Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Oliver’s first snow

Back last June, my family became involved with the Pilot Dog program, which is based in Columbus. My son signed on as a puppy raiser for a school community project. The dog at 12 to 14 months old will be turned over to Pilot Dogs to receive more formal training to become a guide dog for the blind. So we received beautiful, adorable, mischievous Oliver, a yellow Labrador retriever. He was 7 weeks old then and now he is 7 months old…a bigger dog with a puppy-like brain. It is fun to watch him learn and explore his world, which could range from a pile of leaves in the backyard to the dark recesses of the toilet bowl.
Oliver does not have any boundaries. He enthusiastically bounds forward to meet each new experience. One of which, was his first snow. He woke up in the morning with his usual routine of going potty, eating his breakfast and finding ways to get attention. We let him out the back door, he runs outside…crunch…crunch…crunch and a slip across the deck floor. He suddenly stops, looks at his paws in confusion, takes a couple steps backwards, stops, sticks his nose straight in a small drift and snorts in surprise. He can’t figure it out and looks back at me for my reaction. My smile tells him this is fun and THEN he leaps in the air and pounces in the snow. Similar to a fox or coyote trying to pounce on a mouse through the snow for their dinner and then runs in circles like a snowplow gone wild.
Oliver loves snow. He loves the bracing, cold wet sensation on his nose. He loves the sounds he creates as he leaves a trail of paw prints, next to prints left by wildlife that live by the neighboring woodland. He loves how his breathy pants leave little misty clouds in his wake as he explores the fresh scents of squirrels, chipmunks and rabbits. He loves to attack low hanging tree branches and bushes, spraying snow powder upon h is head and back. He loves to try to catch the loosely packed snowballs I throw at him.
I love watching Oliver having fun in the snow. I love his doggy smile. I love that he is a great dog. I love that someday Oliver will help a blind person have the confidence to explore their own world. I love Oliver. I’ll miss him.
Checking out,
Mrs. V

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