My last Working Dog Diary entry (Chapter 183, "Goodnight") got more email than probably any other. I was amazed and moved by the outpouring of support and good wishes, both from the many friends and acquaintances I have made since starting Working Aussie Source, and from complete strangers to me. I am always surprised, even disbelieving, when I am confronted with evidence that I make a difference in the world.
The more emails arrived, the more I felt that I couldn't leave my diary, my little chronicle of the last six years of my life with my dogs, on such a note of sadness. 2010 was a year of dreams forcibly deferred. I was made to see that I couldn't have what I wished for, not now. But when I squarely confronted this, I found that I still had a lot left.
More than anything, I have my family and my friends, without whom I would be a mere speck of dust floating wherever the wind took me. I have my sweet, anxious, clever, responsible Bonnie Dog, and my noble, protective, loyal, steady, passionate Ty Dog. I have a clear job in front of me: remedying twenty years of unfinished projects and deferred maintenance on my house. That should keep me busy. Since the sale of my house is the single biggest adventure between me and the farm that would answer many of my ungratifiable desires, I have a lot of motivation to get on this. And now, without much in the way of livestock obligations or stockdog practice opportunities, I will have the time. Which is a gift.
I also have the time to do other things with my dogs besides livestock work. We would all enjoy that. I've almost forgotten what it is like to teach my dogs to do anything besides rate, flank, hold a gate, etc. They love to learn. Like I do.
In the end, what matters is the joy and love we bring to our lives, and to the lives of others. That's what our dogs help us with, by being examples for us. I'll do all right.