Rich and Anna,

I hope this finds you well. I have not been good about keeping in touch over the years... once we had the kids, I just got so busy, but I wanted you to know that I think of you often and I thought you might like an update on Hogan and Penney.

Hogan is estimated at 11 ½ or so now and is really starting to show his age. He's a bit arthritic - his back can bother him at times, but if you just introduce a cat, he looks like he's about 2 again or when you take him for a walk. He sleeps a lot now and heads up to bed after the kids are tucked in. He's has been a wonderful dog. He has lost most of his hearing in the past year, but still guards the house and family with pride. I have attached a picture of him with my almost 4-year old, Jason. We also have an 18-month old daughter, Avery (she's in the background).

Penney is estimated at about 9 ½ or so. She's doing well. She's not as active as she used to be, but she's not showing arthritis like Hogan. She also acts like a puppy when there's some action around. I've attached a picture of her with Jason as well, although it's not as good. It's classic Penney though... "oh bother, another picture with the kids, ho hum." I do have to tell you how funny she has been though. When I was pregnant with Jason, she had to sleep curled up to my stomach or back EVERY night. She preferred to sleep next to my stomach and would not tolerate being at my feet for long. She was very persistent about this. If I tried to roll over and put her to my back, it wouldn't be long and she'd be sitting up with her chin resting on my shoulder or face until I would give in and roll back over to let her curl in to my stomach. She did the same thing when I was pregnant with Avery... the only difference was that it started much earlier - within the week that I conceived her. I knew I was pregnant before I could test positive because of Penney's change in behavior. She also go up with me EVERY time I was up with the kids when they had to be fed at night. She was a mommy at heart too.

Both of the dogs are great with the kids. Hogan will grumble a little if they lean on him too hard, and Penney will take a break upstairs if they get to wild, but both are very tolerant. They love to stand under the table and high chair during meals and Hogan has been known to lift a cracker or cookie ever so swiftly (and gently) out of an unsuspecting child's hands.

It's hard to believe that Hogan will have been with us 10 years in December. Thanks for helping us find such great dogs and for all the work you have done for these precious creatures.

God Bless!


Rena Sorensen-Burnworth, Ph.D. Asst. Professor - Clinical Pediatrics Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center