There hasn’t been much rain so far this winter. November had its moments, but December has been largely a mix of sun and fog – but no rain. But we’ve been December-busy, the kind of busy that happens around the holidays, so it feels like we’ve barely been able to recognize the weather we’ve had, let alone get outside and enjoy it.

Summer the dog has noticed. Stir-crazy and anxious, she’s been non-stop for weeks. When we go to the door she watches and waits expectantly, like a coiled spring, looking for a sign that we’re off to do something fun. She’s the sort of dog that is always prepared to leap into action – always looking for something that lets her run and gets her outside and gives her purpose.

When we take her outside, it’s never for long enough. She runs laps around the yard at top speed, tearing up the damp grass and looking for something or someone to chase. She doesn’t usually find what she’s looking for.

Today before sunset we went outside, the dog and I. She ran her laps of the yard while I pulled bindweed off the Rhododendron bushes. She was happy that I was staying out for a change, taking a few minutes to breathe and weed and not be at my desk working. Lyra followed us out, wondering why I wasn’t at my desk.

After a good five minutes of Summer running in a circle through the yard, the neighbour’s dog Sophie – who likes to escape and go on adventures from time to time – appeared. Summer froze, stared at Sophie, and leapt into action – prancing and barking and wrestling and inviting Sophie to chase her.

We gave them some time to play, then Lyra and I started to walk Sophie back home. When we got to the street, however, Sophie sped off with Summer in tow – thrilled that she had something to chase, finally.

I was almost sad to call her back. Lyra was sad that she couldn’t get Sophie home. Summer was sad to go back inside. There was too much sadness all around. Sophie found her way home on her own after her adventures. I doubt she was sad.

I think it would be easier to be December-busy if it was pouring rain.