Thursday, February 18, 2016

When Life Gives You Snow, Build a Snow Maze

In a strange winter, when there is not anywhere as much snow as usual, but it’s been too cold for your Maltese dogs to take long walks, even if you know it’s going to melt in a day or two, make a snow maze, and let your three Maltese loose to chase each other all around.
That’s what I did yesterday. We had a little over a foot of snow behind the house, so after I finished snow blowing the driveway, I took my snow blower to the back and made a maze that ran in a curvy line about a hundred feet south, then turned east and ran about another fifty feet, turned north towards the house, but this time, looped around west in about twenty feet to join the original trail, then, another twenty or so feet down, turned east again and ran the length of the west cut, linked the two, then looped back once more around the whole thing to finish the job.
Once I got the snow blower put away, I built a wall of snow about two feet high at the point where the driveway and the maze met. (I learned from last winter, when the rascally one decided if a maze was fun, then running down the driveway into the road would be even more fun. I chased him. He thought this was even more fun—what great games daddy knows!  Never underestimate how fast a Maltese can run or how high it can jump ! Finally, I made an attempt at a shoestring tackle, but, of course, he evaded my grasp and I landed flat on my belly, convinced I was about to witness the end of one dog, squished by a car. Next thing I knew, HE WAS LICKING MY FACE. I grabbed him and decided I should have fallen down as soon as he got out of the maze.
But this year would be different. The great wall would see to that. I was now ready to get the dogs. We put hoodies on them, and turned them loose. We have three Maltese, one five and half pounds, one six and a half pounds, and one eight and a half pounds. Obviously, these are not big dogs. The snow was about twice their height. They ran like the wind, ears flapping, tails flying like white flags in the wind, overjoyed to be completely free of leashes, collars, any restraints. They barked to announce to the world this was their maze. Of course, the boys especially, pee’d everywhere. We just laughed and laughed at their total expressions of joy. And, of course, the feisty female tried to climb her way over the wall and get onto the driveway where we did not want her to go, but got caught up before she could reach the summit. The same rascally boy that made his getaway last winter tried to leap out of the middle of the maze and wound up floundering like a fish in a foot of powdery snow. And the well behaved one, well, he just ran and ran (and pee'd and pee'd). Finally, they decided they were cold and it was time to go back inside, get wrapped in a cozy blanket and fall asleep on the couch.
This morning, we all went out again. But the dew was off the punkin’. Yes, they ran. Yes, they pee’d. And yes, it was fun. But it was not the sheer joie de vivre of yesterday.  By afternoon, despite the cold temperatures, the sun had begun to melt things. Tomorrow it will be 45 degrees and the maze will be history. And yesterday, ah, yesterday, will be a wonderful memory.

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