Friday, December 07, 2007

Housebroken

We have snow. In the past, I would focus on it a lot. Like, listening to weather reports, worry about the roads, figure out when to start shoveling and de-icing...major big deal. Now, I see the scene outside and shrug. Which is funny, because now I'm outside more often because of Ginger, our puppy.

We have a puppy who has to be walked. She does not like to do her bathroom business in our yard. She will use the woods behind the shed where she has privacy. Or, sneak away to the neighbors' yards. Or, take us on a walk. Her fastidiousness in this weather can be maddening. She doesn't mind taking her time when the wind chill factor is below zero. She has to explore the entire wooded area while finding the exactly right place, or make us walk in circles around the neighborhood. We used to tie her up in the backyard, but after two minutes, she chewed through the line and was nowhere to be found.

This morning, Ginger was extraordinarily distracted on our walk so I took her to our backyard hoping that she would get desparate and then start compromising her routine. As I waited for her, I noticed how not even the squirrels were out. It was crazily quiet except for the twigs snapping under our feet. Some bird flew overhead that I didn't recognize and I listened to its strange call that I've never heard before.

After that unsuccessful detour, I took her back to the sidewalk and she pulled me down the icey street until we reached the easement three doors down. After she was done, she looked at me as though she was saying "this is the way it is, no poop in my backyard where I like to play". In all, I spent a half hour outside in the chill with her. My nose was numb. She is calling the shots on this issue, but we've had no accidents in the house for a long time.

Meanwhile, walking Ginger has connected me to the silent winter beauty that I only know from my window or when I walk from dwelling to car to another dwelling. I used to enjoy cross country skiing and winter walks. Maybe I will learn to enjoy them again.

Maybe we will fence our yard.

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