- Dopey the Beagle
- Dixie the Dachshund
- Ferry the German Shepherd
- Wink the Terrier mix
- Jerry the Weimaraner
- Cheri the Standard Poodle
- Rocky the Dachshund mix
Zorro and I designed the course. As a qualifier we had a 3 feet plank to jump. Everybody passed with ease except Buster the Bulldog (he is quite fat) and Dixie the Dachshund. They were very frustrated about it and barked it was a climbing competition and not a jumping competition.
The qualifying dogs shook their heads and suggested they need to learn from them, train more and not be sore losers. We gave the Dixi extra points for trying so hard, but he was still furious and ran away in disgust after turning over the score board. We put the board up again.
Second obstacle was a 6 feet wire fence. The German Shepherd and the Saint Bernard did not make it and were eliminated. Dopey the Beagle chased a squirrel and missed his turn, Rocky bit Wink so we had no choice but to disqualify him for unsportsmanlike behavior. He left and said he never liked climbing anyway.
For round 3 we had a 6 feet plank with only one ledge for paw support. The long legs of the Standard Poodle really helped, but the Sheltie, the Terrier mix and the robust little Chihuahua mix got eliminated.
We were now left with the long-legged Standard Poodle Cheri, Jerry the all-rounder Weimaraner, the robust Jack Russell Terrier Fifi and our own agile “Lady” Loba for finals.
Last challenge was to climb a tree and the four dogs started at the same time, first to reach the beef jerky tied to the top would be the winner. It was a difficult challenge; the tree had no branches low down. Cheri and Jerry got no traction and dropped behind right away, while Loba and Fifi clawed into the bark and methodically inched upwards. Excitement was high, even the cats peeped over the fence from Cat Heaven. The cats cheered and jeered: “even a kitten can do that,” they screamed. In the end, Loba and Fifi were paw to paw but Loba could stretch farther than Fifi and she nabbed the jerky first!
“Females rule,” said Loba, but Zorro and I ignored it. Well, she used another word for females.
November 12 – Told off!
Dear Diary, Zorro and I have been told off by the Heavenly Authorities about the climbing competition, it was considered too divisive. Maybe the Dachshund complained?
Well, well, doggy competitions are not my style, but still, it is unpleasant to be told off.
I am also wondering why they allow dog racing and betting then? Loba whispered that it is the favorite pasttime of the Authorities, but I must not speak about it in public.
November 14 – A New Pet in the Family
Dare Dairy, My Earth sister Elise is now big and lives far away. She misses me so much, she has adopted a rescue dog. It is a Chihuahua mix and she is small and white (like me) with beautiful big ears. Her name is Pansy.
At first, I felt betrayed, but now its ok. I accept that Elise is missing me too much, and she needs a replacement pet.
I have a photo of Pansy next to my bed. I look at her every night before I go to sleep. She is very pretty, especially the ears.
November 17 – Raincoats
Earth Pansy got a new raincoat today. It is yellow with pink and green flowers, extraordinary pretty! Pansy looks adorable.
Loba said that she never had a raincoat on Earth, she looked sad. I did not tell her that I had about 5 different coats to choose from, but I did not like any of them. Especially not the ones with hats.
Zorro and I have decided to surprise Loba and buy her a raincoat. First, we thought we could get it online but there was no breed description that fitted Loba, so we decided to choose one in the shops. Yes, we have shops here in Doggy Heaven, well, they are just storage areas where we can get anything we want.
We selected a pink raincoat decorated with white doggy bones. Zorro also selected a collar with a big pink rose for Loba. Then we discussed how and when we should give her the present. As a former street dog, Loba’s birthday is unknown. I suggested a rainy day but then we remembered that it rarely rains in Doggy Heaven so we decided to have a water play day tomorrow and give her the coat then! All the dogs are invited.
November 19 – Water Play Day in Doggy Heaven
Water play day is fun! We had water sprinklers and paddling pools all over the park. It was exciting to chase the spray around and jump in and out of the pools, even the Bulldogs joined in. The Poodles and Cockers jumped into deep water and fetched balls, while some breeds were a little more cautious and just got their paws wet. Zorro showed that he can stand on his hind legs and drink from the hose.
Loba loved her raincoat but did not play, she just walked around and looked elegant and important. She said she did not want to get the raincoat wet.
November 21 – Are Vets Good or Evil?
Deare Dary, I had a bad experience at debating today. All the dogs laughed at me. The topic was: Are vets (as in veterinarians) good or evil? It was Zorro against Rocky. It went like this:
Rocky: I used to be like most dogs; I disliked vets! I though they wanted to hurt me, after all they came with their needles, clipped my nails, checked my ears and many unmentionables. Mom used to say it was all right, but how could it be? The vet hurt me.
Then one day, I followed a squirrel. Bang, I was hit by a car! I will spare you the details, but it was gruesome, and I barely survived. Sadly, my left back leg did not, it was pulverized. (The squirrel survived.)
Mom rushed me to the last place I wanted to go – the VET! She had to carry me, I was barely conscious and could not defend myself. But the vet right away did something wonderful, he put a needle in me, and the pain went away! The vet was kind and gentle and all the helpers caressed and attended to me.
I fell asleep for a long time and when I woke up, all the vet assistants looked after me and spoiled me rotten and I felt well. The leg was gone but I healed and could go back home. I almost did not want to go home; I liked the constant attention and massages. I was even spoon fed! I learned that vets could take away pain and be kind when you are scared and hurting. After this episode, I changed my mind about vets, and now I love my vet!
We all teared up for Rocky’s lost leg. In Heaven he got it back and he was so proud! Rocky’s fine speech was giving Zorro an uphill battle for sure.
Zorro: Fellow dogs, you are quick to forget. The vet gives you needles, he pokes you, and how many of you have been fixed? I am asking you! Think about it! The vets have a conspiracy – yes, they talk all nice and give you treats, that which by the way, never taste good! The vets tell your people to not feed you at the table! The vet himself eat at the table. Maybe we should feed the vet dry dog food? I guess he would not eat it, but he says we should. No, vets are selfish creatures in disguise. They pretend to help you, but all they want is to restrict your food and take your balls!
Here is where it went wrong for me when I intervened” “The vet never took my balls, we always left them at the house.” Everybody started laughing and Loba motioned to me to keep quiet. A group of Chihuahua ladies were especially amused. Zorro turned to me with an embarrassed grin that seemed to say, “shut up.”
The crowd laughed and shouted, “he means fixed!”
Oh, those balls. Well, I have none and I do not miss them. The dogs I knew with those kinds of balls, were constantly irritated and looked for ladies and were never satisfied. Totally irrational to me. As I seemed to be alone in this view, I kept quiet.
By now, the audience broke out in chatter and appeared confused, what is the deal with vets? Everyone had a vet horror story, few had anything positive to remember, but the treats. But as Zorro pointed out, it was never good tasting treats, always that healthy stuff.
In conclusion, the crowd decided that maybe some vets are nice, like Rocky’s vet, but most are psychopaths. I disappeared unnoticed and embarrassed Dear Diary.
November 24 – Eating Out
Today, Loba is wearing the new collar with the pink rose, although we do not have to wear collars in Heaven. Still, Zorro always wears a collar with his medals attached. Like most dogs here, I usually do not bother with a collar, but today I dressed up in my light blue collar with glittering letters saying Woof!
Zorro adjusted Lobas collar, first he had the flower on the left side, where her eye is brown and the ear down, then he tried it on the right side with the blue eye and the ear up (Husky side). We all agreed that Husky side looked the best.
Then we went out to a restaurant for fine dining. We had to sit on soft cushions and eat out of fancy bowls decorated with doggy bones. Zorro ordered lobster which I had never had before. Weird taste, very marine, but delicious. For dessert we had liver flavored ice cream. An Afghan lady was howling in the background for entertainment, it was an elegant experience.
November 26 – The Misty Cause
Misty is still living in misery with the cats and nothing seem to change on that front. I must help and I have decided to write another letter to the authorities.
Dear Who is in charge,
It continues to be a disgrace to have a dog living with eight cats. We must clarify that this is a small dog that cannot possibly defend itself against the evil felines. Make sure that the dog is rescued immediately, or better, that the cats are removed from the home.
All dogs in Heaven.
We stepped all over the letter with dirty paws which should have impact.
November 28 – Snow in Doggy Heaven
Old Aunt Kara has told us a lot about the snow in Sweden. “It’s great” she says. “Cools you down right away, very cozy for digging a sleeping shelter”. (She likes digging because she is a terrier).
Well, I know about snow too, and I don’t like it. Awfully cold, and it gets onto your fur until you have little ice packets hanging off you. It goes into your paws as well, and it is cold. No snow for me, thanks.
