Caleb has gladly returned to his therapy work. We went to St. David's Rehab Center on December 20 and Christmas Eve, and he was so happy it seemed his feet were barely touching the ground. True the patients were happy to see him, but the staff response was especially nice. The staff become attached to some of the therapy dogs, and it was clear that they had missed Caleb during his year off. This past Sunday, we went to the Austin State Hospital Acute Unit. What a treat to behold. Caleb was thrilled to be back, and he reclined in the grassy lawn area while the patients came up to talk and pet him. It was a wonderful experience and reminded me why this work is so meaningful. One of the patients asked me if she could purchase Caleb from me. Trying to be gentle, I said he was family and asked her if she would sell a member of her family. She quickly responded "yes!" I had to backtrack a bit and explain to her that Caleb and I are family and meant to be together. While she understood, she made it clear she was going to ask again. I assured her the answer would be the same, but it's always fine to ask. As soon as the schedule is finalized, we will begin visiting a private school in Austin that serves students with dyslexia. Caleb loves it when students read to him, therefore, I've a positive feeling about this new-to-us site.
Iris continues to run the household as if there is much to do. It is comical to watch her direct Caleb (138 pounds) and Micah (50 pounds). She is clearly the queen of the pack. Over the holidays, she snapped at 2 of my grandsons. True, they caught her off guard and, as trainers would say, invaded her space. However, as everyone knows, my grandsons are at the top of my list. I will work with them to teach them about dog behaviors but until that is solid information for them, she will be in another room when they visit. I'm sure the boys will pick up quickly--after all, I think that they understand dogs need their space just as humans need theirs. Logan spent numerous hours in my red chair reading to Iris and watching television with her. I can imagine how happy he will be to do that again.
Jenny and I met for breakfast on Sunday. It was terrific to have time to catch up now that she is back in school after the holiday break. She loves her work and it shows. And that smile of hers seems that it should be declared an alternative source of energy! Combining her company with Julio's food made it a very special day.
A dear friend of mine has been living in Australia for the last couple of years. It is with an open heart that I welcome her back to Austin. Caleb was so happy to see her last week. I can't remember the last time I saw him wiggle that much! Thank you, Jyl! We're glad to have you close again.
I was fortunate to have lunch today with a special friend. It is always so grounding to spend time with someone who understands life's stages and what it's like to have your children become adults. The fact that we share passionate love for working with dogs makes it even better. Susan, you made everything better!
I'm beginning to look for spring. The larkspur and poppies are beginning to pop through already. I'll post photos if they turn out anything like they did last year. I also have plans to rebuild/redesign my front entry walkway. At least I know I'll get plenty of exercise! It is an absolute joy to have my health back, and I'm ever grateful.
I hope all is well in your world. Thanks for checking in. Be well.
If you live the questions, life will move you into the answers.