Photos and text copyright Romping and Rolling in the Rockies 2009-2014.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Clear eyes. Heart full of love.

K and I hurried out the door this morning, wanting to have some time in the sun before the storm hit. Foreboding skies met us.
K gazed at the wondrous sky as we walked side-by-side.
I was working on a decision and talked with her about it. She looked at me intensely, telling me that she trusted me. She also told me that the most important thing to her was a life full of love. She didn't care if she could run like the wind or go on long adventures. She just wanted to be by my side.
Then, to demonstrate her defiance of cancer or other adversity, she stood proudly atop a boulder. This one is for the Herd!
Later, the storm enveloped our world. The storm clouds hid the Divide while R searched for phantom rodents who are tucked away deep in their dens.
Then, the snow started to fly as we descended. If we get enough snow, R might be able to leave behind the muzzle because the mushrooms will be buried!
Winter has dethroned autumn.
As I rode, I thought about how mountain biking in the snow resembles the decision about K's treatment. I can't see what's below the snow - slippery rocks, treacherous roots, or even logs. Yet, I trust myself to react at the instant that I encounter an obstacle and stay upright. I can't plan ahead because the path is snow-covered and unknown. I thought about how I needed to trust myself the same way in the decision about K's treatment.

A little further along, when R was safe at home, I pedaled silently through the snow with blizzard-like visibility. Ahead of me, a cat appeared out of the white curtain walking toward me. At first, he looked so big that I thought that he might be a lion. Then, he turned tail and bounded up a cliff. His short striped tail informed me that he was a bobcat. I looked at his tracks and pondered his amazing athleticism. I assumed that he was long gone by then.
My eyes followed his tracks up the boulders. To my utter surprise, at the end of the tracks, the bobcat himself stood defiantly at the top of the slope watching me. Our eyes locked in mutual amazement. For an instant, I was afraid. He looked huge on top of the slope, and he wasn't fleeing. Then, I reminded myself that he couldn't possibly weigh more than 30 lbs at maximum, and I relaxed to enjoy the moment.
He glanced away for an instant, and I thought that he was about to flee.
But, instead, he turned back to me. His eyes seemed bottomless, so full of life and defiance of nature's harshness. He seemed curious about me.
 
Then, too soon, he turned his tail toward me and sauntered up the hill out of sight. I knew that I'd just experienced a rare and special moment in the forest that I'll never forget.

I arrived home covered in snow. I warmed up, and then had another phone consultation about K. The decision is made - her toe will be amputated on Thursday. Regardless of what they find, I know that I've made this decision with K's best interest dominating my thoughts. 

Clear eyes and a heart full of love.

46 comments:

The Thundering Herd said...

First of all, you know we love the boulder picture, K. And we totally support your decision (and we know K trusts you totally in that decision).

Secondly - wow oh wow on the bobcat. Our one and only clear encounter with a bobcat was so brief and from such a distance, that I never had a chance to take the picture or even savor the moment. It was over in seconds. To have that amount of time with such a magnificent creature - wow.

Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Once again, one word will sum up this post:

WOW!!!

rottrover said...

WOW is right! AND you got photographs. It was a gift from Nature telling you to trust your instincts.

Recovery from Allie's toe amputation was about 6 weeks. She was 8 at the time and I'm sure not as fit as K. But it was fine.

I don't know if you follow Welsh Terrier George's blog, but there's a picture today of his ears standing straight up in the wind. Reminded me of R :-)

the booker man said...

how amazing that the bobcat hung around long enough for you to get those pictures!
K looks beautiful as always up on that big boulder. great photo! i'll be thinking of her and her surgery on thursday. i know you will be so relieved to have this situation behind you.

the booker man and asa's mama

p.s. -- thanks so much for the happy birthday wishes for booker!

Sierra Rose said...

Amazing post! We are glad for this decision, and the process it took to arrive there. Wow! That moment with the bobcat is so interesting. We will be thinking of K, and also of R...may the snow cover clear the muzzle time, and also present soft surfaces for K to explore.

Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
Sierra Rose

Barbara said...

I support your decision wholeheartedly. Whatever keeps K around and free of pain is a good decision.

Cool pics and adventure with the bobcat! Wowwee!

Kristin G. said...

What an interesting, thought-provoking day you had. Great photos of K, and your bobcat encounter! I'll be thinking of you and K on Thursday, and wish the best for both of you.

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

We will keep you and K in our thoughts and prayers for her surgery. We know that you made the best decision you could for her.

Maybe that bobcat was telling you that things will be alright. Awesome experience you had!

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

What an amazing experience that I know will not be forgotten.

We will keep K in our hearts and prayers for Thursday. Please let us know how it goes.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora KB,
There are so many messages being sent in these photos, the storm behind indicating perhaps some struggles ahead, then cushioned by the gentle falling of snow and the covering of old wounds. And the encounter with the bobcat is simply stunning. Thank you for listening and sharing. Kia kaha to you all.
Aroha,
Robb

NCmountainwoman said...

