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Today is National Golden Retriever Day and what a perfect day to introduce – Holly Darlene Brown!

Holly Darlene Brown is a Golden Retriever, born on December 1, 2021.  Her first 8 weeks of life were under the loving and knowledgeable care of Pride Of The North Golden Retrievers.  On January 26, 2022, she left her 9 littermates behind and had the start of new beginnings!  She had her first car ride in Ruby (my red car) on that bitter cold day, DeeAnn driving and myself in the backseat holding this 7 pound puppy wrapped in an oversized buffalo plaid dog jacket. 

I’m not sure who’s life changed more at that moment, Holly’s or mine.

The Name – Holly

Those of you blessed with the responsibility of naming another living soul likely will understand the struggle I went through in deciding on a name.   I could have spared myself about 6 months of reading cemetery headstones, perusing road maps and doing Google searches.   I landed on the name Holly during the Christmas season.  Holly is the birth flower of December, the month of which she was born, and her reddish gold tint lends itself nicely to that of a holly berry.  Per Google, the primary flower meaning of holly is domestic happiness.  Need I say more!  Her middle name was destined to be Darlene, in memory of my sister (Dar) who passed away a year ago this month.   Dar was a dog lover and had a way of establishing special relationships and spoiling all dogs she met, especially mine.  She also did a good job at spoiling me. Dar’s childhood nickname was Dolly and I could not resist combining domestic happiness with a lasting legacy and have a puppy I could call ‘Holly Dolly’ – whether it be during moments of play or panic.  Holly seems to have a good sense of humor because so far she has been tickled pink to have a rhyming name that is said, sung or shouted.

The Blog – Holly Hour

My previous golden retriever puppy came home in 2008.  A little boy, who I named Boden.  My boy Bo and I had 11 golden years yet I find myself with memory gaps about his puppy and adolescent years. His geriatric years consume my memories and I wish I had more to support his formative years. 

Fast forward to 2021, a year in which I spent a considerable amount of time in Arizona as a caregiver to my sister, Dar.  To assist in keeping family and friends informed of Dar’s events and happenings, I started a Caring Bridge site, an online journal for family and friends to access.   This site served as an excellent communication tool during the time of Dar’s care, and now serves as an excellent historical journal documenting the peaks and valleys of her journey and my time there with her.

The idea came to me that I could use a similar structure to permanently capture memories of Holly’s upbringing while keeping family & friends informed of her development.  Thus the blog, Holly Hour!  Holly Hour is intended as a communication tool for interested parties to keep tabs on Holly’s fascinations and facets in life.  Holly Hour is also intended to serve as my archived account of the Holly’s life and for me to read years from now when I know I will look back and wonder how things happened.   I want to thank my friend, Karen, for sharing her time and knowledge in getting this blog up and running.   It was important to me to get this started correctly right from the start, and Karen was the perfect person to do just that!  She was rewarded in puppy breath smells.

That said, for those choosing to check in and read about Holly – I hope you enjoy the postings, if even just for the pictures!  Holly and I have had one short, fast week together and in that time she has taught me to be fully mindful of the sweet smell of puppy breath, to genuinely feel the softness of a puppy’s coat, to trust my courage to approach new experiences every day and to embrace the ‘domestic happiness’ of each moment, even when the moment is for one nanosecond.

Happy Trails!