I've been thinking over the past year, ever since I changed careers and came to live with Grandma.
I came to Northern California just a tad over twelve months ago on January 24, 2010. My special CCI veterinarian, Dr. Brad Steele, and his family brought me up from Oceanside. I thought my life was going to be a piece of cake... or should I say large dog biscuit? I didn't know this lovely lady was going to tell me, "Kelda, you are going to follow in Uncle Trevin's footsteps!" (He has big footsteps.)
After we waited the required time period, Grandma took me for evaluations and temperament tests with three therapy dog agencies - she couldn't be content for me to be certified with just one! That's the reason I have three different vest and Gentle Leader combinations. The fine print in this deal is, of course... I have lots of different costumes, too!
What fun it has been, though, visiting disabled children! It's so great that I haven't (well, almost haven't) cared that I've had to look like a pumpkin - or an elf. I represented Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation at the ball park. I even marched up the aisle at a fancy theater and stood in front of the stage where Mr. La Russa was making a presentation to the big audience of donors and supporters. (Later he told Grandma, "What a beautiful girl Kelda is." Yesss!) Rumor has it that I'll be a greeter at Mr. La Russa's Celebrity Golf Tournament in April - it's called "Celebrities Fore ARF!" (So if you live in Northern California, come see me.) I'll get to meet some VIP athletes, among other special people. I don't think I'll be playing golf, but Grandma will be a "hole in one" spotter when the players are trying to land it in one and win a new car!
I love Paws to Read - times three! (That's three different libraries.) I've never read so many books in my life - I should say, I've never had so many books read to me! Here's a secret: not all the books are really interesting (the ones with MEE-YOWs are good). But Grandma has a stash of small cookies in her pocket and rattles the bag from time to time. That keeps my interest piqued! I look as if I'm totally engrossed in the book, but sometimes I'm really more interested in whether a doggy treat will fall out of the bag. Shhhh - don't tell!
I like being co-coordinator (with Grandma) of the visits to Camp Arroyo, the special camp for disabled children. Most of the kids are great! They may have unique disabilities, but they have good taste in four-legged friends. They enjoy my visits... and the visits of the other therapy teams, of course. One of the children liked blowing in my face, but I remembered my manners! (Just as I did at the George Mark Children's House at Christmastime, when a little boy stuck his finger in my eye. I didn't even flinch. I got extra praise and a treat out of that adventure.)
Did I mention that we've entertained a lot of guests in the past twelve months? Oh, I bet you've noticed that in the blog. I love to have people come to the house to see me. And I've been entertained, too - for instance, at the annual CCI Pool Party for graduate dogs in the South Bay area. I'm, um, not a swimmer, so the ladies pushed me around the pool on a raft. I felt like royalty! But Grandma tells me that this year I'll have to learn to swim just like the commoners.
I haven't forgotten my old friends and family. One day last spring the doorbell rang, and guess who it was? My PR dad! And he said, "Hello, Big Ugly!" as he always did when I was growing up in Colorado. It was my birthday, so we sat outside while I had a special doggy cake Grandma got just for me. Dad even wore a birthday hat. Then he went to class with me and put me through my paces. That was my revenge - I made him work!
Grandma and I watch a lot of sports on her big-screen TV. My favorite sports are the same as they ever were: the stick carry and the frisbee catch. Last year, when the wind filled the yard with branches, I was the gardener's assistant. Row-oooo! Today we'll be entertaining friends for the Super Bowl. You might read more about that next time.
Meanwhile, I'll continue to be nice to my kitties (I'm sure glad I had MEE-YOWs to grow up with so I knew how to be nice to Mocha and Muffin). And I'll mind Grandma, and grin-and-bear-it with all my activities. Actually, no dog could have a better life than I do!
Thank you, PR Mom, for choosing Grandma's house as my forever home! Happy Anniversary to ME!