Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Vacationing with a senior dog

A few weeks ago, when I thought I was going to be spending some time on the Jersey Shore with some girl friends, I realized I had to come up with a better plan for care for Hobie while I am on vacation.  I had it all set up to board him at the 24/7 vet that saved his life (twice) last year.  I did have to bring him back to the regular vet to get a bordetella vaccine, as we had skipped that earlier in the spring when he got his rabies booster.  We figured we would not be boarding him anymore, but then it occurred to me... wait a minute!... I can't expect my pet sitter, or even a family member, to do what I do with Hobie (carry him up and down stairs, take him outside in the middle of the night a few times, sometimes hold the food and water bowls up so he can eat and drink, etc.).

The last time a sitter stayed with him, just a few weeks ago, she misunderstood his middle-of-the-night cues, and his need for (ahem) "privacy", and she went back to bed after carrying him outside where he only urinated.  Five minutes later, he pooped in the kitchen, and she spent the rest of the night washing the kitchen floor (which, by the way, she did not need to do... cleaning up just that one spot would've been sufficient -- and it's what I would have done myself!).  I positively could NOT put her through that again.  The fact is, no one other than me knows his needs.  We are so closely connected, we communicate all day long with non-verbal communications.  So, I called the 24/7 vet which is also a "pet retreat".  They have a medical boarding feature which is a great solution for folks like us.  A vet is on duty 24/7, and the senior or special needs pet is given correct meds and monitored, assisted outdoors and everything else that's required.  It would be a perfect solution, and in fact I may do it later this summer, because, alas, my girl friends cancelled the trip to NJ.

I was planning to sneak away to Cape Cod for a "beach day" last Saturday, and I got this crazy idea.  Why not take Hobie with me and leave the twins at home with their "daddy", and I get to spend a long weekend instead of just going for the day?!  Gil thought it was a great idea, too.  So, off Hobie and I went on Saturday morning, at the crack of dawn, so as to avoid traveling in the heat, AND Saturday Cape Cod traffic (i.e., nightmare!).

Walking about in the yard

On one of the hotter days... sleeping with tongue sticking out!
What a goofball!
It was not the easiest road trip ever.  First, I had to get him into the car without the twins finding out.  Not easy, but I did it.  However, Hobie kind of didn't really "do his business" fully that morning.  So, about 90 minutes into the trip, he started pacing and panting in the way-back of the Subaru where I had him safely confined.  Thankfully, I had taken a wrong turn a few weeks prior, on the same route when I was looking for a bathroom break for myself... I found this little place that was kind of icky, but would be a safe place to take him out of the car to do his thing.  We found the area with no problem, just off the highway.  I carried him out of the car, put on a leash, and we walked around until he did what he had to do.  Back in the car we went.  But not for long!  About 5 minutes later, he started huffing and puffing again.  I realized he probably wanted water.  I pulled into a rest area, and poured water in his bowl, and he refused to drink it!  Ugh!  Then, I realized, this is a modified version of his old traveling habits -- he wanted to be up front with me.  In the old days, he would just hop over the seat!  Can't do that anymore.   I kept driving.  We made it to the house just as traffic started getting bad, and temps were rising.

I have to say that this idea to bring him with me, without the twins, "Just the two of us", is one of the best ideas I've ever had.  It's the number one nicest thing I have ever done, for anybody.  He is thriving here, really enjoying himself, relaxed, cool, getting lots of sleep.  Yet still having trouble seeing, hearing, eating and drinking.  I have to carry him out the ONE step (yay!  our house back at home has nothing BUT stairs).  We walk the yard together, and have a lovely time.  If I go out on errands, or to the beach, I have to make it quick, as I have come back to find him pacing and "moaning" (he can no longer bark), looking for me.  It is sad to see him needing me so much, not being able to see me, sometimes when I am in the same room.  The other night, he wanted to sit outside and observe the Super Moon.  So, we did.  He laid in the sand in the back yard, by the old picnic table, just like he used to do with Hector on summer nights after dinner.  I was so happy to see him doing that again.  I sat beside him in the lawn chair, and we both experienced the moonrise.

