Posted at 11:20AM - Comments: (11)
I can’t complain in any way about the rain. We’ve had a freakishly dry winter so far; the last rain we had, until just a few days ago, was around Thanksgiving. But it’s pouring now and has been, on and off for a few days. Which impacts the dogs’ daily plans and our exercise schedules.
My dogs are used to spending anywhere from two to five or so hours outside during the day (ever since Tito the Chihuahua moved in with us, and Tito sleeps indoors, Otto has decided that sleeping indoors every night is for him, too). They patrol for stray cats and UPS drivers, they investigate all alarms sounded by the neighbor dogs and our three hens, they keep a sharp eye peeled for their friend Max, who walks by with his owners once or twice a day and visits through the fence, they doze in the sun (if there is any), and they accompany my husband on his travels from our back door to the door to his office, about 40 feet away. Back and forth, for coffee, bathroom breaks, whatever. On some days, they accompany me two blocks away to my new office, and then patrol the yard at that address for the even more abundant stray cats. Big fun.
At this point, with two well-behaved, well-adjusted adult dogs, I usually take them for two or three off-leash walks a week. The rest of the week, they make do with their outdoor time, the short walk to my office, and whatever spontaneous “chase the ball” or tug of war sessions may break out during my breaks from the computer.
The rain cancels ALL that fun; they want to be indoors when it’s wet, and I can’t blame them. But the boredom brought on by all the cancelled events means there is an even higher expectation and need for a really good off-leash run -- which means I’m going to have to get wet. And they are going to get wet. And my car (or at least, the seat cover on the back seat) is going to get wet. And we’re all going to smell like wet dogs. And I’m going to have to wash an extra load of laundry every other day, just for the towels.
They don’t mind taking a walk or run in the rain, fortunately. (I hate the anticipation of being wet and cold; once I’m dressed for the rain and actually out there on a trail with them, I don’t mind it a bit.) I’ve known other dogs who have to be forced to walk in the rain, who trail along sulkily and are reluctant to go potty outdoors in bad weather.
If I don’t manage to take them for a good long run in the rain, they get drawn into way more squabbles with the adolescent cats, there are far more things that require alarm barking and investigation than usual, there are far more balls dropped on our feet and noses nudged under our elbows . . . no one gets to work hard and solidly until the dogs get their rainy run. Which means I need to go suit up now!
How does the winter weather affect your dog’s life? What accommodations do you make for rain or snow?
How does your dog react to the rain or snow that this season drops on our heads? Some dogs thrive on it while others refuse to go outside. We would love to hear about your pup!