Three updates tonight, that I have found whilst doing an early Spring clean on my inbox and I found one of them Darcy, in my spam folder.
The first is Darcy from Smudge's big litter back in April 2012. Thanks Kelly for sharing Darcy's first time meeting snow.
Next is Millie, who is another of Smudge's pups, so Darcy's sister. Thanks Alison for the sweet photo and letting me know that all went okay with her being neutered.
Last of the updates is Tinkerbell with Michelle's other Cavapoo Charley. Tinkerbell is from Ysobel's litter born November 2011. Tinkerbell was born no more than four and a half ounces in weight but although small at birth was healthy and has thrived. Thanks Michelle for the lovely photo's and letting me know all is well with Tinkerbell.
As I said above, I have had an early Spring clean of my inbox for emails, so if you have not heard back from me, then send me an email. Last year due to other pressures in life I got behind with my emails (breeding dogs is meant to be a hobby for me) and have struggled to get back on top of it but hope I can now. I strive to answer all enquiries but sometimes I can miss getting back to the odd person. You are welcome to ring me on 01769 560969 and as I won't take any one on my waiting list until I have spoke to them. Evenings are best around 8pm but I can be caught sometimes indoors by the phone around 1pm.
At the moment we have such interest in our next two litters I am not taking any more people on our waiting list at this time but I will happily chat to and answer any questions on this crossbreed and going about finding a Cavapoo.
My husband has just finished eating his tuna and pasta for supper, eating rather a large plate full, to then go to the fridge and thus realise I have made a cheesecake too and is now complaining, he is to full to eat any cheesecake and why had I not told him of the cheesecake before he eat so much pasta. Hilarious !
Just thought I would pop these photo's on the blog of the girls cuddled up together in one of the dog beds in our back house, taken first thing this morning. Note mud about, as at the moment with more rain it is like a mud pit around our property at the moment or even out walking. Its been a hard winter keeping things clean and at the moment I do at least two loads of washing just from the dogs ever day, before starting on the children, husband and my washing. I hope we have a better summer this year, as could do with a bit of sun to charge up the old batteries. Not to hot mind.
A few photo's of the Taw River that runs below us, bursting its banks this morning. Photo's taken from the front of our home.
The snow has all gone with us now and the rain returned Friday night with vengeance . Sue kindly sent me a photo of Maisy out in the snow with their other dog Milly and also a lovely portrait photo of Maisy. Maisy is from Primrose's litter born September 2012. Thanks Sue, great to see what friends Milly and Maisy have become.
Next some news of Lucy, who left us over a week ago now and is settling in well with the Lawrence family. Thanks Judith for letting me know how well it is all going and I know Lucy is going to have such a wonderful life with you and your family.
Just to let you know Lucy is settling in well and appears to be happy. We cannot believe we have had her a week, time has flown by. She eats well and likes to go out and gets really excited and loves to meet and greet people. She is very friendly with other dogs which is a bonus. We have not yet let her off the lead as it is early days. Attached are a couple of photos.
Yesterday, Friday, we took her to our vet to get her checked over and she confirmed Lucy does have a mild heart murmur. She gave Lucy the kennel cough drops so we now have all injections together and they will now be due all at the same time. Our vet was very impressed with all the paperwork which we took to go on Lucy's records there, and she said she only wished all other owners did the same- feather in your cap Jane! Lucy's ears have cleared up nicely and the vet just advised to finish off the few drops left and that we had done a good job. At the end of the check over our vet said we had a very good dog and were very lucky to find her. By the way, could you let us know the dates of Lucy's season. It is so the vet can book her in to be spayed as they do not want to do it too early or too near her next season.
Today we are taking her out in the car to Bridport and may be down to the coast if the sun keeps shining, although it is bitter cold and this evening she goes with us to our daugher's for an evening meal. So Lucy is getting out and about and meeting people and other doggy friends!
Hope all is well with you and the family and that you are now all rid of slap-cheek.
Best wishes Judith and Tony and Lucyx
Hi again Jane!
Had to let you know. We took Lucy into Bridport and EVERYONE loved her. It is a very dog friendly town, one of those arty places! You can take the dogs into the shops and the Pet shop assistants loved her and gave her treats and the children in there were making a fuss of her. Loads of people with their dogs and Lucy loved every one of them and they her. They have a market through the streets on Saturdays and of course Lucy was well away with the market stall vendors and especially the ones selling pet food!
