My dog still needs to go out, even when it's raining.
Like this morning. It was a steady drizzle that turned into a steady snow shower, though none of the white stuff stuck to the already wet ground. At just under 40 degrees, it was cold to me, but too warm for snow accumulation.
My neighbors see me in my huge, down, poofy (spell check wanted this to read "goofy," and perhaps that word should be added, too) down coat when the temperature is 50 degrees. Or more, I must admit with a slightly embarrassed squish of my face. I just was not made for cold temperatures. I do it, and I try not to complain, but I do not love the cold.
And I definitely do not love the cold rain.
But I do love my yellow lab; my kids named her "Sunny" after my nephew suggested it. "Sunny" so we'd always have some sun in our new, often rainy, Pacific Northwest life. And she is, to put it mildly, a huge source of joy for me.
Like when we walk in the rain. Sunny trudges on, marching instead of prancing, with her head and tail just an inch lower than normal, which I think means she's doing what I'm doing: gritting her teeth and getting through it. I watch her down near the curb... I love how her back darkens as the rain falls on it, but her belly stays light and mostly dry. I love how her pads flick up water as we walk along the waterfront, trying to appreciate the view that today consists only in shades of gray. I love how her ears lose their fluff and gain a crimp, like my hair when it was cool back in the early '90s.
She trots along, still stopping to sniff intently at this bush or that flower, knowing more than me about who came before us this morning.
Eventually we both march out of our displeasure at being out in this type of weather, and Sunny starts to pick up sticks--the bigger, the better. Or sometimes in a different sort of challenge she'll try to carry three or four in her mouth at the same time. She's a good fort-building partner, this one, if you can get her to give up the sticks.
And I march out of my dislike for this sort of weather and find some peace within it. Knowing that our dry, warm house is just up ahead, just ten minutes away, sure does help.