Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Christmas... just a little late

We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. Ours was different and hard, but we made it through. We decided to skip the big tree this year and just use Dad's tree he used to put up at his office. In true Dad style, even this little tree has a working train around the base.

Titus loves Christmas! He thoroughly enjoys tearing up wrapping paper, tissue paper, boxes, ribbon, etc.

Titus was totally pooped after all the presents were opened. Here he is sleeping with his new bone that our friend Shelly bought him.
In case you're wondering, his leg is bandaged because he has a sore that he just can't seem to leave alone.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

One long day

Yesterday seemed like a really long day. The funeral was as wonderful as a funeral can be. Several men gave eulogies, including my brother, and they all did an excellent job of honoring Dad. We also presented a slideshow and sang some great songs. Dad had 272 friends and family at his funeral.
After the funeral, many of us drove out to the mountains and buried Dad in the McCall family cemetery. The McCalls are like family to us and had offered grave sites to Mom and Dad several weeks ago. It's such a beautiful site- very peaceful and quiet.
Then we had a big meal back at the church and went home exhausted. This morning we went back to the grave site and arranged some flowers.
We seem to be holding up pretty well as a family. I'm not sure if things have really sunk in yet, and I know that we have been partially mourning for several months now. We talk about Dad a lot and miss him terribly, but we know he will be spending Christmas with Christ and is in a much better place.
Thank you all for your calls, emails, cards, flowers, etc. It is so great to be surrounded by so many loved ones during this time.

Friday, December 12, 2008


Visitation: Monday 5-8pm, French's Mortuary on Lomas
Funeral: Tuesday 10am, Mountainside Church of Christ

Rest in Peace, Sweet Daddy

We all gathered around as Dad took his last breaths yesterday around 1:45pm. Things progressed very quickly and there was little suffering. The rest of the day was spent with dear friends sharing wonderful memories of this precious man. Today we will go and finalize our arrangements, and I will let you all know the details as soon as I can. Thank you for the many emails and calls we have already received. There is definitely no lack of love in this house.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

It's not fair!!

I've had several people tell me recently how "it's just not fair what your family is going through." Of course I just nod my head, but here is what I have really been thinking and feeling lately. How many kids never know their dads? How many kids are abused or neglected? I have had the privilege of knowing a wonderful, loving Dad for 28 years. I've also been thinking how my Dad is one of the few people in my life that I would never want to change. I can't think of anything I would change about my Dad (except of course the fact that he has cancer). How many people can you say that about?
God has also been gently reminding me of 2 scriptures: 1 Thes 5:18 and Phil 2:14. "Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" and "Do everything without complaining..." Not easy, but I'm trying.
Dad has been home from the hospital since Tuesday night. He is under hospice care now and is pretty much confined to a hospital bed in the living room. He has quite a bit of back pain, but other than that, I think he is pretty comfortable. He barely talks, but he still tries to make us smile. Some things never change.
Specific prayer requests- comfort for Dad, sleep for all of us, guidance for the future.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Our visit to JBU

Well, we got back from our whirlwind trip to Arkansas last night. We had a great visit, but it was packed full of meetings, interviews, presentations, and yummy meals (I had catfish and fried okra for the first time in WAY too long!) Of course my part was easy and all the pressure was on Josh. We feel pretty good about the visit overall. Now we just wait and see if they offer the job. Here are a few pics from our visit.

The greenhouse that Josh would be in charge of.
The science building where Josh would teach and have his office.

Cathedral of the Ozarks- where chapel is held.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dad update 11-30-08

Well, Dad is back in the hospital again. He has gone downhill pretty fast in the last few days. I think he has given up and is ready to go home- to his eternal home. He doesn't want to eat, take medicine, or move much at all. He is tired of all this and I think his body is too. We were trying to get him set up with hospice this weekend, but with the holiday, they won't do anything until Monday. We thought it might expedite the process if the hospital were to arrange things for us. I think that Dad is in his final days now. It's hard to let him go, but it's what we have to do now. We went as a family and made some final arrangements yesterday. That was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. How do you stand in a room with your Dad and pick out a casket for him to be buried in? Please pray for peace and comfort- we need so much of both right now.
My brother leaves tomorrow for a few days and I'm still planning on going to Arkansas this week with Josh. Please pray that Dad holds on until both of us are back in NM. I can't imagine Mom being home by herself when Dad passes. Thank you all for your love and support.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving week update

