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CLAYTON RYE

By Staff | Jan 8, 2010

A week’s worth of sub zero temperatures can make a person consider an alternative lifestyle. I was wondering if hibernating bears have the best way of handling winter.

Think about it. They spend the summer gorging themselves, putting on all the weight they can. Counting calories or buying diet food is not even a thought. As far as I know, they eat anything they want to.

Fall arrives and they look for a comfortable spot to take a nap. Once that place is found, they settle down and that is it until next spring. They miss Christmas shopping and the holiday hubbub. They sleep through every below-zero day and are unaware of every blizzard. It is one big snooze.

Spring arrives, they awake and take a look around at the melting snow and longer days, then decide to see if there is anything to eat. They have lost all those pounds they put on last year and are ready to resume eating whatever looks good. Is that a life or what?

Ike, the family dog, takes advantage of the below-zero weather. He is outside all day and all night most of the year. He gets our sympathy these frigid days and we hold the door open for him to come inside where he sleeps in front of the television.

He stands in front of the door when he needs to go outside and a few minutes later he is scratching at the door knowing it will open so he can get back in to resume his nap. He has us trained very well. Our reward is a wag of his tail and a lick on our hand.

Ike sees the deep freeze is an improvement. He is the only one who does.

A small doghouse has become the home to six or seven cats that pile in to keep each other warm. They only come out to eat or drink and will sun themselves if there is a sheltered spot on the south side in full sun.

Ike is the only one around here not operating in survival mode. He hopes winter becomes a permanent condition. Once again, he is the only one.

My wife and I sit under our blankets in our chairs in front of the television in a modified form of winter hibernation. We also get out of our chairs to eat and drink. We can skip the outside part since we are slightly more advanced than Ike in that way.

Everyone is in winter mode. We all wait for the extreme cold to release its grip so we can appreciate temperatures that are above zero. A day with the temperature in the teens and a bright blue sky has a nice sound to it.

On that day, the cats will languish with mass sun bathing. The furnace will take a break from running continuously

We might even think about the future when we can once again we can leave our coats in the closet and Ike stays in his rightful place outside. Oh, happy day.Until then we will hibernate, each in our own way.

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