The last five weeks felt like walking through a long and dark tunnel. A few days ago we departed Three Forks, MT for Missoula, MT and we stepped out into the light.
What happened? Cooper had ACL surgery at the Montana Verterinary Hospital in Bozeman, MT. The little guy stayed post-surgery for two days in the hospital being monitored by veterinary technicians. After that, he had to wear a cast for two weeks and Fentanyl patches to manage pain. I had to carry the dog in and out of the motorhome and going for pee & poo walks was a pain in the neck. When the cast was finally removed, he had to endure a pretty stiff bandage for another two weeks. Four weeks after surgery the bandage was eventually removed and he started his rehabilitation back to being a dog. The prescribed therapy was to conduct frequent slow leash walks and lots of rest. Cooper still receives a weekly Adequant injections to stimulate the production of joint fluids, the last two of these injections I will administer myself. At the time of posting this blog, Cooper is walking well and he feels strong and is obviously free of pain. In late September, if all goes well, I should be able to take the dog off the leash. By then we will be somewhere on the Pacific coast and running on a sandy beach should be just fine. Anyway, I am very much looking forward to walks without being tethered to a dog. I want to express my thanks to Dr. Dennis J. Moylan and his staff for their skills and guidance and for being a group of nice and caring human beings.
Needless to say, Dublin, the other dog, suffered from all of this incapacitation through a lack of activities. The only thing Dublin and I did was a nice hike up the Leverich Canyon when Cooper stayed in the veterinary hospital. It was there that we encountered a black bear right next to the trail. This was the first bear Dublin ever met and he was very curious but obeyed my command and stayed on my site, good dog. As Josef Stalin said, “if you are afraid of bears, don’t go into the woods”.
So, what about Three Folks, MT you may ask? After five weeks in that place we ought to know a lot about it. Well, not really. Here is a bit of information I learned, per the US Geographic Society the town of Three Forks marks the birthplace of the Missouri River at the confluence of the Madison, Jefferson and Gallatin River in the Missouri Headwaters State Park. The Missouri River is the longest river in the USA (2300 miles/ 3700 km) and drains about 1/6 of the landmass of the lower 48 states into the Gulf of Mexico.
Visibility was low throughout our entire stay due to fires in the Glacier National Park area. Looking back at this year of travel I realized that fires have impacted our entire travel-route from New Mexico to Colorado, Wyoming and Montana. There is good reason to believe that all of these fires are at least partially responses to climate changes. We should take these observations more serious. Always remember, the planet will survive, we may not. Stay tuned.