by Patricia Seaton from Bowmanville, ON
Apr 2, 16
It was the middle of winter. Snow had been falling all morning and the sky was heavy with the promise of more. I thought I should shovel the sidewalk and driveway and get rid of some of it before there was too much to handle.
And so I set out with my shovel and our family dog. The dog was a lab/collie cross. She had yellow fur like a labrador and a pointed snout like a collie. We had completed our introductory obedience training. She was good at sitting, staying and coming so I had no qualms about letting her off leash while I dealt with the snow. She loved the snow. She would bury her face in it and when she raised it her snout would be covered. She rolled in it with an abandon that I admired.
So it was just after noon. It was quiet. The kids were still in school. The commuters not yet home from work. It was just me and the dog.
I set to work. Every minute or so, I would look up to see where she was. And she was always close by, on the sidewalk or in the side yard or driveway, exploring. And then I looked up and she was gone. I called her. “Summer, Summer come!” We named her Summer because of her golden colour, and because we adopted her in July and because of her tail. Her tail was more short than long, short like the season. Summer it was. She didn’t appear the first time I called her, so I called more sternly, “Summer, come here!” Around the corner of the house she flew, eyes bright as buttons and ears flapping in the breeze. She came to me and I patted her head and told her she was a good dog.
It was then that I looked across the street and noticed our neighbour. He was standing there, with his hands folded on the handle of his shovel. Looking at me - just.... staring. I knew what he was staring at. A woman, nuttier than a fruitcake, standing outside in the middle of winter, surrounded by snow, imploring that “Summer. Come. Right now!”
I gave him a somewhat embarrassed wave and a chagrined smile and escaped into the house with “Summer”.
And after all these years, I still smile at the memory of that winter day, with Summer not far off, but bounding towards me.