Marty’s photo of the day #4586: As many of you know, Nellie had TPLO surgery on her left-rear leg four weeks ago. She’s doing great, but won’t be fully recovered until sometime in January. Until then, the veterinarian’s instructions are to not let Nellie climb stairs, run, or jump. That means keeping Nellie on a leash until January too.

None of that stops Nellie from collecting sticks on our walks through the forest and begging for me to play a vigorous game of stick keep away. While it breaks my heart to refuse her invitations to play, we have come up with a compromise: Nellie can bring home any stick she finds and put it on the front porch as part of her extensive stick library (this photo shows only a small portion of her stash). Come January, I have promised Nellie that we will check out each stick in her library and play with it.