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Rites of spring

| Saturday, March 10, 2012

The natives are beyond restless. And the four dogs and the cat look more to the windows than to the fireplace in these waning days of winter.

For spring, they know, is nigh. They sense it as surely as do the irises, now a full half-foot poked through the soil, and as do the buds of the pear tree, bulked up, itching to bloom and close to the point of no return.

Bailey, the black Lab, stares at her master as if she is about to telepathically transport herself outside for some quality sniffing time.

Brinkley, the Lab/bear mix, can't wait to stretch her newly functioning back legs. The veterinarian has pronounced her fully "walkable" following January repairs to both anterior cruciate ligaments.

Samuel, the stray mutt that Daughter No. 2 rescued and brought home from college, wags his entire body in anticipation of the Squirrel Delight dish for which he's been secretly plotting. He's been sizing up the rodents from "his" overstuffed easy chair.

Winnie the Cat has taken to long and melodic meowing. Leave it to a basement mouse-killing feline to master the primitive rhythms of Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring."

And Zoe, the Chihuahua, which Daughter No. 1 bought, brought and left, has been exercising her outside bark, inside, in preparation. As she is the "speaker" and the Poindexter for the pack, one can almost imagine her quoting John Milton:

"In those vernal seasons of the year, when the air is calm and pleasant, it were an injury and sullenness against nature not to go out and see her riches, and partake in her rejoicing."

Yes, when the Chihuahua starts quoting Milton, you know winter is, or at least should be, quite over.

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