Happy 2013

Hello, my friends!

I know the blog has been woeful for 2012, but that’s honestly fine with me. 2012 can BITE ME ON THE WEEN. It was an incredibly sucktastic year and I am not sorry to see it go.

Let’s do a roundup-slash-Christmas-letter, and then I am going to leave aught-twelve behind like a bad habit.

Doug is still looking for work (he was laid off at the end of October, after 14 years at the same company), but we’re very hopeful and we’re working hard on getting him a new career direction.

I started a new job in September – I’ve always worked, and always worked full-time, but I’ve freelanced. This is my first job away from the family in many years. This has been a huge transition for our family and WOW was I exhausted for the first three months. It’s a REALLY REALLY good thing, though. I had forgotten what it was like to have weekends and sick days and vacations, a steady and predictable paycheck, and (bless God) health insurance.

Meriwether is a sophomore in high school, still homeschooled (as she has been for all her schooling). She’s the nicest teenager in the world, except when you tell her that she has to stop writing and get going on her algebra.

Honour is a freshman in high school, also homeschooled. She had a pretty heroically awful year as well, which is sort of a best-not-talked-about thing, but things are looking MUCH better for this year.

Tabitha turned eight this year. She and Honour form the team of awesomeness known as “the Reds” (for their hair) and are best friends.

Zuzu turned five and started to listen to the good angel on her shoulder at least a bit more than the bad one. I hope. There are still days… She still hates clothes, loves messes, and protects her spot in the family with fierceness.

OK – the ones you are actually here to find out about: DOGS!

CLUE: Will be a veteran this June. Can you believe it? She’s amazing. Still looks like a six-month-old puppy and acts like one too. She’s spayed and retired, though we may bring her out for some Veterans Sweeps.

DAISY POPPY: Retired and loving it. Oh my gosh, LOVING IT. Our sweet house dog who never goes outside except to use the bathroom and who is horrified by the craziness in the dog yard.

FRIDAY: Still gorgeous in every way. We tried to breed her in 2012 via chilled AI and she didn’t conceive; we’re going to give her another try this year naturally and hope it works better.

Juno: Clue’s daughter with Ch. Pecan Valley Draco. Gave us a beautiful litter of five in 2012, a litter where I made good on my promise to not announce litters. I loved the whole experience and plan to continue it. She’s now done with her job and is retiring.

Milo: Daisy Poppy’s gorgeous son, who we retained here with the goal of him being our next show/breeding prospect. Unfortunately when we did his prelim hip x-rays we decided that was not going to be his destiny. He’s on his way to an amazing family to be trained as a service dog, which I am so, so happy about.

Sammy: Honour’s Tibetan Spaniel service dog. The last crappy event of 2012 was finding out that she had nail bed cancer (a type of bone cancer) in one back toe. Thankfully she should be fine; I’ll update as soon as she has her surgery to remove that toe. Sammy was already in semi-retirement and, depending on how the surgery and recovery go, may need to move to full retirement (or, if a miracle happens, may come out of retirement a bit).

Godric: Honour’s Papillon service dog in training. We’re making the very painful decision to career-change Godric. He is a flawless SDIT who can be command-trained to do anything, and who will happily work all day long… who doesn’t want to independently alert to Honour’s metabolic or emotional needs. We’re considering a different service home where he can work with adults (he alerts to MY mood changes, the goof, but he is not concerned about Honour’s) or we may change him to a family dog either here or elsewhere. Stay tuned.

Bramble: Our Jack Russell – Dachshund rescue. Still THE WORST DOG IN THE WORLD. Happily awful and cuddly and hilarious. I can’t believe he’s been here for almost five years.

