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Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Wordless Wednesday

 I had no idea that the center of a wild geranium looked so magical until I pointed a macro lens at it!

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Teeny Tiny, a bear cub, took his first very cute bath!

 Teeny Tiny, a local bear cub who is probably Tiny's, took his first bath! He hadn't gone in the water prior to this. When he and his mom arrived at the water hole, he amused himself while his mom took a bath. Then, almost on a whim, he sprinted back to take his first bath. And he was CUTE!

Check out the video!

Monday, August 2, 2021

The Hachi Chronicle

It was a rough week for Hachi.  The work on the house got louder and more intrusive. I twice found him having what looked almost like a panic attack. He was startling at each loud bang, and he was panting as if he'd just run a very hard sprint. The good news is that he was very receptive to his humans comforting him. Moreover, his anti-anxiety meds helped a lot. The poor little guy is wired so tightly - I wish that he could learn that we'll keep him safe.

He had fun this week too. He did a great run with the Runner, up to the top of one of the mountains behind him in this photo.

He also was always friendly toward Shyla even when he was trigger-stacked by the noise. We'd take them out for a romp after the workers departed, and he hung out with his sister just like usual. I haven't been getting any photos of them playing because the meadow grass is too high for us to even see them! This photo is from a different meadow.

 We love our Hachi!

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Black Dog Sunday

I often write about our Black Dog's exuberance and wild joy. But he had another side. He could turn off his high energy side and quietly relax. He loved relaxing on his dog bed that was often bathed in sunshine. His brown warm eyes calmly watched the room and invited others over to snuggle with him. Neither Shyla nor I could resist a Black Dog snuggle when he looked like this.

I hope that you have a peaceful day, like our Black Dog knew how to do. 



Saturday, July 31, 2021

Shyla Saturday

Since moving to Lab Valley, I've been able to do my daily rides with Shyla in places where we see absolutely no one else. It's so peaceful. Amazingly, Shyla's behavior during our rides has improved dramatically since the move. I didn't put two and two together until this week...

This week, I decided to do a ride to a lake with Shyla. We've done this ride before, and it's always been completely quiet with no other people around. This week was different. As we got close to the lake,we saw some people. A couple were fishing and another couple were hiking. And a dog in a nearby house was barking anxiously.

I let Shyla cool off in the lake, and then we turned to ride back home. 


As we were leaving, we saw two more hikers. Then, all the way home, Shyla refused to stay on the trail near me. She'd fade backwards behind me, and then she'd go left or right off the trail into the forest. I'd have to stop, call her, and then try to get her restarted in the correct direction.

This behavior was her hallmark at our old place. I am embarrassed to admit just how much it drove me crazy.

Then, I finally understood it. Although Shyla is much better with people than in her younger days, it is still obvious to me that she gets anxious around them. If she is very afraid of a person, she steals off into the forest and hides. I think that seeing non-family members makes her anxious for a long time after she sees them. That is why she continually went off the trail into the forest during our lake ride. And that is why she did this behavior almost every day at our old place. The trails near our old place had become progressively busier - and so we saw other users almost every day. Hence, Shyla's undesirable behavior was almost constant.

I must say that the transformation in Shyla's behavior at Lab Valley is one more reason that I love it here. I rarely have to call her or remind her to stay near when we ride here. Both of us are so relaxed after our daily rides!

Happy Shyla Saturday!

Friday, July 30, 2021

Bathing Bears!!

We are in the warm days of summer, and bears LOVE to bathe in a secluded wallow. I find nothing as relaxing as watching bears roll around in the cool water. They so obviously completely enjoy themselves. Seeing them bathe has become one of my favorite aspects of summer.

The wallow in this video has been so popular - many bears have bathed in it so far this summer. Check out these two big male bears enjoying the water. Note that one has a damaged ear, probably from a fight with another bear. The other bear is a little smaller but is getting close to being one of the bigger bears in the area.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for everything in this image - the flowers, the green grass, the sky, the trees, and, most of all, Shyla.

