Winter is definitely upon us, and I don’t mean the snow (because right now we don’t have that much for us). However, the temperature has dropped below freezing the past few days, which is no fun. It’s been cold enough that CaseyJones has been sleeping on the bed with me and Zoe at night. He usually prefers his own bed to my crowded one, so I know the cold is affecting him too. The last few mornings the temps have been in the single digits and I’m getting to the point where I think 30 degrees is warm. I guess I’m adjusting faster now that it’s my third winter here. I’m not quite a local yet though, because I do not go food shopping in sub-zero weather wearing flip-flops. Don’t know that I’ll ever be that adjusted.
I’ve been trying to work through this cold weather and not let it set off the hibernating instinct even more, but I have picked up a new concern about the cold. We have a dog loose in the neighborhood, Leroy, and he has been a rogue puppy since March. He belongs to two of the shelter workers across the street and he got away one day and has not been re-caught in spite of numerous attempts. He’s been living in the woods behind our neighborhood and foraging in garbage cans and living off the kindness of strangers and forest animals I’m guessing. Leroy was abused and on his own for a time before the shelter workers took him in, so he is wary of humans and apparently knows how to survive by himself. Being the bleeding heart that I am when it comes to dogs, I used to try to leave him something beyond the electric fence line, but I haven’t in a while. He won’t come close to our yard because of Casey and Zoe. (Although I wonder if he is the one who killed that possum and left it in our yard.) I think our neighbors a couple doors down have left a shed door open for him to have some shelter and I think they feed him regularly, but I’m not certain. If I do see him, it’s usually in their yard. I used to get really irritated when he would bark at 3 a.m., but with these extremely cold nights we’ve been having, I worry if I don’t hear or see him every now and again. Zoe spotted him the other day and I was glad to see his leash-dragging hide. He looked fluffier, so I’m guessing he’s gotten his winter coat too (Zoe is at least 1/3 bigger with hers). I would hate to find out on a snowshoeing expedition that Leroy had succumbed to the cold all by himself so everyone cross their fingers that he makes it to the year anniversary of his Great Escape.
K is suffering a different kind of cold at training (although it’s cold and snowy there too). He has an upper respiratory infection. That’s bad enough, but when you are away from home it’s that much worse. Add to that sleeping in barracks, and it’s the Army joke of “make it suck more.” K assures me that the drugs he’s been given work well enough for him to get some sleep (as much as you can when you share a room with other people) and help him function through some of his classes, but he is still feeling like crap after several days of it. He’s not the only one. I guess there’s a fair amount of kennel cough going around as well as a case or two of pneumonia. I hope he starts improving before making the journey home for Xmas. Looks like Santa’s going to give him a free pass to sleep in all day. In the meantime, I’m starting the kids on their immune booster vitamins so we won’t get an extra present this vacation. You all might send him some healthy vibes so he spends his last leave with us in relative good health. It would no doubt be appreciated.
And now I’m off to ignore the cold and drag the kids out into it for a trip to the library. After that, I’m spending the day in the kitchen baking baklava and making soups. It is, thankfully, warm inside.