After feeling the bitter cold today I was reminded of an incident that happened two weeks ago. It was the first “real taste of winter” Toronto had experienced in the New Year.
I headed to the off leash park in a multitude of layers on a bright and sunny but frigid day. On the way I picked up Jessie – a sweet yellow lab that I walk on occasion. After getting her into my van I quickly walked around the vehicle and had one of those moments where your feet are taken out from beneath you and there is nothing you can do to stop the fall.
It was like something on Funny Home Videos – the TV show where the audience basically laughs at people of all ages wiping out. I hoped to not break anything and landed on my left hip and then my shoulder with a thud. Of course – as human nature has it – I looked around to see if I had an audience. Luckily I didn’t so with a quick wipe off and a look at the black ice on the road that caused the fall I took off to the park.
At the parking lot there I noticed very few cars due to the cold, only the true Canadian winter lovers were there for sure. The Global TV car pulled up and I saw a camera guy get out and a reporter looking very official, but not dressed appropriately for the weather. I laughed to myself that they would do their piece on the fresh snow covering the trees in all its splendour and beetle out of there. They looked in my direction but then headed another way; I thought they would certainly miss out seeing the dogs having a blast experiencing winter for the first time this season.
After ten minutes to my delight they entered the off leash park. My dogs were enjoying the field immensely. They made their way over to me as I was the only one there except for an owner with a Beagle.
They filmed me from around fifteen feet away initially and then came over to introduce themselves and thrust the camera in my face. “Oh my goodness,” I thought, “this will be on the news tonight.” “Where do I look, into the camera or to the interviewer?” My next thoughts were “what are they going to ask?” and “thank goodness I washed my bed head that morning.”
I always laugh when reporters ask the obvious on TV and she did. “How do you keep warm in this cold weather?” “Lots of layers” I answered.” “Do you enjoy the freezing temperature?” she asked. I wondered what she was looking for in an answer and decided to answer “I love the winter,” laughing inside my head at the white lie. I don’t mind our change of seasons but the days of my eyes tearing from the wind, wind chill, and slippery icy surfaces are not something I favor as my number one season.
The camera stayed on me so I ad-libbed. “Look at the blue sky,” as my breath made a steaming trail from my words. It was truly magnificent, a bright blue like a robin’s egg and no clouds were visible. The camera man had not noticed the sky in contrast to the white everywhere on the ground and covering every bush and tree. He panned his camera to show it then filmed my three dogs. Abby – my old lab – was rolling in the snow, as was Penny a darling retriever making their own custom snow angels, wiggling on their backs and exposing canine senior bellies.
Jessie was focused on me throwing a ball and would catch it in mid-flight and run back, tongue hanging out with her breath visible due to the cold air. The beagle came over to sniff at the camera and proceeded to bark at it loudly. We all laughed; it was a great shot to capture for the evening’s audience. This went on for a few minutes, the dogs at play, the ball being thrown and trees being filmed that looked decorated by icing sugar with the snow perfectly balanced on each branch.
Off they went saying it would be on the news that night. I let the owners know so they could watch or record the news and see their beloved dogs in the limelight and spread the word.
I told my family and friends galore to see my glimpse of fame. Later that day I watched the entire news broadcast, to no avail. My daughter reassured me it might be on the later edition and checked it out. My heart leaped when I saw the reporter and a mention that the story would be on next regarding the cold snap.
I had my family riveted to the television and we waited. What came on were quick interviews with people on the street and their thoughts about the cold, a quick video of new immigrants to Toronto playing in the snow (which was heartwarming) and then an interview at the local hardware store about how many shovels they had sold that day.
My heart was crushed; the news ended and I was slightly hopeful we might be on with the ending credits but it did not happen. I was disappointed for the owners I had pumped up and for a story that never aired.
Toronto is filled with dog lovers who would have enjoyed this piece and related to their first winter walks with pooches by their sides or their puppy’s first winter ahead. The beauty of a local park and winter’s splendour despite the wind and sub temperatures was a happy bit of news for viewers tuning in. We have far too many depressing news stories daily!
So I hope you got a sense of my little story, it was news worthy and deserved to have a minute of exposure. There is always another time…
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