83. In like a Lion

Dear Tera,

Enough already!  I like winter as much as anybody, and more than most.  There’s nothing I like better than the taste of freshly fallen snow.  But this winter has been extraordinary for the amount of the white stuff dumped on us, and now even I wonder whether it’s gone too far.

O Wind, when winter comes, can spring be far behind?  Not likely.  Not this year.

This is the winter when the snow covers the tops of the park benches.  This is the winter when the fences are buried in snow.  The humanoids build elaborate pyramids alongside their driveways, but the base of the pyramid is no longer sufficient for the angle of repose, and the snow tumbles back down onto the driveway again.

When we cross Riverdale Avenue to get to Windsor Park, I rely upon Alpha to be my eyes, because the banks of snow deposited by the snowploughs are too high to see over.  A dog can walk down the pathway toward the skating rink and remain undetected by dog or humanoid alike, the way the snow piles up on either side like a trench. 

The hockey rink has the shape of an in-ground swimming pool, with the snow piled high on the outside of the boards and stretching on outside the boards in a vast high plains of white.  Surrounding the toddler rink, which has no boards, the snow is piled high in Himalayas for kids to conquer.  Excelsior!

I can no longer climb such mountains.  And truth to tell, Tera, there are times when I now find it difficult to negotiate the ruts left by the snowploughs, let alone the mountains at the edge of the rinks and the parking lots.

I hate to admit this, but my legs aren’t what they used to be.  Was a time I bounded across the snow and leapt over the hockey boards.  If the punder was deep and fluffy, I developed my own kangaroo bound, so I could look out to see the where I was going at the top of my jumps.  I was the master of the snow, but now it herds me.

This was made embarrassingly obvious the other morning while we walked the Pup to school.  I had one of my little attacks again, where I sometimes lose control of my hind legs.  Alpha gives me medicine for this.  The episodes pass.  The vets say it’s part of my getting older. 

But this time, the snow was especially deep, and the blizzard was still blowing, and the streets had not been ploughed.  I found the going got tough, but did the tough get going?  I’m ashamed to say, I just didn’t have the strength to do it.

Alpha picked me up and carried me in his arms.  He can be a bit bossy and abrasive at times, but in moments like this, he whispers reassuringly.  We must have been quite a sight, a humanoid ladened with this mid-sized dog, which he carried like a big armload of firewood, staggering through the snow and the tire ruts.

A very nice humanoid female left off shoveling out her car to ask if she could help.  She brought out a toboggan and for awhile it seemed that they contemplated giving me a ride the rest of the way to the house.  Well, that was enough to focus my energy and strength.  What self-respecting dog would consent to be pulled on a sled?

(One that has just been carried a couple of hundred yards in its alpha’s arms, perhaps?)

No, not for me, thank you very much.  I made it to the house on my own steam, Alpha gave me more medicine, and I was out for my afternoon walk a few hours later as right as rain … uh, snow.

But it does give us pause to reflect that maybe this year, we’ve got too much of a good thing.  The snow is lots of fun.  I wish I could bring back my youth so I could play in it better.

                                                            Where are the snows of yesteryear?