Saturday, 14 January 2017

Out and About after a Week of Cabin Fever

Finally got  taste of winter weather the last few days. It has been too icy and windy to walk the dogs much this week, especially since it's so dark when I get home from work. The Arctic gale got up to 100 kms the other night and I thought it would peel the stucco right off the house. They've had to do with a quick run in the back yard all week. But today's the weekend and I'm home in the daylight, and even though it's below freezing today, it was still good walking weather. I left Maple home because he's just too sensitive to cold, poor old thing, but Brio and I bundled up and headed out.

I had a book to drop off at the library, so we decided to walk that direction, through the woods. Brio was in heaven, bounding along with his ears blown back. Whenever he sees a distant squirrel, he drops into "stalking" mode, low to the ground, head down, eyes like lasers boring into his prey. As soon as I notice it I say "Leave it" and he immediately returns to his normal trot, head up, a big grin, as if to say "I didn't really mean it." Until he sees another squirrel. Really, what would he do if he ever caught one? It would probably terrify him. But he likes to play Big Game Hunter.

I pretend while I'm walking along too, that I'm out in the Boreal forest far from the city, that there aren't townhouses just at the edge of the woods, that I can't hear cars on the road. That I'm a pioneer out in unsettled territory, just me and my dog, and it's 1870 and there's no such thing as subways and computers and alarm clocks. It's refreshing, the air is bracing, and I'm winded but exhilarated by the time we drop the book off and turn for home. And now the wind is in my face and my hip joints are starting to hurt and Brio starts towing me along like he's the lead dog on the sled team. The salt is probably stinging his paws and I can no longer feel my ears. We get home and shed all our outer layers in the doorway.

And then as my legs and ears start to thaw they start to burn and itch as if I've been rolling in stinging nettle. Brio curls into a contented ball on the couch to lick the salt off his feet. I huddle in a blanket and think about getting a mint tea but it sounds like too much effort. Mighty Game Hunters, home from Safari.

We're such wimps.

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