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Thursday, June 28, 2012


We had big storms today but they were accompanied by brief and intense rain. Consequently, the lightning strikes near us didn't turn into fires. Thankfully, so far, it's been a low stress day for us with no mad dashes to flee any fires. However, numerous small fires are burning throughout our county from lightning strikes. And, the thunder is rumbling out there again. Thanks for all of your kind emails and comments - they are helping my spirits so much.

K continues to amaze us. In the middle of last week, her lungs were slowing her down a lot, and her hind legs seemed weak and clumsy. I feared the worst. Fortunately, the hind end weakness lasted only one day and has not recurred. Moreover, her lungs aren't getting perceptibly worse. We are SO happy that we didn't cancel our weekend camping trip (we almost did because we thought that K was too sick for it). It seemed like visiting our favorite place breathed new energy into K.
Over K's lifetime, we've visited our weekend campsite many times, and she has joined me for countless long and fun mountain bike rides high above treeline near the campsite. Alas, this time, mountain bike rides with K were out of the question but we reveled in our short hikes through the meadow.
As far as I'm concerned, K is now beating her most recent prognosis by a long shot. She's still hiking every day, and seems to be holding her own against this disease, despite many warnings that the disease was winning. I'm taking it one day at a time but we've had a string of good days that have left me smiling about K.

Imagine if K had listened to those prognoses and given up? Imagine all that we would have missed. I'm learning so much about life from K each and every day.

One of the things that I've learned is not to give up on things that K and I used to do together, even though I miss K while do them without her. In that spirit, I went on mountain bike rides while K hung out with the boys during our camping trip. The trails were divine, and I could feel K's spirit sitting on my shoulder as I rode.
K doesn't seem to mind at all when I depart on my bike without her. I think that she understands that mountain biking would be too hard for her now, and she simply accepts it. She revels in what she can do rather than moping about what she can't do. If only we humans could learn to take such an optimistic outlook!

On a different topic, the bears aren't giving up, despite what is looking like an extremely dismal food year. They're still showing some mating season behavior even though my calender says that mating season is over.
This large male was doing the dance of his life! Socks, our 2-year old female came through that night, and she sniffed this tree with interest. I wonder if this male will get together with Socks! Bears get together with multiple partners during mating season. Socks was with Milton, the biggest bear in our forest, earlier this summer.
After mating season, a sow's fertilized eggs hang out in suspended animation until the start of hibernation. The eggs implant in the uterus wall and start developing only if the mother is fat and strong enough to support cubs. If she's not fat and strong enough (e.g., after a drought summer), the fertilized egg never develops. I suspect that many sows will not have cubs this winter because food is going to be so scarce for the rest of this summer.

Indeed, look at this yearling bear who I captured with a trail camera for the first time the other day. He is painfully thin. It makes me so sad to see him barely eking out an existence.
I desperately hope that our bears can survive this incredibly tough drought.


  1. Thanks SOOOOOO much for the updates!!!

    Paws will continue to stay KHROSSED!

  2. K's spirit is remarkable! We were thrilled to read your update on K and to also hear about getting some rain. See, our rain dance worked!

    Those poor little bears. So very helpless in this big world of ours.

    Lily Belle

  3. Hoping all things continue to go well. We love that K is holding her own. She is just such a special girl.

    Poor bears - wish we could send them a food bank.

  4. K indeed is a teacher. I am glad to hear that you are not giving up on what you love even though K can not always go with you.
    I hope that little bear makes it, he sure is skinny.

  5. difficult to see the emaciated bears.....and the fires...i feel for your beautiful state....
    K has such a wonderful spirit...animals teach us so much....
    much positive energy your way...

  6. "I could feel K's spirit sitting on my shoulder as I rode." This is so moving -- bless you both!!

    And like others, I'll hold good thoughts for the bears [and other wildlife]. Drought, wildfires... :~(

  7. She is such a beautiful, inspiring girl. I'm so glad you are safe at the moment. Those poor bears

  8. K is just beautiful sitting behind those yellow flowers. Glad to hear she is still doing okay and you all are safe right now.


  9. So glad to hear about K. As long as she is happy
    Benny & Lily

  10. Ann..from..THE OUTER BANKS OF NC...said...after reading this ..I thought of all the happiness that a day could hold..for each day is a blessing.. each person is a blessing.. each place is a gift and a blessing with its own piece of heaven...that is when I close my eyes and listen..for I remember that "everything is beautiful in its own way" I'm glad it rained and still hoping for the best...because the fires have caused a-lot of damage...also praying for all the animals out there ..hope things work out for them too..hugs for K and R ....

  11. Such a strange summer this has been. Sorry for the bears and all the other animals that may be suffering.

    Happy, indeed, to hear that K is doing well and hope she remains so for as long as possible.

    Our prayers for all who are in the fires, people and animals!

    Jo, Stella and Zkhat

  12. I'm really hoping for a break in the drought for you! I know it's wicked here, but we don't have the fires to contend with.

    I'm glad to see K still enjoying life. I agree with you, it's a good thing to ignore all those naysayers and just go for the gusto! :)

  13. Yes, you can be so glad you had that time away, and before the fires came.Here on TV we are getting lots of coverage,and I hope your rain continues overt the whole area. K. continue to enjoy each day. Cheers from Jean.

  14. And when walking through the meadow is too much, you will sit together with the sun on your faces and just enjoy being together. You are so right about humans being able to learn so much about how to truly live from our dogs.

