The Critical Mass

The morning walk

It snowed last night, a rare event here this winter. My hearty congratulations to the coal industry, and the inventors of the internal combustion engine, for keeping our streets eerily clear. This latest snowfall wasn’t much, just an inch. Enough for the 80-pound Weimaraner Abilene to pull me like a sled down the sidewalk on our morning walk. A few neighbors ventured out as well, using one hand to hold onto their dogs for dear life, while from the other hand dangled a Wegmans bag filled with warm dog shit.

Snow outlined the tree branches. It was beautiful. I put the dog away and stood at the bus stop. The temperature must have arrived at the perfect ice-to-water temperature at that very moment, because big hunks of snow-ice began dropping from the tree branches. Again, it was beautiful.

The morning walks will end next week. A couple of weeks ago Abbie was running in the park. Man, you should see that dog run. It’s another one of the most-beautiful sights on this planet. And then, like many of my favorite athletes, she hurt her knee. The dog equivalent of her anterior cruciate ligament. She blew out her ACL.

Next week, surgery. She’ll have a titanium plate bolted to her doggie bones to keep the knee stable. Then a long period of rehab. A couple of months. Housebound. Cagebound, in fact. No jumping on the love seat to stare out the front window at squirrels, mailmen, neighbors walking their dogs. Total inactivity.

Abbie’s never shown an interest in TV. How do you keep this kind of overwhelming life force in check? Impossible.