It's hard to believe Thanksgiving is over already. We had a good week as a family. Josh was here and my brother is still here. I had to work quite a bit, but it was nice to come home to a house full of people I love each day. Josh and I did venture out one afternoon and get our Christmas picture taken. This year, we hiked about 3/4 mile down a trail and found a nice mountain scene for our backdrop. Titus did pretty good, and it only took about 12 pictures before we got a good one of all 3 of us.
Of course we had a feast yesterday and get to eat wonderful leftovers for the next few days. And I'm a little tired right now as Mom and I were at the mall at 4am to get in our traditional day-after-Thanksgiving shopping. Yes, we are among the crazies that search the ads, make a plan, and wake up at the crack of dawn to grab a few bargains. I think it's fun, and I always look forward to the years that Mom and I are together for this holiday and get to leave the guys at home!
Dad has been getting weaker the last few days and that's been hard to watch. We all wish we could make things better and take this disease away, but instead we can only pray that God brings peace and relief from suffering.
I have been putting off blogging about next week because I'm trying not to get overly excited. Since several of you know and have been asking, I decided I should say something. Josh and I are headed to Arkansas Tuesday for a job interview. Josh applied for a teaching job at John Brown University that starts next fall. He has already had a phone interview and now they are flying both of us out for a couple of days. Wednesday will be a day full of meetings, interviews, and presentations for Josh. I get to join him for a few things, but mostly I get to relax and learn about the area. We have been praying for a job like this in this area for a while. We really think it would be ideal for us, but we are trying not to get too excited too soon. So please keep this in your prayers in the coming days. We'll let you know how things go!
So that has been our week. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday full of many things to be thankful for.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I know it's a week early, but I've been thinking about thankfulness a lot lately. Our family has been going through some hard stuff, and it's easy to get sad and depressed. Dad's overall attitude has been so great during all this, so one of my main goals over the last 6 months has been to try to focus on all the positive things and be thankful for each day we have together. I think this blog entry is more for myself than for anyone else. I'd like to make a list of things I'm thankful for so that I can come back and read it when I lose my focus.
I'm thankful for...
a God that I can trust to keep His promises... a hard-working, faithful husband (that I get to see in 2 days!!)... the best, most loving parents I could ever ask for... the world's greatest brother (and lifetime friend)... awesome in-laws and extended family... comforting, dependable friends and church families... the Bible... prayer... my goofy Titus who makes me laugh every day... my health... nature... doctors and nurses... a warm, comfortable home... safety... financial health... emotions... opportunities... transportation and technology (sometimes-ha!)
OK- I'll stop there. I could go on and on with all the "little" things I'm thankful for, but I won't. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and get to spend it with those you love. Josh and my brother will be joining us in NM this year. Thank God for all the blessings in our lives!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Finally back home

Dad finally got to come home today. He is very weak, but I think we're all glad to be out of that hospital. Please keep praying! We love you all so much.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More days in the hospital

It looks like Dad will be in the hospital at least until Friday. The doctors really haven't been able to nail down a cause for his weakness, so they're still doing more tests. Dad has been having some strange moments where he sits up and suddenly gets weak and dizzy. These spells have lasted up to an hour so it's pretty concerning. We saw a neurologist for the first time today. She sees some signs of Parkinson's that might be completely unrelated to anything else. She also has a series of tests she wants to do to eliminate some causes and narrow down the problem. So please just keep praying. Dad is starting to feel a little like a lab rat with all the tests and experiments going on. It seems like we're just treating drug side effects with more drugs but not really getting anywhere.
Thank you for all your calls, emails, and comments. I apologize for not answering each of you individually, but I am truly not home very much these days and haven't had time. I do read all of your notes and appreciate all the love and support.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Another day

