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Monday, June 10, 2013

Forever part of my heart

This is the time of year that I wish that I didn't need to sleep. It's so beautiful outside that I want to live every instant wide awake and enjoying it. Like most years, I'm already starting to get tired, from my binge of outdoor fun!

In that spirit, Shyla and I were up early, getting ready for our mountain bike ride. She stood in the basement, looking at me with big eyes as I readied my bike.
As you can see, her eye infection is improving. When the infection started, I flushed her eye with saline several times with no improvement. By Sunday, the yucky green goobers were getting huge, and the white of her eye was blood red. I had a dog eye antibiotic at home so I decided to try it. It worked - very fast! I called my vet today, who was not at all upset with me for "playing vet". After how many dogs we've had and the innumerable vet visits we've made, I have a decent idea of what's an emergency and what's not.

We had an amazing bike ride this morning. It was still cool, and so many new flowers were blooming!
Shyla is an incredible athlete. The heat can slow her down but that seems to be the only thing that slows her. In our mountain world, anything over about 60°F feels like heat (I'm sure that you're all laughing at our wimpiness now - but remember those snow photos from just a month ago...). Aside from the "heat", it seems like Shyla could run forever. She's a great match for me.

We meandered around our trails, specifically avoiding an area where I am certain that a mountain lion has stashed a "kill", either a deer or elk that he is eating. I have trail camera photos, that I'll share later, of the mountain lion walking the same route at the same time each day with a huge bulging belly. It's best to stay away from that area and let him finish his feast.

Boulder Raspberries are blooming everywhere. I love how they reach for the deep blue sky!
And, not only are the pink "Shooting Stars" blooming, but the Irises are too, as you can see in the background of the next photo.
I managed to completely exhaust myself on the bike, between my ride with Shyla and then a solo ride. After that, we settled in for an afternoon on the deck. Being able to sit on the deck is not an everyday thing up here in the mountains. Even in the summer, it's too cold some days.

Under our deck, we have a pair of Cordilleran Flycatchers who have built a nest on a little "nest tray". I think that they are now waiting for the female to lay eggs because they are just hanging around. One of them seemed to find me to be fascinating, cocking her head like a dog!
Every year, the Flycatchers sit on the same perches to hunt insects and guard their nest. I adore watching them. This year, one of them seems very comfortable with me... not flying away as soon as I pick up my camera (most years, they are much more shy).
As I watched this Flycatcher today, she suddenly swooped up against our house siding and came back with what looked like a wasp.
In an instant, the bug was "down the hatch".
She returned to her perch, watching the world of insects swirl around her. This year should be better than last year for the Flycatchers. Most years, they have four chicks in their nest under our deck. However, we had almost no insects last year due to the drought, and they had only one living chick by fledging time.
Their one chick fledged on the day that K died. As I sat with K's head on my lap under the pine trees in the last hours of her life, I could tell that the parents were shepherding their chick away from our deck and toward the forest.

Everything on Earth still feels like it's related to K for me. I am healing but I still think of her every single day. I now truly understand what it means when someone is part of you forever. Perhaps this Flycatcher, who seems so comfortable with me, is the youngster who fledged on the day that K's spirit took flight. That's a heart-warming thought.


  1. All I can say is, "What a beautiful, beautiful post."

  2. Gorgeous words, as always. Shyla is a true athlete - I really noticed how lean and strong she she has become two posts ago. The photo of her mid-run or jump was beautiful.

  3. That was incredibly beautiful.

  4. I don't know if you remember my story from a while back about taking Bunny to the funeral visitation, but there was a story related to birds about her.

    Her partner had grown up with her Mom (after her father died) and her aunt (after a divorce) and they were a very happy family. Her aunt got sick with cancer and one day they were sitting together at the kitchen table and her aunt said "You know, I've never seen a cardinal. I sure wish I could see a cardinal stop by, just once before I die." Well, not long after that, she passed away and hadn't seen a cardinal. But a week after her funeral as Linda and her mom sat reminiscing, a cardinal landed outside the window where they'd had the earlier conversation, and they felt that her aunt had visited to let them know that she was happy and okay.

    Years later, they had a beloved Cocker Spaniel who passed away due to old age complications. There were many tears over Max and she wished for a sign. They sat crying about him one evening, and a red cardinal landed outside in a tree.

    As Laurie's cancer progressed, very rapidly, Linda was hoping for a sign. The day after she passed away, Linda looked up to see a red cardinal outside the window.

