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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Swirling clouds and R's elbow

We had an early start to the day so that we could take R to a great elbow surgeon. Before sitting in a car for a "long" time, I always ride my bike - it helps my spine immensely. So, the alarm went off way before sunrise. I started the ride by myself, with a helmet mounted light so I could see the trails. I hoped for a beautiful sunrise to reward me for the early start but, instead, I spent the entire time in the midst of swirling clouds. Another snowstorm is here.

For some reason, this morning reminded me of the early morning starts when K had bone cancer, and we'd drive her to CSU vet school for treatment. That was a long drive so I'd always ride my bike before it. On one of the first days that we took her to CSU, I saw one of the most incredible sunrises ever.
For some odd reason, I felt relieved that I didn't see a great sunrise today. It made me felt that we were not reliving those terrible days. Indeed, there was no unexpected bad news today.

This morning, as soon as the world was light enough for Shyla to be off-leash on the trails, I swung by home and picked her up to join me for the rest of my ride. She was overjoyed when I returned to get her, and that made me smile!
While we were riding, I spotted two sets of fresh moose tracks, probably a mother and calf, heading toward what I've started calling "Moose Trail" because a mother-calf pair spend so much time there. I saw them lying in an aspen grove next to that trail multiple times last week. After my experience with being charged by a mother moose earlier this winter, I kept a big distance between them and me each time.

This was mom, who never even got to her feet when I was taking this photo. I had my super long lens so I was far away and also hiding behind a pine tree!
And this was the calf.
So, this morning, I completely avoided Moose Trail. I never want to be charged by a moose again, especially with Shyla by my side. After my recent experience with being charged, I know that I would not be able to protect both of us. Moreover, the presence of a dog might make a moose even more unpredictable.

Despite avoiding Moose Trail, we had a great ride, enjoying the early morning silence and great snowbiking conditions. As an added bonus, the swirling clouds left frost on Shyla's face.
When Shyla and I finished our ride, it started snowing very hard - making the drive down the mountain more exciting than usual but we made it safely.

The surgeon immediately struck me as thoughtful, caring, and very knowledgeable. As he examined R, R gave him many kisses all over his face and ears. The vet happily laughed at R's outgoing and goofy personality.

The conclusion about what to do about R's elbow isn't clear. R was born with elbow dysplasia, has had two surgeries for it, and now has no cartilage left in the joint. This progression is what happens to most puppies born with elbow dysplasia. The surgeon wants to talk with a few other experts before making his recommendation. No doubt - R will need surgery but the details are still to be determined.

Our goal is to make it possible for R to keep doing what he loves most - run! The vet is optimistic that we can do that thanks to recent advances in elbow dysplasia treatment.
The best news was that I felt that we met a vet who will be a trusted guide for us and R.


  1. i'm glad you liked him and have faith in him. :)

  2. Hooray for modern medicine. As sophisticated medical procedures for humans develop, the canine variety soon follows. So glad you are pleased with the doggie specialist. I can only imagine poor Shyla when she awakened to realize you had left her behind. Glad you were able to return to pick her up for some fun in the snow.

  3. That really WAS an amazing sunrise.

    Nice to find a vet who is willing to take the time to look at all angles of the problem and then decide what makes the most sense. We hope he can find a good option for R too.

  4. Were so glad you have a good vet that you trust,,,! We want R to be able to run tooo!
    Fantastic photos,,, what a sunrise!

  5. So glad R is still able to run with you and Shyla. And there is nothing better than finding a vet you can trust with your dog's care. I'm so happy you found someone for R. We will be praying and sending happy thoughts your way. :)

  6. Shyla is too cute! I'm so glad you found a vet that you trust. That is so important! I hope they figure something out for R soon!

  7. Love your photos and I always do, thanks for always sharing them with us.

    Aroo to you,

  8. I'm glad you feel confident in R's vet. I actually had to open my coat when I walked to day - a few snow showers here but no real accumulation. I'm seeing moose tracks, too, but so far not encountering the moose.