Dad will be in the hospital at least until tomorrow. The doctors don't think there's much else they can do for Dad at the hospital, but they want to watch him for at least one more day. There are fewer chances for infection at home, so they don't want him in the hospital if it's not necessary. We'll be having a home safety check soon and possibly get some in-home care for Dad. Dad is to the point where he can't sit up or stand up by himself, and Mom and I are just not strong enough to completely hold up his weight. Hopefully the case worker will have some good suggestions for us around the house and some tools/equipment that will make life a little easier.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Dad update 11-10-08

Dad is still in the hospital and will be spending at least one more night there. His platelets dropped again today, so the doctors are trying a new drug and might have to do a transfusion if the numbers get much lower. Dad is still very weak and gets completely out of breath if he has to sit up or stand up. His blood sugar level is also a new concern. He actually had to have insulin shots and is on a diabetic diet now. It shocked me a little when I showed up at his room today and there were rules posted on the door. No outside food unless approved, wash your hands before entering, no plants or flowers, etc. It's pretty hard seeing Dad in this condition, but his spirits are still good and he tries to make everyone laugh as much as possible. I'll post more if we get any news.

Back in the hospital

Just a quick note before I leave for work. We took Dad back to the hospital yesterday. He was really, really weak and was having lots of digestive problems. This could be side effects from chemo, but it was bad enough we thought he better get looked at. We were in the ER until about 9pm last night, and then Dad got admitted to the oncology floor. All kinds of tests were run yesterday, but nothing significant showed up. His platelets are still dropping, but that's not too surprising at this point.
We not sure when Dad will get to go home. I'll try to update later today if I get the chance. Thank you for your prayers.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Dad update 11-5-08

Dad has been feeling weak the last few days, and he took a fall yesterday. He cut his head and had to have 4 staples but is doing ok. He had a MRI done last week and we got the results today. The news was very disappointing. Apparently Dad's biggest tumor is interfering with the brain stem now. The doctor says this is the reason for Dad's recent weakness and moments of blurry vision he has been having. He also only gave Dad 2-3 weeks without treatment. His platelet count is still too low to go back on his chemo pills, but Dad decided to ahead and have IV chemo done this afternoon. We are hoping Dad's blood is not affected by this type of chemo and that it controls the growth of the tumors. The plan is to see the doctor again in 2 weeks, get another dose of chemo at that time, and have a MRI in 4 weeks to see if treatment has been helpful. It's very hard to know how to pray right now, but I still ask you to pray hard for our family.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Hittin' the trail

I've been itching to get outside more, so today I took my 89-pound trailblazer and went exploring. We found a nice little trail in the mountains and walked for about 4 miles. It was called Otero Creek Trail, but I didn't think we would find any water. We eventually found the "creek" but it was just a bunch of puddles. Titus didn't care- he just ran around splashing and drinking.
My little trailblazer
I found water!
Just a little snack along the way.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Titus' favorite day of the year

Today was our annual trip to the vet. Titus absolutely loves going to the vet. So many new smells, rooms to explore, people that love him, treats, and of course all the animals- what more could a dog want? I'm happy to report that Titus is perfectly healthy (despite his 9 pound weight gain- he's now 89 pounds!) I asked the vet if there were different vaccines that we needed in NM that weren't necessary in WA. She said it's not so much viruses and diseases that they worry about here. The main problems are lacerations, barbed wire, rattlesnakes, and mountain lions. Not much we can do about that!
Here's a picture of Titus trying to contain himself until the vet comes back.

I've been meaning to post pictures of Titus with his new toy. Mom went to Bath and Body Works and got this free stuffed Lambie. Titus absolutely loves it, and since it doesn't squeak, it has actually lasted a few weeks.

The Standoff

The attack

The victory! I think it's dead!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween ZLB style

I don't think I've ever worked at a job where the employees took Halloween so seriously. Here are just a few pics of my coworkers today. Would you want these people sticking you with needles!?!

And of course there was more food...

I intentionally did not take a picture of one of my bosses who happens to be a size 3X and wore a french maid costume. Enough said.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Dad update 10-28-08

Well, we spent several hours waiting yesterday just to hear the doctor tell us we have to wait more. Dad's platelet count is still too low to even consider more treatment. This means another MRI and more blood work in the next couple weeks. The doctor wants to try a different type of chemo when Dad's body finally recovers from the last round. It would be administered by IV and take about 3 hours. The doctor hopes that Dad's body will react better to this drug than the previous type if Dad chooses to continue treatment.
Overall Dad is feeling pretty good. He has moments of weakness and lightheadedness, but he is staying up all day and eating well so we're thankful for that. Please keep praying!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Happy Birthdays!

