Dogs must be the original “snow bunnies!” Winter weather conditions are prevailing this Thursday. It’s snowing, blowing and COLD, ladies and gentlemen, but the dogs act like Disneyland has been delivered as a personal favor to them! Pouncing, playing, sniffing, sliding, the dogs would stay outside all day — that is, if I was outside with them. Despite double-gloves, LL Bean boots, flannel-line jeans and multiple layers of sweaters, fleece and a quilted coat, I can only take 10-15 minutes at a time. The dogs give me disgusted looks when I pack it in — “Wuss!” they seem to say. I offer to leave them out on their own, but Nooooooo can do. They follow me inside, heads down; I must say, they really make me feel guilty.
Of course, dogs have several cold-bearing advantages over mere humans: a higher body temperature, fur over their entire bodies including the nose (which is one of my “cold spots!”) Kita’s double-coat is so insulating that snow builds up on her back and she comes inside looking like the abominable snow dog. I have to brush it off or she’d be soaking wet when it melted! However, dogs have BARE FEET!
Oh sure, there’s some fur on top of and between their toes, but it’s the unprotected pads that come in contact with the white stuff! Brrrrr!!!! Doesn’t seem to phase them, though! Today, besides Kita (GSD) there are two daycare doggies enjoying the Winter Wonderland. Both the Chocolate Lab and the Border Collie seem to love the weather as much as Kita does, though neither have her thick coat!
In fact, I’ve noticed that snow seems to bring out most dogs’ frisky side. They don’t have the same reaction to mere cold. Many a morning the temp is down in the 30’s and Kita and the other dogs behave no differently than if it were 60 degrees. Let even a hard frost whiten the ground, and my “senior” Shepherd acts like a puppy! She frisks and forgets her leash manners. She gets that GSD, tongue-lolling grin and is extra watchful for something furry to chase! All the dogs are more inclined to dash about, barking just for the shere joy of existence!
Kita rarely plays with the daycare and boarding dogs anymore. She calmly watches their antics, but in her majestic maturity declines all requests to join in. All that changes when the white stuff is around. Then, it’s Kita bouncing at THEM with little play-bows, then running in a little circle to bounce and bow again. If they accept her invitation, and bow back, she gallops around the yard, hoping they’ll chase her. She even indulges in the silly, tucked in the “tail on fire” gait, and might even wrestle a bit.
Dogs seem to find more to sniff at in the snow. Little rodents move about in tunnels just above the ground, but under the white layers and the dogs love to investigate! Dogs love digging in snow-drifts, looking up with white beards and eyebrows frosted. They bite at icicles, plow a furrow with their nose, and make snow doggie-angels. Kita even likes to slide! The ground falls a way just behind the house. Kita flings herself on her back right at the edge of the little hill and wiggles around until her weight takes her over and she slips down about 10 feet. Then she sits up with a grin, looking at me, like “what a clever girl am I?”
Dogs will do all these things on their own, without any human help. Too bad they seem to require a human audience. My 45 minutes in the warm are up! Time to take to the tundra once again, so the Snow Puppies can have their fun!