Sunday, February 17, 2008

With puppy-like wonder

What is going on with our weather this winter? The forecast for today called for rain and mid-30° temperatures until noon, switching over to snow and falling temps this afternoon and beyond. We have the potential to get another six inches to add to our snow collection by tomorrow morning.

You might be interested in a little trivia. In a typical winter season, Milwaukee sees around 35 inches of snow. Last winter we had it easy, with a meager 26 inches. As of this moment, pre-afternoon snowfall, we are at 76 inches this season. The record, set in the late 1800s, is 109 inches. If we get our predicted six inches of snow today, we will be in fifth place for the all-time snowiest winter season for our area.

So there you go. It's been pretty non-stop.

Just as they predicted, the beagles and I were walking in pouring rain this morning. The 34° temperature actually felt rather warm considering what's been typical lately. We were still surrounded by snow banks on the lawns but the road was in a condition I can't say I've ever seen before. There were intersections in our neighborhood that were covered in a good six inches of standing water. There were portions of the road (mainly the middle, where we concentrated our walk) that were clear, just wet. And there were big sections of road that were best described as a giant flat icecube. You couldn't always tell where the icecube sections were by sight, so it was a soggy, slow-going walk.

Still, despite that, it was amazingly pleasant being in the elements because 34° felt warm. Go figure!

As we rounded the corner that would take us back home, we approached the circular manhole cover that Diesel checks out fairly regularly. There are three holes in it about an inch in diameter that he like to press his nose into and breathe and snort deeply (this is one of those moments where I pause, imagining what he might be experiencing).

This morning Diesel passed the cover over completely but Marvin found it intriguing. Rainwater and snowmelt were rushing over it and the three little holes turned into mini-vortexes. Marvin tried to press his nose to each hole, but just as he got close he jumped back as the wet whirlpools deterred his attempt. Over and over he tried and over and over he pulled back, tipping his head and perking his ears in wonder. The vortexes created water bubbles and those were fascinating too. He went to sniff a bubble and on contact it would pop puzzling him all the more. His brow furrowed, he gently pawed the whirling vortexes, and all his attention was forward, focused on this fascinating phenomenon.

I could have watched him all day, just as he could have likely stayed there all day in his fascination. But I convinced him to join me and we finished our walk, the beagles and I. Once home, a towel-down and the typical after-bath zoomies ensued.


Fast forward a couple hours.

I pulled a chair up to the kitchen counter to search the dark reaches of the cabinet's top shelf for baking soda and vanilla to complete my list of ingredients for banana bread. As I stood on the edge of the chair intent on my search, I felt a presence on the chair with me. There appeared Marvin, in a perfect sit right behind me. Same perky ears, the same curious expression I witnessed outside. Except this time he was wondering what it was I might be doing.

I love this dog. His curiousity might require more understanding on our part or make him more of a challenge occassionally, but it's so a part of him. He fascinates me as much as the world fascinates him.

Dear Marvin, I encourage you to forever live your life with a sense of puppy-like wonder. And you can teach me how to do the same.


Blogger erin said...

Isn't this weather terrible? My girl took me outside 3 times this morning and told me to potty. I just looked at her like "You've got to be kidding, you want me to do what in all this slush?" and then I ran back to the door to go in. I'd rather just hold it. I really hate the rain. I don't know how you managed to take a walk in it!
Later on, after I finally did my business, then my girl took me to work so I could run up and down the hallways.
Try to stay dry, pal.

February 17, 2008 at 1:38 PM  
Blogger Xsara ... said...

I agree, this weather is awful!

February 17, 2008 at 2:31 PM  
Blogger Amber-Mae said...

I think I wouldn't mind being out there the whole day, no seriously. I LOVE cold & since I've never experienced snow before, I think I will enjoy it. But I hate hot weather!

Love licks,
Solid Gold Dancer

February 18, 2008 at 9:13 AM  
Blogger Truman Tales said...

Your last sentence actually brought a little tear to my eyes. It really is amazing how dogs live their lives in wonder, examining things we take for granted. If only humans could see the world through a dog's eyes!

Hope your weather warms up soon. That is A LOT of snow you've been getting.

February 18, 2008 at 3:14 PM  
Blogger Eddie N Peaches said...

We're stuck in deep snow, too. Not as much as you, but plenty! Bella bounds around in it like its a playground. The rest of the family longs for summer!
Whoofs & Baroos,
Eddie, Peaches & Bella

February 18, 2008 at 9:50 PM  
Blogger JAZZ AND DIXIE said...

It sounds like the weather world wide is getting a bit crazy! Do Marvin and Diesel like the slushy snow?
Jazz and Dixie

February 20, 2008 at 4:58 AM  
Blogger cookie said...

Never a trueer word has been spoken. We all need to experience a little puppy like wonder.

Cookie and crew

February 24, 2008 at 7:05 AM  

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