Monday, December 19, 2005

Autumn Takes a Bow

Sola dreams of snow.

Winter has set in, the world around us submerged in a frigid ocean of snow and ice. Typical seasonal transitions do not take place in Vermont. Instead, a week of warm sunny days is erased in a flash, replaced with bitter winds and plummeting temperatures. The sun is suddenly distant, the power of its warming rays weakened.

This does not sit well with me. Having lived in numerous parts of the country (all of them South of Vermont) I know what four equal seasons feel like. Vermonters are shorted, experiencing just three seasons, the longest of the three being winter. Cold, hard, dark winter.

Nigel hates winter. Sola loves it. When the garage door opens and the cold hits us, Nigel & Sola demonstrate diametrically opposing reactions. Nigel looks at me and mutters something about Jack Frost and his mother's chosen occupation, which involves the exchange of money for sexual favors.

Sola springs to life, energized by the cold. Having been born and raised in a cold climate, Sola seems to favor winter above all other seasons. She dances through the snow, twisting, turning, diving in. She jumps over snowbanks, weaves through the trees, a powdery smile on her face. She emerges from the field in front of our house completely dusted in snow, looking much like Marion Barry on payday. She watches Nigel tapdance on the basketball court as I coax him toward the yard.

Waxing reminiscent.

This is not an easy task. Nigel has chosen to hold back a few times, acting like he does not need to use "the facilites", only to surprise us with a warm brownie pile in the house an hour later. I remember this as I push and pull him to the yard, begging him to take care of business. If he does oblige me, an interesting ritual ensues. Nigel stops to drop off his passengers, balancing on three (or sometimes just two) legs, wavering, teeth clacking. He looks pissed, even more so when he loses his balance and plants a foot in the stinkbomb he's just left. When he finishes I grab his leg and try to wipe his foot clean for him. He sighs, nonplussed.

Nigel: I hate cold paws, but I would not warm mine this way were my balance better.

Author: We hurry back to the garage, Sola thrilled, Nigel miffed, another winter bathroom trip survived. Before another layer of snow hides the evidence of our journey I look out over the yard, glad to be warm in the house, chuckling at the lone brown pawprint trail that weaves to the house from the arctic landscape surrounding us.

Sola: You're a real charmer Nigel.
Nigel: Come here and let me pat you on the head.


  1. My two old fart dogs act like they're going to freeze in the cold too. But they ARE old, and sometimes they just forget to poop when they're supposed to.
    My younger dogs have no such excuse. They're just rotten. {sigh}

  2. Anonymous3:35 AM

    I type this, with one very wet elbow which the lab x Olly decided neeeded some attention whilst mummy used the computer.

    It's beaming Summer here in Aussie, and I have much the same issues you do. My rough collie is a sunlover, and sunbakes cheerfully anytime she can, whereas the lab x pup... the heat doesn't stop him from playing outside but he hugs the shade where he can and drinks until he throws up as soon as he gets inside. And then goes to sleep in the barfed up water.


  3. Gosh! That's too funny!
    All 3 of my greys seem ok with the snow - thank goodness!
    Thanks for the post! :)

  4. Tara, our 2,5 years old girl hates winter and wet paws, but when we finally manage to drag her out, she's ok :)

    (Texts are in finnish, but this happened on a cold sunday morning when people wanted to visit a forest and greyhound wanted to stay at home. She loved the woods but hated the process of leaving bed...)

  5. Anonymous1:03 PM

    (She emerges from the field in front of our house completely dusted in snow, looking much like Marion Barry on payday.)

    You are so politically incorrect, its REFRESHING!

  6. Political correctness is a joke. It undermines our constitutional right to free speech.

    I'm just "doing my part."