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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A vision through the forest

From K's viewpoint, the biggest disappointment of having chronic pancreatitis is that she can't have a variety of treats. So, even if Pepper hadn't eaten the two milkbones left by our FedEx delivery guy yesterday, K still would have missed out on a milkbone. Milkbones are on the forbidden list. I follow the vet's orders about K's diet like my life depends on it - after all, K's life might actually depend on it.

But, she is allowed to eat fruit. Today, we did a common trick with an exotic treat, a banana slice. With the patience of a saint, K waited while I took her photo. She was cross-eyed and drooling but the lack of light hid those details!
When I released her to do the trick, she tossed the slice into the air.
And, she snagged it. Sorry about the blurry photo. I can't use the flash when my camera is in 'rapid-fire' mode. K and I both love this trick. What fun!
I bet that many of the dogs reading this blog have mastered this trick. But, I bet that they've never done it with a banana slice!

This morning, I took both pups for a snow bike ride. We mainly played, as the windpacked snow was still a disastrous surface for riding. This is the longest period of lousy snow riding since I got my Fatback. It has to turn around soon.

Finally, our stunning mountains shined in all their glory. I haven't seen the full range in what feels like forever. Today, the day dawned sunny and clear, with the glittering white mountains standing tall to our west.
We took advantage of the blue skies for a dog photo. Just as I pressed the shutter, R reached his nose skyward, drinking up a scent whooshing past in the wind. K looked embarrassed - her little brother wasn't behaving like she wanted him too, yet again!
He finally looked in my general direction but his vacant look and elevated nose gave him away. His focus was on something far more interesting than me. I never found out what it was.Along our route, I decided to play the hide-and-seek game. Both pups were out ahead, and I snuck up a hill. They sprinted back along the trail, stopping at the point where I'd left it. They scurried back and forth a few times. Below, R searched for my scent in the air.
Then, at the same instant, both of them picked up my plume of sweaty human scent. They sprinted straight up a rocky and steep slope to 'tag' me. What a fun game! And, as one of my first trainers pointed out, it reminds the dogs that it's their job to watch me and not vice-versa. After all, the game proves that I'm unpredictable, and they might lose me if they're not careful.
We descended toward home, and the low sun rays illuminated R's black sillhouette against the shiny windpacked snow.
After dropping off my sleepy dogs...
I headed out to ride on our roads. I felt mellow and upbeat, despite the relentless wind out of the west. In fact, I found myself enjoying the wind, daring it to try to slow me down. Then, when I turned around to head home, the wind was like a giant hand reaching down from the sky to assist me. I sped home effortlessly. I wish that I could bottle my attitude from today and sample it when needed. I felt happy despite everything.

When I first started my ride, I stood in the sun but clouds behind me cast a shadow over an entire mountain range.
A bit later, the sun chose one craggy peak to shine upon.
Perhaps I'm starting to see a vision of the far off future through the forest. If so, it hasn't risen to a conscious level yet but usually big decisions seem to emerge out of the misty fog with little provocation.


  1. You're right - Marge has got that trick down pat, but never with a piece of banana! (Though she has had banana a few times.)

    That's a great game that you play with K and R. I want to do something like that with Marge for her occasional off leash romps on the beach, but the fact that she is so nervous really complicates things. I suppose I could try it with the 50' long line, though!

  2. Hi KB,
    It was a great day in Breck, too. Love those blue skies and am glad it's a bit warmer (up to 20's here!)
    I'm sending a talent scout to your house - K is a star! The pic of a sleepy R is one of my favorites.

  3. The Doggy Nanny has tried that with Khyra but not very successfully!

    Some of our past pets did it though -

    Khyra's talent is catching things!

    Thanks for sharing all the great pics of K & R and CO!

  4. How absolutely GORGEOUS. Your scenery shots are so serene.

    It's so sad that your sweetie can't understand about that darned disease and because of your immense love that is why the treats have to be limited and special.

  5. Had to laugh at the banana, but for my own reasons. Nikita, my sibe who passed several years ago, used to think that bananas had the best smell. I swear she could hear me peeling a banana from the other side of the house and would be mauling me like I had a steak.

    So, I would give her a piece. She would take it in her mouth, let it roll around with a weird look on her face, and then she would spit it out. Not sure if she did not like the taste or the texture. BUT, she would immediately start begging for another piece.

    Somehow, she was always convinced that the next slice would be the best thing ever, no matter how many times she tasted banana and hated it.

  6. That is so funny to read what D.K. had to say. The two pups here, as well as dear Dakota, all hate bananas. But the do a pretty good job of tossing and catching a biscuit on the nose. I am always struck by the sheen on K and R's coats - just beautiful.

  7. Java doesn't get excited about bananas but as soon as she hears me slicing up homemade bread, she's on it! I really like the photos of R suddenly pointing his snout skyward. One of those unplanned moments.

    Thanks for the glove advise. It's so hard to find something that allows some finger dexterity but is also warm.

    I'm glad you felt so upbeat today. I've had those moments and like you would love to bottle it up to pull out on those hard days.

  8. Everything was special today, the dogs, the mountains and you. I'm glad to know you have good days despite the not so good ones. I hope they are many!

    Cheers and hugs,

    Jo and Stella

  9. Hi there! What a great ride! That crisp windy air pushing you home. From the pup's photos, looks like some snow has melted!
    Always love seeing K and R. Hope K does well on her special diet and feels better.

    Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
    Sierra Rose


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