12 January 2011

Mojo, the Snow Addict

This is Mojo. He protects us from attack squirrels and wolf spiders.  Snow is his version of crack.

Snowpocalypse 2011 came with a quiet intensity.  My inner child couldn't sleep when it arrived late Sunday night.  I had left all of our blinds open and outdoor lights turned on so I could watch its hypnotic delivery on our lawn.  As much as I wanted to stand outside in the swirling flakes and catch them on my tongue, though, I turned my attention to writing on the ol' blog.  At least it's warm by our computer.

Mojo, our mini-shepherd, was lounging in our living room by a dying fire.  Since intense typing is not his idea of canine entertainment, I offered him a rawhide from the entryway cabinet.  I even moved his afghan up to the office next to the desk chair so he could be near me while I typed and he munched.  Mojo turned circles for the rawhide and decided he would rather plant himself in the music room to gnaw away.  His afghan remained empty while I wrote.  He chewed away until that rawhide was merely a memory.

Around 11:00, Mojo came running up the stairs to the office.  He beelined for me, pawed at my knee intently, and then ran to the window.  It was obvious what thoughts were racing through his mind.

"Hey, Human That I Live With, that white stuff is back!"

OK, you're probably thinking, "Is she really anthropomorphizing her pet?  I always knew Vikki had a screw loose…"  Having a dog like Mojo almost makes you want to give him a voice.  He's practically children's book character worthy.  So, I deductively reasoned his thoughts based on: 1) the fact that all dogs have a personality, 2) Mojo is extremely smart and trainable, 3) Mojo stares out of the windows ALL THE TIME, and 4) Mojo loves snow. With all the blinds open and lights on, he must have noticed the extreme change in climate and landscape.  I'm sure he thought I was thick since I didn't immediately gear up to take him out to play in it.  He whimpered by the window while the snow continued to fall all night.  I promised to take him to play in it in the morning.

Morning came and I had to fulfill the promise to our mutt.  I wanted to warm up in the shower first before committing any stretch of time in the half a foot of snow.  I prepared a bowl of kibble for Mojo and headed up the stairs for a quick shower.

Normally while we are ritualistically grooming ourselves, Mojo will pace from our bedroom window to the storage room window by way of our master bath.  He might complete this trip 2-3 times while we lather our heads or rinse with Listerine.  It's his way of staying in our presence, but still carrying out his self-appointed duty of Guard Dog: Watcher of Squirrels and Feral Cats.

On this morning, though, he paced 17 times.  He could not be pacified until he was out in the snow.  Reading his expression was as easy as reading a book with every walk through he completed.

Walk Through #1: "Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!  SNOOOOOOOOW!"

Wash face.  Rinse.

Walk Through #5: "Why are you still in there, Human?  Didn't you know there is snow outside?"

Scrub elbows and knees with loofah.

Walk Through #9:  "Holy crap, there's a squirrel playing in the snow!  Not fair!"

Towel off.  Apply lots of lotion to chapped skin.

Walk Through #12:  "Can't you take a hint?"

Dress in layers.  Dry hair.  Glance over at Mojo while he's standing on the foot locker in the storage room so he can get a better view out of the window.  Why is he staring at me that way?

From the foot locker: "Why are you taking so long?!?!"

"I'm going as fast as I can!"

Get it together, Vikki.  He doesn't know what that means.

Walk Throughs #15-17: "I just want you to know: I hate you."

Only to add to Mojo's frustration and incessant whimpering, I snuck a picture of him from his perch on my foot locker.


With my hair finally dry and my Cuddle-Duds well-hidden, I outfitted Mo with his harness.  He's less likely to get tangled in his leash when wearing it since I know he's going to have spastic fits once we hit the snow.  While I pulled on my duck boots, Mojo ran to the music room window.

"It's still there!  I can almost taste it!"
I had barely cracked the front door when Mojo darted out toward the yard where the snow was easily 6 inches deep.  It was still powdery soft.  Mojo then commenced a series of snowlympic events.  He started with his personal favorite: bouncing through the snow drifts until it was disturbed by dozens of paw-impressed pock marks.

"I may be small, but I can shred the crap outta this stuff!"

Since Mo didn't have a body of water to jump in and join the ranks of the Polar Bear Club, he tested his pain threshold by seeing how long he could keep his butt in the snow.

"New record: 14.37 seconds."
He gave his butt a rest and tested his stomach capacity with a snow-eating contest against himself.

"I wish I weren't color blind.  I can't tell the difference between white and yellow snow."

He dragged me up to the cul-de-sac, kicking up clouds of powder as we ran.  He was full of energy!  He was running without slipping or sliding.  He was--at a loss.  What other snowlympic activities could he come up with?

"I'm running out of ideas."
So back down to the trail in the woods we went, where Mojo planted his butt back in the snow and began meditating.

"Squirrels are for watching, not eating…squirrels are for watching, not eating…"

Feeling a little frostbitten and sure that Mojo's paws were starting to burn from the exposure, we went inside.  We dried his paws and hung up his harness.  Mo did not seem to be a happy camper.  Not even having Michael home from his treacherous drive from the hospital seemed to cheer him up.

"Why do I have to come in when the squirrels get to stay outside?"
I started a fire in our living room where, only temporarily, Mojo forgot about playing in the snow.  He cozied himself up next to the hearth where he could comfortably thaw his paws.  We stayed away from windows and doors for as long as we could to avoid his potential for begging to go back out.  Michael enjoyed a late breakfast while Mojo rested.  I folded clothes and graded a few papers.

"This is my sexy pose.  Maybe I'll call the lab next door to join me on my sleeping bag."
But I made the mistake of feeling bad for the hungry birds gathering around our backyard and taking seed out to their feeder.  Mo perked at the sound of the porch door opening and waited patiently for me to return.  My galoshes trudged in gobs of snow, and Mojo was ready to clean up the mess I brought in with me.

"Snow inside of the house?  Best day EVER!"

And that, my friends, is the story of Mojo, the Snow Addict.

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