Breeze: Once again, our birthdays and summer arrived at much the same time. The Pack Leader did explain to Kellie and I why it happens that way every single year but, frankly, his explanation went right across the top of our floppy ears. Anyway, Kellie celebrated the completion of her sixth year on the planet in October and, a month later, I celebrated no less than twelve years before the mast. So, first up, here are the obligatory birthday pictures.

Kellie: But enough of this posing for the camera. With those glorious summer days coming on, it was time to head back to the lake. (Yes, we know you've seen heaps of pictures of us frolicking in the briny. But, hey, we're Golden Retrievers, and the water is our natural element, so steel yourself for more photographs of a decidedly aqua-esque flavour.

Breeze: We're sure you'll remember little Tia from Melbourne, who we introduced to you way back in July-September 2004. Well, Tia flew up to Canberra to stay with us during this period while her Mum and Dad (Steve and Jacqui) went overseas for a six-week tour through Holland, Belgium, France, and Spain.Kellie and I were determined to ensure that Tia's stay with us would be interesting and enjoyable, so we took her on all our favourite walks all over Canberra while she was here. We even took her swimming, but, alas, we have to report that she is not terribly good at that particular activity, and is most reluctant to go any deeper than her tummy. Must be the pointy ears, we think, because Saybo has pointy ears and has much the same attitude towards the wet stuff. That's our theory, anyway.

Kellie: So here we are with Tia the day after we picked her up at the airport, enjoying the early morning air. The Pack Leader is asking us whether we'd like to go for a walk up on Cooleman Ridge. Bit of a no-brainer, really, because next minute we were on our feet, car harnesses on, barking madly, and heading for the family Mazda.

Breeze: One thing we'll say about Tia is that she has boundless energy. Fair ran us off our feet, she did. We invariably had to take a breather half way through our walks with her.

Kellie & Breeze: Sam (our Pack Leader's daughter) helped us out when the Alpha Female had to go out of town for a few days. A good thing, too, because the Pack Leader was finding the three of us a bit of a handful at times.

Kellie & Breeze: And this photograph was taken the day before Tia flew back home. We had enjoyed her company immensely, and were sorry to see her go. But it was good to know that she was safely back with her Mum and Dad in Melbourne again.

Kellie: I must tell you now that, during this period, my Mum developed a condition known as Pericardial Effusion, which is the build-up of an abnormal amount of fluid in the pericardial space around the heart. For some reason that I do not fully understand, this also resulted in a build-up of fluid in her abdomen, which is the first thing we noticed. Anyway, with the diagnosis confirmed, our vet drained away the excess fluid in the pericardial sac, following which Mum was soon back to her old self again. Dr Chris said that, in many cases, just one drain of the pericardial space makes the problem go away for good, so we all had our fingers crossed from that point on.

Kellie: Saybo proved himself up to the task of comforting my Mum after her operation, and keeping her chest warm.