Winter is not my favourite time of year.

I have to make a confession. Winter is not my favourite time of year. To be honest, both my husband and I would much prefer hibernating to skiing or snowboarding or skating, or being out in the cold at all. I know I shouldn’t admit that, being an Albertan, but my best memories of winter usually involve being inside, with a warm drink and a good book.

But we got this dog, see…

All right, we didn’t get the dog. I did.

270651_2117930864354_3200716_nIt was my birthday, and I wanted a dog. So, I went to the Edmonton Humane Society and I found Buddy, a three-legged border collie.

He was four months old and cute as a drugged-out button the first time I saw him.

Now, I didn’t realize that he was drugged (pain meds for his amputation) when I was cuddling him before adopting him. Silly me, I thought I’d somehow found a calm border collie.

Five days after we brought him home, he came off the meds, and the high energy, needs-a-ton-of-work-so-he-doesn’t-go-crazy border collie personality showed up, but by that time, it was too late. The papers had been signed, and besides, both my husband and I were seriously in love. I mean, look at that face!

My husband and I took Buddy for all the usual training, and we spent a TON of time playing with him outside all summer. That’s when we noticed that Buddy didn’t like being in the heat, much. We bought him a kiddie pool and secretly hoped the extended afternoon naps would stay. But they didn’t. His energy level rose as summer turned to autumn. (This was when we figured out that he really liked to play fetch. He would fetch a frisbee or a ball forever, given the chance, which really cut down on the hours long walks.)

P1030566Autumn turned to winter, and my husband and I were ready to hibernate. But not Buddy. He couldn’t get enough of the great outdoors. He’d whine to be let out minutes after a walk–and then would play in the snow in the back yard, by himself if he had to, for hours every day. 

His favourite game was still fetch, which meant that either my husband or I usually ended up going out and playing with him. In the cold and the snow.

I actually had to gear up, so I could stay outside as long as that dog wanted me to. Better mittens, better boots, a parka, a tuque, I had to do the works. And I wasn’t the only one, either. Buddy needed winter boots.

When it’s seriously cold (and I’m talking -40) there is nothing more pathetic than a three-legged dog with cold feet, but he wouldn’t stay inside no matter how cold it got. So, we bought him boots. Then, he was ready to play (and by play, I mean fetch), whatever the weather, for as long as we humans could stand.

He’s been with us a few years now, and his love of winter (and fetching) hasn’t abated. Which means our hibernating through winter is still more or less non-existent.

P1030107That’s okay though, because occasionally we can talk him into staying inside for a rousing game of Jenga.

After all, everybody likes Jenga. Right?