Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Winter for Gozer

We received about six or eight inches of snow just before the temperature dropped to -15C (below -20C with the wind chill). None of us are used to the cold yet, although my long down coat definitely keeps me warm. Ian can look after himself but Gozer has been having a tough time in the cold. She's been getting huge snow- and ice-balls between the pads of her feet during her walks that have clearly been making her uncomfortable. She was holding up different paws when there was too much ice and walking more slowly, which we took to mean that she wasn't happy.

We'd bought her this lovely 3-in-1 coat with a detachable double-fleece lining and waterproof exterior a few weeks back that has been keeping her body warm enough.
She looks positively stylish in this coat, I have to say. It also comes in huge dog sizes of up to 30" length and 32-38" girth so dogs of every size can look awesome. Unfortunately, this coat doesn't cover Gozer's little feets so today we went out and bought her these fleece-lined muttluk booties in red to match her coat:

They had all-weather ones without the fleece lining but they only came in yellow in her size and Ian felt that the yellow would clash too much with her red coat. The red ones match her coat perfectly. We're now the kind of people that dress up our dog in matching clothes and booties.

There is just about nothing funnier than watching a dog try to walk in booties for the first time. The booties are unfamiliar and feel funny so the dog tries to find a way not to put all four paws on the ground, which of course is impossible. Gozer tolerated the front booties pretty well and ended up doing this crazy back step-kick thing with her back paws. We spent some time inside with the treats we bought for Sunday's training class getting her to walk from one of us to the other and back.

After about five or ten minutes on her evening walk she was walking in her booties as though she'd always worn them. I'm really impressed with her ability to adapt to this new situation: at no time did she lie on the ground looking pathetic or try to bite the booties off and although she was slow at the start of the walk, she didn't pull backwards on her leash.

If it gets a lot colder out, we could always buy Gozer a reversible snowsuit. Ian disagrees with me (mostly because they look silly) but I figure that it can still get a lot colder out there. Until she learns to do her business in the backyard, she's going to have to walk two or three times a day in the cold. While I'd like to think that she's smart enough to get the idea that if she does her thing in the yard she won't have to be out in the cold for as long, I'm not sure that's the case.

At least Gozer is well-prepared for current weather conditions and looks stylish, if a little silly. Hopefully the other dogs won't laugh at her booties and matching coat.

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