Posted by: amymoellering | September 17, 2015

Around Pleasanton: AAUW has come a long way, keeps going

This column was a fun one to write. I met with six long-time members of the AAUW at our local Sweet & Savory Coffee Shop. They all had so much to share about what it was like to be young mothers in our valley in the 1960’s and ’70’s…the sense of isolation, the hunger for intellectual stimulation, and the need to connect with other women. Then came the ’70’s with women and mothers entering the workforce and the concerns about the effects upon the family. They lived through it all, supporting women’s education and rights every step of the way. And they are still doing it, even though all of them are now retired; it just means that now they can fit in rounds of bridge and read more books! 

By Amy Moellering Columnist

POSTED:   09/15/2015 01:46:17 PM PDT
Although there are many organizations in our valley, there is one that has directly impacted the lives of women and offered opportunities to make a difference for more than 60 years.
“When I moved to this area 50 years ago, I thought there was nothing for women,” said Dawn Gordner, “and then I discovered AAUW (the American Association of University Women). “If I hadn’t joined, I wouldn’t have done half the things I’ve done in my life.” For Gordner, that list includes researching the effects of working mothers on the family in the ’70s, hosting a weekly community TV show and presiding over the local chapter.
The AAUW, a nationwide organization with 1,000 branches, was founded in 1881. Although the issues have changed from when women were just getting the right to vote and entering the work force, the mission is the same: to advance equity of women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research.

Our local AAUW branch, covering Livermore, Dublin and Pleasanton, began in 1952 and remains just as relevant and active as it was when it began. “Our main thrust is education,” said current President Chris Alesso. She means this literally, as the group annually awards thousands of scholarship dollars.

Middle school students can apply for scholarships to attend Stanford University ‘s Tech Trek Camp, a weeklong program that exposes girls to technology and science.

“There’s nothing more inspirational than hearing these girls say that they’ve found their people,” said past President Dorothy Bishop. “We want to assure them it’s great to be smart scientists.”

At the college level, the AAUW recently initiated a mentorship program with Las Positas College that will connect students with professionals. In addition, college juniors and seniors can apply for scholarships designed to help women complete their degrees. Graduate students can apply for research funds from a national program that once funded Marie Curie.

In addition to education, AAUW is concerned with legislation. Roz Wright, director of the public policy interest group, explained that members research current bills in Sacramento. The group then votes on a focus issue, and each member follows and advocates for a specific bill. This year’s focus is legislation that will affect women economically.”I’m following a scheduling equity bill which will provide fairness and consistency to people with shift work,” said Wright.

This group also likes to have fun. For its 117 members, they offer three book clubs, two bridge groups, dining and travel clubs; the newest group is “Money Talks.” The AAUW regularly offers presentations to the community, from talks on Rosie the Riveter to guests like Ellen Tauscher and Eric Swalwell.

“This is an organization that’s well respected and makes a difference,” said Wright. Much has been done, but with issues like pay equity, sex trafficking and gender bias in the workplace, there’s much more to do. New members can help steer the direction of the AAUW into the future. To learn more, attend the informational tea this Saturday.

Contact Amy Moellering at

Our local TV station used to have a show called “In a Word,” a book club discussion group that aired monthly. My good friend, Kathy Cordova, was a host and invited me several times to be on the show. My favorite memory was when I was on the show with my mom for the book Lizzie’s War,which was about Vietnam and military families. We shared our perspectives of being military wives in different decades and my appreciation for my mom expanded as a result of that experience. This article was my chance to learn more about our local station. 

If you’re old enough to have watched television in 1976, then you likely remember the three original networks featuring classic shows like “Charlie’s Angels” and “Happy Days.” If you were living in the Tri-Valley, you may also remember community television.

That’s right, TV30, as it’s known today, began broadcasting before the advent of cable television, and a lot has changed since those early days when the crew transported cameras, cable and sound equipment in a donated red wagon with a white poster board advertisement affixed to the side.

For nearly 40 years, TV30 has provided local residents a window into city government and school board decisions. In addition, shows like “Valley Gardener,” “Slice of Life” and “Let’s Talk Sports” (with local legend “Dr. B”), inform, entertain and unite the Pleasanton, Dublin and Livermore communities.

