Sunday, January 9, 2011
Where's my dog?
This past Friday evening I was sitting in the living room enjoying the warmth of a new furnace and the good company of a friend when there was a knock at the door. Two rosy-cheeked young boys - maybe 12 or 13 years old - snowsuits on, shovels in hands offered to shovel my walk for $5 for each of them. It had been snowing all day and, while I had gotten out earlier to sweep off the first few inches that fell, another several were now on the ground with no sign of the snow stopping. My wonderful neighbors almost always include me on their snow blowing route and as I was trying to come up with an answer for the boys, I saw my neighbor making his way down the sidewalk behind his handy snow removal machine. The boys looked crestfallen and said they were trying to earn money so they could go tubing tomorrow. In spite of money not growing on trees (yet), I quickly realized that it would be helpful to have the walk to my garage and the alley-access driveway cleared off. The smiles on their faces alone were probably worth the 10 bucks. They made quick work of it and even shoveled off my front steps (which the neighbor's snow blower doesn't reach). I paid them, thanked them and woke up Saturday morning to over 2 feet of new snow blanketing my walks and everything else in sight. My sister called me to ask how I felt about my $10 investment from last evening and after thinking again of the smiling faces and the possibility of legendary tubing experiences for those kids, I responded that I felt pretty good about it.
With that feeling, I peeled myself out of bed to let my dog out for her morning toilet. I opened the door to the backyard, saw that the snow was even with the top step and then saw my dog disappear.... It was kind of shocking - one second she was leaning out the back door to see what all this white was about and the next second - POOF - no dog. Then I saw her nose poke out from the snow and then a hearty "ARROOOO!?" as she voiced her question of what the heck was going on.... Her nose would appear in different spots close to the back door and she would let out another howl. It was probably funnier for me than it was for her. I ran to put on some jeans and get my boots on so that I could dig her out before I lost her 'til spring. I had to do a fair bit of digging to clear a space for her and to just make some paths to be able to get out of the house if I needed to. She wandered up and down the walkway between the house and the garage trying to see over the walls of snow on either side. Her normal routine is to exit the house, run to the very back of the lot and then start patrolling the yard and commenting loudly to any other audible dogs in the neighborhood. She looked very caged in and didn't appear to be enjoying it. She did make a courageous dive into one of the walls of snow only to pop out again a moment later drowned in snow and shaking her head in seeming confusion. Shoveling the yard or even part of it to accommodate my dog did leave me wondering a little bit at the wisdom of having a dog, but she seemed to appreciate it. We got back in the house both covered with snow which continued to fall through most of the morning. No dummy, she immediately walked to the heat vent in the living room, curled up in front of it and went to sleep.
Snowbound, I have spent the weekend being ridiculously lazy (with the exception of shoveling), watching movies and being very grateful for a home, good neighbors and a silly dog that makes me laugh a lot.