Monday, February 27, 2012

Blame it on Sunshine

We've gotten behind in blogville. But, we have an excuse.

Too much California sunshine.

You see, today is a rainy day, so my mind is more settled for indoors and computer screens.
I took these pictures not long ago on an afternoon romp with Kona. You can tell by the puffy clouds and clear sky that rain moved through the area the day before, but you'd never know looking at the parched, sandy trail.
Our "storms" this season are few and far between. The Sierra snow pack, an important water source, is unbelievably low for this time of year.
I've missed the days of snow-dusted foothills and views to the ocean, gifts that come only during Winter. We'll keep hoping for more clear, post rain, romps days!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Pillars of Strength--A Mountain Prayer

I'm honored to join the ranks in support of a special, courageous canine and her family. K was diagnosed with osteosarcoma not long ago. She has a battle before her, but an army behind her.

We invite you all to visit The Thundering Herd, one of several Pillars of Strength organizers, to see the blog roll and read other posts from K's army.

This is to KB, The Runner, K, and R

Words by John Muir

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.
Oh, these vast, calm, measureless mountain days, inciting at once to work and rest!
Days in whose light everything seems equally divine, opening a thousand windows to show us God.

Nevermore, however weary, should one faint by the way who gains the blessings of one mountain day;

whatever his fate, long life, short life, stormy or calm, he is rich forever.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunrise Sunday Plus Questions!

We've been tagged by our friend KB to play a question game. So along with Sunrise, we present you our answers: (Following KB's lead, both Kona and I play along).

1. Describe yourself in 7 words:
AC: Endorphins addict, biophiliac hypothesis enthusiast, chocolate lover
Kona: The lean, mean, supreme, squirrel chasing machine.

2. What keeps you up at night?
AC: Large quantities of brownies. Caffeine after 1pm.
Kona: My human. She comes over and pokes me, saying, "Kone-Bears, wake up. It's only 5pm. It's not time for bed yet. You're gonna wake up at 4!" Whatever that means.

3. Who would you like to be?
AC: The thought of being stuck in some one's or some thing's body is quite unnerving, so I might have to pass on this one.
Kona: My human calls me a "special dog." I'm pretty sure this means everyone wants to be me.

4. What are you wearing right now?
AC: Really, really old sweat pants that should never be mentioned in public. They are standard, after 6pm attire.
Kona: Red fur coat. Stay back now, PETA.

5. What scares you?
AC: Large-bodied spiders.
Kona: zzzzzzzzzz
AC: Kone-Bears, it's only 6pm.
Kona: zzzzzzzzz

6. What are the best and worst things about blogging?
AC: I'm continually amazed by the support within the blogging community. I'm also grateful for all I learn from fellow bloggers. I first ran into blogville while searching for information to help Kona gain confidence. Not only did I learn about fearful dogs, I continue to learn about a plethora of subjects. Dog agility, animal tracking, regional stories, operant conditioning, book recommendations...You all rock!

The worst part...wishing I had more time to comment, write, and soak up the blogville goodness.
Kona: I hate cameras.

7. What's the last website you visited?
AC: hipcooks. Take a class when you're in L.A.
Kona: Website. Hm. You mean spider WEB and, "Look! I SITE a deer!"? I don't like webs. In fact, I tend to freeze when one pounces me. But, I like pouncing frozen deer, so maybe it all balances. That's like yin and yang, right?

8. What's one thing that you'd change about yourself?
AC: I'd love to not panic at the thought of being out past 8pm.
Kona: I'd like turbo rockets on my feet to refine my squirrel chasing technique.

9. Slankets? Yes or no...
AC: Had to look this one up...It could be a step up from the current sweats.
Kona: zzzzzzzzz

Friday, February 10, 2012

Moon Chasers

Kona was finally back to herself this Tuesday. We celebrated with our first real run in over a week. The moon put on a show to celebrate with us.
We became moon chasers.
Around every bend the moon struck a new pose.

As the day dawned, we finished our series of steep hills. My lungs relaxed in the satisfaction of hard work.
Kona seemed content the gaze on the new morning. Ah, to run by moonlight and watch the day break! It was a happy dog and girl morning.

Monday, February 6, 2012

After Sunrise

I relish the first colors of the morning. Out with Kona, we have the first moments of the day to ourselves. But, like a kid after the last present on Christmas morning, once the sun crests the horizon, my anticipation is left standing. It's gone, over.

This weekend, when the sun rose across the Eastern mountains, the sky nearly knocked me off my feet. The day has only begun, the sky proclaimed.

Every space from sky to land vibrated with energy from the new sun. The crisp landscape glimmered in a way I seldom see.

Kona and I had the morning to ourselves. It's a morning I'll remember.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Freedom Friday

When I arrived home Friday, Kona was there to greet me. Her welcome ran at half-spunk, but compared to hiding behind the chair the day before, her greeting was a good sign. Kona was less fearful of me, which meant she felt physically better. I took it was a green light for an easy outing.
We hadn't seen our trails for three days. Kona, who still becomes nervous on afternoon hikes, seemed happy to explore.
She showed off her two-legged stance,
and found not one, but two sand piles that needed digging.
We're still taking it easy this weekend. I think Kona has a minor muscle strain. She made several flying leaps during this outing (while I winced in anticipation of a further strained limb), to no ill effect. She still seems pitiful when she jumps up from bed, so we're keeping an eye out. But, I think we'll be at full force soon.
Half-force works fine too.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Birthday Romp Postponed

Today's Kona's 4th birthday (or so I say since I don't know the date for certain).

I hoped to take Kona for a special romp--a long trail run into our higher forests. Unfortunately, during a game of "Lizzy" yesterday ("Lizzy" involves as much keep away of her stuffed lizard as it does fetch), Kona ended our session slinking away from me.

As some of you know, Kona becomes afraid of me when she's sick or hurt, so I knew she tweaked something. Usually she literally shakes off these tweaks and is ready to go again. That wasn't the case yesterday. I knew she wasn't well when we went back inside and she stood frozen, drooling by the window.

But don't worry. I don't think Kona's hurt badly. As an extremely sensitive dog, being physically uncomfortable can scare her. I know one of her front limbs is the culprit, but it's hard to tell which one or where the pain is coming from. I take that as 1)nothing is broken and 2)nothing is badly torn.

So we're hanging low for awhile. I'm trying to give Kona extra space while she's still nervous around me, which is hard, being that I want to squish the birthday pup in hugs. But I'll resist. There are plenty of birthday treats on the menu instead.