Small Accomplishments and Frostbite

Life and Happiness

The stale air of my otherwise comfy living room erupted like a torrent of bad fish inside my nostrils. I had been in this chair for too long. I needed a walk.

“Come on, Max! We’re going for a walk!” I proclaimed.


My buff-colored furry friend blinked twice from the coziness of his bed, then slowly rose, stretching and arching his back to work out the kinks. I could almost see him smile as he shook his head, clearing his mind of the latest dream, and prepared to head out.

“Oh, wait. I need to pee first,” I said, proceeding to the bathroom.

He sat patiently and waited.

“OK! Oh… wait. I need to get some bags in case you need to go.”

So I ran to the kitchen and grabbed a few Zip-Locs for our adventure. Returning to the living room I saw Max making his way back to his bed.

“Hey! Wait! We’re going on a walk remember!” I proclaimed in his direction again.

He turned, wagging his tail, once again prepared to go forth.

“Um… sorry pal. Hold on. Need my sunglasses.”

I returned to the kitchen and plucked my shades from their perch atop the fridge.

“Okay! Now we’re ready… Oh, hold on. I need my coat… and hat, I guess. Pretty cold out there. Better make sure I have my gloves too…”

As I assembled myself, Max waiting ever so patiently, eyes turning back and forth, watching my progress. Probably wondering, “WHEN are we leaving Mama?” Perhaps I was just procrastinating the inevitable. Now I had promised my little one that we’d go out and he seemed so eager. How could I let him down?


Even though he was probably feeling like this


Finally, bedecked in hat, scarf, gloves, sunglasses, and coat; with baggies, keys, and phone in hand, I turned to my beloved pooch and announced I was ready.

“Oops, guess you need a leash, huh, pal?” I stashed my phone in my already bulging pockets and retrieved the sacred blue walking leash from the closet.

Max began turning in circles with excitement. NOW he knew I was ready to go.

After buckling him up properly, checking once again that I had all my essentials, we escaped the stale air for the crisp, breath-arresting chill of the outdoors.

It felt good.

Within minutes we were traipsing down the familiar neighborhood sidewalk enjoying the satisfaction of having braved the cold. No, winter weather is going to slow me down! I thought to myself.

Think again.

Within minutes, my toes felt frost-bitten. Or, more correctly, my big toe and the one to its right on my right foot, and the big toe on the left, as well as my middle finger on my right hand were now without sensory perception. If I had taken off my socks and gloves (other than being insane) I would have seen digits white as the freshly driven snow around me. Raynaud’s Syndrome does this to me and often keeps me at home with heavy slippers and socks. I knew, or rather, hoped it would pass as my body began to take on heat from the walk.

Max walked on unaware of my current condition. Nose in the air, feet bouncing easily through the piled up snow and icy patches, occasionally stopping to take yet another tinkle on a patch of exposed grass. His thick fur blocked out the brutal wind better than my measly parka. How can I get a coat like his? my mind rumbled.

We walked on and I shoved my gloves in my pockets while still trying to hold tightly to Max’s leash. I sunk my face into the scarf around my neck – breathing out deeply to capture some heat into my shell. Slowly my extremities warmed up and my step became less labored. Just as Max seemed to start minding the cold – evidently it had finally reached his skin buried deep beneath his coat. So we headed back towards home.

After about 40 minutes we returned home, my toes and hands now sufficiently warmed. Max seemed better for the task and even played fetch with me for a few minutes (something he rarely deigns to do.)

As we settled back into our respective spots, the warm areas now dissipated and in need of rewarming, I felt good with what we had accomplished and turned back to my work in earnest thankful that we had ventured out and survived the frost-bite.


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