A Dog’s Tale


I dressed my dog, Barley, up to protect him from the cold, and the above look said it all. If he could write, I imagine it would go something like this …

By Holly Lange, Visitor Center Ambassador

Hey, Mom – I know you thought this winter outfit was cute when I was a puppy, but look at my face. What am I thinking? Thank goodness I’ve now outgrown this particular humiliation, but I know you, and I know you’ve been checking the pet stores for new winter gear …

It’s true that I lose most of my body heat from the pads of my feet, my ears, and my respiratory tract, and that the rock salt on the sidewalks can irritate my paws, but I have other ideas besides these puffy accessories that give me major grief from my dog friends, Scribbles and Dudley.

Take me out for short walks when it’s cold. I can handle it about as much as you can, but when your feet get cold, mine are, too. If I’m shivering or anxious, or I start slowing down, it’s time to take it home, Chief. Once home, dip my paws in lukewarm water and wipe them off thoroughly. This also works for snow – since you know I get a lot of snow stuck to my fur. They’ve got that pad wax, too, which helps, but you know I tend to lick that stuff off. Sorry, can’t help it.

I like being outside, but don’t leave me out in the backyard for too long when it’s cold. I’m pretty polite, so I may not always bark right away when I’m ready to come back inside. Don’t forget about me while you are working on your emails (I know how you get). Also, sometimes I have a water bowl outside, which is great, but please make sure it doesn’t freeze.

And we can still exercise inside, right? Remember the tennis ball fetching marathon in the upstairs hallway? That was fun.

One more thing: You know I have my own coat that will grow out nicely for extra warmth. As long as you keep it brushed, I’ll be happy with it … and we know it won’t clash with my eyes.


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