Archive for December 16th, 2013

Four inches (10 cm) of snow and two inches (5 cm) of ice, not bad if I’m a penguin. But I’m human walking an 11 month old Bichon who is experiencing winter for the first time and…well…I’d rather be a penguin.

Even in the best weather conditions Yarn Rascal needs to walk the equivalent of half the length of the Appalachian Trail before getting down to business. In snow, ice and cold it’s a walk that seems a whole lot longer. I got ready for our “little” before bedtime trek by putting on all my knitted equipment: socks, cowl, hat, mittens. Then I readied Yarn Rascal by wrestling him into his new winter jacket. I tried and failed to put boots on his flailing little feet. I’d get one on, he’d chew it off before I could finish shoving on the second boot. After struggling to put the same boot on the little octopus three times I gave up.

Out we went for what I hoped was a quick business transaction. While Yarn Rascal twinkle-toed it across the top of the ice-covered snow, I kept falling through the ice cover. My gait resembled Frankenstein’s first steps as the monster comes alive. Yarn Rascal ice danced for 28 freezing minutes without performing one business transaction. Slowly, my frozen brain realized the problem. Yarn Rascal was looking for, but not finding, the scents he needed in order to get a business transaction moving. The wonderland of snow and ice had covered everything. I returned Yarn Rascal to the warm house.

It took some digging, but I hit bare, albeit frozen, ground. I took Yarn Rascal back out and showed it to him. Ten minutes later and still nothing. I put Yarn Rascal back in the house and headed out with the shovel again. I scanned the smooth, white surface trying to recognize the spots Yarn Rascal particularly favored. It was amazing how difficult it was to pinpoint favorite spots with everything covered so thoroughly. I lacked reference points. One of his favorite business centers was five paces to the right of a fallen tree branch with moss growing on it. The branch was memorable because somehow it had landed in the middle of the yard well away from any tree. Where the heck was that branch in all this?

In the daylight the yard looks like a shelling took place. Frozen, bare patches of land pock mark the yard in no apparent order. Yarn Rascal still takes forever to conduct business but at least he has choices. And, I am proud to say, I did find that tree branch after all.

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