That little dot is the "super" moon ha ha.
 We were supposed to go home today, but I had an opportunity to extend a few days, and, with a little help from my "It Takes A Village" crew back home, and a lot of unnecessary tears, I managed to get it done.  We will be here until Friday, so we accidentally got an entire week vacation together.  A gift I will treasure always.  Today, it is very cool outside, and Hobie is really doing well.  He does SO well in the cooler weather.  The TV weather reports always say "Cooler on the Cape", and that is why it's good for him to be here in mid-July, instead of at home where it can be up to 10 degrees warmer.

Cooler On the Cape!

When Hobie was a little puppy, he used to take showers with me!  I would be in the shower, and he would just walk in!  I would laugh my fool head off.  He has not done it in years, but he always accompanies me in the bathroom every morning.  He is My Bathroom Buddy.  This morning, I turned on the shower, and walked in, and he walked in behind me, just like he used to do all those years ago. I laughed and laughed until my stomach hurt!  Everything happens for a reason, I do believe, and the reason we didn't go home today was so we could enjoy that silly moment together!

Water dog!!  "Hey, it smells like wet dog in here!"

I will treasure the memory of this vacation for the rest of my days.  I know the end is getting nearer and nearer for Hobie on this Earth.  But he is my heart, and will always be with me.  So will the memory of this week on Cape Cod, and all the other times we spent here as well.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Tips for Traveling with Your Dog This Summer

I'm working in collaboration with Kendra Thornton on this post.  This is not a paid post, it is just a sharing of information.  Kendra is a Chicago-based TV personality and travel expert, who has made regular appearances on several networks including "the big three" as well as FOX and the CW.  You can check out Kendra's website, here, and her accompanying post about traveling with dogs on planes appears at the end of this post!  Thanks Kendra!  

Road Trip! Traveling By Car With Your Dog
by K.S. Mueller

My dogs and I travel frequently from the hilly farmlands of central Massachusetts, to the shores of Cape Cod – about a 3-hour trip in each direction.  We’ve got it down to a routine now, after nearly a decade of making the same trip many times a year – yes, even in winter!  One of our (my) major conundrums is traveling with multiple dogs (we have three at the moment); and the other is traveling without another human companion for assistance.  Things can get tricky when it’s time for a pit stop, for instance.  Here are some tips for traveling by car with your dog, no matter what the season!

Make Sure Everyone Is Comfortable and Secure With Supplies on Hand

When traveling long-distance with multiple dogs, it’s important that every hound has his or her own space to stretch out and sleep, a water bowl, and a harness, crate or confined area of the car for themselves.  Some dogs love to cuddle together, and if they’re small enough that’s great, but my guys are big, so each one gets his own section of the car.  Charlie Brown rides in the “way back” of the station wagon, and he is secured safely in that confined area.  He is a very big dog, so a crate for him would be unaffordable, and wouldn’t fit in the car anyway.  Hobie (14) and Cooper (3-legs) each being handicapped, have their own seat and a harness attached to the seatbelt.  Hobie gets the back seat of the car all to himself.  Though not ideal, Cooper gets the passenger seat up front if we’re traveling with all three dogs.  He curls up in a little ball, and is also harnessed. Each dog has his own portable water bowl.   Always have a leash for each dog, plus one extra per dog.  I have so many leashes in my car, I could open a leash store!  You never know when someone is going to slip a collar or run after a squirrel.  Be prepared with extra leashes and a pocket full of treats.  Don’t forget the poop bags!

