Having a ball in the snow

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So last week’s Snowmageddon was winter’s last two-fingered salute on its way out of the door.

Turns out that snow isn’t a complete pain in the backside only if you’re a Winter Olympics athlete skidding about head first on a tea tray at 90mph or a polar bear chasing seals for dinner.

If you have to make a living or get to school and back while it’s piled up on the floor, then it’s more frustrating than trying to use public transport 10 minutes after the first snowflake dissolves on the pavement.

So naturally, our lunatic two-year-old sighthound Walter absolutely loves it.

If you’re 19 kilos of solid muscle with four long legs, perfect balance and are two feet from the floor, then snow is basically weather you can play with.

Jumping for snowballs, catching them in his mouth and then wondering where the hell his new “ball” went, is a joke that never gets old when you’re a dog.

But even Walter came a cropper last Wednesday in Williamson Park when he sprinted like, er, a dog out of a trap on to the frozen lake, crashed through the ice and then swam to the edge where yours truly dragged him out.

His new waterproof jacket was soaked, it got down to -5C that day and once I’d taken it off him, it froze in minutes – but did Walt give a stuff?

Five seconds and a good old shake later, he was bounding around like Bambi on ice and we were on our way like nothing had happened.

But the next day was a different story.

If anything, it was even colder and the wind felt like it could cut you in half.

The cold had a weird effect on Walt’s war wounds (the extreme tips of his ears are missing after one too many games of bitey face with the big dogs) and when he shook his head and flapped his ears they opened up and splattered the snow like the shower scene in Psycho.

At that point, 100 metres from the warmth of his bed, under a radiator in our house, he looked at me and said: “Dad, I’m cold. Can we go home please?”

So we did. And we couldn’t drag him out again until the temperatures rose and the snow had gone.