This past weekend, New York City had its most prominent snowstorm of the season, dropping a little over 6 inches on “the city that never sleeps.” This means a lot of people were gifted an extra long weekend, kids across the state blessed with snow to frolic in for their last day of winter break and skiers flocked to the hills for perfect powder on the slopes. The dog owners running rampant in the Big Apple, however, found themselves shivering at the thought.
You see, when the average person thinks about taking a dog out to relieve himself, they assume it looks something like this:
Go outside +Dog does business+ Go inside = 10 minutes.
“This simple three-step process surely cannot take up enough time to subtract a significant amount of warmth from owner or pet,” they say, “Even if it is 4 times a day.”
Then there are the rest of us. We know that this logic makes perfect sense in the non-animal parent mind. But we also know in the world of pets, there is a discrepancy as to who is "owning" who. In short, we know better. For when the surroundings that our furry friends have become accustomed to are suddenly coated in something white, cold and unfamiliar—they can’t be held accountable for the way they will react. This is when the equation becomes a lot less like simple math and more like a complex equation:
2 X (Dress oneself in layers of snow gear + Chase dog around house to dress in coat and salt-proof booties X The number of dogs + Minutes spent cursing the snow clouds / by The gratitude for day off of work) + Sum of all time spent sniffing around, Searching for grass or pavement, Eating snow, Staring into space = Incalculable amount of minutes
Canines really seem to embrace the love/hate relationship with snow as much as anyone else. As for my own little angels, Benson loves to try to ingest as much as he possibly can before finally doing his business (prompted by my increasingly loud “suggestion”) leaving him with a patchy “snow beard” that he tracks all over the wood floors. Barbara, in true princess form, prances carefully across the ice with paranoia and the gait of a little ballerina for a few minutes before deciding it is simply not for her and opting to make use of her puppy pad indoors. On snow days, I’m reminded of my status as lowly pet parent, who has essentially given up my own heat requirements in exchange for some wet kisses and a nuzzle.
There is something so innocent about watching the enthusiasm of a dog in a new environment, tearing through it or approaching the whole situation with caution. The first glimpse of the ocean, a city or a big open field can have the same effect—sheer wonderment in the eyes of a puppy.
So wherever you are, pay attention to the little discoveries with your pet. It’s just another part of being a pet parent--the joy of seeing the world through different eyes, not to mention the hours of entertainment and laughs. I will do my best to handle snow day bathroom breaks with the knowledge that there is plenty of heat when we get inside and snuggle on the day off. I guess love really can melt the coldest of hearts, or in this case, frozen limbs.
Thanks for stopping by Bad Dog Blog. I hope everyone is staying safe and warm. Don’t forget to send in photos and pictures of your own naughty, well-loved pets of all kinds, not just of the canine family.
Until next week--