Rogue Swims!

Today was a beautiful day, so we packed the gang into the orlando and headed off to Clear Lake.

Rogue hasn’t been much of a swimmer, choosing to bounce around on the shore while the others retrieved a toy or stick we threw for them.

Two weekends ago, we went to Woofstock in Toronto and bought three life jackets. Today we put one of the life jackets onto Rogue and hoped it might give her a little more confidence – it worked!

She didn’t swim as much as the others, but she swam nonetheless.

Aspen’s Birthday Ice Cream

Just in case others might be interested in making the ice cream Aspen got for her birthday, here’s the recipe along with some pictures from her special day.

Ingredients:
3-4 cups of vanilla yogurt
1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries
3/4 of a cup of peanut butter
1 twigs worth of fresh mint (optional)

Directions:
We mixed the yogurt, blueberries and mint in a large bowl. Then we used a ladle to spoon the mixture into containers. We then swirled the peanut butter into each container (for a cool effect) and then placed each container into the freezer until completely frozen.

Aspen and the others absolutely loved their frozen treat. Even Cessna licked hers up until it was gone (she’s a picky lab so this is a good sign).

Guess What?

Guess what?

Today is Aspen’s birthday!

Guess what?

Today, Aspen is 9 years old!

Guess what?

For her birthday, Aspen is getting some special, homemade doggie ice cream.

Aspen is not really into toys, and it is raining today, so instead of swimming, we are doing the second best thing, making food – Aspen loves food!

I can’t believe that almost 9 years ago we picked out our fluffy little golden retriever puppy.

I was about to begin my final year at the University of Guelph, and Huib was just about to start his masters in Agricultural Economics.

Aspen was 7weeks old and just over 6 or 7 pounds when we picked her up from her breeder in Hanover. She was from a litter of nine puppies, but only eight survived because one of her brothers was too large and got stuck. When we picked her up, I had not yet decided upon which of two girls I really wanted, so let Huib make the final decision.

When we arrived, Huib put his camera and a little red bandana, we’d made for our new puppy, on the ground beside him and just watched the two girls as their breeder released them. As soon as the girls were set down, one ran directly into the garden and the other darted towards Huib, grabbed the little bandana, and took off running while shaking it from side to side – he knew this was our puppy.

Since that moment, Aspen and Huib have had a bond that I could only wish to have with her. She follows him closely, listens to him perfectly, and gives me a dirty look anytime I get in the way.

Aspen might not be as talented or motivated as the others, but she has made a contribution to our lives that only she could.

She makes us smile daily.

She makes us laugh non-stop.

And, no matter what happens in our lives, Aspen is always there waiting to make it all better with a kiss on the hand, and a cuddle.

Happy 9th Birthday My Little Golden Princess.

Please don’t ever stop being you.

On The Road Again

This past weekend we took the dogs south. I had to see the doctor for some medication refills and to touch base on what the neurologist had suggested for migraine relief, so we also made a vet appointment and planned to visit friends in Toronto.

the vet visit went well. Everyone was checked over thoroughly and then had blood withdrawn for Heartworm and tick borne disease testing. Dr B gave the labs their rabies vaccine and then prepared homeopathic remedies for both of the goldens. Aspen’s remedy is supposed to help her with anxiety and possible pain, since Dr B feels she needs some chiropractic adjustment. Back in the spring last year, Canyon ran full speed into Aspen, sending her flying, so now she seems to be out of alignment and Dr B would like us to take her for adjustments the next time we are in the area. I honestly never thought I’d be taking my dog to a chiropractor but I also couldn’t imagine ignoring Aspen’s possible discomfort.

After the vet appointment, we drove to Ren’s to see our friend Kelly and do a little shopping. We often stay with Kelly during our visits south, but she is currently fostering a dog from Aussie Rescue that is not too dog friendly, so visiting her at home wasn’t really an option. At Ren’s we chatted briefly with Kelly and bought Canyon a new toy – it’s like a cuz, but is all holey and has a water bottle crunched up inside it – as well as some blueberry treats and some kitty Greenies.

We then set off for Toronto and stayed with Taz and Caleb for the weekend.

