Rufus and I went for our first walk of the new year today. It was not Rufus's first walk - he has been out with Ben several times already this year. Come to think of it, so have I. So Rufus and I had our first walk together, then. Anyway. It was such a beautiful morning, I just couldn't stay indoors. Rufus is always ready to go for a walk, and he seemed to know as I was tying my shoes that we were headed out. He really didn't pull too badly, and I could tell Ben had begun the process of re-training him.
We took the longer walk today - the one that takes about twenty minutes. I don't usually do that on our first outing, but I just wanted to keep going. Although the snow has finally melted, the lawns haven't started to green up yet, and small branches, sticks, and leaves from last fall are still everywhere on the ground. I was hoping to see crocuses, my favorite harbingers of spring, but was disappointed to see so few. I guess the squirrels must have eaten everyone else's bulbs, as they did ours.
This afternoon, I started in on another, more onerous, odiferous spring tradition - the annual poo pick-up. Since the snow was so deep for so long, weeks and probably months went by when we didn't clean up the back yard at all. The dogs were still pooping there, however. Two dogs, twice or three times a day. You do the math. I picked up poop until my knees locked, and knew I had only scratched the surface. Such is the life of a dog owner.
Ben and I went out for ice cream a couple of nights ago. We went to the Dairy Queen on Water Street that we used to walk to with big groups of our friends when we lived in the dorms. It was such a treat to go out for ice cream. It still is. And you know, I still ordered a Peanut Buster Parfait, and Ben still had a banana split.
Although the thermometer has not made it to 50 today, I still have the windows cranked open a bit. I hear distant cars drive by and a dog several streets over begins to bark, which makes Rufus cock his head and Lucie growl softly. I expect an explosion of barking any minute. The real reason I have the windows open, though, is for the smell. The ineffable smell of spring. It's out there. And now it's in here, too. I love that.