The idea for a local station originated with Marshall Kamena and three other community leaders, Lee Horner, Charlotte Severin and Darla Stevens. After studying a successful station in the San Fernando Valley, the foursome raised operating funds, found space to rent from the school district, and appointed Stevens as the first executive director.

“We were passionate about what community television could bring,” said Kamena, who served as Livermore’s mayor from 2001-2011 and has been active in every step of TV30’s history. “Community television provides transparency to local government, and the programs have enduring messages.”

Today, the red wagon has been replaced by two vans, three channels and a viewership that extends to 304,000 residents through Comcast Cable, AT&T U-Verse and website streaming. Under the leadership of Executive Director Melissa Tench-Stevens, the station produces 30 new monthly programs with three full-time staff members and a team of freelancers. No aspect of the production is outsourced; it’s all done on location. In addition, they provide video production services for local companies.

On top of its many broadcasting commitments, the station holds the only summer camp in a working station for middle and high school students. It also holds an annual award ceremony for the high school athletes who earn “Athlete of the Week” recognitions during the school year.

“When we first began, students would show up in flip flops and shorts, but now it’s a big deal that attracts government officials like Catherine Baker and professional athletes like former Raider Tony Stewart,” said Tench-Stevens.

What broadcast receives the highest ratings? The Amador-Foothill Varsity football and basketball games. This production requires six cameras, a 23-person crew, miles of cable and two fully equipped video vans. The editors work until 4:30 a.m. and broadcast the game the following evening. Last year’s game won TV30 a well-deserved California/Nevada NATOA award.

Funding is a challenge for this nonprofit; hence, the TV30 Foundation was formed specifically to support the future of this valuable community asset.

“Without the foundation it would be much more challenging,” said Tench-Stevens. “It’s gratifying to see how much we’ve grown in the past few years, connecting people and promoting the valley’s quality events.” Watch Tri-Valley Television on channels 28, 29 and 30 or online at

Contact Amy Moellering at

Posted by: amymoellering | August 21, 2015

Around Pleasanton: Beyond our Fence

In a previous blog several years ago, I mourned the fact that the field behind our house was being developed, causing the owls that would roost in the trees to relocate. Ever since Stoneridge Creek, the senior living community, was completed last year, I’ve been trying to find a way to see the end result and meet some of the neighbors beyond our fence. I had the chance when I heard about Ty Kaufman…

By day, Ty Kaufman is the Plant Operations Director at Stoneridge Creek Continuing Life Retirement Community; by night he’s a heavy metal lead guitarist for the Bay Area band Ratchet. These two passions are not as disparate as one might think.

Kaufman developed his love for working with senior citizens gradually, when his first high school job was dishwashing in a Spokane, Washington, retirement home. “I didn’t like washing dishes,” he said, “but it was a steppingstone to groundskeeper to maintenance technician and then into management.” He soon learned about the relationships that form when working with the elderly. “We eventually become family,” he said.

His love for music began much earlier, at age 5, when his mom gave him an old guitar she’d purchased for $14 from the Salvation Army. A Native American who spent his early years on a reservation, Kaufman grew up without electricity and spent hours each day composing music and practicing.


Stoneridge Creek officially opened in September 2013, and Kaufman was there weeks beforehand, managing the logistics of moving 100 people into their new homes. “It was like the Old West,” he said. “All the new residents hauling their stuff were the pioneers.”


In its innovative and comprehensive approach to retirement, Stoneridge Creek offers a planned neighborhood with lovely homes and recreation, plus continued care in the adjacent Creekview. Operation issues are Kaufman’s domain, amounting to about 225 work orders a week and the management of technicians, landscapers, mechanics and drivers. 


Residents Lynn Hall and Ludlow Miller, who work with Kaufman on the Maintenance Advisory Committee, praised the positive relationship between residents and employees. The committee worked to reduce electrical bills and continues to improve conservation efforts.


“Stoneridge Creek was very forward-thinking in its construction,” said Miller, who relocated with his wife last year from Philadelphia to be closer to their grandchildren.


“Our goal is to improve the quality of life by fine-tuning things,” said Hall who also moved in last year. In her short time at Stoneridge Creek, she’s discovered that she has a talent for drawing. “It began with an art class; now people are hiring me to do drawings of their grandchildren,” she said.“It may be considered senior living, but no one here is old,” said Kaufman, and that certainly seemed to be true when I visited. Activity surrounded us, with buses waiting out front for the day’s excursion, families dining on the patio, a lecture in one conference room and a yoga class in another.