Bring A Human Companion or Helper

Since I don’t have kids, and I have no family members close by, and my spouse dislikes road trips, I always travel solo with the dogs.  This can be a huge undertaking just getting the dogs into and (especially) out of the car (when we arrive at our vacation home).  The town we visit is a touristy, beachy community, and very crowded, but with “wide-open spaces” and lots of wildlife.  A dog can get lost, or injured, very easily. There has to be orderliness and rules for getting out of the car when we arrive, and back in when it’s time to return home.  Not to mention bathroom breaks for me (see below).

Consider Leaving A Pet At Home

Not everyone can do this, but I will suggest it anyway:  if you have multiple dogs, try traveling with just one, instead of bringing the entire pack.  It gives you and that dog a break from the others, and it gives the rest of the pack a break from you.  Obviously, you have to have human helpers back at home to accommodate this arrangement.  Sometimes having a spouse who doesn’t like road trips has its advantages! Make this trip a special time for bonding with just one dog.  Take turns and change it up. Charlie gets to go one time.  Cooper goes the next.  Then, maybe the third time both dogs will travel.  Hobie now stays home, as his car travel days are over, but some of my most special memories are the few times I took off with him to Cape Cod “just the two of us”.  Create special memories with each dog, and bust stress at the same time.  It’s a lot easier traveling with just one dog.

Hobie in the back, during a recent trip to the vet.


Travel At Sunrise or Sunset in the Summer

There’s a lot of focus on the internet lately about dogs being left in hot cars in the summer while the owner runs errands or takes a bathroom break, or worse, does a full week’s shopping!  This should never occur, obviously.  One way I avoid this problem, because, as stated before, I travel without human companionship, is to travel very early in the morning, or very late in the afternoon/evening.  By doing so, I am able to stop for a bathroom break without fearing that my dogs will bake inside the car.  When you gotta go, you gotta go!  Here are some pictures of Charlie during a recent trip.  The ideal situation would be to be able to bring our dogs with us inside of bathrooms at rest areas or convenience stores.  Sigh.  Maybe some day.  Until then, I am seriously considering buying a box of "Depends" for my trips!  Remember that what I write here is my personal opinion, and we are all different.  What works for me, may not work for you, particularly if you are traveling in a high-crime area.


Charlie in the back of the car while I pumped gas.
Mid-morning, under a gas station canopy, sunroof open wide.


Charlie can put his nose out, but can't jump out. 
From the drivers' seat just before driving away.  Notice the open sunroof, and gentle, soft panting.
Run Your Errands Ahead of Time, Without Your Dog

In keeping with the theme of leaving at dawn, I will run my necessary pre-travel errands the night before, without a dog.  Fill the car with gas, get an iced coffee and keep it in the fridge for the morning (just add more ice and you’re good to go!), go to the ATM and get money on the way home from work.  If I absolutely must have coffee or food on the road, I always choose the drive-thru.  Bonus:  most drive-thru personnel like to give out treats if they see a doggie traveling companion!


Above all:  safety first, have FUN, and take lots of pictures!


Dogs on Planes and Other Things Not To Do When Traveling
by Kendra Thornton
My extended family is heading on an adventure to Chicago next month, and this time they are making sure that their furry friend is invited. I always plan a little bit early to ensure that whenever families come to visit that they have a great time. Adding a dog to the mix makes it a bit trickier but I’ve shared some tips and tricks that I use, with them. Here are some tricks that I've picked up over the years.
The Right Kind of Crate
While I'm not a fan of the crate all the time, it is one of the best things to bring with you on vacations because pets need a comfortable place to relax and sleep. If you plan any activities where you have to leave the dog alone, a create is also the best idea and will ensure that she is comfortable. I take her out before and after she goes into the crate as well so she burns off some energy.
Try Road Trips Instead
A road trip is the best way to travel with your pup because she stays in a familiar place and gets to smell lots of places along the way. It's also known that dogs just do not do well with airplanes. Dogs have to travel in crates in cargo on airplanes, which can be kind of frightening for any animal or person. I think if you are going to travel try to avoid an airplane at all costs. A car may take longer but your dog will feel much more safe and secure and will love you for it!
Safety on the Water
Even though dogs are great swimmers, they do get tired like the rest of us. I make sure that my pup has an approved life vest on at all times when we are on the boat. You never know what my excited or startle her, and I definitely want to make sure that she stays on the boat with us, and if she does jump in, she has a floating device to ensure that she's okay.
Pick a Better Hotel
I looked for a few different hotel options in Chicago for them that had pet-friendly policies. I know that most hotels allow pets, but are they really pet-friendly? I found a few hotels with doggy day care, dog parks and even free breakfast for dogs that make it easy and fun to bring along your pet. Downtown Chicago will offer my extended family great hotel options that are even close to all the sites!
I hope these tips and tricks help you and your family. I know when we’ve implemented them, everyone has a better time, relaxing and enjoying the sun together.