Now, it was so that some dogs overheard our discussion and got involved. Some were for snow, and some were against, it was almost like one of those debates Zorro likes to host. All the sled dogs like snow, they say they can’t stand heat. The skinny racing dogs dislike snow and ice, they can’t stand the cold.
Should we have snow or not in Doggy Heaven? Well, this is Heaven, so everyone is happy, there is a part with snow and another without. We are free to choose where to live and play. One temperature does not fit all!
Kara brought Zorro and Loba to play in the snowy part. Loba said it was fun for short periods but too cold in the long run for her. Of course, she is short furred! Zorro liked it until he lost his bone in the deep snow. I did not bother going, had enough of snow when I lived in Caninadia. Kara is mostly hanging out in the snow area.
December 1 – Vacations and Boarding
Mom and Dad are going on vacation. “That is easy now when we don’t have a dog,” said Dad, ”we can just leave when we feel for it, its quite comfortable to be dog free.”
“And much cheaper to not have to pay for dog boarding,” said Mom.
They are leaving the house empty; can you believe it! “Quite irresponsible,” said Zorro, “never leave your den unguarded.”
“Or the food bowl,” said Loba.
Boarding is a very bad Earth memory. When my family needed to travel overseas, they did not bring me. Not that I wanted to go anyway. I voted for everyone staying at home all the time, but nobody was listening.
Boarding kennels are not my style. I know, some dogs say they are ok, that they meet new friends etc, even wag their tails when going to boarding kennel, but for me, NO, NO, NO! The dogs are noisy and threatening and I am a pet, I hate the degradation of boarding. Like that little cage is replacing my HOME. Sometimes I wondered why I was in jail? What had I done? Was snatching a piece of meat from Dads plate really such a crime? And I never knew for how long I would stay.
Boarding is the one grudge I hold toward my family. What were they thinking?
After I got sick from boarding once, my family hired a lady to stay with me in the house when they travelled. It was not that fun because she was not my family and she mostly worked on her computer, but a lot better than boarding. I do not like vacations; glad I am in Heaven now and don’t have to deal with the interruption of my routines. No horrible boarding jails, no strangers living in our house.
December 3 – Letter from The Pedigree Club
Dear Diary, do you remember Toff the superrich Basset Hound? Well, today I got a letter from him. I have never had a letter in my life (on Earth or in Heaven) so it was quite exciting. The letter had a big gold seal. Aunt Loba and Uncle Zorro opened it with me, Zorro thought the letter looked like it was coming from the king.
This is what the letter said:
Honorbale Flurry D. Dog,
As a founder and Presidennt, I am pleased to inform you that you have passed our detailed scrutinty of superior breeding. This is an exslusive offer inviting you to be a member of the newly established Heavenly Peddigree Club (PC). The Pednigree Club will protect the pedigree dog breeds and ensure high quality in our lifestyles. Membreship is only offered to a small selecetive group of the finest dogs and yearly dues are 50 tins of either sardins, makrell or Toffs’ Tins superior selection.
I look forward meeting you in our locals at Cloud 9.
Signed Sir Toff Archibald Cyril Basset III.
I do not know what to think. I don’t know what a pedigree club is, and I don’t think I could get along with Toff, I find him scary. And the hefty dues!
Zorro rushed around a tried to see if had got a letter too, but there was none. Old Aunt Kara had a letter of invitation, and so did Fifi, but not Rocky or Loba.
Loba said I could join if I want, she called it the PC Piss Club and she is not interested, but she says I can go and move up in the world if I like that sort of thing.
December 5 – Hybrid Vigor
All the dogs are talking about the Pedigree Club and wondering if they should join or not. That is, the dogs that got an invitation, which are less than half the dogs in Heaven. Some dogs think it is too expensive, but most that received the letter seem willing to pay the price.
“It’s very cultural,“ said a Cocker Spaniel, “we can protect the herding dogs,” said a Border Collie, “we can focus on the Royalty,” said a Corgi, “I can get better grooming at the club,” said a Welsh Terrier, “and the treats are sumptuous,” said a Bulldog.
Toff has explained that he is descended from a long bloodline of champion Bassets directly from the foundation dog, Hubert Spartan Basset the first. Every ancestor of his has been bred from the finest Bassets in every generation, creating his superior looks and blue blood.
Loba thinks he looks sickly with his short legs, fat stomach and long ears. ”Pedigree and blue blood, sniff my butt, Toff is inbred while I have hybrid vigor,” she said before she took off roaming with Fifi.
Zorro looks unhappy; he is nervously waiting for his letter. “It’s coming, it’s coming,” he mutters while he is walking around in circles. I tried to give him my letter, but he said it would not work, he needs his own personal invitation.
I wonder what hybrid vigor is?
December 8 – Zorro Goes to Cloud 9
Zorro has been looking at the mail all day, he is still hoping for one of those letters. “Must be a mistake,” said Zorro, “I think I will go to Cloud 9 and talk to the directors.” Loba and I went with him.
The Club was elegant with lots of comfy leather chairs and settees where dogs were lounging around. Some were playing cards and drinking whiskey, it did not look that cultural to me.
Zorro asked to speak to the administrator. It was a fine Blood Hound called Charles. Zorro explained that his invitation must have been lost in the mail, and could he be so kind and check their record of invitees. Charles checked on different pages but could not find Zorro’s name.
“Surely,” said Zorro, “look under Royal Scottish Guard Dog”. Charles looked and looked, and then he said, “I am sorry Sir, but this breed is not recognized by the Pedigree Club. The Heavenly Pedigree Club,” he added.
Zorro was getting agitated. “This is not right, there must be a mistake you have it wrong”, he argued, but Charles did not look overly concerned. “Sir,” Charles said, “I will have to ask you to leave the premises now, thank you for coming by.”
Zorro insisted, “There has been a mistake and I demand that it is corrected. I am Zorro, El Zorro, Royal Scottish Guard Dog, with long guard dog service to my Master.”
Charles turned around and rang a little bell. Promptly two Rottweilers turned up. “Remove him,” said Charles and nodded towards Zorro.
“Come on, let’s leave,” said Loba. She turned to Charles and the Rottweilers and continued: “we did not realize this is the Inbred Club, so sorry to have bothered you,” and we quickly walked out of the door.
“They are sniffing my butt,” said Loba.
Zorro now says he will never join a club that would not admit Loba as well.
December 10 – Zorro’s Blood Pressure
Dear Diary, I don’t want to join the Pedigree Club, and none of my friends are joining. Aunt Kara and Fifi say they don’t like to be indoors and it is not worth the tins.
Zorro has been feeling sick and faint all day and the vet discovered that he has high blood pressure. Loba is measuring it every hour, giving him massages and telling him to relax and breath slowly.
Zorro says he is stressed because of all the responsibilities he has. Like keeping varmint off Master’s garden and looking after me and Loba.
December 12 – Zorro’s Breed Description
This morning, Zorro woke me up early.
“If these idiots don’t know what a Royal Scottish Guard Dog is, I will explain it to the world,” he barked. “Toff may be related to a foundation dog, but I am the foundation dog of the Royal Scottish Guard Dog breed! Flurry, you have to help me to write my breed description.”
This is what we decided on:
Royal Scottish Guard Dog (RSGD)
A right sized dog (medium) with a well-proportioned muscular frame, strong chest, elegant nose and strong jaws.
Coat: golden, short haired but rich.
Ears: standing, long.
Temperament: intelligent, obedient, keen to learn, brave with affection to police, military and guard duties. Devotion to Master, likes tartan, bagpipes and sardines. A natural leader.
Overall impression: an exceptional dog, no known defects, athletic, healthy, smart, good looking, proud, a superior breed. Criteria must be rigidly applied before admitting to the breed registry.
History of breed: Foundation dog: Zorro, aka El Zorro from South America, roots in Scotland and in British Royalty.
I asked him if he really liked bagpipes and he said that all Scots do, so he does like it.
Then Zorro said he needed a good photo of himself to illustrate the breed standard. We went to a professional photo studio and a nice Springer Spaniel, suitably named “Shot”, assisted by a Dachshund called “Blitz” welcomed us. They were real professionals!
Zorro explained what the purpose of the photograph was and Shot showed Zorro how to stand with head up and erect ears and Blitz shone lots of lights on him. To emphasize Zorro’s exceptional quality, Shot placed a large trophy in front of Zorro. This was all in their studio and as a background, a view of some mountains was chosen. “It will give you the noble and strong effect that you are after,” said Blitz.
He also offered to hang laurels around Zorro’s neck, and photoshop in some crests, but Zorro declined. He said it could appear boastful and he did not want to upset the dogs without pedigrees.
“How thoughtful of you,” said Shot and then he took loots of shots of Zorro. They came out beautifully. I could see that Zorro was pleased. “The background is the gravy on the meat,” said Zorro.
