Friday, January 23, 2009

winter dogs

To those not from Wisconsin – I am sure you have noticed the string of photos on Ocean: all snowcovered and slippery. Many times this past week I have been thinking back to Alex (a Tobagonian) and his response to my brag about how cold it gets up here (wow, people live like that?).

The thing is, most people who do not live like this (by “like this,” I mean where the cold starts early in November and lasts ‘til early April and then continues to threaten until it’s laid to rest forever in mid-May), think that we, northerners either like it or are used to it.

In fact, so many of us alternate between enduring it and feeling repulsed by it. Oh, there’s the occasional cold but sunny day that feels robust and great, or the snowstorm that makes everything look so pretty the day after – but these are mere moments in a parade of cold and bitterly unpleasant days. And if you think that’s just my take on things – listen to our local news and weather reporters: the purveyors of doom, always looking for the hope of spring, exhausted with the onslaught of cold spells (minutes ago: it’s windy and nasty…).

Ed and I went to Trader Joe’s to restock in cheap wine and ginger snaps. A dog was tied to the rail just outside the entrance. He seemed livid at being left there, even though he had a blanket to sit on (supplied by the store) and a sweater to take the chill off. I felt for him, in spite of his most unpleasant yap and snarl.

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But really, for dogs, it’s not about the weather – it’s about companionship and freedom to romp and food dumped into a dish on a regular basis. Me, I may have companionship and freedom to romp and food dumped into a dish on a regular basis (okay, maybe not the last), and still, I long for that day when it will not feel cold outside.

Maybe I don’t want a dog’s life. Maybe I just want a dog’s attitude.

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