Crunching rime

He sits at the trailhead in advance of the game, quivering, waiting — even after I drop the leash, quivering and waiting some more. His eyes locked on mine.

Teaching him these forms of relationship has been easy. But there is a dog at the other end of the field — off leash — so I don’t really have time to relish his stellar performance.

We play at our end of the field and the other dog and human soon wander off. The ground crunches under foot. Temperatures dropped to the low twenties last night and it is still cold. In search of the ball, Finn shovels his nose through piles of rimed oak leaves and soon wears frost like makeup.

As we’re leaving, another dog heads down Langley Path so we change course and head home through the schoolyard.

I wanted to share a picture of my painted contribution to the parking lot mural — a ripped open bag of gold, spilling its contents to the ground — you know, how I might have chosen a more auspicious image and isn’t it too bad I don’t remember what the boys painted (how old were they then? Six and eight?) — but LO — I am silenced — star struck even — by what is painted above: just look at that Mama Bear and her cub! Two polar bears curled into each other in the shelter of their den, in the sanctuary of care. The image is not the least bit pocked by the applications of salt, not the least bit obscured by the raggedy, late season weeds fringing the wall below. Just there — clear and pure, somehow. A symbol of some importance this week.

14 thoughts on “Crunching rime

  1. Nanette

    Your dog walking time sounds like mine……avoiding other dogs. My girl was badly attacked by another dog and now we’re both nervous…….is Finn too?

    Reply
    1. deemallon Post author

      Finn came to us dog-reactive, which we learned by working with trainers, is different from straight up aggressive (tho it looks the same). We tried to get him comfortable meeting other dogs when with us but it just wasn’t happening. Luckily he goes off with a walker once a week and gets some off-leash time with other dogs then. The reactivity doesn’t show up unless K or I are present.

      Reply
      1. Nanette

        I haven’t heard of dog-reactive, it sounds like you’re doing all you can to make sure he has a comfortable and social life, and working well with his phoibles. I wouldn’t let Mirrhi go into a group of dogs now, her behaviour is too unpredictable. And although she growls a little warning to other dogs and doesn’t attack, there’s a chance the other dog might react to her growl and attack her. We walk twice a day, every day, and most of that she’s off lead and chasing a ball, she gets lots of pats from people in the neighbourhood, and is pretty happy I think. She often sees a dog coming before I do, and she’ll glance up at me then turn and go back the way we came…..no waiting to see what the other might do.

        Reply
      1. Nanette

        She’s still ok with dogs she knew before, but even when they run up to her to greet, I see her flinch and for a second she looks wary and scared, then relaxes as she realises ‘friend’. But is afraid of most dogs now, especially if they run up and get in her face, even in play. I try to keep a balance with letting her greet through the gate, and she can be ok with this, with some dogs, not others, and not risking close contact and her becoming the aggressor. The ‘others’ don’t always look like her attacker either, she responds positively to some big dogs, which is what her attacker was, and then growls at little dogs.

        Reply
  2. Mo Crow

    So strange seeing all the bags of autumn leaves on the side of the road waiting for collection! Here in Sydney we use all the leaves that drop for mulch in our gardens as we have such sandy soil the mulch helps retain moisture, improves the soil consistency and suppresses weeds.

    Reply
  3. Michelle Skater

    Such a well told and illustrated slice of life! Super!!! The mural contribution lovely and Oh those bears and what you said. I’m glad I stopped by. I was just about to log off. fold into bed…still up doing Friday at 2:42 AM Saturday.

    Reply

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