My annual physical confirmed what I already knew: The doctor confirmed my weight held steady at 21 pounds (the most important thing!), my teeth looked great, and none of my lumps were dangerous. But Dr. Kimmel, my personal physician, also detected for the first time a slight murmur in my heartbeat, which she said was not a concern right now but a possible red flag for the future. She recommended further testing with canine cardiology experts, the nearest one in Tacoma. Unfortunately, the earliest appointment I could get is in October. There must be a lot of these canine cardiology concerns going around.
In the meantime, nothing much is going to change in my behavior or my life before the exam, unless I start to slow down noticeably or start coughing during or after vigorous exercise. Whining doesn’t seem to count, or I’d have been shut down long ago.
With the weather warming up a bit, one Saturday we drove to the foothills and took an early-spring hike on the new Oxbow Loop Trail trail along the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River. While this is only 40 miles from Seattle, it was far enough into the wilderness that there was no cell phone service, which is wilderness enough for us.
River walks are my favorite. While any puddle large enough to generate a ripple scares the bejesus out of me, rivers are my friends, no matter how fast the current may be roaring by. Excavating mud and moving stones along a river bed is one of my favorite sports.
On this trip, I investigated the Middle Fork closely in several spots until the trail veered away from the riverbed and into the moss-covered forest surrounding Oxbow Lake, which was once part of the river.. Plenty of good smells out there in early spring, but it was also a lot of up-and-down walking, so I was pooped by the time we got back to the parking lot. Heather kept me moving along at a good clip.
Luckily, there was a bench nearby where I was able to relax and unwind a bit before the drive back home. Right after receiving my “look forward to getting in the car” treat from Mike, I snuggled up in my bed in the back seat. I slept all the way back to Magnolia with nary a cough or whine.