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Friday, October 22, 2010

The good part

Today was cold and wet. K didn't seem to mind in the least but my back hates it. The "hardware" holding together my lower back bothered me all day. But, I still had some fun moments.

K and I took a little walk, as usual, this morning. Clouds and fog shrouded our world so the remaining yellow leaves glowed.
K seems to be feeling better and better. She has only 2 more weeks in her hard cast, and then she'll get a softer cast that allows more movement. She'll also start PT then! I'm eagerly looking forward to helping her get strong again. I find myself daydreaming about the little hikes that we'll do and how I'll gradually be able to further and further with her. She helped me with my recovery from spine surgery in January and now I get to return the favor! She looked eager to start doing more this morning!
At the end of our walk this morning, we passed a big raspberry patch, shining brilliant red with its autumn leaves. Surprisingly, a decent meal of raspberries still hung from the branches but they looked too shriveled to nourish anyone now.
Later, I had the pleasure of taking R on a mountain bike ride with me. We passed an arch that K used to statuequely perch upon during our rides. Today, R stood tall and proud. I know that his pose doesn't even come close to the feat performed by half of The Herd... We're still pondering how to top that!
After R descended from his perch, we rode into a small meadow. To my surprise, a band of about twenty elk galloped, hoofbeats resonating through the wet air, up a hill and into the fringe of a forest. R did an awesome recall as the fleeing band disappeared.

Then, I decided to take advantage of the elk presence for some training under extremely exciting conditions. I left R in a "sit-stay" near the band of elk and I rode further away from them. In the photo below, R sat just down the hill and out of sight, waiting for me to call him.
I was feeling very proud of my boy, holding a sit-stay with the elk so nearby. Just at that moment, an elk bugle emanated from the forest. Oh my, I thought, R is going to break his stay. I sneaked to the edge where I could see him, and he still sat rock-solid.

 So, I called him - and he streaked to me like a black jet.
As he arrived and I gave him a huge jackpot of treats, the bull elk bugled again. R stopped taking treats to stare in amazement toward the mystical sound.
After gazing toward the elk, he sat and stayed while I showered him in praise and treats. What an absolutely stunning performance!

For almost every bad turn that life takes, a good part germinates. In the case of K's injury, one good part has been that R and I have found a new bond from the time that we've spent alone in the forest. He'll never replace K - I don't love her any less. But, he's assumed a new place in the jigsaw puzzle of my life.

A second good thing to come out of K's injury is that I've rediscovered my love of teaching my dogs new training games. I've played all sorts of games with K to keep her brain occupied during her recovery. I think that I won't put that on hold even when she can be more active.


  1. Of course, you already do top The Herd: NO STRINGS!

    Have a GReat weekend!

  2. That Herd challenge is a sticky wicket! I'm sure you're going to rise to it, though.

    I'd guess that with winter coming, training games would be a great way to pass the time. Especially since K and R both seem to good at them. I predict they'll know all your shoes by name by the end of winter.

    We thought of R tonight at the dog park. Bunny and Morgan had a good romp with a pair of black lab puppies!

  3. Great pictures, as always! And what a marvelous sit-stay!


  4. R looks so heroic on his perch!


  5. You'd have to agree that the perch photo is very heroic !

  6. R's perch rock is awesome! It's like a mini arch d'triumph :)

    So glad K's feelin better.

    Mom asked me to ask you if you would share the mind games you're playin. She thinks I might enjoy them too :)

    Waggin at ya,

  7. R's perch is quite impressive. We love that picture.

    Funny you posted about the raspberries. Today's blog has a picture of poor Kodiak looking for his blueberries. It is a bush we sit beside a lot and he has picked it totally clean (not that any would be left anyway).

  8. I've grown so attached to K and R!

  9. So good to hear the upbeat report on K. We know she is working hard to heal. Awesome photo of R on the perch - that would never happen with this pack.

    Hope you are all having a great weekend.

  10. I am just in awe, at how you are progressing with R and his training. That is a lot of dedication on your part. R is mastering the temptations that his mighty nose can smell and his ears can hear.
    I can feel the pact that you have developed between the two of you, and it is a beautiful thing.

    Also, we are so happy that K is getting better and better.
    We are so pulling for K.
    We're still hoping for a miracle.
    Thank you for sharing the beauty

  11. Thanks to everyone for their upbeat comments!

    To Roo: I keep planning to video some of my training games and write a post about them but then I don't have time... So, in short, we're playing "object discrimination" games - where I'm teaching the dogs the names of their toys, and they have to pick the correct one out of the pile. I'm also playing "eye contact" games, where they must keep their eyes on mine no matter what. For example, I might pull a treat out of my pocket and start moving it toward their face. If they look at it, the treat goes back in my pocket, and I restart by taking it out of my pocket etc. They need to keep their eyes on mine until I deliver the treat to their mouths! Of course, we've worked up to that over the course of weeks.

    I'll write more about our other games in a future post. I hope this snippet gave you some ideas!

  12. Hey there KB...
    Beautiful pictures as usual and R seems to be thriving with all the attention.
    Yeah, I suppose the change of seasons isn't helping your neck...I'm sorry to hear this.
    Sending lotsaluv


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