Of Rain and of Straw

It rained two inches on Sunday. Heavy, soaking rain. The kind of rain that turns snow into deep ankle-sucking slogging slush, and turns pathways to water ice. Feeding the dogs in the evening was an exercise in misery, every thing wet and the dogs soaked through.

I pulled the straw out of the truck in the morning, knowing that warm weather had thawed the damp soaked straw that lined the boxes. This meant that I could get it all out by hand and rake, instead of using an ice scraper. In that same pouring rain, I stood by the truck in my full raingear with damp straw in my face and mixing with rain to creep up my sleeves.

It dropped 20 degrees overnight, a deep freeze. As a joke to myself, I thought about Oriana being frozen in place. Of course, Oriana would never stand still for that long, but I knew what was going to happen in the ground, following this fast thaw.

The next morning, as the dawn broke with winter light and snow squalls over the mountain ridges, I fed the dogs. The ground had turned hard and boilerplate, ice and hard-caked snow. The dogs were dried out once more, and little Oriana was moving quickly around her circle, as expected.

I pulled up a bale of straw to the dogyard, and wielded a rake, pulling out wet and snow covered and damp straw, to re-line the houses with warm, dry, and fluffy beds. They all dove in, smelling and scratching and sighing contentedly.

Why is this story of straw and rain and slush important? To me, it is a story of how weather doesn't just affect our trail conditions, our ability to run and train, but it also has small impacts on the homelife, the dogyard life. I willfully ignored the weather to do what had to be done, and willfully acknowledged the weather to do what had to be done as well.

I suppose I could have ignored the rain soaked straw, I could have left the straw in the boxes to freeze again...but could I have, really? I want to care for them, as they care for me at times. It was a simple need, and I was happy to serve. 

Anyways, let it snow. 



Sally Manikian