Monday, November 25, 2013

Pluck. Chew. Dash. Roll.


The temperature outside is handily visible through the glass above my sink. Affixed to the big maple, the gage reads a frigid 29 degrees. In this part of the country, at this time of year, degrees mean nothing until you factor in wind chill. 

If I were sailing, I’d use the treetops as a yardstick to measure it, the wind, but the trees are leafless now. I watch the top branches sway anyway and suppose a sweatshirt under my Patagonia down coat should do the trick because it's always twice as windy when whipping through the park. 

She begins to dance as the words “Do you want to w…” leave my lips. My gloved hand reaches for the hook where her leash hangs and this seals the deal.

The park across the street looks like frozen tundra. The prairie grass has been sheared for the season and the playground is uninhabited. The old metal slide is covered with icy crystals.

I zip in tighter as precipitation, something between ice and snow, stings my cheeks. I can feel its weight and chilliness in my hair so I lift my hood.

Circumventing the first pond, we venture further inside, to the desolate space in the park’s center where she can explore unleashed with true Labrador unbounded enthusiasm.

Pluck, chew, dash.
Roll.
Pluck, chew, dash.
Roll.
Pluck, chew, dash.

She appears almost childlike and I brim with envy. It takes me a moment to comprehend what’s enthralling her so.When it finally dawns on me, I can’t get her attention because she’s in heaven. So I zigzag run behind her through a field of icy doggie delicacies (frozen goose poop) trying to catch her collar. I shout, as she licks her lips,

“Addison! Get over here!” “Stop eating that.” “Oh, man! That’s just plain gross!”

Then finally,

“I’ve got TREEEEEATS!”

I promise them out of desperation and disgust, and it's a lie, but she comes to me because I usually have them in my pocket. 



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33-333 words for the third definition of:

PLUCK: (transitive verb)
1: to pull or pick off or out
2 a : to remove something (as hairs) from by or as if by plucking    b : rob, fleece
3: to move, remove, or separate forcibly or abruptly
4 a : to pick, pull, or grasp at    b : to play by sounding the strings with the fingers or a pick 


32 comments:

  1. I got cold reading this :-) Our dogs love winter. Me? Not so much.

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    1. It was freezing. I love winter December through January. Then I'm over it but it chooses to linger. My pup loves the snow and ice. AND frozen goose poop!

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  2. Icy cold yet such a warm and fun story. Labradors are just amazing - but why do they do such crazy things?! Really enjoyed reading this, Gina :)))

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    1. It was all fun and games until I got grossed out and had to chase her. I was smack in the middle of a large, empty park. Would love to have been a bystander watching and listening to me. Thanks so much, Jo-Anne. Your kind comments mean a lot.

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  3. I thought it was just Canadians and farmers who measured the weather by wind chill? Being both of those, I know what you're talking about.

    We have an old Lab, and a young Lab, and I love watching the pup bring sparks of life and playfulness back into the old guy. :)

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    1. Nope! Not just you guys. Chicagoans, and I imagine most in the Great Plains, do as a rule. Because it is a totally different beast!

      It's so fun to watch, isn't it? I don't know if you remember that I had an old one too (a year or so ago) and the two of them were so sweet together. Always by each others side, the old one would chill out the one in the picture and this one would spunk up granny. The pup was devastated and depressed when she left us. Miss her :-(.

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    2. I do remember that, and really do not know what I'm going to do when our old guy reaches the end of his days. Sometimes, when it's cold out, the old dog will want to hang out in the warm shop when I head out to do the chores. The young dog is never the same on those days.

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    3. Oh man! It was one of the very hardest things we have ever done as a family. It was like losing a best friend, the very best kind. I certainly understand the never the sameness thing. Our young dog's personality changed. It's like her childhood was a rug we ripped out from under her. Awful!

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  4. Eew! I would have been grossed out and chasing too. Love this, Gina - great write! I, too, could feel the cold.

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    1. I was yelling at her but she thought I was playing a game. I was not. Thanks, momo! The wind was whipping pretty darn good.

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  5. I can't believe the things that dogs will eat.

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    1. She used to eat gym socks (occasionally still) and underwear. The problem is they/Labs think EVERYTHING smells yummy!

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  6. Perfect, Gina! I just took my dog for a walk by a frozen lake. Yuck is right;)

    Thanks for a fun read, my friend!

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    1. Thanks for the visit and awesome comment!!!!!!! I just love when you stop by. The pond above was frozen so I have some pics of her rolling around on it. My daughter scolded me saying I wasn't being careful and she could have fallen through. I hate being scolded...

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  7. I enjoyed the detailed account of how the cold infiltrates your moments and you describe it so well. It's easy to see that you adapt well to the cold and even relish it. Fun romp with Addison and your readers.

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    1. Thanks, lumdog. I love the winter until I don't. Hard to tell the tipping point but I get there. Lived in the area my whole life! No choice but to adapt if I want to go out. It was fun until she snacked so I'll steer clear of the park's center.

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  8. Yuck! I love this tale, felt the cold , your frustration and disgust.... but what a time she had.....LOL!

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    1. She delighted in her gluttonous buffet! Thanks, Glynis!

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  9. Very elegant, funny, and breathtaking details. Your description of Winter, the park, and a respect towards the little things made this an enjoyable piece to read!

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    1. You are too kind, Turok! Thank you very much. Feels like it today too except for the bright sunshine which fakes you into believing that it's warmer than it is.

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  10. How timely! We got it first snow this morning and my dogs are just now venturing out. Your writing is so b descriptive and beautiful... I could almost feel the cold!

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    1. My dogs have always loved this weather. The smells, the feasts, rolling in the snow...

      Thank you for your kind comment. It warms me from the inside out.

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  11. Seems I got home just in time. My sister lives in Chicago. I was there for Halloween, but the weather was nice. I've lived in CA too long to enjoy the cold. But I do admire a good snowstorm from time to time. I had a Lab for many years and it always grossed me out all the poop she'd find and consume. Yuck indeed. Great details as others have pointed out, and I agree! I need to step outside into the sun to warm up. :)

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    1. Yes, Halloween was wet but warm! I love snow but after months of it or it not melting or it getting really messy, I get tired of it. Each year, I seem to forget her love of frozen poop and I'm grossed out each and every time. Thanks for your comment.

      See, and I had to step inside to get warm ;-)

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  12. I'm shivering and completely impressed with how vivid and inviting this is. Wonderful piece.

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    1. It's cold-ish today as well. I LOVE vivid and inviting things! I appreciate this very much!

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  13. It is in the thirties here right now, and they're predicting a hard freeze tonight when the sun isn't here to warm us. I don't know what we would do with a wind chill!

    Luckily, I don't think that we have any frozen goose poop in the vicinity...

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  14. haha eeeewwww your pup has some peculiar tastes!
    This is a fun read!

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  15. "I've got treats." boy was that low. I'd have done the same.

    Great piece.

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  16. Ugh, dogs. So gross and yet so lovable.

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  17. doggie delicacies = poop-cicles. My dogs have the same disgusting palate, albeit not frozen.

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