“Hmmmmmm, another day in the life of a dog,” I mumbled under my breath. The days seem to go on forever when I was a puppy, but not so much anymore. I wonder why that is?
Mommy stopped by on her way to her office and covered me with a nice big blanky, then kissed me and went on her way. That was an hour ago.
Now, well, I am enjoying my morning sprawled out on the sofa. I have the entire downstairs all to myself, at least for the moment. When you share your home with another dog and three cats, not to mention the two humans that take care of us, finding a little me time can be difficult.
Anyway, here I am, listening to the sound on Mommy’s fingers clicking away on the computer keyboard in the next room while I snuggle deep into the warmth of the comforter and stare out the window.
Last night was the first real snowfall of the season, and it left a blanket of sparkling white snow on the ground. The part I love the most is the naked trees with that layer of white beauty resting along the top of those branches. It is a special kind of magic.
The idyllic scene on the front lawn conjured up a special kind of spell. One that whisked me off my warm comfy sofa and back to early this morning when the first rays of sunlight were cast down upon our part of the world.
A soft fuzzy image of Mylo’s face began to form in my mind’s eyes. Slowly, the puppy’s features came into focus and sharpened into a wide-eyed look of wonder.
“What is this?” the cream colored labrador mix cried out in pure joy.
“It’s snow Mylo,” I answered, my voice emotionless.
“Wow! This is awesome! Where did it come from?” the rapidly growing canine inquired, disbelief filled his honey brown eyes.
“Fell from the sky.”
He looked at me for a moment, puzzled and in awe by my statement. That’s when it hit me. This was Mylo’s first snow fall. It is an important right of passage in a puppy’s life.
“What do you do with it?” he asked.
I looked at him and smiled brightly.
“You play in it!” I roared with laughter.
All the sights and sounds faded, leaving me with a strange feeling in my tummy. It was a sense of excitement, and sorrow at the same time.
“Strange,” I said, before returning my gaze out the window. A light snow had begun to fall. I tried to focus on one individual flake and follow its journey from the sky to the ground, but the way that it flitted, fell, then flitted some more made it almost impossible.
A quick flash of movement across my field of vision caught my attention, shattering my concentration and drawing my gaze to a bird approaching an old maple and landing on one of its arthritic looking limbs.
His scarlet feathers stood out against the white background, making it almost impossible to not notice him. His eyes met mine from across the lawn and through the windows.
He angled his head to the left, then pitched it to the right, before returning to an appropriate posture. Somehow, this cardinal had managed to hypnotize me. His little beak moved, and though no words came out, I received the message he was sending.
Then waves of memories and emotions from the sea of the past came crashing down on me. My breath was ripped away from me … I was drowning.
The word filled my mind, blocking out my thoughts and dreams and desires. In that singular moment, it was all I knew.
The world began to tremble. It was as if I were traveling at the speed of light down a tunnel of memories that were racing past me.
Then … I remembered.
I found myself staring out the window at another snowscape, only this one had no lawn, it was a city street with people bustling back and forth. I was in New York again.
“What is that?” I heard myself ask.
“Dunno. But I saw it falling from de sky earlier!”
That voice. It had that unmistakable Spanish accent. I had come to grips that I would never hear that sound again, but here it was. I turned to look over my shoulder.
“It is you,” I murmured in bewilderment.
Standing in front of me was a short black and tan terrier, her eyes sparkling and her smile broad. An amazing warmth spread throughout my chest and my heart quickened at the sight of her.
“Who else would it be chica?” she said with a giggle.
“Oh Cosita, I missed you so much,” my voice trembled with excitement.
“Why? It was only a nap!”
Being in the presence of my sister and my best friend again was amazing. I thought cancer had stolen her from me forever, but here she was, alive and joking with me.
“It’s our first snow,” Mommy shouted from the doorway.
“Let’s go play!”
Daddy looked so happy, so enthusiastic standing there in his giant parka with our leashes in hand.
Cosita looked at me and smiled playfully. I couldn’t resist.
“Do you think it will feel warm and fluffy,” I inquired of Cosita.
“Probably,” she said, prancing towards the door.
A giant ball of snow slammed into my face. It was cold, but the sounds of laughter from Mommy and Cosita made me feel so warm inside. I managed to shake all the snow off just in time to see Cosita get hit in the butt with a snowball.
“Hey, dat is cold and dis is no mucho fanstistico. Do not do dat to me again,” she complained her signature whine.
“Are you kidding me Cosita? This is fun,” I exploded in giggles.
“Joo are crazy Cindee!”
Against Cosita’s protestations we spent the rest of the morning in the park watching Mommy and Daddy make snowmen. They tried to make a snowdog, but it was rather scary and somewhat offensive to us canines, so Cosita and I made sure to trash it.
“This was the best day ever!” I barked at Cosita as we exited the elevator and headed towards our apartment across the hall.
“Our first snow was fantistico! Right chica?”
Sitting on the windowsill peering in at us was a bright red bird, his face pressed against the glass. His eyes pierced through my flesh and into my soul.
The word rushed up and poured out of my mouth with an unquenchable force. I knew what this meant. I was about to …
“That first snow was awesome right Cindee?”
I turned away from the window to find Mylo standing next to the sofa. He wore an expression of deep happiness. One that I remember wearing on my face all those years ago with Cosita.
“Best day ever,” I barked enthusiastically to the puppy.
“It was. I am going to see if I can talk Mommy into treats, wanna come,” the little guy asked.
“You go ahead, I think I just want to sit here looking at the snow a little longer.”
“Okay. See you Cindee!”
I listened to the sound of his little paws as they softly padded along the carpet until at last, I was alone again with my thoughts.
Life can be tricky. Sometimes you experience pain that you think will never subside, and then the strangest thing happens, someone new comes into your life and suddenly, you get to share all that love that you thought you lost You realize that this time, you are the giver of wisdom instead of the receiver.
Turning to the window again, I found the red bird still perched on the same branch, his eyes scanning me, as if looking inside of my heart to see what he could find.
“Thank you, Mr. Cardinal,” I said teary eyed, but with authentic gratefulness.
As if understanding, he nodded at me, and flitted away into the dark grey winter sky.