That is certainly the right decision, no matter hard it might seem. I will send up positive thoughts and think of all of you especially on Thursday.

The Bobcat photographs are totally mesmerizing. We had one saunter down our driveway and cut into the woods. He didn't see me, but he sat down at the edge of the woods and I was able to get some pictures. Those encounters are beyond description. I'm so glad you had this wonderful adventure on such a difficult day.

houndstooth said...

We'll be thinking of you Thursday, and K, too! For what it's worth, I would have made the same decision. One less toe won't stop K from perching on boulders at all! We'll all always be looking up to K in that department. :)

I think the bobcat wanted to remind you that its his year, and that you need to be bold like him! What an extraordinary encounter! Yet again, I envy you, until I see that snow!

MurphyDog said...

its never an easy decision...trying to do what's right for our furry ones, especially when there is still so much unknown of the diagnosis.

For what its worth though, I think you are making a good decision. I'll be keeping K in my thoughts and prayers on Thursday, for a successful surgery...and promising diagnosis...and a speedy recovery.

Debbie (Murphydog's Mom)

Maggie Mae said...

Mom and me will be thinkin' of K and you and we is keeping you in our prayers.

Woofs and Licks,
Maggie Mae

PeeS Amazing photos!!

Stella said...

Now and then you get an A-1 Day that makes you feel all is gonna be fine and you got one today!

Loved the picture of K on the boulder, am crazy for the pics of the Bobcat, and happy for your decision about K's toe. We have no snow at all, and I'd like a little scenic stuff like you got.

Cheers and hugs all around,

Stella, Jo and Zkhat

Emma Rose said...

We will be thinking of you and K on Thursday. The bobcat was amazing!

Emma Rose and the Duchess

Ruby's Raiser said...

Defiance of nature's harshness -- yes, that sounds just right as you face these challenges with clear eyes and a clear heart.

Will be thinking of you and your girl on Thursday.

Maery Rose said...

What a great moment with the bobcat! It sounds like you have done your research and are now following your gut. Your instincts have served you well in the past. I'm pulling for both of you.

ForPetsSake said...

So many thoughts here...I believe we see and experience things for a reason. The symbolism of the bobcat is that of silence and secrets - it symbolizes the need to trust our senses and that new learning is on the horizon. Timing is everything - trust your decision. Whatever ugliness is hurting your baby's toe - she can live without a toe. If it is the big C then amputation is the safest course. If not, a toe is hardly significant to a dog, particularly one as well-conditioned as K. I imagine the vet has advised you to have the toe evaluated post-op?

My heart and thoughts are with you and her. We'll be thinking of you both on surgery day as well.

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Your unforgetable moment with the bobcat has touched us. That moment along with all of the words your heart has spoken as you paint this picture of your emotions, feeling and trust.
I find myself holding my breath as your words flow.
It is the right thing to do, in trusting your feelings concerning beautiful K. We are right with you and K,,, never leaving your side.
K standing on the boulder seemed to speak a thousand words.
xoxo
tweedles

mayziegal said...

I held my breath when you were telling about seeing that bobcat. What a most miraculous experience it must have been for you.

My mom and me are thinking about you and K and wishing you total peace about your decision. You have made it with luv in your heart and that is the most any of us can ask of another.

Wiggles & WAgs,
Mayzie

Mr. Pip said...

This is one of the most magical and special posts I have read on ANY blog EVER. I agree with your metaphor about the snow - not just for cancer and sickness, but for all of life. We just have trust.

That moment with the bobcat was AMAZING and BEAUTIFUL. Thanks for sharing.

Your pal, Pip

jen said...

Those pictures of the bobcat are breath taking, what a moment for you.
The words of your post were very touching and spoke volumes.
I am glad to hear that you are at piece with the decision you made about K.

Tank said...

Your pictures are always amazing. Good thoughts for K... such a beautiful dog.

MAXMOM IN SA said...

Hey there KB...
This is one of those surreal and extremely special moments in life when one knows, with absolute certainty, that despite what appears on the surface...all will be okay!
I am taking a short break from blogging myself, but will be popping in occasionally to see how you and K are doing.
Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and will be with you particularly on Thursday.
You are simply amazing in your leadership!
Hang in there, dear friend!
Sending lotsaluv
MAXMOM IN SA

emilene said...

We definitely will be thinking of you on Thursday, you have made the correct decision, without a doubt.

Your post was filled with so much, I am so glad MaxMom directed me to your site. Amazing!

Sitting in a sunny Cape Town right now it feels surreal looking at your pictures - a world away in geography but as animal lovers so on the same page!

We'll keep you in our thoughts!

Abigail the Yorkie

Benny and Lily said...

So beautiful K. We are gladyou had a nice hike before the storm came in
Benny & Lily

Jed and Abby in MerryLand said...

