Sunday, February 10, 2008

Paper Trained

This morning as I was going down my external stairs on my way out to breakfast, I was watching the lab across the street come outside to do her morning business. There is snow everywhere, some of it quite deep*. The poor dog was trying to find a place where she could squat without sinking up to her waist in cold, white stuff. And she reminded me of a puppy I knew in Fairbanks. She was adopted after the first snow of the fall. At first, of course, she was paper trained. Eventually she was old enough to go outside and it wasn't until spring that anyone realized that she had thought the snow was a big piece of newspaper. It wasn't until there was very little snow left, just a few patches under the birch tree in the back yard, that it became obvious that she thought she had to use the snow. As it melted and she could find less and less space, she became more and more anxious. Finally all of the snow was gone. She crossed her legs valiantly, but eventually she had to squat somewhere. You could see her concern that she was going to get in trouble and her relief when she didn't.

In the fall, when the snow came back, she was so happy. All of her life, I've been told, if there was snow, she would use it.

* The family car in her driveway has snow halfway up the tires and the roof is sporting a 12" blanket of white.

Photo courtesy

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