Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Annual Review

2011 was quite a year.
Not only for myself, but my family and several of my friends.   Lots of ups and downs.  Happiness and sorrow.  Joy and frustration.  Wins and losses.  While a lot of people are glad to see it gone, I am not.  It was one year in the journey of making all of us who we are and I am thankful for each day that I was able to participate.  There are many things I am thankful for and, for those interested and care to read, below is a brief review of the year 2011...

Aaron and I on his 30th birthday...in HOT South Carolina

To my dearest  husband...
I am in debt to my very loving, incredible husband, Aaron.  This year he saw his wife take her doggy nerdiness to a whole new level and he always went along for the ride and was supportive with what I was doing.  If you're reading this, my love, know that I couldn't ask for a better companion and I know you were rolling your eyes at times, but your unconditional love in me has inspired me in more ways than you know.

To say that I grew and learned a lot in 2011 would be a vast understatement.  I look back and can barely remember January 3rd of 2011.  At times I thought my brain simply could not take any more crazy dog behavior, but it could and I plowed ahead...at times with you taking a sideline.  Yet you were always there for me being the much needed constant in my life.

Ms. Fanny lounging in the hallway
To the dogs...
I am thankful that, relatively speaking, both Fanny and Oscar were healthy in 2011.  Besides the digestive rollercoaster Fanny has been on the past couple of months, there were no major injuries or illnesses.  I am grateful that the two of them continue to get along fabulously and stay out of each other's hair.  No fights, no scuffles what-so-ever.  Oscar still gives Ms. Fanny nose kisses and ear licks each day...it warms my heart every time.

Mr. Oscar being a bed hog...with a toy, of course

To my growing dog community...
I am incredibly lucky and gracious to have talked to two of the most admirable women I have known, to date, in the dog training/behavior world - Trish King and Suzanne Clothier.  Both of them were wonderful to speak with...actually, that's an understatement...it was amazing.  I saved up some money and was blessed to work with another amazing woman, Monica Segal, who is nothing short of miraculous in turning around my boy, Oscar's, on-going digestive problems.  I am thankful for having a great 2nd boss, Eric, who has been one of the most supportive, kind-hearted men and helped me start my own dog training class, Control Unleashed.  Sprinkled in there are a few others, Lisa, Jan, Claudeen, Cheri and Linda.  Each and every one of you made an impact in the journey of 2011 that I am grateful for.  For one of the people I hope to get connected with more in 2012, Dee, you have been an inspiration for me and a great sounding board when I need a little reality check and pick-me-up.

...My wishes for 2012...
I don't know what the year has in store for me - or the dogs - but I have a few wishes that I hope the greater powers can help me with.

I wish that I keep learning and growing...as a human, as a wife, as a daughter, as a sister, as an aunt and as a doggy momma.  Let my brain take in as much information as it can handle.  I'll never be able to retain information about history or politics and that's OK...it just means it's open for other information.

I wish for my lovely husband that we continue to grow together and persevere though all the tough challenges that are thrown our way.  I hope that we can get away this year...just you and me...and enjoy what we do most...some wine, a good meal and each other's laughter. 

I wish for my dear Ms. Fanny that her body, mind and soul will last another year.  I hope to keep her as comfortable as possible and am currently formulating a balanced home-cooked diet to help her tummy out in her remaining time with us.  Many warm beds and short walks for you, my sweet girl.

I wish for my special Oscar boy that I can help bring clarity and a sense of security to his life and help him relieve the anxiety he has.  I promised to him last week that I was done bringing trainers over to try and figure out what was "wrong" with him...because, really, there is nothing wrong with him.  I vow to take the time and get to know him better and to actually listen...not just hear...him when he's telling me something.  Lots of tennis ball and frisbee chasing for you, my silly boy.

For all of you out there, I wish for you all to have a wonderful year and take the low times with the high times and realize that it all is part of our journey on this earth.  Time passes all too fast when we are watching rather than living.  Live it up as if it were your last and don't forget to laugh along the way.

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