Well, it's a day late, but Happy Birthday to Mom and Debby (Josh's youngest sister)!
Mom and Dad got home from AZ last night with just enough time left in the day to celebrate. We ate dinner, opened presents, and had ice cream cake. YUM!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Balloon in the East Mountains!

What a rare sight to see a hot air balloon in the east mountain area! After this balloon landed, Titus and I rode over to watch them deflate and pack up. Titus was not sure what to think, but he didn't bark at all (like all the other dogs in the neighborhood). We got to meet the pilot and crew and spent quite a while talking to them. Evidently, this pilot is trying to get the next level of his certification and will need some passengers that are willing to fly for free. Maybe we'll get to go up with him sometime! If nothing else, he says he'll be flying out here a few more times this fall. What fun!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

We're having...

another nephew!! Beth (Josh's sister) and her husband David are also having a boy. Beth and Kristi are due just a few days apart, so I'm sure those boys will have much fun as they grow up. Congrats to Beth and David- we look forward to meeting Jackson Alexander!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

First snow of the season!

Yep, it's snowing right now. It's wet snow, but it's sticking to the grass. I'm not ready for winter!! Titus, however, jumped right in.

Monday, October 13, 2008

We're having a...

NEPHEW!!! Josh's brother and his wife (Jon and Kristi) found out that they're having a boy today. Kristi isn't due until February but we're very excited to meet Benjamin Cole. Congratulations, Jon and Kristi!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

2 down, 2 to go

I caught my 2nd gopher yesterday! Two more til we get Blizzards!!

Dad update 10-11-08

Praise God- Dad has been feeling really good lately! He is still eating well, using his walker, and taking very few naps. His memory seems to be better too. The doctor had good news and bad news for us last week. The MRI showed no growth in the tumors, but his platelet count was down to 64,000. So even if Dad wanted to continue treatment, that is not an option right now. Dad will have more blood work in a couple of weeks and treatment decisions will be made at that time. For now we are enjoying how good he is feeling and keep praying for a miracle.
On a sad note, Dad's uncle passed away this week. Uncle J was a wonderful man and we all loved him dearly. He and his wife had planned to visit us this month, but instead Mom and Dad will be travelling to AZ for a funeral next weekend. Please pray for the family as they travel and spend time remembering Uncle J. He was 84 when he lost his battle with cancer.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

It's balloon time!!!

October is here, and that means hot air balloons if you live in Albuquerque. I grew up watching the balloons every year, and they often landed right behind our house in an open field. This year, my sister-in-law, her mom, and her friend came for the event. We headed out at 4:30am on Saturday to make sure we were there to watch from beginning to end. If you have never experienced a REAL balloon fiesta, you need to come to NM in October. It's simply amazing. I took over 70 pictures- you would think this was my first time to experience the wonder! Check out our picture page for more pics. Here are just a few...

Special shapes are my favorite. Seriously, go check out the rest of my pics!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I miss my drag queen!!

Let me explain the title of this blog. I got my hair cut yesterday, and while it turned out fine, I totally miss my hair stylist in Pullman. I usually just go to Fantastic Sams because I honestly like it and don't need some fancy salon. Well yesterday I decided to go for Supercuts because it was across the street from where I was getting my tires rotated. They wanted to charge me an extra $5 for a shampoo and $5 more for a "simple blowdry." I don't think so!! I am WAY too cheap for that! So I settled for the cold water bottle cut from a very large woman who kept unknowingly touching me with her body. Blah.
Back to the title of the blog. At Fantastic Sams in Pullman, a tall, big, gay, black man used to do my hair. He also happens to be one of our local drag queens. Don't worry, I didn't find this out through personal experience but by word of mouth. He would do a great job on the cut and give the most wonderful head massages after he washed my hair. And he didn't charge an extra $5 either!! He also loved to talk about dogs as he has 2 little pomeranians (picture that!) and didn't unknowingly touch me with his body. So that's why I miss my drag queen.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


My wonderful husband turned 30 today! We celebrated his birthday while he was in NM a couple of weeks ago, but it's not really the same. We usually take some kind of fun camping trips for our birthdays. We'll just have to celebrate double next year. Anyway, happy birthday Josh! I love you!