“I’m a pro,” said Shot, “that will be 25 tins of Toff’s select, please, preferably turkey flavor”. I had to help Zorro with the pay, now he owes me 22 tins.
December 15 – Loba’s Breed Description
Today Zorro and I have been writing Loba’s breed description. It was quite difficult, mostly we did not know what to call her breed, but here it is:
Siberian South American Climbing Dog (SSACD)
A medium sized dog with a well-proportioned frame but slightly less muscular than Royal Scottish Guard Dog.
Coat: wheat (off white), smooth, short haired.
Ears: one ear up and one ear folded down.
Eyes: standing ear side blue, folded ear side brown.
Temperament: friendly but not obedient, does not want to learn, will not follow orders, likes to roam, climbs, escape artist, likes to be free and likes sardines.
Overall impression: character dog, no known physical defects, healthy, smart, and friendly, but individualistic. Do not get this breed unless you have an 8 feet walled garden.
History of breed: Foundation dog: Loba, aka Lady Loba from South America, roots in Siberia.
We could not afford to pay for a photograph. There are very few dogs of her breed, she may be the only one. Does that make her more valuable?
December 17 – Pansy
Dear Dairy, I noticed that Pansy is sleeping in Elise’s bed. That’s normal and good practice, but Pansy is under the covers. She is so cute. I wonder when I can meet her, and would she find me attractive? I know she does not like big dogs.
PS. Don’t tell anyone, especially not Zorro.
December 19 – Cars in the Garage
Mom and Dad have two cars, they are Victor the Volvo and Fuji the Subaru. These two do not get on. I used to hear them arguing in the garage but for some reason, Mom and Dad were ignoring them.
Victor has leather seats and goes to all the fancy city events. Fuji is a basic model; he takes loads and is mostly used on country roads. But he is a little bit younger than Victor.
There is constant jealousy between these two cars. For example, one-time Fuji was parked for two weeks in the open at the airport. When Victor was parked only one week at the airport, he was under cover in the multistory!
Another time, Mom and Dad took Victor to an exciting trip to North Carolina. Fuji was furious, he felt he would have been better on the mountain roads. To make matters worse, they gave Victor the spa treatment when he came back. Full wash and wax, new oil, and tire rotation. Fuji was so upset he banged his head on a pillar and got an ugly scratch above his left headlight. After this, Mom and Dad separated Victor and Fuji with the folded-up ping pong table between them. It has made the garage a lot quieter.
The cars complained to me when they had a chance. I kind of feel with Fuji, Victor is always a little stand offish. Maybe it is because I pooped on his leather seat once.
Zorro says that he might get master’s Volvo when he gets a new car. He says he will look hot in that car. “In that case, I prefer the Subaru,” said Loba, “I am more of an outdoors girl.”
I don’t want a car. Any time we went in a car, we went to the vet or to boarding. But Loba and Zorro says they never went in the car and they really want to have a ride. Apparently, their vet came to the house.
December 22 – Fuji’s Christmas Trip
Last year, Fuji went to Palm Springs for Christmas. He was chosen because Mom and Dad needed the extra cargo space for a Christmas tree and all the presents. First, he was taken to the garage for a full make over. New battery, new oil and the whole nine yards. He was so happy. “Have a Happy Christmas”, he roared to Victor as he left the garage, “you can talk to Schwinn.” Schwinn is a 30-year-old rusty bicycle that never says a word.
Victor scoffed that he has already been to California. Then he went to sleep for days. He and Schwinn.
At one stop Fuji got to stay at a Holiday Inn. There he met a cute Mazda he can’t stop talking about. Apparently, she had red paint and was going to Phoenix.
December 24 – Zorro is Joking
Loba asked Zorro what he wanted for Christmas and he said: “that you stop roaming”. Then Zorro asked Loba if she and Fifi were going to Roam again? She said yes and Zorro said he would rather go to Athens!
“Sniff my butt,” said Loba and disappeared over a fence.
Merry Christmas, Diary!
December 26 – Christmas!
Dear Diary, it was Christmas yesterday and we had so much fun until late in the night, I was too tired afterwards to tell you what happened.
All the dogs were called to Christmas celebrations on a field, but the Pedigree Club had their own celebration at Cloud 9. The real Santa Claus came from the Northern Star and we all got bouncy balls and old slippers to chew up. Loba gave Zorro a frame for his breed photo, he was terribly pleased.
“She loves me after all,” he said with tears in his eyes.
In Doggy Heaven, we get to eat the Christmas ham and all the other treats! My favorite was liver pate, Loba liked meat balls and Zorro and Auntie Kara preferred smoked salmon. All the dogs could eat anything they liked.
Then we danced around the Christmas tree after Zorro marked it up.
“He did the same on Earth.” Loba whispered to me, (marking the Christmas tree I mean, not dancing).
December 29 – My Thoughts on People
Dear Diary, I am thinking deeply about people. We dogs try so hard to take care of them, but they just don’t learn. Examples:
People waste money on boring chew toys when it is much tastier to chew on Daddy’s slippers. People store food and do not eat it up right away. It is very risky to leave food. They could at least dig it into the ground.
People say they want to spend more time with their dogs and families, but they go scavenging all day, even when the cupboards are full.
I am starting to get worried about New Year’s Eve, it is the worst day of the year.
December 31 – New Year’s Eve
I did not have to worry; fireworks are not allowed in Doggy Heaven.
We made our New Year’s resolutions: I would work to free Misty, Loba would keep better house and Zorro said he would be more patient with Loba and myself. “It is hard,” said Zorro, but he assured us he would really try.
By the way, I heard that Dr. Goldie promised to never touch bacon again.
Only annoying thing was that Zorro played bagpipe music all evening.
January 2 – Pedigree Club Parade
The Pedigree Club had a parade on the boulevard yesterday. Toff went first on a huge float, he sat on a sort of throne and he was wearing a mantle and a crown. The float was surrounded by Rottweilers, I think they are for his personal security.
All the dogs in the Pedigree Club paraded in their breed pack. The Bassets came first and the rest of the breeds in alphabetical order. The pedigree dogs handed out tins of Toff’s Select to the spectators as they passed by.
At the end of the parade, Toff announced this year’s Toff award. It went to a Basset called Tofino, a cousin of Toff. Tofino once got lost and lived on the street for a whole night before his master found him and brought him home to the estate. For this achievement, Tofino got the Toff award of 1000 tins of Toffs Select.
Toff was a little short on tins so he asked the spectators to donate their tins so Tofino could receive the full award, which many did.
It was all very impressive, according to some dogs in the audience.
Loba, Zorro and I missed the parade because we went roaming for the day. It was Lobas idea to go out and make Zorro exercise to keep his blood pressure down. It has been dangerously high lately.
January 5 – Flurry’s Life Advice
Dear Diary, this is what I know:
Life is not fair and will never be. Get over it. Do what you can do, with your resources and circumstances. That’s about it.
This advice is from Zorro: Eat first – taste later.
January 7 – Message about Misty
We have received a message from a recently arrived cat in Cat Heaven:
Please stop writing letters about Misty, she is a fat dog, and she gets more food than the cats.
I don’t know what to think, fat, that sounds good, but it is probably because the poor thing can’t move out of fear of being cat attacked. It is probably fake news; cats can’t stop scheming.
January 9 – A New Type of Varmint
Uncle Zorro is agitated again, he has spotted a new type of varmint in Master’s garden. It was rather large and grey, a bit like a possum, but with armor on his back. He kept on rooting and rooting in all the flower beds. “Outrageous,” barked Zorro, “no respect,” and “where is security!”
Problem was, he did not know what type of animal it was. Zorro called on me to assist with reading the annoying varmint identification book. We had to looked through many pages before we settled on a critter called Armadillo. I think I had met this type of varmint once or twice on Earth, but I forgot.
“Armadillos in Master’s garden,” roared Zorro, “it cannot be allowed, it is shameful!”
I am not sure why he takes it so personally; it does not disturb my sleep. Zorro says it is because his raison d’etre is to serve Master (I think it means reason to eat, but I am not sure). In any case, his blood pressure went up again and Loba and I had to do back and tummy rubs until he felt better.
Fortunately, the Armadillo left Mom and Dad’s garden voluntarily.
January 12 – Weigh-in
I have noticed that Zorro looks a little out of shape. Same for myself, basically, we have put on weight.
Today the authorities made all dogs have a weigh-in. I was up 3 pounds, Zorro 6 pounds but Loba was the same as usual.
There is a problem with all the free food here in Doggy Heaven …. we put on weight. Zorro and I must go on a diet. Until we are back to normal weight, we cannot access the food as we like, and we must take lots of exercise.
We were given a small portion of dry dog biscuits for dinner, it was not very much, but quite tasty for being dried food. I choose bacon flavor and Zorro choose sardine flavor. Loba got to choose whatever she liked as usual and she was careful to keep her bowl away from Zorro. “No Zorro, we are not on Earth anymore, you can’t eat my food.” She looked smug.
