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Big Snow, Little Dog

Welcome to My Green Vermont - A Blog by Eulalia Benejam Cobb.
By Eulalia Benejam Cobb

Snow storms are thrilling and beautiful, but they can seriously interfere with the lives of people such as truck drivers, emergency personnel, and those who, like me, are house training a puppy.

I let the dogs out into the back yard this morning, and stood watching at the window. Like many other parts of the country, we were experiencing the first serious storm of the season. The snow was falling thickly. It would sweep furiously past the house from left to right. Then a truckload of it would drop from above, and then more snow would blow from right to left. A big blast would come barreling out of the woods, aiming straight for the house, obliterating the view. The wind would die down for a minute, then start up again, howling.

I stood there for a very long time, but I wasn\’t focusing on the snow. I was watching Bisou try to pee in her first blizzard.

Normally when I let her out, no matter how long it\’s been since her last bathroom event, she first pays a visit to the bird feeder. What is it with dogs and bird feeders? Do they crave some secret nutrient in sunflower seed hulls? I suspect that they are after the tiny bird poops, which must seem to them like those little candy sprinkles you put on cakes.

After vacuuming the ground around the feeder, Bisou goes for a little walk. It starts out as a relaxed trot, then gradually speeds up as she circles more and more urgently until suddenly, as if hit by lightning, she squats, and it\’s done. I breathe a sigh of relief and break out in songs of praise and thanksgiving (it\’s very important not to skip those). We do this, oh, 27 times a day, every day.

This morning, in the blizzard, Bisou went straight to the bird feeder, then took off on her little walk. But the little walk went on and on. Up to her elbows in snow, she trotted right, then left, then back to the bird feeder to make sure she hadn\’t missed a hull. Periodically she would stick her head in the snow, sniffing for bathroom spots of yore. But they had vanished.

The blizzard raged, and I needed to go milk the goats, but Bisou was still running around all over the yard. I knew it would be folly to call her into the house, but how long was this going to take?

Finally she took off into the woods. I could see her little red body against the snow, and there must have been some magic under the trees, because suddenly inspiration struck, and she went into a squat.

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