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I was nominated by my dear friend Cathy of Groovy Goldendoodles to participate in this series where we share 8 photos of happiness. An exercise created by Ariel’s Little Corner Of The Internet.

It was fun going through my images of the past year to find my happiest moments.  It was hard to narrow them down, but I will not cheat and add multiple images to a PicMonkey collage (although I thought about it).

Kimberly Gauthier and her 4 dogs (2 sets of littermates)

Playing with the dogs in the yard with our Puller rings.

THE PULLER

I love hanging out with our dogs. I'm so lucky to live on such a large property. It's perfect for our dogs.  When we moved to our home, it had less than three usable acres, now we have all five acres thanks to all of J's hard work.  This year, he's making two ponds for the dogs.  We now have an excavator and two bulldozers to get the work done.

Scout Zoey and Mayer on a pack walk at Strawberry Fields

Scout Zoey and Mayer on a pack walk at Strawberry Fields

PUPPY PACK WALKS

I used to be one of those women who believed that I couldn't have female friends.  Whenever I did make friends, it was all kinds of dramatic, because I was all kinds of dramatic.  And then I grew up.  Today, I have a ton of female friends and the one thing we have in common is our love of dogs.  One of my great friends, Katrina, has two dogs, Myra and Mayer and this is Mayer joining Scout and Zoey on a pack walk when they were young (and Mayer was a lot smaller).

Katrina inspires me to give back so I buy breakfast for a stranger a few times a month.

Speaking at WordCamp Seattle, 2014

FEAR OF SPEAKING?

I can officially say that I'm over my fear of speaking.  Above is WordCamp Seattle 2014 when I spoke about blogging.  This year, I spoke about raw feeding at the Seattle Pet Expo.  Getting over my fear of public speaking has opened up a host of opportunities for me.  This week, I was on a podcast and a radio program!

And here's a great bonus!  Keep the Tail Wagging was included on a list of Best Pet Blogs to Follow by FirstGuideSite.com.

Dog Nutrition Blogger Kimberly Gauthier with Pet Nutrition Blogger Rodney Habib

Meeting Rodney Habib at SuperZoo

MY HERO & MY FRIEND

The highlight of my year so far was attending Super Zoo and meeting Rodney Habib in person.  Rodney has been a huge inspiration for me and my writing.  I truly believe better nutrition is key in raising healthier dogs and it's wonderful to be part of a community of people who believe the same thing.  If I don't have the answer, I know where to go to find the answer.

Scout and Teddy on a pack walk in Arlington WA

Scout and Teddy on a pack walk in Arlington WA (D'art, Sydney, Zoey and Rodrigo – not pictured)

MAKING FRIENDS

When I moved to Marysville nearly 6 years ago, I was a little worried that I wouldn't have any friends.  Now, every weekend is booked up with my friends.  D'art and Teddy are two standard poodles that we walk with from time to time.  Their mom also gives me eggs – there's nothing like fresh eggs.  And she has raspberries (sweet off the vine) and honey – raw honey!

Eliza inspired me to grow tomatoes.

Me with Meri at Dooley's Dog House in Kirkland WA

Me with Meri at Dooley's Dog House in Kirkland WA

NATURAL PET STORES GALORE

Western Washington is a mecca for dog lovers and it always blows me away that we don't make it to the top of the Best Cities for Dog Lovers lists.

I met Meri at the Seattle Pet Expo in 2013 and she encouraged me to reach out to Stella & Chewy's, because I needed samples for Scrub-a-Mutt.  That turned into an amazing relationship and I'm beyond grateful to Meri for that connection.

Today, Meri manages Dooley's Dog House in Kirkland, WA, and like many of the small pet stores, you can go there for a crash course in healthy dog treats and dog food.  Love it!

Rodrigo and the Puppies Playing in the Yard

Rodrigo and the Puppies Playing in the Yard

THEY LOVE EACH OTHER

This is when I knew it was going to be okay.  People thought we were nuts to adopt two puppies at once when we brought home Rodrigo and Sydney.  I thought we were nuts when we flew to Idaho and drove back with Scout and Zoey.

It was a rocky beginning of balancing to adult dogs that were no longer the center of my world and two puppies who were in a new home with two unhappy dogs.  They all slowly got used to each other and this day, sitting in the grass with them, I laughed while Rodrigo played with the puppies and let them crawl over him.

We can raise two sets of littermates.  No sweat!

Johan and Scout Sleeping on the Sofa

Johan and Scout Sleeping on the Sofa

A MAN AND HIS DOG

J and I celebrated 10 years this month.  10 years together.  Wow!  The best thing about J is that he's a dog lover.  He liked dogs, but Blue changed something in him that made him a dog lover and I love when I see him cuddled up with the dogs.

He'll deny it, but Scout is his favorite and Scout loves J too.  When J found the puppies, he chose Scout right away from a picture.  He just knew.  When he arrived in the house to meet the puppies and their parents, Scout separated from the litter and came to J right away (it's like he knew).  Later, Zoey (who was bonded to Scout) came to check J out.  Less than an hour later – we had two puppies.

The night after we lost Blue, I prayed for hours, asking God to return our dog to us. Less than two months later, we had Scout and Zoey, who remind us both of Blue is so many ways.  We're truly blessed.

NOW IT'S YOUR TURN

So those are my photos.

Now I'm supposed to nominate a few more people to keep this one going (no pressure / just fun).  I've you've already done this, add the link in the comments below so that I can check out your photos!

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