No enjoyment for this canine.
Two weeks ago, it was 70 degrees in downtown Cleveland, and Woody and I went on a five-mile walk, convinced winter was on its way out. Last night, I checked the weather forecast and it turns out we were mistaken. Snow will be falling through next Friday. Spring officially began two days ago. So much for "in like a lion, out like a lamb." This March has been straight lion.
This weekend happens to be my birthday weekend, and for the first time in awhile I have to celebrate in the cold. The last birthday I had to experience snow was my 14th, and every year since then, I've either celebrated in the south or enjoyed a normal spring day here in Ohio. I'm not one to complain about the weather in the sense that I threaten to move to Florida every year; but what I do think is a valid complaint is how unbearable it becomes in terms of taking a dog out to use the bathroom. Since November, I've had to endure the cold to make sure Woody relieves himself so I'm ready for this chore to go back to feeling like a non-burden.
Who I feel worse for in this situation, though is Woody. As a short-haired dog who weighs less than 20 pounds, the cold is not his friend. I enjoy seeing Facebook photos of large dogs with layers of fur romping in the snow like it's the best thing they've ever done in their life. Woody will never be that dog.
Let me paint you a picture of what our bathroom breaks look like in the winter, specifically when the sidewalks are a mixture of snow, ice and salt:
I put Woody's coat on (full-disclosure: I am not a fan of clothes for dogs, but jackets for extra protection against the elements is acceptable). He's fully aware what's ahead when the coat goes on. We hop on the elevator, where he proceeds to try to eat whatever is on the floor. We head outside. He feels the air, steps toward the sidewalk and stops in his tracks, sits down and looks at me like "nope, not walking in this." I pick him up, carry him across the street, and plop him down in the grass. Usually, he takes care of business quickly, but when it's below 20, I have to pick him up periodically to warm up his paws. Once he's done, I pick him back up, we head inside and I can't help but feeling like he thinks I'm torturing him.
While the vet still thinks my cabin-fever theory is a bunch of BS, I do not doubt for a second he's getting tired of all this winter. This weekend, Woody gets to go celebrate being a dog at Camp Bow Wow and I get to turn 25 with all my friends. Despite the fun ahead, I know once Sunday is over, we'll both be back to praying for spring. At this point, the new benchmark is Cleveland Indians Opening Day, April 8. Average temperature: 56 degrees.
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I'm just a twenty-something female raising the weirdest dog I've ever met.