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The Brown Family Christmas gathering was held this Sunday, January 28, at Julie & Joe’s beautiful home in Little Falls, Minnesota.  Julie does an incredible job of hosting this event – food, beverages, family, fun, games and dog friendly.  About a week prior to the day I sent Julie a text asking what I should bring.  Her reply was quick and direct – the only thing you need to bring are the dogs, all of them.  I double checked with her on that and she again insisted.

About a half hour into the 3 hour road trip, Keltie was antsy as if asking ‘are we there yet’.  After the one hour mark, both Holly and Keltie settled in nicely and each sat and stared out their respective windows.   I’m not sure what Rainie & Helen were doing because they were far in the back out of sight for any rear view mirror monitoring.   We had one potty stop, (for dogs & people), in Deerwood then made our way to Little Falls.

It’s a special day for me to see my family all in one setting.  As with so many other families, our lives are busy and the geographical distance is enough that frequent visits are difficult to plan and execute.   Julie & Joe’s spacious home within the large country setting is a perfect setting for us to gather, and an even more perfect location for dogs!    I was glad to see Julie come out of the house shortly after I parked the car in the yard.  Kaisa, her german shepherd, is a big boy and I wanted him to hear directly from Julie that everyone in my car was family and friendly!  We let the dogs out and of course Kaisa is interested in Holly right away – and Holly drops to the ground.  Her typical ‘stop and drop’ response to intimidating looking dogs.  Distractions were high, and Kaisa moved on to Rainie & Keltie with all greetings going fine.  Enter Mia, Ace, Kooper and Brandy!

It was entertaining to watch the dogs play so freely and joyfully.  We had a dog Mia and a niece Maia, which had niece Maia more confused than dog Mia.  She was hearing her name called far more often usual!  Maia was also the ball thrower, frisbee tosse and soccer ball kicker.  She was in the center of the dog fun and kept them coming and going in a pattern that kept them all feeling engaged.  Maia had help!  Lana, Julie, DeeAnn, Mary and myself were all involved in the dog games and having just as much fun as dogs and kids.

In attendance was:


Kooper, Lana

Rainie & Keltie, DeeAnn

Holly & Helen, Robin

Kaisa, Julie & Joe

Mia & Ace, Mitchell & Caylee

Brandy, Deanie

Daisy, Jason & Jenna & Justin


The people at the party had a good time too, with far less running and chasing of balls & frisbees!