Thursday, July 29, 2010


I just had the most wonderful thing happen to me. Cranky, nasty, bossy, overbearing, mean me left home this evening to go teach my two Thursday evening classes.

I was pretty stressed-out when I left since I need to be ready to start the first class at 6 p.m. and the damn phone started ringing at about 5:15 with calls from people who should have known better. (Judith - You were not the first call and there were 2 additional calls after you)

Both of the students who normally drive me to class called and said they were running late and wouldn't be able to pick me up. To make matters worse the other two people who sometimes pick me up are both away on vacation. I know that because their dogs are here.

My substitute ride gets here and by the time we finally get to class we are already 15 minutes late. So when I get out of the car at the door and walk into the building I'm only thinking about getting the class started. Instead of the lights being on and the fans running in the training room it is dark. The jumps haven't been set up and there isn't a soul around.

I'm hot, tired, and cranky and I hurt. Why in the devil do I see students rushing here and there and yet not a single one of them is available to help set up for what is now a 30 minute late class?

Finally, a couple of them come out on the training floor and sort of start setting up. Another student comes over to me and asks me if she could talk to me in the conference room. "Sure, why not? Doesn't seem anyone is interested in working right now so we might as well go somewhere else." And with that Sanity and I follow her to the conference room doors. These are the extra wide double door set-up and instead of just opening one door she throws both doors wide open.


The entire room is crammed full of students and their dogs. There are two long rows of tables covered with brown paper and two bushels of wonderful Maryland crabs. One bushel of crabs for each long table. In the back of the room are two more tables covered with salads, a cake, fresh strawberries, cream, and drinks.

These truly wonderful people got together and threw me, mean, nasty me a WONDERFUL birthday party. Yes, it well and truly was a surprise. They worked on this party for almost a full month and somehow managed to keep me from finding out about it.

I received many wonderful gifts, but the one I will treasure forever is a book of pictures. These pictures were all taken either during the Thursday evening class or at my place; some were outside and some in my training studio. These pictures are of dogs past and present and each one of them brings so many good memories.

Right now I just can't fully grasp what happened. As my son said after reading what each person wrote in the back of my book, "Mom, you have a book full of love." How right he is. How rich I am. May all of you be lucky enough to have something so rich and full happen to you before this year is over.

We even had a couple of people there who were just "checking us out" as they decide whether or not Applewoods Dog Training and Margot Woods are a place they might want to come for dog training. They got fed too. The fact that the room was full of dogs. Dogs that were quiet, mannerly and pretty much out of sight sure seemed to make a strong impression on them. Hope it was a good impression.


  1. That is great. It was probably very fun being part of the "covert mission". No one started giggling and almost blew it? Wow, those are some well trained humans.

  2. We had so much fun planning, but it got a little dicey as the date approached! We changed the location at least 3 times in the last couple of days prior!!

    Imagine, if you will, our thinking, seriously, about attempting to hold a surprise party in Margot's house... and setting it up while she was there!

    Soooo glad you enjoyed it!!!!!

  3. That is wonderful. You so deserve it, too. Wish I could have been part of it.