Peace, quiet, and normalcy that is all I ask, but those simple desires elude me in a world that is increasingly chaotic.
We had gone weeks without a proper walk. Then, on a stunningly beautiful Wednesday, we got a nice walk. I was looking forward to many more.
Then the skies grew dark, the air chilled, by morning a hard, cold, rain fell, which turned to snow. Midway through the storm, Daddy trekked out to shovel it, but he was overmatched by the weight of the snow and length of the driveway. Luckily, our neighbor across the street owns a plow. Daddy offered to pay the neighbor to plow the driveway, but the man insisted on doing it for free. A rare good break, and a tremendous act of friendship.
On Sunday, when Daddy was working, it snowed some more. It took him twice as long to get home. This was very worrisome. He shoveled the wet snow three more times. This was worrisome as well.
Every inch of green was buried under more than a foot of snow. The driveways and walkways were frozen. There was nary a place to poop or pee. The wind howled and nipped at our faces. We tried to find a place to quickly pee that wouldn’t immediately freeze trapping us on the ground. Walking was impossible.
On a Monday night, Daddy started coughing. It began slowly, but after a couple of days, he was whoomping and woofing, wheezing and wobbling, gagging and hacking. And spraying. His coughs twisted his body into strange positions, shook the bed, or chair, where he sat, and was thundering.
This went on for days. It was very disheartening. I couldn’t go outside because of the snow and ice; I couldn’t relax inside because of the hacking and coughing. My sleep kept getting interrupted by Daddy’s rushing out of bed to relieve his congestion.
By the weekend the snow, and the congestion were melting. When River and I went out, we found expanding green space to do our business. We no longer stood trembling on icy paws.
On Monday the temperature warmed into the 50’s. Daddy put us on our leashes, and we walked for the first time in two weeks. There were still snowbanks, and intermittent hacking coughs, but the sun was shining brighter, and I could see spring slowly rising in the East.
And it smelled like hope.