Sunday, January 2, 2011

Year in Review

2010 was quite a year for me.  I would have never guessed some of the things that happened would have occurred.

In 2010, I watched a friend fight cancer and ultimately die from it.  My grandmother was diagnosed with cancer and my father had a heart attack. I traveled to Key West, New Orleans, McKinney Texas (twice) and Escanaba Michigan.   I rescued and helped rehabilitate a little greyhound named Sweetheart and I started a blog that has been viewed worldwide.

When I read all of these things, I think, wow, what a year.  There were bad things that happened and there were good things that happened.  Even though there was quite a bit bad, I tried and still try to take good from them.  My friend suffering and dying had the biggest impact on my life and continues to do so.  While I am still sad that she has died, her struggle and death have changed me for the better.  I see things differently and don't worry about little things and live more in the moment.  I try to let my family and friends know I care about them and try not to leave things unsaid.

My father having a heart attack and my grandmother being diagnosed with cancer was a shock.  The heart attack more so.  However, I am lucky in that I have a great relationship with them both.  I am very thankful that each of them are doing well and continue to hope treatment goes well.

Rescuing Sweetheart and caring for her these past four and a half months has been very very special for me and will always be so no matter how long I have her.  I am thankful for Dr. Kolar and staff. I am thankful for Lester for being so suppportive during her recovery, especially when her leg smelled like rotten meat!!!

I never thought I would start a blog, it was never something that even interested me.  Thank you Courtney for urging me to do so.  I never thought that Sweetheart's blog would become such a hit all over the world.  Wow, talk about exciting.  I feel I have made some good friends through this blog and I realize that the world is really small after all.  I would love to be able to visit each and every one of you in person to say thank you for supporting Sweetheart and listening to my worries and stories.

I hope every one of you had a good 2010.  Tell me a few things that touched your life in 2010.  I would love to hear about them.  Email them or post them as a comment.

I am looking into obedience class for Sweetheart.  My friend has suggested a place in Oklahoma City to take her and I just need to pick a date and time and start the process.  If she passes obedience the next step is therapy dog training.  I hope very much to do this.  I really want to do it and not just talk about it.  Perhaps everyone out there following this blog can hold me accountable and give me encouragement to do see it through.  :)

Thank you to everyone who has followed this blog and continues to do so.  It has meant a lot to me that so many strangers from all over the world care about this little girl.  It is truly amazing and a great gift!

Happy 2011.  I hope the new year has been good to you already!

Jess and Sweetheart!


  1. Happy 2011 to you and Sweetheart. I hope the new year will bring great things! And Jess...thank you for this blog.

  2. So glad you have continued the blog -- Sweetheart's story and your care for your friend have been inspirations for me. I hope your dad and grandmother continue to do well, and I hope this year's journeys are easier for your human and canine families alike.

    -- Batmom

  3. The one thing that touched my life this year was realizing that working with head/neck cancer patients is what I want to do with my life. All of the detours and searching have ultimately led me to this place and I am truly thankful for that!

    Thank you so much for keeping this blog! It has been so wonderful getting to witness Sweetheart's amazing recovery! I look forward to hearing about what she is up to in 2011!

  4. The one word that comes to my mind for 2010 is loss. I lost my grandchild, who I never got to meet. Watching my own child suffer this loss, was one of the hardest things I ever have gone through. I couldn't put a band aid on that one to fix it. Second, the loss of my greyhound Dixie. A diagnosis of osteo and a horrible dog fight was a fatal combination for my poor girl.

    I love watching and reading Sweetheart updates. I can't imagine not being able to keep with her antics. Even the normal occurrences are so amazing to me. I am super thankful for you sharing your/her story with us!

  5. Getting therapy dog certification really isn't that hard! Once you get basic obedience under your belt, the rest is pretty easy. Just do a lot of homework about the different groups and go with one that you feel comfortable with.

    2010 has been a big one for us. We've always had Greyhounds, but a question to Bunny's former owner who had her when she was born about how she got her name resulted in us bringing home an eighteen month old German Shepherd. My husband has always dreamed of having one and she's been great with the Greyhounds. We had Blueberry diagnosed with cancer in November, which was a stunning development for us. We're still trying to figure out where to go from here with her treatment. Lilac turned fifteen in September and threatens to outlive us all! Bunny has become just the most perfect little hound there ever was, and hiking every weekend with her and Morgan has been so good for us!

  6. 2010 rated a 4/10 for me. My mum had a serious heart attack, was diagnosed with dementia and was almost put in a home - well she's been put in my home now and I'm making sure her last months/years are great. I lost my faithful greyhound Schniff (aka Joseph) to kidney disease and after managing it for a couple of months had to make the hardest decision ever, he went peacefully to the rainbow bridge. But not before Cami (another little female hound) came to help him. She made his last weeks brilliant, he got his appetite back and it lifted his spirits no end. Then towards the end of the year a new lad, Jakka, came to live with us. He'd failed adoption twice and has a few issues but he's fitted in really well. I've been dealing with some cancerous brain tumours, have some great doctors but had to have chemo just before Christmas - still it saves on haircuts. Treatments will continue through January and we'll see how it goes from there. Oh and in July the University I work for closed our research centre. I'm working as a News Editor again which is great because I can spend much more time at home with mum and the hounds (thank heavens for the internet!).

    As bad as it gets time with the hounds is the best therapy I can think of. So many people have dramas and issues and whatnot, how we cope with it all is what defines us.

    Reading about Sweetheart and watching her recovery from so far away has been a wonderful experience. Learning more about you Jess and your life just reaffirms that we are all connected. Thank you for sharing so much with us all. Cheers, Spiffo, Cami and Jakka.

  7. I hope 2011 will be a good year for you and Sweetheart.

    Love the blog.

    On the good days hug your hounds and on the bad days hug them more.

  8. I know how many of you feel about losing a grey this year. We had to put down one of our long time fosters in April of this year. He was at least 12-13 years old and was the most awesome dog. He was one of Les and my favorites. He just got to the point where he wouldn't eat. We were even feeding him cooked beef liver and he stopped eating even that. Even though it was the right decision, those things are never easy to do. I am so very thankful we had him for the time we did and hope that everyone gets a chance to experience a funny senior greyhound at least once in their lives!

  9. I'm ready to be done with 2010. I had a friend pass away, and my cousin was diagnosed with brain cancer. Overall, it was just a rough year.
    But there will be better things this year! We'll sell our 2nd house and I'll graduate college!! Hopefully, we'll add a little (or is that big) greyhound to our family as well. :)
    thanks so much for starting this blog and introducing me to Sweetheart! She is amazing!!!

  10. A very happy new year to you too Jess, Sweetheart and all the other hounds in your fab video. Its been heartwarming to read Sweethearts story over the months.

    I too have had a 'challenging' 2010 with lots of life changes and uncertainties which will probably on for a while yet. Throughout all though my beautiful EllaBellaHound has been my faithful and loyal companion, and my greatest wish for 2011 is that she remains fit and healthy and beside me.

    Good luck for 2011 and thanks for sharing Sweethearts story.
    Nicki x

  11. Thank you for Sweetheart's blog. She has deeply touched my along with the death of a very dear friend. And volunteering with greyhound rescue.