We took her into the Ropers Arms, a really old Pub in the town and they welcomed her with open arms. All she was interested in was the open kitchen door but unfortunately we were too late for food so stopped for a hot drink but we will be going in there again now we know they permit dogs. Needless to say when we got back to the car she "zonked out" and we did not hear a pipsqueak from her until we arrived back home. Really successful and fun day.
Lastly some photo's of our girl's.
Today I have mostly been ferrying children to school and then back or exactly that's what I was doing until lunch time. No sooner had I delivered our children to their Primary and secondary schools, I was rung to pick them up again, as we where getting a few snow flurries. The secondary school is over 8 miles away and Primary is around a mile. I don't mind if they close the school or open them but it is slightly annoying when they open and then close an hour later. I think they slightly panicked, as the weather forecast said "turning to rain later" and it has, we still have a little snow around just hope it does not decide to freeze later as our lane will become very hard to negotiate. Apparently we might have floods this weekend. Mother nature she knows how to put us humans in our place.
At the moment we have girls coming on heat all over the place. With Millie on heat a week ago and Jessica starting her heat the beginning of the week and Belle starting her heat today. None of these girls we want to mate, as Jessica and Belle are only just over one year old and Millie, well Millie is Millie and rises up a slight quandary for me.
Millie has come on bag on 12 months from her last heat and its now after this heat do I neuter her or wait until next year and breed one more litter from her. Millie has had three litters and two she has ended up with a cesarean. The restriction to two cesareans for registering litters by the Kennel Club I believe is right and I believe this is an attempt to cut back offspring from dogs which pysically can not give birth either because the pups have to big a head to pass through the bitches pelvis or the bitches pelvis is to small for a puppy to pass through. It is a subtle way by the Kennel Club of trying to curb breeding from dogs not capable of giving birth due to exaggerations in their physique and hopefully this will bring about although slowly a correction of these exaggerations in look, that cause such misery in the lifes of certain breeds.
Now Millie has proven she can give birth, giving birth to her first litter of six pups okay and her second litter three pups where born and then one came backwards with legs back and got stuck. Her last cesarean, she was carrying a litter of seven good sized pups and gave birth to the first and was not proceeding and we believe this was caused by inertia of the uterus, which is where carrying a big litter her uterus would be stretched so that it would of stopped it being able to contract hard enough to expel the rest of the litter, so Millie's problems stem from an unfortunate bad presentation and her good fertility carrying a large litter. She is anatomically correct but has had bad luck.
My quandary is do I breed from her again, as if she heart scans clear over five and she is such a lovely type and her temperament is the best you can get, can I justify going against myself, to get some more of her offspring for me to retain. She is in good health and you would not think she had, had three litters, especially three big litters of pups and she is in her element as a mother. I have another twelve months to stew on this one and talk through with my vet.
I think I made a mistake the other day saying that Dolly and Ysobel are being heart checked on the 9th Feb when it is the 6th Feb. When these tests have been done, I will be chasing all interested parties up for these two future litters.
Just thought I would put in a couple photo's of the Taw Valley from our home looking out towards Exmoor during this snowy time, which on a clear day we can see the top of Exmoor.
Now to a couple snowy updates with firstly Hamish out in his first snow, who is from the litter my Mum had from her little Cavalier Cleo and Dad is Reggie and was born April 2012. Thanks Alie for the lovely photo and update of Hamish. He certainly has a bit of the Teddy Bear about him.
I thought you might like an update on Hamish. As you can see he is fit, well and very lively. He is the most adorable, loving and entertaining dog and has all who meet him falling in love- yes even the husband!! Hamish is so laid back and content and has brought so much joy to the family. I don't know how we could ever thank you and your mum enough for entrusting us with one of her puppies, Hamish really has completed our family. Thanks again love to you all.
Next is Ollie enjoying his first snow and he is from Smudge's litter of nine pups born April 2012 with Dad being our Reggie. Thanks Sharon for the cute photo's and update on Ollie. He certainly going to feel the difference now he's had his haircut finally.
Lots of snow. Ollie loves it and is probably very happy - he was booked into the pouchy parlour today for his first (and much needed) trim. Needless to say was cancelled and he keeps his rug a bit longer haha
Thanks for your email, lovely to hear from you.
