My dog Trudeau loves the snow. And by “loves,” what I mean is “goes completely insane at the sight of it and possibly has a seizure.” I’ve often said that he’d be an easy job to track in the snow, because not only are his paws massive, but every few steps you’ll find a bite-mark between his front paw tracks where he’s paused for his own personal version of a snow cone.
I hadn’t realized exactly how much our incredibly mild winter — we’ve gotten almost no snow until this week — had depressed the poor little guy until we had a few storms this week that brought with them a scant few inches of accumulated snow. I took Trudeau out in the early afternoon and snow was just beginning to fall; he didn’t seem to notice. A few hours later I took him to the Jordan River Parkway for a walk — we both needed some exercise before it started snowing again — and it was as if tasty-fluffy-fun-whiteness had just appeared on the ground for his entertainment.
Trudeau isn’t given to the sorts of displays that other dogs might give. He almost never barks, he doesn’t really do much that’s high-energy… but he loves to bound in the snow and he loves to play tug. So I indulged him when he found his joy in the fresh-fallen, almost unmarked snow. He’d leap and twist in mid-air, making a grab for the leash and then dropping it because he’d found a particularly nice drift in which to suddenly flop as if he’s forgotten how to stand. We left mad, looping tracks in the snow (which was already melting away, and hadn’t amounted to much to begin with), and I couldn’t help but think of the next person who came along pulling a Prince Humperdinck (from The Princess Bride, natch) and deducing our epic battle from the tracks we’d left in the snow.
Trudeau seems to be most fond of aerial moves — and with his natural grace and agility it kind of amazes me that he always seems to land on his feet — but my favorite is one I like to call “The Reverse Jackrabbit.” He jumps, lands in a bow with his forelegs on the ground, and his lower jaw thrust straight into the snow like a shovel. Then he bounds up again, half-melted snow flinging from his jowls… it’s not what John Masefield was talking about when he wrote about “the flung spray and the blown spume” but that’s still the phrase that comes to mind. The tracks Trudeau has left behind in the snow make it look as if a giant jackrabbit has sat there for a moment, before hopping away.
It’s nice to see him get excited, at least. One of the things that makes him perfect for me is that he likes to spend a good portion of his day just lying around and sleeping, but it is nice to see him go a little nuts about something other than the prospect of hitting another dog until it pees itself.
He does get a bit excited about walks, though. We had a nice stroll around the Parkway, and I purposely took him down a path that was nothing but mud and goose-related smells, and he had a hell of a good time. Then the neighbor’s dogs threatened him and he enjoyed that too, and then I took him home and we practiced his new tricks for awhile. (He mostly enjoyed that because of the dessicated lamb bits, but his circus-pony rear and his playing-dead are coming along beautifully.) And then he made his favorite derp-face. Again. The end.