December 24, 2011

The Best of 2011

Another year is coming to a close and every year, we assemble calendars for our clients reflecting back on all of our adventures, compiling them in a 2012 calendar so that our clients can remember the joys of our “best shots”…or attempts at our best shots. I suppose I should be more humble and say that these are all Gretchen’s shots, but since I had to be in most of them (and posed patiently) I think I can take some of the credit.

Anyway, this is one of my favorite things to do — comb through all the photos and choose the ones that I like the best and in the process, remember all the reasons why I have the best friends/clients in the world:

First up, Monty. I put him first because he’s been a part of my life since the beginning. Well, since my beginning. When I first came home at the tender age of 2 months, Monty came for a visit. He was suspicious of me, at first, and when I jumped on him for the 90th time, he finally took his big, curly paw and put it on my head. He even gave me a little growl and from that moment on, I listened to Monty. He is my top dog.

This year we went on many walks together and every once in awhile romped like wild men (just like we did when we were much younger). This is one of my favorite photos of one of those romps…

I think why I like this photo is because, despite our ages, we’ve still got spunk, don’t ya think? Okay, while our romps a few years ago would last 15-20 minutes and they only last about 5 minutes now, they’re still fun and they fill my heart with curly joy!

But mostly, my love for Monty is the greatest when we sit quietly next to each other and know that we are and will forever be best friends. Plus Monty is kind of dignified in a goofy way, yes?

It’s hard to choose who is next. I guess if I’m going chronologically, I’d have to choose Woobie. I first met Woobie on a walk through the trails of Leschi Woods. I’ll admit, I barked at her first (which was my usual greeting when I was younger…I don’t do it so much any more), but Woobie just ran toward me with this big smile on her face. Yes, despite the long hair, her smile shown through like a beacon of friendship. We gave each other a mandatory sniff, then Woobie started to run and I chased her. We chased each other for a good half hour on that first meeting while our moms got acquainted and shared information. A few months later, Woobie was a dog walking client and on occasion, stayed with us while her family traveled all around the world.

Woobie is really good for me. She’s calm and rarely gets flustered. When I’m around her I feel calm, too. The past few months haven’t been all that kind to Woobie. She broke her toe and has been going through all sorts of treatments to help the bone heal and so we don’t get to walk or romp much lately, but luckily Woobie has had a chance to go to the pool and get some much needed exercise and massage therapy there. According to Gretchen, she absolutely LOVES the workout and the healing hands of the therapist’s massage. I totally get that as I love it too!




Next up would be Rosie and Tyson because shortly after meeting Woobie, I met these siblings. But even though I got to meet them, Gretchen had been walking them for about a year. You see, no one was sure how they’d do meeting me. It’s not that they are aggressive, it’s just that Rosie gets a bit anxious when meeting new dogs. Because Tyson is very protective of her, Gretchen decided she wanted just the right moment to introduce us.

I got to meet Rosie first and despite everyone’s fears, we were fast friends from the first outing. Rosie likes me a lot. And I think Rosie’s pretty silly. Tyson on the other hand didn’t seem silly to me at all on first meeting. He was serious, serious, serious. It’s not been until lately that his silly side has surfaced and that makes me very happy. And it also makes me feel safe. Scanning through the thousands of photos we have of these two, I realized that when we are posed together, I very much like to be close to Tyson. There’s a quiet sense of security I get being next to him. I can see why Rosie loves her little brother so much.


Next up is Roux (chronologically speaking). I met her a few years back when we were both playing off-leash at a local field. Rouxtook a liking to me right away and since I’m a fella that likes to be chased, Roux and I bonded right away. I ran, she followed. Now, when we arrive at her house, she howls with delight knowing that there’s a possibility that we might go play another round of chase on one of the many fields around our houses.

What I’ve noticed about Roux in all of these photos is that she loves to smile — like serious tongue-hanging-out-smiles that can only make you laugh.

She’s as silly as I am, which is a good thing in case you were wondering!





Lastly, but certainly not least is my newest acquaintance — Ms. Betty Paige. I consider Paige my kid sister. She makes me feelyoung again. Paige is an adventurer and for that I love her dearly. As you may or may not know, I have some issues with confidence. My lack of confidence shows up as anxiety and when I’m out in the world, I can be reactive to new sounds and situations.

Running and playing with Paige, though, has helped me tremendously. Paige has enough confidence to fill up the oceans and she moves through the world like a queen reigning over her kingdom. I love following her around as we flush squirrels out of bushes or chase rabbits along the shore. Paige makes me feel confident and self-assured; she makes me enjoy the world around me, not fear it. I have a lot to learn from Paige and she’s a willing teacher as well as a true and honest friend.

Yep, looking through our photos from the past year has really made me realize how wonderful 2011 has been. I not only have some of the best friends in the whole canine world, but I have a pretty incredible life that I get to share with special dogs and special clients.

I know that having this many photos made Gretchen’s computer crash this year, which unfortunately meant that we lost a few good shots, but the photographic record of our time together has not been tainted too much.

Who knows what’s in store for 2012? Maybe Gretchen will finally get an underwater camera and we can take photos at the beach or at the pool. Maybe I’ll find some new canine friends who’ll want me to walk them, play with them, and teach them all I’ve learned from my short time on this earth.

Who knows…the point is, it’s been quite a year and I thank each and everyone of you — blog reader, dog clients and their owners, and everyone in between — your friendship and support is what keeps me keeping on!

Merry Holidays and Happy New Year!




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