On Saturday we drove to Newmarket to buy some new running shoes for Huib and then to Aurora to plant some flowers at my Mom’s grave. A few years ago, Huib and I created a little garden in front of her gravestone and try to plant flowers each summer. After we were done, we set off for Etobicoke and took Phoenix’s foster family for dinner at Swiss Chalet. Ray and Alice are doing well. Alice no longer needs a wheelchair and just uses her walker to get around. It’s so amazing to see the progress she has made since her stroke three years ago.

sunday was Woofstock. We drove the Orlando downtown and then parked it in the Metro’s underground parking lot. We thought we’d park there so that the dogs could have a safe place to rest if they became too overheated or tired.

Look who else came…

It’s Rogue’s sister Ruby!

Ruby is a little bigger than Rogue and has slightly longer and darker fur. She is absolutely adorable though, just like her sister. I can’t wait to have the girls meet in a less chaotic environment though because similar to Rogue (at times) Ruby was a bit timid and subdued, so it will be neat to see her in her own environment.

Woofstock was great, there were tons of different vendors and organizations to see. We got various treats and bought life jackets for the girls and winter coats for the labs. the life jackets are red with black and the winter coats are purple and bluish purple. I really wanted to get them each a cooling coat (it feels like a shammy and you cover it in water to keep the dogs cool) but they were over a hundred dollars, so we will need to wait on that.

Time to cool off…

By the end of our trip, the dogs were completely exhausted! they all piled into the Orlando and we didn’t hear from them until we arrived in Huntsville a few hours later.

Drafting Workshop

As mentioned in an earlier post, we have signed up for a Drafting Workshop with Canyon. For those who do not know what drafting is, you can check out this blog, which has some videos and posts on doing various tasks in carting.

Today I received our confirmation e-mail for the workshop and I can’t wait to see how Canyon enjoys it. The workshop did not fill up, so the instructor said we’ll have a lot of chances to get one on one direction and to get to know one another. it is an all-breed workshop,so I am really interested to see what breeds other than bernese mountain dogs show up.

I will write about the workshop when we return home on sunday.

Aspen, Cessna and Rogue are all staying home with a dog-sitter. Our landlord and her 14 year old granddaughter have offered to come stay with the girls while we take the golden boy to Barrie for the workshop. This will be the first time we’ve left all three girls home together with a sitter, so I will also let everyone know what sorts of mischief they get into. I’m not too worried about Aspen, but the labs can be a little much at times lol!

What If Your Dog Were Your Life Coach?

If Cessna were my life coach, she’d tell me to stop trying to be someone I am not. She’d tell me to celebrate my uniqueness.

If Aspen were my life coach, she’d remind me that no matter what life throws in my direction, I’ll never have to face it alone. She’d tell me that there is always going to be someone to catch me if I fall.

If Canyon were my life coach, he’d remind me that happiness is not found within the things I possess, but within the things I enjoy. He’d tell me to forget about everything that does not bring me joy.

If Rogue were my life coach, she’d tell me that enthusiasm is always the way to go. She’d remind me that no one ever reached their goals without it.

If your dog was your life coach, what advice would they offer?

Huntsville to Chatham And Everywhere In Between

Last week Huib and I took the dogs to southwestern Ontario. I had my final examination for my Business and Consumer Law course, and Canyon had his third conformation event. My sister is still in a bit of a “my life sucks and everyone should feel sorry for me” mood, so instead of staying at her place Wednesday night, Huib and I decided to leave early Thursday and just quickly stop in to check on Dad.

After eating lunch with Dad and letting the dogs drink some water and stretch their legs, we got back into the Expedition and made our way to Guelph. On the way, my aunt called to see what our plans were for Friday night and informed me of the true facts surrounding my sister’s new mood and odd behaviour. I was under the impression that she was just going through her usual “poor me” phase because of not being able to find regular paid employment, but it looks as though it is more emotional and disceittful. My sister had been dating a guy around February who was not a good person. According to my Dad, he’s lazy, immature and has an explosive temper. My sister can be lazy and also has quite the temper, but we were all happy when she said that the relationship was over and asked us to have Dad come stay with us for a bit. Well, it looks as though this was not the case, or at least not the case for more than a few days because now I’ve learned that she has been lying to us and that she is still dating this guy. I have no issue with the fact that she chooses to date a guy who is not good for her, I don’t support the relationship, but I won’t tell her who she can or cannot date, but I do have an issue with her treating us like crap and lying to us, while continuing to request assistance financially. I’m not sure what will end up happening there, but I do know that we won’t be helping her out and that she will be finding new living arrangements.

