And very happy my little dog-family are still all here. Herbie found it tiring to be surrounded by lots of other people, and put himself to bed as soon as we got back. Holly, on the other hand, sniffed round the house, then went to the front door, as if to say "OK, you can take me back to the party now".
One of my brothers, who only sees her every 3 or 4 months, couldn't believe how sociable she's become. When she first came to me, all humans were dubious, except me (because I fed her). Slowly, she's come to accept other people, and now she ricochets off them like a skate-boarder off a ramp. We're still working on the "Humans are NOT launch-pads" command.
It's been a long year, but it was the year I found Graham's article in Dogs Today, the same week Herbie was diagnosed with lymphoma. Unfortunately, by the time the article appeared, Prince had gone to the bridge, but I was comforted to read about someone else's experience - I felt less alone. Since then, I've also found Fiona with Yogi's journey and this week, Emily, with Maggie (and the guide-dogs in training!) In the time Herbie's had lymphoma (first lumps appeared in April, but he was being treated for auto-immune disease until September), there have been two dogs I've known of, Daisy the boxer, and Peatie McSweetie the greyhound, who passed on within a few days of diagnosis, before they were able to start chemo. I've been very lucky, and I am so grateful for every day that there are fresh muddy footprints on my duvet cover.
I'm not making New Year's Resolutions this year, but I am making New Year wishes, for myself and for everyone else going through this: Stay lucky!