Chapter 80 When You Really Need A Good Coat

What can you do when winter comes and you’ve got a great natural fur coat, water-resistant and multilayered? You can park your butt in the snow and just sit there waiting for a rabbit to hop by, that’s what. And you won’t be shivering.dogs in snow 2015-02-22 003
Naked apes shiver when we are cold. Dogs usually don’t. If your dog is shivering, experts say it could be from illness, pain, excitement, but usually not because she’s cold.
Okay, Boston’s got it all over us, but outdoor temperatures have dipped into single digits around here lately. The human would happily stay indoors until the snow melts and spring comes over the windowsill, but indoors 24/7 is not an option for canines. So we traipse out, with Greta, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever—coat made for Canadian waters and winters–and Rusty, the Cocker spaniel with a nice soft, curly coat not made for serious winters. Rusty’s coat is augmented by a dapper plaid jacket when the thermometer drops below freezing.
Rusty is not a snow dog. His legs are just barely long enough to reach the ground in non-winter weather. Add eight inches of snow, and he gets trapped. He sinks into the snow and flounders, trying to get through to dry ground.
So, what can a little dog do when winter comes? He can stretch out on the egg crate dogs in snow 2015-02-24 001foam covered by the old mattress pad and sleep. He is warm and dry, and he can dream that when the grass is green once more, there will be rabbits and squirrels to chase. Life is good now, but it will be better then.
The dogs can romp in snow, but ice is not so good. A recent storm brought freezing rain that coated everything—snow, bare patches of ground, driveways, people who were standing out in the weather—with ice.
Greta used the aftermath of the ice storm to demonstrate that dogs do not understand cause and effect. The cause part came when she charged across the back yard after a lone and foolish squirrel, slipped on the ice and twisted her hips.
It hurt. Greta has arthritis in her hips. She limped back across the yard, came indoors and lowered herself onto the egg crate foam. She indicated that she had no plans to move. Painkillers are a tough choice for Greta: pain relief and an upset stomach or pain, but no upset stomach. We went with Option A.
By the next day, Greta was feeling better. She had a bit of jauntiness in her step as we ventured out. Before her human could stop her, she stepped onto a patch of ice.
You know the rest of the story. She doesn’t have any visible injuries, but she stands up like an 85-year-old trying to push himself out of a deep, soft recliner. And she’s back on the painkillers. The only difference this time is that she has a companion on the other egg crate foam. Rusty slipped on the icy driveway and went down with all four paws going in different directions. Luckily for him, painkillers do not affect his appetite.
The naked ape got off easy. Just a scrape on one knee and a kneecap that is an interesting shade of blue/black.
Come on, spring.

This entry was posted in dogs, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers, weather. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Chapter 80 When You Really Need A Good Coat

  1. Mike says:

    According to the Weather-Brains group we are “Meteorological-Spring”, but it doesn’t look like it. Even though the dogs don’t have as far to fall as us Naked Apes, icy weather takes its toll. We all gotta be careful out there. Sorry to hear of your ‘tragedies’.

  2. Mike says:

    Reblogged this on Weakly Thoughts and commented:

    Oh my, it’ s COLD outside!

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