We were told to walk a 5-mile trail around the lake. Loba made us company, she takes this trail often anyway. I got so tired…but Zorro was ok.
I fell asleep right away when we came home but Loba and Zorro went dancing! Zorro never liked dancing before, maybe it is something he got interested in at the Christmas party? I heard later from Loba that Zorro had eaten all the snacks at the bar.
By the way, the authorities confiscated all tins of Toff’s Select, apparently, they are contaminated by lead and full of fat. Toff was also ordered to diet but he tried to argue that he is not overweight, that Bassets should look like him. He was not successful.
January 14 – Who wants to Diet in Heaven?
The same dry biscuits came back for breakfast. I am already tired of them. Is this not supposed to be Heaven? Who wants to diet in Heaven?
It is necessary says the nurse, she is a Dalmatian and very skinny. I am already tired of dieting and I do not want to walk around the lake again. Talking about tired, Zorro was snoring loudly through the night and he missed breakfast.
At weigh-in, I had lost half a pound, but Zorro had GAINED half a pound. Nurse Dalmatian was angry with him.
There are many dogs on a diet and today we were told to swim across a narrow point in the lake and then walk back. I HATE swimming.
No choice, a had to get in the water and I got through it, but some other dogs were in great distress. The bulldog could barely keep afloat and was helped to the other side by two Newfoundlanders. After the swim, the bulldog was lying flat and refused to move for almost half an hour, we wondered if he had a heart attack. Zorro swam in a sort of panicky mode but made it through. Loba was at his side and cheered him on, then she swam back and cheered me on, she thinks this is fun.
Toff swam surrounded by Rottweilers, I think they pulled him along. Some Rottweilers have left his side because Toff can’t pay them with tins anymore.
Me and the bulldog were the last back home. His name is Winston. It is the first time I feel sympathy with a bulldog.
I ate another portion of “nutritious biscuits” and fell asleep. Zorro was already asleep.
January 16 – Still on a Diet
Zorro and I exchanged biscuits this morning, I had sardine flavor and he got bacon flavor. I am down a whole pound and Zorro lost a pound too. “No snacking last night, I see,” said nurse Dalmatian to Zorro at weight control. She is very cheerful.
Zorro does not like nurse Dalmatian. He says she is condescending, not respecting his royal background, pedigree, intelligence, or his service to humans. She just sees him as an overweight dog.
We must walk around the lake today. Loba waited in a secret spot with a dried cod. Zorro took most of it, but it still helped me complete the trail, I am exhausted.
But apparently not as exhausted as Toff, I saw the Rottweilers carrying him for bits of the trail. I think he is kind of missing the point, but it is good strength training for the Rottweilers (not that they need it).
Toff has told the Rottweilers that new tins are on the way.
January 19 – Losing Weight
Zorro and I have lost weight, despite the extra cod yesterday. But I am too tired to write about today’s exercises. It was a lot. Good night.
January 21 – Goal Weight!
I have reached my goal weight. Zorro achieved his yesterday, a day ahead of me! “Bigger muscles burn more fat,” said Zorro.
I had a sad walk around the lake yesterday, half of the dogs had been allowed to leave the dieting program. Winston and I walked together with Loba who always is there to cheer us on. Zorro went to the spa but met us as we completed the loop.
“Jolly good,” he said and smiled, his coat shining from oil. I think he flexed his muscles as well.
“Jolly good show off,” said Winston quietly, he was too tired to take on Zorro.
That was yesterday, nurse Dalmatian told me today that I was done. “Just be cautious about the free food,” she warned me. “And exercise more.”
I guess I should. Loba says being active is fun, but it has never been my cup of tea. And don’t tell me that poodles love swimming, I don’t want to hear your racism.
Poor Winston is still on the diet list, and so is Toff. I feel sorry for Winston, we have developed a friendship of mutual understanding, but I do not feel sorry for Toff.
I spent the day resting. Zorro went to the gym and Loba swept the house with her tail.
January 23 – Stylish for Once
Now when I am in perfect weight, Loba thinks I should attend to my fur cut. I have always just done an even shave down, no lion cuts or fluffy balls or anything. Loba suggested that we go to the new groomer in Heaven, a very dapper Italian Greyhound named Vidal.
Vidal suggested a non-gender style, no puff balls except on the tail, but a little length around my chest to make me look stronger. He advocated shaving the butt area, said that it would avoid excrements being stuck to the fur. I think he is talking about poop butt, something I used to suffer from.
I let Vidal do his magic. When he was done, he dressed me in an elegant blue cape. The whole do-up was awfully expensive, but Loba liked it. Zorro grunted his approval, he said should pay more attention to my fur. Well, that is easy for them to say, Loba and Zorro are short furred and need no haircuts. They have no idea how it is to be a poodle. A WHITE poodle. It is virtually impossible to stay clean and elegant.
Mom used to bath me, and she discovered that I got SICK from the shampooing. Some dog shampoos are full of poison and our skins absorb them. I would feel so nauseous and puke after a bath, especially as I got older.
Vidal used a gentle shampoo.
I look almost as good as Zorro on his breed photo.
January 26 – Mottos
Uncle Zorro has designed a breed specific crest for Royal Scottish Guard Dog. It has a big bone on a red and green tartan background, above it is a crown, and below a motto: Eat First, Taste Later.
Loba said that she has a motto too: Sniff My Butt!
My motto is: Control Your Human. More about that another day.
January 28 – Train Your Human!
Today I will write about a common problem I observed on Earth. Dogs do not train the humans in their life.
Once you are introduced into the human home, you need to set boundaries: like, I will sit on the settee, I will sleep on the bed and most important of all: I will eat better than dry dog kibble. It is hard to train humans, they are stubborn, but with consistency and patience it can be done. Simply, do not give up, ever.
At night: howl and bark and scratch for hours. The instinct of self-preservation will set in for the human, to get a few hours of sleep, they will let you on the bed. Problem solved!
Food: Just do not eat the kibble. Do not eat it even if you starve, think long-term and hold out. The second day they will feed you soft canned dog food, and if you are lucky, chicken breast. The chicken will turn up no later than the third day if you just control yourself. For a small puppy, this transformation will happen within hours of coming home, I guarantee it.
When you do not have success with your human, take revenge. Find a soft shaggy carpet and poop on it. Do it in front of their eyes, make sure to have eye contact. You will get immediate attention to your complaints.
If you are consistent with the training, you will be set for life! (I was).
January 30 – Toff is Challenging Zorro
Dear Diary, deep trouble in Heaven today. Toff wants to be the leader of the Debating Club; he is challenging Zorro. He said in front of a big crowd that the Debating Club should have “proper leadership by a real pedigree dog.” All the Toffees cheered him on, even some cross breeds.
Zorro got extremely angry and he said he had a pedigree even if Toff would not understand it, and he pointed out that he started the Debating Club before Toff was even dead!
Toff laughed at Zorro and said that he would be a better president for the Debating Club because he could provide every dog that vote for him with a tin of extra savory dog food!
Loba barked that food was free in Doggy Heaven and by the way, she had a big basket of high-quality jerky right here and she started to hand out a pieces. Then she said: “Toff, your tins are left on Earth.” She got a big cheer from all sorts of dogs.
Aunt Loba anticipated Toff’s attack and saved the day. It was decided that Uncle Zorro could continue to be the leader of the Debating Club for now, but Loba says that the Toffees are scheming to take over.
Zorro had to do some deep breathing to get his blood pressure down. I am surprised he did not rip Toff to pieces, but we are in Heaven after all.
February 2 – A New Dog for Mom and Dad?
“Maybe we should get another dog,” said Dad.
“I like a Greyhound, would look elegant on the Boulevard,” said Mom.
“I like to get Mr. Russell,” said Dad, “Mr. Jack Russell.”
“Oh no,” said Mom, “too much work.”
They agreed they were not yet ready for a new dog.
Zorro thought they should think a lot about breeding and pedigree. Loba says they need to think about character and Auntie Kara says that health is important. I think they should consider if they want a pet or a dog.
February 4 – Cleaning Closets
Mom and Dad are cleaning out some closets. They have two piles, one of stuff to throw away and the other for donations. Everything was going fine until they came to my old cupboard. “I keep the bowls and at least one bed for visiting dogs,” said Mom. “What about the sweaters?”
“Throw them away,” said Dad, if we get a new dog, they will not fit, and we want new stuff anyway.” Mom did as she was told, but she kept her favorite the striped, blue sweater. “Just in case,” she said.
By the way, I have no favorite sweater, they were all irritating. Especially that pumpkin outfit Elise insisted on putting on me once a year. I looked ridiculous and it was uncomfortable. But the worst was the Santa hat.
Mom kept the Santa hat too.
