Things with Gem are going smashingly. He has become quite the sweet, mature, but still puppyish, dog. He's about 15 months old now and has probably reached his final size, though he may fill out a bit (hopefully not too much). He's a lot smaller than my last golden retriever, Buddy, who was very tall and barrel-chested. I used to joke that Buddy had a whiskey barrel for a rib-cage; keeping that analogy, Gemmie has a half-keg. :)
Gem has kept up with his training and gets along with every dog (and human) that he meets. He has yet to met a cat... We do have lots of squirrels and birds here; so far, he has shown little interest. However, our neighborhood is facing an infestation of bunnies (first I saw one, then I saw two...), and we'll see how he deals with that.
I've been spending a lot of time working on my other blog — KeaNeato! — but have plans for this blog as well. This is going to be more personal, with some longer posts.