White snow covered the sloping hills and glittered like crystals under the sun. It wasn’t deep, barely two inches, but it was just enough to bring a little bit of Heaven down on Prospect Park. Children dove down the sides of hills atop metal trays and plastic sleds, laughing first, then screaming as they swished to the foot of the hill and got attacked by barking dogs. Hah. I don’t know why, but those four legged creatures just don’t get the whole sled thing. They freak out and attack sledding kids in hordes. I sipped my coffee, puffed steam in to the air as I enjoyed the entertainment. It felt like a glimpse in to a life before machinery; before computers, the Industrial Revolution..A glimpse at simpler times. One could even forget their precious smartphone existed, since it was so chilly people wouldn’t bother pulling out their phone to text or surf the internet from their palm. What was the point, anyway, when there’s ample entertainment right before your eyes? What’s more fun then watching dozens of dogs race around, biting the snow and jumping over each other? Never before have I ever seen so many dogs so incredibly happy than when they play in the snow. Free, and off-leash. I am not a morning person, but it is suddenly very easy to pull myself out of bed at 7:30am and dive in to the brisk, January cold.
The blue-eyed husky mutt doesn’t yet love me. He likes me well enough to greet me, tail wagging, but soon I am treated with indifference. My hope is that he will one day go crazy for me…but I am still just a speck in his life so far, and he really has no reason to care for someone he sees so rarely. There have been small signs of progress, enough to keep me going. One day when I came to visit, the dog lay wrapped in dumpling form atop his doggy bed in the living room. I entered, our eyes met. He didn’t get up, didn’t twitch an ear….but suddenly his tail started wagging like mad. Maybe ten seconds later, he stopped and no longer cared I was there. Then today, I scratched at the side of his long neck. His skin is thickest here, with long, spiky fur forming a near-impenetrable mane against the elements. His blue eyes narrowed, his nose pointed straight up to the ceiling. The dog leaned in to my hand, his neck twisting and bobbing just so slightly.
“Huh. I’ve never seen him do that before.” His owner said, sounding genuinely surprised. “He must be loving this.”
Later that day, I went on another search for the blue-eyed dog’s “spot” to scratch. While my nails mingled somewhere between his shoulder blades, the dog’s hind foot raised a couple inches off the ground. Not high, not even knee height. It pawed at the air two, three times. Just barely. But just enough that I noticed before that foot went back down, and that familiar indifference settled in to the dog.
I don’t know if it’s related. But it totally could be. My nails haven’t been trimmed for about 2 weeks, and they’re extra long and dense and hard…the best for scratching! I’m going to wait 2 weeks to cut my nails from now on, till this dog consistently cares about me.
My last resort is still: secretly buy doggie treats (lamb lung) and hide them on my person. Then secretly feed them to the dog until he associates my arrival with something amaaazing happening for him.
Side note. I met another 60lb dog in the elevator today, who pinned me to the wall with his glee at meeting me. Why do you love me so much, Stranger Dog, when Blue Eyed Dog is the one whose affection I seek?