It has been years since rain soaked snow has frozen solid enough to hold my weight without cracking. I didn't set out to test its strength today, but to give our Rottie a chance to relieve herself. Stepping out the back door onto a sheet of ice didn't bode well initially. Masha sprawled a bit like Bambi on ice, each leg pointing out in a different direction like spokes on a wheel. After she regained her footing, we managed to make our way across the yard atop the frozen snow.
A fairly large dog at 120 pounds, I sadly have quite a few more than Masha. Much to my chagrin, retracing our steps, where I thought the snow proved strong and would continue to hold us, was literally our downfall. I went through first, surprisingly sinking all the way to my knees. When did we get THAT much snow?! My poor pup, faithful no matter what, followed on my heels and subsequently sunk all the way to her hips. I had to break the ice crust around each of her legs so that she could gain some footing on the snow beneath.
Needless to say, we hightailed it for the house, as the snow was already melting inside my sneakers. She is now stretched out by my feet (im)patiently and faithfully waiting for her master to arrive home and walk her normal route, which is already packed down and much safer than the slippery slopes of our back yard. Even there she has proven herself several times over, however. My husband and I have each fallen on ice, only to find Masha immediately laying down on the cold ice by our sides, refusing to move until we were able to get back on our feet. She has allowed us to steady ourselves on her as well, which is quite heroic for a dog with bad hips.
Our dog is adopted, yet she displays unconditional love for all of us. Even, or maybe especially, for our daughter's beloved Dontey. From the day Masha met him, she has chosen to sit by his side at family gatherings, and slept at his feet as he dozed on the couch. It is amazing to watch the bond they have. More importantly, to feel the love she has for each of us.
A warm country hug to all,