The beautiful Indian summer is fading and the days are starting to get colder and gloomier so I thought I’d do a post about walking in different seasons.
Winter challenges: Snow, Cold
This photo is from when we went to visit family in the Midwest. We hardly ever get “real” snow here. It was the first time Mr. N experienced snow and he did quite well. The only problem was the snowballs that would get stuck on his paws and legs. This year, I’m prepared with a set of boots and wax for his paws.
Our usual winter problem is keeping him from being wet and cold which is the most miserable combination. I still haven’t found the perfect coat yet. So we layer. He wears a fleece under a rain coat. I kind of want to get him a hat. Even though the rest of him is mostly covered, his head still gets wet.
Spring Challenges: Rain
Spring isn’t too bad except by that time we’re all thoroughly sick of Portland weather and just want to see the sun. We had a pretty mild spring this year though with some really warm days early on.
Summer challenges: Heat, Carrying extra water around, Other dog walkers, Foxtails
Mr. N is a Pacific Northwest dog which means he has no tolerance for weather extremes and especially heat. He wilts around 80+ degrees and gives up walking after ten blocks or so. He plops down on the grass and refuses to budge (well he would if I made him but it seems mean). At which point, I pick him up and carry him home. This method is not really recommended for dogs over twenty pounds or so.
This year, he has a cooling vest (pictured in spring photo, we had a couple of really hot days early this year) which gives him super heat defying powers. I took him to the park on a hot day with the vest on and he was literally running circles around the other dogs who were panting in the shade.
As for the extra water, I try not to carry more than what will fit in my (small) purse. Half my purse is usually devoted to dog stuff (treats, clicker, bags, citronella spray) anyway, I don’t have room for more! What I usually end up doing is carrying a collapsible dog bowl and asking cafes/stores for some water.
The fair weather dog walkers all come crawling out once the sun starts shining. I don’t know what they do with their dogs the other 300 days of the year. We never see them when it rains. It gets annoying though bumping into dogs on every corner as Mr. N is leash reactive.
Foxtails are a type of grass with little spikes that can work themselves into animals’ bodies. They’re everywhere during the summer and Mr. N had a limp for a few days as one worked itself into his foot.
Fall: Getting used to shorter days, Rain
It’s starting to get to the point where after-work walks are going to be in the dark. I have a somewhat flexible schedule but we’re still looking at walking in the dark three nights a week at least.
As for the rain, I have two rain coats and Hunter boots. Mr. N owns four rain coats. Onyxx has his own coat now and I found another one in storage that will most likely fit him that he can borrow. We’re as ready as we’re going to be.