Closing Out 2017

It’s the day after Christmas, 2017. I haven’t updated this blog in months. Not because A.J. didn’t do anything noteworthy – he’s still a constant source of entertainment for everyone who sees him. Instead it’s because I spend my days at work writing, and when I get home I don’t often have the energy to write more, even about something that is so much fun. But as the year comes to a close, here’s a short recap of some of the things I don’t want to lose track of:

The last blog entry was just before the 4th of July, so we’ll start there. I’ll write the full story later, but for now I can say that we survived the battle zone known as Portland a little better this year than last. Last year we weren’t at all prepared for how awful it is here – fireworks and bombs going off for weeks, driving A.J. completely crazy. This year with the help of a thunder shirt and some medication, he managed much better.

A.J. in his Thunder Shirt.

I’ve been very proud of my little guy this year. He’s had to be incredibly adaptable as our lives changed around him. For his first three years with us I was home with him almost constantly. Then last year I went back to work and moved us to a new home. But that year Greg stayed home with him and took him for long walks every day. This year was all new again.

In February Greg started a new job. We found a daycare for A.J. where Greg could drop him off on his way to work. A.J. adapted to this new routine and the new daycare well. He was always happy to go in when Greg dropped him off. Then in August Greg’s company had some layoffs, and the new guy had to go. A.J. was back to having someone at home with him all day.

Then we went on vacation for a week. Someone at the dog park told us about a place outside of town that sounded perfect for A.J. They have a lot of property, fully fenced, so the dogs can run around and play. There’s also a large covered area and an indoor play area. They have a bus that comes into town twice a week to pick up and drop off dogs, so we don’t have to make the hour-long drive to take him there.

The school bus ready to take him to camp!

So, off A.J. went for a week at a new boarding facility. He had a blast! When we picked him up the kennel owner laughingly said “You forgot to check the ‘My dog is crazy’ box.” He told me A.J. was so much fun to have there. He also introduced me to A.J.’s new girlfriend, a pretty little brown springer. Apparently the two of them had a wonderful week running around and being crazy together.

In the meantime, Greg had found a new job. Two days after coming back from the new kennel, A.J. went for his first day at a new daycare. As usual, they loved him there, and he’s been a regular ever since. I drop him off in the mornings, and he can’t wait to go in and see the other dogs. They have a webcam, so I can watch him from work sometimes.

So, two new daycare centers and a new boarding facility – it’s been a lot of change for one little dog. But he’s so smart and adaptable, and so sociable, it hasn’t been a problem at all. He’s still my happy boy.

In the meantime we still take him to the park regularly to run off leash. He’s a constant source of entertainment to many, many people there. He tracks and chases squirrels, going non-stop the entire time, his stumpy little tail always going a mile a minute.

We stop by the coffee shops on our weekend walks, where A.J. gets too big a share of our scones and donuts. Throughout the summer and fall he walked to restaurants with us and we all sat outside and ate. A.J. is always a quiet and polite little boy, and happy for all the attention he receives from so many people who walk by.

Waiting for Greg to come back with donuts.

This year ends with another trip to the fun boarding facility. He also had a wonderful white Christmas as his grandma’s house. We’ll talk about that later this week. I don’t make new year’s resolutions, but I am going to try to be better about adding entries to this blog, because I don’t want to lose track of all the fun things this amazing boy does, and all the happiness he brings to so many people.

My happy boy.