Summer Dog

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Our dog is far more of a cold weather dog than a warm weather one. It’s mostly his thick black coat. In cold weather, when there is snow on the ground, he enjoys bouncing through the snow, sniffing footprints and sneezing, and running crazily around us when we try to walk him.

In summer weather, like we’ve been having, he’s much more likely to sneak down to our basement garage, and lie on the cold hard concrete floor and go to sleep. He still enjoys his walks, but they take a lot more out of him. The part he likes back is either finding a puddle (there are a lot of them at the moment, we’ve had a lot of rain), or being taken down to the creek, where he can climb into the water, and lie down and get cool.

Usually, when I take him down to the creek, I get annoyed by the mosquitos, but they don’t seem to bother him. That coat of his is probably good for something besides keeping warm.

When the dog does stay up with us to sleep, he is far more likely to be sleeping on his back, to cool off his belly, than curled up in a little ball, like he does when it’s cold out. This, of course, invites belly rubbing, which he also loves. Usually. Sometimes he just gets up and wanders away when we try. Most of the time, though, he just lies there with an idyllic expression on his face (similar, but not identical to an idiotic expression on his face), and lets us rub until we get tired and walk away. Then he looks at us reproachfully. Sometimes that brings us back, sometimes not.

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Walking the Dog in the Snow

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Our dog’s always been a cold weather dog. I think part of it is the thick black fur coat he wears all year long. In the summer, he suffers, and sneaks down to the basement to sleep on the cold, hard, concrete floor. He still does that in this weather, but not nearly as much. And he’s never quite figured out that he doesn’t need to sneak, we don’t care if he goes downstairs or not.

So, he’s really been enjoying the weather we’ve been having the past couple of weeks. I’ve been taking him out for long walks (2-3 miles) every morning. For the most part, he prefers to stay on the plowed road, but when I take him through the park, he’ll sniff at all the footprints he can find (even if they’re his from the day before), sneeze, then bounce all over the place.

Since we’ve had that broken water main on our street, they’ve been putting a lot of salt down on it. I don’t know what they put in the salt, or even if it’s really salt at all, but it hurts Rocky’s feet to walk in the melted salt water. He would look up at me piteously when we walked that stretch. Once we got up to the road that was just plowed, not salted, he was fine, and would return to his happy bouncy self. Even he eventually figured out what was causing his feet to hurt (whether or not he knew why), and started walking on the snow in that section, which was much easier on his feet.

It’s funny, you’d think that a 2-3 mile walk through the snow in temperatures twenty degrees below freezing would be as tiring for him as it is for me, but after the walk, he’d be all bouncy, and I’d have to “Grrr” at him to get him to calm down. This involves me standing in one spot, and saying “Grrr” to him, while he runs from one end of the house to the other, crazily. Then he comes back, and I say “Grrr” again. Apparently this is a really fun game. After a few minutes of this, he eventually gets himself a big drink, then goes and lays down, and can sleep the rest of the day comfortably.

Sometimes I wish I could do the same.

Cold Weather

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It’s gotten cold and snowy here the last few days. Not as bad as some other places, we probably got half an inch, at most, unlike the foot or more that I’ve seen people posting on their Facebook pages. Also, not ice, and not negative degrees, like I’ve seen other people posting about.

Still, trying to take the dog out for his long walks when the temperatures is in the teens isn’t much fun. It’s better when the wind isn’t blowing, but still.

Now, he’s a cold-weather dog. He just loves the snow (as long as it doesn’t pack between his toes when he’s walking, that’s no fun at all), and his furry coat means he doesn’t care much about the cold. He tends to suffer in the summer when it’s hot, though.

While we were out walking the other day, we went by one house where instead of the snow, one tree, two bushes, and a whole bunch of grass, were covered in ice. I had to look twice to make sure, then I saw where there was a steady stream of water coming up from the road. Suddenly, it was clear to me. Sometime during the night, a water pipe had burst, and geysered for a while, before making the break in the water pipe big enough to let the water stream out without spraying.

The water leak was already marked with orange cones before I got there, as well as being not too far from where they’ve been working laying the new water pipes (but far enough away that I was pretty sure they didn’t cause it), so I didn’t bother reporting it. And it was fixed a couple of days later.

With the snow on the ground (little as it is), the white PVC pipe that the water-construction people have left sticking up from the ground at various points are a lot harder to see. And I expect that once we get snows that really require plowing will run into and break most of those. I don’t know what those pipes are supposed to be marking, but I’m assuming that they’ve been marked on a map somewhere, and there will be enough left in the ground to figure out where they were when they need to take care of it.