October 21st, 1997

Barking in the Snow

From now on nothing is like it used to be. When I woke Hanna up Very Early this morning I had at once a vague feeling that something strange would happen. But I was wrong. It had already happened during the mysterious nightly hours while I slept as peacefully as ever. And nobody told me!

I mean, winter has come. Some of you may say that firstly: it's autumn and not winter at this time of the year and secondly: winter doesn't come over night. Anyhow, that's only the human point of view and to be quite exact, the point of view of human adults. Children and animals know better: winter comes along with the first snow fall.

So, in the morning everything was covered by this strange, cold substance which humans prefer to call snow. I'm not that interested in what it is called; more important for me is what it is. It always brings along heaps of fascinating odours and I love to stick my nose into the snow and find out who's gone that way before me.

Unfortunately Hanna didn't seem to realise that today was a Special Day: the first day of my eighth winter. Yes, I'm an old dog and that's why my dignity prevents me from playing ridiculously with the snow like puppies do. Still I need about twice the normal time for my morning walk when the first snow falls. Despite annual training Hanna seemed to have forgotten this again - or in any case she tried to drag me after her even more rapidly than usual. Guess who won? I'm such a peaceful creature that I only argue when food is concerned. And I don't eat snow though I've heard some dogs do that, too.

No, winter and snow aren't just pleasant features of the Finnish climate. I have a dog friend from England who says he's absolutely mad about every snow fall. Well, it's easy for Whiskey to say if it only snows every three years... Our winter is looong and dark and cold so around January I'm usually quite fed up with the single idea of snow. It sticks onto my paws which is far from comfortable especially when my paws freeze horribly at the same time.

Now it's time to enjoy the snow though. By the afternoon it had mostly melted away so everything seems to be just like before. But I know it isn't - it might snow in the night...

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