Once Upon A Time, Long, Long Ago!

A Quality Moment for Daryl and Tilda

Tilda and I continue our ventures to revisit all the wonderful places we cruised together when we first met over 7 years ago now. In dog years, that would be nearly 49 years ago so indeed it was a long, long time ago. We have discovered a lot of great places on our walks and short trips here and there. Slowly we are getting them all revisited again and Tilda is enjoying it immensely. Tilda doesn’t forget a favorite spot nor does she forget a favorite pastime or game we play. She always remembers all the rules, no matter how long it has been.

Short Update: We have slowed our visits to CSU as there is no progress whatsoever. We are still trying some things at home without much success and go to CSU every other week now to have her blood counts checked to see if there is any changes noticed with liver functions. Tilda is getting much weaker these days and the tumors are growing in size and in numbers. There are several hundred now…….just too many to count. Being just under the skin and sticking up as large bumps under the skin, the inflammation is significant and

Tilda with her ice cold wet towel in the cool green grass.

her skin always feels hot to the touch where the tumors are located. This causes Tilda to feel hot, but yet she has no body temperature and her rectal temp is normal all the time. What really helps her is to go for a swim in the rivers of cold mountain water so we have been doing a lot of that lately. We also figured out that soaking a large bath towel in cold water and tossing it over her back like a wet blanket really helps her settle down from panting when she gets into that mode. Anything that helps cool the skin is greatly appreciated and that will last for several hours. Tilda’s attitude is still absolutely wonderful and that welcoming smile rarely leaves her face.

"It feels so good on my legs."

Meanwhile, Tilda and I have been on a long joy ride doing a lot of fun things Tilda enjoys. One of our first stops was a short walk at Rogers Grove in Longmont. I was so surprised Tilda was able to walk as far as she did. From the parking lot by the restrooms we walked east to the main path and turned north and stopped to let her wade in the river, then we headed on west under Hover bridge and went about another block. She knows that area as Bunnyville and Squirrelville as there are always lots of Bunnies and Squirrels in that area. She was so excited. She walked very well on the way back and we took the river dirt path which she really enjoys. We then headed back to the restrooms and to the parking lot, but just before we stepped off the curb to enter the parking lot, she suddenly stopped, turned her head looking back to the park and just stared for maybe 10 seconds……….then she looked up at me, then forward to the truck. That was a goodbye stare if I ever saw one. I just told her “we’ll come back soon, Tilda, it’s a beautiful place”. I wonder if she senses something…..it was so obvious like a slap in the face. There was no one around anywhere and she wasn’t looking at anything specific….just that “last look” gaze.

Cookie Picnic made possible by my friends at Longmont Surgery Center.

On another day we made it to Golden Ponds in Longmont. Tilda and I have walked lots of miles at this park years ago. She remembered all of it. She had to stop several times to take a break and eat some cookies she got in the mail from the wonderful ladies at the Longmont Surgery Center at Longmont United Hospital complex. While she ate the cookies, I reminded her that Bonijean had sent them on behalf of all her friends in the Center and she smiled and wagged her tail as if she remembered those names and the hundreds of people in the waiting room in that Surgery Center who gave her a pet and a smile many, many times. We visited the waterfall in the park and Tilda went wading and enjoyed the cold water. Years ago, when coming back from the waterfall we used to turn towards the east and walk around the front lake. On this day, it looked to me as if Tilda was

Mr Golden, a young boy and Tilda!

getting tired so as we approached the turnoff I told Tilda we had better take the shortcut and stay on the concrete path and get back to the truck. I tugged at her leash as we went by the turnoff and she just stopped. I looked back at her and she looked at me as if to say “you’re going the wrong way”. I didn’t say anything and just tugged on the leash again and started to walk forward. She took a few steps and stopped again. This time she turned around and started walking down the old path. I asked her if she really was up to going that long way around back to the truck and her tail wagged insistently. So we went the same old way around that lake we have always gone years before and she was happy and wagging her tail the whole way back to the truck. After all that time away, she remembered the route and wanted to stick with it.

