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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hope abounds

The air was so frigid and windy this morning that I whimpered whenever my fingers were exposed. To stay warm, K and I didn't even stop for the sunrise. We just kept tromping onward trying to generate heat.
K raced around, kicking up billows of snow as her ears flapped wildly.
I'm becoming convinced that she'll be biking with me again - and I think that her maiden ride will be soon. She now spends the majority of our hikes at high speed, doing circles around me and covering at least twice the distance that I do. This high voltage energy is a marked contrast to a couple of months ago when she chose to walk sedately beside me, even when she was unleashed. At that time, my vet felt worried that K had started acting "old" well before her time. I think that it was temporary!

Right now, we're watching to see how she does without antibiotics. We stopped them one week ago, and I don't see any signs of the bone infection returning yet. The vet will check her on Friday.
When the surgeon saw her a couple of weeks ago, he tested her paw strength and watched her walk, trot, and gallop. He commented that some dogs adapt seamlessly to losing one of their "weight-bearing toes" (i.e., a middle toe) while others don't. He said that he usually couldn't predict which category a dog was destined for. He smiled as he declared that K appeared to be falling into the group that zooms back to an active life despite having an odd number of toes.
I love the expression of sheer determination on K's face in the photo below. The snow was windpacked and difficult to navigate but K was not planning to let it slow her! That's my girl!
This cold snap has changed the wildlife pattern in our clearing. On most winter nights, we have visits from coyotes who get photographed by my wildlife camera. This morning, I could tell by the tracks in the snow that no coyotes had trotted into our clearing but a bobcat had sauntered through, marching carefully in the packed track left by my snowbike. He evaded the camera.

The surprising visitor was a mule deer buck. This is only the second time that my camera has captured a deer close to our house. I suspect that the overwhelming coyote presence usually deters the deer.
For some reason that completely eludes me, the Division of Wildlife has granted a private property hunting license to someone with a small plot of land nearby. A private property license requires that all bullets fired remain on the private property. Yet, the plot of land is so small that the bullets will, without a doubt, leave the property if the shooter misses the deer. I hike and snowbike near that property daily so I called the DOW about it (after talking directly with the hunters, to no avail, except that I alerted them to my activities in the area which they said they'd watch out for). I was told that the authorities could do nothing until an "unsafe shot had been fired". Huh? So, I guess that I'm supposed to call them after a bullet whizzes past my ear, or worse. This is one aspect of "wild west" living that I could do without. I'm not categorically opposed to all hunting - just unsafe hunting.

Today, despite the cold and nearby hunters, I bundled on my 5 layers of warm clothes and headed out on my snowbike. After all, the alternative is to ride a stationary bike indoors. I need to ride a bike every day to keep my spine pain under control. The view from Hug Hill was special, and I found myself dreaming of riding up there with K again. Maybe soon!
Hope abounds.


  1. And you have lots of reasons to be hopeful - because K is showing you over and over that losing one teeny tiny little toe isn't putting a hitch in her stride!

    Crazy about the private property shooting license. The person would have to have a really big piece of property to guarantee that all bullets remained within its boundaries. I don't like the sounds of that.. be very careful out there.

    I love the picture of K racing your way with her jowls flapping in the wind and her eyes bulging. Go, dog, go!

  2. I noticed that as well -- she's running so fast her lips are flapping!! Wonderful!

  3. I love the windblown shot from Hug Hill! K has surely exceeded expectations (except her own!) on the rapidity of her healing. She looks like a pup again! I'm so glad. As for the hooting on the small plot - that just seems ridiculous to me. Can they shoot even out of season? Why?

  4. Can you get around where you like to go and totally avoid the Hunting Grounds? How about taking it to the head State whomsoever? I think you should.

    K looks glorious and I feel very happy for both of you.

    Jo and Stella

  5. Now THAT'S a happy pup!!! I'm so glad she is doing so well.

    Sounds like you all might want to invest in some orange vests for safety! Stupid DOW!


  6. How wonderful it is for me to see K running again. I can only imagine the greater joy you feel. Great photographs. I did manage to go outside and play with the girls today. This is the first time since we left WI that they actually enjoyed the snow. Perhaps they are remembering the fun they had romping in it.

  7. "need to ride a bike" ... sure! we ALL understand THAT need ... using the 'ole "spine pain" story, instead of the real reason that it's freakin' fun? ;) (tongue in cheek of course!... i don't envy your reason.) I do understand the "need" for something physical to keep an injury at bay. i had stopped my yoga practice when i got here because i was just so overwhelmed. I have back pain (nothing like yours, just simple facet compression in various areas and occasional sciatic) that comes back if i stop all yoga. but the weird thing is, even if all i'm doing is walking, the pain comes back... i used to get it from all the hard training i did so I'd balance it with tons of yoga. now it's a MUST for me, even without heavy bike training, it's a lifetime must-do. not a bad thing i think since i love to practice anyway. better than the alternative.

    And OF COURSE K falls into THAT category... sheesh... look who she lives with?

