Some choice four-letter words

Fido… Come… Sit
By Yvonne Passmore

At this time of year I have a few: C-O-L-D, S-N-O-W, D-A-R-K, W-I-N-D, W-A-L-K.
The more miserable the weather gets, the happier my dogs become. I love the mildness of the summer. It’s warm, the sun is shining and my dogs are lazy. The older I get, the more I appreciate lazy dogs.
When the seasons turn from mild to wild, so do my dogs. I guess I have only myself to blame. My dogs are physically strong and in good shape. They get exercised in every type of weather. They’re either running and swimming in the rivers and lakes or running and jumping through the snowbanks that are to come. The colder air makes their fitness levels evident.
Most dogs are made for cooler climates while I am not. I don’t really mind the cold and the snow but I do mind the inconvenience of it all. Extra layers of clothing make it more difficult for me to walk as quickly as the dogs love to. The layers of ice on the roads make it almost impossible. I find my daily wardrobe is geared only towards comfortable and easy walking. I wear coats with bulk and lots of pockets for poop bags and tennis balls. I wear boots with the thickest tread that I can. I am far from a glamourous creature in my utilitarian get up while the dogs look lovely with their extra fur to keep them warm.
I have to take baby steps, picking through the ice and snow spots to find safe asphalt to walk on. I’m sure I look lost and confused to anyone spying on me through their frosted windows. My dogs look prancy and surefooted.
They love the cold. They can go forever and try to. In the milder weather, a three mile walk, along with a generous run and a round of fetch would more than satisfy them for the day. They would be exhausted, happy to languish and pant on the floor. Now, with the cooler temperatures, they require an extra walk and an after dinner wrestle on the floor (in front of the TV of course) like a class of five-year-old children on a sugar high.
Baby, it’s cold outside, and they’re loving it.
There are times when I am glad I have dogs that force me to go outside when I wouldn’t otherwise. During these times, I can really appreciate and be awed by the ferocity of a snow squall, the quietness of a fresh snowfall, the beauty of iced over trees in the morning ice mist. These things I wouldn’t see or notice if my dogs didn’t require more exercise in the winter.
There will be times when I’ll thank my dogs for forcing me to appreciate some of the beauty of winter. That thanks will be quiet and under my breath. The complaining that I do – about my dogs forcing me to be outside when I really don’t want to be – will be loud enough for all to hear.

To all of you dog lovers, thank you and Merry Christmas!
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