Snow Dog

As you may have seen from my Facebook pictures, we have a Husky. When our Golden Retriever, Jessie, died after the fire the boys wanted a different breed, so as a result we got Bella. She is beautiful, not obedient in the least, but gorgeous. She has one blue eye and one brown, and would fit the bill for any photo shoot about sled dogs. She is high strung, and independent minded. And she loves snow.
This morning I was up early, 6:30…late for me…early for everyone else. I decided to take Bella out to do her business. I was in my flannel pjs, with bedroom slippers inside my crocs, no socks. I had my coat and hat because, through the windows, I could see there was snow. I leashed her up and out we went. It had not been my plan to go more than a few steps outside the garage door. What I did not anticipate was her exuberance that the snow was knee deep (dog knees). I don’t think we have had this much snow since we lived here. Immediately, she pulled me out further and further. She was dancing and rolling in it. She stuck her nose and whole face in the drifts. She jumped…I mean really high and slid down a little hill, like she was sledding. She did it over and over. I think her purpose in life was revealed to her at that moment, and she decided she was supposed to be running the Iditarod. My arms were pulled almost out of my sockets. Did you know there is no traction on 8 inches of snow, in crocs? I was dragged across the driveway, snow filling my shoes…both sets. I am yelling for her to stop, which of course she does not do. I am leaning back, practically sitting on my rear in the snow to try to stop her. I look like I am water skiing, only without the water. She goes into a sled dog mode I didn’t know she had. Did you know that Huskies can pull nearly 600 lbs.? I know this because I read about it with some of my students. I also know that I do not weigh that much…thankfully I never have. Anyway, with this knowledge, I realize that I am about to go for a ride through the neighborhood…in my pjs. I have no gloves, so my hands are getting leash-burn as I pull with all my might to stop her. In the split second it takes her to readjust the leash that is now in her mouth, I grab the door frame of the garage as I go sliding by it. One hand is clinging by the fingernails to hang onto the wood…the other is being amputated by the pulling of the leash. My arms are crossed so I am now a contortionist. My shoes are still full of snow, so my feet are icicles, and going completely numb. My legs are sliding out from under me like I am on a piece of smooth glass. My flannel pj pants are caked with snow to the knee, and on the butt. I am trying to remain upright and keep both my hands. I look at the crazed dog, and I swear she is laughing at me. She is desperate to make it to Alaska by evening. I am determined we will not be going to Alaska. So our wills clash in battle. Her strength is superior to mine…but I have opposable thumbs. I turn my body and claw my way inside the door. Once there the battle is nearly won. I brace my arms and legs inside the frame. The only way she can win now is if she pulls the house down. I wait for her to figure it out and give up the fight. She doesn’t. Now it is she who is sitting back…pulling the leash with her teeth for all she is worth. I am tempted to let go and watch her tumble. I actually think of it, and imagine it in my head, but decide it would be crazy to try to chase her down in this snow. She definitely has me in speed. I gradually reel her in one hand over the other, all while still bracing myself in the doorframe. Once in the garage she gives it up. She knows she is beat…except for the fact, that she never went to the bathroom. She has the last laugh.

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