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,

Merlin

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

Washington’s most beloved state park turns 100

Deception Pass State Park, which draws as many visitors as the best-known national parks in the U.S., celebrates a century of recreation and conservation

Kid 'n Play members Christopher "Kid" Reid, left, and Christopher "Play" Martin perform on NBC's "Today" show during the "I Love The 90's" morning concert at Rockefeller Plaza on Friday, April 29, 2016, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

Relive the music of the 1990s with Kid N Play and other stars of the era at the Tulalip Casino Amphitheater.

Contestant chef Brian Madayag (left) of Edmonds and West Coast team captain Brooke Williamson on “Beachside Brawl.” (Food Network) 20220616
Edmonds chef reps Pacific Northwest on new Food Network show

Barkada owner Brian Madayaga will compete on a new Food Network series that premiers Sunday.

After two years of wellness, Covid finally hit this family, but thanks to vaccinations, the symptoms were mild. (Jennifer Bardsley)
Jennifer Bardsley’s fighting COVID-19 with vaccines and TLC

But even with vaccinations, the disease is scary for people like her with less than robust immune systems.

Turkey vultures’ pervious nostrils are among the features that help them feed on carrion. (The Columbian files)
In praise of turkey vultures, nature’s cleaning service

These raptors should be revered, not reviled, for their disposal of stinky, disease-laden animal matter.

close-up of gardener's hands planting a tomato seedling in the vegetable garden
This summer, it’s smart to go big or go home at the nursery

When buying annuals, vegetables or perennials, go for the 1-gallon pots. And don’t skimp on the soil amendments and plant food.

Writing on Belfast's Peace Wall.
Rick Steves’ Europe: Europe tears down walls — and builds bridges

The walls of antiquity — and of the Cold War — were symbols not of strength, but of mistrust and insecurity.

Coming home for the summer: Your college student and you

It can be tough going and conflicts will arise, but don’t worry, parents — they’ll be back in school soon.

He booked his JetBlue tickets on Orbitz. Now they’re gone

When Benjamin Eckstein shows up at the airport for his flight from Boston to San Jose, his airline says he doesn’t have a ticket. Whose fault is this mess, and how does he clean it up?

Musicians Rod Argent, left, Hugh Grundy, Chris White, and Colin Blunstone of The Zombies attends the 2019 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Barclays Center on Friday, March 29, 2019, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

Get your tickets now to see rock Hall of Famers The Zombies in Everett. Plus there’s a month of music planned in Langley.

dsfy
Celebrate national pollination week

This year, the week of June 20-26 is National Pollination Week and… Continue reading

The GPP for this Friday is Clematis 'Rooguchi' and the image credit goes to Richie Steffen.
Great Plant Pick: Clematis ‘Rooguchi’

This charming, non-twining vine is ideal for tight situations, and does well in a container.