It’s another snow day for much of the country, but it’s too cold to go out and play in it. Moms and dads are breaking out new packs of crayons, teaching their kids new card games, making fudge, baking cookies, letting their kids watch way too much TV,and inventing games to keep the troops occupied. I remember those days, but now, instead of entertaining little kids, I’m having to find ways to entertain my guide dog, Dora. Yes, my dog is bored. I know. Dogs lie around the house all the time when their people are out working all day, That’s what dogs do. But guide dogs are used to havivng a job to do.
I don’t mind walking in winter weather. I walk every day, except when it is so frigid that you can get frostbite in 10 minutes. Dora and I have a daily routine of playing ball in the back yard and then going out for a walk each morning. Lately, we’ve just been doing the ball-playing part of the routine, and today, she had to wait until afternoon, because it didn’t get up above 0 until then. All morning, she moped around. She kept looking at me with those sorrowful eyes. I know, I can’t see her eyes, but I know they were sorrowful. She even climbed into my lap, which is not an easy feat, considering she is more than half my weight. It was time to get creative and find something for her to do.
After we had played with each of her many toys and exhausted their interest for her, I took her favorite 1 and told her to sit and wait in the kitchen. She wasn’t very good at this part, so I put her on tie-down, just for the minute it took me to go upstairs and hide that toy. Then I’d come back and release her and tell her to find the toy. She seemed to be quite proud of herself when she came back to me with it in her mouth. We repeated this game, with the variation of my hiding it in a different room each time. I don’t know whether she thought that was fun or she wondered why I kept taking her toy and putting it someplace goofy. But it took up about 10 minutes of a long and boring day.Tomorrow, we’ll try a version of hide and seek. I’m not sure how she’s going to do the part where she covers her eyes, and I run andhide, but we’ll work it out. Has this weather really reduced me to that?