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I thought it was probably time for me to tell you a little bit about my family. I have two dog sisters, a human brother, and as you already know my mom and dad. Families can consist of various types of members. Most importantly they should love each other. Being respectful, caring about each other, and being kind are also important. Sometimes you don’t like what someone does but you still love them. My pesky little sister is an example of that but I will tell you more about her soon.

My brother, Eric, is all grown up and doesn’t live with us but comes to visit fairly often. He is very special to me!  Eric was the one who made it possible for my mom to go to New York when I was ready to be matched with a person and become their service dog. At the school where I was trained, they have Team Training. During this time they invite people to come and stay for two weeks. While attending TT each person gets matched with their new dog. Then they learn how to begin their journey of working together as a team. 

When my mom got the call with the invitation to attend TT it was at a time when none of her friends were available to go with her. She was thinking she would have to decline. But Eric willingly said he would bring my mom and help her for those two weeks. If it wasn’t for Eric I might not have ever met my mom. That is why I think he is extra special!  

When I first came home from Team Training with my mom there were two dogs, Onyx and Kippy, and a cat, Sherlock. Onyx was all black like me but she had long fur. She was a Flat-Coated Retriever which is a breed that is in the Sporting Group like the Labrador Retriever. Onyx knew how to do a few things to help my mom but was happy to let me do most all of those jobs! She was older when we first met and had been with my mom for quite a few years. She warmly welcomed me into the family and would even run and play with me. Last year her health quickly declined and she died which made us all sad, especially my mom.   

Sherlock was a Burmese cat and a very handsome guy! He mostly just ignored me but sometimes he would rub up against my legs and sleep on the bed next to me. I would watch him but I never chased him. An important part of my training when I was growing up had been to learn not to chase cats or other small animals. Earlier this year his health declined quickly and it was another sad loss when he was gone. He was 19 years old and had been with my mom and dad since he was a kitten. Sherlock had been part of the family for a very long time! He is missed greatly by all of us.  

Have you ever lost a pet or someone who was close to you? These were the first losses of this kind that I had experienced. It took some time for me to understand why they were no longer with us. And even more time for all of us to adjust to the emptiness that was felt when Onyx and Sherlock were gone. We each have our own special memories and will always cherish the time we were together. I’ve come to learn that it is hard to lose those whom we love.    

Kippy was the other dog who was part of our family when I first came home with my mom. She is a blue merle Australian Shepherd and is very pretty! She celebrated her twelfth birthday a couple months ago.  Kippy is a good big sister and will sometimes play with me when we are outside in the big yard. But she loves my dad most of all so she is happiest to be with him.  

Now I get to tell you about the newest member of our family. Roo is an Australian Shepherd like Kippy. Her coloring is also blue merle so she is very pretty, too!  My mom tells me I’m pretty but usually when people come to visit us they only comment on how pretty Kippy and Roo are. The patterning of colors in their fur is more striking than my plain black fur. 

Roo is seven months old so still very much a puppy… and a pest most of the time! She loves me and tries to get me to play with her many times throughout the day. This is sometimes okay but certainly not as often as she thinks is necessary! Being older and more mature along with having the special job of helping my mom I don’t always want to be playing with her. She is learning good manners and knows how to do lots of tricks but I think she still needs to learn how to not pester me to play quite so often!   

Although, secretly I have to say that I do kind of like her and we have fun together… especially when we get to run and play outside! We chase each other around the yard and play keep away with our toys. Our dad even throws the ball for us to chase! I run faster than Roo so I always get to the ball first. Every once in a while I’ll let her beat me so she feels like she is fast too. I am happy to report that she is slowly becoming a good little sister… and not quite as pesky!

A short video of me and my little sister playing!

 

Kippy, Sherlock, Onyx