Ollie had his 1st hair cut yesterday and as he was getting a bit knotty had to be cut more than I would have wanted. He looks so different and skinny (bless).
Have had to invest in a new coat for him. Its like having another child haha
Now for some snowy photo's of the Poundlane gang. Dogs really love the snow and will eat it and roll in it with equal pleasure.
A little video of them enjoying the snow with Smudge leading the chase and they did run around for another five minutes but my camera went on the blink and needed charging.
Lastly to night some good old cupboard love. My husband when working arrives home sometime from 8pm onwards and eats his supper with the dogs. If I tried to lick his nose whilst eating, I don't think he would be so enamored.
A little add on. Message for Jim and Sue,
Lucy is really well and happy and you can see her above in photo's and video. David has tried to return your texts but won't send for some reason, so hope you can see this message on here. Hope the move is going well and you are all okay.
Been milking this weekend and with the tail end of the virus knocking me slightly side ways and the cold weather, I have been a bit tired and still suffering with aching joints and generally feeling fatigued. Probably part virus and part, time of the year. Husband is now showing signs of having contracted Parvovirus (Slap Cheek, 5th Disease) and with our last child going down with it on Friday , we have had a full house.
I arrived home from milking this evening to the smell of roast chicken. I am now uncomfortable full of roast chicken and chocolate fudge cake (which I made earlier and I must admit was rather nice) and have mustered a bit of energy before I nod off for the big sleep, that I would get this very funny video of Lucy loaded up.
Lucy left yesterday for her home with Judith and Tony and as they drove past me out of the drive Lucy looked at me sat on Tony's lap and you hope you are doing the right thing for them. Its never easy letting an adult dog go but with Lucy as she came to us as an adult and had lived as an only dog happily before, I think this is the right choice for her, as although she is happy to mix with other dogs, she is one that enjoys her own canine company. She is going to have such a lovely home with this family and she will give them so much fun and companionship.
A bit of fun with two photo's of Primrose. One of our son's said, "Look Mum, Optimus Prim. Transformers doggies in disguise ! "
We have lovely photo's again of some of Primrose's pups, (or should I say "Autopups") born September 2012. With the first photo's being of Archie settling into his home with the Hepple family. Thank you Jane for letting me know how much he has become part of the furniture already and that he is settling well with you all.
Now for Archie's brother Jenson. Thanks Nadine for the update and sleepy photo's of Jenson. Lovely to know he is going on well and I've put your update on with photo's below.
All is well & not one to be left out (I just read your blog!) I thought I'd update you on Jenson.
I hope you had a good New Year and a peaceful one at that?
Jenson is fantastic, he's doing really well and has settled into Dixon family life brilliantly.
Sorry to read Archie was sent back, I can imagine that was devastating for his family. Good that he's been re homed though.
I've sent a few photos of Jenson (see attached). Jenson is quite looney at times. Most evenings for 15 minutes he legs it round the garden like a complete loon. So fast, neither Ben nor I can catch him.
He is a lovely dog and really smart. He's sitting to command now. We started dog training classes last week. He was a model student during the class. The instructor even used Jenson to demonstrate how to get your dog to lie down. Though when I came to get him to do it... Would he heck!
Jenson is great with my daughter and all other children, even the more reticent ones!
Photos are of: Jenson in his Christmas jumper (didn't last long as he hated it)
And a few of Jenson resting after running round the garden!
Last of puppy update for now is Ruby, who is from Millie's litter born March 2012 with Reggie being her Dad. Thanks Lisa for the lovely update and photo's which I have copied below. Always great to hear that a Poundlane pup has become such a treasured member of a family.
I just thought I'd give you a quick update on how Ruby is getting on and attach some recent photos from Christmas, where you will see she was the centre of attention! She is a lovely natured dog, very cheeky at times but also very sociable and sweet. Whenever I take her to collect my youngest from primary school, when we pass the lollipop lady, she always says, "Here's the happy dog!". She is always desperate to greet everyone and she loves her daily walks in the wood and moor, especially getting wet and muddy. She's quite good at recall but when distracted she's off - so we need to work on that and walking to heel. But everything else she picks up really quickly and loves training and playing. She has brought so much to our family and we love having her, she's a real sweetie. She also likes stealing socks from the washing basket - seems to be in the genes and loves her food! We are looking into further training classes also to stimulate her mentally - she earned her first rosette for puppy training and passed with flying colours. Everywhere we go, Ruby attracts so much attention and we always get people asking what breed she is because she is so lovely.
