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Saturday, November 13, 2010

A winter day

K awakened happy and hopeful but seemed sore once she started moving.
We went for our short stroll in the forest this morning. A flock of nuthatches was singing from pointy tops of the pine trees, to my surprise.
K seemed tired. I wasn't surprised because I was as sluggish as a hibernating bear. The stress of the past week had sapped the last of my energy, and I wasn't even the one who had surgery. That girl kept closing her eyes while we were outside - perhaps starting to doze.
Out in the bright sun of the meadow, K perked up, surveying her domain.
Despite my fatigue, I took advantage of the Runner being home to keep K company, leaving me free to head out for a long snowbike ride. One trail wended along a contour on a canyon wall. Sun never touches it in the winter so it looked and felt arctic.
Later in my ride, I emerged onto a sun-bathed ridge where the sunniest areas had melted down to dirt. I enjoyed feeling the sun on my back and working up a sweat.
Alas, my plan of clearing my mind with a long ride didn't work. I feel downtrodden. I'm trying really hard not to let K know. I'm about to curl up with her for a snooze.

Earlier this week, I wrote about a red fox carcass that my friend and I found cached under a pine tree, probably by the mountain lion who killed him. When we visited the site, we also saw signs that a bear had fed upon the fox - so at least one bear is still awake! I placed a wildlife camera pointed at the carcass to see who visited. Alas, too little meat remained to attract the big carnivores. However, corvids, birds that scavenge on dead animals, spent the next three days at the site.

A pair of magpies stayed almost all day every day. One of them always served as the "watchbird", perching on a branch just above the kill and cawing when anyone came nearby. Meanwhile, the other magpie gorged upon the fox. After a while, they'd switch positions. They sometimes interacted during the switch. My camera never captured a perfect photo of it but I believe that the one who was just eating fed some meat to the one descending from the perch. Magpies mate for life so I'm guessing that this is a bonded pair.
Later, a single raven swooped in. Ravens are like gigantic crows. The raven picked up the forelimb of the fox and, to my astonishment, flew away while carrying it. I'm guessing that the leg weighed as much as the raven.
When I arrived on the scene to pick up my camera, I spotted the leg resting on a downed tree about 4' off the ground. I guess that's where the raven chose to sit and feed on it.
Another winter day passed... and another day with my K. I'm hoping that her discomfort starts abating soon. She's now in an E-collar because she keeps licking her bandage. It makes me sad to see my poor girl in pain.


  1. Paws crossed K will start feeling better with less pain SOON!

    Thanks for the great pics and peek into a world we don't get to see!

    AND, don't forget some YOU time too!

  2. It's probably that 2nd-day slump. After my leg surgery I was surprised how much better I felt than I expected the day I got home, and then the day after that - ouch. And then it went up from there.

    Great pix, as always, and that first shot of your house makes it look amazing.

    Khyra gives good advice - take care of the caretaker!

  3. I wonder if K is feeling pain when she closes her eyes. That is something I do myself, but don't know if dogs do it!

    You two girls need some serious snooze time together. Your pix are just great!

    Cheers and hugs,

    Jo, Stella and Zophia

  4. Wish we had some magic words to make both you and K feel better. Hang in there, we are all pulling for you.

  5. Hope K has a quick and complete recovery.

  6. Beautiful pictures of course - I've never seen a magpie before?

    Has the vet given you medicine for pain for K?


  7. Hi KB, Just came home from dinner with 5 Grandkids - a good time! I thought I'd check on you and K - glad to see that she's still Queen of her kingdom! Both she and you need rest - she from surgery, you from stress. Can't believe a bear is still out and about! Have a good Sunday with your pack.

  8. K it sure likes you are enjoying the fresh air and sun
    Benny & Lily

  9. I'm sorry K is in pain, but hope it fades soon. Try to rest up this weekend. It was a stressful week for all of you, and I would imagine the week ahead is weighing on you too. Take care of yourself. Hugs and scritches to K.

  10. We will be thinking of K tomorrow during the worldwide moment. Hope she is feeling better soon.

    Your pal, Pip

  11. I feel so bad for K and all she's been through. Tank absolutely despised the collar, but we didn't have to use it till the bandage came off after his surgery... about 5 days post op. Be patient (both of you) and in another week or two, things will be looking much brighter. Tank's Asst.