February 6 – Driving in Doggy Heaven
Zorro has found a car to drive in Heaven. It is black and very smart looking; it is called Mustang. Zorro drove up to Loba and me as we were having a little nap in the sun and he howled: “Jump in for a ride!”
We got excited and I climbed into the back seat and Loba in the front.
“Zorro dear, I did not know you had a driving license,” said Loba. She got no answer.
I showed Loba how to lower the windows, just like I used to do in Mom and Dad’s car. We enjoyed the breeze in our ears. For once both Lobas ears were up. It was fun.
February 9 – Debate Club with Zorro. Topic: Should dogs be allowed to sit and eat with people at the table?
I never get involved in the debates because I don’t like the yapping, but my opinion about having a seat at the table, Dear Diary, is that it depends on your personality. I occasionally sat at the table (not very often) and that was fine because I refrained from putting my paws on the table.
It turned out that all the smaller breeds like Yorkshire terriers, Toy Poodles. Chihuahuas, Maltesers etc., thought it was self-evident that the dog could sit up at the peoples table, but views were mixed amongst the bigger breeds.
The Police dogs were absolutely against it. “Masters eat at the table and dogs eat from their bowl. This discussion is ridiculous. Are you sure you are even DOGS,” they barked in disgust. “You are untrained and scruffy, an embarrasement to the species.”
A big brawl broke out, the small dogs yapped that they had table manners, the big dogs barked indignantly in their deep voices and Loba and I went home. Loba said she was not sure what a table was.
February 11 – Hair Dryers
Loba does not need much grooming with her slick short fur, a quick brush every now and then and she always look great. In consequence, she is unfamiliar with hair dryers.
Today I brought Loba to the spa to show her the pleasure of a warm blow dry. We asked for full speed until our ears were flying in the wind. I used to love the hair dryer on Earth, and Loba loved it too! She was never spoilt on Earth.
February 13 – Loba’s Work Evaluation
Zorro is writing Loba’s annual work evaluation for Zorro’s Zecurity. They have not had any jobs, but he will write it anyway. Zorro says he is of the managerial class and it is his duty to evaluate the underlings. I had to do the writing as usual:
Loba has been doing well and is improving on her skills in perimeter patrol. I am overall pleased with Loba’s performance, BUT she can improve in listening to instructions from management and communicate better. I recommend that Loba takes an obedience course.
Then he called Loba and told her the evaluation. She asked if she would be allowed to do an upward assessment of management, but Zorro said it was not on the schedule.
“Well, here it is anyway,” said Loba, “you are not helpful”, and “I will not do the obedience training,” Then she barked “Sniff My Butt,” and disappeared.
I wonder if she will get fired?
February 16 – Life Advice
Hang around the kitchen to get snacks.
It is easier to get forgiveness than permission.
If you meet a big bully dog – get out of the way and live another day.
February 18 – A Fine Dog
Toff will not leave Zorro in peace.
“We have a Royal and top pedigree dog coming,” Toff casually said to Zorro when they crossed path the other day. “It is a fine specimen that won Best in Show in the Earth Pedigree Club Dog Show. The dog was owned by the Governor of Carolina, which is a sort of king,” said Toff. “His breed is very rare and suitably called Carolina Dog. The Pedigree Club will expand the breed registry to include Carolina Dog.”
This was vexing for Zorro as he has run out of appeals to join the Pedigree Club, Royal Scottish Guard Dog will not be accepted as a breed. He could not find any words to answer, but Loba quickly barked: Will be hard for you to measure up then, Toff!
Toff got worried about what Loba said, so in a pre emptive move, he sacked the Vice President of the Pedigree Club. Toff plans for the new dog to have that position so there will be no discussions about the presidency.
The Pedigree Club Choir has been practicing a song and the Rottweilers have been practicing parading for the welcome ceremony of this special dog.
We will probably not see the arrival, because Loba is planning another family roam-around that day.
February 20 – A Picnic in Doggy Heaven
We went to a new place with fields and lots of rabbits. Zorro got excited and tried to catch them, but they just popped up and down, always avoiding him. I had to laugh, poor Uncle Zorro was running so hard, and the rabbits were outmaneuvering him.
“Good exercise,” said Loba, “keeps his blood pressure down.”
Old Aunt Kara was with us, and she chased deer all over the place. She looked young and strong. I think she could catch one of those rabbits if she wanted to, but she left the field open to Zorro.
Loba brought food in a basket and we had a sumptuous lunch of dried cod heads and lamb chops. As we were resting , a new dog we had never met came by. He looked just like Uncle Zorro.
“Good Afternoon,” said the dog. “My name is Raleigh, sorry to disturb you, but can you please help me? I am new in Doggy Heaven and I am lost. I like to find the food pantry.”
We were surprised, all dogs that come to Doggy Heaven get a meal on arrival and are then showed around. Raleigh explained that a whole group of new dogs arrived together and an overly aggressive Heavenly dog had chased him away, so he got separated from the group. We assured him this was not normal, and we invited him share our meal.
“What kind of dog chased you?” asked Aunt Loba. He said it was a crazy Bassett. Zorro asked if a Carolina Dog had arrived with him and he said: “I am a Carolina Dog.”
“No you are not,” said Zorro, “you are a Royal Scottish Guard Dog,” I wrote the breed description myself, and you are a perfect fit! Raleigh looked confused and said he really did not know much about that, but he liked the lamb chops and then he stayed with us for a pleasant afternoon.
Strange that two Carolina Dogs should be dying on the same day. I wonder if Raleigh is not the missing Royal pedigree dog. I am keeping quiet with my suspicion for the moment, only sharing my thoughts with you, dear Diary.
February 23 – Toff is Confused
Toff is still waiting for the Best in Show Carolina Dog to arrive, and he is ranting about Uncle Zorro trying to get into the Pedigree Club again, but it is totally untrue, Zorro has given up on that.
“Yesterday,” Toff snarled, “I saw you approaching Cloud 9, saw it with my own eyes. Get it, once and all, you are NOT a Pedigree dog!”
“I was not near Cloud 9 yesterday and I do not want to be a member of the Pedigree Club,” Zorro asserted with a firm voice, “I will start the Achievement Club, which is based on performance. I will call it the Ace club. I will send you an invitation to take the entrance test, but I doubt you pass it.”
“What performance,” asked Loba? Zorro said he had not written the Club rules yet, but it will be based on service, loyalty, and skills such as varmint chasing. Things that Toff can’t do.
Raleigh is keeping away from the “crazy Bassett,” (Toff), he hangs out with us. Raleigh is very muscular; he had a big yard to exercise in and he kept a lot of racoons at bay. Zorro looks at him admiringly and they seem to be getting along very well, with intense discussions about varmint chasing. They call themselves brothers.
February 25 – Best in Show
It is official, Raleigh really is the Royal Pedigree Best in Show winner Carolina Dog.
Toff growled at him when he arrived in Heaven because he thought Raleigh was Zorro. Now Raleigh is not interested in befriending Toff, and he does not want to join the Pedigree Club.
Raleigh says he met a lot of snooty pedigree dogs on Earth, and conformation was the most boring thing ever. “Had to wait around for hours and then run a few circles with my handler, ridiculous. I did it for the treats. My handler was given bits of paper as a treat to run with me in the ring, and I was given dried beef jerky. I think I had the better end of the deal,” he said and laughed.
Aunt Loba heard that Toff had been told off by the authorities for growling at the new arrivals. Toff is nowhere to be seen.
February 27 – Who is Zorro Really?
We all think it is curious how Zorro and Raleigh look alike and have the same interests (mainly varmint chasing). Zorro speculates that Royal Scottish Guard Dog and Carolina Dog has common ancient ancestors, maybe a royal guard dog came on a ship and roamed around North America.
Raleigh explained that his great, great, great, great, great, great, great Aunt and Uncle served a military leader in South America. He knows this because he has a very detailed pedigree of all branches of his family. Raleigh suspects that Zorro is their descendant.
“Did you ever hear about Tucker and Petunia,” he asked, “I know they had numerous litters.” After intensive questioning, it turned out that Zorro did not know anything at all about his ancestors. The first he remembers is being at the subdivision guard house and that Master picked him up and put a tartan collar on him and brought him home.
“So, what is this all about Scottish ancestry then,” I asked while Loba vigorously rolled her eyes at me. “Deductions, my dear Flurry,” said Zorro a little bit huffed, “deductions. I was assigned to a gate house, I got a tartan collar, I am loyal and brilliant, what else could it be.” Zorro walked away.
“I think we should do a DNA test,” said Raleigh.
Dear Diary, what is that? Dogs Not Approved test?
March 2 – DNA Testing of Dog Breeds
Zorro is nervous about DNA testing, so Raleigh called a meeting to explain.
