I’ll be honest: this year has totally sucked on so many levels and been totally wonderful on so many more.
First, the suckage. I was in the hospital, have been diagnosed with a heart condition I’ll have for the rest of my life, watched the newspaper industry crumble, spent about eight months wondering each morning if I would have a job at the end of the day, took unpaid furloughs, got former co-workers’s workloads when their jobs were cut (no extra pay, are you kidding?) and saw my father move into end-of-life care (apparently he thinks it’s someone else’s life that’s going to end because in spite of everything, he shows no sign of leaving any time soon). My 401K nearly committed suicide and I’ve had a bazillion doctor’s bills to pay. I lost Connor. This year has been a mental, physical and financial roller coaster.
On the other hand . . . it’s been an incredibly FUN year with my dogs and dog friends. I showed Phoenix in obedience for the first time and he rocked. We had a 199 out of Novice, something I’ve never done with a Novice dog before. Training for Open and Utility has been (and continues to be) a wild ride with a slippery learning curve. We went to a great obedience seminar in the spring and enjoyed camping through the summer and fall. I reached - and surpassed - my titling goals with Phoenix (CD, U-CD, U-CDX, GN, AXJ) and learned volumes about him in the process. I’ve been brave enough to try some new things as a trainer and enjoyed experimenting with “what if . . .” instead of keeping on with the same-old, same-old.
I got to take National Weather Service storm spotter training in the spring (followed by a nearly non-existant severe weather season, go figure), bought my first digital camera, started this blog, went to Chicago with Marsha to pick up Vinnie and had a great summer of gardening. I got a lot of satisfaction from teaching obedience classes and enjoyed helping friends learn with their dogs. Traveling to agility trials with Team Orange continued to be a non-stop wave of friendship, fun and food (Calories? What calories?). Dog friends are the best.
I’m one of those “glass half full” people, so this Thanksgiving, I’m very thankful for all the wonderful and happy things that have happened to me this year and especially for the joy my dogs bring to my life.