DECEMBER 31, 2012
The year 2012 turned out to be quite a roller coaster ride for
our family, both 2- and 4-legged.  As we close out the year, we
all look forward to a better year coming up without any more
serious health issues.

We had to say goodbye to two of our beloved pack members
during 2012.  We lost our
April earlier this year.  Then on
October 4 we lost
Benji at the age of 16.  He fought hard to
stay with us a bit longer but his body was very tired.  Diagnosed
with cancer in March of 2012, he was only given 2 months to live
but his spirit was not willing to adhere to that prediction.  He
finally told us his time had come 7 months after diagnosis.  
When Benji began his journey to Rainbow Bridge, Bailey became
our oldest pack member at the age of 14.  She does enjoy
sleeping a lot and has lost her hearing, but a good game of "fetch
the tennis ball" and swimming with packmate, Rusty, are also high
on her list of ways to pass the time.
Bailey's two oldest daughters are now 12 years old.
Holly has gone nearly deaf now but both Holly and Sarah are
enjoying their senior years.
Rusty is 10 years old and is beginning to show his age although he
can still swim laps in the swimming pool for 30 minutes at a
time.  He has some digestive issues and also suffers from a type
of muscular degeneration, but remains active.
Jennie is Bailey's youngest daughter at 8 years old.  She's a bit
overweight but we're working on that.
Oh yes, then we have the Weenies, Amber and Max.
They'll turn 9 years old in January.
Earlier this year we welcomed Annie to the family.  The story of
her arrival can be found on our
last update page released in
June.  She has turned into a very loving, wonderful girl who will
turn 5 years old in March.

Since September we have welcomed 3 new girls to our family.
Autumn and Shelby were the first to arrive.
Autumn is 4 years old and Shelby is 9 months old.
They have both blossomed in our family and I just can't imagine
not having them here with us.

Please meet Autumn and Shelby.
With the arrival of Peppermint Patty (AKA Pepper), our family is
now complete.  Pepper has only been with us a week but she's
already dug her way deep into our hearts.  Pepper is 7 months old.

During the second half of 2012 we noticed that Amber was having
some difficulty with her vision.  Her distance vision didn't seem
too bad, but she couldn't focus on items that were right in front
of her.  Our vet suggested we take her to see an eye specialist.  
Sadly Amber was diagnosed with an inherited condition called
PRA, or "Progressive Retinal Atrophy".
The bottom line is that our girl will lose her sight.
There isn't a timeline for this to happen, and we're giving her
supplements to try and give her more time to keep her vision.  
One day at a time on this one.
My next news item really doesn't affect the dogs directly but it
sure has had our lives in chaos since August when we decided to
tear down our old family room and have it rebuilt and remodeled.
The dogs have had to live with the confusion of constantly having
their access to their bathroom area in the yard moved.  Here are
a few photos of what we've all had to live with.  And I must add
that I'm very proud of the way the dogs have handled all of
this.  I wish I could say that much for myself.
In August, the
old walls started
to come down
Suddenly we found ourselves with walls made out of tarps.
This contraption was sitting in our driveway for a month!
The tarp walls and roof came down during a windstorm.  The
above photo shows part of the plywood path we put up for the
dogs to lead the way to their yard and keep them from getting
into the construction area.
Finally, some progress!

Cinder blocks are delivered.
The tarp is our makeshift roof
with the dogs' plywood path in
the background.
Finally we have walls again.
The dogs have their own door
under the window.
Still a tarp roof!
We have 1/2 roof!
And finally the entire roof is
on.  The construction
company's work is almost
done.  John will complete the
interior.  Hopefully we'll have
a completed room by 2014!
(Just Kidding)
Moving we have the sleepy dogs or what!
Annie demonstrates her talent for naps.
Bailey coming in a close second!

I do believe it's newcomer, Shelby!
And of course, the beautiful Autumn!
And, the baby of the family....our sweet Pepper.
And in keeping with the holiday season, here are the
Max and Amber show off their holiday best!
A little tug here and a little tug there!
A little neck biting!
If I can't see you, then you can't see me!
Amber learns how to strengthen her mind by playing card games
with Dad and learning Kong skills from Shelby!
Shelby looks to her big sis for guidance.
And some extra advice from Holly.
Perfecting the art of proper chewing.
The joy of discovery!
Secrets to tell!
Just Being Together!
Candid Jacks!
Being Silly!
Loving the Camera!
Autumn, Shelby, and Pepper don't have their own personal page
yet as they've only been with us a short time.
I do plan to include a personal web page for each of them soon.
After six long years, we finally have another update page.

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