Monday, January 31, 2005


The dog and I took a walk yesterday around the townlet, our first long walk in several days. It was slippery in spots, but he rarely slides. He has an expandable leash, and that gives him some freedom to run and move around. My only demand is that we move forward. After years of these walks, he has figured out the direction thing and so we move forward in stops and starts.

As I've written before, there are no sidewalks in the townlet. Instead, for much of the roadway, there are slight drainage ditches, v-shaped indentions alongside the road. When the snow falls, these indentions are full of the stuff. So I must be more alert than usual, listening for the sound of a car or truck coming around the corner. There isn't much room for us to get out of the way, and I must reel in my terrier to get him to stand beside me. The louder the noise, or faster in its coming, the more excited he gets. But I've figured out this and we get out of harm's way in time.

It snowed Saturday, thick, globby snow. There is something mesmerizing about sustained, constant snowfall in daytime. The effect is much different than waking up to a world suddenly covered with snow during the night hours. As odd as snow is, and as temporary as it becomes, it's very act of covering things can have the effect on a person that one has at looking at a burning fire in a fireplace. So I look out the window and watch it fall.

In town it is receding -- there was quite a fog at work this morning -- and as it disappears, I spend the time with Franklin out in the front yard looking at my garden, or where my garden lays, since it is mostly dormant and invisible. There are plants there, I remind myself. This is much easier to imagine as the snow leaves and I can more clearly see the outline of the beds.

This morning, he and I went to the backyard. Sparkles, one of the dogs next door, awaits for him. She doesn't like Franklin, but it is obvious she enjoys running along the fence as they both bark at each other. Because of his bad knee, I cannot let him loose, but they do some mild runs while he is on the leash. He doesn't pivot so much, and afterwards, I don't see any limping. It's been over a month without limping.

We carry him up and down the stairs now, and he has even adjusted to this, standing quietly so we can pick him up. Maybe by summer, the knee will be strong enough to let him run loose in the backyard, chasing the wolfhound twins from the other yard, or running along the fence with Sparkles.

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