Four weeks ago tonight Luka had surgery. Today, finally, he was released to full activity.
I took him to a nearby school to take advantage of their fully fenced grounds.
I set the beast free.
I think he’s happy.
It’s going to take some time before we’re back to walking three miles a day and hiking on the weekends, but we are on our way.
During the time off from our long daily walks Sadie has been following Milo’s lead and practicing for the Sleep Olympics.
This is her favorite place to sleep: snuggled up against my leg.
As cute as Sadie is, she is still not as skilled as Milo when it comes to sleeping.
I have been knitting and I finally took pictures.
The latest socks.
And a sweater.
What a difference a day makes.
Last night: sad cone-head.
This afternoon: happy boy.
Today was an exciting day: Luka’s stitches were removed! I can now transition him back to regular food and we can go for two 15 minute walks a day. He still can’t run or go outside off leash (two more weeks before he’s released to full activity), but it’s very exciting.
I’ve put my house back together (I had to move all of the living room and bedroom furniture to accommodate the cone) and we’ve gone on our first walk. To say walking made Luka happy is an understatement:
I was able to get a picture of Luka’s cute shaved belly and his scar (the scar isn’t really jagged…it’s just how he’s positioned).
Going back a few days…Luka’s been on a chicken and rice diet. I was boiling chicken earlier this week and Luka took it upon himself to supervise the operation.
Sadie is quite bored with all of the attention I’ve showered on her little brother.
Sadie had a check up today, too, and the ulcer on her eye is fully healed.
I don’t think Milo has noticed that the cone is gone. He’s still hanging out under the table.
I didn’t realize until I brought stiches-free Luka home how stressed I’ve been about him opening his incision. I’ve spent the last two weeks hovering over him. When I was at work I worried if he was behaving at home. During the night I checked on him every time he stirred. I guess you could say I’ve been holding my breath for two weeks.
Finally, I can exhale.
The patient continues his recovery.
He’s off all of his medicines and now the challenge is to keep him calm until the stitches come out on Saturday. He’s very, very bouncy and really wants to play/run/jump. I’m doing a lot of sitting on my butt watching TV because when I do that he’s content to sleep or just sit quietly.
Sadie is also doing well. Her eye appears to be back to normal (she’s also going to the vet on Saturday for a check up) and the Benadryl has stopped her from chewing on her feet. She also loves the daily dose of pumpkin.
I’ve gone back to work and the dogs are behaving hemselves. Not surprisingly (since I’m sure my immune system is shot from all the recent stress and worrying) I’ve been attacked by a viscous cold. This works will with my “sit on my butt” plan, though. The downtime has allowed me to go through 400+ pictures on my camera.
These are my favorites. (They were all taken before Luka’s surgery.)
I don’t think I will ever get tired of Milo and how he relaxes.
Milo is also cute when he’s not sprawled immodestly all over the furniture.
One day Milo was sitting in the window cackling at the birds playing in the water dish out on the deck. Romeo heard the commotion and checked it out.
The smug look on Romeo’s face is because he shoved Milo aside and took his spot.
Romeo is a very shy kitty. I’m always happy when I can snap a picture of him.
Milo and Luka both love to lie in front of the open screen door. Look who’s got the prime spot right in front of the door.
We’ve only missed one weekend, but I already miss our weekend adventures. It will be some time before we can resume them.
I love watching Sadie and Luka enjoy the water.
Sadie often plays so much that she has to sneak a quick nap while Luka is off playing.
Occasionally Luka becomes obsessed with playing fetch. This doesn’t happen often and so far it’s only happened at the reservoir. He won’t fetch into the water…only along the shore.
I LOVE this picture of Luka.
More than anything, Luka loves to run. (I cannot wait to watch him run again.)
Our hikes always lead to the dogs sleeping on the way home.
A nice portrait of Sadie.
And of both of them.
Finally, a once in a lifetime picture (so far). This is the only time I’ve ever seen Luka lying on his back. It didn’t last long, but at least I captured the moment.
Once his stitches come out I will try to get him to do this again to show off his scar.
The good news: Luka’s recovery is going very well.
The bad news: Luka’s recovery is going very well and he’s getting quite bouncy. Yesterday he tried to jump up on the chair to watch the garbage men steal our stuff. This morning he reared up on his hind legs (something he does when he’s really excited) and later he chased Milo (who ran like hell from the cone-head coming after him).
He saw his regular vet on Thursday and his incision looks “really, really good”. His stitches come out next Saturday (October 1). Until then, he’s on a bland diet (chicken and rice…he loves this) and is restricted from all activity (he does not like this).
