Winter Blues

Everyday I feel blessed to have my dog. But on a few days, two short weeks ago, I wanted to curl up in a ball and never let Guido out. I could not handle being outside anymore than I had to. The cold was too much to deal with. I layered in four jackets, two pairs of pants, long underwear and multiple layers of socks. Still, I found myself feeling chilled.

As the wind ripped past my face on one particularly arctic day, I looked down and saw Guido happily raising his head to catch every last frigid smell. He found my winter disdain comical. He couldn’t be happier to be outside frolicking in the snow and burying his snoot in the frozen ground. His lighthearted approach to the cold made me smile despite the wicked temps. He was made for this weather. With at least two inches of long, black, thick fur, he was fine spending hours in the cold.  The irony here being that his mom was a permanent warm weather lover. I used to curse being raised in Wisconsin and would cry every time I had to leave my spring break destination behind. Why did my parents choose the Midwest of ALL places to live? For half of the year, we spend our time camped out indoors trying to avoid what is inevitable – unbearable cold. I used to promise myself that I would move to LA or Miami where I could be inspired by the sun, the tropics and the lush landscape that surrounded me.

Eleven years after my college graduation, I still find myself enduring the depressing winter. Each day I curse the clouds, the ice, the salt. But for some reason I still can’t find it in myself to move. It’s not so much because of my business, although I’m sure that plays some part. It is because of my family.

As you grow up, you learn to deal with life’s unpleasantries like sub-zero weather in exchange for being close to your family. Every fleeting minute, family becomes that much more important to you. My very best moments are no longer being at a bar surrounded by friends, but rather at my parents house surrounded by my family. An integral part of this family, are our dogs – most important, my sweet Guido.

I still sometimes play around with the idea of spending one or two long months in the Caribbean, but truth is, all I can think about is how that would affect Guido. I could never stomach the thought of him flying in the cargo area let alone being without me for weeks at a time. Even if I successfully got him there, he would HATE the beach. The blazing sun and water are anything but desirable for my little, black polar bear.

So there you have it, I guess I am stuck here. I am fine with this, though. Even after all of the daily complaints I issue to my poor husband, I guess I am secretly happy to have the winter only because it makes my family happy. Correction, makes my favorite family member happy. Instead of singing the winter blues, I am going to share in Guido’s joy. He is contagious like that. I love my winter doggy.