It seems so long ago now, but I can remember writing a Post about Ray finding the “first snow” in an arena parking lot.
Sadly we do not have a photo of Ray which depicts his reactions however, below is a photo of how we expect our garden to look before too long and, there is no doubt that he is enjoying himself!
Snow around here comes ahead of Mother Nature’s schedule because we have an ice skating arena a short walk away and on the far side of one of Ray’s parks. That park is often on our walk route so he knows it really well. He knows where the best acorns fall. He knows where the best spots are for pooping, and he knows which way to leave the park depending on where he thinks he is going. He is very familiar with that park however, I am not sure how good a long term memory he has!
The arena has just recently converted to Winter operations which entailed building up a good layer of ice for the hockey games and the recreational skaters. Maintaining the ice involves skimming it regularly with a Zamboni machine, and the resulting “shavings” are taken outside and dumped in a convenient place – the edge of the parking lot. It looks like a pile of snow!
Just recently, we headed off on a routine walk which took Ray through his park and, on this occasion, we took a shortcut across the parking lot. Carol and I both saw the snow pile and, remembering his antics last year, couldn’t resist steering him towards it to see what he would do.
As soon as he realized where we were heading, his leash went very tight as he did his Husky impersonation (Mush! Mush!), and dragged us along behind him! The snow pile was not that high (probably about 4ft) but Ray was clearly not deterred as he climbed to the top. He immediately threw himself over onto his back (on the top of the snow pile) and wriggled around obviously in ecstasy! Of course, being a large dog on a pile of snow produced the inevitable result of him sliding down on his back “toboggan” style. He gave himself a couple of such massages (or toboggan runs) before leaving it and giving us the look that said “Okay! Where are we going now?”
We look at the snow and see it for what it really is. Ice shavings, and not very clean ones at that! People cough and splutter and spit when skating (especially hockey players). People drop and spill things when they are on the ice. The Zamboni machine, in all its well-oiled finery, is leaving traces of “who knows what” in the ice that it scrapes up. There is often dye in the shavings from the various lines and logos in the ice. From the perspective of texture, and not ever having personally rolled in arena “snow”, I can only assume that it is probably quite coarse.
Ray looks at the snow and I suspect that he sees an adventure in pleasure. He is presumably blissfully ignorant about the possible contaminants, or his nose is telling him everything is fine. Of course his Rotti brain could be telling his Shepherd body to go for it anyway. He seems to see these early season snow piles as his personal mini “theme park” where he can just climb to the top and “snowboard” on his back down to the asphalt. Perhaps he really does see it as an opportunity to give himself a back massage! Coarse snow? Perhaps but, from his perspective, probably the coarser the better!