    When I heard the story, I had to smile over it all. And then the strangest thing of all happened. The day after we went to that visitation, I sat by the front window feeling rather sad and wouldn't you know, a cardinal came and landed out there. I couldn't believe it. Really, I was totally stunned!

    I've always heard that finding a feather means that someone in Heaven is thinking of you. Seeing a bird to remind you of a loved one isn't a stretch at all. Of course K is watching out for you! She always will be.

  5. The flycatcher photographs are Audubon or National Geographic worthy! Just gorgeous. Much as I love the birds, the dog lover in me really loved seeing Shyla in the wildflowers. I'll keep coming back to this moving and beautiful post!

  6. Great post. I love the photo of Shyla in the flowers, and I am such a sucker for birds. Those flycatcher photos are great.

  7. I love the little flycatchers that feel safe enough to come back to your underporch each year.

    And the beautiful flowers, and Shyla the Mountain Dog tearing through them.

    And Carrie's story of the Red Cardinal.

    All fine!

    Jo, Stella and Zkhat

  8. I love your post today...and I love Carrie's comment too! I still think of my Zippo every single day. He's been gone since May of 2010. There really are some dogs that are forever part of our hearts...and he was mine.

  9. Love the birds. You sound like mom. May we asked what you used for the eye? We went to the doc. The eye junk made my eye worse. After tests, no scratches or anything just yellow junk and bright red
    Benny & Lily

  10. Amazing flower pictures, but more amazing are your bird pictures. I would rather think the familiar bird is one of the adults from last year who knows you aren't a threat.


  11. We agree with the first comment about how beautiful this post is, full of life and joy but tempered with the sadness of loss. It is impossible to explain the path that some creatures take into our heart. I am discovering this with Violette, the Percheron mare I rescued last year and could not bring myself to sell on as initially planned. Her spirit fills my heart with joy.

  12. What a beautiful post, KB! And we are so happy to hear that your eye is improving, Shyla!

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

  13. Great shots of the Flycatchers.

  14. Another beautiful heartwarming post. Makes us want to "stop and smell the flowers" because one is never sure when the last song will be sung.

  15. I love everything about this post. The photos - especially the flycatchers, which I am very tempted to pin (but don't know if you would mind). The sentiments about Shyla and K. The comments, especially Carrie's.

    When our Kasey had cancer I was still jogging and one of the songs I listened to on the treadmill was "Dog and Butterfly" by Heart. Somehow it always made me think of Kasey's impending death. Then after he died, I was sitting out back crying, and several butterflies started flitting around. Now when I see butterflies I always think of him.

  16. Good thing you hopped right on to treating Shyla's eye goobers with the drops and saline. She needs to be able to see all that beauty thru crystal clear eyes. (I know we wouldn't want to ever miss your beautiful pictures.)

    Perhaps that little Fly Catcher is bringing you a message from K.

    Lily Belle & Muffin

  17. Perhaps indeed that is the same bird, We smiled so much at your post and "Houndstooth's" comment.

    Hope you another "tiring" beautiful day - we will be in the 90s with a heat index of 100+,

  18. Your posts have always touched me, but even more so since we lost our 10 year old weimaraner this last February. It is so nice to read that you think about K everday as there hasn't been a day gone by that Reno hasn't been in my thoughts. I also love reading and seeing your pictures with the labraduo and the wildlife.

  19. Aww, what a nice post. Beautiful.


  20. Your pictures are so breathtaking! If we do another Blogville calendar, Shyla will have our vote!

  21. beautiful post....i think you are right about the bird....
    you'd make a great vet/'ve had enough experience! :)

  22. Hi KB! I read your latest posts and all the great Pictures. I´ve been busy with puppy buyer visits, dog training course and hunting meeting. Very interesting video. Your Pictures are Amazing.

  23. The photo of the flycatcher is just incredibe and the flowers too. I am so happy that you have that camera to capture such beautiful photos for us to see.
    I know for sure that whatever your thoughts are- or what your feeling,,, I know its real- and I agree with you---

  24. Do you know that I never saw a red bird at my house until my grandmother passed? She and I would sit at her kitchen window and watch the red birds when I was little. Her death was extremely overwhelming to me and one day as I stood at my kitchen sink a few days after her death, I saw a beautiful bright red bird. I felt it was a sign from my beloved grandmother telling me she was alright. The thought brought me peace when I really needed it.

    Mamma Heartbeat


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