We got one day of snow in 2013. I took the day off and the dogs and I visited Rob at work for a snowy walk. Later, Rob’s mom asked if Leo likes the snow as much as Isis did. Nope. Wonder why that is, what made Isis love the snow so much she had to put a paw in every inch of it.
In remembrance of that brief moment of snow the Friday before Christmas, I give you the scene from Bark and Lunge where Isis first sees snow:
We woke the next day, delighted to see a layer of white coating our backyard. Our first snow in the new house.
Isis’s initial steps in the snow were tentative. Where did the grass go? With just a few more steps, she decided she liked it and pounced in the snow, mouthing and play-bowing to it.
Rob dressed Isis in the coat he’d bought her during his shopping spree: light brown faux suede with a shearling lining. I looked at the two of them and wondered whether Rob realized that he had picked out a miniature dog version of his own coat.
The snow stayed on the ground all weekend, and the temperature dropped so the roads were icy by Monday morning. The news people kept saying, “If you don’t have to leave the house, don’t.” Had I still worked as a newspaper reporter, I would have been expected not only to leave the house, but to experience the inconvenience and hazards of the bad weather so I could write about them. Lucky for me, I didn’t work for a newspaper anymore.
I sat at the kitchen table in my pajamas and watched the weather reports in a loop on Northwest Cable News. Isis still cried every time I left the room without her, so I never even took a shower. She poked around my feet, then napped on the plush tan bed in her crate while I repeatedly clicked “check mail” on my laptop.
When the sun came out, I slipped my boots and parka over my pajamas and snapped a leash on Isis. She waded beside me through snow as high as her fuzzy black belly. Nosing the terrain, she dusted her muskrat face with white flakes, her oversized pointed ears as long as her muzzle.
We walked around the side of the house to the front yard where Isis sat down in the snow and assessed her surroundings. The neighbors, college kids who rented the house next door, had built an igloo. A blue sky framed our plowed street, nearly devoid of cars, and Rob’s tire tracks had carved trails in the layer of snow covering our long driveway shaded by a canopy of cedar branches. A creek ran along the other side of our house, where icicles formed underneath blackberry brambles. I walked Isis up the stone steps to our front porch, past our little garden with a heavenly bamboo plant bent in half from the weight of the snow.
“This is a magical place where we live,” I told Isis.