Last Saturday I blogged and said "I was failing" and when I woke up on Sunday morning I was covered in a rash from head to foot. I had for a couple days noticed my glands up at the back of my neck and a bit of stiffness in my neck and had generally been feeling very tired last week, falling asleep at a drop of a hat and by Sunday evening my joints in my hands, wrists, ankles where feeling very sore with a slight swelling of the joints, so Monday saw a doctor with my oldest son who also had started developing the same symptoms and was told that it pointed towards me having Parvovirus also known as Slapped Cheek or 5th disease and is nothing to do with the type of Parvovirus dogs get.
Five of our children now have varying symptoms and in very young children the symptoms are mild but in my oldest son nearly 13 and me we have been getting inflamation of our joints, basically acute arthritis. It comes and goes and I actually find if I keep myself moving then I'm better but sit still for a while and getting out of bed first thing in the morning you are a little seized up. It takes around two weeks on average to run its course but have felt a lot better today and hope Im on the mend, the rash is nearly gone although feeling itchy still. Looking on the positive side, I thought I was showing my age last week when so tired but now I know it was that I was actually coming down with something. I sailed through childhood with only a rare ill day and thought myself quite clever, I got Chicken Pox as an adult which was like a dose of flu and now this and think that maybe it was not so clever not getting a few more of these illnesses at an earlier age. Lol
Well thats my health and now some news of health of our dogs. Just before Christmas Lucy came on heat, so in between Christmas and the New Year I popped Dolly, Ysobel and Lucy to our vets to check for any sound of a murmer on their hearts before booking these three girls in to see the Cardiologist Vet. These three girls are all five years old and breeding their last litter hopefully.
Its always a bit nerve racking as the vet listens to their hearts and unfortunately at five and a half years old Lucy has got the very first signs of Mitrial Valve Degeneration (MVD). Ysobel and Dolly though no sound could be found at this stage, so they now have been booked in to see the Cardiologist vet at South Devon Referrals, so fingers crossed for the 9th February.
Doing health tests means that at times you are putting yourself up for a fall but you have to look at this as 50% of Cavaliers are statistically forecasted from records to have MVD by the age of five, I took three Cavaliers over five to the vet and at this time only one has been found to have the early onset of MVD, so at this time we have had a result over 66% clear of MVD at this stage. A Cavalier having only the early onset of MVD at the age of five and a half is unfortunately not that bad for a Cavalier and I'm not saying its right though.
With MVD in Cavaliers it would be lovely to say where trying to breed to eradicate it but its not that simple. MVD is the most common heart disease in the old dog population and in an old dog is seen as a natural change , basically the heart get worn out and the valve begins to fray and not work efficiently, so we are not going to eradicate it but what we can work towards in Cavaliers is putting MVD back in its right place an old dog problem not a young dog problem. I would hope and statistics would suggest that the two litters we have bred from Lucy both being cross breeds with the Miniature Poodle that some of these pups will not get MVD and the some will not get signs of MVD until way past five years old.
Lucy came to us as an adult dog from a home where she had been the only dog, so she is happy living on her own but has also shown she is social and can live within a pack. The Lawrence family visited us the end of last year and where hoping for a pup from Lucy but while here also mentioned that they would be happy to home an older dog and they come from owning Cavaliers before and all three had MVD come the end, so I asked them if they would like to foster Lucy and knowing her history and having had Cavaliers before thery are taking her on for me. She will weather permitting leave us this weekend. Lucy will be going to a lovely home and I'm sure she will love being the center of attention, as she is very idependant and enjoys her own company.
