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First, I wish each of you a very Happy New Year, with wishes for good things to come. In doing so, this leads nicely to reflecting on this past year. Highlighting the good and not-so-good things this past year brought.

For my mom, it has been a year filled with health challenges. There have been more “bumps in the road” to climb over than she would have liked. But these issues are mostly resolved, for which she is very grateful.

Throughout these challenges, I was there to help my mom. And provide the needed help that kept her as independent as possible. As you know, I love my job, so doing extra things for my mom makes me happy! 

Visiting the Lego store in New York City!

You may remember that we went to New York City in June. As spectators, we attended a dart event at Madison Square Garden. But we also did a few NYC touristy things and had fabulous meals at local restaurants. 

My mom said I was an amazing city dog! Although she is grateful that we live in a quieter environment. And don’t have to navigate the busy city streets regularly. But she knows we would adapt if it were ever necessary. 

A fun birthday photo of Buffy from a few years ago!

There were a variety of celebrations throughout the year, with the biggest and most significant being Buffy’s birthday. In October, we celebrated her 13th birthday! She continues to do well. Her favorite part still is the extra treats she gets for watching me do all of the work!

My mom continued training Tetra. Teaching her lots of new tricks and getting more solid foundations in place for her future work in obedience and rally. I love my job but not so much the competition events. So, it is working perfectly for my mom to have Tetra as her competitive training partner.

Even though she can be a pest sometimes, I love my little sister, Tetra!

Although I do enjoy supervising them as they train. And demo some things for Tetra to see how they should be done. This year ( with my supervision!) Tetra earned her Virtual Home Manners Puppy title, her Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, and Performer Trick Dog titles, and her Fit Dog Bronze and Silver titles. I’m excited to see what they do in the coming year! My mom has a few plans for me, too!

Blogging has looked very different for me this year. After missing a few weeks, I gave you a quick update a year ago. And then, I missed several months while I was busy caring for my mom.

Since I was missing all of you, I decided to do monthly updates while I continued caring for my mom. This lets me keep in touch without investing too much time. Although I continued to miss the connection.

For now, I will stay with the monthly updates. But I may make some changes as we go along. One of the things I’ve most enjoyed when writing my posts is sharing the educational component of service dogs and the many ways I help my mom. So, at some point, I would like to do more of these types of posts again.

A special surprise gift sent from a friend to my mom!

December was filled with the hustle and bustle of getting ready for Christmas. But interrupted for a bit by a huge storm that did extensive damage throughout the state.  We lost power for a few days, which is unusual for us. After 24 hours, it became concerning because my mom needed to get batteries charged to run her vent. Or else she would need to go to the hospital. But the generosity of a friend who loaned us a generator kept her home! My brother, Eric, was home for Christmas which made it extra special!

Overall, it has been a good year. Some ups and downs, but always cherished time together with my mom and family. As we look forward to the New Year, I wish you much happiness, good health, and many blessings. Live life to the fullest and look for the beauty in each day!