Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Adventures with dog -- first snow

WHOMP!

It must have made that noise, though I slept through it. But we got so much snow in such a short time, it had to have sounded something like that. I took the dog out at nine-ish last night and there was no snow. We'd been hearing that we would get snow, and so I bothered to remark out loud to the dog, "We're not going to get any snow tonight." She looked unimpressed with my prognosticating abilities, but then she had found some new junk to smell, so I didn't think anything of it.

I took her out at ten-ish, and there was some sleety rain falling. She must've been sleepy when I took her out, because she's religiously opposed to being out in any watery precipitation. But she didn't notice until it was too late, and I was too grateful for that to think any more about the weather.

And the next thing I knew, I looked out the window and there was six inches of snow on the ground. Clementine was still sleepy this morning when I took her out, and so she missed her usual response to snow and just did what she had to do and returned to the warmth of the house. It was only on her second morning trip that she did the Hound-dog Happy Dance of Snow.

Since I haven't had a dog since I was a kid, I don't know whether all dogs love this time of winter or whether it's only the hunting dogs. (Clementine is half coonhound and half Brittany Spaniel, which is like having a dad named Bubba and a mom named Tiffany.) I keep thinking that she'll be thinking den animal coccooning thoughts in these cold, gray November days. Shows what I know. She doesn't want to hibernate -- she wants to chase after ALL the smells. If she ever does track one down -- some trespassing cat or slow-moving squirrel -- it is very, VERY exciting and we have to bark a LOT. But she doesn't really have any ideas other than that, which is what happens I suppose when a dog hasn't been trained to hunt and isn't stimulated by hunger.

I don't know why she goes a little nuts in the snow. She's so short on brains sometimes, I could almost imagine that she starts running because it's cold, without realizing that if she'd run back in the house, she wouldn't be cold anymore. But I think that's just me assuming she's being dense. To judge by appearances, there's just something about the snow everywhere that overawes her senses, or maybe it's just that running in the snow is the greatest of joys. But anyway, this morning she bolted around and around while I laughed. If snow had still been falling, she'd probably still be running, but as it was, I was able to get her back into the house after only five or six laps.

That extra exercise came in handy, I think, because when I took her to the kennel for boarding, she was actually somewhat calm in the car. Hopefully, the run in the snow will continue to warm her heart and calm her spirits while she's boarded for a couple days. Then her pet-sitter comes to take her to her home away from home (two other dogs and two ***cats*** that she gets to play with) and after that life is once again as good as it can be.

How good it would be to be a dog.

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