Snow? Bring it on!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The temperature went up to 18 degrees today and I have to tell you, it felt downright balmy out there considering that it was 25 below with the windchill on Friday. It did snow all day but I think that if you're dressed for the elements, it can actually be kind of fun.

Last year, I bought two pairs of boots that I had to return because they leaked. This year, I decided to buy the warmest, sturdiest snow boot I could find. I wore them to my parents house and my father stood in front of me with his hands in his pockets as I took them off.

"Got some new boots there, huh?"

"Yep. They're really warm."

"Hmm. I hate to tell you this but I think you bought men's boots by mistake."

" I didn't buy men's boots, Dad."

"Are you sure? Because they look like men's boots."

"Yes, I'm sure. They're not men's boots. They're just very functional."

"I see. Well, I have to tell you. They sure aren't very attractive."

"I know. Thank you. Function not beauty."

This coming from someone who wouldn't even walk to the end of the driveway to pick up my newspaper and would only wear "pretty" boots. That all changed last year when I got my dog from a shelter.
I absolutely love dogs but I haven't had one in years because I was never home home enough and I frankly didn't want the responsibility. However, my phone number was on speed dial anytime a friend with a dog was going out of town and needed a dogsitter.

My friend Debbie's boyfriend had adopted an adult dog, Rusty, for his two small children and I watched Rusty a few times when they went on trips. He was a sweet dog but very high maintenance. He required constant attention and he had some sort of fear of walking on hardwood floors, which my entire house is, so I had to carry him from room to room or he would just sit at the edge of the rug and cry. Apparently he had some separation anxiety issues, too, because he would be left outside in their fenced yard all day and would run away. It got to the point where Doug decided that Rusty had to go and he took him back to the shelter. When I found out, I went looking for Rusty, knowing he had a lot of problems but hoping I could help this poor kindred soul work through them.

No luck. By the time I got there, he had already been adopted, so I wandered around thinking that it probably just wasn't the right time for me to get a dog and that this was my sign. I was getting ready to leave when I leaned back to take one final look at the last row of cages and saw an ear sticking out and resting on the floor. I walked toward it knowing exactly what kind of dog it would be and I was right. It was a beagle. We had one growing up and I was instantly reminded of him when I saw her lying on the floor of the cage. She slowly sat up and poked her nose through the cage. I rubbed her nose and stood up quickly, telling myself that the only reason I came here was to look for Rusty and that the fact that he wasn't here meant that I shouldn't have a dog.
She sat down and stared up at me as I read the information card on her cage.

Name: Bernadette (Bernie)
Age: Approximately 6 years old
Temperament: Gentle
"Will require someone who knows the beagle breed and is willing to do additional training."

Additional training? I couldn't figure out what additional training she could possibly need at 6 so I went up front to ask for more information. Apparently, they rescued her from an Amish farm where she pumped out puppies and then spent her days tied to a tree. Someone had adopted her from the shelter about a month ago but brought her back saying that she was very destructive, attacked other dogs in the neighborhood and wasn't potty trained. I think the woman who adopted her was insane and brought out the absolute worst that this poor, gentle dog could be. Or she was a big fat liar and just decided she didn't want her anymore. Either way, I knew I couldn't leave without her and I'm so glad that she's mine now. Even if it means wearing unattractive man boots.

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