As for the merging of Kaufman’s two worlds, it looks like he’ll get the chance in the fall Talent Show. He’s committed to perform with fellow band member and Stoneridge chef Jonnie Walker. When I asked if they’d play heavy metal and imagined the inevitable clash with the easy listening music that accompanies the dancing fountains, Ty smiled.

“Probably something more bluesy.” he said.

“I’ll like it as long as I can dance to it,” said Hall.

Amy MoelleringStoneridge Creek Continuing Life Retirement Community residents Lynn Hall, left, and Ludlow Miller, right, appear recently with Plant

Stoneridge Creek Continuing Life Retirement Community residents Lynn Hall, left, and Ludlow Miller, right, appear recently with Plant Operations Director Ty Kaufman, center. I love my new neighbors!
Posted by: amymoellering | August 5, 2015

AROUND PLEASANTON: Group Helps Disabled REACH their Dreams

The best thing about writing these columns is talking to people who give selflessly to the community. Kay King is one of these people—she coaches Special Olympics and chairs REACH because she cares and wants to give back. No other reason than that! 

Ken Hwang is hearing-impaired and has cerebral palsy, but that hasn’t stopped him from taking online courses from Capital Bible Deaf College. For eight years he has lived independently in a REACH home off First Street in Pleasanton, a convenient location that has allowed him to take public transportation and participate in Special Olympics.

When Hwang suffered from back problems that made it difficult for him to study, a group of REACH (Resources, Education, Activities, Community and Housing) volunteers made ergonomic adjustments to his work space, allowing him to continue to pursue his goals toward a degree.

So, who are these REACH volunteers? A group of caring individuals who help developmentally disabled adults like Ken live up to their full potential. “We are unique in what we do,” says Kay King, their current co-chair.

The idea for this organization started 25 years ago when Norm and Barbara Guest were searching for an alternative living arrangement for their daughter, Darlene, who was unhappily living in a Stockton group home. At the time, supported living services were not an option; the only Tri-Valley residence was a group home for men.

The Guests teamed up with Lloyd Hansen and other concerned families to form House Inc. and provide affordable, supported housing for developmentally disabled adults in the Tri-Valley — not an easy task.

Their two major challenges were to convince the Regional Center of the East Bay to fund supported living and work with the cities of Livermore and Pleasanton to acquire affordable homes through grants and partnerships. It was an endeavor worthy of pioneers, and, with persistence, the group was successful.

In 1991, they purchased two two-bedroom duplexes, and soon after, the Regional Center of the East Bay approved Darlene’s requirement for 24-hour support. Today, more than 300 people receive supported living services from the Regional Center, and REACH supports 26 adults in nine homes.

“It’s a distinctive landlord-tenant situation,” says King. “One we maintain with sensitivity and compassion.” In 2008, the group changed their name to REACH to reflect the expansion of their mission. “We are searching for how we can make a greater impact on the lives of the adults we serve,” says King. They support other organizations such as RADD (Recreation for Adults with Developmental Disabilities) by funding scholarships, team equipment and their annual Winter Ball.

“We’d like to grow our board and set our mission so we can adopt a matching fundraising strategy,” says King. In addition to an annual golf tournament, they receive funding from many organizations, including Fremont Bank and the Pleasanton Weekly’s Holiday Giving Program.

As the adult autistic population grows in number, the demand for services grows as well. Currently, the REACH board consists of nine active members — half have family members with disabilities; others, like King, who also coaches Special Olympics, do not.

“I see kids like Ken as individuals, not as people with disabilities,” she says. “They are capable of so much and should be able to live independently to that potential.” For more information, visit

Pleasanton high school students Elena Angst, Sarah Crawford, Hannah Yozzo and Mariah Nibert marched into the San Francisco airport earlier this summer bearing signs of welcome for Mexican students they’d never met. They welcomed them into their homes for three weeks of language immersion, cultural experiences and just plain fun.