In guelph, we stayed with our friends kelly, Ace and Archie. Kelly made a wonderful dinner for us and was an amazing hostess as usual. I love visiting her and her boys (Ace is a 3 year old male black lab & Archie is a 9 year old male orange and white tabby). Ace makes me laugh because he loves wrestling with Rogue and thinks all of the girls (Cessna, Aspen & Rogue) appreciate him mounting them, even though they tell him otherwise.

On Friday morning we woke up early to get Canyon ready for his show, and me ready for my exam. Huib dropped Cessna and I off at the University of Guelph and then took Rogue and Canyon to Chatham. Cessna and I spent most of the morning in the University Centre because I didn’t feel overly comfortable with walking around the campus with her. Even though I attended the University of Guelph with Phoenix for five years, I find my sight to be less since my troubles in January of 2011 so find it difficult to navigate even familiar places. So, Cessna slept while I drank a Starbucks latte, surfed the internet and did a bit of studying. Around lunchtime I decided to take Cessna out for a bit of fresh air and thought we’d see if we could find the hot dog vendor who has been a fixture on the campus since Phoenix and I were students there. I had Cessna walk along a path and then asked her to go along another one that I knew led to the hot dog guy. We never ended up finding him, but she did point out another service dog or puppy in training and got a chance to relieve herself before we returned to the University Centre. After eating a sub, I packed up Cessna and my stuff so we could head to the library where I was scheduled to do my examination. We found the building without too much trouble – Cessna needs to learn to walk in straight lines – and almost made it to the room where I had to sign in, but got a little turned around. Thankfully a nice woman saw us and offered to help me find the room. My exam went okay. I left the exam feeling as though it could have been good or bad, which is often a good sign since I tend to do horribly if I think it went amazingly well or amazingly horrible. After the exam my proctor (the woman who read my exam and filled out the answer sheet) offered to walk with me to Second Cup where I was meeting my aunt’s guy friend. Along the way, we let Cessna run a bit and had a good chat about her own pet dog, a 3 year old female australian shepherd. At Second Cup, she helped me get a drink and then offered to stay and wait for my aunt’s friend but I didn’t know for sure when he’d arrive so told her I’d be okay and got my computer out for company. My aunt’s friend arrived an hour and a bit later and we headed to London where I met up with Huib, Canyon and Rogue.

On Saturday we woke up somewhat early to head back to Chatham for the final day of showing. I was so glad to be able to attend with them because I got to see my friend Amy and her one year old female dalmatian who was also showing. Unfortunately Waverley did about as well as Canyon did, so it was sort of a crappy weekend for everyone. After both Canyon and Waverley had shown, Huib and I started the drive back to Guelph where Aspen was staying with kelly. On our way we stopped at a grocery store and bought some turkey, duck and pork for the dogs (we feed raw) since it was an awesome price, and then stopped at Ren’s Pet Depot in Kitchener to pick up Kelly’s house keyes. of course, we also picked up a few new toys for the dogs – a long pink monkey with brown hands, feet, tail and face that squeaks and is somewhat stretchy, as well as, a squeaky penguin and squirrel – and a new winter coat for Rogue since the RC Pets brand jackets were on for 40% off. We ended up getting her a coat that is grey with teal and white clover leaf like designs on it. She can wear Phoenix’s red one still, but I also wanted one that matched her teal training vest and one that she could wear outside while Cessna wore Phoenix’s red one when it was really chilly. When we got back to kelly’s house, Aspen and Ace were really excited to see us all. Huib took both Ace and Aspen for a quick walk and then we got ready to go for dinner with Kelly (who was going to be home from work soon).

On Sunday, Huib and I left Guelph just before noon to head back home. The Expedition’s bearings were making some odd sounds, so we wanted to start out early enough and take it slow so we got home safely. We stopped in Huntsville to see Dad and let the dogs stretch their legs and then continued our drive. About twenty minutes north of North Bay the Expedition started making a really loud clunking sound and Huib started to panic. he knew it wasn’t going to be good and he wasn’t looking forward to the cost to fix things. We pulled over and called CAA to come tow the truck to New Liskeard. When the tow truck driver arrived, he told us that he could only allow the labs into his truck because he felt there wasn’t enough room for the four dogs and because they were service dogs (Rogue is in training) he wasn’t going to refuse them. I was so angry! I couldn’t imagine leaving my goldens alone in the truck while we were safe in the tow truck. The driver wouldn’t change his mind though so I refused to talk to both him and Huib the entire ride, worrying about how the goldens would be affected. The driver was nice though, he made sure the Expedition was totally secured and stopped a couple of times during the drive to make sure the dogs were okay – of course, both Aspen and Canyon were true to their breed description and could have cared less about the arrangements. Rogue slept in my lap the entire drive in the tow truck and Cessna fell asleep at my feet after the first hour of driving. Cessna is a bit of a stress ball when it comes to loud noises and bumps while driving, which are both problems with trucks so it took her quite a while to settle. In new Liskeard our landlord met us at the Ford dealership and drove us all home.

