Life goes on. The winter days are cold, but we often get these beautifully calm days with not a cloud in the sky. The perfect day for a walk over at Commonwealth Park - just to give my humans some exercise, you understand.

In the second half of the year we began to see more and more of my good friends and fellow Buffalo Kennels alumni Angus and Phoebe. Dear old Angus, who has had many years of problems with his rear legs, was at the stage where he sometimes couldn't get up by himself, and thus could not be left alone during the day. This presented a problem for his humans (Scott and Kate) because Scott is a Qantas international pilot and spends half his time out of town and Kate has a very responsible job in the Prime Minister's office, working long hours and often getting home quite late. So my Pack Leader, my Alpha Female and I stepped in and invited Angus to stay with us whenever Scott was out-of-town. It's a win-win situation really, because my humans and I greatly enjoy having them here.

This picture was taken before our dear friend and companion Taylor, who was Phoebe's mother, passed away. That's Taylor at the back, laying next to the standing Phoebe. Angus is laying next to Taylor.

Angus, Phoebe and I reckon we are the very best watchdogs on the planet. Nothing escapes our attention. Nothing. Here we are at the back gate, convinced that a car had just driven into the driveway. False alarm as it turned out. (Actually, there are quite a few false alarms, but better to be safe than sorry I always say.)

I have to admit that Phoebe's behaviour can be a tiny bit, well, outrageous on occasion. I mean, I have never, ever done anything like this. Not ever. (Well, OK, maybe just once. Twice tops.)

Saybo the Long-Haired German Shepherd, who resides at the abode of my human sister Sam, joins us from time to time. Saybo and Angus are much the same - big gentle giants both of them, and both absolute ratbags when they want to be. Of course, Phoebe and I, being females, are much smarter than they are, but don't tell them I said that. (Delicate male egos and all that.)

Angus follows the Pack Leader absolutely everywhere, and is never more than a metre away from him. The PL goes to the kitchen to make coffee, goes to his study, sits down to watch the TV news, goes outside to the barbie area to read the newspaper, whatever. Angus will be tagging along as if connected to the PL by an invisible bungee cord. But the PL says that he wouldn't have it any other way, because he's such a big loveable lug.

Well, OK, there are two times of the day when the bungee cord is disconnected. You guessed it: breakfast time and dinner time. Not surprising, really, because it is widely known that a Golden Retriever's first loyalty is always to the supper bowl. Always.

Anyway, while all that is going on, I typically busy myself doing the Dusty pre-wash cycle on the dishwasher thingy, just to help my Mum out ...

... or I transport a Meerkat from the woobie basket out to the back lawn for a sunbake ...

... or I simply carry on like a pork chop. Whatever.

Spring arrived, and then glorious summer. Good old Saybo stayed with me for a few days in Spring while my human sister Sam and her husband Tom took a holiday in Singapore.

When he is here, Saybo always commandeers my trampoline bed in the main bedroom, but that's OK because I have always preferred to sleep in the lounge room anyway. The Pack Leader says he'll never understand why, but of course he's not a dog so there's no point trying to explain it to him.

Seems like a girl can't just go for a quiet stroll in the park these days ...

... without some macho Border Collie or other egotistical hunk wanting to chat her up. Such a drag, really.

Anyway, all things considered, I had an enjoyable year. I saw the Blue Mountains for the first time, got lots of treats and pats, got lots of walks all over the place, and got to spend a lot of time with my friends. On top of that, I have enjoyed excellent health. (Well, OK, I had to go on a little diet to lose a bit of weight in about mid-year, but no big deal really.)

So here I am on 14 December 2014, rapidly approaching my eighth birthday. By coincidence, Saybo and I share the same birth date so I think we might have a joint party in January.