Happy new year!

Earl and I and our animal family wish you health, happiness and peace in 2009.

Tipper the Wonder Husky wants people to keep their dogs on a leash so she won’t be hurt by vicious dogs at-large, and Mary won’t be knocked down and reinjure her hip. Her wish for you is that you will enjoy the company of a dog. Dogs enrich our lives in so many ways. If you can’t have a dog, but would like the company of one, perhaps you could walk the dog of an elderly neighbor, or start a dog walking business. In this economy, people need to be creative about work.

January first is the date all the horses in the world have a birthday. Scooter is grateful to turn 13 (real birthday May 11) after a very serious illness last February. A surprise case of metastatic or “bastard” strangles caused a large abscess in an abdominal lymph node requiring surgery to save his life. He had to rehabilitate up in the mountains at a stable where he could be confined and hand walked. He couldn’t recover at home, because the horses have a barn that is open to the corral. We didn’t want to see Scoot run around and have his innards trailing in the dirt. After his February 13 operation, Scoot returned home April 22. Scooter’s wish for you is to enjoy the wonders of nature. After his recovery, he discovered that he is a fantastic mountain trail horse. He has always been ridden in the mountains, but climbing up steep mountain trails was new to him. We are grateful to Barbara and Kit Struthers for supervising Scooter’s rehabilitation.

Hannah is nine today (real birthday Feb. 23). The Baby’s wish for you is to take time to relax with your pets. Make time for the simple pleasures in life that come with an animal companion. Hannah is grateful that she survived a severe case of bacterial pneumonia one year ago. She spent over a week at the teaching hospital. As soon as she recovered, Scooter got sick. 2008 was a tough year for the Carlson horses. We got the Baby in 2002. I enjoyed the summer she was two riding her alone at Lory State Park. Hannah has developed into a fine saddle horse. She never did finish her year of jumping in 2004 due to my date with gravity on June 24 of that year.

Matthew the Top Cat hopes you appreciate the unique personalities of animals, and know that every cat is different and special. He’s a tough guy, but the caretaker of the family.

Cowboy Joe requests that everyone has a warm blanket to snuggle. He is a fanatic about blankets. Many times, I have fallen asleep to wake up with Cowboy on my lap. One time, while half asleep, I felt chest pressure. I thought it was a coronary. When I opened my eyes, there was Matthew on my chest just above where my arms were folded. He was my ‘heart attack’.

Lastly, Frank would like you to adopt a cat from a shelter. You will be surprised how much you can love someone you just met.

Take each day as it comes, love the life you have been given, change it if you don’t, and remember to bring some joy to someone else. Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy new year. If you had troubles or sorrow in 2008, may they be resolved for 2009. I wish you peace. 

I wish all our animal friends a loving home, safety in the wild, a steady food supply and, especially, people who care for them.

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