Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Love your inner winter-idiot.

Do not bring your inner winter-idiot here unless
 you've provided it with snowshoes.
According to Yourpurebredpuppy.com: 

"English Pointers, especially youngsters, become restless and bored when confined too much and may resort to destructive chewing and barking. A walk around the block is barely a warm-up for this superb athlete!"                                                                                                                   
Soon after we adopted Abby, we visited our town's athletic fields, where many bring their dogs to run off-leash. Once we trained Abby to return to us with the "Come around" command, that was that. 

End of backstory. 

When I was small, and believed I'd never die, even if other people did, I had an argument with my mother. I told her that if I were on a plane that crashed into a house, I'd probably live because I would want to badly enough. 

She gave me a kind, skeptical look and said, "I don't think that would be possible."

I said, "If I made up my mind not to die, I wouldn't. I can imagine living through that because I would make it happen."

"I don't think...."
"But if I wanted to..."

We went back and forth like that, until Family Affair came on. 

But, don't you love her for not saying, "That makes no sense. You'd die because when planes crash, people die, including the ones who don't want to. What do you want for dinner?"

We were talking about will. Not common sense. Even if they work on the same floor. 

Last month, I wrote about loving your inner idiot - the part of you that gets loose when you're not thinking, but are still operating. It was the third most viewed post of the year, and more than a few people said, "I'm glad it's not just me."

It's not just you and we need to stick together. 

Here's another true thing about inner idiots. They tend to be active when their outer person is faced with something he or she doesn't always deal with. For example, if I'd owned a superb-athlete dog before now, who liked to run in the snow, I'd know that will alone does not make it a good idea to take her to a place where the original terrain is buried under three snowstorms, and has now drifted to make the depth, in some places, anyone's guess.

But will can go a long way when you've been snowed in with an English Pointer for a day and a half. 

"We're doing this," I said to Abby. 

We arrived at the picturesque fields, which were white and majestic and not the least bit life-threatening.  A snowbank fringed the fields which was the height of many Abbys standing on each other's shoulders. She skittered up and over like a superb athlete should.

I got up and over with surprising agility, which impressed my inner winter-idiot who cheered, "Keep going!" 

We headed into snow which was deep, but manageable, and walked alongside a skinny, frozen creek, crowded with stalks. Abby raced up and over mounds of snow, only once venturing too far for me to see her. 

"Come around," I shouted. Back she came.

Rinse, repeat. 

Suddenly she darted across the creek to reach the field that lay on the other side to the right. I followed her carefully, edging downward to the creek which I planned to cross before edging upward to the other side where Abby now romped. The snow below me gave and I stepped with one foot and then the other into a drift that swallowed half of me.  

Have you ever had a moment when you looked at the ocean and been both mystified by its beauty and terrified by its immense power over you? It was like that. 

Straight-legged, I raised my thigh and felt my boot come off. If I could even free myself I was still separated from the field where Abby now ran in wide manic circles, prancing and racing through the snow like she still couldn't believe we'd actually come here today. Because, even Abby had probably looked out the window earlier and thought, Fine. I'll just chew some more books.

First, I said some bad words.

Then I pictured how this would appear to the rescue unit that I might have to summon and how I would defend my thinking which of course, had played no part in any of this.  
I'm doing this, I thought. 

It was an ugly show of crawling, twisting and lunging, and I lost my boots twice, and I was miserable and cold but I freed myself, and eventually, reached a stretch of concealed, but level ground that led to the car. 

I gathered Abby, brought us home and moved stuff out of chewing reach. I got warm and dry and made us an early lunch. I did some writing while Abby snoozed.

Later, on Facebook, I saw a picture of a nice couple and their dog out in the same whiteness I'd come from. The caption described their lovely walk in the snow with their grateful, good dog. They both wore snowshoes.


Here's the thing. Would I do that again? Of course not, I'm not an outer idiot. 

But will I do something again where I employ will over common sense? I know too well, that I will.

It will probably be sometime in the spring. It will have something to do with mud, and most likely I'll need a professional before it's over. 

But, I'm thinking, by then, I'll probably have those snowshoes. 


  1. Ha ha! What a fun read! I do hate it when I do something stupid. And now that we're older, the consequences are more....real? long-lasting? scary? I don't know. Either way, you learned something.

  2. Unfortunately, my inner idiot often wins over outside smart too frequently. Last year I went through something similar to you with our energetic tripawd Burmese Mountain dog. Suck is waste deep snow, I had to carry "Buddy" out because his single front leg couldn't dig himself out. I completely forgot that it had happened until I found myself in the same situation this year.... ugh

  3. Who hasn't lost a boot in deep snow and thought, this isn't good? Yes snowshoes, good idea. Some people are so clever but do they have a good story?

  4. Oh gosh, the things we do for our dogs! :D

    Good story.

  5. I love reading your stories they crack me up! I'm sure that Abby will continue to bring you much inspiration!