It looks as though the Expedition has seen it’s last drive south with us. The mechanic at the dealership says something with the drive shaft is detached so it will cost over $2000 to fix and that doesn’t even repair the bearings or replace the muffler, so Huib and I have decided to get something new. We did some research and shopped around a bit on Monday and tuesday.

As long as all goes well, we should be picking up our brand new 2012 Chevy Orlando early next week 🙂

Whirlwind Travelers

Last week, as you all may have guessed, we packed up the dogs and headed to Southwestern Ontario.

Our first stop was Huntsville where we stayed Thursday night and spent some time with my step-dad. My sister had to work, so Huib and I took her a coffee and visited for a few minutes with her, but otherwise we didn’t really get a chance to see her much.

Friday morning we packed up the Expedition once more, and headed towards Windsor, making stops in Etobicoke to see Phoenix’s foster family and Guelph to drop off Aspen with Kelly and pick up Canyon’s new show leash. Phoenix’s foster family are doing well. Ray is still getting the occasional chemo treatment for the bladder cancer the doctors found over a year ago, but otherwise they are healthy and happy. In Guelph we did a little shopping at Ren’s because we had forgotten to get some smelly treats for Huib to use with Canyon in the ring and the dogs always need a new toy, right? The treats we chose this time were wild rabbit flavor ones by Zuke’s. Canyon absolutely loved them and we were able to get a larger bag, so have enough leftover for the Chatham show. After picking up the treats and a little stuffed bunny that squeaks, we drove to Kelly’s house and had some pizza and garlic bread.

Canyon’s show leash is beautiful! It has black, tan and reddish colour kangaroo leather braided together with beads in three different spots. Huib ordered it from a woman in Victoria British Columbia (Hitide Creations) who makes only show leashes.

After dinner, and once we knew Aspen was settled, we piled the other three dogs into the truck and headed to Windsor. It was a long day of driving, so we were relieved to finally reach our hotel room and crash.

Saturday morning we woke up around 5:30am and began our pre-show routine. First Huib took Canyon and Rogue for a walk. Then he put Canyon into the tub and began scrubbing and rinsing with lavender scented baby shampoo. On the first day, we usually always use baby shampoo since it’s cheap and does an awesome job at getting rid of all the dirt and odours from Canyon’s coat while still keeping it shiny and silky smooth. After the bath, Huib began to blow dry Canyon, which was totally not a happy time for the golden boy. First he tried jumping onto the bed beside me and hoped that I wouldn’t make him get off and return to Huib – but of course I did lol! Then he tried moving around, so that Huib would run out of cord length and stop, but that also did not work. We have to blow dry him so that we can comb his fur flat while it dries, or it tends to be a little wavy. Once his fur was three quarters of the way dry and his ears, tail and feet were trimmed, Huib gave him some banana bread the hotel had provided with their continental breakfast and took some time to get dressed himself. About an hour before the show began we piled everyone back into the Expedition and headed to St. Clair College’s gymnasium where the event took place.

Saturday afternoon we did some shopping at the Columbia outlet store and then met up with my friend Kris, his wife Tania and their daughter Olivia. I have not seen Kris in over six years so it was really nice to see him again. We used to go to the University of Guelph together and had regular movie dates until he moved to Windsor about ten years ago. We had left Cessna and Canyon at the hotel and just taken Rogue out shopping and for dinner, so it was a good opportunity for her to work around a young child. Olivia wasn’t totally sure about Rogue, but after a bit started to play with her and Rogue really enjoyed the attention.