"It just doesn't get much better than this." Loveland Greenway

We made several trips to Loveland to walk the Greenway path along the river from the ball field complex on 287 heading west to Taft going under the Taft bridge and continuing west to the waterfalls on the river there. This is also one of Tilda’s favorite spots as she just stands in the water and gazes at the falls and listens to the sounds.  One day, she stood in this position for over 15 minutes in the ice cold water just looking. Once in a while she will take a drink of the mountain water, then resume looking out at the waterfall again. It is nearly a one mile walk round trip and Tilda did it every time in stride. Some days she would have bandages on her legs and when we got back to the truck we would have to wipe her down, remove the bandages, disinfect the ouchies and put on new bandages again. She didn’t mind at all as it gave her more time in the shade on the cool green grass.

Donna & Tilda in the cool green grass of Laramie

I used to make the trip to Laramie and Cheyenne, Wyoming quite a bit years ago searching for treasurers in flea markets and antique stores. Tilda always enjoyed those trips even though it was always a long ride. It is a beautiful drive from Fort Collins on 287 to Laramie. After some shopping we’d have lunch and then drive over to Cheyenne on I-80 for more shopping. It’s a fun one-day adventure and especially fun in the summertime as it is always cooler in that country. Laramie is around 7100 feet in altitude. Tilda loves cool weather the best so always looks forward to Laramie. After some stops to review her favorite pit stop places between Fort Collins and Laramie, Tilda’s mom and I did some shopping in Laramie while Tilda waited in the air conditioning and took a nap or two. We then decided to go to the nice park downtown and see if Tilda wanted to enjoy Tilda’s Park in Laramie, Wyoming. We arrived at the park and I took her bath towel and went to the park restroom to soak the towel in ice cold water. The temperature outside was a sunny 73 degees at high noon with a slight breeze and very dry air. Tilda came out of the truck, using her carpeted ramp, and lay down

Tilda & Donna at Lincoln Highway rest stop on I-80

immediately under a large oak tree in the gorgeous and cool green grass. She spread out in the grass until she couldn’t stretch any farther. I took the water-soaked towel and covered her with it. Wow…….did she ever love that situation. Donna and I had a cup of coffee and enjoyed watching Tilda enjoying the day and the weather. We were there for some time and finally I told Tilda we had better head on down the road to Cheyenne. I removed the towel and she didn’t get up as she normally does. I tried to coax her into the truck……no dice. She made it clear she wasn’t going anywhere and that if we were so darned anxious and in a big hurry to drive on the interstate, go right ahead as she was staying right were she was enjoying the real things of life. So we waited a few more minutes and then I said “Tilda, would you like to go to McDonalds and get your very own Cheeseburger?” Finally she got up herself and went to her ramp and walked into the truck. Another observation here, before she started up the ramp she again turned around and gazed around the park. Why she did this, I don’t know, but it sure appeared to be the “parting stare” again. I told Tilda “Yes, this is a beautiful place”. She smiled at me and hopped up the ramp and laid down in the truck. We all went to McDonalds for a cheeseburger and Tilda had her very own with a couple french fries from mom.

Tilda wanted a ride on "Bigboy".

At Cheyenne, Tilda visited another favorite spot………the Union Pacific “Bigboy” park where an actual Bigboy #4004 steam engine sets in the park in front of a nice lake that has lots of tall oak trees with several acres of cool green grass. There also are a lot of Canadian and Domestice Geese thriving at this park and it is a lot of fun to watch the people feed them and take the pictures.

Tilda is really missing all her friends and fans. I can also tell she is missing her visits with total strangers. As we walked into CSU Veterinary School this morning for her scheduled appointment, I put her e-collar on so she wouldn’t be tempted to lick the bumps on her legs when not with me. The reception desk is in an open cubicle that has short swinging doors to keep the dogs out of that area while she checks them in. As we approached the lady at the desk, Tilda went charging right through the swinging doors, pulling me along briskly, and went up to the seated lady and

Tilda with her Buds Auntie Jane & Franny.

laid her head across the the lady’s lap, e-collar and all. Of course that captured a heart and was a great maneuver on Tilda’s part as it got her about 4 treats so you can bet that will be a standard routine from this point on.

Tilda wanted me to tell everyone that she really appreciates all the emails, treats, prayers and good thoughts. She loves her friends and misses you all very much.

Until Next Time………

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