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Thursday, March 1, 2012

A miraculous world

I need quell everyone's fears by revealing that R was only about 5' off the ground in the last photo yesterday. He can clamber on and off of the boulder without jumping because it's sloped. So, he was never in any danger at all! I like creating optical illusions in my photos.

This morning, K struck a defiant stance as we explored a boulder area, hoping to find animal tracks. Although the chemotherapy makes K very sleepy when we're hanging around the house, she's always full of spunk for our hikes.
Some new readers have asked why K didn't have her tumor-ridden leg amputated. That is the standard treatment for osteosarcoma but we happen to live within driving distance of a cutting-edge Canine Cancer Center. They offered us the option of stereotactic radiation to kill the tumors. We chose it primarily because we live in a place where K must negotiate difficult terrain just to go for a simple walk. There are no sidewalks here, and we have months during which deep snow covers the trails. We thought that keeping all four legs would help her hike and romp at full strength for whatever time she has left.

You can see the leg in the photo below. Fur is growing back very slowly on most of the leg (7 weeks post-radiation), except the pink area that received the highest dose of radiation. We don't know if she'll regrow fur in that burned area but it's no big deal.
I think that we humans have a much harder time with cancer than dogs do. I feel certain that K knows that something is wrong inside her, and I think that she may even know that it's very serious. But, she keeps romping, squeezing every last bit of fun out of life.

Sticks are a favorite toy for K. Alas, finding sticks is difficult when there is a deep snow covering all the fallen sticks. So, K has certain sticks that she plays with on almost every hike. She tries to hide them when she's finished playing.
One way to hide them is to dig a deep hole and put them in it. She was approaching China on this digging expedition.
As far as I'm concerned, K is a miracle. Her amazing attitude has taught me so much. But, I'd be lying if I said that I don't occasionally fall into the abyss of despair that my heart dog has incurable cancer. It usually happens when I'm away from K, snowbiking without her even though she was my bike riding companion for more than 7 years. However, I have to keep biking so that my spine doesn't hurt too much, so I ride even though it makes me sad some days.
Even when K is not running by my side, her spirit is always with me. She's a miracle in a miraculous world. I'd choose her all over again, even if I knew that we'd be fighting osteosarcoma now.


  1. Your wonderful photos and accompanying words tell us all a huge story of love,choices made, time together, and devotion to each-other.I'm sure that with warmer days coming,healing will progress faster,and I look forward to springtime photos. Fond greetings from Jean.

  2. I've missed your blog this week and have so enjoyed looking at your pictures and reading what you've written. All of it is a true testament to the bond you and K share, and of your connection to her and where you live--Thanks for ending my day on such a good note and a smile! Take care! :-)

  3. There's that question answered again about the choices we make! :) K looks fabulous yet again today. I never get tired of your pictures!

  4. Hi KB, great post and I love your honesty. I think our beloved pets may feel ill but don't know they should worry about it. They leave all that silly business to us peeps!! That's why they have such an amazing outlook on life. Its like "oh, we're going for a run, beauty, let's go". Live for the moment. It what we should all strive for, as difficult as it can be at times. K is an inspiration to us all. Hugs to all. No worries and love, Carol (and Stella and Rory)

  5. You know what I'm about to say...I LOVE ME A STICK! Know what I love more???? K with a stick. She sure is smart to hide hers. I have lost many a stick because I just laid them down thinking it would be there when I get back.
    Great photos once again. And beautiful words.

  6. Both you and K inspire me to try to make more of my time here on earth. I get lazy in the winter and this is not the time to be lazy. Like K getting sleepy when she is around the house, getting out in the fresh air and experiencing our beautiful world wakes up the body and the soul.


  7. Your photos are so amazing. they truly tell a story of mutual love and devotion.

  8. So glad to see K having such a marvelous time romping! We love the hole she got to dig. Mom yells at us if we dig in the back yard. :-( Boring/no fun mom!


    Mr. Nubbin'

  9. A long time ago, I read an article about sick dogs. One line said something like this: Dogs seldom die from the disease they have, they die when they don't know where the magic has gone and depression takes over. I feel like K is gonna keep her magic for a long, long time!

    Jo, Stella and Zkhat

  10. I love the photo of K digging to the other end of the earth! And love seeing her with those sticks!
    K is a miracle dog, and we celebrate her and you every day!
    Its not easy for you-
    but you push yourself to keep up with K's bravery and ethusiasm for life!
    Yes - the bond between the two of you- there may not be words for it.

  11. Ride for K. Live with no regrets. And KNOW what you have IS a miracle, a wonderous soul-filling life-altering miracle.

  12. wow, K were so happy for you! I'm glad that your doing great and you look so energetic, stay strong K, were always here for you! :)

    Dog Shock Collar

  13. K is a miracle. Living life to the full. What a team you and K are. An inspiration to us all.
    Wonderful shots.
    Big Nose Pokes
    The Thugletsx

  14. Lovely photos again!! You live in a beautiful area. K and R are so lucky. K is doing well i think and will fight through this...Vilja and Trym was yesterday at the vets and got the 1 year shoot. And also rabies shoots for EU passport. We will go for some days in April to Åland. The island between Sweden and Finland. There I was in Dec with Tyra on hunting trail.