Sunday morning we woke up a little later because Canyon’s ears, feet and tail had already been trimmed so he only needed the bath and blow dry. This time we bathed him with NuHemp’s moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, so that his coat didn’t get too dried out from the frequent bathing. We also decided to show up at the college half an hour before the start of the show since it was pretty busy and there really wasn’t a lot of room for us to move around. After his dismal showing, we began making our way back to Guelph – making stops in Cambridge to pick up some stuff at the Pet Smart and Kitchener to look for a black tie for Huib.

Kelly had dinner plans, so Huib and I got pizza and then treated ourselves to ice cream at Marble Slab Creamery. I had never been to this particular ice cream shop so had a tough time picking out which ice cream and topping I really wanted. Huib got white chocolate ice cream with bits of coffee crisp mixed into it, while I got cheesecake ice cream with Reese peanut butter pieces mixed in – it was delicious!

On Monday I had my appointment in London with the pain clinic. I was really hoping that they would be able to suggest something to resolve my constant migraine issues, but it ended up being a total waste of my time. First they had us fill out a 20 or more page questionnaire that asked questions about the types of headaches I was having, what sorts of symptoms each had, how long they lasted, how often they occurred, whether I lived my life around the ability to take pain medications, what medications I had or are taking, and a bunch of other questions I cannot remember. I’m thinking the questionnaire was meant to weed out people who are addicted to pain medications and that could be dealing with withdrawal symptoms. After the clinic nurse had taken my blood pressure and oxygen level, we were escorted into an examination room, where I was instructed to remove all of my clothing and put on a hospital gown. A medical student then came in to do a neurological exam.

He had me:
• Follow his finger with my eyes;
• Look straight ahead while he looked into the back of my eyes with a light;
• Touch his finger and then my nose;
• Raise my shoulders and not allow him to push them downwards;
• Tell him if I felt the same sensation on both sides of my feet, face and hands when he touched them with a semi-sharp object;
• Move my chin to my chest and then towards each shoulder; and
• Tell him if it hurt when he put pressure on various parts of my head.

I’m sure I missed some of the things he asked me to do, but I’m sure you get the point. After the neurological examination, he left the room to get the doctor while I got dressed. The doctor came in and pretty much just said he would send my family doctor a list of three different preventative medications he thinks I should try and that he doesn’t see any other reason for my headaches. He also eluded to the fact that some of my headaches could be withdrawal symptoms, so I decided to go a week without any medications at all and see where I got pain wise. I am now on day five and nothing really seems to have changed, except that I am tired and the pain is still the same as usual.

After the appointment, we left the building and walked over to the CNIB, which just happened to be across the road. I got my CNIB card renewed and then toured the gift shop, but found nothing that really interested me.

When we got back to Guelph we were so happy to see Rogue again. I had decided to give her to my friend Kelly for the day so that she could experience university life, and work a bit with someone else. Kelly said that her leash manners were horrible, which we already knew, and that she settled well in her classes, but that she seemed nervous of random people (no barking though) and of different spots in her classroom building. We weren’t completely surprised about her nervousness around random people, but we didn’t really understand her reactions to different spots in kelly’s classroom building. She said she had trouble walking through doorways and this shocked us because it was not something she had ever shown nervousness around before.

Since Kelly had to do some school work, Huib and I decided to take Rogue out to dinner with some friends at Eastside Marios. She was awesome. She fell asleep beside my chair without an issue, and when we first arrived she thought my friend’s boyfriend’s feet needed to be cleaned. After dinner we asked my friend’s boyfriend to greet Rogue and she showed absolutely no fear of him – good girl! We then all decided to walk over to the mall across the road to do a bit of shopping and grab a tea from a specialty tea shop. At the mall Huib got Rogue to approach a manikin and she showed no fear, but checked its hand to see if there might be a treat – silly girl! My friend also approached a couple of guys and asked if they would come and greet Rogue, which they did and Rogue thought this was great! Before leaving the mall we each picked out a tea and then drank them as we walked back to our vehicles – I got a chocolate mint one.

On Tuesday we packed up our Expedition and then left the goldens at Kelly’s house while Huib, Rogue, Cessna and I went to meet up with Carin, Steve and Trixie for lunch. It was great to see them because it had been such a long time. We talked about old times, we updated one another on people we both knew, and we laughed every time Rogue decided to lick Steve’s feet. After lunch Huib and I went back to Kelly’s house to pick up the goldens and then made the three hour drive back to Huntsville. We decided to stop in Huntsville again to stay overnight because it seemed to break up the long drive nicely. The only issue was that my sister was in a horrible mood so it was a bit tense and unpleasant, but my step-dad tried his best to be a good host.

