And last, but certainly not least, a very special testimonial written by Jeri the Border Collie, with a little help from his Mum Tuula:
Last summer, I was just over a year old when I got to know you. I found out, that my family would have to leave the country for many weeks to get their visas renewed. They had planned on taking me with them, but the flight people did not want to take me with them because they thought it would be too hot on the way back in July. My Mum got so sad, she couldn't think of putting me in a jail. Okay for a short time for some dogs? Not me! I want my exercise AND mingle with people!
My Mum didn't give up, and finally she ended up at my vet's asking if they would know a place where I could stay during their visit overseas. She got into tears when she found out that there was this one woman, who would board dogs in her house and take care of them as they would be her own.
That was you, Jessica.
My Mum calls you "an angel" for saving them not to send me in jail for a month for a crime without incrimination. Well, taken into consideration that my worst crime is to love people too much... I even go to the vet's office dancing! Why wouldn't I? I can see all the wonderful friends I have there, again! But it is not my fault to be so friendly, as a matter of fact, I blame all the humans who have been so friendly and loving towards me. When I was little, they would kneel down in front of me and call me "Oh My God". I thought that it must be my name!
Being a border collie boy I worried a little, if you would have the energy with me.
My family took me to meet you before they left, and I just loved it at your place! Big fenced yard and all the toys!!! You even asked for the basic words in their language to tell me things. Well, I am bilingual, and the basic things are universal within the canine family, and I would definitely name you as a member of that.
They told me, that they would come back for me, but frankly, in this place and with you Jessica, I would not have minded them not doing that at all...
That month was my summer vacation, I had so many new friends, great family time, Independence Day in the White Mountains with your family. I remember you placing me in the back of the car with the pleasant music going on. Of course you had had the air conditioning running after the hot day. I stayed there for the short time you folks started the fire works, I saw and heard them and enjoyed, but appreciated you putting me in the car for that time. It was so considerate of you. I could have that relaxing nap after the gorgeous day...
I also remember us swimming in that cool river in the mountains. I was on a leash for security, you holding on to it, and this "other guy" taping under-water video of us swimming. It was so refreshing! And great exercise on a hot day!
I also heard afterwards, that you had sent all these pictures and videos about our days by email to my family. I so much appreciate that, I thought it was just what they needed, since otherwise they would have been worrying all the time, how I would be doing. I knew they missed me enormously, so it was nice of you to let them know I was having the time of my life.
Well, after the nearly 4 weeks they were away, they came back feeling all so sorry for leaving me. They worried so much, if I would go back to them, since I had had such a good time with you and all my new friends. Well, vacation is for vacation, I jumped in the car pretty soon they came to get me, after all the welcoming hugs and running over and over in the yard and showing all the new turns I had found out during that month playing with my friends.
Now I am happy having lived my life with my family after the summer, it has been pretty nice. They take me to 3-6 miles walks or runs almost every day, so at this point they don't let me see you often enough. They like it when I bring the ball back to them, and I do that to make them happy. I must say, that they throw the ball pretty well after all the hard practice I have made them go through. They also make me do all this they call "obedience", and I must say I kind of like that, even though the word sounds so disgusting. I find it more like working with them. Then, they have all this they call "work" and "school" so they couldn't go away and bring me back to your place for a visit... yeah right... I sure hope they would go on a vacation soon again!
With all my love (and there is lots of it),