Walking the Dog in the Snow


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


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.

It’s that time of year



When the water mains start breaking.

It began with a leak in the church parking lot a week ago. We drove by, and saw water bubbling up through the seam between the parking lot and the road. Water was coming out at a pretty good pace, running down in a broad sheet down into the parking lot, making a detour to pool in the grass, then going down in another broad sheet to end up in the drain at the center of the lot.

We saw it on Saturday, but didn’t have time to call it in for a couple of days. But we figured it was in a public enough spot that someone else probably would. And they did fix it before the next weekend. Though the road still needs its final asphalt patch.

Then last Wednesday, while walking the dog, I noticed a leak in front of a neighbors house.

This one was a lot harder to spot. It was bubbling up between the roadway and the drainage ditch, then going directly into the drainage ditch, and vanishing under the driveway. If Rocky hadn’t had been thirsty, I probably wouldn’t have even seen it. But I forgot about it on Wednesday, and didn’t report it until Thursday, when it appeared about the same.

But by Friday, when they sent someone out to spray paint it, the leak had added a spot where it was seeping through the asphalt, and pouring down the road. It’s possible that no one else still noticed it, since the water wasn’t coming up through any cracks, just general seepage, and there were plenty of wet spots on the road, though most of them didn’t flow. They still haven’t come by to fix it today, but the leak into the drainage ditch has grown quite a bit larger with more spots where the water coming out. Also, less water is appearing in the roadway, so that’s all in all a gain, I think.

Then today, while walking the dog, I found another leak a couple roads over. It hadn’t been marked yet, so I reported it as well. It bubbling up across a crack in the road (much easier to locate than seepage), and then poured down in a broad sheet down the roadway.

So, that’s three leaks that I’ve seen in close vicinity in less than three weeks. Plus who knows how many others I haven’t seen. And imagine that multiplied through the rest of the city. The water crews must be keeping really busy.