2020 was a great year to be a dog — just ask Merlin. (Jennifer Bardsley)

2020 was a great year to be a dog — just ask Merlin. (Jennifer Bardsley)

Merlin the poodle takes ‘paws’ to reflect on 2020 in holiday letter

It’s been the best year of this dog’s life — especially because he gets to work from home with his best friend.

Dear family and friends — and an extra special “woof” to all my fellow poodles out there!

It’s hard to believe it’s December already. I hope your year has been as abundantly joyful as mine. Sitting down to write my holiday letter has really made me paws — ha! A little pun there! — and reflect upon how awesome 2020 has been.

The major change has been that after years of trying to convince them, my people have finally agreed to stay home all the time. This has improved my quality of life like you wouldn’t believe.

Nobody forces me out in the cold to walk the girl child to school in the morning, a journey that is uphill, both ways, I might add. The woman doesn’t lock me in the crate when she leaves to do who knows what. The boy child never comes home smelling like high school. And the man? Well, that’s the best part. I was always his best friend, but now I’m his coworker, too.

Never in my wildest poodle dreams did I think I would enter the workforce at my advanced age, but yes, I now put in long hours, Monday to Friday, at his desk. Zoom meetings, Microsoft Teams, international phone calls — I’m there for all of them. Sometimes he nudges me with his foot if my snoring gets too loud, but I know that me napping next to him really makes a difference.

The workplace compensation package has been great, because he feeds me table scraps when the woman isn’t looking. My job comes with healthcare, and my prescription flea medicine has never run out. Tasty!

This year’s heavy work schedule meant that I didn’t have the opportunity to travel like I normally would. Usually, I vacation at Cascade Kennels in Woodinville a few times each summer, but that wasn’t on the docket for 2020.

I did visit Grammy’s house in Snohomish one weekend while the people went camping. As you might imagine, Grammy’s house was paradise. Her back yard has lots of good things to smell, and she serves kibble and gravy for dinner.

As incredible as 2020 has been, life isn’t completely perfect. There’s still a horrible rabbit problem in the front yard — but don’t worry, I’m on it. I bark ferociously whenever I see one of those vermin. I’m not sure what’s going on between them and the squirrels. Neither can be trusted, that’s for sure. When my people talk about a divided nation, I know exactly what they mean. There are animals everywhere.

I’ve also put in overtime protecting my people from delivery truck drivers. They have our house under surveillance and sneak up to the porch several times a week. Thanks to me, they’ve never broken through the perimeter.

Well, that about wraps up my news for another year. Not to brag or anything, but life inside the house has been super exciting. 2020 has been the best year ever!

Yours truly,


Jennifer Bardsley publishes books under her own name and the pseudonym Louise Cypress. Find her online on Instagram @jenniferbardsleyauthor, on Twitter @jennbardsley or on Facebook as Jennifer Bardsley Author. Email her at teachingmybabytoread@gmail.com.

Talk to us

More in Life

R.J. Whitlow, co-owner of 5 Rights Brewery, has recently expanded to the neighboring shop, formerly Carr's Hardware. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
County craft breweries’ past lives: hardware store, jail

Most breweries in Snohomish County operate in spaces that formerly housed something far different — from boat builders to banks.

Caption: Stay-at-home parents work up to 126 hours a week. Their labor is valuable even without a paycheck.
A mother’s time is not ‘free’ — and they put in 126-hour workweeks

If you were to pay a stay-at-home mom or dad for their time, it would cost nearly $200,000 a year.

CloZee performs during the second day of Summer Meltdown on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019 in Darrington, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
The psychedelic fest Summer Meltdown is back — and in Monroe

The music and camping event is on for July 28-31, with a new venue along the Skykomish River.

How to cultivate inner peace in the era of COVID, insurrection

Now more than ever, it’s important that we develop and practice relaxation and mindfulness skills that calm our minds and bodies.

Budapest’s House of Terror.
Cold War memories of decadent Western pleasures in Budapest

It’s clear that the younger generation of Eastern Europeans has no memory of the communist era.

Gardening at spring. Planting tree in garden. Senior man watering planted fruit tree at his backyard
Bare root trees and roses have arrived for spring planting

They’re only available from January through March, so shop early for the tree or rose you want.

Help! My Expedia tour credit is about to expire

Kent York cancels his tour package in Norway that he booked through Expedia after the pandemic outbreak. But the hotel won’t offer a refund or extend his credit. Is he about to lose $1,875?

Veteran Keith F. Reyes, 64, gets his monthly pedicure at Nail Flare on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021 in Stanwood, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
No more gnarly feet: This ‘Wounded Warrior’ gets pedicures

Keith Reyes, 64, visits a Stanwood nail salon for “foot treatments” that help soothe blast injuries.

Photo Caption: A coal scuttle wasn't always used for coal; it could hold logs or collect ashes. This one from about 1900 sold for $125 at DuMouchelles in Detroit.
(c) 2022 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.
Coal scuttles of days long gone by now used for fire logs

This circa 1900 coal scuttle is made of oak with brass trim, and sold for $125 at auction.

Most Read