Confessions of a Lazy Dog Owner

It snowed last night, and I’m more than a little peeved about it.

I’m not a winter person. Sure, I can appreciate the beauty of new snow – as long as I’m viewing it through my living room window as I drink hot chocolate with my feet wrapped in fuzzy socks and a pile of yarn to crochet on my lap. Beyond that, I have difficulty thinking of winter in a positive light. The cloudy skies, the loss of sunlight, the unrelenting cold…if you ask me, it all adds up to a big pile of frozen ick. I guess you can take the girl out of Arizona, but it’s a different thing to take Arizona out of the girl.

Today’s snowfall is even harder to bear, because I’ve been spoiled these last few weeks. The weather has been gloriously mild and sunny all throughout the month of March.  Just to clarify, I’m not talking about a tropical experience. But temps in the 50s, 60s – and, as a special treat on Easter Sunday, into the 70s! – are most definitely not the norm in Northwestern Pennsylvania for this time of year. When I awoke to a layer of white covering the lawn this morning, all I could think was “Ugh, not this again.” Or something like that.



The only one more disappointed than I about this turn of events would be my dog Gertrude.

I want to be – I really do – the type of pet owner who takes their canine companion on long and rambling walks, day in day out, no matter the circumstance, but, as we’ve already established, I’m not much for inclement weather. Once the temp slips below 40 degrees F, you can put a fork in me because I’M DONE. And who suffers? My innocent Gertie dog, that’s who.

Yes, poor Gertrude spends the winter holed up in the house with me. It’s not all bad. She has a fluffy bed, her own blanket, an unending supply of chewy bones, and I give her a good romp every day by having her chase the elusive red dot around the house. (I bought that toy for the cat, but turns out it’s the dog that really flips for it.) It’s all well and warm and good, but obviously nothing like what a mutt really wants: a good, long walk around town with an endless supply of interesting things to sniff and pee on.

It’s early, but already she’s staring at me with those huge, baleful eyes, silently begging me for a stroll up and down our neighborhood streets, and reminding me of our recent forays into the larger world. All throughout the month of March we walked out together, the spring wind ruffling my hair and sending her floppy ears flying. The sun warmed our shoulders while squirrels and chipmunks tunneled through the underbrush just off our path. Every step I took, every pitter-pat of Gertie’s paws, seemed to be the next step on a new adventure.

Yes, she reminded me of all that with her eyes. She’s a remarkable dog.

I could feel my heart melting. She’s such a good girl, and I hated to let her down, especially with the memories of long and happy walks so fresh in her little dog sized brain. Maybe it’s not as bad as it looks, I thought, as I opened the back door to test the air.

A rush of cold air smacked me in the face. I shut the door with a slam, and ran to find a pair of fuzzy socks. Gertie’s shoulders slumped, and she sat down with a sigh.

Maybe tomorrow, girl, I murmured as I rubbed her ears.

But don’t bet on it.

Happier (read: warmer) days stepping out with Gertie.
Happier (read: warmer) days stepping out with Gertie.