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Winter Walks

The best thing about the weekend for me is being able to go on a leisurely morning walk with Rob and Meadow. Our puppy is a labrador, and doesn’t seem at all phased by cold — even when it’s -35. That being said, if the mercury drops that low we either don’t walk her, or only take her out for 15-20 minutes. She always looks so sad when we turn for home after those shortened romps!

But Saturday morning it was a balmy -12 and the snowstorm hadn’t yet started. At 8am we headed out for our usual walking place. On either side of the train tracks there is an unofficial off-leash area about 2km long. The dogs get to run and stretch their legs, wrestle and play. We’ve gotten to know a lot of our neighbours here, as we walk along and chat, or stand and watch the dogs enjoying themselves and burning off energy. Meadow was practically famous as a puppy due to her striking eyes and great behaviour. Now that she’s almost 11 months old people don’t squeal when they see her any more, but I can proudly say that she’s still well-liked by almost everyone (with the exception of one small poodle and his owner; there’s always going to be someone who doesn’t like you, right?)

Walking before 9am on a weekend often means no one for Meadow to play with, and that was the case for most of this walk. She still loves to be outside, rolling around in the snow, munching on tree branches (which breaks my heart a little, but, well, dogs and their sticks….), chasing her ball, and wrestling with Rob. Right at the end of the walk, though, we bumped into Dexter, a shaggy, plodding dog who always surprises me by running around with the best of them once company calls, and Winnie and Cooper, two black English labs. Winnie is just a few months older than Meadow, and they love to play together. Do we know the names of the owners? Nope. That’s just the way it is in dog walking land, I have discovered. It’s very much the same as public transportation land: I know all about my bus-stop neighbours’ renovations, retirement plans, and children, but I have no idea what their names are!

The poor pup never wants to come home, but once she does she’s usually asleep within five minutes!

Hope everyone enjoyed the snow this weekend. It may be the coldest winter in 20 years, but with fresh snow I always find that things perk up.

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Ottawa, Ontario