As Good as it Gets
painting of Cormac, Suki and Tudi Some lessons I learned from this trio:

From Cormac: Age is defined not by years but by attitude.

From Suki: Find a special way each day to let your loved ones know how much they mean to you.

From Tudi: A healthy dose of laughter usually cures the most stubborn case of the blues.
Photo of Cormac and Suki Cormac, Suki and Tudi have shared much love and many laughs with Tom and Shane.

Cormac is Shane's golden girl. Almost fourteen years old and covered with scars, lumps and bumps, she hobbles around with an unflagging interest in her surroundings. She never complains. This blonde bombshell with her bull terrier-like strut can still materialize in an instant if a stranger dares to enter her domain.

Cormac's most amazing athletic talent is her ability to locate and retrieve any rock that Shane tosses, no matter how great the distance or challenging the course. Steep cliffs and deep waters are no obstacles - Cormac's longest dive lasted 35 seconds. This girl is courageous, important, eats with gusto, and has a face that could melt the stoniest heart. Cormac has shared with Shane and Tom the healthy qualities that help to define a vital senior life.

Suki, a long-tailed German Shorthair, was a ten-week old pound puppy when Shane adopted her. Cormac was four years old at the time, and the two dogs bonded right away. Suki's personality continues to reflect her "youngster of the household" identity, and as she approaches her tenth year, she still retains her puppy energy. Her strongest bond is still with Cormac, and she remains devoted to her, grooming her daily to remove ticks and burrs.

Suki is interested in all things that people do which create noise. Her most memorable trick occurred during the construction of Tom and Shane's barn. A renowned escape artist, Suki unlatched the gate to her pen and gravitated toward the barn where the contractor was working with his hammer, fifteen feet up on scaffolding. Suki paused for a moment to assess the situation, then proceeded to climb the nearly-vertical ladder straight to the top to take a closer look at what this nice man was doing.

Photo of Tudi One day Shane went to the local shelter with a friend who was looking to adopt a dog and returned home with a little tiger-striped cat named Tudi.

"Her fur is so extravagantly beautiful in design and color that I figured if I can't look LIKE her, at least I can look AT her, admire her, and exclaim over her to my heart's content," Shane laughs.

Good natured little Tudi tolerates Shane's adulation, asking nothing but plenty of playtime in return. When life becomes too serious for Shane and Tom, Tudi is the not-so-quiet little voice that interrupts and shouts "Hey, let's have some fun now!"



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All images © Alison Whalen