Joshua: 11 July 2004 -- 15 April 2016

We love them all equally, but some are very special, and Joshua was one of these. He combined in one small golden body, Jason's determination and verbal understanding, Ptolemy's physical coordination and joyous enthusiasm, and Cicero's sweet and gentle nature. The smallest of three survivors from a large litter that went down to neonatal canine herpes, his puppy name was ``tank'' from the cheerful way he would plow through his larger siblings or anything else to get to where he wanted to be. His registered name, Fairwinds Walls Come Tumblin', was true in so many ways.

Mentally active, incredibly mischievous, and with a mission to explore anywhere and to taste everything, he caused a number of panics, but also much laughter in which he joined to the full. Whether from the herpes, a mushroom poisoning, or some other cause, he had kidney trouble from a year old, but that never slowed him down. He loved to be outdoors, whatever the weather; best of all was plowing his way through deep soft snow. He started Agility young, and could have become excellent if not for his mischievous disregard for rules. He won a Buster Cube at an Agility Club Games Night; after totally blowing off his two runs, at the end he was allowed an extra try and almost doubled the previous best score in his group. His "Cubie" was his pride and joy for almost 10 years, the one toy he insisted was his alone.

All else he shared with Benedict, his junior by three years. For 8 happy years they played together, dug huge holes together, hiked together, and slept together. The only thing they hated was not to be together. After Benedict went down to cancer at age 8, Joshua was suddenly a much older dog. We still had fun, enjoying a final winter of snow at the cabin. We rediscovered "Noseworks", which both dogs had much enjoyed years earlier. The first sign of the all-too-rapid end was difficulty raising his right foot to tap lightly on the located scent tin. Then, Joshua too went down to cancer.