Monday, June 30, 2014

5 Do-It-Yourself Ways to Test Your Senior Pet's Health Status

I've been wearing my veterinary hat this past week with Hobie (and Charlie Brown who got stung by a horsefly -- OUCH!).  [No, I'm not a veterinarian - just a pet mom doing the best she can.] Hobie had some kind of "attack" the other night, and we really thought we were going to lose him.  I feel that we saved his life, and we were given a great gift -- more time with our beloved senior dog.

I've had a ton of experience (and am so lucky to be able to say that) with senior pets.  But it's been a while, and this sort of snuck up on us.  Suddenly Hobie is "old".  We haven't had a senior pet since Maggie.  It took me a minute to get up to speed again!  Hobie needs me. There are things that need to be done that no one else but I will do. He communicates with me, and I know what he's trying to say. No one else has that connection.

My buddy needs me, and I'd do anything for him.  It means giving up my summer vacations and trips to Cape Cod this summer.  It means sticking close to home and taking a "stay-cation".  It means sleeping on the couch, in case he needs to relieve himself in the middle of the night.  He is not able to bark.  We think he may have "lar-par" (laryngeal paralysis).  We will be having that checked out by the vet, and if he is a candidate for lar-par surgery, perhaps it will improve his quality of life.  He can't wag his tail because of paralysis in his spine.  His back legs collapse, sometimes.  Sometimes he slowly spins in circles with one leg "stuck", almost like a painful-to-watch ballet pirouette.  But he's happy.  He is always with us, right in the middle of the room, "where the action is".  He isn't hiding in a corner, brooding or depressed.  He greets us at the door, even if the other boys knock him over in their enthusiasm.  He gets up, dusts himself off, and participates.  He reminds me when it's time for his medicine!  He is not ready to die.

Today (and it isn't even cool outside) the darned dog walked up the long stairway from the backyard up onto the deck!   He hasn't been able to do that for a couple of weeks.  He still cannot go DOWN the stairs.  I carry him out the front door (only 4 steps) and we walk to the back yard.  It's our together time, twice a day. This morning,  I turned my back for a second, and there he was up on top of the deck! The little bugger!  So, yeah, he's having a good day.

A few people have told me we should euthanize our dog.  One was just someone who doesn't get it -- that this is a member of our family! You don't just "kill the dog" because the dog has become an inconvenience.  Others are fellow dog parents who have had to go through it themselves. Everyone wagging their finger at me, telling me not to be selfish.  Me?  Selfish?  Sorry, but I am one of the most un-selfish people I know, and people are always telling me how un-selfish I am.  So, no, it is not Hobie's time yet, and when it is, we will "do the right thing".  We will do what is best for the dog.

We are not beginners at pet parenting, far from it.  We've had a lot of elderly pets.  But as hard as it is to believe, we've never had to euthanize any of our many (many!) pets.  They've all been taken by mother nature (or, in two cases, accidents) before we had to make that decision.  Sometimes on the eve of the decision... "I'll call the vet in the morning..."the animal passes away in the night.  We've been blessed not to have had to make this decision. It's clear to me that, probably because Hobie is the one I've loved the most, he's going to be "the one" that we will have to make the decision for.  And I dread it, I will not lie about that.  But not today.  Today is a good day.