So this year has already started with a few ups and downs and we are now waiting on the heart exams of Ysobel and Dolly and once they are given the green light we will hope for Dolly on heat around mid Fenruary onwards and Ysobel following on from her with pups ready for homes around June/July time. We will hope for one more litter later in the year from Primrose but that is depending on the timing of her next two heats and of course her health test results
I'm going to digress now with a money saving tip (nothing to do with dogs) and hopefully you will see the humour or my madness. Being a lady in my forties, last week I watched on Channel 4 a programme about midlife crisis for woman and the journalist making it meet woman dealing with this. One was one who had gone down the surgical route and she was having botox injections. The man doing it was a GP Doctor and he also had this as a sideline business which I think is quite common now for GP's. The journalist asked him if she needed any thing doing and in his reply he said something which got my mind thinking. What he said was "If you cannot see it at a social distance, then you don't need any thing done." So I thought why have botox done when you could just simply adjust your social distance. I've worked mine out and its around two metres to two and a half metres depending on the eyesight of the person looking at you. Someone standing at that distance from me I have no visable wrinkles. I worked this out standing infront of the mirror and just backed away until no visable wrinkles, its amazing. So no need for botox or surgery, you just need to adjust your social distance but you might ask, " Jane,what about having a cuddle," and thats easy turn the lights off, no wrinkles visable in the dark.Lol. You could even use this term if having a bit of time apart from your partner or you have split up, saying "We've just adjusted our social distance." Instead of a restraining order you could have a social distancing order. The use of the phrase social distancing seems never ending but I will end it there though before I look totally mad.
Nearly forgot my ephiphany. I am in the process of reading a book called "In the Defence of Dogs" by John Bradshaw. Now anyone out there who would like to understand their canine friends better its a must and for those breeders stuck on rewind with eughenics and purebreeding, please read this and hopefully as you do it you might actually start to extract yourselves from your own backsides. I digress yet again and in the process have probably brought upon me the wrathe of the purests yet again.
I read the preface of this book and thus my ephiphany came to me and I saw the way I wish to move forward and I'm going stop holding on to the side of the pool, I'm going to let go and instead of breeding dogs as a breed, I'm looking at breeding my dogs as a type. A type of dog that can function as a dog in the modern world as a companion dog , so health is on the list, temperment is way up on the list, as dogs in todays modern world need to be low aggression, sociable creatures with a calm demeanour. So we will not be breeding Cavaliers for the forseable future but I will be looking to breed a type keeping with the size and temperment of the Cavalier and in doing so may look more towards the Cavalier in looks than the Poodle. Maths was never my favourite subject at school but with breeding maths comes very much to the forefront which helps in planning a way forward but also the ability for an eye for breeding the right dogs together as types has its place still to. I'm going to finish for now and hope this has made some sense .
Just popped on a couple photo's taken of Reggie and his daughter Belle today. Reggie showing he has good confirmation under his fleece when its trimmed off and he is not just a pretty boy !
Finally mustering the energy to blog, as I uploaded photo's two days ago and last night I was going to blog . Firday nights though are always a bit hectic with both my husband and me milking. The children have supper at Granparents and we normally all arrive back at base camp home around 8 pm. This is the only evening the dogs are left in the home on their own for just over three hours.
This Friday I got home just after my husband had arrived home with our six children in tow and I got to the back house first to open the door to be greeted by only what can me discribed as a blizzaed of fluff. The dogs had decided to kill one of the dog beds and had managed to get to the cushion inside and there was fluff every where, infact a whole dustbin bag full. This happens from time to time and with four juvenile dogs and Reggie who likes a bit of tug of war, its no wonder we have any dog beds still alive
So any way we got that mess cleared up and I went out with the dogs for a quick run around whilst my husband took charge of the children. On Friday nights we sometimes treat our self to a fish supper from a very good fish and chip shop in South Molton and when I came in from walking the dogs my husband nipped of for our tea and I got our yougest children to bed. Finally got to sit and have our fish supper just after 9pm and when you have not eaten since midday and have been out in the winter elements working, fish and chips cooked by someone else go down rather well and without touching the sides.
So, I was now ready to attack my blog but unfortunately after eating my supper I leant back and thought, I'll just lie here for a second and digest my food. Well, as the photo shows below that my oldest daughter caught of me, that second turned into a one and a half hour deep sleep or as my husband puts it when he falls asleep on the sofa, "I'm was not asleep, I was just resting my eyes." It makes me also think of the saying, "The mind is willing but the body weak" but I think you can see neither mind or body was willing to do a blog last night.
