Liza and I send holiday greetings to you and your family!

Liza’s first Christmas is a cozy and quiet one today, but we had a big celebration here last night. She was just wonderful through all my daytime preparations and then remained a calm and loving girl when everyone arrived. She continues to amaze and delight me. At a few days shy of nine months, she is now going with me everywhere in public and is so well behaved, including at restaurants where she will now do an extended down-stay. She completed her three week training camp at River Dogs some time ago, but she goes back for a day every week or two for some follow-up training and socializing with the other dogs. They say she is just the happiest, most friendly and loveable dog, her tail is always wagging. Of course that is no surprise to me!

Her sound training is also coming along well, she has the timer down well and we’re now starting on the morning alarm and sirens when we’re in the car. All of her senses are so acute, especially her hearing and nose — actually Liza would have made a good bomb detection or SAR dog too, her nose is always on the ground, I have to really work with her on that in the grocery store to keep it off the floor. She’s so gentle and loving with the people at the nursing home, they really love her and look forward to our two hours there on Wednesdays. Liza’s temperament couldn’t be better, she adjusts very quickly to new situations, nothing seems to disturb her, and while she does not “guard” me at all (a good thing for a service dog), I’m confident that if there were a situation that called for it, she would be right there.

She is a big, beautiful girl with a lovely long hair coat – people will often stop in awe of her. Wish I had a better camera to capture her beauty, but here’s a slightly fuzzy one snapped quickly today after a round of ball in the backyard. She still loves her water play even in the winter. After her chewing through a couple of kiddy wading pools, I found someone with an unused, heavy duty hard rubber livestock water tub, and it’s perfect for her post-ball “water digging” and feet clean-off. Our best to you on this holiday, and thank you again for my wonderful companion!