Wondering how to determine if my pet needs euthanasia, I started searching around online.  Experts say there are five things you should keep track of, and if any of these become problematic that requires you to evaluate your pet's quality of life.  Evaluate these things daily, and keep a journal.  Remember that pets sometimes "rally" or bounce back, only to have a terrible day the next day.  Here are the five quality-of-life signs you should watch out for:

  • Peeing
  • Pooping
  • Eating
  • Drinking
  • Playing

The first four (peeing, pooping, eating and drinking) are going great for Hobie.  The last one, Playing, was difficult to determine because he's always been one of these dogs who doesn't really play.  He "kills" toys instead of playing with them.  He's a relatively "serious" dog, even as a puppy he was like that.  But, I picked up one of the other boys' antlers off the floor and held it up.  Hobie came lumbering over and grabbed it in his jaws!  Check!  Yep, playing!

We get another day with Hobie today.  A gift.  And it's a good day.  He's calm.  He's in a cool spot in the house.  His ears are forward and his eyes are alert.  He ate breakfast.  He has fresh water.  We took our walk together from the front yard, to the back yard.  Then, dog-gone it, he climbed the stairs!




Saturday, June 21, 2014

Give Pets a Fresh Start with PetFresh

I'm not being compensated for this post.  FreshPet sent out a press release that they are helping the Sochi dogs that were rescued by Olympic skier, Gus Kenworthy, so I'm just passing it along.  I feed the boys FreshPet, mixed in with their regular food (Nature's Recipe).  I like the limited ingredients of both products.  "Keep it simple!"  Again, I'm not getting any money or anything for posting this, except I AM going to sign up and get those coupons mentioned below. My readers can get them, too.  That's basically why they sent the press release to me, so that I could tell you.  I found it a little difficult to find, so I'm going to post the full link here:  http://freshpet.com/freshstart/
Enjoy!!



Freshpet® Gives Sochi Pups a Fresh Start
The Freshpet Fresh Start Program Brings the Power of Fresh Food to Pets

Secaucus, NJ (June, 2014) – Freshpet, maker of fresh, refrigerated dog and cat food in Bethlehem, PA, offers a Fresh Start to three well-deserving pups rescued from Sochi, Russia. Gus Kenworthy, Olympic Slopestyle Skier, was so touched after witnessing the multitude of stray dogs in Sochi, he brought a mom and her pups home with him after his silver medal win. Freshpet was there to help, and is supplying Gus and his new family with unlimited Freshpet food and treats and Whistle Activity Monitors to keep track of them as they grow up healthy and strong. Pet parents can follow along at home every step of the way as Gus shares his dogs’ journeys to a happy, healthier life on freshpet.com.

“Mama and her pups were living off of scraps that people would bring as they lived on the streets,” said Gus Kenworthy. “It’s amazing to see how much their health has improved in just a few, short months. I really started to notice a difference when I switched them over to Freshpet. They are so excited to eat and have so much energy now. I can’t even get a snack out of the fridge for myself without them standing there in front of the fridge hoping for more!”

The Sochi pups are part of the new Freshpet Fresh Start program that encourages pet parents to incorporate more fresh, all natural food into their pets’ diets and see for themselves what the power of fresh can do. Freshpet believes feeding fresh can make all the difference at any age – shinier coats, increased energy, and improved digestion are just a few of the positive health changes one can expect.

Freshpet is making it easy for all pet parents to give their dogs and cats a Fresh Start. Simply visit freshpet.com to receive a coupon, downloadable scorecard to track your pet’s health improvements over time, and helpful tips from Dr. Katy Nelson, veterinary nutrition expert.  And because Freshpet believes every pet deserves fresh, for each Fresh Start participant they will donate a fresh meal to the Humane Society International.

