I MAY have spoiled Makiko a little bit this Christmas. But before we get into that, I want to give you a little additional background. This Christmas was bittersweet for me. It was my first Christmas with both Makiko and my boyfriend. We hadn’t ever been together on Christmas because I always travel to see extended family, and then of course since I’ve only had Makiko since March (even though it seems longer), we haven’t had a Christmas together. So that was the “sweet” part… but it was also the first Christmas without Dad alive. Last Christmas we weren’t together because Mom stayed home to take care of Dad because he couldn’t travel and I went for a few days to see extended family. We still got to Skype with them and everything on Christmas so that was nice. However, this was the first Christmas without him physically here, so that was kind of hard, thus it was “bittersweet.”
Okay, now back to happy times.. my first Christmas with Makiko. I knew that I wanted to spoil her and make her first Christmas really special. I don’t really need an excuse to spoil her but this was certainly one anyway. I bought her several different types of toys, my aunt got her a cute stocking, I got her a cute stocking.. (good we had 2 because she had so many stocking gifts that we filled both of them up).. Santa and some family also bought her gifts.. all very nice. 🙂 She sat next to me and Steven while we all opened gifts, passed out for a lot of it.
The night before, Christmas Eve, Makiko and I had our first Communion together. We went to church with family at an Episcopal church. It was where my parents were married and we were baptized. I was going to leave my guide dog with my boyfriend while we went up to get Communion but then my aunt encouraged her to come with to show my family and others that she is a part of me and to spread awareness. So we did and it worked just great. Did you know, though, that churches are one of the few places that have the right to turn us away as a guide dog team? I don’t know all the logistics but I will certainly be looking into that in a future blog. Luckily, they didn’t. We also went out to a nice restaurant and Makiko was just so quiet under the table, of course, but some family even had to ask where she was. She’s such a good girl. I think it’s taking some family members a little longer than others to get into the right mindset about service dogs and how they go everywhere with us and they are necessary, not just a companion, etc. Sometimes can be frustrating but what can ya do?
There was another dog there too, my cousin’s dog, and he was a little Miniature Schnauzer. But oh man can that dog bark. I said several times during the few days that he was with us how grateful I was that Makiko didn’t bark. Its nice having such a quiet dog. 🙂
First Christmas — success! Our dog toy area is getting so full now. 🙂