Taffey's 13th year photos
   Taffey was our pick from the litter in late spring of 2000. She quickly proved to be a winner.
   The magical ride began. Today she is nearing the finish line of our journey. We grew old
   together, but dogs just do it faster. It is somewhat easier to write about this before the final
   day and celebrate her too brief stay. She's showing signs of the journey's end (especially
   the last few months). It's August 28th and just two weeks before the Illinois Early Teal
   season. My hopes are to shoot one last teal for her that week.

   Today the message was delivered. Taffey has always lived to train. The three younger dogs
   ran their set of cold blinds and Taffey was brought out to run just one. As I moved to the line,
   I looked back to see where she was and shed a few tears and went for my camera. I needed
   more pictures of her from what will probably be her last year.
                I turned back and Taffey was lying in the shade of the van. The message was
                clear. "I really don't want to train today." That's when I went for the camera.
                After taking this picture, I said to Taffey, "Come on.... let's go pickup the blind
                                 stakes and while we are at it I'll take a few pictures."
                      It was a warm morning with high humidity and cloudy. She walked
                           slowly with me to the other side of a large retention pond.....
                                                     ....and watched me closely. 
                                                     Then gave me her best shot.
                       When we got back to the van she paused and looked back as if to say
                                                           "It's been fun."........and I cried. 

                                                                   entry August 28, 2013     

                                 "The celebration will be continued for as long as possible."