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Vonnie & Jennifer

Vonnie & Jennifer

I’m a great believer in continued learning — it’s good for us in so many ways.  Whether you’re upping your parenting skills, training in a sport, perfecting your camera eye, sharpening your business acumen, or any of a million possibilities, learning just makes you . . . and your world . . . bigger, brighter, easier, and often more rewarding.

One thing I love about the Northwest pet community:  if you want to learn, or just connect with others of like mind (which to me is somehow very similar), the options are abundant.  And awesome! 

Vonnie and I were at a workshop recently, an outstanding presentation by Marilee Muzatko at DoveLewis on End of Life Care for pets.  Admittedly it’s a tough subject, but one that given a little time, attention and learning can go so much smoother for person and animal alike.  And on that particular journey, smoother is incredibly valuable.

Vonnie also recently attended and was super impressed with a first aid workshop presented by VCA Northwest Veterinary Specialists.  This one was months ago, and Vonnie is still raving about the quality of the information and resources presented.

Many other organizations offer great programming as well.  The two I mentioned are free, but not all are.  Worth noting is that free does not mean a lesser quality experience, proven paws-down by the programs offered by these two agencies.

There’s little in life that we can’t enjoy more, or have a higher quality experience with, after gaining more knowledge.  Working, playing, and everyday life matters such as diet and exercise, can all be upped a notch when we receive the benefit of others’ knowledge and expertise.  I encourage you to take a look at some of the local offerings — a few names worth checking in addition to VCA NWVS and Dove include Wonder Puppy for training, and Stay Pet and Sniff Dog Hotels for training and playgroups.  There are countless options — for programming and for organizations presenting workshops, classes and gatherings.

Speaking of “gatherings” brings us back to Vonnie.  Many of you have met Spot’s Vonnie at events, or maybe you’ve enjoyed her writing (she blogs on chickens and the ‘Couve and is also a feature writer).  Anyway — Vonnie has been musing for months about starting a support group for those facing the changes and challenges that come in the later years of a best friend’s life. 

“Golden Ears” is what she calls it, a group she envisions as a relaxed network of pet lovers who can share tips, ideas, concerns and friendship — by phone, email, social network, at meetups for senior dogs, and maybe even converging at favorite watering holes.

I wanted to share Golden Ears with you here as Vonnie would love to get a feel for your interest in the idea.  And of course Spot would too!  Vonnie and Spot go hand in hand in some ways, and this is one in which Spot is more than happy to serve and facilitate in any way we can.

If you’d like to see a group like this form, or have thoughts and ideas, please send them to Vonnie@SpotMagazine.net, or post them on SpotMagazine.net or Spot’s Facebook page

Otherwise, I hope you’ll take a look at the many offerings of classes, workshops and other great happenings in this edition.  Get growing!  You’ll be so glad you did.