It's been a while since my last post. Two weeks at work and several days back at home.
My time at work was very quiet, as the large project at work that has been keeping me busy was winding down. About my third day up, first thing in the morning (which is 4 am when I'm on day shift) I noticed that smell in the air. The air up there, overlooking the Minto Flats and very near the White Mountains, always smells good, but this was different. A bit more earthy, perhaps, than normal. I got to looking around and realized that we are beyond the peak of summer and fall is approaching very, very quickly. Some of the leaves in the birch are starting to change, the fire-weed has bloomed out in the higher country, berries have been ripe for a spell now and the rose hips are ready to harvest.
Here is a photo I shot while up there, that shows the season is truly advanced. Each night is getting darker, and staying darker later. One can even see the stars clearly in the middle of the night, and sunrises are frequently brilliant. Here's an example, from the living quarters at work.
At home, my handler Ted took my St. Bernard X Alaskan Husky mix to the vet, as he very quickly developed an incredibly fast growing tumor on the lateral side of his right front leg, right over the elbow. He went in for surgery on Wednesday to remove that tumor, and a couple of smaller ones on his chest and belly. The small ones were easily diagnosed as lymphomas, basically fat tumors, and are unlikely to return or cause him troubles. The big one, however, is still unknown. It's been sent to a histology lab for identification. I'm not even willing to speculate on what it is.
After his surgery the big guy was in a LOT of pain. Enough so that we elected to leave him at the clinic overnight, heavily sedated and well dosed with morphine as well. That was Wednesday night. Thursday morning he was acting nearly normal, dancing and prancing around on his leash. He is being confined pretty closely, though this afternoon I let him spend a couple of hours in the front yard, lying in the sun on the grass. He seemed to enjoy that.
He doesn't much care for the E-collar, though.
Our handler, Ted, has been working with his dogs on the Sacco cart. Today he put both of them on the cart and gave them a nice run. The weather is cool enough in the mornings to do some training, and I'm planning to get started on that once Chinook has mended enough to be left alone for a few hours.