By Joy Winkie Viola, Town Crier Columnist
This winter I am struggling under the burden of 12 feet of snow. Oh, I know, the meteorologists may dispute that we’ve had quite that much white stuff fall on us, but there are more ways than one to measure snow impact. And I am dealing with 12 feet – four of which belong to two humans who track in and out with wet boots that leave muddy grid marks on the floor – and eight of which are attached to two golden retrievers. The latter eight are multi-capacity snow machines that regularly manufacture snow balls and ice balls, between toes and pads, that fall and melt wherever they land.
Last spring, I redecorated our family room bathroom and was terribly proud of my dainty yellow and white creation complete with gingham-checked curtains, a plush yellow rug, and delicate yellow finger towels on the towel rack. Today it is the deicer room! The rug has been taken up, the finger towels have been replaced by a roll of paper towels and I use the top of the toilet seat as my command post for the deicing of dog paws. Old bath towels line the floor and the sink has become a depository for dirty snow and ice pellets. The nearby boot rack seems always to be overflowing and the floor tiles seem to be perpetually wet. Like children, it seems that the dogs no sooner get in and get dried off than they inform me of some compelling reason to go back out.
Electra us a tomboy at times, but physically she is a delicate little English-type golden who somehow manages to play in the snow more daintily. But our big, red, eight-year-old male, Toby, has four feet the size of bear paws. And the ice balls between his pads come only in the large, extra-large and jumbo egg size.
As he finds this a hindrance to his mobility, I decided to be the good “mother” and make him boots in the manner my mother made me mittens – with long yarn attachments to prevent their getting lost.
On the advice of a pet supply store owner, I bought a pair of children’s slipper socks – bright red with white rubberized soles – braided long stands of red yarn, sewed the yarn to the slippers, attached Velcro snaps, and then tied all the yarn tags to Toby’s collar. Trussed up like a turkey and sporting his four red and white “booties”, I proudly sent Toby out to play. He gave me a look that clearly said “Mother, you don’t really expect me to let my friends see me like this?” But I shoved him out the door anyway.
It wasn’t long before he had three dripping red feet and Electra was pulling him across the driveway by the end of the fourth flopping red sock. Being the boy that he is, he buried himself in the snow, rolled over on his back, and came up running with four floppy red slipper socks flying in four directions on wings of carefully braided yarn.
My husband trooped back into the house saying ‘I told you so.” I followed in my snow-encrusted Wellingtons and two happy dogs charged in behind me. And there I was, once again, confronted with 12 feet of snow. Will this winter never end?