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Monday, September 14, 2009

Magical clouds

K ran free once again! I took the plunge and unclipped her leash during yesterday evening's hike. Despite her freedom, she mostly chose to walk by my side - I think that she's still tired. But, I caught the duo out in front together among the green and yellow aspen!We all gazed at the sunset. The sun falls toward the western mountain tops faster each day, throwing our forest into the shadows earlier.In the evening, the crazy boys in our family played raucously. K has been stand-offish about playing so my husband stepped into the void for the forever puppyish R.This morning, K stared longingly out the door - until she spotted movement in the woods. Then, the fur on her shoulders stood straight up as she barked with a deep voice. I never cease to be amazed by how ferocious sweet K can sound.Before I went on my ride, K and I did a short loop in the forest. She still lacked her normal verve. In fact, even her body language looked unusual with her head lowered as she trotted toward me. I'm working on being patient, as I mentioned in an earlier post. But, usually, she speeds past all the vet's predictions for how long it will take to recover from illness. Not this time.
We've added some protein to her diet, a tiny bit for starters. We're also walking her a little bit further, all on the schedule given to us by our vet for recovery from pancreatitis. Now, we'll try to settle in at this new level, which in the context of her normal life is truly sedentary. I miss having her with me on adventures but I'm optimistic that we'll have more wild journeys once she feels better.

Several of you have sent me links to information about canine pancreatitis (and I'm incredibly grateful!). I've been also reading about the relationship between pancreatitis and hypothyroidism because a vet school specialist has informed us that the two diseases are probably linked in K. I hope to create a list of resources for others to use once I've sorted through all the information.

K turns 6 years old in a week and a half. Our tradition is to embark on a mountain adventure for her birthday. Last year, during her birthday adventure, we came around a curve in a trail and a moose, with gigantic antlers, stood immobile in front of us. He turned and ran directly into a dense forest. Despite the 3-4' width of his antlers, he gracefully and silently disappeared into the stand of pine trees. That encounter made last year's birthday adventure memorable! My fingers are crossed that K will be strong enough to have a birthday adventure this year.

Today, I went for a longish mountain bike ride, all by myself. I have to admit that I felt lonely with no canine company. As a cure for the blues, I wanted to ride hard but my legs and neck protested. My cervical spine instability causes all sorts of odd symptoms, from ringing in my ears to aching legs. Today it was aching legs.

So, I just enjoyed the show that the clouds and mountains provided. As I started out, a novice eye would have seen serene mountains but a mountain dweller knows that the clouds clinging to the peaks in the early morning were a warning.
After a steep climb, I emerged from the forest on an exposed ridge. I saw that the clouds over the mountains had billowed upward, forming a thicker blanket over the Continental Divide.
A glance to the south stopped me in my tracks. The storms yesterday transformed a faraway towering mountain, over 14,000' tall, from a dark rocky sentinel to a white harbinger of winter. I could barely distinguish the snow coated mountain from the puffy white clouds enshrouding it. It looked like a mirage on the horizon.
As I rode toward the east, I looked over my shoulder to see that angry gray storm clouds now topped the upward pluming white ones.I dropped down 1000' and then started climbing again, on a carefully maintained open space trail. I was dismayed to see that the 'officials' are widening it and actually blasting apart boulders to make the trail smooth enough for a sedan. That terrain makes for some boring mountain biking. But, I'll always love the view from the top.
My legs never found their 'snap' today but I enjoyed a mellow journey in the woods. When I arrived home, K even managed to keep her eyes open for a brief period, before lapsing into unladylike snoring, as she and R lay on the deck. What a wonderful pair!


  1. I think maybe she knows how much she khan and wants to do...

    Woo just need to help her with the 'fuel'!

    Once agian, tank woo fur the pawesome pikhs of your beaWOOtiful views!


  2. Kia ora KB,
    Glad to read K seems on the mend. Hope you get out for a birthday ramble. I saw a few moose up in the Boundary Waters and was always amazed at how silently they melded into the woods.

  3. what a lovely post...the pictures are spectacular....K is looking good, glad that she is tolerating the protien, i think she needs more nutrition, but i also understand how this can cause a setback....i'm very interested in hearing about the thyroid/pancreatitis glad you had some riding time with K, i know how much that means to you...(i fell safer when you have a canine friend with you too)
    your home looks very lovely...i would love to live in seclusion....

  4. I'm hiking long tomorrow, K - up on the ridge I featured in my snow shot today. I hope the storms give us a bit of time. We'll try to start hiking by 7:15 - the 11 miles should take us about 7 hours - quite a bit of up & down. Glad K is tolerating a bit of protein and can roam some more.


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