On Wednesday morning we (with the addition of my step-dad) started our long journey back to the north and have been relaxing ever since.

Sorry for the long post, but I thought I’d share our journey with you all.

P.S. While we were driving to Huntsville the first day, I got a really unexpected call… An adoption worker from Child and Family Services called to set up a meeting to get to know us! I am really excited about this development and will keep you all posted.

A Snowy Walk

Today I had a migraine so Huib decided to take the dogs for a four kilometre walk in the snow.

Resolutions vs Goals

As soon as Christmas is over and New Years Eve approaches, people start talking about the resolutions they are making. Rarely do these New Years resolutions continue much past the first few weeks of the new year, but people still find it necessary to create them.

I can’t think of a time when I actually sat down to plan New Years resolutions. Maybe I realized the futility from a young age. Or maybe I just had no interest in planning out the changes I wanted to do in the new year.

This year, I still won’t make New Years resolutions, but would like to set out some goals for me and the rest of the ruled by paws gang for 2012.

Our 2012 Goals:
I, the primary human of ruled by paws, would like to work towards leading a more healthy life. Last year, during Lent, I completely eliminated pop/soda from my diet. This year, I would like to work towards eliminating processed foods. This does not mean I will no longer eat junk food and things that are considered unhealthy, but it means that if I am not willing to take the time to prepare something like macaroni and cheese from scratch, then I will not grab a box of Kraft Dinner from the pantry.

Since the canine members of ruled by paws cannot really set out goals for themselves, I will plan a 2012 goal for each of them.

Aspen really hasn’t been expected to learn and behave like the other three canines of the family. She is not a poorly behaved dog at all, but her and I do not really see eye to eye when it comes to her obedience and training. Therefore, my goal for Aspen this year is to start working through Sue Ailsby’s Levels with her from the beginning and by the end of the year, I would like us to be approaching the point of passing either the Old Levels three or if I get an opportunity to purchase the New Levels books, then I want us to be done or ready to pass the New Level two.

Cessna will be 9 this coming October and close to retirement, so I would like to continue teaching her new tasks that she can do around the house. This past year, I taught her to close cupboard doors and have been working on teaching her to close drawers. I would like to continue expanding the use of this task, so that she will be reliably doing it for me at other people’s houses as well. By the end of 2012, I would like to have taught Cessna to also open cupboards and drawers, as well as, being able to turn on and off light switches she can reach. In our current home this means we will need to create switches at more of her head level. I do not require her help in any of these areas, but Cessna really shows pride in her work and loves feeling helpful, so I think these new tasks will give her some satisfaction during retirement.

As everyone knows, Huib and Canyon entered their first conformation dog show this past week. My goal for Canyon is to enter more shows and work on achieving his Canadian Championship title. I would love to say my goal is to have him obtain his title by the end of 2012, but the show ring is political so who knows how we’ll do each time we walk in front of a judge. In addition to working on Canyon’s title, I would like to have him earn his Canine Good Neighbour certification. Other than these two achievements, I would like to continue working through Sue Ailsby’s Levels with him and hopefully be well on our way to having him doing a proper formal retrieve by the end of 2012.

Finally, we come to Rogue. Rogue will be a year old in April, so we will have her eyes tested to make sure her sight is good enough for guide work. I would love to say my goal for her is to be ready to take over, at least part-time, for Cessna by the end of 2012, but we all know how things can change in an instant. Therefore, my goals for Rogue this year, are to first obtain her Canine Good Neighbour certification. Then, I would like to continue working through Sue Ailsby’s Old Levels (unless I end up purchasing the new books) and have her at least doing some of the non-tension related guiding tasks. This means that I am not expecting her to be guiding in harness, but that she is well on her way to being able to confidently leash guide me in familiar areas that do not require intelligent disobedience, busy road crossing or complex obstacle work. I would like to be able to say whether or not Rogue will be able to fulfill my needs by the end of 2012, so that I have some time to decide on another plan of action, if she cannot take over for Cessna.

As you can see, the goals I have set for 2012 are broad, but achievable. I have tried to stay realistic so that I will hopefully look back and feel a sense of accomplishment instead of failure.

2012 is going to be our year, I can feel it!