  9. Having a vet you trust and are comfortable with is so very important. I'm glad you found one that you are comfortable with. Love seeing those two running in the snow :0)

  10. Trust in your surgeon, vet or other medical person is the most important fact of all, Sunrise, that one was truly outstanding, and I totally realise your association with K and her illness. Maybe the clouds had a silver lining unseen.

  11. It is so important to have faith in your vet. Glad you feel good about who you have found for R
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

  12. How wonderful it is to find a vet you can really trust!

    Lovely capture of the labraduo!!

  13. I am glad you have a Vet that you feel good about that is so important. I will say a prayer for success.

    Anne and Sasha

  14. Oh, we do so hope that the surgery can be successful. R has a lot of running years ahead of him.

  15. I was afraid to read this post when I saw "elbow" in the title. I'm glad the news isn't bad, and that you have a great vet.

  16. A good and trustworthy vet is a real gift. We will cross all paws and hooves for R to be able to keep running for a long time yet!

  17. We agree with everyone else. It's so important to have a vet that you like and can trust! We are hoping for the very best for you, R!
    We love your frosty face, Shyla ☺

  18. the baby moose is wonderful... I wish i could give him a kiss on his nose (I better kiss the screen lol).
    It's great that you got good news from the vet and that you find such a good vet is like a win in the lottery :o)
    easy rider

  19. It's such a relief to be able to trust the medical professional. R's prognosis is such good news! Thanks for sharing the moose photos - and it was nice that you got them without alarming the mother moose. Not everyone is so sensitive to the well-being of the wild creatures sharing the forest!

  20. Finding a vet like that is wonderful. I hope they can fix him up so he can enjoy everything.

  21. Dear Prince Arrr!

    We are all happy to hear you have found a surgeon that you like (and who likes you, those kisses helped, I am sure!) We wonder how long you will be laid up since it will be getting nice and springy soon (they tell me.) Not here I don't think though, we had a snow storm yesterday and today we have wind chills in the 30 below region. Not for me!

    Big hugs to Shyla, you, and your Mom and Dad.


  22. So relieved you have a surgeon for R you can trust - that's so important!

    Ha - love Shyla's frosty face!

    When I was out the other evening around sunset, I sincerely wished I could have teleported you to where I was so you could capture some photos. The light was just stunning because of the dark clouds and setting sun. My little phone camera didn't really do it justice. I knew you'd appreciate the great lighting. :)

  23. I am so glad you liked the vet and felt comfortable with him, and trusted him.
    stella rose

  24. I'm glad you found a good vet that you trust. So important! (Gosh, wish we could do the same for my hubs and his bad knee. Maybe we should look for a vet for him instead of a doctor??)

    Interesting about that beautiful sunrise. The most beautiful sunset I ever saw was the day we lost Abby to bone cancer. I have a photo of it on my desk - it's crazy dark pink like your photo. (Which I always thought of as Abby's color.)

  25. It sounds like you have a good dogtur who will make a good recommendation based on really knowing "R"! We love that sunrise photo. It is amazing!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  26. I know the importance of trusting and valuing your vet. Having a great one can help make the hard parts a little easier. Wishing R the best as always.

  27. YEA!!!! I am so glads that you found a FABulous dogtor that will guide you through the latest and greatest ways to help R. This is indeed good news!
    And I thinks Shyla knows it! BOL
    OMD, Mama Moose and her baby are adorbs!!! Butts, yes, best to give them space..kinda like me and my cookies...☺
    Ruby ♥

  28. What a gorgeous sunrise!!! We haven't had one quite like that in a while now, but maybe this weekend. Great shot of Shyla on the move again, and oh, how I love your moose shots!

  29. I really hope they can find a treatment for R. Our Sally had elbow dysplasia too - luckily we only had to have one surgery.


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