Airedale Chronicles: Rise of the Snow Dog



When we heard last week that snow was moving in, I told the kids that one of my favorite parts of raising a puppy is seeing his or her reaction to firsts…in this case, Bruno’s first ever snow. When the skies finally opened Friday morning, he did not disappoint.

Bruno wakes up on puppy time, which means he can be a little sluggish until he gets wound up. Usually by the time we take our morning walk, however, he’s ready to go. On Friday, however, I opened the door to windblown white flakes, and Bruno stopped short of stepping outside. He stared a moment and then, as if to feign nonchalance, put his big front paws on the front stoop and stre-e-e-e-e-etched, glancing around all the while. He stepped outside, slowly put his front paws down a step, and stretched again, subtly sniffing the white and windy air around him.

And again with the last step down only to sidewalk: Gotta act casual…but what is this stuff?

He stepped daintily (for a puppy) onto the yard, raising his feet high above the wet grass and sniffing at the first clumps of packing snow clinging to the grass, then to his feet and legs.

“Let’s go, Bru!” I coaxed with a short whistle, and he started forward.

Ordinarily he tries to walk on people’s lawns, but with snow gathering there, he opted to splash in the flowing water along the curb. When we reached to end of our block and turned onto 51st, where there are no sidewalks, the long-needled evergreens already heavy with wet snow coaxed him closer, and he began first to sniff, then to snatch mouthfuls, and then—in good terrier form—to bury his muzzle up to his eyes and snuff at what lay beneath.

By the midpoint of our walk, with snow piling up in the weeds and grass along the way, he was bounding here and there, gulping great mouthfuls, snapping at the falling flakes and tugging impatiently at his leash. Near an unharvested field he plunged into the high, snowy weeds to sniff around, then leapt out again, growling, and tugging and chewing on the leash that restrained him from going deeper, deeper.

Didn’t take long—he’s a snow dog!

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