Stephanie Burgis
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Dogs in the snow
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What is it about fresh snow that sends dogs so giddy with joy? It snowed here last night, but in our neighborhood, the snow had nearly melted by the morning. This afternoon when I took Nika down into the fields in the valley below our house, and she saw the carpet of fresh white snow lying across the grass, she went crazy. She spun forward, and--the moment I let her off the leash--tore straight into the snow, sending it flying, playing with it, rubbing herself in it and--at one point--sitting right down to eat it! (And no, this wasn't dirty snow with interesting smells--she reacted the same way to every inch of snow that we traversed today. It's just the snow itself that she's in love with.) It reminded me of the first time she ever saw snow, in Vienna in February of 2000 when she was about 8 months old, newly-rescued from the streets of Naples. Snow fascinated and enchanted her then, and it still does now, and there's just nothing more fun for me than watching her joy. I just wished I'd thought to bring along the digital camera.

Speaking of dogs, I just read some great articles: one from an Arab-American man talking about how getting a dog changed the way he's been perceived in the post-9/11 world; one on the age-old debate (in doggy circles) over whether or not to allow the dog on the bed at night (yes! she says it's really & truly okay after all--validation for 1/3 of American dog-owners); and one sad but excellent article by Jon Katz about the plight of an awful lot of suburban dogs across the world.

Right. Enough surfing for now--I'm off to read a thesis-related book on the couch next to Nika, who's sleeping the deep, happy sleep of a dog blissed-out on snow.

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