Monday, September 29, 2008

My first gopher- #197!!

A couple of weeks ago I took over the gopher hunting chore at my parents' house. For those of you who don't know, the area where my parents live has a major infestation of pocket gophers. Mom and Dad have struggled for years to get the gophers on their property under control. They have tried everything, and last year they finally found a poison/trap combination that works. Since May 2007, they have 196 CONFIRMED deaths. I emphasize "confirmed" because there are probably many others that have been poisoned but not caught in traps. There is quite a process involved in this chore. You have to dig down into the tunnel, get poison in there, set the trap, recover the hole, check the traps, repeat... If the traps are empty but there aren't any new mounds nearby, then we assume the poison got the active gopher. Anyway, my gopher was #197- yes, we absolutely keep count. For every 50 gophers, there is a reward trip to Dairy Queen for blizzards. We just need 3 more for another blizzard trip!! I guess it's a little weird that we get excited about dead gophers, but they are a serious problem out here. So the hunt continues. Even Titus gets involved and has become quite the digger. I think he is as proud as I am about this first gopher- notice the smile on his face!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Dad got to come home from the hospital yesterday!! He is eating and walking better than he has in weeks. He is also staying awake most of the day instead of sleeping. Huge, HUGE improvements! It's hard to know what symptoms were caused by chemo, swelling in the brain, and bladder infection. I'm sure we'll have lots of questions at the doctor's appointment next week.
Thank you for all your prayers and sweet notes. It's good to have Dad back home.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Days at the hospital

Well, this week hasn't been too fun. We took Dad to the hospital Sunday morning and he's still there. He was really weak, disoriented, and got to the point where he couldn't even keep water down. Needless to say he wasn't eating and was getting dehydrated.
At the hospital they did another CT scan, chest x-rays, blood work, urine work, etc. He's had 2 1/2 liters of fluid by IV too. They found a bladder infection and swelling in his brain. The doctors immediately started meds through the IV on Sunday and put in a catheter. On Monday Dad was taken off the IV and began taking medicine by mouth. He was also forced to walk a little, but was very unstable. Today his catheter was removed, he started eating better, and he is walking better (still with much help). Dad should get to go home tomorrow (Wed). That's the update for now. I'm headed back to the hospital now. I'll try to update more when we get home.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dad update 9-18-08

I'm sorry it has been a while since my last Dad update. Josh was in town for a week and my sister-in-law also came for a visit. We've got more family on the way, so we're staying pretty busy.
So Dad had a pretty rough week last week. He did 5 days of chemo pills that were a stronger dose than before. They wiped him out. He was disoriented, weak, sick to his stomach, and very tired. He fell several times and hit his head once. We now have a wheelchair at the house which has made things a bit easier.
The last few days have been a little better. He still can't get around by himself, but the sickness is gone and he's not disoriented anymore. He has absolutely no appetite, but he eats a little for us anyway. He sleeps most of the time and only gets up if he needs to.
Please keep on praying for all of us. We love you all so much!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Last day

So Josh had to go back to WA last night, but we tried to make the most of our last day together. We went to the aquarium, botanical garden, zoo, and out to dinner. It was quite a full day! I have added a link on the right side of our blog so you can easily check out our flickr photo page.

Friday, September 12, 2008

NM State Fair

I'm so happy that Josh is here!! We spent Wednesday at the state fair and had a great time. It had been 7 years since my last visit and Josh had never been. Our main goal was to get Josh some fry bread. We had a navajo taco and fry bread with honey for dessert. Yummy! Of course we went through all of the exhibit halls, animal barns, etc. Check out our flickr page for all the pictures from our day at the fair-

I just have to say how wonderful it is to have Josh here. I am trying to treasure every minute. I love that we get to eat breakfast together and sit and watch TV- it's the little things that we usually take for granted. Thank you God for this time we have together!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Awesome quilt

A huge thanks to LaDawn who made this beautiful quilt for me! LaDawn is a wonderful co-worker of mine from VMRD, and she makes the neatest quilts. She puts so much time and thoughtfulness into each one, making them all super meaningful to the receiver. One of the front office gals left VMRD earlier this year, and LaDawn made her a Diet Coke quilt because she literally lived on the stuff. My lab partner (who owns 5 ferrets) got married, and LaDawn actually found ferret fabric and made a really great quilt. So I feel very honored to have one of these lovely quilts. Of course mine is covered with labs- what else? The bottom picture shows a closeup of the dogs and also a small piece of the back of the quilt which is the softest, coziest fabric ever! I love it!

