We have always had animals in our lives, and I would like to take a moment to pay tribute to them. My first long term and lasting relationship was with my cat Sophie, whom I met cold, wet, and shivering on the doorstep of my friend Joan back in 1980, and who passed away in Mazatlan some 17 years later. Next is Emma, who I got as a companion for Sophie, and is also now buried in the backyard of our former house at Playa Linda. Just before Christmas of 2003, we lost our dear little chihuahua dog, Gatita , our constant companion since 1995. She was a great little dog, and spent countless hours on my lap as I sat in front of the computer. In March of 2003, we lost out 20 year old cat, Tippy . This had been Nadine's cat since before we were married, and helped her get through some rough times in her life. In 2010 we had to let go of our cat Miss Parker, whom we had since she was a kitten. In June 2012 we lost our beautiful Belle dog to heart disease. We had 12 wonderful years with Belle, and are very grateful that we had her in our lives.Today we are the proud parents of 1, 2, 3 4 dogs and a cat. We have also lived in quite a few places, and have written long and boring Christmas letters since 1999.