And a lovely family time was had by all. My eldest has gone back to Manchester to study hard for her exams in early January so it's just us four for a week or so till Patrick returns to Leeds. My other 'son' is always by my side when I'm at home. As I tap away he's curled around the chair legs seemingly asleep but always on guard true to his breed. He is a truly wonderful dog despite his issues and his lunchtime walk is a high spot for us both. If you don't have a dog you won't get this; I didn't before we 'rescued' Max and became dog owners for the first time. Yes, we chose a German Shepherd with issues but living with Max has taught us a great deal about people, ourselves included and I hope he is having a good life with what is probably his third family. Having a dog is just like other big life experiences, it changes you for the better. Max is fun when you're fed up, tired, or tense. Today I wanted to enjoy the wind and mid day light and a walk in the fields dodging the horse riders and bored families (with their dogs) gave us a good run about. Thanks Max, you're a lifesaver.