When you’re a kid, nothing brings joy to your heart like the announcement of a snow day. Sledding. Hot chocolate. Movies with hot, buttered popcorn.
In a neighborhood filled with kids, a snow day also means a houseful of friends. It’s not yet 8:30 am when the first knock on the door announces the arrival of our first friend. I’m moving slowly and the effort to find mittens and scarves seems like a job better suited for later in the morning so I send the kids to the basement to play.
There’s squealing and laughing and general mayhem. It’s pure joy of a found day nestled in the middle of homework and piano lessons.
I. dashes up the stairs to find something but stops short in the front hall. “Mom!” he yells “There’s a dog on our porch!”
I don’t doubt him but walk to the door to check.
A large black and brown dog stands by the door, his nose pressed against the window sidelights. His friendly eyes beg to be let in to play.
“Should I let him in?”
“Why not?” I answer. Once the volume hits a certain decimal range the ear ringing becomes a non-issue.
The dog bounds into the house. Our two dogs (Did I mention we have two golden retrievers?) bark in welcome. About time we had a play date of our own, they think and wag themselves silly.
Our focus shifts from finding mittens to finding the dog’s owner. The kids feel for a collar. They find one but it contains no contact information.
“Go play,” I say. “Let me think for a minute.” The gaggle of kids and dogs romp around the house.
I have an idea who of the dog’s owner. I call out to the kids to bundle up because we’re going on a dog hunt.
The kids forge a trail in the snow down Jolain. The dog whom they’ve named Snickers hops alongside them. We knock. Once. Twice. Three times.
“No one’s home,” I say.
“So we get to keep him!” the kids cheer.
“For a little while longer,” I laugh and our parade marches back in our trodden down path towards our house.