We join in wishing K the very best. Not an easy decision, but carefully considered with both heart and mind. Dogs are so amazingly resilient; we do well to follow their example. Paws crossed for you and your girl.

Jed & Abby

Angus said...

You'll have a special place in our thoughts tomorrow. Careful weighing up of the options - perfect trust in action.

Tom, Tama-Chan, Sei-Chan and Bibi-Chan said...

Each time we read your blog, we are so grateful for this opportunity to share a little of the wonders around you. The Chans were particularly thrilled with the Bobcat in the snow!

We're sure the decision you have made about K is the right one.

Woofs, Purrs and Hugs,
Tommy, The Chans and #1

Pat in east TN said...

What an amazing encounter with the bobcat, and then to have pictures to share with us!

Our thoughts and prayers go to you and K with her surgery on Thursday. You really have amazing communication with your pups.

Dog_geek said...

Wow - your encounter with the bobcat is magical - perhaps sent to give you the strength to make this decision for K. And I think you made the right decision. (For whatever it is worth, I had a friend who had to have one of her dog's toes amputated due to malignant melanoma in the nailbed. If you didn't know the toe was gone, you wouldn't have ever guessed it from watching the dog run around.) I'll be thinking of you and K, and hope that everything goes better than you expect.

Wild Dingo said...

That bobcat was a sign. a sign of trust from the bobcat and a sign of trust from K. Man, the beauty of that cat. kind of looks like the main coons i had in the past, but HUGER!

and K... my heart and soul goes out to both /all of you for only the best results and news. will this amputation show any more data on what the cause is?

Brenda's Arizona said...

Wow, I love your story here. What a hike! and what a wonderful companion you have in K. I love reading your adventures, and your photos are dreams.

KB said...

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for your wonderful comments. They lifted my spirits at a tough time.

Several asked if they'll do tests on K's toe to see what's wrong. They definitely will. That way, we can know if more treatment is needed or warranted. I'm pretty scared about that part.

Also, I'm being told that "normal" dogs function fine without one of their middle two toes. However, a dog as active as K will have to scale back her adventures. Otherwise, she'll risk injuries elsewhere to compensate for the lost toe. So be it, I'll just be glad to have her in my life.

Thanks again!

Samantha said...

Incredible post, KB. I love your telling us about your chat with K - you have such a wonderful relationship - glad you've come to a decision with clarity. Stunning photos of K on the rock; amazing pictures of the blizzard... and... the bobcat - o.m.g.!!! Yes... very, incredibly special - WOW! Thanks for sharing these!
Big Hugs xoxoxo and licks from us to K...
Sammie and Avalon

Mushing Kodi said...

Lovely post, great photos.
Thinking of you and K x
Kodi x

bbes tribe said...

As usual Fantastic pics & K does look great atop the boulder. Hard decision but we feel the right one. We will be keeping you & K in our thoughts Thur for the surgery. Dogs don't seem to carry the same "baggage" we do & sometimes seem to recover faster that hoomans.
Caring Tailwags
Ernie,Sasha,Chica
PeeEss: Super pics of the bobcat!!Loved the post.

Eva said...

Thoughts and prayers are with you! Like so many others said, the bobcat seems like a sign to trust your instincts and be at peace. How long do you have to wait after they examine the amputated toe? We will all be waiting with you!

Barb said...

I will be thinking of you all tomorrow. Hope the storm isn't too bad in your area. That encounter with the Bobcat was mystical, KB. Keep that vision in your mind during the next week.

Sam said...

Beautiful photos - I saw snow falling in trees earlier this year for the first time in my life, and I was mesmerized by it. Please keep us posted on K.

Sam

Cyber-sibes said...

Beautiful images, and thoughtful words. amazing how nature shows us the way through the storms in our lives. Sending prayers & Sibe vibes to K and you.

jack a-roo, moo, & mama Pat

Snowcatcher said...

Truly the Year of the Bobcat! I don't believe in coincidence. Incredible photos of the feline and K on the boulder. Hang tough. I believe the bobcat is a harbinger of spring (new life and new hope).

FiveSibesMom said...

Hi, we come by way of 24 Paws of Love. We wanted to offer our total support (times 5!) for your decision of K's treatment and to offer healing thoughts tomorrow for a successful surgery and speedy recovery. These are some of life's very tough decisions, especially when it comes to doing what's best for our beloved fubabies. Will be thinking of you and K. PS - your pics are awesome. I'm amazed by the bobcat photos! Good luck tomorrow.

The Luke said...

My the Mom understands how difficult the decisions are, but I know that K trusts you completely. And she and I boaf know you made the right one... wif the love in your heart.

YOu are in my foughts and prayers, and I will be sending all manner of healin vibes your way.

wif love from the Luke

P.S. Your blog is absolutely breaf-takin.!

Bibi said...

Hello, dear KB.........just want you to know my thoughts have been with you, K, and your whole family today. I am lighting a candle tonight to send healing and best results possible thoughts westward from NYS to K

Bibi