Let Them Eat Cake

It is amazing to think that it has been eight years since that day when Sydney ushered her babies into this world. They were sent off — with love and celebration — to live amazing lives with incredible people.


We remember Mesa and Lainey who were denied this chance to celebrate eight years but know they were loved enough for so many lifetimes, and can trust their birthday celebration is under control, given that Terri Z is hanging with them. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MESA and LAINEY.

Let’s start this earthly party with Zimmerman Zeke — Barbz sends us this update:

We are SO happy to be celebrating Zeke's 8th birthday.



We had quite the scare with him last November and December. He started with limping on a front leg. I ran him in for xrays- maybe a little arthritis in the shoulder. That progressed to stiffness, limping in the rear and finally to not wanting to move much or eat. All my local vets could do was say arthritis and give him pain med after pain med. After a few weeks we took him to an internist. He was xrayed and ultrasound from top to bottom. Labs didn't look bad except for some mildly elevated kidney function tests he has had since age 2. Then an orthopedic specialist looked at him and the xrays. He said basically all his joints looked fine. He felt it could be IMPA ( immune mediated poly arthritis). He tapped 3 of his joints and we waited. The results confirmed the diagnosis. He was started on high dose prednisone. Within days he was happy, running and eating! We have weaned his dose to 5mg twice a day. Any less and he gets stiff again.


So I am happy to report Zeke is leading a normal active life. He runs the fields with his sisters like a youngster. He is sweet and snuggly and such a happy boy.

We send Birthday wishes to his brothers and sisters.”


Holden Squeaker also knows how to rock the crown…


Toby sends us this birthday update:

“I can’t believe 8 years has passed since I met “the plumpies.” Little did I know, I’d fall hopelessly and completely in love with little Squeaker, soon to add Holden in front of that name. My heart is over-filled with the love I feel for this boy.


We’ve done so much in our 8 years together, and my hope is we are far from done. We will be hoping for that elusive CD title in the upcoming year, as well as a father/son brace title with Clark, and I will continue to count my blessings every single day for having this incredible boy in my life. Love you to the moon and back, Holden Squeaker!”

LOVE — the best birthday gift a dog could have. HAPPY BIRTHDAY HOLDEN SQUEAKER!

Heidi Heidi was named for Dear Friend, Almighty Heidi, who assisted with the whelping of the litter — and is still in therapy because of it (just kidding - kind of ;). John sends us this report:

It's been quite the journey since Heidi came to live with us in December, 2011. Kai arrived that same month as well.

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Since then it has been a whirlwind - my sister always reminded me to take pictures no matter what. She was right — looking back I don’t even remember some of the moments and I am happy to have the photos (twins will do that to you). All along the journey Heidi has been our happy, easy-going, ever-loving family member… and somewhere in there we squeezed in dog shows and her championship…

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So a very happy 8th birthday to Heidi and all the H litter siblings no matter where they are!”


Auggie! Lois sends us this report:

Here is his birthday photo in our special ‘upside down heart’ tree in the woods.


You have probably seen a similar photo before as I take it on his birthday each year. But this year you will notice a new addition.  He decided he wanted a tattoo for his eight birthday so got a big black spot on his mouth. Its benign so we just figure it’s like those barnacles I get on my arms that seem to increase every year!

It’s been a challenging year for him. The good news is that he has recovered from his shoulder issues last year due to a lot of physical therapy and finally finding an anti-inflammatory that he could tolerate.  I am sold on the benefit of Rehab as his shoulder was not able to be fixed.  Everything has improved from strengthening everything else.  He has such a strong core now!!! Last year he was limping so terribly all the docs (as well as Paul and me) were besides themselves.  And today (and every day) we take a 4-5 mile hike and he does just fine.

 He also is an avid swimmer  (in ponds, not rivers-he’s not that strong of a swimmer!)

Here he is just before launching in…


Most likely because of his seizures over the years (at least that is what the most recent specialist consult thought) he probably has had brain changes and Auggie has been having more anxiety type of behaviors but we seem to have found a drug regimen that is supporting him and he is much happier.

 Like his brother Zeke, he also has had elevated kidney function tests for several years which we have kept stable without any further progression.

 And as Toby said about Squeaker-Holden our hearts too are overfilled with the love we feel for our sweet and special boy.

Neither of our boys would submit to having a crown on their heads but they do get to have birthday pup-a-chinos at Starbucks which they think are just excellent!

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And to end the special day, we have Harper B for Birthday…

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Harper B for Big Weekend has B for Big Plans. And yes — it involves B for Boise.


A Big Birthday

Birthdays of older litters are always bittersweet. Of course we celebrate our older dogs but the day also prompts fresh grief for those we wish could still be celebrated here on earth.

These kind of days remind me of the need to acknowledge the impermanence of all things life and therefore, to treasure and appreciate what I have right now.

The people, the time, the dogs, the places, the abilities — all will change.

And so every moment is like this day, if we consider it — bittersweet.

But if sorrow is the price we pay for being alive on a spinning and changing earth with all the marvelous joys and daily miracles — well, I think we just trust that human beings were made with the capacity to feel the complicated feels and to somehow be okay with it all.

And so I grieve for that piece of my heart and soul that is Zoey because today is her birthday, and I celebrate that on that day 11 years ago an amazing litter of Berners was born. Feeling all of that is what makes me (US) human.

We begin by resting our hearts and minds — with gratitude and love — on Maya, Zed, Purna, Peaches, Homer, Faith, and Zoey. Happy Birthday at the Rainbow Bridge — I hope Terri Z has arranged for a big party.

And we celebrate that Miss Maddie means that the F Litter is so much more than a memory — she is ELEVEN today.

Barb shares: “Maddie continues to enjoy Life! Yes, she breathes like a steam engine, and her stamina isn’t what it used to be—we walk slowly now, but we’re still walking! She still dances when we go out for our daily adventures, even if it’s just sitting in the front yard and barking at the passersby. She still marches out each morning to fetch the daily paper…even if she now gets distracted halfway back and drops it for me to retrieve, while still demanding her cookie reward. And she’s still the center of our hearts and home.”

“Her new favorite activity—hanging out in the front yard and rolling in the green grass".”

“Her new favorite activity—hanging out in the front yard and rolling in the green grass".”

“On a walk at Fort Townsend with Ken.”

“On a walk at Fort Townsend with Ken.”

“Maddie at Pippa’s Tea Shoppe. She loves going out to restaurants, particularly if she can snack under the table.”

“Maddie at Pippa’s Tea Shoppe. She loves going out to restaurants, particularly if she can snack under the table.”

A recent track for Maddie — just for fun!

A recent track for Maddie — just for fun!


An Intentional Birthday

In order to ensure I made the most of my birthday, I made a list of things I wanted to do.

Dear Daughter sent that card — isn’t it perfect?

Dear Daughter sent that card — isn’t it perfect?

And then we went to dinner. We have the most amazing restaurant in Stevensville called the Mission Bistro — it is a gem.


And the birthday weekend continues today.

I bet you can just imagine what else would be on my list for a most excellent birthday.