That means I get to introduce the newbie: SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC

This is Rory (Blacksheep Wolfwood Heavens to Murgatroyd), Juno’s daughter and the first red ever born at our house. She’s Honour’s new service dog prospect; Honour was willing to try another Cardigan and she and this baby have bonded very tightly. I have high hopes that she’ll work; Rory is VERY bossy, very verbal, and is already insisting that Honour go to bed on time and that she sit and lie down when she gets stressed. These pics are a few weeks old, but they’re all you’re getting for a little while because she got UNBELIEVABLY UGLY. She’s about three feet tall and all easty-westy legs and ears right now and I have to keep reminding myself that she’s not my show puppy and it’s none of my concern if she doesn’t “turn out.” I really hope she does, though, because she did get (and has kept) the head and neck that I’ve been reaching for and working toward. I’d be willing to accept a little leg if she can consistently give me that :).

If you look at the list above, it should be obvious that if I want to keep breeding and showing we’re in for a huge transition year. We plan to bring in at least one show prospect puppy if Doug gets a job, and of course we’re going to be praying hard that Friday can conceive. Thankfully, I am not alone in this; one of the few really good things that happened in 2012 was that Sarah (Wolfwood) and Addy (Squirrel Ridge) and I have teamed up this year to expand our prospects and combine efforts. I also have a couple of amazing co-owners who will be bringing out puppies this year as part of the team. Being part of a like-minded group instead of trying to continue to make a go of it all by myself been an enormous, enormous blessing.

That’s it for the moment, and let’s send 2012 off with the giant raspberry it deserves.


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  • Reply Taryn January 6, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    I haven’t yet found anyone calling 2012 a good year. You were definitely not alone. John (my spouse/partner) was laid off from his job in July after about close to 25 years. He’s working again but it’s just contracting work, not a permanent position. Lots of other crap sprinkled throughout the year. We are glad 2012 is done!

    Here’s wishing you a wonderful 2013 that turns out the way you want and need it to go!

    • Reply Joanna Kimball January 7, 2013 at 12:00 am

      Taryn, I am so sorry. Those dang Mayans and their calendar!

  • Reply Amanda January 7, 2013 at 2:22 am

    Big squishy hugs!! 2013 will be better — I can feel it! 🙂

  • Reply Jessica January 7, 2013 at 2:56 am

    So glad to see a post from you! I still check every few days like clockwork. 🙂

    I will be honest – as a non dog-breeder or dog-trainer, ‘ugly’ dogs are some of my favorites. I’m excited to hear more about your new little uggo and I hope that she and Honour are a winning match.

  • Reply Jessica January 7, 2013 at 2:56 am

    So glad to see a post from you! I still check every few days like clockwork. 🙂

    I will be honest – as a non dog-breeder or dog-trainer, ‘ugly’ dogs are some of my favorites. I’m excited to hear more about your new little uggo and I hope that she and Honour are a winning match.

  • Reply Micaela P. January 7, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    well, I for one missed the updates on your fabulous girls as much as the updates on the dogs. Juno had puppies??? I’ll pray for Rory to work out and be everything you & H need in a service dog. I wish we could meet for coffee and I could hear you talk all about it, since you won’t be blogging about such things anymore 🙁 I’m glad you love & are still excited about your job, yaaay! Happy 2013 to The Kimballs!!!

  • Reply Jennifer February 10, 2013 at 6:00 am

    So glad to see a series of posts from you!!! We have high hopes for 2013, and are happy to see the backside of 2012, too.

  • Reply Anna April 9, 2013 at 12:17 am

    Dear Joanna, over the last few weeks, I’ve read your blog from beginning to end and enjoyed it so much! I’ve blogged my thoughts on some of what you’ve written about rescues and had Facebook chats about your training and socialisation ideas – all of which I love. If we ever get out of huskies, I am seriously considering finding a good corgi breeder here in Australia, and getting into agility. Such a wonderful introduction to a breed. In the meantime, I’m going to be pestering my husky breeder (most of whom show too) friends to help me understand conformation and soundness better. Thank you for sharing so much of your life and loves. Best wishes, Anna

  • Reply TB Bikeman August 28, 2013 at 2:17 am

    I sincerely hope 2013 has been much better for you and your family than 2012. Hell, pretty soon it’ll be 2014!! Happy New Year!!

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