It’s no secret that most dogs love to play in the woods, roll around, get dirty, eat dead things, and just generally fool around in the great outdoors. Recent observations, however, have led me to believe that this playfulness may change in the winter months. But these dogs aren’t getting more lethargic- they’re getting more energetic! These days Charlie can’t wait to get outside and romp around in the snow. No purposeful sniffing here just pure unbridled enthusiasm. He literally jumps and bounces through the snow drifts just for the fun of doing it. It’s as if he doesn’t even notice that it’s -5 degrees outside. But I sure do! In fact, I’m a total wimp about the cold. Which presents me with my most recent quandary: how much time am I required to spend outside during these winter months? It’s hard to deny Charlie of his daily frolic in this winter wonderland but when it’s below 20 degrees I have a hard time motivating myself to gear up and get outside.
Sure, I can reference a large handful of articles and advice warning about the dangers of exposing your dog to these frigid temperatures but it feels like a bit of a cop-out. Wouldn’t Charlie act less excited to go outside if it hurt his paws or was uncomfortable in any other way? I do worry that he’s just a little too exposed to the elements out there but I’m careful to watch for signs of lethargy or limping. Unfortunately, I’m the one who usually calls it quits first. Additionally, with twilight creeping in about mid-afternoon, an evening stroll after work isn’t much of an option (not that I would want to spend more time outside anyway).
So, until I invent some sort of diving bell-esque apparatus that will allow me to stay toasty warm while Charlie tears it up in the snow, I’m stuck trekking through knee-deep snow, in the freezing cold, looking like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man in my snowsuit. See you on the trails!