Friday, February 6, 2009

Beautiful Intimacy

One of the things that seems (for better or worse) to impact dog adoptions is the weather.

Here on the East Coast, the winter so far, has been pretty nippy.

Last year, New York City only had a total of 2 inches of snow. This year, so far, we have more than 14.

I love winter in the city. To me, there is nothing quite so titillating as taking the dogs to Central Park in the middle of winter -- particularly when there is snow on the ground. The park is much more serene and country-like with only the most hearty of urban souls venturing out.

My dogs, Tina and Chance both have thick coats. Temperatures can be in the single digits and the ground can be covered in snow and ice. But, for Tina and Chance it can't get cold enough. Both dogs are happy to be out there literally for hours.

I don't know that I can say quite the same for myself. Yesterday, for example, the temperature was in the high teens with wind chills in single digits. It's hard to keep one's hands warm in weather like that despite good gloves. Icy spots on the ground can cause one, like the old Paul Simon song to literally go, "Slip Slidin' Away."

Nevertheless, despite the slippery ice, freezing air streaming up your nose causing it to run like a marathoner, or the wind chills whipping across your face or blowing off your hood, I (like the dogs), love New York City and particularly Central Park in the winter.

For one matter, one doesn't need quite so many tops and changes of clothes in the winter as the summer. A couple of warm winter jackets and a coat can get you through the entire three months.

But, the reality is, most people don't relish the idea of having to walk a dog when the temperature rarely ventures above freezing or there is snow, slush and ice on the ground.

Generally, the lower the temperature goes, the fewer (or even non-existent) our dog adoption inquiries.

That is quite unfortunate as without a dog (or child) one doesn't really have reason to go exploring in the various winter wonderlands around the country.

I think most people have no idea the true beauty of winter they are missing out on.

Go to Central Park on a typical summer day and there will be thousands of people (and tourists) lying on the grass, jogging around the Reservoir, playing games with their kids or walking with their lovers or dogs.

But, go in the winter and the only humans you see are the few die-hard dog people, nature watchers or bird feeders.

Gone are the sounds of children's voices, frantic jogging feet or the sights of scantily clad bodies scrambling for that sunny patch of grass to lay out on and grab a tan.

Winter, by contrast brings with it unsurpassed, crystal clear beauty, icy blue, cloudless skies and a prevailing sense of peace.

Why do most people seek to adopt a dog in the spring, fall or summer, rather than winter?

I have no idea other than lack of awareness.

Because for me, the best time of all to have a dog is in the middle dead of winter.

There is a certain beautiful intimacy about it.........PCA


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