We have a house guest. Lucinda (Lucy) a Ruby coloured Cavalier has come to stay with us for just under three weeks whilst Sue and Jim go to visit their daughter in Australia. Lucy is a dog that we aquired as an adult and then rehomed with Sue and Jim. She came back this time last year for a month whilst they went to Austalia then. She is no trouble and the dogs soon settle with her back in the pack. So have just put some photo's on of Lucy and her this morning at 5 am just before I went milking, with our dogs snuggled up in the back house. I just had to catch this photo's and got a lovely photo of Toby with his head on top of Primrose's.
A busy start to 2013 and a bit of a sad one with Ann contacting me about Archie,who is from Primrose's litter born the 22nd September. Archie left us the beginning of December and a few days after having him Ann started to get the snuffles and it seems that she was allergic to Archie. I think she hoped that it might pass but unfortunately it got worse and a few days into the New Year she contacted me to ask advice. I offered to have him back and with a heavy heart Ann and Raph returned Archie last Friday. I have to thank Ann and Raph, first for coming back to me and secondly for caring so well for Archie whilst he was with them.
This is the first time we have had a person that has had one of our Cavapoos that have been allergic to them and it has to be said that care should be taken in getting any dog if you know that you have an allergy. Ann has not been allergic to dogs before but she is asthmatic and we think this allergy must of developed since having their last dogs. They visited me twice before having Archie without any problems and this I think comes down to just bad luck.
Some times in life things don't quite go as planned and it is how you come to terms with the unplanned that will define a person's character and I think with this situation that we have all done our best to make sure Archie has been our first concern. Ann and Raph have been such lovely people to deal with I have very much respect in how they have conducted themself in difficult circumstances.
The next group of photo's iclude photo's of Archie back with us.
Archie arrived a week ago on Friday and before he had arrived home with me ,I had contacted a couple people on my waiting list but either it was not the right timing for them to have Archie, or they had found a pup already but had not informed me yet, so then I got to the Hepple family from Exeter not very far away. They had contacted me a little while ago about a pup, as their neighbour has one of our pups Ruby who's mum is Ysobel and Ysobel is also Archie's Granny.
I phoned them and they where very interested and could home a pup now, so last Sunday they visited us and fell in love with Archie and decided to have him. He is settling in well with them and they have been very kind in letting Ann and Raph know how he is getting on. Thanks Jane for sending me the photo's below and letting me know all is going on well.
Now some more updates that came to us over Christmas and the first is Archie's sister Milly. Thanks Lindsey for the photo's and update on Milly and that all is going on okay.
Next is Archie's other sister Maisy and a photo of her with her best mate Milly the Frisk family's other dog. Milly is a bit of colour at the moment with Kennel Cough which is like having a cold. Hope your fully fit again soon Milly. Thanks Sue for the lovely photo's.
Thanks for this Sue of Maisy and Milly on the beach in Cornwall over the Christmas holidays.
Sue also sent me this funny cartoon and the email was titled " Look familiar ?!" and she goes on to say, "Jane, saw this and thought of you !" Thanks sue, it did make me smile.
Now we get to Poppy who was from Lucy's first litter of Cavapoos and Dad is my sisters Poodle Rollo. Thanks Toni for the lovely photo's of Poppy and lets keep our fingers crossed for 2013 and the patter of little Poppy's. Toni is hoping to use Reggie this year with Poppy and breed a litter of f1b's. Poppy is now over two years old and Toni's parents our experinced in breeding dogs. So watch this space.
Now for Scrumpy who says "Hello !" every Christmas. Thanks Jean and always a pleasure to see how well Scrumpy is. Scrumpy's mum is Lucinda (Lucy) who has just came back on holiday with us and Scrumpy's Dad is Charlie who is Primrose's and Smudge's dad.
This is another Archie but Archie from Smudge's litter born in 2012. Thanks Angie for the photo and Happy New Year !
I have lots more to tell but I'm failing and need to rest my eyes. I will try to get back soon with my epiphany and plans for 2013, so I will leave you with this cracking photo of Crumble (I really like that name) out and about with the Holdsworth family. She is from Smudge's huge litter of nine born Spring 2012. Thanks Emily for this lovely photo. The sheer joy in your childrens faces in this photo is priceless.
“The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him, and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself, too.”
― Samuel Butler
Hello, I am Jane, you might of guessed, I love dogs. We are situated in the North Devon countryside, England, United Kingdom. Our home is occupied by my husband, David, our children, pack of dogs and me.