“Every day we hear amazing stories from pet parents about how feeding fresh has drastically improved, and sometimes even saved, their pet’s life,” says Courtney Groome, Freshpet Director of Marketing. “The Fresh Start program invites others to give fresh a try and see the real differences it can make to your pet’s health both inside and out.”

What makes fresh food so different? All Freshpet recipes start with fresh, locally sourced meats and veggies. The ingredients are then gently cooked, not processed, in small batches at lower temperatures to retain essential vitamins and nutrients. Freshpet meals never contain fillers, by-products, meals or artificial preservatives. That’s why you’ll only find them in the fridge.

About Freshpet
Freshpet has a single-mined mission – to bring the power of fresh, real food to dogs and cats. And, they are committed to doing so in ways that are good for pets, for the people who love them, and for the planet we live on. That’s why all Freshpet recipes are thoughtfully prepared in the Freshpet Kitchens in Bethlehem, PA, using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. To learn more, visit freshpet.com.

Freshpet brands include Freshpet® Select and Dog Joy® available in select grocery and mass-market stores; Vital® and Dog Nation® available in select pet specialty stores; and Nature’s Fresh™ available in select natural food stores.
# # #

Monday, June 2, 2014

It's June! Prepare your dog for summer fun!

June is dog license renewal month around here, and I've actually had the new licenses in my purse since March, but decided I'd better put them on since the old ones are set to expire in a week or two.

Cooper has never worn a license before.  The reason is, with his disability, he doesn't go more than two feet away from me at any given time, and he is microchipped, and with all that HOPPING it sounds like jingle bells!  But today, I figured I would give it another try. I put his license on, and Charlie immediately started running around the house, barking, thinking there was a strange dog outside, every time Cooper moved.  So, that lasted about 30 minutes, and I'd had enough.  No license on Cooper!



Charlie Brown and Hobie, on the other hand, always have their licenses on. This is because Charlie is a master escape artist.  From the very first moment he lived here, he found the ONLY hole in the fence and left!  Ever since then, it's been a regular event to make a section of fence higher, repair a gate, pile bushes and rocks against loose or open areas, and repair, repair, repair.  Thankfully, he doesn't go anywhere. He just likes to be wherever I am, and if I go off for a walk without him, he will try to join me.

Old pic of the pack... on Cooper's gotcha day!  He fit right in.


As for Hobie, he LOVES long walks but is now hearing-impaired.  A couple months ago, Gil turned his back for a second, and Hobie had walked out onto the main road (which isn't that close to our house)!!  And we thought our senior dog was slow ha ha ha.

We're ready to rock, ma!


Charlie is microchipped, which is an added bonus. Hobie isn't, because back in the day a decade and a half ago, that hadn't really caught on yet.  (Neither did neutering, which means his licensure costs us an additional five bucks a year because he's an intact male.)

Both Hobie's and Charlie's collars smelled like dirty dog times fifty, so off the collars came.  I soaked them in a bucket of water and "Joy" dishwashing liquid, rinsed them off, and now they are drying on the back balcony in the sun.

Once they're dry, I'll put the licenses on, and Charlie's brand-new MobiPet tag, that we won from "Stacey and her crazy dogs" (her phrase, not mine!) at CrazyDogLife.com !! Thanks Stacey!!!

Once that is all done, it's time to renew the tick/flea drops.  I HATE using that stuff, but the ticks are so incredibly populous here, nothing else works.  Charlie, Hobie and the late, great Hector all had tick-borne diseases in the past, so we no longer take any chances.  If there's one drawback about living in Massachusetts, especially near the coastline, it's the ticks.  YUCK!!

June also kicks off our travel season to and from Cape Cod.  Although, this year, with Hobie having such health issues, our trips will be curtailed somewhat.  Did I just say Cur-Tailed!!  Why, yes, yes, I did!


