I know, I’ve been a grouch lately. Bah humbugging Christmas. Accentuating the negative on animal welfare groups. Dissing people who don’t appreciate pets. Discussing diseased dog butts. Grousing about defunct writing markets.

But 2009 was far from disastrous for me. And I don’t want to finish the year with a bad taste. Consider this my mouthwash post —  better, my sorbet palate cleanser — before the feast that will be 2010. I’m sure of it.

Tops on my list of greatest hits:

  • I had a book about dogs published and introduced Frankie to the world.
  • People told me they liked it and, especially, him. In public, in print, and on the airwaves.
  • Frankie became a spokesdog and media icon (Note: as soon as I revamp my blog, the following video will appear on my home page so I won’t have to sneak it into any more posts. I admit that I’m inordinately fond of it.)

  • I created and continue to write a blog, and got involved with Twitter — proof that I could master new media, boomer decrepitude notwithstanding.
  • As a result of all of the above, I reconnected with old friends and made new ones, real and virtual, canine and human. I’d like to give a particular shout out to Jenni Watson, a virtual stranger — or, rather, virtual friend — who sent me tomatoes and home made preserves because… well, you can read about it here. She also taught me that “atheist homeschooler” is not an oxymoron.

So… spill it. What about 2009 didn’t suck for you?

Update: Grisha Stewart of Ahisma Dog Training in Seattle (aka @doggiezen on Twitter) had the excellent idea of paying this post forward: Post on your own blog or in the comments section of her blog — or mine — things about 2009 that didn’t suck (or, as she put it, good things).  Unless you’re in Australia, it’s not too late to show 2009 to the door with a bit of group hug rather than a kick in the butt.

15 thoughts on “2009: It wasn’t so bad for me. How was it for you?”

  1. I QUIT SMOKING after 30 years.

    I too got involved in Twitter, making contact with many wonderful people. Most especially the many people that are involved with dogs, who understand that dogs can and will be the center of our lives. I was able to start understanding my two dogs and their very different personalities and how to train them with positive reinforcement.

    I am still employed in a job that I love, have good health and still own my home.

    Happy New Year!

  2. Overall, this was not a great year for me, but since you cleverly asked for the parts that didn’t suck:

    1) Made quite a few new friends online.

    2) Passed a couple of major milestones in my dog training career/business.

    3) Got some traffic for my website and blog.

    1. Consider myself in the category of #1, Eric. Your video review of Am I Boring My Dog was a terrific surprise and one of the highlights of my 2009. Seriously. I would have included it in this post but I heard my niece saying “shameless self promotion…”

  3. Despite some ill health in April/May of 2009 (which did suck!), 2009 has been pretty kind to me:

    * We were joined by our 3rd canine addition: the lovely Jasper, a retired racing greyhound
    * I was invited onto the committee of the Lincolnshire Greyhound Trust (independent charity, rehoming retired racing greyhounds) & am able to put my business skills of marketing & PR to good use for the charity
    * It was the year of the tweet! When I was ill, I rediscovered my Twitter account and as a result have made real & virtual friends, many of whom share a common love of dogs
    * It was also the year that made me realise I could follow my dream of studying canine behaviour & training… fingers crossed that 2010 sees me accepted onto the course
    * I also started a blog and finally…
    * started working part time, allowing me to follow my dreams and help the Greyhound Trust

    I hope that 2010 is a good year for everyone – humans and dogs!

    1. Jasper is indeed lovely and it’s great that you’re on the Lincolnshire Greyhound Trust. I have a soft spot for greyhounds; one of my good friends here in Tucson, Karyn, is a greyhound rescuer and is working hard to get the tracks shut down. There are several pictures of her greys, the late great Painter and the diva Lily, on this blog.

      I love the pictures on your blog — especially the greyhound Christmas card.

      Good luck getting accepted on the course!

  4. 2009 saw the addition of Rosie Paws Abby’s Gale to our home. The littlest dog made her appearance here around Easter, just like her house-mate, Charley had 4 years prior. Abby is a spunky, clever, albeit shy little dog, who charms everyone that she meets. Abby is going places, and I’m sure, will keep us laughing all the way there.
    2009 also saw both male dogs, older and more disciplined, receive three agility titles between the two of them. We’ve worked incredibly hard, overcome the distraction of wet grass or white fluff in the ring, learned a running contact because the canine half of ‘we’ needed it done that way, and found the joy of going fast through jump tunnel combinations.
    There were parts of 2009 that were horrible, other parts that just plain sucked, but every morning there were tails wagging and eyes sparkling, ready to help me tackle a new day.

