This year was certainly also ‘The Year of the Dog’. Once we owned 17 dogs! A year ago we still had 8, a healthy number. We are now down to one (Tiny, our son’s 12 year old Jack Russell). I decided to give away the last half dozen of my hounds to a young fellow hunter as my back and hearing were making this recreation too uncertain – and unfair on the dogs. At least now they will get many hunts (and already have!). Our two old Maremmas, Brandy and Bianca, and our last Westie all went to that great kennel in the sky (actually they went to some very large holes in the garden!) They were all over fourteen – and sadly missed. We are contemplating a Jack Russell puppy in the New Year (for Tiny!) but we doubt we will ever again have the numbers of dogs we have had in the past: an era has passed (pun intended).