Finally it appears this terribly difficult summer is over. Yes it is still quite warm during mid-day but nights are quite cold.
Valentina still gets her brushing though not needed as it was during the summer. Cujo still gets his as well. Both dogs are obviously mature and have slowed down somewhat in their activities (Valentina now 8 yrs & Cujo 13 yrs). Cujo has lots of grey on him and his walking up the stairs is a bit labored; however, he is still backing Valentina up when there is a need to protect the place from perceived predators. Valentina continues her sporadic walks around the parameter fencing though they are not as frequent. (Their work here has paid off in that what might have ventured on this place for a meal has not even attempted to do so for quite awhile.)
Both dogs will venture into the house at times. Cujo has preferred to stay indoors more than usual; whereas Valentina continues to prefer the outdoors. It has become obvious Valentina no longer sees a need to check me out as she has been doing this past year; and I suspect it is because I changed my diet to one more fitting to the needs of my body than to the desire of my taste buds. Both dogs have maintained a weight between 80 > 90 lbs which is quite healthy for them and both dogs will eat their dry chow more readily....even though they both still prefer either cooked or raw fresh meat.
It is difficult to know these wonderful canines are getting old as the pain of a loved one's death is always difficult........and the other animals here always go thru a mourning period too.