The incidents of spring

You never really know how much food your dog has eaten over the winter until the snow melts.
And when it comes time to clean up, kids never want to make that extra five bucks. It seems they’d rather have a week’s worth of extra household chores added to their list (without remuneration) than to spend an hour with a shovel and plastic bag.
But I’m not complaining.
The snow is gone, the La Vallee River is holding its own, and the first cold beer of the year—while sitting in a lawn chair outside on a warm day—went down like a charm.
However, I did forget that even in early April, while wearing pig boots and scraping half-frozen, moldy dog poop off the landscape, there are enough ultraviolet rays in the afternoon sun to warrant the sunscreen still hibernating under the sink in the bathroom.
Dog #1 and #2, who believe spring was invented for their pleasure, have made vacuuming and washing the floor a three-times-a-week ritual.
“Ozzie” the cat, who now spends 101 percent of his time outdoors, has reverted to that feline foolery that culminates in moles and mice laid prone and lifeless at my back door each morning.
As if all those gifts will make up for the new design he carved into the hallway floor with his claws over the winter.
The livingroom couch is slowly recovering from the indent left by the husband figure over the long cold months, who in the last couple of weeks has developed some sort of hormonal charge responsible for the 100 outdoor projects he is planning to start over the summer.
Picking up dog poop, sadly, is not on his list.
And, of course, the best laid plans of men come after the summer project list handed out by the wife, right?
Dog #2, whose official name—depending on the moment—is either “Griffon,” “Come here,” “No!” or “Be quiet,” has made an attempt to learn to read.
At least, that’s what I’m going to tell the librarian tomorrow when I try to explain the teeth marks and shredded pages of two books I had out on loan.
And it would be my guess that Griffon does not find Chatelaine nor Canadian Living his cup of tea—given the target they became when no one was around to let him out to pee.
Meanwhile, that flower bed the puppy took a detour through on his way indoors a couple of weeks ago conveniently has become a playground where digging to China is a daily affair.
Of course, all of this excavation happens when I’m not looking.
I’m over in a far corner of the yard by myself, shovel and plastic bag nearby, standing perfectly still with my arms outstretched and my eyes closed pretending to be a tree.

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