Though approximately the 30th or 40th "Blizzard of the Century" is due to descend upon us starting this evening, Whiskey's nose nudged me awake this morning at 6:15. I pushed her away and she volleyed back like a tennis "champeen," nudging me again at 6:16--push--then 6:17.
With her cold, wet nose on my back a third time, and my wife showing no signs of life, I rolled out of bed and put on yesterday's clothes. We made coffee and checked our email and facebook for signs of intelligent life. Finding none, Whiskey and I walked around the block. She attended to her canine ablutions, while I was salivating like an FOP (friend of Pavlov) just thinking of the coffee I had made.
Arriving home, my wife had emerged and in short order we decided, despite the inclemency and the snow already fallen, to head up to Rye so Whiskey could romp in less urban environs. We piled into the Simca, my wife wrapped in an old afghan since our heater isn't working and drove the twenty or so miles through the Bronx and southern Westchester to a sylvan park that runs along the Long Island Sound for about a mile.
There, Whiskey cavorted with her canine cohorts, chasing various throwing toys and chasing furry backends which hold so much appeal. After about two hours of this, Whiskey still had energy and I headed with her down to the water, crossing about three-hundred yards of sand to where the small waves lapped against the coast.
I've been on these beaches a hundred times and spent one summer working alongside the beach on the boardwalk, yet I had never seen the tide so far out. It was as if we could walk--almost--across the Sound all the way to Glen Cove, Long Island.
The beach was empty, or nearly so. There were small clumps of people on the littoral with small clumps of dogs careening around. I clomped through the sandy mud in my winter boots, sinking in and sucking out with the sound like a drain draining. It was quiet, peaceful, so far from the world of the city just 20 miles south.
Whiskey and I walked the mile-length of Oakland Beach, skirting the fence that separates it from Rye Beach and then walked some more. I tossed her toy, she brought back. Though the water was just above freezing, she was all for going for a swim, paddling out, fetching that which compelled her and returning proudly to my side.
We did this for a good hour. Whiskey running, fetching, swimming, barking, rolling in the muddy sand. You could scour the globe and you'd be hard-pressed to find a happier creature or one more comfortable in her element.
The office was calling and it was time, so back we headed to the Simca and the city.
We're safely home before the storm.