Out of the battery-powered transistor radio comes the local weather forecast: “Temperatures plunging to well below zero; sustained winds from the north 45 kph, with gusts up to 65; 100% POP of 15-25 mm freezing rain. Localized flooding likely. All school buses cancelled. Caution is advised.”
At that, she snuggles even deeper inside her down comforter. However, a pair of eyes are staring into hers. The smell of doggy breath is stronger than the radio’s voice. A chain jangles against her forehead.
“Want to go walkie? You sure?” A persistent whine and a windshield-wiper wag of his tail is the answer.
In the darkness of the power outage that is in its third day, on go the warm woollen socks, the snow pants, the scarf, the ski jacket, the toque and mitts. Next, the insulated Sorel boots. Mustn’t forget the leash, Frisbee and doo-doo bags.
Out the door they bound. (Actually, out the door he bounds. Reluctantly, she carefully tests the icy steps.)
That is the ritual of every owner of any Fido, Rover, Spot, Buddy, Lassy, Tinkles, Pluto…
To borrow the motto of the U.S. Postal Service, “Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet or rain shall prevent all dog owners from doing their walkies – and making proper use of plastic bags.”
On my Ingleside St. Lawrence Drive, I thoroughly enjoy watching the daily parade of dog walking. Some dogs pull, others lag behind. Some walk slack-leashed beside their fellow walkers. I admire the few who are so well trained that no restraint other than their master’s voice is ever required.
I’ve gotten to know the names of some of those who pass by my stone wall. By that, I mean the dogs’ names, not the owners.
Little old ladies have to beware the over-friendly Newfies and St. Bernards who say hello by putting their massive paws onto the shoulders of those they wish to greet. Crotch-sniffing is yet another doggy faux-pas (paw?). Then there are the ultra-territorial ankle-biters who for some reason strain to defend their owners from any possible threat.
I could go on and on about dogs. My 1998-2010 years with my Keesha taught me much abut the canine world. Some day…, no, I’m still not ready to go into that.