The past couple of weeks we’ve received a decent amount of snow — and now this week the temperatures decided to plummet into the negatives. Which is all well and good….until you either:
A) want to venture outside;
B) have three dogs that need to occasionally use the bathroom; or
C) have one dog that LOVES being outside and has a short memory [doh]
As of right now (11:36 AM) the temperature is STILL only -5 (yes, that’s NEGATIVE 5 degrees Fahrenheit). To put this into perspective for my warm-weathered friends in Florida I have a few examples of what this actually means.
Case Number ONE:
Yesterday (February 5):
I let Bacca outside after breakfast (I’ve been letting the dogs outside because Minna has this tendency to chase poor Bacca and after a fight a few weeks ago I refuse to allow that to happen again….and now that it’s frigid cold I can’t get in the backyard and really work with Minna on having some restraint and not trying to eat Bacca).
ON WITH THE STORY!!! So I let Bacca outside and he did is normal — go pee, wander over and do the pooping thing, and then explore and sniff around the yard for a few minutes. It was about this time that I decided to call him back into the house. So he he comes…..very slowly….back to the house.
Hackles are all raised, front paw and back paw not wanting to touch the ground, and whining (poor sad Bacca whining). I rushed over to grab my boots so I could go outside and carry him back into the house [it was -7 at the time]. But by this point he had come a little closer to the house so I just coaxed him inside.
He then laid down about 2 feet in the back door and proceeded to whine and whimper and look at me with those oh-so-sad eyes of his. I figured out the issue pretty quick, that he just needed warming. So I held his paws in my warm hands for a few seconds and then he was magically healed.
Mind you by this point, Minna is now outside doing her thing. And a few minutes later she comes limping back to the door and comes inside — great, two dogs have now come limping back to the house because their paws are frozen.
So I let Shara out, and since I’m smart, I call her back in after only a minute or two — so at least one of three dogs doesn’t get frozen paws.
That was case in point number one, from yesterday. Thankfully Bacca is ultra smart and so the next couple of times he went outside he ventured about 15 feet from the door, did his bathroom thing, and came back inside. No more frozen paws for him.
Case Number TWO:
Today, February 6:
For anybody that doesn’t already know this….Minna is OBSESSED, and that’s putting it mildly, with being outdoors. She absolutely, unequivocally loves the backyard. I’m pretty positive that she would live outside all day if I would always allow it. Anyway, that’s not the point right now….
So, for the past two days I’ve been keeping Minna inside the house because I don’t want her to have frozen paws. Finally today, I said “maybe I’m just being paranoid and your paws will be fine…after all, you ARE a dog…and you’re covered in hair.” So I let her outside….after about 5 minutes or so I call her back inside because I can already tell that although she wants to be outside, her paws do not.
And actually she more or less laid down in the middle of the yard and was keeping a front paw and a back paw off the ground. So again, I use my amazing coaxing skills and convince her to walk herself back into the house (more or less so I don’t have to walk outside and attempt to lift her and carry her back into the house….60+ pound dog, plus slippery snowy yard probably don’t mix well).
So she gets back in the house, and isn’t whining, but isn’t using two of her paws either and gives me that sad German Shepherd Dog look of “help me human….my paws hurt”. So again I use my magical healing powers and I warm her feet.
My point here is that if NOT even the dogs can stand to be outside in these ice age temperatures, I sure as heck wouldn’t last longer than about 14 seconds. ;-)