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My golden retriever, Boden, passed away 5 years ago at the age of 13.  His last summer included significant time with Dar, whom he absolutely adored.  I’ll never forget the long good-bye those two had when Dar left to return to Arizona.   Shortly after Bo died, I received a sympathy card in the mail from Dar with a $100 bill and a note stating the money is for a tree in Boden’s name.  It has taken awhile, but the tree has been planted!  Holly was at the gate to greet the Grussendorg Nursery staff and helped him pull some of the former tree roots out of the ground.  Holly was so efficient at her job that he asked Holly what her hourly rate was!   Holly has been very respectful of the new tree and the wood chips surrounding, though there is some garden fence around it to help deter her curiousity.

,Once again it’s been a busy week for Holly, Helen & I.   Karen brought her foster dog, Roy, over for a playdate.  She and I visit while Helen sits safely nearby and Holly & Roy wrestle, chase and do body slams.   They play hard causing a periodic ‘yip’ but after a momentary pause they are back at it in full force.  After a Roy playdate, Holly takes a long nap and takes a long slow stretch after waking up.

I had asked Marcia, the pet rehab specialist, to come by and give both dogs an introductory massage.  Marcia did extensive work on both my other golden’s, Baillee and Boden, in the past.  I have missed visiting with her and wanted to give both Holly & Helen a baseline massage so they are accepting of it when a true therapeutic massage is needed.  I know Holly’s roughhousing will lead to some sort of rehab work; and Helen, being 10, is likely to be in need as well.  It didn’t take Helen long to melt into the carpet and let Marcia do her magic.  Holly was a tougher sell but after a few minutes she was resting calmly and looking at me with wide eyes.  I read it as a positive sign saying – oh my God, this feels awesome!

The other big event is that the kids are back!  Neighbor Diane, John and Donna have all their grandkids around for a few days, much to Holly’s delight.  Ivy was over to visit and play with Holly & Helen.  She was having a funtime working with Holly on building a snowman with her soccer balls.  As the stack of balls would slip and roll away, Holly would scramble to collect them and get them back within her reach for another attempt.  It was a great challenge for Ivy and great fun for Holly.  It also led to a large amount of slobber on the soccer balls resulting in a ball drying process before further handling, which of course led to Holly stealing the towel so Ivy can chase her for it.  The fun and games have a continous flow to them, no umpires required.

The neighbor’s whole family left for their cabin leaving behind a blue Holly.  She lays with her ball and stares at their back porch trying to will the kids to come outside.  She’s even rolled the ball under the fence into their yard, then looks to their porch, seemingly thinking that will surely make them come out of the house.  Shortly after they had loaded up in the car and left, I got a text from Diane.  Ivy had told her coming to grandma’s house was her favorite place to visit in the whole wide world!  Then she qualified by saying – because of Holly, Helen and Robin.  The fun and games just scored a whole lot of points!