    1. Congratulations on all your agility accomplishments! Abby sounds like a wonderful addition to the family. And you’re right — all that tail wagging makes it tough to stay negative for too long…

  5. That was indeed clever to ask for what DIDN’T suck. Way to keep us positive! When everything you value at your very core is challanged, you either completely change or (this year, for me) reassess it all and say and do and live those things even louder. And that has been good, it really has. Take this as the deep, heartfelt sentiment it is meant to be… It is so good to meet you. You too, Eric. I have loved getting to know you and our other pet friends on twitter.

    1. Shawn, I can’t imagine any negativity from you. You seem like one of the most upbeat people I’ve ever encountered — frighteningly so ;-)! If I lived in Omaha, you would be my vet. I’d bet you could win over my shy Frankie (or at the least, I’m sure you’d never tell me he was “weird” or “a bad patient”).

  6. Like Eric, I did not, by any stretch of the imagination, have a banner year. But, thanks to you I got to have the love of my life immortalized in print (16-year-old Archie MacLeash). And, inspired by your profound “WWFD” post, I’ve decided to follow Archie’s plan for a long, healthy and svelte life:

    1. Arise, stretch, drink water, sniff at breakfast
    2. Work out
    3. Come home, eat breakfast
    4. Do whatever the spirit moves me to do at the moment
    5. Consume healthy snacks every couple of hours
    6. Sniff at dinner
    7. Engage in hobby (though I probably won’t pee on the front hedge)
    8. Eat dinner
    9. Enjoy a small but delectable dessert

    1. Excellent! And by strictly delineating the meal segments of the day, you’ve eliminated the danger in #4 (although the spirit might move me towards spirits…)

      Archie is indeed an inspiration. Even to Frankie, for a brief time… I’m still convinced that he taught Frankie how to lift his leg and pee (as opposed to squatting like a girl). I think that if he had more time to tutor, he might have taught Frankie that boy dogs disperse their urine in more than one place. Still, Frankie’s balletic leg lift, held for 10 or more seconds, is a sight to behold!

  7. Hmmmmm, an awful lot of 2009 good and bad, seems already claimed (see collapse of freelance writer’s market, my friend Edie’s new and wonderful book, adoption alumnus Frankie’s rise to well-deserved stardom). But I’ll try. 1) My beloved nephew, Brad, is confined to a nursing home with severe multiple sclerosis, unable even to feed himself. In November, he had cutting edge deep brain stimulation surgery, which involved planting electrodes in his brain to interfere with some of the unwanted brain impulses. It seems to be working (! little champagne cork avatar), which raises the chances he may be able to move to an assisted living complex. That’s worth several cheers! 2) My singing voice, pronounced kaput in 1997, continues to re-emerge. I was able to move on up to 1st soprano in 2009 — and have fun doing it. 3) The garden I planted in what was my swimming pool continues to flourish — and most of the best plants are volunteers, including a big stand of California poppies this spring and of Tithonia (Mexican sunflower) this summer. These have attracted lots of lovely birds, such as the lesser goldfinches that now flock to the seedpods. 4) I started with a new batch of doctors and physical therapists for my naughty, naughty back in November and December. I am counting on them turning out to be a good thing! 5) All of my dogs — Charles, William, Miriam, Angel and Bandit — continue to be healthy, happy, and vastly entertaining. Returning to Edie’s themes, 11-year-old Charles has learned to “park” beside me when he wants his butt scratched. It’s not a disease but it is darn cute!

    1. Blogging never fails to amaze me — in this case because I learn things about my friends that I didn’t know from interacting with them in person! Congratulations on the re-emergence of your singing voice, Rebecca; I never knew it had fled. As for the birds, I suspect you told me about them but — here’s an admission best relegated to the comments section — I wouldn’t know a lesser goldfinch from a greater grackle (and I chose that name only because it’s alliterative). I recognize pigeons and mourning doves, their more elegant cousins, and that’s about it.

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