I took Sadie along to the vet to have some recent issues checked out. Now I know why she’s looked sad for the past few days: she has an ulcer on one of her eyes (ointment three times a day), allergies are what was making her chew her feet (Benadryl three times a day) and her anal glands were so full they were nearly abscessed (1/2 cup pumpkin once a day). She is much happier now.
Milo continues to hang out with his buddy.
The quality of this last picture isn’t great, but I think it’s really sweet. They were sitting there dozing together while I watched TV.
Mr. Lennon was a wise man.
Before I tell my tale I’ll let you know that at this moment Luka is sleeping at my feet. This will become important in a moment.
Last weekend started out just like I had planned: a long hike and some swimming for the dogs on Saturday morning. By Saturday evening my plans were chugging along (watching a movie and knitting). Then, as midnight approached my plans went off the rails.
At 10:30 Saturday night Luka and I were speeding to town. Our destination: the animal emergency clinic.
He was admitted around midnight and at 4am Sunday he was in emergency surgery for an obstruction in his stomach. It turns out that what I thought was a scattering of garbage can contents on Thursday had really been an all-you-can-eat buffet. The paper products in my bathroom garbage can got stuck in his stomach. The vet said it was the second most difficult surgery of this kind she’d ever done.
That’s my boy: an overachiever.
Luka came home last night and today I’m living a new reality (at least for the next several days).
I’m working from home. (Thank goodness my workplace was supportive when I explained what had happened.)
My furniture is barricaded against Luka jumping on it.
I’m spoon feeding my boy small amounts of fancy pants food several times a day.
I’m well on my way to starting my own pharmacy.
The schedule for these drugs is so detailed that I’m using my phone to alert me when it’s time for a dose.
Finally, my new reality includes living with a cone-head.
Luka is also wearing a T-shirt to prevent Sadie from messing with his stitches.
Luka has accepted the cone and has quickly become adept at moving throughout the house and sleeping in it.
Milo, however, is taking no chances. He was nearly scooped up in the cone earlier today and quickly retreated under the table.
Milo did venture closer to hang out with his buddy.
Sadie has been comforting Luka, too.
Once this is crisis over I’m going to owe Sadie some special attention. My total focus right now is on Luka (I’m literally not letting him out of my sight) and I know she’s getting the shaft in terms of my time. She’s also sleeping in a crate instead of on my bed. Luka won’t fit in his crate with the cone on and I don’t trust Sadie to leave his stitches alone overnight. She is NOT happy sleeping in there but I’m taking no chances.
Life around here should be back to normal in a few weeks. I have a feeling they will be very long weeks.
I know that most of my readers have dogs. Are your garbage cans out where your dog can get to them? If they are: please, please, PLEASE secure them where the dog cannot get to them. Luka had never eaten garbage before and the first time he did it could have been fatal. Please learn from my mistake and put the cans away where your dog cannot get to them.
Finally, (to end on a humorous note), I have to ask: is Luka happy or is it the drugs?
It’s been a summer of adventure around here.
Every weekend has been spent hitting the trails.
I enjoy hiking on the trails while the dogs prefer to run around like wild animals.
A few weeks ago our weekend adventure became a little too exciting. We were enjoying a walk through the forest when the dogs took off through the underbrush. This isn’t unusual. They often take off and chase rodents or birds.
I stopped to wait for them. The dogs had run down into a ravine so I was up on hill looking down at them. All of a sudden, movement in a tree (about 50 yards in front of me) caught my attention. Sitting in that tree (and looking right at me) were three black bear cubs. The dogs were at the base of the tree, jumping up and trying to get at the bear cubs.
Yes, my dogs treed three bear cubs. Clearly, they have a death wish.
I was remarkably calm as terror swept through every cell of my body. Where there are bear cubs, there is a mama bear. Mama bears are big. Mama bears are not very happy when their cubs are threatened. Mama bears can run 30mph. I am not a petite person (I’m nearly 6′ tall), but I’m no match for an adult bear. I quickly looked behind me (fully expecting to see mama bear) but saw nothing.
I called the dogs to me. Sadie came immediately. Luka ignored me and kept trying to climb the tree to get at the cubs. I called him twice more and the third time he ran back to me. I pointed down the trail and shouted “Go! Run!”. I have no idea why they obeyed a command they’d never heard before (perhaps they could hear the fear in my voice and/or were shocked that I was yelling at them) but the dogs took off running and did not leave the trail. They just ran.
I did not run (running around a bear is not smart) but I walked as quickly as I could. (Side note: I had no idea I could move that fast with a 20lbs. backpack.) I constantly checked over my shoulder to see if mama bear had found us. We kept up this pace for a couple of miles until we reached the reservoir. It was only then that I realized how horribly the whole thing could have ended. As the dogs splashed in the water I sat on the sand and trembled.
