Saturday, November 28, 2009


Most of our snow has melted except for that which sits on the north side of the buildings, or even in tiny little mounds against the trunks of the trees or at the base of the fence posts. And what's left has ceased to be snow but has turned to tight packs of unrelenting gravel coated and leaf-encrusted balls of blue ice.

Several weeks ago during the last big snow I donned my boots and carved a trail that wound from my apartment through The Run on the north side of the buildings down to The Glen where Duncan likes to run wild. The trail was quite popular among the dog folk here, but now, after several weeks of being trod upon, it is no longer and easy-going thoroughfare and is little more than an unforgiving ice sluice, each turn a dead-man's curve. Duncan and I walk it every morning and again every afternoon. It's where he chases the squirrels and sometimes if the time is right, we find Brady out on his patio enjoying the sunset over the golf course. But it's becoming clear that perhaps we need to find a new place to walk until the ice breaks and we can get ourselves on solid ground again.

This morning, after tossing and turning all night, I took Roo outside for his first walk of the day. Even though it was incredibly warm and the sun was high and big in the sky, the path was as treacherous as ever. Duncan spotted a squirrel and darted after it. I lagged behind, taking my time to be sure of my footing, but kept my eye on him as bounded ahead. He's normally quite graceful, sometimes elegant even in the way he moves, but this morning something happened that caught us both by surprise: he slipped on the ice, went down on his belly and slid halfway down the hill, spinning a lazy half circle as he went. He didn't fight it but merely watched the world pass around him. When he slid off the ice and into the grass he sat still for a moment, dazed. I hurried to his side to check on him, afraid he'd hurt himself. As soon as I rushed to him, though, he jumped up, darted back the way we'd come, spun sharply, charged at me and threw himself onto his belly to slide again. Despite my fever and chills all I could do was sit on my heels and watch Dunc run back and forth and careen into me, a wide grin spread across his face. Over and over he did it, his enthusiasm growing each time.

If I'd felt better I would've joined him. But seeing as how slowly that ice is breaking I think I'll have ample opportunity once I feel better.

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