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Holly suprised me on Valentine’s Day with a sweet card in an envelope filled with tiny small paper hearts, unknownst to me until they exploded out of the card!  Apparently Holly had help from the neighbors, Donna & Diane, in getting the card signed, sealed and delivered.  Holly, Helen, myself and even Gracie had some fun after opening the exploding card.  And Donna & Diane got a kick out of the thank you picture sent back in return.  Valentine’s Day is one of those days that has people of all ages engaging in moments of sharing and caring.

DeeAnn, Georgette and I were treated to a visit with Susie (Tessie’s sister) and her husband, Dave.  They were in town for a medical appointment and shared time with us for a mid afternoon lunch at the Crooked Pint.   Still less than one year out from Tessie’s passing, we all find comfort in spending time together for conversation and reflection.  Every visit with Susie we see the likeness between her and Tess, whether mannerisms, expressions or inflictions – it warms our heart.   After lunch, Susie held a squirming, whimpering and tail wagging Helen in the parking lot.  It’s apparent that Helen recognizes Susie and embraces all the commonalities between her and Tess also.

Susie & Dave’s great niece (who lives in Michigan) had mailed them a colored cut-out named Stanley.  They were asked to take Stanley with them wherever they went capturing pictures of Stanley in various locations.  It was a school assignment from a very creative elementary teacher doing a geography lesson.  They were on their way to Canal Park for a picture of Stanley by the Lift Bridge in Duluth.  As a bonus, Susie is including a picture of Stanley with all the dogs!  It was a tough picture to get because the dogs were very interested in Stanley and wanted to get an up close and tasteful look of him.

Monday afternoon was another Rally class for Holly & I.  Another class, another story.  At the beginning of class, handlers are encouraged to walk the course to get familiar with each station, without dogs.  Dogs are either commanded to ‘sit/stay’ on the side or tied to the bench (for those that may choose to wander out of their sit/stay command).  Holly gets tied to the bench.   As I’m at midfloor studying the Rally cue cards I hear a crash, the first thought through my mind is ‘Holly’.   My thoughts are confirmed by looking over to see a large wooden bench (church pew size) tipped over, still tied to a wide-eyed scrambling Holly.   With help from others Holly was held steady giving me opportunity to untie the leather leash from the bench.  As I’m doing so I feel this soft nose at my cheek with a few licks on my face, the sincerest apology I have ever received.  It took three of us to right size the bench and get it placed back in line with the others.   The bench didn’t handle the drag and crash well, one leg had cracked down the middle.  I sat on it for duration of class, mainly so I could warn any others from doing so.  After class I confessed to the instructor the bench was broken and offered DeeAnn and my services to repair it.  With a grin, she said “I’ll let you know”.   DeeAnn & Keltie have dog school on Thursday nights, I suspect the topic will come up.

Holly and I have four more Rally classes.  Perseverence.