Lunchtime Excitement

Sometimes a seemingly mundane day yields unexpected adventure.

Such was the case yesterday when, as has become our habit this week, Butter and I set out for a lunchtime walk.

It starts with Butter jumping excitedly as I take my long green coat from the closet. He gets even more excited when, after I wrap my scarf around my neck and put my coat on, I put his collars on.

Oh boy, he says. I'm going for a walk. This is great!

And he wags his tail as fast as it will go, chasing me around as I pull on my hat, pull up my hood, and lace up my broomball shoes (it's icy out).

Then I stick my hands in my mittens.

Then I take a mitten off, because I realize I still have to hook Butter's leash to his collar.

Then I put my mitten back on, get Butter to sit obediently at the door while I open it, and make certain he waits patiently on the step as I close it. Then we're off.

Our walk is brief these days because it has been particularly frigid out, but still Butter bounds joyously through the snow, scratches at hard-packed places he knows other dogs have been, and leaves his mark anywhere and everywhere he can.

Given the chance, I think he'd walk around all day. Remember: he's part husky. (On a side note, originally I accidentally typed "party husky." I believe this is also appropriate. He is a wild party animal.)

But we keep the walk short, and I lead Butter back up to our front step, where we started the journey 20 minutes before.

Only yesterday, Butter sensed something in the bushes in front of our house. Instantly, he was on alert.

He assumed a position much like he does inside at the window each day,

with his front paws up on the half wall behind the bushes.

From this perch, he could survey his domain and make certain no critters intruded on his front yard.

Only apparently he decided there were intruders out there. He needed to protect me.

So, in a heroic effort, at the speed of light, before I even realized what happened, he dove straight into the bushes.

Seriously. Straight in the bushes.

These aren't little sissy bushes he could just mosey on out of either. These are the big bushes in front of our house. Giant snow-covered bushes that I have trouble reaching across when I'm trimming them (which is why they always look scraggly in the summer).

So there Butter was, flailing about in the bushes, realizing the error in his ways.

Or maybe he didn't realize the error and was simply thinking, Whee, this is fun. Now where's that darn squirrel?

Either way, I stood there from the briefest moment going: Oh crap! My Butter is in the bushes.

Then I reach down to try to get him out. The not quite 120-pound woman all bundled up with only her eyes and nose showing leaned over the edge of the half wall to pull the 85-pound dog out of the snowy bushes, while he flailed and no doubt wondered what was going on.

I pulled him up a bit by his collar and then hefted his front half back up onto the wall. We paused for a moment then, with Butter staring at me, his front paws on the wall and his backside dangling in the bushes, until I could get a grip on the rest of him and lift him over.

There! He was saved.

Rather than being shaken or looking perturbed like he does when something alarms him inside the house, Butter immediately went and stood by the door. He was waiting to get inside the house, looking at me with his big brown eyes.

Um, hello. What's the problem here? Hurry up, Julie.

As if nothing happened.

So we went inside. He flopped down on the floor, calm as can be, as if he went for a swim in giant bushes every day.

At that point, once we were safe inside with nary a bush or squirrel in sight, I laughed so hard I almost cried.

And then I took a picture of the bushes.

Just in case you needed proof. Because of course it was the middle of the day and no one was around to witness our superhero dog and his antics.

Of course.

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