Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Abby & Snow
(This was taken in early 2002.)
The decade that was the 90’s did not see much snow relative to what this area normally saw in the preceding two decades. Raleigh could count on three or four snowfalls a winter season of about 1 to 4 inches per winter storm. As I’ve noted before, it was after a winter storm involving snow and sleet when Father laid down before me, gave up the fight and tried to let me help him. Father was an old guy, so we thought, who had been around and saw a lot. For him to see snow would be a familiar site for him.
However when the first predicted snow storm was announced when Abby was here, we were a little excited to see how she would respond to this strange and odd phenomena. Abby was a dog that loved new things. She bored easily, so keeping her entertained and interested could be a challenge at times. Abby also loved spontaneous unpredictability. Any threat of snow around here is a big deal since an inch of it can shut down the city. The slightest whiff of a storm can send droves of shoppers to grocery stores to stock their supplies of food for a month’s worth of isolation. It’s funny, predictable and of course overkill. People recently relocated from the north will roll their eyes and scoff at the shutdown of a city for such a trivial amount of snow. After a few years, they come to anticipate and like these days off just like the rest of us.
I wished I had remembered Abby’s initial reaction the very first time she saw snow. I do remember how much fun she had romping around on the snow and trying to roughhouse me and Father. Her excitement for snow never abated even into her final years. When Andy joined our family, he loved to frolic in the snow with her and had many chasing games and wrestling matches with her on the snow.
There was one activity in particular that drove Abby nuts. She went haywire anytime I would slide down the hill on something. Not only would she chase me down the hill, but she would bark and growl at me. If she could catch me, which she often did, she would bite the hell out of me. These were not ‘love bites’ either. It hurt a whole bunch. She would target my arms which thankfully were covered with a long sleeve shirt and a jacket which would cushion the sting a little. After a few times down the hill, my arm would have red whelps on them and bruises. She had grown out of her ‘biting stage’ of puppydom, but in this case, she would bite me without hesitation. Even when she was much older, if I were to slide down the hill covered with snow, Abby would bite my arms.
I know she was excited and playful, but in every other instance of when she was riled up, she would not bite me after she passed that ‘biting’ phase in her puppy days. I never could figure out what it was about that activity that would prompt her to bite the shit out of me--repeatedly. She wouldn’t lockdown on my arm and place a death grip on me. She would bite, and bite , and bite. I wished I could have understood why she did it. I’ve always been curious how she viewed my sliding down the hill. Did she think I was running away? Was she jealous and wanted to slide down the hill too? Why did she think the ‘no biting’ rule didn’t apply in that case? This was something about her I could never figure out.