Nice to hear from you whenever you have time. I think a thread has to be inactive for a whole year before it locks, at least that was the way it worked before all the changes were made to this site. So if you post at least once a month you're probably ok.
Puff's beard is black almost all the time now, although the rest of his body still turns light colored when he's warm or asleep. I'm afraid he's in pain, maybe because of pinched nerves -- he still has the curve in his spine and it seems to be getting worse, or maybe constipation because it's usually a long time between poops lately. He has hard urates that probably plug everything up until he can pass them. Hasn't been eating much repashy grub pie lately even though we offer it, so not getting the laxative. He seems to like a certain food for a while, and then decides he doesn't like it, then he likes it again after a while. It's hard to tell what he's going to eat or not eat on any given day. He skips meals now and then, but we don't worry too much unless he doesn't eat for about a week or so. His weight is still stable, but I plan to email the vet about the black beard. I don't think there's much we can do about it. She didn't want to give him pain killers because it might push his liver over the edge, but I think it might be worth it just to keep him comfortable, since he's probably not going to live much longer anyway, although I don't know... I keep saying that and he keeps surprising me by making it through another year.
No sign of brumation -- he's never done that, and the vet says he's not healthy enough for it anyway, so it's good that he doesn't want to. The black beard isn't due to mating season either -- he's not exhibiting any other signs of that. Not healthy enough to be interested in making little dragons, and he's got an "STD" anyway (that's what I call adenovirus when it comes to making whoopee with a female beardie), and we don't want to pass that around. Besides, there are already enough bearded dragons in the world -- more than there are good homes for them, it seems.
German shepherds get pretty big. We had one once when I was still living with my mother -- wanted a watchdog. She was still a puppy when we got her. She was almost full grown, turning into a handsome young dog, but she disappeared and we never found her -- got out of the yard somehow on the 4th of July, probably panicked by the fireworks. I hope she found a good home.
Lots of rain here lately, and cooling off gradually. September is supposed to be our wettest month, but we usually get quite a bit of rain in August too.
We are having all 8 of our windows replaced this fall. They're in pretty bad shape, and we may have to coordinate with a contractor who will have to repair the walls around them while they have them out so we don't end up having to board some of them up between repairs and putting in the new windows. Some of the wood around the windows has rotted out. This house is older than I am. Talk about expensive -- it's costing almost half as much as I paid for the house 20 years ago, but the city assessed value has gone up (more property taxes), so now it's only about 1/5 the value of the house. Still, I'm having second thoughts about whether or not it's worth it instead of looking for a new house, since the rest of this one might be getting ready to fall apart. It's going to be a big hassle to move everything away from the windows so they will have room to work -- don't know where else in the house to put it and I refuse to rent storage. It's going to be expensive enough as it is. We have too much STUFF! But we'll see how it goes...