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Thursday, February 24, 2022

A ruptured tendon

I've not said much about my wrists and surgery recovery because a new problem has been shadowing my view. My shoulder started hurting badly back in October It's gotten worse and worse. Then, a little while ago, I made an involuntary fast movement with my right arm to avoid slipping and falling. I didn't fall but the pain in my shoulder was instantaneous and excruciating. 

An MRI shows that I ruptured the tendon that attaches my biceps muscle to a spot near the shoulder. I mean *completely* ruptured it so the muscle is now untethered within my arm. I've decided to get it fixed surgically, and that will happen pretty soon. I don't know the day yet but we are hoping that it's early next week.

This has been a winter of difficult times. But, at least, I saw lots of glorious winter sunrises with Shyla. This was the view of the forest on the hillside above our house just as the morning sun first touched them. I will never tire of seeing this instant of rose-colored sunlight.

It will be an eight week time period of not stressing my shoulder at all after surgery. The optimist in me immediately realized that I'd be ready to start to return to my active life in time for our high mountain spring. That's one good thing.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Watch fall morph into winter on an animal path

As an arctic storm is hitting us, it's fun to look back at this fall during the phase when the world was going to sleep at the end of fall. The scene was an animal trail that includes trees that bears scent mark. A variety of wildlife passed the spot - including a bear or two! The bears are most certainly asleep now. In contrast, the snowshoe hare who appeared partially white on 10/2 is probably still active in that very same spot. What an amazing small animal!

Check out the video. It's short, and it reminds me that winter will soon start to give away to spring because the seasons change fast!

Monday, February 21, 2022

The Hachi Chronicle

 Hachi has continued on his generally good trajectory. Our work with his trainer has been going super well. We start out each session with a short walk on our driveway. She walks ahead with Hachi on a leash behind her. She drops treats for Hachi as she walks. Last week, she began letting him take treats from her hand as he walked behind her. That was a big step!

After a short walk outside, we move inside our house to our living room where the trainer can toss treats to Hachi in what's called a "treat-retreat" pattern. She tosses a few treats either to him or between her and him. Then, she tosses one behind him to let him de-stress by going further away from her.

Partway through, the Runner and I do a vet exam on Hachi using the "bucket game". After a few weeks of this, Hachi is able to completely focus on the game rather than keeping an eye on the trainer. We've gradually moved the game closer to the trainer. Last week, we were only about 6' from her while we played it. Our goal is that the trainer will eventually participate in the game, either as the treat-giver or, ideally, as the person doing the exam. That will simulate a vet eventually giving Hachi an exam.

His work at the vet's office is going well. He is getting more and more relaxed while walking all around the outside of the clinic. He can let it go quickly after a person with a dog goes by him. He does all of our "vet training" with a muzzle on to prepare him for wearing one for an exam. The act of putting on the muzzle, either in the car at the clinic or in our living room with our trainer present, is getting to be very easy. He no longer seems to worry about putting it on in stressful situations.

The exam room where we would like to train with Hachi has been very busy but we have a few reservations coming up so we can work on his comfort in that room.

So, the Hachi report is good. He did have a couple of "off days" during which he could not relax. We've learned to let him decompress on days like those rather than trying to push forward with training. Fortunately, they passed. Our greatest fear is that someday he won't return to his new normal but that did not happen (and hopefully never will).

These are good days for our family. Hachi has a wonderful big sister for playing with him. That makes us all smile!

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Sunrise Sunday

We have had a winter of incredible sunrises. This was a recent one.

Just as it started to get light, the sky lit up. You can see the sky reflected in the greenhouse (where there are actually plants growing, even in the depths of winter!).

The forest silhouetted against the sky was gorgeous.

Even if I cannot ride my bike to fun places for sunrise, I can certainly enjoy views like this one from my house!

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for the full moon! This was from last month. It is snowing too hard to see the moon right now.

My wrists are healing so I hope to be back consistently soon.

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Sunrise Sunday

This view made me smile at sunrise the other morning. I am so grateful that we can see the sunrise sky from our house.


Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Almost Wordless Wednesday

 An explosion of snow as Shyla started to run.

I am starting another break. When this post comes out, I will have just had surgery on my right wrist. I'll see you when my wrist is strong again.

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Inside an elk herd

I love the elk rut. The animals are so full of energy. It's fun to watch them. Usually, we humans can only watch with our own eyes from a long distance away using binoculars or spotting scopes. 

A trail camera lets us feel what it's like to be inside the herd. Check out this video from this past October when the elk were hyped during the rut!