TORONTO – “The hell you mean I see this stuff every year?” asked Rudy, a mature chocolate Lab who has lived in Canada his entire life, as he leapt frantically in the air, rolled on the ground, and ran at extremely high speeds around a Toronto park in endless pursuit of the tiny geometric miracles that have just started falling from the sky. Which his owner is calmly standing in, LIKE IT’S NO BIG DEAL. “What’s a year? Is that longer than when I last ate? Because I can’t remember that either.”
Informed that he has spent nearly half his life wallowing in snow drifts he has just peed in, trying to bite the falling flakes, tumbling down hills covered in the stuff, and at times even riding on the front of the toboggan like a glorious furry figurehead, Rudy shakes his head.
“Sorry, not ringing any bells. But wow is this stuff ever great! Why didn’t you tell me there was such a thing as fun rain?!”
Rudy, like many dogs, has what veterinarians refer to as, “An abundance of joy for a world they are constantly rediscovering. Or the ‘Goldfish Gift’, as we like to call it,” says local veterinarian Rachel Morris. “Which is, of course, the one that keeps on giving.”
“It isn’t an act,” she adds, out for a walk with her own Jack Russel terrier, who has already had to be stopped six times from running directly into traffic with excitement, and retrieved from three separate backyards, which he’d entered to double check that they too contained the frozen phenomenon. “They really have no idea that edible ice chips can fall from the sky. Despite having eaten thousands of edible ice chips falling from the sky.”
In the local off-leash, 5 cm of pandemonium has already collected.
“Snoooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwww,” bays a large Rottweiler, as he completes his twelfth victory lap of the fenced-in area. “The Huskies were riiiiiggggggghhhhhhhtttt.”
A small Pomeranian does backflips on the back of a German Shepherd who is licking the ground like he just walked across the Sahara without a haircut. And a rescued dog that looks like a mix of many breeds, none of which have ever encountered snow, is losing his mind. Repeatedly.
“It just really makes you wonder what else the humans are holding back from us,” says Rudy, finally pausing in his conniptions of joy. “Like maybe it’s actually ok to jump on the couch. And what if I’m not a bad dog for eating all the sausages? And … Judas Priest did you see that? A tiny brown cat with a really fluffy tail just ran out of that tree and holy shit there he is again I’m gonna get whatever that thing is.” And with that he was off. Bounding through the first snow ever, to catch the world’s first squirrel. Endlessly.