“You chew and lick on a piece of cotton for a few seconds and then it gets sent to the labs. The Labrador technicians place the cotton in a machine and all your ancestor’s breeds are revealed. It’s in the spit.”
A chocolate Labrador lady stood beside Raleigh and confirmed the information. “It works,” she said, “I, for example, am 100 percent Labrador in the last four generations”.
“And I have a DNA test to prove I am 100 percent Carolina Dog in the last 4 generations,” said Raleigh. “Carolina Dog is difficult to determine, many ancestors were roaming free and have obscure backgrounds.”
Toff thought it was a great idea for the Pedigree Club. He said he has been suspicious of some of the members, a DNA test could get rid of riff raff.
I think Zorro is worried what the DNA test could reveal, but he finally agreed to do the analysis. Toff will take one too, the Labradors will come tomorrow and take samples.
March 4 – Betting on Zorro
Only Zorro took the DNA test, Toff said he does not believe in its accuracy and will not do it. He has cancelled the idea of testing all dogs in the Pedigree Club.
Loba whispered that Toffs grandmother told him to not take the test, she admitted to a fling with a Beagle. “He was very handsome,” said his grandmother. “Your grandfather does not know,” she added. Not even his Earth people knew. Toff was very upset and shocked and I have promised to not talk about it. I think this means Toff is not really related to the foundation Basset after all. He might even be what we call a mongrel.
We must wait a week for the test results; the dogs are placing bets on Zorro’s ancestry. These are the odds:
Royal Scottish Guard Dog 10/1
Carolina Dog 9/1
Chow Chow Mix 7/1
Shepherd mix 2/1
Indeterminate Mongrel 2/1
So most is going for the mutt or Shepherd mix, I don’t know what to think, I did not bet.
March 6 – Stay in Charge
Mom and Dad have started to eat muesli and granola for breakfast, no more bacon and egg. I guess they are so depressed I am not there that they cannot be bothered to prepare nutritional meals.
On Sundays, Mom and Dad used to have toast for breakfast. I like toast so I would ask for a morsel (or two). Mom would break off a piece and threw it far away. When I was older, my eyesight was poor, and I had to search for the tasty tidbits all over the bedroom. It was quite fun.
One day, she did not give me anything, apparently because the vet had said I was overweight. I got so angry, I deliberately pooped on the antique silk carpet.
You get what you bark for. Stay in charge.
March 9 – Top Dog
Mom and Dad watched a new TV program today called Top Dog. It is a competition for Police dogs to find stuff in various rooms, going through obstacles and then finally apprehending a bad guy.
It was fascinating, we all lined and cheered for the teams. The dogs were mainly German Shepherd types, and Zorro kept on shouting that this and that dog probably was his relation, in particular the fast ones.
Zorro got especially excited when the dogs had to bite the bad guy, he barked obscenities to the TV set; take down the good for nothing cat loving slug!; a hefty bite to the rascal food stealing dustbin!; let him feel the wrath of your canines!
When the dog master says, “let go,” the dog must release and return to the master. Zorro think this is a stupid rule, why would you release a bad guy you have caught?
After the program, Zorro started to sniff around everything and going on narrow rocks and jumping logs, it looks like he is training for Top Dog. I asked if he was thinking of a second life at Earth? Zorro said he was trying out skills for the entrance test to the Achievement Club (Ace). He was looking for tricks unsuitable for short legged breeds, like Bassetts.
March 11 – Cars again
Interesting development in Mom’s and Dad’s garage today. They took Victor to a swanky restaurant. There he met a Rolls Royce that pointed out to him that he had a slight dent at the back and that his shine was a little dull.
Victor told Fuji that Rolls Royce’s are useless show off cars, and Fuji agreed. “Old technology”, he said, “and can’t carry a load”.
“Too bulky for city street parking,” said Victor, “gas guzzling monsters”.
It was the first time they agreed on anything.
March 13 – “Am I a Mutt?”
Dear Diary, today was a big day for Zorro, a black Lab came back from the labs with his DNA results.
I read it out:
Carolina Dog 80%
Collie: 12 %
Belgian Malinois: 4%
Akita Inu: 2%
Chow Chow 2%
“Am I a mutt?” Zorro asked nervously.
I had one more line to read.
Conclusion: Zorro is a Carolina Dog.
The lab Lab explained that 80% of Carolina Dog DNA is the cutoff point to be admitted to the breed registry. Raleigh confirmed this and added: “I am 100% Carolina Dog, which is rare and therefore I won Best in Show. Welcome to my breed, brother!”
The Lab took his pulse and said that he will be fine in a moment. When he came to, Loba said: “You can join the Pedigree Club,” then he fainted again.
He is fine now and resting in Lobas arms, but the news has been too much for him. What will happen to Royal Scottish Guard Dog?
March 16 – Holy Guacamole!
Zorro is adamant that he wants nothing to do with the Pedigree Club. He thought about it momentarily when Loba pointed out that Toff is only 75% Bassett, so Zorro can throw him out. But Zorro is done with the Pedigree Club, he is setting up the Achievement Club, ACE.
Loba asked if he would ditch the tartan, but Zorro said no, he is part Scottish through his Collie background and Master was Scottish. Loba said that was great because she had just got a new kilt, but could he please get rid of the bag pipe music. Zorro agreed and played “Wagon Wheel” and country instead.
Raleigh has done some genealogy on the branch that went to South America and found a breeding line serving the military. Zorros great, great, great uncle twice removed (or something like that) was awarded a medal for saving his masters life! Holy Guacamole! So Zorro was on the right track about his medals and military ancestry after all.
Zorro has decided that Royal Scottish Guard Dog is a sub breed of Carolina Dog. He can do that because he wrote the breed description himself.
Which makes as much sense as chopping tails off some breeds because someone wrote it in the description 100 years ago. I suggest following Zorros lead and changing all breed descriptions to have intact tails and ears. Especially Poodles.
March 18 – Misty is in Trouble
We have received a mjaumail from Earth. It reads like this:
Misty the dog is a cat abuser that lives in opulence, stealing food and affection that belong to her fellow, peace loving and defenseless cats. The innate aggression of dogs is at frequent display toward the innocent cats in the house, but cleverly hidden when the house mistress is nearby, and go undetected. Reports of claw marks and a torn ear on Misty are wrong. The minor scabs on Misty are not serious and were incurred by an intrusive sparrow that tried to pick insects from the dog’s dirty fur. We cats demand that you stop writing letters of complaint about Misty’s treatment, and see the error of her ways and allow her food ration to be shared by the poor cats.
Wow! That was a strong message. We don’t know what to believe. Could Misty really be stealing food from the cats? Did a sparrow injure Misty?
Loba scoffed: “Lies and propaganda! This is a serious situation; the cats are attacking Misty; they are after her food, we need to get her out of there!”
Dear Diary, I am so worried about Misty, we must help.
March 20 – A Racket to Remember
I called all dogs to a meeting in the park about Misty. The heartless Toffees would only come if I could prove that Misty has a pedigree, a club rule. It did not matter; we had a great crowd ready to support Misty without them.
The small dogs were especially upset and demanded action for Misty. It was decided that we march to the wall near cat Heaven and howl in protest against cats in general. Some dogs said they had cat friends and left, but hundreds of dogs from all walks of Earth barked and howled, demanding justice for Misty as loud as we could for an hour. A racket to remember!
“Best jam ever,” said a Spaniel next no me. “Love the howl along,” said a Labrador mix. I tried to explain what we were trying to achieve, but they were just having fun howling.
The cats were not amused.
March 23 – We Support Misty
I have designed a bandana with We Support Misty written on them. Loba and I are handing them out with a piece of bacon, and everyone is wearing one around their necks. I have a sky blue one, Zorro’s is Stars and Stripes and Loba has a pink bandana.
We are marching in the park with our bandanas in support of Misty. Loba asked how this helps Misty, and honestly, I don’t know. But at least it feels like I am doing something for this poor dog!
March 25 – Mom and Dad’s New Plans
Mom and Dad have been discussing moving to the countryside. Dad thinks he would like to have a few acres, grow fruit and vegetables, and maybe have some goats. Loba and Zorro got excited and discussed if it was possible to return to Earth. They want to herd the goats, I don’t understand them, goats are scary. But I could go back and live with Mom and Dad again.
Aunt Kara said she tried to go back to Earth when Loba and Zorro were young, but it is not allowed, “absolutely not, impossible” she said.
“Negative attitudes get you nowhere,” said Dr. Goldie to Aunt Kara. “Just be positive, think positive, remember positive power”.
Aunt Kara sighed and walked away.
March 27 – Karaoke with the Coyotes
After the success of the big protest howl the other day, the coyotes decided to arrange an evening of karaoke. Loba is excited and is going, but Zorro is angry because he had planned a Zorro and the Howlers concert.
