This morning the weatherwoman called for a balmy 40 degree day, so I was practically giddy about walking Owen and Schnitzel to daycare. 40 degrees is so much warmer than it has been around here! Apparently I forgot that “warmer than the last few months” does not actually mean warm. I still needed gloves. But it’s an improvment.
As we walked to daycare and Schnitzel stopped to sniff all of his favorite spots, I began to think about how different things will be in a few months when we move. We’ll still be able to walk most places (thank goodness!), so it probably won’t be that different, but we will need to find new routes and meet new friends and make a different routine. Schnitzel knows the way to daycare. He knows the walk we normally take. He turns into our street before I do. He knows which people passing him by have dog treats for him, and the temperaments of all the neighborhood dogs. He knows which street lamps have the best scents. He adores our dog walker.
And although the rest of us can prepare to leave this house and look forward to moving into another one, Schnitzel cannot. One day he will be walking his normal path, and the next day we’ll be somewhere totally different. And I wonder if he’ll be sad. We’ll find a new groomer and new dog parks and new street lamps to sniff, but I wonder if he’ll miss this place. He’s been here since he was 8 weeks old, a tiny little puppy who wriggled in our arms and could barely walk down our street without getting tired. Everyone knows him, from the guy who sells hot dogs from his cart in the summer to the other dog owners who have little dog parties in the evenings letting their dogs off leash. Sometimes we’ll be walking down the street and I’ll hear someone yell, “Schnitzel!” from their car. I don’t even know who it is, but they say hi to Schnitzel.
This morning on our walk we saw no less than 4 people who stopped to pat him, give him a treat, chat with me for a moment. He waited patiently outside of daycare while I dropped Owen off, and pranced home, just like every other day.
I felt a little pang of guilt for taking him away from his happy home. And a little pang of sadness about leaving all the relationships we’ve built here. I know it will be an amazing opportunity to grow our family and create new memories, but it’s still a little sad to leave. Thank goodness we have until May so we can enjoy the beginning of spring here.