A Retirement Party

I have been cooking and baking for a couple of days.  Yesterday was my Pet Sitters (Joan) retirement party at our house.  We had a celebration for an amazing woman; one who has taken care of my dogs for years.  She turned 80 this year at my house with Luke and Elsa to celebrate with.  When we left for our trip I left a bag full of chocolate for her to enjoy while I was gone for her Birthday.  She is one in a million.  Never in all the years that she has cared for my dogs, did I ever have a worry or concern when I am away.  I have been spoiled now for sure; having that type of care for your dogs is an amazing thing.  When you find someone that cares so much about your dogs, you want them to be available forever. 

Luke resting his head on Joan's lap.

                                            One hand opening gifts, the other on Luke.  Priceless. 

I'm sure that Luke and especially Elsa thought the party was for them.  Elsa was beyond excited; a house full of new throwers!!!!! She brought her ball to everyone and anyone who would throw.  Once it was put away she got another and then another until she'd run out of balls and started on her stuffed toys.  Luke made the rounds, he is so very social and loves having friends over.  

Joan has always described herself as "over the top," but over the top is what I want in a sitter.  I want someone to care for my dogs like their own, and more.  I do not want someone just popping in and checking that they are alive; I want compassion, love and real care given to my dogs.  Joan gave us this and more.  Joan sat for Jessie, Tilley and Luke and when that changed she welcomed Elsa to the family and cared for Luke and Elsa.  Most recently after Luke's bad fall; Joan cared for him while I had to be away.  I would have not gone if it were not for Joan.  She was there around the clock to care for my old man; it was all about Luke all weekend. 

So last night we celebrated a wonderful pet sitter, my pet sitter and the others who attended the party.  Joan LOVES chocolate so I made the party a chocolate theme.  We had pasta with chocolate, cocoa roasted brussell sprouts, chocolate dinner rolls, chocolate cheesecake and chocolate coconut cake.  We talked about all of our dogs and the years that Joan has cared for them.  She shared stories from over the years and her love and care for all of our dogs. 

When someone cares for your family like this; they are family themselves.  To the best pet sitter EVER; Joan, may you enjoy every moment of your retirement.  Of course petting and talking to as many dogs as you can.  We love you.