My team and I have done a lot of travelling this past month. Shortly after our regional team meeting in Las Vegas, the Kincade Fire broke out in Sonoma County. Micah Comfort Dog joined Reuben and myself as we visited first responders and firefighters at the Cal Fire base camp. Base camp is the temporary home for the firefighters who are battling the fires and provides them an opportunity for much needed rest. Micah, Reuben and I were very blessed to bring a bit of “normalcy” for these brave heroes while they were away from (and missing) their homes, families and pets.
Following the terrible shootings at Saugus High School, LCC Comfort Dogs were invited to Santa Clarita, CA by Bethlehem Lutheran Church, where we had visited several times before, to comfort those affected by this tragedy. Micah, Lois and I answered the call and we were joined by Ruthie, who came out from Lutheran Church Charities headquarters to meet us. In addition to spending time with students and staff, we also participated in a candlelight vigil to remember the victims. In the days following the incident, we continued to offer comfort, meeting with the community at several local parks. I am so grateful for the prayers and send-off by members of the church and St. John’s Lutheran School prior to my deployment.
Last month Reuben and I joined the community of Paradise, CA as they commemorated the one-year anniversary of the terrible fires that swept through their town and surrounding communities. God remains faithful and these people are resilient and strong. Please pray for them as they continue to heal and rebuild.
When not deployed, I participated in several unique opportunities here at St. John’s. In October, SJLS hosted a visit by Sgt. Ryan Guerra and the California Air National Guard Anti-Drug Task force team. They arrived in their Pave Hawk helicopter, landing on St. John’s athletic field! I have ridden in cars and been aboard a boat, but I have never seen a helicopter up close before. I was fascinated to see it seemingly drop out of the sky when it landed and then disappear from view after take-off. They did not take me up for a ride, but they did invite me in for a tour of the helicopter. It was very cool!
Extraordinary Dogs was released last month, and I feel so humbled to have been included on the cover of this wonderful book. My first book “signing” was a lot of fun! Thank you to everyone for supporting the book and hanging out with me.