Well, here it is Thanksgiving and the lazy ones are still asleep at 10am; me awake since the hairy crack of dawn....Just reflecting on all that I am thankful for (wow, I really am getting a bit cheesy in my old age...grin...) and I realized that while I post about my son Miles and my horse Jackson quite frequently, I have given absolutely no attention to the main standby in my life, my dog Dakota. I got Dakota in 1994 at the age of 6 weeks when I lived in Key West, Florida. She predated my son by two years and will be fifteen years old in April of 2009. She is simply the light of my life and my biggest fan. She is still going strong and needs no special medications. She is a bit arthritic, but I give her daily MSM, Chondroitin, and Glucosamine and this does wonders for her. I give her Rimadyl occasionally if she looks like she is in pain, but not often, and mostly when it gets chilly here during the winter and she is especially limpy. I am contemplating adding a new dog to my household, but this is still in its early stages of thought. It feels like I would be being slightly unloyal to my best friend. I do know I will always have a dog in my life, none will replace Dakota, but I believe they each fit into the different places we are at at that time in our life. Don't laugh anyone, but I actually looked into having her cloned. Probably a bad idea, and ethically reprehensible to some, and weird in lots of ways, but it was just me trying to let my beloved pet live on a bit longer. Since that is NOT an option and would cost more money than I will even mention, I have informed Dakota that dying before the age of 25 is not an option. She seemed to agree. When the time does come, I will not prolong her time on earth just to keep her around if she has no quality of life left, and no, I won't be calling the local taxidermist. (And folks, I'm in Texas, taxidermy is everywhere here, a staple for the cowboy who wants to show off his trophy hunt!). I will cremate her and keep her ashes. I would spread them but we have lived in so many places, I will have to think before I know where they should go. Maybe into the ocean down in the Keys. Key West being out on the water brought us both endless hours of peace and happiness. So, today I am endlessly thankful for all God has blessed me with, and Dakota is in the spotlight--14+ years with the world's best dog--I am a lucky girl!!