Currently, these students are in Tulancingo, where they are sharpening their Spanish skills and learning about a city that resembles Pleasanton in demographics, cultural opportunities and soccer enthusiasm. In all the testimonies that I’ve heard about this program, it’s apparent that, without fail, these teenagers go from being strangers to lifelong friends in six short weeks.

courtesy of Ann AngstHannah Yozzo, left to right, Sarah Crawford, Elena Angst, Mariah Nibert, Andrea Islas, Enrique Gayosso,Braulio Riosand Daniela Orozco.

courtesy of Ann Angst Hannah Yozzo, left to right, Sarah Crawford, Elena Angst, Mariah Nibert, Andrea Islas, Enrique Gayosso,Braulio Rios and Daniela Orozco. ( courtesy of Ann Angst )
 Celebrating its 30th year, the youth exchange is one part of the Pleasanton-Tulancingo Sister City program. The club hosts many activities throughout the year, including adult trips every April and September. Jorge Victoria, the current president, explained that families participating in the youth exchange only have to cover airfare; the club finances group activities such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a Giants game, a Sacramento tour and social events. In Tulancingo, activities include visiting the Teotihuacan pyramids, Pachuca and attending the local high school. This year, the girls packed white dresses for a quinceañera celebration.

Ann Angst co-directs the program and says the benefits include increased self-esteem, stronger social and second language skills and college preparation. The challenge, she says, is reaching Pleasanton parents. More students apply in Tulancingo than Pleasanton, a trend she attributes to overpacked schedules and unnecessary trepidation.

“Parents are afraid that Mexico isn’t safe or that their children’s Spanish skills aren’t strong enough,” said Angst.

After two thousand successful trips and so many years of fellowship, these two communities are tightly knitted together.

“Participating households undergo a rigorous interview process,” said Victoria.

As for Spanish skills, a student only needs to have taken Spanish 2, often accomplished by the end of one’s freshman year.”Typically, the Tulancingo parents don’t speak English, but the students are fluent,” said Angst.

Angst’s daughter, Sophia, participated in 2012 and is now an International Studies major at Elon University in North Carolina attending classes at the University of Buenos Aires. She said the program helped foster her interest in the culture and motivated her to improve her Spanish.

“It was definitely a good first step to an abroad experience and made adjusting to Argentine culture a little easier,” said Angst.

Hannah Yozzo, one of this year’s ambassadors, said, “My favorite experience so far has been seeing the pyramids because they are so old and beautiful and unlike anything you would ever see in the U.S. Also, it’s really odd because everything is so green and I can take showers for as long as I like!”

The value of connections with people from a different culture and country is immeasurable.

Sarah Crawford summed it up: “I’ve made seven new friends that I feel I’ve known my whole life. I heard people say that you make lifelong friends in this program, but I didn’t believe I could feel this close to people I met only a few weeks ago.”

For more information, visit and contact Ann Angst at 925-600-7941.

Contact Amy Moellering at

Dear Sunny Spells Readers: Although it’s been ages since I’ve blogged, I have been busy writing columns for our local newspaper, The Tri-Valley Times. Some of you have asked to read these pieces and since they are piling up and I’m losing track of them, I thought I’d start posting them here. I will clearly label them so they are clearly distinguishable from my other musings. Thanks for reading and for your incredible support!  
Best, Amy

AROUND PLEASANTON, AMADOR GRAD HEADED TO WORLD CHAMPS Amy Moellering, Columnist, Contra Costa Times, July 9, 2015

A look of sheer admiration graced the faces of the middle school students who stopped at our Santa Rita Road Starbucks table. I was talking to Jackie Gilbert, a 2015 Amador Valley High graduate who, as the first female Californian to be picked for the U.S. National Lacrosse team, is creating quite a name for herself. These girls wanted some of her time, too.

Like many kids in Pleasanton, Gilbert first turned to lacrosse as a way to cross-train for soccer. By the time she reached high school she was fully committed to playing year-round, making the varsity team as a freshman and playing in tournaments across the country with Bear Lax. She’s now headed to Edinburgh, Scotland, with the U19 National Lacrosse team to compete in the world championships. Considering that the farthest west any of her teammates live is Pennsylvania, Gilbert is finally bringing attention to what has traditionally been an East Coast-dominated sport.

Amador Valley High School Jackie Gilbert plays for Amador Valley versus Carondelet High.

