A warm breeze brushed my face as K and I rolled out for a ride. I was enjoying the ease and comfort of a sun-drenched and warm world, wearing shorts and a jersey, but no winter gear. I smiled almost continuously, simply reveling in the warmth and beauty of our world. K and I stopped for a snuggle on the local peak, and I noticed our shadows, stretched out by the low sun.
As I stood up, K peered searchingly into my eyes. My time with K in the forest makes me so happy, and I think that it makes her happy too!
K loped along easily, taking short detours into the brush where she gracefully leaped over logs and up steep hills. If her medical tests hadn't been repeatedly indicating kidney abnormalities over the past weeks, I'd have absolutely no idea that anything was awry. I have permission from my vet to let her run with me as long as her energy level continues to soar.
We met our first legitimate hunters of the season, and I remembered this friendly pair from last year. While I could never shoot an animal, I'm friendly to the hunters who are safety-conscious and nature-loving. These two definitely fall into that category!
After K and I finished our ride, I couldn't help myself - I felt compelled to go out and thrash my legs some more while enjoying the azure sky and snowy mountains. I rode along a ridge, where the grass has morphed into the color of honey, nicely offsetting the mountains.
As I negotiated the ridge trail, I met a dog with an ACL brace, something that I've never seen before. I asked the dog's human about the brace. She explained that her older GSD partially tore his ACL so they tried the brace before plunging into surgery. The dog was moving beautifully on rough terrain, looking like a happy senior citizen! The company who made the ACL brace manufactures pet braces for other joints. And, they even have invented pet prosthetic limbs. Pretty cool.
The conversation about pet braces reminded me of a hysterical interaction that I had with a neighbor right after R had elbow surgery. My neighbor asked why R was leashed (that's rare around here), and I explained that he had just had elbow surgery. My neighbor mockingly said, "And I suppose that he hurt his elbow playing tennis!". At first, I didn't know what to say but then it dawned on me that my neighbor didn't know that dogs have elbows - and, thus, the joke about tennis. In fact, dogs have ankles (also called "hocks"), knees (also called "stifles"), hips, wrists, elbows, and shoulders, just like us. In fact, the basic mechanical design of their joints mirrors our joints to an amazing extent.
Today, as I rode along high on the ridge, the mountain views awed me. I'll never take the beauty of our mountains for granted!