Last Wednesday started out like just another routine day with Bailey – up at 5 am for a quick session outside, played a round of fetch “Moosie” while I gulped that 1st cup of coffee, fed her at 5:45 am and out again at 6:20 am for her main business break. It was this last activity that turned the norm into an adventure. Winter conditions still exist here in frigid Lab West and our front yard is filled with 6 foot high piles of snow. Where does Bailey like to do her stuff? That’s right, she heads with glee to the top of the snow banks. Showing some caution in the event that my weight might cause me to sink, I followed her along a path that she had made over the course of the last few days. I tested the packed snow in front of me. Moving forward only when I knew it would bear my weight. At 6:20 am, one’s mind tends to wander. Random thoughts of remembering being a young girl doing this exact thing of climbing high on the snow banks preoccupied me. Bailey found the perfect spot to go and I failed to notice it was in unchartered territory. Disaster struck!
It was like being in Iceland and having a crevice in the ice swallow you up. I sunk in a fraction of a second through soft snow to my chest. I felt like a weasel popping its head out. Of course, Bailey had now finished and my face was 8 inches from a pile of stuff. Bailey was on the opposite side pleased with herself for delivering the goods and waiting for the lavish praise that she has come to expect. But, I had other pressing concerns like fish around to get the poop bag out of my pocket, keep Bailey away from the poop and fend off an ecstatic Newfoundland pup who was now able to reach my face with ease. Bailey’s tongue was moving from my nose to my ears to the cheeks with the speed of a Ferrari. And those big paws coming at me looked even bigger! The only bright spot was that I had put on a toque before exiting the house which prevented Bailey from grabbing a hold of my ponytail as she enjoys doing.
Once I had successfully bagged the poop, I focused on extracting myself from the hole while still holding onto Bailey’s leash. I quickly realized that my weight had packed the snow really well. I looked around for someone to assist me. My sons were still fast asleep with no clue to their mother’s predicament and my husband was in Schefferville, Quebec for another 6 days. Then it hit me, I might be stuck for an hour or until the boys noticed that I was missing. The neighbourhood was dead quiet. To my relief, I had taken the time to dress in full winter gear. The previous Sunday, I had just gone out in my neon-owl pajamas and red bathrobe with white snowflakes on it. Who knew that 3 teenagers would be walking down the street at 6:20 am on a Sunday morning to witness my fashion statement? Today, I had even borrowed Tristan’s pull-on snowboots to cut time rather than fiddle with tying up my snow hikers. Since my right side was not as far down as the left one, I was able to slowly pull myself up a bit while digging the snow away. Bailey did her part by pulling on the leash. Something wasn’t quite right.
I soon realized my left boot was so far down that it felt like being encased in cement. After frantic attempts to dislodge it, the boot was not going anywhere. I decided to leave it buried under the snow with the hopes of retrieving it later before Tristan noticed. Crawling slowly out of the hole, I managed to hobble without the boot back into the garage. Bailey did her best to lick at my sock. I returned with my own boots on and a shovel in hand after stowing Bailey in her kennel. Rescue attempts were futile as I kept sinking within a metre of the hole. Not only would Tristan find out so would his father. Admitting to your 13 year old son that you have lost his winter boot during cold weather is humiliating to say the least. Add to it that I had lectured him about borrowing and returning things (such as his father’s tools) only the day before made it even worse. Well, I have endured a week of my two sons ribbing me about Bailey’s black hole. I no longer scamper up the snow banks with Bailey as I prefer to leave that memory in the past. And the boot, my husband arrived home yesterday and dug 8 feet in from the front of the house to retrieve it.