I have found it to be too easy to get overwhelmed and lose track of how lucky we are to have so much good in our life. I find my mind grinding through my "to do" list as I'm riding my bike with Shyla instead of reveling in our ride. As I realize that I'm missing out on the wonderful aspects of life by letting my mind spin too much, I often stop and look around me while talking to Shyla about the beauty. The flowers are so incredible, and Shyla is the best friend who I can imagine.

In the news department, we sold our old place. We are renting it back for a while just in case the work on the new place becomes too much for us to handle. I am thankful to have a quiet place to go, even if just for the day.


Tuesday, July 27, 2021

The Little Bear Wins the Dance Contest

 Late this spring, a young male bear arrived in Tiny's territory. I think that he'd very recently dispersed from his mom's territory as all young male bears must do. I'm not sure why he chose to linger in this territory because there presently are a number of big male bears residing there. But, he did. And his amazing enthusiasm for life may help him to make it among the big bears.

As an example, he visited a bear marking tree that has been very popular this year. Lots of big bears marked it but none had the spark and crazy energy of the youngster. The young bear definitely won the dance contest! Check out the video.

Monday, July 26, 2021

The Hachi Chronicle

Hachi had a good week. He had lots of challenges but usually kept his composure. 

We had strangers working on the house, banging so hard that things fell off of shelves. They also began appearing outside of 2nd story windows - and that surprised even me! Hachi startled and barked many times. His startles were not at the loud bangs but at the sight of people where he didn't expect them to be. Even after some rapid fire barking, he recovered and relaxed again pretty fast.

We made sure to keep having fun with him. Our kind neighbors let us play in their amazing meadow. Look how happy and relaxed Hachi was! The loose tongue tells the story!

We continued our usual training, and he seemed relaxed in the evenings after everyone departed our house. During the day, I also took him outside to observe the workers from a distance. The hard part is getting him out the door because the workers are focused on the house. After we successfully get outside, we walk away from the house to observe from a distance where he can handle it. 

He generally stopped paying intense attention to them after we got far enough away. However, I did have to stay on my toes. Whenever he stared for too long, I needed to get him moving and redirect his attention to avoid him going over threshold. Overall, I get the sense that he's learning to accept that strangers will sometimes be inside our bubble. He may never learn to love those strangers but he may learn to ignore them.

I kept trying to spend one-on-one time with him outdoors. I think that his photos in the meadow show how much more relaxed he was about that than in the past. That makes me very happy.

It was a happy week for Hachi.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Black Dog Sunday

These are a couple of moments of joyful mayhem from our Black Dog's life. 

I loved the days that I could ride up to Hug Hill with both halves of the Labraduo. I'd try to get them to pose for me but R's joy would overcome him. After he launched into action, his little sister did too. They'd run straight to me, jumping around asking for treats. I'd end up laughing so hard that their mayhem was rewarded!

I love when Shyla shows signs of that crazy spirit that R infused in her.

Happy Black Dog Sunday!


Saturday, July 24, 2021

Shyla Saturday

Shyla and I have delighted in the wildflowers near Lab Valley. She runs with abandon through the brilliant flowers.

I feel so fortunate that Shyla still wants to run and run at age 9. She's the best companion who I can imagine.

Shyla has had some trouble handling the ongoing noisy construction. When the banging is loud, she tends to hide in the basement. Our behavioral vet prescribed an anti-anxiety medicine that helps her to snooze through the noise. I am so glad for that.

Happy Shyla Saturday!

Friday, July 23, 2021

Nature Friday - Dancing Bears!

 I love watching bears dance at a marking tree. Different bears are widely different in size and in dancing style.

Check out a lot of bears mark this tree and enjoy their antics. Here's the video!


P.S. You won't believe this but our internet went bad back around July 6, and the company has not yet sent anyone to work on it. We get a connection every now and then, and I hop on quickly to post or do other important things. It is so frustrating.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for the wildflowers and the mountains.

And, most of all, for Hachi. He was so happy to run in this meadow for me. He made me smile.

Last but not least, I am thankful for the kind neighbors who let us play in their meadow!