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So for the people that have been looking for my participation in the QM area and here in general, I thought I'd throw up this blog.

Life just got in the way this year.  🙂  Nothing really bad.  Maybe a little burn out.  so some things had to go on the sidelines for awhile.

Shortly after xmas my mother took a turn for the worse and went downhill fast.  She required around the clock care and my brother and I alternated being with her at home in addition to the home health care aides and nurses we had with her.   She's had heart issues the past few years and this year was the year her heart said it was time.  She quietly passed away and joined my Dad at Home on Feb 8th.  She would have been 92 in May so she had a great run and a great life.  This picture was from last summer.

Right as Mom took her turn for worse we serendipitously got a new puppy into our midst.  The breeder that our Mica came from, our first purebred German Shorthair pointer had a long waiting list of people wanting puppies. They had enough deposits on pups to lock up all their puppies through 2022.  Over 100 planned pups already with deposits on them.  They bred great hunting dogs.

A family who had been waiting a year, had changes in their lives and had to surrender their deposit and spot in line.  They asked the breeder if she had anyone they could donate their spot and deposit to that did search and rescue with pointers!  So we got their spot and we got credited their deposit for a puppy in July, 2021. But in early January when the fall litters of puppies were going home the breeder got another call two nights before the pups were to go to their new homes.   One of the families getting a pup, all came down with Covid and were all hospitalized. They couldn't take their pup.

So the breeder called me the morning before pickup and asked us if we wanted to get our pup early. She would let us come up the next day and pick a pup and swap our donated spot to the family for the July litter of puppies in the hope they would all get better and be able to take a pup.  (I have not heard if the family all got better or not).

So on very short notice we found ourselves making the drive to go pick up a puppy the next day.  And, as it turned out, the litter we picked from, (there were two litters,15 pups to pick from!), were from the same parents as our first pup from the kennel.  So our two GSP's are not only from the same breeder, but are full sisters, just two years apart.  That was a surprise too as the breeder only breds her females three times and then retires them.  They become true hunting dogs.  Getting a full sister would normally be unheard of.

So we named her Cocoa and she's already started her search and rescue training.  She's now 7 months old. Her sister Mica is 2.5 years old.  Hopefully Mica will be testing this summer and will successfully pass her certification tests and will officially become a search dog and will start going out on search calls in the fall.  Mica has mixed feelings about having a little sister.

These two pics are from when she was only about 8 weeks old.

Meadow, my retired search dog,( a mixed GSP),  is now 13.5 years old.  She still walks about 1.5 miles every day with us. But the steps are harder for her and she's on meds for joint pain. She hates the new puppy!  🙂 But she's slowly learning to tolerate it.

This is my crew. L-->R Meadow, Mica, Cocoa.  Oh...and my wife... 🙂

I'm also now in the process of converting a cargo trailer into a camping trailer for me and the two younger dogs.  We'll use it when we go to overnight trainings and out-of-state seminars and more distance searches.  I think it will eventually save me hotel costs and be more comfortable for us all.  And hopefully we'll fit in the occasional actual weekend camping trip.  It's only a 6' x 10' trailer.  This is just after I finished installing the hatch style window in the side.  I also now have a roof vent fan installed and I'm in the process of insulating the inside. Then next will be installing an air conditioner.

Then in February, only two weeks after Mom passed away, my nephew Kevin, (her grandson), got married.  Their wedding had been postponed from last fall.  It was kind of nice to have the wedding and party after this past year and the loss of Mom.  They honored her at the wedding and I know she would have wanted every one to party and have fun!  And yeah..that beautiful young woman that he married...ex-army and now a police officer.

On May 13 my son Tyler got married. Technically they got married last fall, September 13, 2020. But no one could go to it.  So they had a redo for family and friends.  It was the most beautiful day with a most beautiful wedding and a most beautiful couple.  As a Dad that took his son camping and spent a lot of time out doors I was thrilled he found someone that is as into hiking, backpacking and canoeing as he is!

I'm still running our K9 search team.  We've grown since I started this team with myself and one other person 8 years ago. We are now up to 25 members, with 15 dogs in training or certified.  We now meet twice a week for training, about 3-4 hrs for each training.  So far this year our team has responded to four searches.

And oh yes, work continues.  I wish I was retired, but still a few more years ahead of me yet.  The AZ vaccine has added a lot of challenges to our company and I'm very proud of all the effort our folks put in.  And for no profit to us or the company.  And of course I can't say much but all I will say is that everyone I know, is trying to deliver everything as fast and as safely as possible.  We are finally starting to go back into the office and I enjoy seeing and talking to people face to face again and not via a zoom or teams meeting.

And now summer is here.  Many more hours outside, more yard work, more running dogs, more baseball to watch and so yes.. fewer minutes left for SAP Community.

But I'm going to try to get back in a bit.

In the meantime, get out there!  If we need to, we'll come find ya if you get lost!