The short version: Tala is doing great!
You may recall that some years back, shortly after we adopted Diego, our Tala was diagnosed with cauda equina syndrome. Thus began a long, slow process of rest, rehabilitation, and experiments with medication. Our little girl's wild days of being on the move every waking hour were over. But we were determined to do everything we could to transition her into a more calm, but still active, life.
We have been so fortunate that our efforts have paid off. Tala can be off-leash at the dog park again - something we couldn't do for more than a year. She can walk up to 30 or 40 minutes on the leash, a few times a week. She can come upstairs to sleep every night, which was strictly prohibited for years. And we've been able to significantly reduce her medication.
When she comes upstairs, Tala usually doesn't sleep in our bedroom. A friend gave us this extra-big, extra-cushy dog bed, after her wonderful elderly dog left this world. Tala has claimed it as her throne.
When I think of how devastating it was to learn that Tala had a chronic, degenerative condition - one that could paralyze or kill her - and I see her so happy and content now, I am so grateful. I honestly never thought she'd come back this far.
In the process, Tala has become incredibly sweet! When she was younger, Tala was too busy, too active, to pay much attention to her humans. She liked to be pet and would submit to a hug once in a while, but mostly she was on the move, doing that famous Husky trot, keeping the yard safe from squirrels, bullying small dogs at the dog park, goading Diego into play. In her more sedate middle age, she's become so much more affectionate and attached to us. We love it.
She's also very attached to her toys! Anytime she's lying down, relaxing, she likes to have a toy with beside her. Her favourite is Mr. Squishy Bone. (Tala has bad teeth. After she had some serious dental damage, we were forced to switch from her beloved Nylabones to Kongs.) Mr. Squishy Bone exists in triplicate so there's always one around when she needs it.
Tala likes to chew Squishy, but often she just likes to hold it or have it close.
Outside, she likes to have an Orbee around at all times.
Of course, this is her favourite toy.
We have never had two dogs as attached to each other as this pair. They play constantly. (These videos are old, but nothing has changed - except the size of our backyard.)
And they do this at least once daily, often three or four times a day. (Another old video. The window has changed but the song remains the same.)
And how is Diego, you ask? He is the same as always: big, goofy, drooly, happy, pushy, annoying, not too bright, incredibly loving, sweet as can be.