  8. i think K is right on schedule and can't wait until she is at your side again!
    scary shit with guns around...i know you take all precautions...but it is still worrisome...
    i think Tahoe and R would love each other! someone she would have to try to keep up with! Benny can't catch Tahoe no matter how hard he tries!! he's kinda like a bull in a china shop...and like gentle ben...too funny...
    beautiful images of K's determination! wonderful to see!

  9. K is coming back -- all the way. Soon you two will be out there, you on your bike, K running beside you -- a true team.

    Just be careful, now that those darn idiots have a permit to shoot on "their" property. It's just stupid that they were given that permit.

  10. As always, great shots and great news about K!

  11. K shows all the signs of making a full recovery to me! I'm so glad to see her out there and looking so happy. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that we're going to have the same toe luck, since a certain hound here broke her toe this afternoon.

    Do you know what it is about the mountain biking that helps alleviate your back pain, i.e. stretching certain muscles or straightening the spine? Or is it a mental lift as much as a physical lift? I've always been curious about that.

    I don't blame all the animals for curling up in whatever warm spot they can find in cold weather like that!

  12. Absolutely loving the action shots... looks like K is flying!

  13. Excellent photos! Love them!!

    I don't blame you, on the hunting permit. It only takes one bullet. Stay safe out there!

  14. BBBrrrr, it looks freezing. Hysterical that you wear those boots K. We love the action shots. Great news you will soon be back to your active lifestyle
    Benny & Lily

  15. K's looking like K again! I can't wait for your first K's-back-by-the-bike post! My goodness, last season you were waiting to get back out there. Now you're waiting for K. It's got to be so special to have each other in full form again soon.

    "Oh my" to the DOW thing. Did you ask them to define an "unsafe shot" for you? They had to have realized how absurd that legality is. Our institutions aren't too big on'd better start practicing your Matrix moves.

  16. Beautiful shots! I can almost feel the cold.

    Your pal, Pip

  17. We love your new header photo... very beautiful.
    all these photos are making me feel like i need a cup of hot cocoa to warm me up!
    Cold and beautiful!
    We have hunter issues too,, and it is scary when the bullet comes wizzing by, or even an arrow!
    be careful

  18. K's a force to be reckoned with! Please be careful out there. Mountain lions and now bullets?! I'd rather the kitty, actually...

  19. That's great news about K.You're right about hope it really is lifes paliative. This last weekend there was a tragedy in the next door village. A family of hunters went out after wild boar. Four generations of them. Great grandfather saw a boar, turned to fire and shot his 25 year old grandson in the head.Instantaneous.

  20. What more could you ask for, being ready to bike with K?

    We are so happy for you and glad she is doing great!

  21. I think that K continues to teach all of us a lesson about resilience and enjoying life!! I'm so glad that she's doing well!!!

    We had about an inch of snow and it brought out the 'puppy' in all of our dogs--But Hamlet would rather stay in where it's warm!

  22. Hi Y'all,

    I'd love to be out there rompin' with K or K and R...looks so like fun!

    We have duck hunters every morning and evening here at the shore. They can't hunt here 'cause we're a sanctuary and baited area. They post where I go to run for miles...well at least three times the miles the Humans walk.

    In the mountains we have our farm posted and only a friend is allowed to hunt there. I wear a red collar and the Humans red or orange jackets. Momma says she's gettin' me an orange jacket too, so we can go on hikes beyond our farm 'cause hunting season is so long in the mountains.

    Stay safe,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  23. Good news and wonderful photos! Go, K!!!!!!


  24. K is a strong girl! We will say a prayer for her for Friday!


  25. I love this sequence of K in action. You can just see the life radiating from her! Your banner shot is fantastic.

    I don't quite understand some of the hunting rules, and I am not anti-hunting, either. But to think someone can keep a bullet in a small area is beyond common sense, in my opinion. Just crazy. Stay safe!

  26. That is very interesting to know about your sleeping position! Pre-injury I was a stomach sleeper and I have managed to transfer over to being a side sleeper. It would be really hard for me to learn to sleep on my back but if that's what it takes I'll do it. What type of pillow do you use? I've looked a bit at the therma rest pillows.


  27. I'm always in shock when laws are made that are pro-hunters. I'm totally opposed to hunting and when I read your excerpt re:DOW deeming unsafe shot/s...I just cringe. Seriously there is something wrong with the majority really. Hunting is barbaric and I do believe we are educated now or at least civilized.

  28. Love the Special K action shots! Such enthusiasm, determination and energy!

  29. I love the contrast of K's high energy in some photos and her quiet contemplation in others. It doesn't look like the boots she's wearing are slowing her down at all.

    Where I used to live, the people behind us hunted ducks and the buckshot would rain down on our property. Not really dangerous but it scared Luke when it hit my horse trailer when I had him tied to it. Then there were the neighbors on the side that shot a deer when it jumped from our pasture onto their property, while my horses stood nearby. No accounting for what people think is their right to do.

  30. I'd be bundling up the pups, and yourself, in bright orange! Hopefully they don't catch anything and leave soon!



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