The Year In Review: How Did Your Pet Do?

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Thank you so much for reading and supporting the Blog this year. Sophia and I have grown tremendously. A great part of the year was spent exploring new trails and parks, ponds and rivers, traveling for pleasure and for business. I didn’t think it was possible to grow any closer to my Mini Schnauzer Sophia…but I did!

My favorite moment this year was recognizing that

A. She can actually tell time, and

B. She is smarter than anyone gave her credit for.

I can’t tell you the satisfaction that I get from playing Brain games and Brain training with her. There is a lot going on behind those eyes. And, know what? She travels well. I have to say. With her Kurgo gear, a few toys, a flight bag carrier, and a cool pet parent [me] to travel with she is…well, she is awesome. She likes me and is leery of most people with a heavy splash of no kids. lol! Her tail is curly and uncropped and the kids go right for it. But more than anything now by the end of this year known as 2021, she keeps me in this chair or any of my favorite nooks, typing away and perfecting my craft. She’s happier than I am when the article is published or when the videos go live. Yep. that’s my girl. How did your pet do?

Dogs and Covid 19

Can dogs catch the dreaded Covid 19? Yep. Sadly, yes they can. My thing with this is … just how dangerous are casual encounters? For Sophia and me, this has completely changed the rules of dog park etiquette. Everyone pets everyone else’s dog because hey! That’s what people do at the dog park as the dogs frolic about. I personally really love the variety of breeds that show up. My biggest knock your socks off dog park sighting during the year 2021? A Newfoundland puppy. I don’t believe that he was ever as small as Sophia is big outside of his mother’s womb! Man, talk about massive.

Anyways, with some pet parents wearing masks and some pet parents not, paranoia was at an all-time high too. And, irresponsible disposal of masks and gloves scared the b’jesus outta me because as you know, if it’s on the ground it’s fair game for the doggies. How is that for exposure? It’s beyond my control. I will admit that. But how heartbreaking is it to let your dog off-leash only to yell for them to come right back because there are many filthy masks casually thrown onto the path and around the park? Sigh…hated it! I mean, did you wash your hands? Are you carrying sanitizer? And when the first dog tested positive for Covid 19, the dog park became a ghost town quickly. Now what we do is Facetime because that’s safe. Thanks to 2021, the standard answer to “Can I pet your dog?” is ‘heck no.’

I understand that everyone won’t agree or like that. But the truth is, malady is expensive. And I don’t know anyone that can truly afford illness. Well, the good news is that Sophia is perfectly splendid company indoors and out. Thank goodness. How did your pet do here?

Dogs and Laughter

This is the stuff that YouTube videos are made of. If I thought about telling you Sophia burst out in laughter with perfect comedic timing while she and I watched The Secret Life of Pets, would you believe me? Or would you quickly decide that I had ‘lost’ it? Dogs do the darndest things and now there are entire Facebook pages, Instagram Accounts, and YouTube channels all built around the shenanigans of our pets.

Man! How good does that feel when the dog cracks up too or is the one in the room with the sense of humor? There isn’t a Milk-Bone big enough to reward Sophia with for that one. The movie scene deserved a laugh but my dog stole the show for the next five minutes. Good girl. Comedic timing? What was your pet’s funniest 2021 moment? Share with us in the comments, please.

Disgust and You

Now this is tough but I am going to put it out there. Dogs are animals but the day I learned that Sophia expects a certain amount of decorum from me the light bulb really went on. I’ll explain. Every now and again she would hurl. I mean, just gag … and hurl. Not understanding why she would be in that state, I began to be even more careful with the items within our environment. Was it the new brand of carpet shampoo I had been trying? Was it the green peas I had shared with her? Had she happened upon more fried chicken thrown down in the park? What is it? I tried the online Veterinarian for a consult. Maybe it was something she consumed at the Groomer’s place. Oh my gosh, what could it be? This behavioral change had me stumped.

A Clue…

While reviewing the home security camera, I caught a shot of myself lighting from the bath and traveling into the bedroom. No big deal. It’s Spring and I am feeling nice. I am just selecting my things and getting dressed but then there it is. Sophia is over there on the bed. She is staring at me. And it isn’t good. She is perplexed by my body. There is no fur. It’s completely uncovered and she is clearly bothered by me. So, half an hour later, she cruises up to me as if she was about to say something [a humanism, I realize, but as a pet parent, you know what I mean. If she could’ve said something in that moment she would’ve. Anyway…] and then she did it. She gagged, and then she hurled.

I watch a few more of those recordings and discovered the pattern. That was it. Before then, I had always shut the doors and worn my robe. I was away from her gaze. But to now know that if fully exposed, she couldn’t stand me? What a shot to the ego. You know? All the crap Sophia pulls on me and she’s disgusted? Who could have imagined that the DAWG would be offended by nakedness? I am through. Suffice it to say, she’s over there in her pen these days, every day, while I groom and dress. Jesus.

It Can’t Just Be Me

Does your pet cover their face? Why? What are you generally doing when that happens? Let us know in the comments!

A New Year A New Pet Parent You

The year is filled with precious moments. I couldn’t possibly share them all on this page. And overall I feel that I did pretty well. She’s with us, she’s healthy, and she’s in one piece. I learned not to apologize for myself and live life with a spirit of boldness. I’ve learned to pursue without ceasing and that hard work is worth it. Most of all I learned that time is valuable and it isn’t to be wasted. Man! Sophia is a phenomenal teacher. I am different because she knows how to lead, and how to submit. She knows to advance when I might have been meek. She’s small but throws her weight around! I am efficient now because she does these things. What a year. What are your Pet Parenting Goals for 2022 if you have any? Me? I am picking up a fresh Pet Planner for 2022. The one I have now is worn from trips to the Veterinarian, and to the Groomer. Or from the days when we traveled with friends and other doggies. It’s also slobbery and a bit crumby from holding treats. And there are a few poo bags in there too. Yep. She gets a fresh Pet Planner for 2022.





From Our Table

Sophia consumed 1 – 1.5 cups of food every day during the year 2021.

1 cup of dog food weighs 4 ounces // 365 cups or 1460 ounces = 91.25 pounds or 7.6 x’s her body weight [12 lbs]

1.5 cups weighs 6 ounces // 365 cups or 2190 ounces = 136.875 pounds or 11.41 x’s her body weight [12 lbs]



Sophia’s favorite food 2021: Bella Small Dog Food by Purina

Pet Insurance Plan

Bella Small Dog Food by Purina

That’s my girl! We’ll see you soon and thanks for stopping by the Blog.





  1. The dog park is the ultimate place to make new friends and play with old ones. But what if your best friend was infected? And for people who don’t know that much about dogs in general, reading this article might change their minds on how they should approach other owners and pets in public spaces. Responsible action should be taken right now —not throw away the filthy masks to endanger our friends!

    • Oh, I agree. An infected pet is a miserable pet. And a miserable pet makes for an unhappy pet parent QuYang. Thanks for commenting.

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