Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Is Here!

Today is the real, official First Day of Winter.  Sometimes the First Day of Winter comes on December 21, and sometimes it comes on December 22.  There is a reason for this, but it's complicated and boring, so I'm not going to tell you what it is.

The First Day of Winter is also called the Winter Solstice.  The word solstice comes from two Latin words that mean "sun" and "standing."  This would make you think that the sun was standing still at the solstice, but that's not the way it works.  What happens is that when the earth is going around the sun, which it takes a whole year to do, the earth is not straight up and down.  Instead, it is sort of tipped over.  So at the Winter Solstice, the top half of the earth, where we live, is tipped as far away from the sun as it will ever get all year.  And the bottom half of the earth, where the dingoes live and also my distant cousins the basenjis in Africa, is tipped toward the sun, so it's summer there.  You probably learned all this in your third-grade science class, but I am telling you again, just in case you have a bad memory, like my mom has sometimes because she is getting old.

So anyway, when it's winter, the days get really short.  Or at least that's what people say.  But the truth is that days are always 24 hours long, so they aren't really shorter.  It's just that the sun doesn't shine as long, on account of the top half of the earth being tipped away from the sun, like I already told you.

And this also means that it's cold out, and if you're a dog with short hair, your mom might make you wear a sweater.  But I don't like to wear sweaters, as I have mentioned in my blog before, so if Mom puts a sweater on me, I will find a way to take it off.  And also I might chew on it, just to make my point more clear.

Another thing that happens in winter is that it snows, especially if you live way up north.  I have had to get used to snow, now that I live up here in the Frozen North.  Mom says that Missouri does not really count as the Frozen North, but it's the farthest north that I ever lived, and it's way more frozen than Houston, so in my opinion it is definitely the Frozen North!

Anyway, I don't mind the snow too much if I don't have to stay out in it very long.  I like peeing in snow better than peeing in rain because snow feels dryer to me.  Unless it's melting, and then it's icky and wet like rain.  If there's a whole lot of snow, it's hard to pee in it, though, because you have to put your butt all the way down in it, at least if you are a girl dog, like me.  So if there's too much snow, Mom has to shovel a place for us dogs to pee.  This is an important duty of moms and dads who have short dogs, and I am glad my mom realizes this.

At our house, we have a fireplace, and Mom likes to make fires there in the wintertime.  I have heard that some basenjis like to sit by the fire, but I think the fire is kind of scary because sometimes it makes loud popping noises.  So I do not like to sit by the fire.  Instead, I stay in my dog bed on the sofa, which is the same place I stay in the summer, too.  It is a good place to watch TV from, and that is the important thing.

Okay, I guess that's all I need to say about winter.  Right now, on the First Day of Winter, our weather is pretty nice, and there is no snow.  But it's supposed to snow later in the week.  Maybe that means we will have a White Christmas.  Some people really like Christmas to be White, but personally, I don't care too much what color it is!

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