Semi-retired and enjoying life
On Paul Edmondson’s last day as a teacher, all of the kids at Heritage Elementary School lined the halls and clapped to see him off in style.
Paul spent 27 years as a teacher –17 of them in Douglas County School District (DCSD) – teaching third through sixth grade. Now that he and his wife, Jennifer, who was also a teacher in DCSD for 23 years, are semi-retired, they are thoroughly enjoying life in the neighborhood.
Paul has started a dog walking business and Jennifer works part time in the information center for Shea Homes at The Exchange Coffee House. Paul also coaches boys’ soccer at Legend High School in Parker.
The empty nesters – parents to 27-year-old twins – recently downsized, moving from the Tapestry Hills neighborhood near Daniels Park to a ranch-style home they had built in The Canyons. The couple is already making friends, and Paul said they just happened to move in down the street from an old classmate from his days as a student at Cherry Creek High School.
The Edmondsons play pickleball regularly, and Paul likes to golf and go fly fishing in the Deckers area. They own two dogs, a Havanese-poodle rescue named Lucky and a Pekingese-poodle mix named Buddy. They like to travel and are also snowbirds, retreating to Destin, Florida, for the winter.
Paul is a lifelong animal lover and was partly inspired to work with dogs in semi-retirement after seeing a TV news segment about an emaciated dog who survived the destructive wildfires in Paradise, California in 2018, and waited patiently for days, perhaps weeks, for his owners to return as he sat on a remaining charred slab of concrete where his home once stood. The people who found the dog took him in and made a post on Facebook, which his owners happened to see, resulting in a heartwarming reunion.
“It was a happy ending and that was something that really resonated with me,” he said.
Paul began posting fliers about his dog walking business on dog waste bag dispensers in the area and immediately received calls. He also posted on The Canyons Facebook page and got a response. For now, he is walking two dogs regularly in addition to his own two pups.
“I just wanted to do something that I enjoyed, something less stressful,” he said.
That said, he is immensely grateful for a satisfying teaching career, and he and Jennifer would never have met if he had not followed his dream to be in the classroom. They both retired at the top of their game with no regrets.
“Retirement was a great decision,” Paul said. “We are very pleased with living in our new community; we’ve made a lot of friends and just love Castle Pines.”
By Chris Michlewicz; photos courtesy of Paul Edmondson