The Windswept Prairie

Our dog Ellie stands in the dog park on a windy and snowy day

When it became clear we were going to get a little bit of snow a week and a half ago, I took the day off work so I could take Ellie out to enjoy it. Normally on weekdays my wife walks her in the morning and I walk her in the evenings, but since I was home I took her on a long walk in the morning and then, when it started snowing, for another walk in the afternoon. I was hoping for large lazy flakes but instead we got a driving wind and biting snow. When we got to Irving Park, the wind had swept the sports fields mostly clear of snow, so I was relieved when we got up to the dog park that not all the snow had blown away.

I didn’t try for many pictures as the wind was blowing the snow almost horizontally and Ellie squinted to keep the small pellets from hitting her eyes. We continued on through the neighborhood where the trees and houses provided relief from the wind and she was delighted, giving me another long walk of an hour and a half after a similar walk in the morning (those are the longest she’s gone in her elderly years). She doesn’t normally do two long walks a day and was a little stiff-legged afterwards so in the evening I took her on a very short one just to make sure she could go to the bathroom if she needed to, besides which the ice was already starting to form, immediately eroding any desire on her part to walk further.

When we got back from the afternoon walk, I toweled off the melting snow and we climbed up into my love seat. She put her head in my lap as she sometimes does, hoping to extend our time together as much as possible before sleep separated us. Her fur was glistening from the melted snow and I wished I could get stuck in that moment for a little while, my sweet pup saying thank you for our day together, hoping to make it last.

She fell asleep almost immediately though, and soon all three cats joined her both in snuggling and in sleeping on me, and all was bliss except I found myself wishing I had thought to make some hot chocolate before the pets climbed all over me.

Our dog Ellie is about to fall asleep with her head in my lap

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