Monday, March 2, 2009

Dogs, both Reservoir and Sled

Well apparently I am no longer 12. I have discovered this in my recent attempt to take advantage of the snow day and sled. I was under the impression that Delaware is largely flat, flatter than the various square states, in fact the flattest place in America. Moxy Fruvous even had a trivia section in one of their concerts called "the lowest highest point" that mentions that Delaware is freaking flat. Flat however doesn't mean flat. there is a hill in Newark. not a natural one, like Val from chorus line (Dance Ten: Looks Three) Newark has brightened up its image with an implanted water reservoir.

After many years living in this town I found myself at this reservoir. I looked up at the hill, the hill looked down at me, powder and icy breeze from the reservoir whipping down and I trudged. when I reached the top I fell down. I realized I have not gone up an incline steeper than 15% since I lived in a house nestled in Rock Creek Park, but those days of freewheeling rock climbing and spelunking have vanished beneath 200 extra pounds of movie watching and rpgs. I was lying in the snow, looking up at my better half watching her run around on her sled, ingeniously MacGuyvered out of a waxed cardboard fruit box, some origami, some work with a pocket knife and several years of mechanical engineering training. She was playfully gamboling amongst the snowflakes after showing the requisite amount of concern that I was not actually dying and I felt something nudge me. A small dog has been let go on the slopes, it had decided I was the warmest non-moving object and had decided to take shelter beside me to get out of the cold. Some insane bint had let the dog go amongst the snow and water and such leash still around its neck, trailing its lead behind it with a tiny doggy sweater. now this doggy sweater I think mishandles the basic problem of an 8 inch tall dog in 10 inches of snow. First it was wool and therefore absorbed water, second it only covers the front half of the dog. I know if I was a tiny dog in deep snow I'd want some snowpants or something.

I waited fora while then climbed another hill to better get a look for my erstwhile girlfriend (and ride home) who had since disappeared amongst the snowbanks. the dog, this time bringing friends followed, we sat on the bench, we looked at each other and I have rarely felt such a kinship to an animal. we both had gone out into the cold with the people we love, the promise of a great adventure and winter fun in our hearts, and both of us were let down by the weakness of our respective clay.

Lindsay returned with her sled , tired and happy and offered it to me. I looked at the dog and it looked at me. I sat upon the cardoboard and crushed it into what turned out to be an oddly aerodynamic and effective shape. After a few feet of scooting I slid. Years of Calvin and Hobbes came back to me in a rush as I made my way down the smaller hill before a much larger descent and when I sat up after my winter wipeout I found that the small dog had followed me, skidding down in my wake, tail wagging. It seems my weight and momentum has cleared out or packed down the snow to the point where the dog could be happily rejoined with his master without trudging through show up to its shoulder.

A few minutes later I slid, (sledded? sled? sleighed?) down the big hill and it was fast and fun and wonderful. Lindsay followed on a borrowed skimboard, oddly enough borrowed fom the owner of the small dog, happy to be re-united with her put upon pet.

On the way back home a friend of mine told me that the reservoir had only become a park and such a picturesque place as an attempt to recoup some of its legal losses and big controversy involving its construction. I know this was a long way to go for anything newsworthy but I had fun on the journey.

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