Sunday, January 24, 2016

Dog Time

I’m now living on Dog Standard Time. For the past few years, I’ve been doing an extended dog sitting during the winter for my friends Dick and Jill while they warm up in Guatemala. They dropped off Mari (the dog) at my place on Tuesday. Mari will be with me until early April.

Mari is now 11 years old, a big winter-worthy mix maybe of Malamute or Husky with some Collie or German Shepherd. I love her wolfy face.

Since I don’t have a fenced-in yard, Dick put up a line in the front yard so I can put Mari outside. She likes it outside. The colder, the better. She naps in the snow. And we have a lot of snow right now. Well, it is winter.

Mari gets some movement on the line, but not much. So I need to walk her a couple times a day. In other words, Mari requires that I adjust my daily routine. First thing in the morning I take her for a walk. Sounds simple, but winter here requires significant logistical planning and action. It’s surprising how long it takes to put on long underwear, sweats, scarf, hat, mittens, socks, boots, yaktrax. And don’t forget a couple of plastic bags for poop patrol, and a hankie for the snot that starts to flow after about 10 minutes outside. All this before I even have my cup of coffee.

Don’t get me wrong. I am delighted to have Mari around. She’s pretty well behaved both on and off the leash. It’s very good for me to get outside more often. I do love snow and winter. I can certainly use the extra exercise I get from our walks. Three walks a day. I like the walks, but I’m already getting bored with the necessary donning and doffing of winter clothing.

Mari has a massive coat, and she leaves bits of it everywhere. She also leaves bits of snow everywhere (she does not like to have her feet cleaned).This requires more logistical planning. The living room has wood flooring, so I need to put towels everywhere to capture snow and Mari fur. I need to wash the towels and I need to brush her.

So, my routine is currently dog-centered. That’s a good thing. I am happy to make time for Mari. I still get my fiber stuff done. So what if I don’t clean the house as often…


  1. Yes, indeed it is a very worthwhile bother to care for a dog... or two. Having met Mari in your presence, I can see she gives you unconditional adoration in return... a fair trade off.

  2. Mari sounds like a wonderful companion! Do you save her fur for spinning?

    1. She is a delight, but I haven't saved her fur. Maybe I should!