Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Bisou in Winter


It was 8F the other morning, so before taking my little red Cavalier Bisou out for a walk I dressed her for the weather. By the time I had zipped her into her coat and stuffed her limp feet into her booties and fastened the Velcro straps around her ankles and loosened them so she wouldn’t get gangrene and then tightened them again so they’d stay on, twenty minutes had elapsed.

Once we got outside, she felt so encumbered by all that gear that she just wanted to go back indoors.

This is why on days when it is too cold/snowy/icy/rainy I exercise Bisou indoors. It is one of the  joys of having a small dog: you can give her a real workout even in a space as small as our cottage. After fifteen minutes of running and jumping after her ball, Bisou considers herself well entertained.

I get a little workout too, doing forward bends to pick up the ball and perfecting my throws with both right and left arms, avoiding hitting the glass-fronted china cabinet and my spouse’s head. And the cat Telemann, who if Bisou and I went for a walk would be left staring forlornly out the window, also gets a workout during these sessions.

Sometimes he runs after the ball along with Bisou. Or he perches on the back of the sofa and bats at the ball as it flies past him. But what he likes best is to hide behind one of the side doors. Then, as Bisou runs past him, he leaps out like Nureyev and executes a grand jeté over her back.


When we’re done, Bisou flings herself panting on the sofa, where I join her with my book. Soon we hear a thunderous purr and Telemann is upon us, literally, kissing and nosing and kneading both of us until he finally dozes off.

These are dark days, in more ways than one, but the weight of two contented animals on my lap grounds me and keeps me from obsessing fruitlessly about the state of the planet. 2017 has not been an encouraging year, and its waning moments are as soul bruising as its beginning.

How to get through this bleak midwinter?  Let's try to be kind and generous, and then let us find comfort in the good things at hand: the chickadee at the suet, the geranium on the sill, and the certain knowledge that tomorrow the earth, bless her, will once again tilt her face toward the sun.


Happy solstice, everyone!

2 comments :

  1. Today I miss my Daddy - it's his birthday. One of the perils of getting old is the natural progression of the lives of our older friends and relatives.

    But it is also the beginning, every year, of the days getting longer, and that's what I look forward to as the weather is getting colder.

    I had hoped to be out of NJ by now - and we're not even well started. Spouse is being amazingly slow - and now he has scheduled an eye operation for Dec. 27. But that will remove a vision problem he didn't want to deal with while looking at CCRCs, so it is a step forward.

    Our youngest comes home to spend the holiday with us, today! Which means it will be hard to write for a week, but I think all of us need that after this pretty miserable year.

    The only good thing is that there has been a lot of CFS advocacy this year - maybe, even in these days of diminishing medical research funds, we might have some light at the end of our particular tunnel.

    The book continues slowly, but one of my major humps worked itself out with the application of the usual balm, work.

    Hope you are snug as the proverbial bug in a rug. Wish the chinchilla were cuddlier, but she is still so beautiful that is all she really has to contribute to the world.

    Blessings on you and yours. And a better year next year. I still believe in our democracy, battered though she has been this year.

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    1. Sending you good wishes for the holidays, for your husband's surgery, and for a less battering new year!

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