“Just schedule it for another time,” said Loba, “most dogs will go to the coyote karaoke anyway.” As Loba is the lead singer, Zorro had no choice but to re-schedule. “We were just getting Bad to the Bone down to perfection,” he grumbled with a disappointed voice.
I did not go to the karaoke, I fear coyotes, but Loba wore her new kilt. It is made of a rare pink tartan and is noticeably short. Zorro tagged along, probably to keep an eye on Loba.
I heard the karaoke though; it was LOUD, and I don’t like all that howling. They did not stop until the early morning.
March 30 – A New House in the Country
Mom and Dad have bought a new house in the country and they are discussing getting one or two new dogs!
We have looked at the property and it is quite large. It will need a lot of patrolling and Zorro is considering taking on the job himself. Loba wants to come too! I want to come and sleep inside, we are so excited!
Aunt Kara insists that going back to Earth will not work. We are not listening; she means well, but she is too old.
These are the sort of dreams we have; we need to tell Mom and Dad to wait for us.
April 1 – April Fool’s Day
Dear Diary, I had so much fun today, I am still laughing! It started with one of Zorro’s favorite subjects; sardines. “A sardine a day, keeps the doctor away,” he said. I agree – more sardines to the dogs.
Zorro does not care about the flavor or brand; sardines in olive oil, au natural, in tomato sauce, Mediterranean style, it is all good he says. But there is one exception; he does not like sardines in hot sauce.
Which brings me to today’s events. Zorro and I were bored and as it is April Fool’s day, we decided to play a joke on Loba. We went to the food store and located some tins of the spiciest sardines ever. We settled for the ones called “Sardines in Louisiana Flaming Hot 5-alarm sauce”. It had a warning sticker on the cover.
We emptied the tin in Loba’s food bowl. Then we hid behind some bushes and waited. It went as expected, Loba caught a whiff of the fishy smell and came looking for her serving. She eats before she looks, and the bowl was emptied in 10 seconds. At first, there was no reaction. She licked her paws in a rather satisfied way. Then, she opened her jaws, howled and ran here and there aimlessly in lightning speed. Loba eventually stopped at the water sprinkler and rinsed her mouth for at least 10 minutes.
Zorro and I got a good laugh and ran out of the bushes and barked “April Fools, April Fools!”
Loba kept her composure and said: “Best sardines I ever had. For adults only”.
April 3 – My Birthday
Today is my birthday and Aunt Loba arranged a day of cloud cruising with our friends! It was the first time for me, and it was fun.
This is how it works: you find a small thick cloud and jump into it and then circulate around in Heaven looking at everything. Dogs were waving at us and we waved back. Uncle Zorro was speeding and riding upside down at times.
Loba brought a jerky cake and everyone sang Happy Birthday and we put on silly hats. It was a good birthday.
Should I count myself as reborn in Heaven or should I just keep on counting? I am not sure.
April 6 – Planning our Return!
We are planning our return to Earth to live in Mom’s and Dad’s new house. Loba has chosen a nice spot for the new doghouse, protected from the wind, but with a good view of the BBQ and the pool. “We will have a slighter larger house to accommodate all of us,” she says. “Aunt Kara can come too.”
Auntie Kara says we are crazy and there is no going back to Earth, but we ignore her because she is old and negative. Zorro has made an inventory of the animals of the area, an awful lot of deer. “No problems,” says Zorro, “deer are a cupcake for me. I take care of Master’s garden, no deer, no raccoons, no armadillos, no rats and no thieves when I am on the job. And Loba is assisting.” He does not include me for security, but that is ok, I intend to stay mainly inside the house and return to my old job as a pet. I have noticed that there is a new doormat, which is as well, Mom and Dad threw away the old one.
Loba says she will sneak inside and sit on the couch sometimes, but I had to tell her that this is not allowed, even for me, but Loba disagrees. “I am sure Mom will let me,” she says. She talks to Mom every now and then.
We are all planning to have many BBQs in the large backyard. Zorro wants a pool party and is making a list of Chihuahuas to invite. Loba and I think it should be just us, no Chihuahuas and we have not seen any in the neighborhood anyway. But there is a cute Shi-Tzu called Milly in the next house along. I can be friends with her.
This is so exciting, can’t wait!
April 8 – Back to Earth
I have been dispatched to find out from the Heavenly Authorities how, and when, we can return to Earth. I was chosen because I have an education and know the legal lingo, says Zorro.
The answer is no. NO NO NO. The road is one way, from Earth to Doggy Heaven, there is no road back. The best we can do is to apply to unite with our people when their time is ripe, and that is not yet.
We all feel down, we want to move with Mom and Dad to their new house now, we do not want to wait.
“They need protection and company” says Zorro, “I am perfect for the job. I would patrol the property and keep all intruders at bay, deer, racoons, even coyotes. I know all about varmints.”
“Mom and Dad has a very large BBQ pit in the new house,” says Loba longingly. “We could have had new food bowls on the terrace.”
I was looking forward to sleep in front of the fireplace. We are sad we can’t go back. Loba says we must look forward and we should plan to join Mom and Dad in Heaven later.
“I told you, you were crazy” said Auntie Kara. “I knew it could not be done.” Have already tried. And she sighed and looked sad.
Sometimes the pessimist is right, or we what we call pessimism is our own delusion of reality.
April 10 – A Depressing Day
Deer Diary, we are all depressed.
Zorro chewed up his sunglasses. “I won’t be sitting poolside”, he whined. “Heaven is all right, but it is a little boring at times. Have not been in a good fight since I came here. I am not sure I am needed in Heaven, there are not even varmints. I was soo looking forward to go back to work on Earth, I have no purpose here; I need a life!”
Zorro looked really lost.
Loba and I had to cheer him up and we assured him that WE need him to look after us. For example, we don’t trust Toff to not do something nasty to us.
Loba is unpacking her bags, some old bones, rags, her best clothes, including a pink bikini for the pool, and her pink bed. “I don’t have high expectations,” she said. “I can still go roaming with Fifi.”
Maybe it is best to not move to the country on Earth after all, I don’t like wild critters, they are dangerous. In Doggy Heaven, I am safe.
But Zorro has a point, we need purpose to be happy. Some days in Doggy Heaven, there is no real reason to get up in the morning.
April 13 – Choosing a New Pack Member
Loba made us stop moaning and make the best of the situation, so we are making new plans. If we cannot go back to Earth, we will help Mom and Dad to choose a new dog that is right for our family. We have been studying available shelter dogs all day.
Dad talks about an Australia Cattle dog; Mom talks about a Border Collie mix.
Loba seems to like most dogs. “Especially hot dogs,” said Zorro and laughed.
Zorro prefer Shepherd mixes, but when one was pictured lying on a plush settee, Zorro vetoed him. “Outrageous,” he said, “does not understand his place, a spoiled character, no doubt.” Zorro is adamant that he will always be top dog in our pack.
I do not want any bully dogs; I have a lot of anxiety around bad characters. My opinions are that Greyhounds and Afghans are aloof, German Shepherds are know-it-alls, Cocker Spaniels are suck-ups and Golden Retrievers are nice, but clueless. Other clueless breeds are Boxers, Labradors and Beagles.
Chihuahuas and Yorkshire Terriers are too tiny, Terriers in general are too hyperactive and tiring to be around. This is a general statement; I apologize to any individual who is insulted and does not fit the normal breed standard.
Poodles are pretty much balanced in my view. Interestingly, I have found that cross breeds are usually all right. “Like me and Zorro” said Loba, but she got a filthy look from Zorro, we must remember that he is a certified card-carrying Carolina Dog now.
Dear Diary, don’t tell Zorro, but I think Carolina Dog is a sort of mutt breed.
April 15 – Visit to a Dog Shelter
The search continues. Mom and Dad visited a dog shelter today. They were silent as they walked past the dogs. We followed them from Heaven in silence too. These were rather large, snarly type dogs, all of them. I was concerned, if Mom and Dad takes in such a dog, I do not think I can live with them in their afterlife. Exactly the type of dog that used to terrorize me on Earth. Even Zorro looked upset.
“I am afraid we are looking for a smaller dog,” Mom said and that was that. What a relief.
No gangster dogs in the family.
April 17 – Move-In Day
Mom and Dad has moved into their new country house. The first evening, deer came up in the garden and just stood there, probably waiting to be fed.
Zorro went berserk. “This is an outrage,” he growled and howled, “an absolute abomination. Invaders, trespassers, no good for nothing chlorophyll chewing scumdrivel!”
Loba tried to calm him down and reminded him of his high blood pressure. But Zorro could not be comforted. “I devoted my whole life to keep master’s garden free from intruding pests and look at the situation now! I die and no other dog is helping! Varmints are running all over the place. Think about master’s plants, his vegetables. I cannot bear to see it.” And he buried his eyes in his paws.
