Saturday, February 25, 2012

Snow day

Yesterday, almost everyone I know bitched and moaned as they watched the city get pounded with 15-20 cm of snow through the office window. All I heard all day long was, "Oh god, I hate shoveling," or "The drive home is going to be so looooong" or "I need winter to be over." I, on the other hand, felt as giddy as a school girl.

You see, it is utterly impossible to hate snow when you know the Beast.

To my dog, there is nothing in the world as miraculous as snow. It's fluffy, it's cold, it feels good under your paws, you can dive into it, you can capture snowflakes with your mouth as they fall, you can roll around in it, and you can eat it. What is not to love?!?

And it's been such an oddly precipitation-free winter, that the Beast just hasn't had a lot of opportunity to do all of the above. Not to mention that this is the winter that I decided to take up snowshoeing, and I have barely broken in my brand new shoes because, well, there's no powdery white stuff. So as the snow kept falling and cars kept skidding down slippery streets and pedestrians kept slipping on ungroomed sidewalks, I kept wishing for Saturday morning to arrive so that the Beast and I could hit the Arboretum for a snow-filled adventure.

The result of after-work shoveling is a 2-feet-high snowbank
The Beast must have been planning for a Saturday morning Arboretum romp as well, because he woke me up at 5:00 a.m. with his restless back-and-forth pacing, forcing me to get out of bed at 5:30 to let him outside. (Someone please tell this dog that it is the WEEKEND!). As soon as I was awake, he sprinted so quickly down the stairs that I thought for sure he was going to tumble down them in a ball of fur and paws. But he made it down in one piece, then practically concussed himself when he got to the back door and skidded along the hardwood and headfirst into the patio doors. When I let him out, he hurdled over the 2-foot-high snowbank at the end of our deck like he was Perdita Felicien herself. Then he leaped through the back yard like a deer through a meadow for a few moments before finally settling into his morning constitutional. On his way back into the house, he couldn't resist stopping to grab a snack of fresh snow from the top of the snowbank.

And so the Beast's snow day began! But, being the mean human companion that I am, I made him wait until I facebooked a little, caught up on the blogs I follow, read some news, and got come caffeine and food into me, before I was finally ready to bundle myself up in winter layers and hit the Arboretum for a couple of hours.  (Consider it payback for waking me up at an ungodly weekend hour, Beasty...)

Hubby stayed home to clean (SCORE!) while the Beast and I hit the streets for the 20 minute walk to the Arboretum. Unlike most Saturday mornings, the park was practically deserted, and we had it all to ourselves. I guess the snow keeps the people and their dogs away. What wimps! (The Beast told me to write that...).

When we got there, I fastened on the snowshoes, let the Beast off of his leash, and off we went! And what better way to chronicle our morning than with pictures (even though I am the world's shittiest photographer).

My snowshoes were happy to be let out of the basement after four snowless weeks!

Playing fetch in the snow - bringing back his favourite toy

Breaking a new trail in the fresh snow. Off he goes!

Leaping through the snow! If only I had a good enough camera to catch a series of these!

Can you spot the Beast?

After running through the trees for 45 minutes, even the Beast needs to lie down and take a breather. And eat some snow...

Yummy snow!
Striking a pose!

The best stuff is at the bottom

Break's over! I'm off again!

Hustling back to me when I give him the command! Good boy!

One last leap through the deep snow before the leash comes back on!

We spent well over an hour in the Arboretum, covering about 4k together. And of course, no adventure with the Beast would be complete without a little drama, this time in the form of about 100 burrs - I wish I were exaggerating, but I really am not - entangling and matting themselves into the Beast's top- and under-coats. (I removed about 20 in the park and then hubby and I spent 45 minutes removing the rest of them when we got home, some of which were in, shall we say, very delicate places. Suffice it to say this was not the highlight of the snow day. Although I must admit that his coat does look stunning because of all that brushing...)

Running through 20 cm of fresh snow is hard work!
And then we came home, where after burr-removal surgery and a breakfast of something a little more substantial than snow,  the Beast settled down onto his bed, and fought to keep his eyes open for three or so minutes before finally surrendering to blissful sleep. (Of course he's tired - he woke up at 5:00 a.m.! And no, I will not let that go!)  So exhausted he clearly was after his Arboretum snow day romp that he did not even focus on the cat who is staying with us this weekend and who he has not left alone for more than 30 seconds since she arrived on Wednesday (blog post to come on this little adventure for sure).

And in this position he stayed, until...

...he heard Hubby open the back patio door to go out and shovel the deck. And so he somehow found the energy to go out and help...

Let me get that for you, Dad!
Look at the concentration!

Pouncing on snow!

Snow shower!

God I love this white stuff!

This dog even makes shoveling fun...