Whilst risk-averse transport companies and schools have been closing and the fair-weather cyclists are off the road – or rather pavements (Hooray!!!) – London suburbs have been blissfully peaceful. Sadly, so have the parks. It seems that most dogs are only walked in fine weather. In the 167 acre park that I travel through on my way to work, I saw only three dogs this morning. They made up for the lack of company by racing round the old golf course, bumbling in and out of snow-filled bunkers and burying their noses in drifts.
My dog’s prey instincts have gone into overdrive as he is convinced that every yard of snow is hiding tasty rodents. He has even condescended to make a rare foray into playing with a ball by way of sublimation. Luckily, I trained him to play with an orange rubber ball – handy for snow. Two years of my life weren’t wasted after all. Yes, really, it took two years, and when I say “a ball”, I mean “a ball”. I foolishly put the ball into the pocket of a jacket that I don’t wear very often then, assuming that I had lost it, bought a replacement. Well, I thought that it was: he didn’t. I tried everything – a coating of dog toothpaste, getting as much of my scent on it as possible – nothing worked. He would run up to it and then walk away in disgust when he realised that it was not the original.
Luckily the exact weather for my paddock jacket enabled me to re-discover the contents of the pocket (ball, baler twine and poo bags of course!) and we were in business again.
The only fly in the ointment is trying to avoid the de-icing salt on the pavements that burns paws. Oh, and the fact that everyone that we pass seems to think it original to comment that my dog must be enjoying the weather. Funnily enough they never say that in the summer when it hits the upper 20s and above – just like Siberia.