2 visits at school with Timber (we had to participate in a fire drill! Timber did very well filing out with the children and all the excitement - none the less the piercing bell and how her ears heard that pitch!) 1 hospital visit. 1 visit with each dog at the living center. I had to cancel our monthly reading at the village library PLUS school group reading to Rissa and a pet therapy visit at the living center due to me having the nasty GI flu! UGH!! Yes, the reason I got to write about the past year all on today, 12/20, has to do with recovering and not really feeling like doing much else. This really took the wind out of my sails and kaboshed my last minute holiday shopping.... Previous to this week - 3 special(this week was SPECIAL in it's own way) events occurred this month... #1 Timber got spayed... has recovered nicely, quickly and is quite pleased that I am throwing her hunting bumpers for her retrieve again... that 5-7 days of leash walking, no jumping etc.... drove her crazy (and me too!) #2 - Rissa and I went to a school book fair with another READ team (Pier and Grace) to represent Reader Dog Downeast. Prior to having the children read to the dogs, Pier and I ate at the 6th grade spaghetti dinner in the cafeteria. What a blast from the past for each of us - eating on hard plastic segmented lunch trays... we both agreed that the food was excellent... and better than the last meal we had in grade school on those trays! Post our delicious meal - we had several enthusiastic children read to us/dogs - all got paw print stamps and stickers! #3 - Rissa was a "reindog" at our annual employee holiday fair. She posed with Santa for pictures. We hoped that she would help if any child was afraid of the jolly man in the red coat.... Unfortunately - that day was our first blizzard of the season and the Santa pictures were quite slow.... Rissa had a wonderful time regardless. She hung out greeting any and all in the hospital lobby.... Her temperament amazes me... She is such an "easy" dog to have and take anywhere. She did have her picture in the local paper with Santa and his helpers! We had to miss a holiday parade and marching with the Dog Scouts - I have to work sometime!! Happy Holidays!