This is a work in progress, but I’ve been consolidating Howie photos from my Google photo albums into one location. For those photos that are already in Google, this has been quite simple. Select the group of photos, and select “Copy into New Album”. However, I didn’t start using Google photos until 2007, halfway through Howie’s life. So we’ve been going down memory lane looking for the pictures of him right around when the boys were born.

These photos are approximately in chronological order. You might find an event or two that’s backwards, but hopefully that’s the exception and not the rule. Also, some of the captions might seem odd, but that’s because they were taking from an album that was probably telling a story in its original context.


June 2013, at Howie's last family reunion in Lancaster. Jacob loved him so much.

June 2013, at Howie’s last family reunion in Lancaster. Jacob loved him so much.

It’s been 5 days, and I’m pleased to report that we can now write and talk about Howie without bursting into tears. But it sure was a tough 5 days…for Jacob, it was the worst first thing in the morning, when he usually kisses Howie good morning, and at bedtime, when saying “goodnight” to Howie was part of his very elaborate go-to-bed routine.

I felt like the bad guy by Monday; the boys had a day off from school, so they had an extra day to grieve, but by Monday night I had to ask the boys to do their best to get back into their normal routines. School, baseball, and music lessons weren’t going to stop.

Nonetheless, all week there have been tiny little hints of Howie’s absence. I feel it pretty profoundly when Dave is at work at the boys are at school. I’m not bursting into tears anymore, but I still think to myself, “Boy do I miss my good boy.” Here are several small examples of where I feel his absence: More »

21. April 2014 · 2 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,
Howie lying in the snow, one of his favorite places to be. This was taken on April 13th. The last picture I took of him.

Howie lying in the snow on our back deck, one of his favorite places to be. This was taken on April 13th. The last picture I took of him.

This past weekend was very sad for our family. We lost our beloved family dog, Howie. He had developed a liver tumor that grew incredibly quickly. We first discovered it in February while he was getting pre-dental blood work done. On Saturday morning, after 36-48 hours of not eating, he had grown so weak he needed immediate medical attention. Our vet was open on Saturday mornings, and she was able to quickly take an x-ray and determined that the tumor had completely overtaken Howie’s liver, and was pressing his lungs, stomach, and intestines up against his abdominal cavity.

It had to be so painful for him.

He seemed okay last Wednesday night, walking around, taking the stairs, and even playing with his stuffed animals with Dave and the boys. This all happened so quickly. More »

14. February 2014 · Comments Off on Pinewood Derby 2014: The Electric Wedge and Howie Car · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , ,
Our winners! We're so proud of our boys this year. Not only did they do most of the work (really!), their cars performed very well.

Our winners! We’re so proud of our boys this year. Not only did they do most of the work (really!), their cars performed very well, earning first place trophies for each of their age groups.

Last month the boys participated in their Cub Scout pack’s Pinewood Derby. I thought I had written about our sons’ Cub Scout Pinewood Derbies before, but I guess I hadn’t. This is Jacob’s 5th year competing, and Timmy’s 3rd. And our third Cub Scout pack experience with it.

Because this is a much smaller pack than we had in Florida, the entire event was completed in less than two hours. It was nice to see the boys pay attention to the entire event…unlike in Florida where the event was around 4 hours long.

I’m going to discuss the cars our sons chose to make, and then discuss the event itself. I guess I’ll be spilling some trade secrets and monetary investments we made in the boys’ cars, but I don’t think what we did was too unreasonable. More »

07. June 2013 · Comments Off on Happy Birthday Howie! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , ,
Happy Birthday Howie!

Happy Birthday Howie!

I’m over a month late, but better late than never!

Happy 13th birthday to our dear Howie. He’s still going strong, ironically, his latest medical ailment was an infected hot spot on his tail, of all things (that’s for another post).

I was in the middle of Operation EAT WHAT WE HAVE, so I made a butter cake from scratch and used homemade frosting and some of the tubed blue icing to write the words. I didn’t have much blue icing left. Feel free to compare my cake with Harry Potter’s:

My cake.

My cake…

...versus Hagrid's cake for Harry!

…versus Hagrid’s cake for Harry!


16. July 2011 · Comments Off on Howie – Our Photographic Challenge! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,
Photo by Fotomom.

While Maryann AKA Fotomom was here visiting last week she took a really sweet picture of Howie in our kitchen.  After she got home this week, she took some time to dress up the picture and wrote a lovely blog post about him and how she made the great picture!

Photographers have been challenged many times with Howie.  Here are a couple of the not-so-great professional family pictures with Howie.

November 2002.

October 2005.

Howie does a good job with sitting still and letting the camera do his thing (hint: just say the magic word, “WALK?” and he’ll look right at you attentively!), if only he showed up better-looking…Maryann got it right by taking advantage of the white-colored setting.

08. February 2011 · Comments Off on Oops He Did It Again… · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags:

Our poor little Howie tore his other rear CCL this past weekend. Nearly 2 years after he ruptured the left one. We don’t know how he did it this time, we came home from a bunch of errands Friday night and Howie wasn’t putting weight on his right rear leg.  He might have been chasing squirrels (which always seems to get him into trouble)…we have squirrels here, and Howie still will run after them.

We took Howie to the animal emergency room in Pensacola on Saturday to rule out anything broken, and the vet could tell right away it was his other CCL.  He’s 11 years old now, his (suspected) breed mix is predisposed to this issue, and once you repair one CCL, the chances of the other CCL failing are increased.

This morning we followed up with our own vet and she suggested using “cold laser therapy” to trigger scar tissue to grow in quickly and we can reinforce the torn ligament precisely enough so Howie can get his mobility back without surgery!

This wasn’t presented as an option in 2009, perhaps because it’s wasn’t widely available 2 years ago.  Our options here are much easier, we only have to travel as far as Pensacola, instead of Manhattan, KS to do the most intensive of our repair options.

Dave and I took a few hours to learn more about the procedure, ask questions of our vet and pet insurance company and we were happy with the pricing, the procedure, and the ease (almost too good to be true!).  We decided not to waste any more time and scheduled Howie to start the first of 8 treatments this afternoon.  He’ll need up to 8 treatments without more than 3 days between the treatments.  It’s aggressive, but since I live 5 minutes from the vet (it’s just past the boys’ school), it’s easy enough for me.

Enjoy some recent pictures of Howie.  These are all from AFTER his first CCL repair.  He was hiking and climbing like he was 2 years old last summer!

From 2009 12 08 SnowDay!
From 2009 12 08 SnowDay!

From 2010 05 30 Black Hills Day 3: Custer State Park & Hiking
From 2010 05 30 Black Hills Day 3: Custer State Park & Hiking

From 2010 05 31 Badlands National Park
From 2010 05 29 Black Hills Day 2 Mt. Rushmore/Crazy Horse
31. July 2010 · Comments Off on Jacob’s Video of Howie · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

Jacob asked me to share this with you. Jacob thinks that Howie seems to perk up at the word “Rhino”…and he does. But I’m not sure it’s the word as much as the inflection in his voice.

Jacob enjoys watching funny dog videos on You Tube. His favorite series of videos is of Mishka the Talking Husky.

He asked me to upload this to You Tube and has been tracking the hit count all day. We’re up to a whopping “7” as of this writing. Help us up the numbers some!

01. July 2009 · Comments Off on Howie Likes the Clean Carpets · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,

Had to shampoo carpets today. They were quite gross.

11. March 2009 · Comments Off on Pictures from After Howie’s Surgery · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,

I’ve corrected the coding errors. Sorry ’bout that. Click the link in the lower left to see a better version of the photo album.