23 hours and counting!

Just 23 hours until my hubby will be in arms!! I'm very excited! Josh gets to stay a whole week with us. We plan to go to the NM State Fair (Josh has never been to a state fair, only county fairs) and eat Indian fry bread (Josh has also not experienced this little piece of heaven). Pray that the next week goes by very very slowly! I won't get to see Josh again until Thanksgiving.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Dad update 9-4-08

Well, Dad went to the doctor today and came home with some pretty good news overall. The tumors have shrunk slightly since his pre-treatment MRI. His platelet count is up to 346,000- huge improvement!! His red blood cell count is still very low, so he will have a blood transfusion on Monday. That should help him have more energy. The doctor also gave us a new timeline of 2-6 months without treatment and 1-2 years with treatment. At first Dad was unsure if he wanted to go through with more treatments, but I guess he has decided to try it. The treatment will be cycles of 5 chemo days (1 pill per day) then 23 days without chemo. The chemo will be stronger doses than when he was under radiation treatments. This plan is assuming his body is healthy enough and recovers fast enough from each round of chemo. My understanding is that the chemo will not really make things better, but it should prevent things from getting worse for a while.
I guess my emotions are pretty mixed right now. I'm so happy that the tumors are a little smaller and the platelet count is up. I'm not really sure about Dad's quality of life though. I'm not sure I would want to stay in his current condition for 1-2 years if I were him. I also don't know how all of this will affect my plans. I don't want to be away from Josh for up to 2 years- 2 months has been hard enough. I think we'll just have to wait and see how things go. Please pray for guidance in all of this. Oh how I wish I had God's wisdom in times like these!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

All better

Mom, Dad, and I snuck over to the Shoemaker's house while they were at work today and fixed the fence. Mom and I did most of the work and Dad supervised. My parents are sooooo wonderful! I think the fence turned out pretty good. It took us about 2 hours and I was actually sweating by the end (I don't sweat easily). I think I may be able to begin forgiving Titus now. Oh yeah, I changed our dog's name because of this little incident. Because he loves the water, has a huge tail, and eats wood, his name has changed from Titus Meriwether Brokaw to Titus Meriwether BEAVER! Mom now calls him a chocolate labrador reBEAVER!

Monday, September 1, 2008


Well, our dogsitting weekend went wonderful except for 1 GIANT mishap. I got back from work this morning to find Titus in the front yard. How did this happen? He chewed through the fence!! This is by far the naughtiest thing he has EVER done. I was mortified. It's bad enough that he destroyed a gate, but it wasn't even our gate! Don't worry, he has been disciplined, but he is still not forgiven. The family was very understanding, but I am not. Why did Titus do this!?! And why did he feel the need to chew 2 holes? Was this a one way hole or was he making an extra one for Dakota? Thankfully, Dakota is a very good dog and did not leave the yard. She was just sitting on the porch when I got there. We were just hours away from a successful weekend. What a naughty dog!


Many of you know that dogsitting is one of my favorite things to do. This last weekend I had my first chance to dogsit in NM. I housesat/dogsat for the Shoemakers who are the parents of my very best childhood friend. It was very different being in their house without any of them there. Their dog is Dakota, and I remember her from when she was just a pup. Now she is getting old and slow, but she still tried to keep up with Titus as much as possible. That's right, I took Titus with me. They have a multi-level yard, and Titus just loved running laps around the yard going up and down all the different steps. I think that he thought he was out hiking the trails somewhere. Someday I'll post pictures of all the dogs I have watched in the past few years, but for now here's a couple of Titus and Dakota from this weeeknd.