Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Running Free

I feel the wind in my face!
 On November 17 I took some deep breaths, unhooked the leash, and let Zephyr run free in the forest with Astro.   
And the ground under my feet!
Then I had to remind myself to keep breathing.  :-)

We'll run
 This was the first time the boys had really run together and explored the forest since March when Zephyr became sick with encephalitis.  Of course they've run and played in the yard, etc., and there was a very short run on our fall outing.    

And race
 Running in the open forest with your brother can inspire all kinds of acts of greatness.  Because of this I wanted to wait until Zephyr had built up some muscle tone to reduce the risk of him getting hurt while twisting and flying through the forest like all good dogs do.

Until we are complete!
 I'm very happy to report that no big injuries have occurred.  Only some cuts and scrapes from forest debris, one kind of big on the front of his back foot.  I was worried about two things, that something would happen to trigger the encephalitis to come back (I will always worrying about that) or he would run or twist too hard and hurt himself.  Zephyr has done a great job.  Sometimes Astro will try to get him going after he's kind of tired, but Zephyr's been really good about listening to his body not overdoing it.

The plants smell extra fresh!
 Zephyr is so happy to be able to roam the forest again.  He's gone out about six times now.  It's great to watch him rediscover his forest freedom and to see him so happy.  The first time I let him go it took him a few minutes to fully understand that he could really go.  He kind of galloped around smelling things and looking around before he and Astro really ran.  Sometimes he just stops and looks out and around through the forest.  He really smells around things a lot.  And, he's discovered a new forest delicacy.  Elk Poop.  That's right, I used to be one of those lucky people who's dog was not so interested in elk poop.  Zephyr would like me to remind you that although he is doing extremely well, he is still taking prednisone and is at risk of starvation at any moment, therefore he has expanded his taste palate to include some of the finer things in life.

And the dirt is cool and soft!
 Astro is also very happy to have his forest partner back.  The two of them work their way around to all the good things in the forest.

Let's dig a hole together
I have some other good news.  Zephyr's liver function is much better.  Two of the values, ALT and AST, are in the normal range.  This is great because these are the two that really indicate that the liver cells are damaged and dying.  His ALP is still high, in the 800s, but down from the 1,300s.  Apparently since he is taking prednisone this is typical and not as bad as having the other two elevated. 

And go back and share with Mother!  ;-)
Dr. Knowles also gave the okay to continue reducing his medicines.  So, after tomorrow's dose of procarbazine (chemo med.) he will start taking it only twice a week, down from every other day.  He'll continue on this schedule until the middle of January and then he'll be done with it.  And, in two weeks I'll start reducing his prednisone to 5mg once a day, down from twice a day.  This will be in small increments, 1.25mg at time, and over about four weeks. All of this will continue to help his liver function too.  I'm so happy to be reducing his medicines!   But, I have to admit that it also makes me nervous that the encephalitis will come back.  Hopefully everything will go smoothly.

The snow fell on the ground!
We've also had our first snow, it was actually in early November.  The boys were so excited to go out in the morning and find snow on the ground.

And now happy greyhound feet
I love watching them first step out on the deck, realize there is snow, and then get all spunky sticking their nose in the snow and pouncing around on it.

Are the only sound!
And then of course have a good run in the snow.  We are supposed to get more snow late this week so there will be a lot more running and playing to be done.  Apparently happy greyhounds running free also inspires poetry.  ;-)


Claire Krigbaum said...

Ahhh, nothing quite as nice to me as watching my dogs run free like that! How nice for you (and him) that Zephyr is able to run again! Beautiful happy pictures.

jet said...

that is such good news !

Doesn't snow here ever, so it's a treat to see your dogs running in it!

Sue said...

This is fantastic news.

Lovely photos of the boys doing what they do best:)

Declan said...

That's great news. So wish I could get torun like that! Deccy x

Greyhounds CAN Sit said...

Ah, this is the sort of post I love to read, a happy one:) Makes me very happy to see Zephyr and Astro enjoying themselves together in the woods and snow, and I know you must be over the moon that Zephyr can get some good running in without any ill effects.

Wonderful news about his meds being reduced. I hope he continues to do well.

Anonymous said...

Nothing like a good romp in the woods! And you got snow?!!! You lucky dogs :D

Waggin at ya,

Mr.Mischief said...

Perfect way to start my morning, by reading news as good as this!

gyeong said...

So great to see the boys doing what they love to do, together again.

The Barn Door said... glad the boys got their forest time to be free! Zephyr sure looks like he is enjoying it.
Karen & the Hound

Kari in Vegas said...

Glad they had a good time running free

Stop on by for a visit

IHeartDogs said...

So much joy on his face!
There is no greater gift to your dog than to let him/her run off leash free (obviously only under certain conditions and the right training).
We're all happy to hear things continue to go well...Here's hoping for the trend to continue.

KB said...

I am SO happy to read of Zephyr's fun and romping. I know that fearful feeling as you unhook the leash and hope that your dog's body is ready to run. Then, the joy at seeing them so happy!!!!!


Lindy MacDuff said...

They both look really happy to be out running and playing. Glad to hear that Zephyr's lab values are improving. Certainly hope and pray his encephalitis does not return. (I was unaware that it could.)

Thank you for your visit and comment on my Flagstaff photo today. =)

houndstooth said...

They look fantastic out there running in both the forest and the snow! I'm so glad to hear that the medicines are being reduced and that Zephyr's made so much improvement. It's almost hard to remember how sick he was back in March.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Z is looking so good! So happy to see him running again!

Jennifer said...

Great pics--wonderful to see Zephyr running!

I have to say, the dirt picture was my favorite LOL. ;o)

Sara said...

Greyt job Zephyr. We don't get Elks here in the UK but I let my chickens free range in the garden and Tillie thinks chicken poo is a greyhound delicacy. She always returns from outside licking her lips - yuk! Other dog owners I know always complain their dogs love rolling in smelly fox poo, luckily neither of mine have discovered this yet?

greygirl25 said...

I am so impressed with how Zephyr is doing. He had a pretty scared here.