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August 16th was the 7 year death anniversary of Ethel Brown aka Mom and Grandma!  The tributes were being shared via text and phone calls throughout the day. Special tribute was held with DeeAnn & Lana at The Bulldog for supper.  I had one of Mom’s favorites, fish-n-chips.  Later, Holly & I stopped at the DQ and had what Mom is famous for sharing with all my dogs – a medium size cone.  Holly loved the tradition and the tribute.

It’s been a busy week in the house.  My bathroom remodeling project is in full gear.  Holly is getting accustomed to having the guys arrive at the house each morning.  If she manages to sneak up the stairs it usually ends with her coming down with either one of their rags, a putty knife or knee pads.  She does her proud trot around the living room knowing she has pulled off a hoist with us having to chase her down and/or coax her to give it back.

I’ve been getting Holly out for trail hikes more often, this week to Bagley Nature Center near UMD.  She is getting better about walking with a loose leash and holding back on steep hills, both going down and up.  I learned I have to stay aware and watch ahead for squirrels, chipmunks or other moving creatures and brace myself upon siting.  If she spots them, she does charge.  A work in progress. She is on constant alert and intake mode – sniffing, smelling and watching.  When we return home after a trail hike, she stretches out for a long sound nap.  Our trail hikes and walkway hikes are about the same length of time, 45 minutes to an hour.  But it seems there is something about trail hikes that exhausts her more. I think I can say the same for myself – the hills, the attentiveness and perhaps just the beauty of being on those trails.

Holly continues with dog training classes on Tuesday nights.  She is doing fairly well.  The excitability of meeting and greeting other dogs and people remains a challenge but once she is ‘working’ in the ring, she stays fairly well focussed.  This too results in both of us returning home exhausted!

Today she went inside Home Depot with me.  She is learning and displaying better restraint most of the time, there are some people though that trigger the manic movements and wild wiggles and wags just with a look and a smile.   One couple was so excited to pet her and were not phased by her inappropriate hyper-greeting antics.  Instead the guy pulled out his phone and pulled up pictures of their golden retriever puppy.  It was amazing how similar the two dogs looked.  I found myself wondering if I had stumbled across another one of Holly’s siblings but their puppy came from New York.  They were looking for another golden and asked about Holly’s birthplace.  I proudly told them about Pride of North Golden Retrievers being not more than a half hour from my home, mentioning how wonderful the breeder is and how thorough and tender the first 8 weeks of her puppies lives are managed.  They took down the name.  Tammy, if you are still following the blog, I hope they contact you!  They seem like fine golden people!