The first time I felt the rain, it scared me. It was back in March 2010, not more than a few days after I came home with Mike and Heather, and pretty much everything scared me back them. Nowadays, I’ve progressed to the point where almost everything scares me. I’m getting more confident in most ways, but generally I’m still a wuss, and I am frequently startled, or transfixed by a leaf. Still, sometimes I can show my oats: I charged and barked last week at a chihuahua and two Goth teenagers in the park. I was merely trying to repel what I thought were impending threats to Mike’s safety. So why did I get scolded for it?
Back on that first rainy morning, Mike and Heather forced me into the park anyway. Then they showed me that they didn’t care that it was raining. They ran around the parade ground like lunatics, laughing it up, throwing my toys around and giving me lots of treats, making me believe rainy days are just as much fun as sunny ones. Not to mention providing me a chance to wash the dust and grit off my back without a bath. Thank god that I’ve managed to avoid wearing one of those colorful vinyl rain slickers so far. I prefer to go au naturale.
Mike, however, is another story. He hates the rain and the shorter days, darker days that come with it. To keep his spirit up, he keeps chanting what he refers to as his “mantra” about rain: “You don’t have to shovel it.” Taking solace in this thought after 32 winters in Syracuse, he puts up with the rain as best he can, mostly by protecting himself against it. Thanks to Heather, he’s pretty well covered.
First Heather bought him a top-of-the-line, waterproof rain jacket. Then she got him a waterproof Seattle Sombrero to go with it. And waterproof rain pants, zippered at the bottom for easy on and off over his jeans. But, despite trying many brands of waterproofing treatments, Mike’s shoes and socks were still getting wet– and he really hates it when that happens.
So Heather went online and found Mike a pair of Tingley Rubbers. Mike at first thought he was getting some kind of sex thing, but it turned out to be a pair of galoshes. And once they arrived, he loved them–and knowing Mike, probably even more than if he had gotten some kind of sex thing. The Tingley Rubbers slip on over his special motion-control running shoes (when you come right down to it, Mike is getting to be a physical wreck) and keep them dry when we go on our long afternoon walks in the rain. Now Mike plows through puddles unabated. (Personally, I try to walk around them whenever possible.) And despite his bravado, when he comes home, his shoes and socks are dry. Amazing.
So while Mike might look like a doofus in this outfit (but not as much as he did the day he wore two baseball caps on his head at the same on an hour walk without ever knowing it), he stands virtually waterproof from head to toe, and ready to defy the Seattle rain all winter.
I’m not nearly as waterproof as Mike (soft rain makes me curly and a hard rain makes me look like a baby seal), but that’s OK. When we come home, Mike makes me sit by the front door and wraps me in an oversize bath towel to dry me off a little before setting me free to play some tug-o-war with the towel. Then I do a second round of drying on my own, running around the living room and rubbing my back against the rug or on the two white chairs that belonged to Heather’s mother. (What Heather doesn’t know won’t hurt her.)
I don’t mind getting that wet nearly every day all winter. Mike and Heather were right, rainy days can be fun. But frankly, I wouldn’t mind spending a winter in Arizona sometime, just to try it out. I’m thinking that 60, 70 degrees and sunny might feel nice for a change. Unfortunately, no one has asked for my opinion on this topic. That’s OK; I’ll just bide my time.