It is a snow day without snow. I have to say my disappointment was significant, but not as much so as Bella’s. (Our Siberian Husky) The sheer coldness of the air had her heading, once again, for Alaska. I am convinced it is her goal in life to run in the Iditarod. Each year when the temps drop and the smell of snow is in the air, she decides it is time to make a break for it. You would think that I would learn to be better prepared…like say…wearing something other than my husband’s slippers. Or maybe putting on regular clothes, but I am a slow learner, and she is sneaky.
It is cold and it was a day off, therefore I stayed in my pajamas until 2:00. On my feet, Bill’s black and gray plaid slippers, fur lined. Next, my purple and teal striped fuzzy socks. On my legs are my white cuddle duds, sticking out from under my flowered nightgown. On top of that is Bill’s fleece bathrobe with bears and pine trees on it. It looks as if it came straight from Bass Pro shop. I top my ensemble off with my orange winter coat zipped up to my nose. Grabbing the leashes arouses the dogs’ attention, and I quickly snap them on and out we go.
As soon as I opened the door before we even got out of the garage, Bella knew. She began to pull me sliding on the smooth floor toward the door to the outside. Once it was open she stopped momentarily, standing with her nose in the air, as if she was confused that there was no snow on the ground. The flurries caught her eye and she decided to try to catch them. Jumping up and snapping at them, she didn’t even consider me or her little brother as she tangled the leashes to the point my arms were twisted around my body. Suddenly I recognized my plight, and I knew the look in her eye. It said, “Alaska here I come!” I tried to quickly untangle myself, just as she made her break, nearly breaking me in the process. I managed to keep both feet on the ground despite the leashes cutting off the blood supply to my feet. Taking baby steps since my legs were strapped together, I used my arms to attempt to direct her away from the driveway and into the yard. When my feet hit the ice incrusted leaves I braced myself for a fall which, fortunately never came. The noise of the leaves crunching caused Bella to kind of dance. She couldn’t seem to slow herself down enough to do her business; on the other hand Rusty needed an extended time to do his. By this time my arms and legs were free, but now one arm was pulled in one direction, as if from the shoulder socket, while the other was going in the opposite direction. I felt like a tug of war rope….Bella pulling with all her might to drag me behind her as she ran, and Rusty standing still in a squat. Poor Rusty.
In the meantime it is cold enough to freeze the dog pee, and the wind is whipping my bathrobe away from my legs. I am wondering how long does skin have to be exposed before frostbite happens, because my legs have a few inches exposed between my cuddle duds, and my socks. It feels like knives are piercing my skin in that area of my body, but there is no time to dwell on it since Bella is trying to wrap me around a tree so I will release her from her bonds. I hug the tree…one dog on one side and the other on the other. I try to shift a leash to the other hand in order to free myself from the bark scraping my face. The hand off is smooth until Bella, laughing at me, jerks her leash out of my hand. I do a split like a first baseman, in order to step on it before she leaves me in the dust…ummm I mean ice. The mischief in her eyes, as I struggle to get the leash from under my foot back into my hand, makes me more than cautious. I do not lift my foot, until my frozen gloveless hand is firmly grasping the leash. I determine that it is time to go inside whether Bella likes it or not. She seems to understand that I am onto her game, so she finally does her business but has some issues as she tries to push leaves over her frozen yellow puddle with her back legs. Once the deed is done, I carefully pull both dogs back to the house. Bella tries to sit down as we cross the threshold of the door. She is not ready to go inside yet and pulls to let me know it. I drag her anyway, finding that my opposable thumbs once again give me the upper hand grasping the doorframe while I wedge my feet for leverage. Inside the door, Bella finally gives in and trots happily into the house. I, on the other hand, wasn’t as happy as I rushed to the fire to warm my hands and the three inches of skin on my legs that had slowly been turning purple. Hey at least it matched my socks. I win again.