Another year

Just dogs with Sherri

It is almost unbelievable to me that another year has come and gone, almost.  We had a pretty crazy year and I am looking forward to the next.  Our year started out a sad one; we lost our old girl Tilley on January 8th, she was almost 15 years old.  This came only three weeks after losing our even older girl Jessie at almost 16 years of age.  Both were sudden and tragic in our family as we felt an immense loss.  It was a tough time but we got through it with the help of our amazing boy Luke and wonderfully charming Elsa.  Elsa has been a ray of sunshine that has put a spring in Luke’s step and kept him young at heart.

The start of the year saw us in a new State; with a move from West to East.  January was the worst month with a face full of poison ivy that I had to deal with along with a move, a loss and everything else.  As my face slowly cleared by the end of January I was out enjoying the best of the area while trying not to scare anyone with what poison ivy was left on my face.  Luke, Elsa and I hit the local beach nearly every day and enjoyed the North East weather.  We explored the area, found some great parks and walked down town Greenwich many days.

They discovered what squirrels were; having not seen tree squirrels here in SoCal.  They were taunted regularly by the huge community of squirrels that lived on the property.  Elsa learned about deer, something she probably won’t see too much of here.  Both her and Luke saw and heard turkeys on a regular basis and also dealt with the very negative part of Connecticut, ticks.   Luckily the one tick that did find it’s way into Luke was not carrying the horrible Lyme disease. 

As March rolled around my face was clear and it was very clear that we were headed back West.  Another road trip across the country was made; but with only two dogs this time.  It was a much more upbeat trip and quite enjoyable; even though I’d just made the reverse trip only months before.  No more road trips for a while for me; I’m tripped out.
We were home again and it wasn’t long until my daughter who had moved to CO the previous year as well also moved back to SoCal.  Things were falling into place.  It was nice to be together again.  The only one missing was my son Brad who had driven with me on the first road trip.  He stayed behind to enjoy NYC for a while.   But in May everyone was home for a big “we are so happy to be home” party.  Our good friends joined us to celebrate just being home.
I got to writing big time; completing and publishing PBJ and me.  PBJ and me is the story which details my son Brad and my trip across the country with our four dogs.   There are some very sad parts of the book but it is a pretty good read and a true and crazy story.  I am working on book two which is titled And Back Again; it is the continuation of the story from living in the East and returning home to the West and yes the second road trip.  It will be out in several months.

Next came When Luke Met Elsa; a children’s book.  I had never considered writing a children’s but after watching and photographing Luke and Elsa’s relationship grow and flourish it became apparent that there was a story there, a very cute one.  So I wrote and published When Luke Met Elsa next.  There will be many more children books to come about Luke and Elsa as a team and on their own.   They will be written as their life unfolds before me. 

The final book to be published in 2012 for me was most definitely a labor of love.  A compilation of beautiful Standard Poodle photos taken over 3.5 years, finally put together and published.  I am very happy and proud with the final result and believe that it is a definite must have for anyone who lives with or loves The Standard Poodle. 

The summer and fall were filled with photographing, writing and training.  Elsa had a big transition to work through having moved back and we were out and about socializing most of the time.  Lots of training was done and I am so proud of the young lady she has become.  The relationship between Luke and Elsa has only gotten stronger and seeing them together makes me smile most days.    Along with Elsa blossoming into an amazing girl; Luke has put another year on.  He is slowing down and the aging process is creeping up on him.  Having never had a great deal of muscle he is definitely suffering from muscle loss as he ages.  He is now nearing 12.5 and sleeping a great deal more.  But he looks great for a guy his age although finds it tougher to get up in the morning.  As they say, “that’s life”.  We’re all going the same way right?

August 14th Elsa was spayed, two days before Luke's 12th birthday.  It was a big decision as far as when to get it done, not if.  As much as I think that Elsa is one of the best dogs in the world; I do not want to breed dogs.  I would have a very hard time handing puppies over to anyone so I leave the job to the people who do such a great job of it like Elsa's breeder.  Elsa was very sore for the first couple of days but before we knew it she was back to her old self and I am very happy that it is done with.  We let her have one heat before spaying her which is best for a female.  

Just days before Halloween, Brad came home.  He enjoyed NYC immensely and has nothing but great memories.  A complete circled closed and I was happy to see the completion.  My husband had left for the East a year earlier and now we were all back in CA again, together.  So with all the craziness behind us it was time to forge ahead.   We all got settled in and back to life as normal and it was time to prepare for Christmas, our families favorite time of the year. 

As I sit writing this last blog of 2012, there is much to be happy about.   I stop for a moment to look around the room.  Elsa and Luke are snuggled up on the couch with my Christmas tree casting a beautiful light on them.  The only sound in the room other than my typing is from the hard rain coming down and the crackle from the log on the fire.  Things are pretty great right now.    For a writer, this is a good place.  

I am most definitely looking forward to the next year.  I enjoy every aspect of my work from training, photographing and writing about dogs.  I love my daily blogs and sharing everything canine with you.  My Facebook groups have grown greatly this last year and I love meeting all the new members and their dogs.  Many have become very good friends who I look forward to talking to regularly.   That will hopefully continue and grow.

So what’s on the horizon for Just dogs with Sherri?  Lots.   Training, shooting and writing with lots of books in the works already.  I hope that 2013 will be a good one, for us and for or all of you and your families. This is the last blog of the year, so have a wonderful New Year’s Eve, one that brings you into an amazing New Year.    Enjoy your family, both two legged and four.  I look forward to another year of canines shared with you.  

I will see you all January 2nd 2013.