Good news - R's ultrasound showed that he has "gorgeous" internal organs with no signs of disease. Personally, it would never occur to me to call a kidney "gorgeous" but I was happy to hear the word! That finding rules out several possible causes of his crazy drinking. Two possibilities remain: diabetes insipidis and an obsessive-compulsive drive to drink. We all think that the latter will be the final diagnosis but we need to rule out diabetes insipidis since that requires treatment. So, he'll probably have one more round of tests to make sure that his kidneys are capable of doing their job.
Amazingly, R needed no sedation for his ultrasound. The ultrasound vet said that R reminded her of Marley from "Marley and Me". I beg to differ! Although both R and Marley have/had a voracious appetite for crazy behavior, R is reasonably well trained!
This morning, the day broke cold (a few degrees over freezing) and crystal clear. K and I mountain biked together, and I gave her some extensive, but closely supervised, muzzle breaks. She galloped enthusiastically through an aspen grove.
As we'd ridden through the forest, the air had warmed by at least 20°F, and I savored the kiss of the autumn sun on my face, knowing that the snow could fly soon. K seemed to love it too!
Some flowers still bloomed, including a favorite bright aster with a skipper drinking nectar from it. His long proboscis reached into the heart of the flower. Pollen dusted his legs like gold powder.
Just as we arrived home, I stopped in my tracks simply astounded by the golden beauty that we were immersed in.
In the middle of the golden world shown above, my narrow trail coursed through the shoulder-high grass and aspen trees. To answer the questions posed by several of you, when I mountain bike, I follow established trails that are used by hikers, bikers, runners, horse-back riders, and wild animals. The more worn paths are ones that are older and/or used more frequently. In contrast, when I hike, I tend to wander away from these human trails and explore faint animal trails. Sometimes, it's even hard to discern where these trails are - I'm following vague signs of a trodden path. If I took a photo, an animal path would certainly not look obvious.
Today, I checked a wildlife camera, and I discovered that a brigade of coyotes had visited it. This site is very close (within 50 yards) to the bear marking tree and the bobcat scent post that I've shown you footage from recently. I think that I've stumbled upon an extremely active communication center for our wild animals.
One after another, the coyotes each marked a scraped up animal bed. Three of the four slightly raised one hind leg as they urinated. I'm guessing that more dominant coyotes, male or female, raise a leg when marking but I am not certain. I'm going to research coyote marking behavior more when I have time.
And, finally, sunset. It's such a tranquil and gorgeous time at the end of a day.