The good thing of this all was that I got to spend time with my favorite cousin* and her babies. Paula's always been someone I looked up to: took up the flute because she played it. Would go out hiking in the woods and chase snakes around because she did. Dyed my (curly, blonde) hair black because hers is. Heck, even got into "blood sport" because it was a thing for her, too. My nickname for her is Artemis or Diana, by the way.
I'm an Avar-Viking hybrid; Paula's an Avar-Tatar melange. Here, she's reading a Dutch mercenary's account of the exploits of her probable ancestor Stenka Razin's insurgance against the Tsar. Apparently, this sort of upstart stuff runs in the family. I can't confirm it, but have it on fairly decent authority that an Austrian prince left his noble wife for one of our ancestors - a lowly maid. Paula's looking into this.
Though, of course, she loves all animals, my Diana only has hunting dogs around her. This is Odie (short for Odin). He's a pitbull/English Bulldog hybrid. Though he's just a puppy (or a poopie, depending on your regionality), he's pretty hefty. Still, he thinks he's a kitten. And look at that pink nose-nose. (eee!) Of course I'm afraid of him, but he's still pretty loveable.
Toby, I'm sure, is 1/2 Shepherd, 1/2 timberwolf. He's a good foot or so taller than me if he jumps. Can't jump much, though, as he's 14, has serious arthritis and, interestingly enough, Marfan's disease. Still, and I saw it with my own eyes, he's happy. Though he's not long for this world, it isn't his time yet.
*Yeah, yeah, I know I shouldn't play favorites.