Hello everyone and I wish you all a very happy and successful 2009.
This page of the site was actually intended to be the final page of
2008 as all of the pictures were taken in 2008.  I started putting it
together in late October after our trip to Michigan.  It was delayed
because of one catastrophe after another during the last three
months of 2008.  I will share these events first and then move on to
the remainder of the page.
Our little Doxie, Tara, is nearly 17 years old.  
In November she became ill and was taken to
the vet immediately.  All kinds of tests were
done and the vet indicated to me that it was
remarkable that every test came back normal
considering her age.  The only test that was
positive was the one for Pancreatitis.  This
turned out to be life-threatening for Tara.  
She was hospitalized for an entire week and
kept on IV fluids.  After a week the vet
indicated to me that there was really nothing
more they could do for Tara and the rest was
up to her.  We decided to bring her home once
her condition allowed it.  If she was to cross
the Bridge, then at least she would leave from
her own home.  Once she was home, I had to
feed her four times a day with a syringe.  I
also had to give her water with a syringe.  We
returned to the vet every few days so she
could be examined and to check for
dehydration.  After one of these visits, we
decided to make a stop at McDonald's to have
something to eat before going back home.  
That is when a miracle happened!  Tara
decided she wanted to eat a McDonald's
hamburger.  We purchased a few extra ones
to take home for her.  After this, she started
to recover rapidly.  So we have McDonald's to
thank for helping a little 17-year-old weenie
dog recover from Pancreatitis.  She is now
spoiled rotten as far as her eating habits are
concerned.  I still give her a little of her
prescription dog food, but after that's gone,
she enjoys a hamburger from McDonald's,
roast beef from Arby's, Kraft Macaroni and
Cheese (has to be the white cheddar variety),
and steak.  She also enjoys chicken noodle soup.

Click on Tara's picture to the
left and you will be taken to a
short video showing how much
her health has improved.  You
will need to press the "Back
Button" on your browser to
return to this page.
Back in late September April started having serious digestive problems.  Last summer she also
tested positive for Epilepsy.  Over a three-year period she only had two seizures, so the vet
indicated that she didn't need to be on medication unless the seizures started happening more
often.  She was given a few different medications for her digestive problems.  Nothing really
worked for her.  Eventually the vet decided to perform a colonoscopy on her.  During
preparation for the test the night before, she had to take medication every 30 minutes until 10
pm.  She was fine at bedtime but we put her in a crate overnight just in case.  In the morning,
we found her unconscious.  We thought she had died, but when we pulled her out of the crate,
she was still breathing.  I called my vet at home at 5:30 am and he told us to meet him at the
clinic.  She was still unconscious when we arrived.  He started her on a fluid IV immediately.  
After a few minutes she raised her head and looked at us.  She stayed at the clinic for the rest
of the day and was released that evening.  Apparently the medication used for the preparation
of the colonoscopy had a reaction on her that caused a serious seizure.  She is now taking
seizure medication on a daily basis.  Since a colonoscopy can't be performed on April now, we
are trying different foods in an attempt to find something that agrees with her.  She is better
but still not the way she should be.  But we won't give up on her.  When she is stronger, the vet
may try to do a sonogram on her.  In the meantime, she is happy just being herself.
We noticed that Dee Dee was beginning to walk sideways and also starting to hunch her back up
so that she resembled an upside down letter "U".  The vet took x-rays and ran some tests.  
The only thing that really showed up was a type of arthritis in her spine.  The vet suggested
laser treatments on her back to make her more comfortable.  She had a total of seven laser
treatments.  Thankfully, this helped as far as the pain.  She is now able to jump up on the
furniture once again and seems to be pain-free.  She still has a "hunchback" appearance though.  
Dee Dee was also a victim of Pancreatitis in November.  Fortunately she was only in the hospital
for one day and recovered completely in three days.  Since this happened around the same time
as Tara's illness, I really wonder if something in their food made them sick.  Dee Dee is pretty
much back to normal now, thankfully.
In December of 2007 Serena was rushed to the emergency clinic in the middle of the night and
diagnosed with congestive heart failure.  They didn't think she would even live through the
night, but thankfully she is still going strong more than a year after the initial diagnosis.  
Occasionally she does have a "fainting" spell which is very frightening.   She is on three
different heart medications that she takes twice a day.  We realize that every day we have
with her is a gift and we are thankful that she is living life to the fullest in spite of her heart
Max's condition surfaced only six days ago (January 4).  He is still under the care of the vet
and we don't know yet what the outcome will be.  I didn't want to hold up publication of this
page any longer, so I will provide the current information.  Back in October of 2007 Max had to
have surgery for a ruptured disc in his back (a condition that is common in Dachshunds).  He
recovered completely from this event, but then on January 4 of this year he started having
problems once again.  At one point, he wasn't able to walk or even stand up.  The vet has been
giving him laser treatments daily and he is on a high dose of Predisone and pain medication.  He
is walking again now, but very slowly and not very coordinated.  We are watching him closely and
will call the vet immediately (day or night) if he should lose control of his legs again or have
serious pain.  Hopefully he will be able to recover completely with only the medication.  My first
2009 page will provide information as to the outcome of Max's back problems.
With the exceptions noted above, the remainder of the "Sweet 16" are all in good health and
enjoying the nice, warm Florida winter.

Now I will continue with the happenings of the last part of 2008.

In October we traveled to Michigan for a two-week vacation to visit our son and his wonderful
family.  It was great seeing them and our three grandchildren again.

On the way back to Florida we visited some of our very close friends in Virginia and in North

Traveling with us were Dee Dee, April, Angel, and Rusty.  This was Rusty's very first time away
from home.  He proved to be a terrific traveler and a perfect gentleman.  He really enjoyed
himself and we enjoyed having him with us.
Rusty enjoyed the motel when he had the TV remote control all to himself.  I think he was
watching the baseball playoffs.
Angel is a professional
traveler.  She's been on
a lot of trips in her 7

Dee Dee wanted to make sure that we
wouldn't forget to pick her up.
April, Rusty, and Angel are playing in our son's backyard.  There was another dog next door.
On the road again.  The first stop was Virginia.  The leaves were just beginning to change color
in the mountains.
Our doggie friends in Virginia
And then on to North Carolina
Dee Dee and Rusty were sad when we started the trip back home.
Finally back home again after two weeks on the road
Now that everyone is back home again, it's time for a little fun
Yummy, this bone is good
A little playtime with Holly and then a nap with Mom's shirt and slipper

Oh, it's none other than Max
And, yes, he got a bath right after these pictures were taken.
All nice and clean again, playtime is moved to the bed.  Rusty and Amber join the fun while
Angel looks on.
Now it's time for a little fun outdoors

Click on the pool picture to
the left and you will be taken
to a short video of the Jack
Russell Pool Party.  You will
need to press the "Back
Button" on your browser to
return to this page.
Jennie enjoys the pool while Serena
Bailey waits for someone to play with her  
Tara - feeling pretty good again!
Angel (aka The Troublemaker)
April and her Mom, Dee Dee
Let's EAT!
(Like I said, "The Troublemaker")
Time to relax after a hard day
Bailey and Tucker choose the big bed
Dee Dee isn't sure if she wants the big bed or the little bed so she tries them both
Rusty doesn't care where he is and Angel wants to be where she can see everything that's
going on around her
The little troublemaker again waiting to use my computer when I'm not looking!
Must be a full moon!
How many do you see?

Click on the picture to the
left and you will be taken to a
short video of a few of the
dogs outside playing. You will
need to press the "Back
Button" on your browser to
return to this page.