The weather has cooled off a tiny bit (instead of being 100, it’s only 90) so the dogs have been able to do more running/playing. They especially love to play and run on the beach.
Here’s a series of pictures of the dogs playing. I didn’t expect all of these pictures to come out, but they did and I like the story they tell.
Luka asks Sadie to play.
Sadie comes to a sudden stop and nearly gets taken out by Luka.
They start running together.
Sadie veers off to come back to me while Luka keeps running.
Luka realizes his buddy is missing.
And he runs to catch up.
During our adventures I’ve managed to snap some nice portraits of both dogs.
I love how happy Sadie looks in this picture.
Meanwhile, Luka looks like he just wants me to hurry up.
I like these close up shots, too.
Finally…Milo’s training for the sleep Olympics continues at a very strong pace.
Nothing’s better than the wind to your back, the sun in front of you, and your friends beside you. ~ Aaron Douglas Trimble
The dogs days of summer have arrived.
The usual gorgeous summer weather in my part of the world has been replaced by miserable, sweltering heat that shows no sign of letting up. Luka has been monopolizing the AC unit.
To beat the heat we have to take our walks in the very late evening and go hiking in the very early morning. I’m not a morning person and have to force myself to get out of the bed. Luka is always ready to go.
I always start our weekend adventures with a long hike.
I love how the dogs always take off together.
The beginning of each hike always includes a lot of running.
Luka loves to wander and explore. He often wanders down the wrong trail and then when he realizes it he runs to catch up.
The highlight of each hike, especially when it’s so hot, is the water.
To encourage the dogs to swim, I toss treats in the water.
Here’s a video of Sadie swimming for treats.
Luka has started swimming more often (he used to just wade in the water).
This leads to his drowned rat look.
When we arrive home after our weekend adventure the order of the day is always napping.
Milo likes to join them.
Finally, I walked out the door for work the other morning and saw this: the moon setting at sunrise.
A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing. ~ George Bernard Shaw
A long time ago (March 2009) I dyed this sock blank:
I immediately cast on the socks.
I loved the socks while I was knitting them, but it took me 28 months to finish them.
Fittingly, I cast off on Independence Day.
Milo was overcome with joy.
I put the socks on for their photo-shoot and (if I may be bold) I think they look fantastic.
Looks can be deceiving, though. The socks are so tight I can hardly get them over my heel. I fear that if I wear them I will blow a hole in the heel (as I’ve done with two other pairs of super tight hand knit socks in recent months).
That’s right, I spent 28 months knitting these socks and they don’t fit.
:: sigh ::
Luckily, my mother’s feet are two sizes smaller than mine and she likes pink. When she’s in town later this month I will give them to her.
Until then, Milo thinks they make a stylish pillow.
I have been bucked off the sock knitting horse but I’m going to get right back in the saddle. This yarn is going on the needles next:
The kitties enjoy sitting in front of the door and watching the birds play in the dogs’ water bowl. The birds are about three feet in front of the cats in this picture and they were both cackling like crazy.
As always, full details for the socks can be seen on the Ravelry page .
Summer afternoon – summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language. ~ Henry James
Scenes from a long weekend.
Leading the way.
Sharing the load.
Fun in the sun.
Stubborn (he would not look at the camera).
Very tired (two hikes in two days will do that to a girl).
Ready for the ride home.
Smart kitty (sleeping in front of AC unit).
Snoring up a storm.
Remember when this used to be a knitting blog?
Let’s revisit those days.
A couple of months ago a friend gifted me with a sock blank. I broke out the Kool-Aid and created this.
The blank became these socks.
I love them!
Full details are on the socks’ Ravelry page.
Since I am a crazy dog lady, I took portraits of the dogs with the leftover yarn.
Sadie shared a zen moment with the yarn.
Luka was supervising the photo shoot.
After Sadie serenely posed with the yarn she enjoyed one of her favorite past times: rolling around on her back. Sadly, my yard is mostly dirt so she got a bit messy.
Luka is much too dignified to engage in such behavior.
The dogs and I have gone hiking a couple of times since my last post. These hikes are the highlights of the week.
The dogs always spend the first hour or so running off their pent up energy.
We usually take a break or two on our way to the reservoir.
The dogs know when we turn on the trail that leads to the water and they take off running.
By the time I arrive they’ve already jumped in.
Luka isn’t fond of the drowned rat look and always like to shake when he’s standing right next to me.
Every hiking trip ends the same way: with the dogs sound asleep on the way home.
The napping continues once we arrive home.
Milo fears his standing in the Sleeping Olympics may be in jeopardy so he practices harder.
Finally, the smoke from the Arizona wildfire hung over this area for several days last week. It was very annoying during the day (a thick haze and smell of smoke in the air) but the sunsets were spectacular.