9am. No snow. Skipper goes out for her first pee of the day with no jacket. Success. I’m proud of us both. 

Noon. Maybe an inch wherever it isn’t just melting. Skipper asks me to go out (a win), I notice (another win), and she pees outside while wearing a thin coat. There’s enough snow to shake off when she’s done. I am still hopeful we’ll keep up this outdoor-potty streak and I’ll eventually be able to retire the grass pad in my dining area. (She chose the spot, not me.)

5pm. Six inches. I concede the indoor grass pad must stay a while longer. Skipper needs to be carried to the car because the snow is past her knees, but at least someone is glad to be driving around Calgary today. I’m glad I procrastinated getting my winter tires changed out. Also glad to be working from home and not be in the standstill rush-hour traffic on the other side of the highway. (Turns out, a semi trailer slid partially off the edge of an overpass above said highway.) We pick up Skipper’s well-timed new winter coat, then I drop her off at home and am off again. Upon arriving at my destination, plans get cancelled, but I have a fully-charged laptop so I stay a while anyway. Schedule’s been packed lately, and I need time to write. But I must need time to do nothing even more, because that’s what ends up happening.

9pm. Over a foot. Depending where you step, snow is now taller than Skipper and past my knees. Upon returning, my car gets stuck five feet from its parking spot. None of my usual tricks work, but at least I’m close to home. I grab a shovel. Forty-five minutes later, the first vehicle needing to get past me arrives and the driver asks if I need help. I don’t. By now, I’ve cleared as much snow as possible from my parking spot as well as around and under my car. When I try driving—now the fourth or fifth time—I only get partway in, but it’s enough not to block traffic, therefore it’s enough. It’s also out of gas. Perhaps next time I won’t leave it on to sing along to Ed Sheeran on the radio, but regrets have yet to appear. Maybe they’ll come tomorrow. The compost bin is buried by shovelled snow, but it won’t stink for a while anyway. My gloves and pants are completely soaked and every spare crevice in my boots is packed with snow.

When I finally get inside and Skipper greets me, it’s hard to tell which one of us is happier. I shovel a little bit more at the door (but not a ton because I’m gonna be sore tomorrow as it is) and we go out to test her new coat. She walks on her two back feet because she hates snow but hates booties more. She doesn’t run from snow like she does booties. As a biped, she is once again taller than the snow, just for now. We go back inside after two minutes. It’s not as cold as it is snowy, but it’s still notable that my California girl doesn’t shiver. However, the coat is both too big and too short on her. I ponder her breed mix as I take it off.

11pm. Six feet? Ten? Who knows! It’s still coming down, but we don’t care. I write a blog post and finish a late dinner of chicken noodle soup, then follow it with cookies and hot chocolate in my biggest mug. It’s topped with as many marshmallows as I can fit, and the bag is within arms reach, just in case. Worn out after a game of fetch, Skipper snoozes lightly beside me. I rub her belly and am pleasantly surprised to realize I wouldn’t mind more days like this one.


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