And it got worse. There came foxes, armadillos, rabbits, raccoons, all in one day! Dad was upset, the deer ate his new plants. The place is overrun by pests.
Zorro howled and whined. Loba patted him slowly.
April 20 – Crying Wolf
We were sitting in Doggy Heaven and looking at Mom and Dad’s new property when we spotted a coyote nearby! Mom and Dad were still asleep as it was early morning. We all barked loudly: “wolf, wolf, warning wolf!”
Mom woke up and asked Dad “Did you say wolf?” Dad said no, he had not said anything about a wolf. But Mom insisted that she heard him clearly say wolf, but he denied it.
Dad then got up and went on a morning walk. After a while, he saw the coyote at a distance and manage to get a photograph with his phone which he later showed Mom.
“I clearly heard someone say wolf,” she said. “What a coincidence.”
Coincidence? Hardly. It is frustrating for us dogs in Heaven when the people do not understand that we are communicating with them.
April 22 – Position Available
We urgently have to find the perfect dog for Mom and Dad, and we have sent out a job advert to Earth.
Position Available: Family Dog
We are looking for a small to medium sized dog to join our family team. The perfect candidate will come with minimal shedding and a friendly disposition, eager to learn and be obedient and a team player. The duties include:
Absolute devotion and love for Mom and Dad.
Security: Alert and awake, stern warnings to all intruders.
Effective varmint patrol: must be able to keep the property clean of intruders such as foxes, deer, raccoons, squirrels and to keep coyotes at bay.
Floor cleaning: removal of all drops of food from the floor.
Bonus skills: Fetch slippers, newspapers etc.
Salary and benefits: Two to three meals a day, kibbles with sardines and soft meats, treats for special duties. Several soft beds, a warm house, a big garden and lots of walks, tummy rubs and hugs. Medical care and retirement included.
Starting date: Immediately
Inquire to Flurry D. Dog in Doggy Heaven.
April 24 – A Perfect Solution!
Misty has been rescued! She has been adopted by Mom and Dad and the whole Doggy Heaven is celebrating. Loba is crying, I am crying, Aunt Kara is crying, Zorro pretends he is not crying, and everyone is hugging each other.
Misty is overjoyed and we are so happy that Mom and Dad are looked after by her! From now on, Misty will protect Dad’s vegetable garden. Zorro will send the varmint book to her; he wants a break from Earthly duties. Misty has promised me to not let any cats near the house.
We heard a weird noise from Cat Heaven and Aunt Kara said that it is the cats in Cat Heaven celebrating.
All well that ends well!
April 27 – Misty on the Job
Misty is getting to know Mom and Dad and she has inspected the house and found a perfect spot to sleep in and a comfy bed. She has been given scrumptious food, sardines, pieces of chicken and even some smoked salmon.
“What’s next,” said Zorro, “caviar?”
I had to look away, caviar is nice. (I only got the cheap sort.)
Misty is glad that the family is cat free, she can eat in peace and quiet.
Dear Diary, this is kind of outrageous, Misty is allowed on the settee! This was forbidden to all previous dogs in the family; Kara, Zorro, Loba and myseIf! I can see that Mom and Dad are getting soft in their old age.
The yard is fully fenced and safe from large animals. Misty thinks it is fun to run along the fence and bark at the deer. They took off with a thunder right away and she got very excited.
Zorro got encouraged and said Misty has the right attitude about varmints, and I think he looked at me reproachingly. On Earth, I was frightened of deer, even seeing them from inside the house.
I don’t think Misty understands what damage those horns, or a kick from the hoofs can do to a little dog. I insist that it is more sensible to not confront the deer. Well, not my problem anymore, Misty can do what she wants. But Zorro should remember that my yard was not fenced! That is a big difference.
April 29 – Loba Quits
Zorro is very enthusiastic about Misty; he keeps on about her all day. There is no end to the praise. Misty is learning quickly, Misty is loyal, Misty is friendly, Misty has a good character, Misty has integrity, Misty is a team player, and most of all: Misty is not frightened of the deer. She runs along the fence and barks at them in a very frenzied way.
“What a change to see such youthful energy,” Zorro says, and he looks at Loba and myself with disdain. “Misty is showing great promise as a guard dog, a lot of potential for the future. And such lovely personality too!” Then he gave her the highest work assessment.
“Notice that she cannot do jobs outside the fence,” said Loba.
“She has potential for the future,” Zorro answered.
“Potential to be considered too old once she is on top of the job,” said Loba dryly.
Then she announced that she is quitting Zorro’s Zecurity. She is starting her own company, giving advice to dogs in trouble. Dogs are invited to submit questions to “Aunt Loba’s Advice”. I will read the letters and write the answers that she dictates.
Zorro wondered how much she thinks she will earn, but Loba said it is charity work as she is fully supported in Heaven. I guess that means I will not be paid either.
Zorro is moaning that he is now without outside the fence capacity, but he better not look at me. Loba says that Zorro’s Zecurity has no jobs anyway so it does not matter. Doggy Heaven is safe.
May 1 – Letter From Misty to her Doggy Mom
To Mommy somewhere in the mills,
I am writing to tell you I am well. I had a rough time after we lost contact on the streets, but a kind lady eventually brought me to her home. She was nice and gave me lots of food, the only problem was that she had many cats, and I developed a cat allergy and things were rough.
The dogs in Doggy Heaven took on my case and pleaded for me to get a new home. I have now been adopted by nice people and I am living the life as an only pet!
You would not believe the comfort I have; I wish you could join me. I have three different beds; my favorite has a cozy roof. I have lots of toys and a yard to play in. I get three meals a day, apart from healthy kibble, I get soft food and sardines, even real meat from the best kitchens. Treats are plenty. I have a big bone that I have hidden in the closet amongst the socks just in case my humans want it back.
During the day I can walk in the garden and do as I please. We take walks in the neighborhood and I have new doggy friends. Sometimes we go to the dog park and play, play play! My only duties are to cuddle Mum and Dad and keep the garden free of intruders. The patrol job is easy, the property is fenced so no real danger there. I fell on my four paws!
I have heard that you are back at the puppy mills. You must be up for retirement soon? I am sending some treats.
Your long lost but still loving puppy Misty.
PS. Have you worked out who my Dad is?
May 4 – Aunt Loba’s Advice
Dear Aunt Loba,
I live on the streets on Earth, and I have a boyfriend. We once had a litter, but he did not help me at all looking after the little ones. Instead, he went to live with a girlfriend, she is a real b….. She threw him out for food stealing and fortunately, he is back with me. My boyfriend says he has changed, and he would like to have another litter, but I am not sure, do you think I can trust him? He is so handsome, and I like him to stay around.
Uncertain and confused
Dear uncertain and confused,
The answer is clear and easy. No, you cannot trust your boyfriend, and I am at a loss to understand what is handsome about him. I suggest you take him to the vet and tell him he will get a really yummy meal if he goes inside. With any luck, they fix him.
PS. You should try to team up with his ex-girlfriend instead.
May 6 – Letter From Misty to Doggy Heaven
Dear Dogs in Heaven,
Thank you all, and especially Flurry D. Dog for supporting me when I was living with cats. It was a difficult time for me, but with your help, I am now in a good home.
Thank you, Uncle Zorro for Dr. Bite Barks varmint book, it is remarkably interesting, and I am learning how to deal with all sorts of intruder critters. I promise to keep the deer away from Dad’s vegetables.
Thank you, Aunt Loba for telling Mom to adopt me. I have heard that many dogs will ask you for advice on their problems. No, I am not able to climb over the fence, but I am working on my skills.
Thank you, Aunt Kara for telling Loba that I was a good candidate for the job with Mom and Dad. I have not yet encountered snow, but I look forward doing some digging when I get the opportunity.
I am taking my job assignment very seriously and I will not let you down.
May 8 – Dear Diary,
I have now been a year in Doggy Heaven. I miss Mom and Dad, but I have met Loba, Zorro and Aunt Kara and they are good company to me. Misty is doing a good job looking after Mom and Dad, so we do not have to worry about them anymore.
We have found the perfect property in the shared Heaven for dogs and humans, and we have put deposits down on the ground, so it is reserved for the future. (Yes, those kinds of deposits work here.)
It has many fruit trees and a vegetable garden, a nice view and lots of walking trails nearby. Loba and Zorro have started to build a doghouse in the garden, and I have ordered a people’s house to be built, I prefer that to a doghouse. It will have a fireplace.
Aunt Kara, I and Loba have ordered a plush settee for us to sit on, but Zorro says that he does not want to take part in such decadence. Aunt Kara says she will sleep outside when it is too hot inside from the fireplace.
The house will be ready when Mom and Dad arrive with Misty in the future.
We will live the good life while we wait; I am getting lots of tummy rubs, Loba is roaming around, Zorro is barking at wildlife and Aunt Kara is digging in the snow.
Flurry D. Dog