Gilbert’s competitive journey started in May 2014 when she was playing in a tournament with the NorCal team. Out of 800 players, Gilbert was invited to attend a tryout two months later in Baltimore with 110 other players. This tryout pruned the number to 25. She then flew back east for training sessions in October and found out in January that she made the final cut, a team of 18. Selected to play defense, she’s a versatile player who is also dynamite as a midfielder and on the draw. Gilbert gives a lot of credit to Bear Lax coach Theresa Sherry. “She made it possible to get into top tournaments and get huge exposure,” said Gilbert.

Support from family and friends, who have helped fund her travel expenses, has been invaluable. “This process has shown me how incredible our town is,” Gilbert said.

Gilbert will fly to New York for final training with the team before she joins them on what will be her first international flight. The world championships will run from July 23 through Aug. 1, and the team is hoping to win its fifth consecutive gold medal. After the World Cup, Gilbert will return for a few weeks to prepare for her new adventure: freshman lacrosse player at USC.

“It will be nice to have that pinnacle moment in Scotland because then it’s back to low man on the totem pole,” said Gilbert.I soon discovered that the middle school girls who stopped at our table were lacrosse protégés. In her limited free time, Gilbert gives private lessons to girls. In the “Be You” videos highlighting the U.S. national team, Gilbert talks about how difficult middle school was and how she overcame bullying. Now she helps that age group gain self-confidence through lacrosse. It was apparent from the kind way she spoke to them and the look on their faces that Gilbert has learned to use her talents to give back and is a hero — our very own hometown lacrosse hero.

For more information about the U.S. national team and to see the “Be You” videos, visit

Contact Amy Moellering at

Posted by: amymoellering | May 19, 2014

One of those “on the brink” Hugs

Remember your child’s first day of Kindergarten and you bent over to hug him or her goodbye? For me, I knew, to the bottom of my core that it was a profound moment, a moment on the brink—our little girl was crossing into a new world outside our home and our protection and moving into the big, expanded world of schooldays.

Then there was the first time our son took the car keys after he got his license. I knew he was entering a new level of freedom, and it wouldn’t be long before he too felt those possibilities. I hugged him and said, “Drive safe.” I must have said those words countless times. “Take care.” “Drive safe.” “Call me when you get there.” The litany of phrases we moms use.

These hugs are “on the brink of a transition” hugs. Sometimes you know that’s what they are and sometimes you don’t. They aren’t necessarily sad…they are bittersweet. Filled with pride and joy intermingled with the sting of loss that comes with change.

That was the hug I had with my oldest daughter last week. I knew what was happening. She did not. She just thought she was going for a hike with her sister. In her crumpled sweatshirt, her long brown hair tied up in a ponytail, she gave me a huge smile and morning hug. I held on a little long, in full knowledge that when she came home things would be different. Not only was our relationship moving into a new sphere, but also the circle of our family would be expanded. Just like that— exciting, full of promise— the way life is at twenty-three.

“See you soon,” I simply said, feeling like I was hugging the moment of her childhood moving on. “Have fun hiking.”

Yet, this was not a normal Saturday morning hike. A wonderful red-headed boy was waiting for her on a bench, with a ring in his pocket and promises in his heart. I knew during our hug that the next time I saw her she would have entered a new world, one that was redefining her definition of home. Although she’s been independent for a number of years and has lived on her own—this was different. Very different. Yep, it was one of those on the brink hugs!


Posted by: amymoellering | November 6, 2013

Conversation Confusion

As we prepare to visit our daughter for Parents Weekend  (packing our winter coats) I came across this entry I wrote in the summer….

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone that veered so off course you were left scratching your head?  A week before we took our youngest to college in the Great Midwest, we were eating lunch at some outside tables in Monterey with our new puppy sitting at our feet. Because new puppies are skilled conversation starters we caught the attention of a young mom and her two boys. She stopped us as we were leaving and asked all sorts of questions about the dog. I told her how she was bred for the runway, a show dog reject, whose dreams of modeling were curtailed by the fact that she’s too short. We laughed..I mean, aren’t we all too short to be models?  This is where the conversation got funny:

“What’s your dog’s name?” asked the woman.

“Well, her show name was ‘Who’s your Honey?’ but we renamed her Gracie.”

The woman’s eyes lit up and she nearly leapt out of her chair. “I’m from Indiana!”

At which point, my daughter’s eyes lit up too and she burst out, “I’m going to Butler! I leave next week.”