Dog is my co-pilot

Don't ever leave your dog in a hot car
(don't worry, that's not what happened here, this is just a funny picture!)

Did someone say RIDE?!  My favorite thing!


So, remember to get your licenses renewed (which usually includes renewed vaccinations -- booo); give your heartworm and flea/tick meds if you need them or live in an area where there is a known problem/epidemic; and make sure your microchip or other tracking devices are up-to-date.


Summer's here!




Friday, May 30, 2014

Happy gotcha day, Hobie!

Fourteen years ago today, a little dog was brought to my office at the travel company.  Our eyes met, and we fell hopelessly in love.  We went for our first walk, and I adopted him on the spot.  We went to Petco.

The receipt from our first visit to Petco!  "Pauline" Mueller???  LOL!
I brought him home and introduced him to Timba and the cats.  It was an unremarkable introduction; he just fit right in.

Hobie and Timba in the back yard!




Then, as today, Gil was out of the country on his annual trip, as he normally is in late May.  I remember picking him up at the airport a couple weeks later, and I brought Hobie with me.  The plane was late, so Hobie and I went up Route 1 to King's Beach in Lynn.  Our very first walk on the beach.  We met people on the boardwalk who stopped and said hello, asked how old he was, what kind of dog he was. I recall, I had to use the port-o-potty, and the only solution was to bring him inside that thing! I remember him sitting in the front seat of the car while we were driving, and when we stopped at a red light on The Lynnway, people were pointing and smiling.  He was so cute!  I remember going through Boston, and Hobie was alarmingly looking at all the people walking around -- he'd never seen so many people -- especially those walking on the overpass as we sat stuck in traffic.  Now, all these years later, every time I drive under that overpass, I remember Hobie watching the people walking!

When we went back to the airport, I brought Hobie into the parking lot so he could relieve himself.  He had never relieved himself on tarmac before, there was no grass or dirt anyplace, so.... he did not relieve himself!  He had no idea what to do!

So, Gil met Hobie in the car, at Logan Airport.  That's just how we roll!

Happy "gotcha day", Hobie!


Photos were taken May 30, 2000








Perrier bottle to show size perspective

So handsome!!!!




Wednesday, May 21, 2014

#WordlessWednesday Remembering Timba



I wasn't able to post yesterday, which was the real anniversary of Timba's passing.

Timba was 18 years old when she left me 13 years ago, on May 20, 2001.
[Do the math!!  It was 31 years ago that I adopted Timba... when she was a little puppy!]

Timba at about 5 months old, in Princeton, Mass.
My former roommate owed me $800.  I said "Forget the money,
I want the the dog."  He went for it.  Best investment I ever made!


Timba at about 5 years old; and Yours Truly at about 28!

In the late 1980s on Oak Lane in Spencer.


Hobie was a little puppy when Timba died, and Timba was Hobie's "teacher".  He still does things today that he learned from Timba (we still live in the same house); and Hobie, in turn, is teaching The Twins the same tips and tricks!
Hobie, left, at 5 months old; Timba, right, about 17 years.  She showed Hobie the ropes, and bowed out a year later.


I cannot believe it's been 13 years, and now Hobie is the old, disabled dog.  
I hate even thinking about it.



Good ol' Timba, and "the first Charlie".... Charlie the cat.  All the cats and dogs have always gotten along.


Timba on Ballston Beach in Truro, Mass.

At the Boathouse in Truro.


At Thompson Pond, where we still live today.
Her favorite thing to do "fishin'" in Thompson Pond!

Timba was (sorry to all the others) the best dog in the whole world.  She was SO smart, SO well-behaved, and, above all, SO loyal.   I have tried to recapture that with her successors, but nobody will ever measure up to my memory of her.  She went to work with me almost every day of her life.   It was so great not having to leave my dog at home every day!


Probably one of the last pics taken of Timba... when SHE was having
trouble using the same set of stairs Hobie is now battling daily.