  15. That's one of the best definitions of love: even if you knew at the beginning what the end would be, you'd do it all over again anyway.

    Jed & Abby

  16. The hole photo is quite excellent, K! You are such an inspiration to all of us to truly live by the tenet CARPE DIEM!

  17. Hi KB, a great post as always. Can I ask a huge favor of you and your readers? I got the most devastating news a parent can hear a few hours ago. My 24 year old son Jonathan died in a tragic fire in his apartment. My husband and I are numb right now. My poor lab Indy is feeling our shock and grief as wel. You see, Jonathan picked Indy out of a litter of pups, He was the first to hold him. Indy completely adores him. I am asking for prayers for all of us and for Indy during this horriffic time in our lives. I do not blog but I am a lover of many dog related blogs. I will be out of the loop for awhile, if any of your readers could send up a prayer to heaven where my son is now, it would be a blessing to us. I wont be at work, if anyone wishes to get in touch with me, my personal email is

    Many thanks, take care of K and R.

  18. K is truly a miracle. Enjoy every single day to the fullest! I just love your photos!

  19. What great contrast in that first picture; K looks so strong and vibrant! I love the way she plays with and then hides her sticks, in China. BOL! I think we can all learn something from K's zest for life. She truly is your miracle!

  20. beautiful images! what is the name of the cancer center you go to? I may just know some of the docs!?
    K is looking great!

  21. May I say such emotions expressed so beautifully written in this post alongside amazing photo's of K - is from the heart and one in which we can all understand.

    Every moment shared with our loyal companion is heartfelt - what ever the weather or how we are feeling within ourselves.

    Paws and hands in prayers across the pond.

  22. Another love filled day! Keep diggin' those holes K.

    Lily Belle

  23. You and K are a inspiration to all. I think of you guys when I'm at a low point.

  24. K is definitely a miracle and I know she is riding/running along with you in spirit.

    Your pal, Pip

  25. Great lead photo. Matches the leaping one from your last post. K is an inspiration.

  26. You wouldn't be hooman if you had hard days thinkin' bouts K's future, it would makes you a robot, I guess. You still has emotions regardless of how strong you is. Besides, us doggies can makes hoomans turn to putty.


  27. Wow KB... you guys continue to amaze me with your tenacious love for dear K. Those are such happy pictures - enjoying every moment she has. An apt example to us all.
    Sending lotsaluv

  28. We just knew that R was quite safe, but couldn't resist commenting on the thrill of danger:) We know you would never endanger your pups.

    K is an inspiration to so many of us, her courage and love of life is amazing.

  29. I especially love that top photo with K contrasted in front of the rocks. She IS a miracle - what spunk! PS I figured R was barely off the ground in that photo - I know you're not going to let him hang out on the edge of a cliff. Have a great weekend, KB. We've had 4 days of snow, and I've been playing in it!

  30. Miracle of miracles I`d say..K was brought into your life and ours to teach a lesson...a lesson of love and dogged determination...chocolates and sticks...great combo! PS Sophie found her stick today after a dusting of snow last night...much love from us all!

  31. Hi KB, catching up from a busy week. I am so glad you clarified that R was not high on a cliff...I would be having a heart attack, since I am so afraid of heights!! My hubby likes to tease me by standing on the edge!!
    Admire the devotion and love you have for your K...I can so relate!!

  32. Every day is a blessing but I imagine that sometimes, late at night, or when you are alone your fears do come to light. Just looking at K, she looks so happy and carefree, it's hard to imagine that she has that dreadful disease. We humans need to follow our dogs lead and just live for the moment. Take care!

  33. Hi Y'all!

    Love the silhouette! Y'all take care and have a wonderful weekend!

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  34. We followed the link from the Power of the Paw widget on Roo's blog.

    Our prayers are with you.


  35. Thank goodness for miracles and dogs that remind us of the things we need to be reminded of.

  36. Wonderful. Love that digging to China photo - it actually made me laugh out loud when I scrolled to it!

    One of your readers lost her son in a fire?? (:-( Is that true?? If so, good heavens, that's horrible, dreadful. It sounds real, but the email address looked a bit odd, and I noticed there were no follow up comments that made mention of it, so just wanted to check before I email. Don't want to type in an email address that somehow zaps my computer with a virus. Is that a real person, someone who follows your blog?

  37. I've never met a more focused dog than Chester and I think he and K live on common ground when it comes to that. When he is outside - nothing gets in the way of living life to it's maximum enjoyment, whatever that may be (a stick or a hole to dig, a critter to track etc.) We've always said that boy has 2 speeds - 0 and 100. I don't think he knows pain unless he has nothing else to focus on and I am constantly pulling large thorns out of his fur because he plows thru thorn bushes and thickets. I guess we should all learn to plow thru life's rough patches also and focus on what's ahead instead of the pain at the moment.

    As always - your pics are incredible!
    Chester's Mom ;0-)


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