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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Sweet summertime

You may remember that R badly tore a toenail - so badly that the vet surgically removed the nail, leaving a bare nailbed. Soon thereafter, a nasty infection took hold, despite the fact that he was taking antibiotics. We switched antibiotics, and R's toenail is looking much better. He wears a boot when he runs outside to protect his exposed nailbed but is back to his romping ways!
The caveat to the good news has been that his face has suddenly become salt and pepper. White hairs are forming a mask around his eyes. Even his eyelashes are turning white! This transformation started suddenly within a day of him beginning one of the antibiotics. The strong antibiotics might have caused the new fur that's currently filling in his summer coat to be white. The photo below was taken just as the process was starting (I don't have a more recent one uploaded yet).

If you look closely, you might be able to see that his formerly totally jet black face is sprinkled with white fur, especially below his eyes. We elected to continue the antibiotics despite the fact that they might have been the culprit. Preventing another toe amputation in our pack is much more important than retaining black fur! There's a remote chance that the fur will fill in black again after his next shed in the fall because R is only 3 years old.

K and I been having a glorious time mountain biking on the trails.
She is full of happiness and enthusiasm. We're a lucky pair that we both love our forest so much!
K is happy when we're rolling along non-stop but she's also happy to "cover my back" while I take photos of wildflowers.
While we searched for Fairy Slippers to sample their sweet scent as suggested by Barb, we found a violet, a rarity around here.
I've written recently about K's fears, which seem a bit better over the past two days. However, I started thinking about my irrational fears. I have a couple of "tough" spots on the trails that I'm scared to try to ride because I've crashed at each of them previously. I know that I'm capable of clearing them but, until last week, I always chickened out as I approached them. As mountain bikers go, I'm particularly afraid of crashing due to my spinal fusions and the continuing deterioration of my discs.

After writing about K's fears, I decided that I needed to tackle my own fears. For the past week, I've cleaned those sections of trail like they were never scary obstacles for me! I figured that, if I was going to ask K to tackle her fears, I'd better tackle my purely irrational fears.

We also love our sunset hikes... with no scary obstacles to try to clear on a bike!
It's an amazing world, especially in the sweet summertime.


  1. R's fur turning white in places is hard for me to see but she is sure beautiful! I sure hope the antibotics clear up the infection completely. She's running like she doesn't even have on a boot!! The closeups are remarkable...and
    K is gorgeous too!! I love where you live and what you are able to do...and the pictures are always so wonderful!! Lots of love, Debbie & Holly

  2. Hi Y'all,

    Here's to R's early salt and pepper being temporary! (My Human is lifting her wine glass in a salute to R) So glad he is healing well.

    I can hardly wait to get back to our own cooler mountains. The pictures of the mountain sunset and K against the blue sky get me itchin'.

    Y'all come back now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  3. R - Grey hair is better than lack of hair. The hu-dad said to tell you so. Just saying.

  4. You are so lucky to lives where you lives...beootiful!

    Woofs and Licks,
    Maggie Mae

  5. Beautiful photos as always. glad the toe is better:-)

  6. KB,, when I look at the photos of your world,, I get a yearning for all the beauty you see.

    I am so glad that R is getting stronger,, I think of you and K and R,, and I think of how brave you are - all of you -to face your obstacles, and overcome.

    Such beautiful photos, everyone of them.. and especially of K and R

  7. R is so black in his first photo he looks blue!! Unless he's adopting a punk-look for summer... probably a refelction of the sky...

  8. You're in an amazing world at anytime! Don't you ever have an ugly day there in the mountains? lol

    I'd never heard that antibiotics could make the hair turn white early! It's a small price to pay, but it is a bit hard on the heart to see signs of them aging. R will be gorgeous no matter what!

    I don't see you as a person to be held back by fears for too long!

  9. That's interesting, since Zephyr's been sick the past 3 months I've thought I noticed a little more white hair. He's been taking a lot of heavy antibiotics plus everything else. I'm glad R's toe is healing up.

  10. It's good to see R romping about again! Interesting though about his new silver fur. I agree it's better than another surgery. Roxie's face quickly turned from black to gray when she was four. Way to tackle your fears. Just be careful with your back. Enjoy your beautiful weather.

  11. Such beautiful scenery!

    I can't imagine how nice it is to look our your backyard and see that!

  12. When it comes to your back, I think its very OK to be cautious!
    Even if it means skipping certain trails . . .hear, dear????


    Jo, Stella and Zkhat

  13. So glad to hear that R is doing better. Sorry to hear about the whitening of the fur. :(

    I too have been asking myself to face my own fears while I work with the dogs to face theirs. Sometimes I realize that if they can do it, I can do it. And it is even better if we can do it together. :)

    Reach for the skies!

  14. So odd about the grey hairs.....
    Glad that you and K are facing your fears together.....such a bond!

  15. I'm glad that R's toe is looking better. That's worth a few grey hairs any time. Facing your fears is the way to go. Here's hoping that pretty soon you are wondering what you were ever afraid of.

    Gosh, your world just glows!

  16. You are looking quite dapper with your salt and pepper colored hair. Glad to hear your nail is healing
    Benny & Lily

  17. We're new to the dog blog world. Just wanted to drop by and say what beautiful pictures you have! We think R is quite debonair!

  18. Very cool picture of R in supercharge mode! It's good to see him romping and on the mend. Does he have something wrong with his nails that make them more prone to splitting? He seems to get into nail trouble more often than most. (Perhaps the supercharge picture explains it? =)

    I'm still smiling over your picture of K in the summer aspen grove from a couple days ago. I didn't realize that I was looking forward to your aspen grove pictures!

    Here's to seizing Summer and tackling more trails!

  19. We have missed visiting you. AS usual your pictures are pawtastic!!! The silver in the black, not a bad look. Glad the toe is healing and all are facing fears. hard to do but a good thing. We were gone but back for awhile. Your pictures give our M goosebumps. she loves the outdoors and pictures.

  20. I don't think your fears of repeating a fall are "irrational" at all. But I agree it is better to work through them than to let them take over. Still...a little extra caution might be in order.

    Love to see you and K romping together. Here's hoping R's white hair is only for the summer.

  21. I would have done the same thing you did with the meds and hope the side effect of outward aging stays outward and not inward.

    I admire you for tackling your 'challenges!' and thank-you for your kind comforting words you've left on my blog as we've faced ours!


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