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Friday, July 15, 2022

Hachi Update and Thank you!

Thanks to all who offered support for Hachi yesterday. They figured out a super sedation protocol, and Hachi had a full exam from our behavioral vet. He's recovering well although he's still a little subdued and confused. Thanks so much for lifting my spirits yesterday.

Here's a photo of him from our most recent trip to the desert. We are giving him the best life that we know how to give him. For him in particular, every day is a gift that he wouldn't have had in other circumstances. We know that, and we remind ourselves of it when we need a lift.


Thursday, July 14, 2022

The Hachi Chronicle

I have not written a "Hachi Chronicle" recently. I'll be honest - it's partly because things have not gone as I hoped. We've been working with trainers on trying to help Hachi feel okay around strangers - with the goal of him being capable of receiving vet care more easily. 

We seemed to be proceeding well until about 6 weeks ago, and our trainer even touched him during a session. Then, a week later, things went backwards - and Hachi was more afraid of being close to her. We all decided that we needed to slow down, and that there would be no unsedated vet exam this year.
Fast forward to today. Hachi is spending the day at our behavioral vet's hospital. They are figuring out a sedation protocol that works for him. His brain is so different from normal that the usual canine sedation protocols don't even slow him down. They hope to find a drug cocktail that works today. Then, our regular vet will use it for his annual exam and dental cleaning.
It is heart-wrenching to be Hachi's humans. We so badly want life to become easier for him yet our efforts have seemed so ineffective so far. Sure, on "Hachi's scale", he's come a long way but he's nowhere near normal and is still very afraid of people.
So, Hachi could use some good vibes today. He is very scared being in a big vet hospital for the day.


Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Wordy Wednesday

Feeling some blues. One of the repairs to my shoulder from surgery four months ago has probably failed. The decision about what to do is obvious to me. No more surgery on it. This photo fits my mood.

I do know how grateful I am to have this river running past my house. Its sound and sight is so soothing.

Time to head outside and ride my bike along side this water.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Caught by a storm

A couple of days ago, I climbed up high on my bike. The route was forested so I couldn't see the clouds building over the Divide as I pedaled. When I popped out above treeline, the flowers, the water, and the threatening sky were stunning. I took a couple of quick photos and fled downhill away from the storm. Alas, I couldn't outrun this one. I ended up huddled under a small spruce tree as hail pelted out of the sky. Despite that, I was so grateful for seeing this beauty and for living so close to it.


Friday, June 24, 2022

Happiness in a storm

A theme in my life over the past few years has been learning to see the beauty even when I'm scared by a storm. I'm sorry for being so inconsistent here but I've needed time. I'm finding my way but I'm not there yet. Perhaps I'll never be but I sure have learned a lot in the journey.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Thankful Thursday

 There's no place in the world that I'd rather be. The wildflowers are popping and the birds are singing.


Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Almost Wordless Wednesday - Stunning Red Flowers

As I rode my bike in the desert, I scanned the landscape. This bunch of paintbrush flowers stunned me. I saw it from a long distance, parked my bike, and headed onto the desert floor to see them closer. The red against the white sand was brilliant. It was a testament to how being present in the moment sometimes shows you the beauty in the world around you.

Friday, June 17, 2022

A Miracle - Tiny the Black Bear Appears at Lab Valley

I've been following the biggest black bear I've seen, who I dubbed "Tiny", for years. I spotted him with a cam near my old home in April. Then, he disappeared from that area. He's an older bear so I began to suspect the worst. 

I said to the Runner that I was so sad because I thought that Tiny might be gone. When I said "gone", I meant dead. Young and hulking male bears have moved into his territory near our old home. They could have fought him and killed him or simply driven him out.

Then, I said the key thing -  "Isn't it odd that a bear who marks trees while sitting down, just like Tiny, has recently arrived near Lab Valley?".  Bells went off in my head. Maybe the bear near Lab Valley was Tiny. I thought that the probability of that was SO low that I didn't even start comparing their images until a full day later.

After staring at videos to compare Tiny near our old home and the new bear near our new home, I concluded that it was Tiny at our new place!!!! He has been here for close to a month, last seen with a sow near a water hole. Can you imagine the sheer luck to have made that happen? There are literally thousands of acres of forest land between our old home and our new one. How did I get so lucky?
Questions abound. Did he get fed up with the crush of people, development, and noise near our old place like I did? His habitat was rapidly diminishing there. Or, does he do this commute every year? I know that he disappeared from our old place every year around the start of June until just before he entered a den in the fall. Maybe he was here in early summer every year.
I am SO filled with gratitude to have this magnificent bear near our new home. It makes it feel even more like home. I wonder how long he'll stay? Time will tell.

Check out the video of him at our old place and our new one.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Almost Wordless Wednesday - Sandstone Castles in the Desert

At sunset in the desert, there's a hidden expanse of slickrock where we love to relax. In the distance, we can see K's Rock - which looks like a series of red rock castles from this angle. Sights like this one take my breath away.


Friday, June 3, 2022

A long and restless nap by a bear

A big male bear lumbered in front of my camera. I assumed that he was scent marking and would be on his way soon as I watched the first few seconds of video. Wrong! Next, he dug a day bed in the thick carpet of pine needles. Finally, he lay down to sleep. He spent six and a half hours snoozing restlessly.

Check out the very condensed video!

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Almost Wordless Wednesday


A storm was fast approaching on the horizon as I hiked in a wash deep in Utah's red rock desert. I felt the wind pick up and the air get colder. I began to hustle toward camp and our LabMobile. Then, I noticed a brilliant clump of Paintbrush at my feet. I stopped to appreciate it despite the threatening storm. Perhaps this is a metaphor for how to live life.

Friday, May 27, 2022

A tenacious tree

A tenacious little tree. I wonder how long it's been fighting for its life atop this wind-swept cliff. The only dirt it has is a bit of sand in a crack between the rocks.


Sunday, May 22, 2022

Sunday Snow Joy

We are in the midst of a May winter storm cycle. We had cement-like snow fall to the tune of about 10". It was 15°F this morning. A hummingbird in torpor appears to be frozen to the side of the house next to our hummingbird feeder. We're watching to see if he survives when he thaws. It's supposed to snow more this week amidst below freezing temperatures. 

Our pups love it much more than the hummingbirds do!


I am getting stronger all the time. However, the very act of pushing the limits in terms of my shoulder and wrists exhausts the muscles. I am so happy to be in the phase of getting stronger even with the muscle fatigue exercise can cause. I have at least an hour and a half of rehab exercises to do daily.

This winter was so hard in so many ways that it's left me in an introspective mood. I meditate daily as a way of grounding my spirit. I'm feeling more calm with each passing day. That is good.