We’ve had a few false starts this year, going way back to September, but this time the onset of winter feels more convincing. The signs are there … the ground’s gotten harder, the wind has a serious bite, the horses look like leggy bears, and Sid has been moved to the parking spot in front of the house.
In March, when we hauled Sid out to the Cypress Hills for a ski getaway, he was frozen to the ground and the truck just spun all four wheels on the ice. The whole rig—truck and trailer—had to be pulled with the tractor. Kind of funny, yes, but Nollind was not impressed. He doesn’t like doing things that have the potential to break something. Luckily, all went well on that occasion.
So, this past week, in preparation for a journey south at some point, Nollind moved Sid from his regular, somewhat low parking spot in the grass, to the asphalt near the house. The trailer was stuck already, but not so seriously that the Dodge couldn’t pull him free.
I can’t say I don’t like winter because I love to roll in the snow and I enjoy staying cool and having a little snow to eat on a long walk. But, boy, once you’ve spent a winter in the deserts of the southwest, it’s hard to appreciate Canadian winter from start to finish, partly because those two things are so far apart. As I mentioned, we had our first little blast of winter in September and we could easily have snow and cold into April, even early May.
Winter in Canada is a marathon. There are a few areas of our country where winter is shorter and milder but, generally speaking, winter here is serious business. Lucky for me, I was adopted by people that believe dogs are part of the family and should therefore live with the family, not be left outdoors all the time. The down side is that I get pretty soft as a house dog and, unless I keep moving on a cold day, I get serious shivers and my feet don’t like to stay on the frozen ground.
It was about -13°C (9°F) today with a wind-chill taking it down to -23°C (-9°F). T tried to put a jacket on me but, when I insisted on scraping myself through the caragana and lilac shrubs, she took it off before I destroyed the nylon outer shell. It worked! I’d rather be cold than have to wear clothes … although I do make an exception when it’s hot tub time. I can lie on the deck much more comfortably in a jacket.
Today was only the first of many days of cold paws, shivering, and the resulting jackets and, God help me, boots (I’d rather lose my toes to frostbite than wear boots). But Sid parked in front of the house gives me hope, hope that winter will be cut short this year by journeying a few days to the south. Sunshine, sand, sunsets, and Sid. The stuff of dreams.