  15. Thanks much for the updates - you all will continue to be in my prayers,

    Yep, K is very wise to NOT listen to things like a prognosis. I wonder if humans can ever achieve that same level on consciousness of their bodies and not accept well-meaning but unwise things like a prognosis.

    I love all your pictures - even the bears.

  16. K looks peaceful in her mind. And she is doing what her soul needs- to soak in the sun rays and dream.
    She is certainly at peace with life.
    We are keeping all of you in our thoughts, all the wild animals too.
    I hope rain comes soon

  17. Thanks for the updates. We are so anxious about your safety, with such terrible news on the tv every day. We hope you get a long, soaking rain. We're actually more worried about the baby bears that came this season that will be unable to escape a big fire than the babies that won't be born next season. Now it sounds like food is scarce, even if they escape the fires. So sad. We always wondered if the fire retardant chemicals are harmful to wildlife - or to humans and domestic pets. Do you know what chemicals they use?

    But we are very happy that K is still enjoying her days with her family and you are treasuring your days with her.

    Jed & Abby

  18. I pray for you every day. I am glad that there was some rain. Every time I read that K is holding her own, it makes me happy in a way. K is making her own rules and living by them. She is a hero!

    Anne and Sasha

  19. The drought and fires bring so much misery and suffering to people, plants and animals. I'm glad you've had some rain.
    K is remarkable. She looks beautiful in the meadow.

  20. We can learn so much from our dogs! K is such an inspiration!! She looks positively radiant in these pictures! Thanks for the update as we all continue to pray for you and your family each and every day.
    xo Jeanne, Chloe and LadyBug

  21. We just adore you, K. Live life to the fullest always!

    Love ya lots,
    Mitch and Molly

  22. Oh my gosh, that young bear is SO THIN! It is painful to look at him.

    K looks wonderful! What a beautiful girl!

  23. I have been wondering how your wildlife is doing with the fires. I would imagine it is forcing many to leave their own comfort area and impose on other areas thus depleting that food as well. It makes my heart ache.,

    I too was thinking how K had been beating all the odds. I beleive it is because you have let her live as though there were no illness. I think sometimes with Jamie I have not taken her to places cause I fear it will exhaust her too much and she will seizure out, yet if I were to ask her what she would prefer to do, she would unquestionably tell me to let her live out the rest of her life, rather than be caustious and afraid.

    Another lesson learned from you and K

  24. K is a smart girl. She knows how to live every day to the fullest!

    The Florida Furkids and Lexi

  25. Stopping by to check in and make sure you are safe. Glad to hear that K is doing so well!
    We are keeping everyone in Colorado in our thoughts and prayers.

  26. We learn so much from our pets and sometimes it changes our outlook on life and makes us stronger.

    We feel so helpless seeing how Mother Nature is affecting the wildlife. Hope things improve real soon.

  27. So glad K is still active and holding her own. We wish that you stay safe. The bear pictures are pawsome!
    Best wishes Molly

  28. Woo hoo! Sometimes life can just be so damn good! Even the dancing bear thinks so!!

  29. Our canine friends & family do live 'in the moment' don't they? We can learn so much from them if we just pay attention. Happy K and your family are enjoying your summer together. Continue to be Blessed.

  30. I am willing to bet that all that biking and hiking with K over the years has done wonders for her strength and ability to fight this terrible disease. Exercise and fresh air do wonders... but then again, you know that!

    mamma heartbeat

  31. K looks beautiful in the meadow!!! Love the dancing ears..hehe:)
    Wow, that poor bear! I have never seen a bear that tiny:(
    Glad to hear that you guys aren't in any danger from the fires.
    ♥hugs to you♥

  32. I'm so happy to hear that you are still safe. And that K is still enjoying life as it is.

    I really worry about the bears there. The drought and now the fires will make this a difficult time for them.

  33. What a precious attitude K is displaying for the whole world. Maybe some of us will learn from her example of never giving up and being joyful for what she can do!

  34. So glad to hear that K is still romping and having fun. Also, we have an award for you over at our blog, so if you would like, please stop by and pick it up1

  35. Hope you will get no stress from the fires.
    K looks great even if she´s suffer a lot I think. Better she go hiking if she want to and it stops there..what she seems to love and love to do.
    I really would like to be spontaneous and take a ticket to you.
    We´re doing ok, the dogs are playing outside, we have nice wheather.
    Hugs from us in Sweden!

  36. I'm glad you didn't cancel your trip!


  37. Poor scrawny bear. We are certain they will perservere, just like K.

    We are glad you took your trip and enjoyed yourselves. And yes, we should all be able to have the attitude of K.

  38. I dropped by to see how the fire situation was and if you were OK. I hope your area stays fire free...K certainly is all-knowing I think...she knows she can't go leaping over the trails like go take your bike rides for yourself and your mental state.

  39. Glad you still got to go on your camping trip! K is amazing!
    Jackie (Angel Abby's mom)

  40. Hawk sent me over and I'm so glad he did. Your K sure has an amazing spirit and I hope things continue to go well for her.

  41. Hi Y'all,

    So glad the fires have bypassed y'all so far. I hope they continue to get rain to help put them out.

    So glad K is still enjoying life and camping adventures.

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  42. Oh dear - oh sadnesses for bears and all animals out there... Glad there are no new fires. Smiles all over our faces to read about K and her brave stand against her prognosis. Even tho we don't comment nearly enough, we read your new posts and send.hugs xxxxxxxxxxx
    Sammiches, Ava and Mom

  43. "She revels in what she can do rather than moping about what she can't do." -- I love that reminder from K. It's the only way to live.


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