    PeeS - wonder why Tank is looking out the window:)

  12. We're with Sam. If K's pain meds aren't working, ask the vet to up the dosage or change the med. There is no upside to unnecessary suffering.

    Glad to see K at least felt like a little outing today, although it's quite normal that she'd be tired and not up to her usual amount of walking. Anesthesia kinda sucks the energy out, often for days.

    Jed is in and out of an E-collar so often mama should buy stock in the manufacturer [he's got an OCD, licks his paws until he makes open sores. Sorta a lick granuloma effect, but worse.] Dogs get used to the collars quickly, manage spacial navigation fine, sleep perfectly normally with the collar on. Jed only gets his off for about 10 minutes to eat twice a day. Collar even doubles as a shield in rain and snow :) People can have a phantom limb effect after amputation, so there's no reason to doubt dogs can suffer the same sensation.

    Paws crossed for favorable test results and a speedy recovery. Try not to worry: you know K will read you, and, ultimately, worrying won't change the outcome. One of those classic serenity prayer moments.

    Jed & Abby

  13. If you think K is in pain, I'd definitely talk to the vet and see if there's something else she can be on until things start to mend better. I know you don't want them to be totally numb and risk doing injury, but you do want her to be able to rest so her body can start to heal. And being tired means her body is working hard to heal, too. It's a good thing in the long run, but hard while you're in the thick of it. I'm betting that in a couple of days, she'll surprise you with how far she's come, too!

    That scene at the fox kill sure would have been something to watch!

    I hope things are looking up for you and K soon! (hugs) The worst is behind you!

  14. I really fink that you and my the mom should communicate in a more direct way... if you are up to it.

    Her email is akwrightaia at comcast dot net.

    My the Mom knows too well what it is like to keep up a brave front... to be cheerful when she is incredibly sad... and more importantly, she's learning to live each moment with Great Hope. She would love to have a Partner in that Mission! Join her?

    wif love from the Luke

    P.S. We are on Team K! And as for the Love Protocol... It works!!!

  15. K has such pretty eyes! They remind me of Brodie's.


  16. We hope K and you get some rest tonight and we also are wishing for K to start feeling better.
    Beautiful photos of your world.
    Thank you for allowing us to visit

  17. It sounds like both of need some rest and to take it easy for a while. This has been tramatic for both of you.

    What an interesting array of wildlife. Stuff we only see on PBS or something. Fascinating. Love nature and it is wonderful to witness else with such a love.

    Take of yourself and K. Our prayers and thoughts are thinking of you.

  18. K and R and KB
    Well sorry I haven't been around but I've been reading your blog posts. Certainly I've been thinking of you and K's recovery. Seeing I can't even imagine not being able to run fast and free along the trails, I really am sending my strongest heeler vibes to you. My mom sees your posts and wonders what trouble I would get into in the real wilderness.

  19. Time will heal...yeah I know...too long! Beautiful winter shots and the birds..nice. I get ear problems...Lab world..I've been told to expect ear patrol to keep them clean regularly...nooooooo! Better be a treat at the end :-)

  20. Poor K. My heart goes out to both of you. It is so hard on a human to see their beloved dog in pain. I too would call the vet.

  21. The strength of a raven . Could one ever tire of nature ? Peace and comfort to K.

  22. Love these photos of K...hugs to you both!

  23. We pray that K will have a quick recovery. We include this in our special intentions during the Worldwide Moment.

    Piappies Fudgie, Princess, Frappie, Mocha, Sugar, Wai-Pai & Wai-Max

  24. We'll be thinking of you all during the Worldwide Moment. Sending strength and patience.

  25. Positive thoughts still going your way from NC.

  26. Keeping K in my thoughts... feel better soon!

  27. It seems as though we experience more pain than those we love so much when they are hurting. I often wonder if the emotional pain cuts deeper than pure, physical pain. But - we continue to love because without it we would not feel alive.

    Sending much love to you and K as the two of you heal.

  28. So glad to see K up and out. May healing thoughts help her with her pain, and yours as well. Beautiful pics of her!


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