“OMG. I lived in Broad Ripple! You are going to love it. Butler’s a great school. Midwest boys are sooo nice…..” and on and on she went, in directions I couldn’t fathom. No longer was I the proud momma of a show dog reject, but the confused mother of a college bound daughter who was now the center of attention.

Although confused, I was also thrilled at how excited Maggie looked because frankly, she had seemed rather nervous lately about college.

We walked away after Maggie had gotten the low-down on all the places to go and the merits of Midwestern men. “What the heck was that all about?” I asked.

“Mom, she thought you said Hoosier Honey…not “Who’s your Honey.”

”But I’m glad she did,” Maggie continued. “I needed to hear that. People have been asking me why I would go so far away and it was nice to talk to someone who thinks it’s great.”

Whose your—Hoosier, I muttered. Well, there you have it!

HOOSIER, def. Hoosier /ˈhʒər/ is the official demonym for a resident of the U.S. state of Indiana.

Posted by: amymoellering | October 29, 2013

Just Married—50 Years Ago

After months of planning on Skype with my husband’s siblings who live in Ohio and London, the 50th anniversary celebration of my dear in-laws finally happened.

Outside Chapel Hill North Carolina, in the lovely Fearrington Inn, we had an intimate gathering of their closest friends and family. We re-enacted the saber arch they had at their military wedding during the Vietnam Era—four of their prior service friends standing as close to ramrod straight as possible, with sabers held high and crossed to form an arch. We duplicated the gardenia bouquet she carried and strung a paper streamer with the numbers 1-50, each filled with a detail of foolish fun (e.g. #24: Cost of a gallon of gas the year they were married).


 We watched, amid laughs and tears, a video my husband put together. That’s when it became apparent:  50 years is a lifetime, and that’s what we were celebrating: a married partnership across half a century filled with love for each other, for family, for friends; filled with kindness, laughter and commitment.

There were photos of parades and uniforms, of the babies, of the vacations, of the silliness of family reunions, of trips with friends, of those no longer with us, of fashion mistakes like shoulder pads and horrible ’80’s perms. Their love and devotion to each other was evident in every frame.

As we were setting this whole affair up, an outdoor wedding was taking place nearby on the lawn, and we stopped to watch. A young bride, on her father’s arm, walked through a drizzle of rain down the grassy aisle. She was just beginning her journey and I hoped she had a role model like my in-laws to emulate.  I was hoping the rain wasn’t bothering her one bit. That she welcomed its serendipity, it’s defiance against the weather forecast; that she laughed, because if she didn’t have the day she imagined, she had the day she created.

Because it’s one thing to stay married 50 years—and it’s another to hang a banner that sincerely reads: “Just Married- 50 years ago.“

Thanks for the example of love, Karla and John.

Posted by: amymoellering | October 15, 2013

Empty Nest?

My poor blog…it’s where I try to make sense of things and sometimes when you’re in the midst of an upheaval you just live through it and try to make sense of it all later. Later soon becomes a month, then two. Journals—that’s where the rawness of experience is recorded. Scrawled ink, rambling sentences, a litany of the mundane…that’s my journal. Time to pull those out, do a little healthy reflection, and hash them into Sunny Spells again.

 It has been a time of upheaval…the youngest off to college; the oldest struggling with health problems; a new puppy, a new job. But it’s been full of Sunny Spells too and it’s time…

So yes, we took the youngest to college, almost two months ago, and it’s been an adjustment. Not that I’m in denial or anything…I do buy way too many groceries for teenagers who aren’t coming, and although those empty closets are tempting, I haven’t filled them yet with the overflow of mine or the coats from the downstairs closet (I’m thinking that space would make a great wine cellar)…but so far, the rooms are intact.

However, the lack of chaos has been something I’ve had a bit of trouble with, as my neighbor brought to my attention this past weekend. She came over with her kids, and did a double take in my foyer. She took one look at the Golden Retriever and another at the small Terrier pup who came running to greet her and said,

 “Amy, I need to give you a reality check. Here you guys are supposed to be Empty Nesters and you have not one but two puppies, and one is in diapers!”

It’s true… John went shopping for diapers when our seven-month old puppy went into heat and the terrier was a friend’s dog we were watching while she went to her daughter’s parent weekend. But I smiled. Maybe I do need a reality check, but watching those puppies play and wrestle, and the madness of them running in circles brought joy and noise to a house that has felt a little too…quiet lately.



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