January 15th, 2020
Each night at our house, the front door is swung open at 9:30 pm sharp. I stand there in my non-matching housecoat and pajamas, as the frigid northern air wafts in, waiting patiently for the entry room to reach the precise temperature that Bailey likes for sleeping. Neighbors drive by and stare at me in my colorful night attire. If I had more courage, I would wave back. It takes a while to reach -14 degrees Celsius. At least that is how it seems to me. Bailey lets us know that she is ready to sleep inside the house rather than her large pen in the attached garage. The shift usually takes place in October or as late as November. She will stay inside to sleep on the cool ceramic tile in her temperature regulated room until April when winter shows the first signs of ending. We keep the rest of the house at 19 degrees Celsius which is barely tolerable to keep her with us during the day. Housecoats are commonly worn by family members throughout the day. And so, on Monday night, I opened the front door after closing the interior glass door that separates the main living space from the entry room. It was -49 degrees Celsius outside – not quite cold enough to keep students at home from school that day. The room’s heat as well as my own quickly dissipated. The temperature dropped with rocket speed to 12 degrees Celsius before I managed to get the door closed. Somehow, the phrase “Shut the door. Were you born in a barn?” seemed to be more meaningful to me. Bailey soon returned with my frozen husband after her nightly business walk, muzzle covered in frosty snow. She plopped down on her sheet with “Stuffie” nearby. Stretching out, our northern girl released a sigh of contentment as I quickly headed to the warmth of my own bed. The open door policy will remain well-established until it is replaced with the closed door policy upon the arrival of black flies.