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Cold Weather Trouble

December 17th, 2008, 03:45 PM
I took some flack recently about having my dog out in cold weather and just needed to rant a bit. For those that don't know my dog Zoe is a Norwegian Elkhound/ Chow mix......or silly snow dog as we call her.

On Monday we had a pretty good blizzard, temps were -27 and the wind was 40kmh and gusting at 60 to 70 if not higher. It was truely wicked to be outside. Never-the-less I still took Zoe on her nightly walk, I don't get let off the hook because it's nasty outside and since the day I got her we do our nightly excersice rain, snow, blizzard or sunshine we do our walk. Needless to say most of my neighbours think I am crazy, somedays I think I'm crazy....but she needs to go. At any time if she turns for home or shows discomfort (sometimes the salt on the sidewalk messes with her paws, sometimes she gets ticked the wind is blowing straight up her behind....with a curly tail I can totally feel her pain.:laughing:) we head home.

So after our lovely stroll she wants to stay outside, she has an agenda. There are snowflakes to catch, holes to be dug, cars to be told off.....etc etc. No use in dragging her in the house because she sits at the door and moans, groans, growls and barks to be let out. When she wants in she does one polite bark at the door and that is that. I hover at the door watching her not believing she can love to be out in that. Some nights I have to physically go out and pull her inside because it's either time for bed, or I just can't wrap my head around playing in the snow for hours at -30.:shrug: Sometimes she likes to dig a hole and lay in it and let the snow cover her....she will honestly lay like that for hours if I let her.

So I was told I was an irresponsible owner, that dogs can get frostbite and I don't really know how cold it actually is when you have fur. Dogs need to run to keep heat up (Zoe is on a 30 foot lead attached to another 100 and some foot lead that lets her zoom at will). I was supposedly suspect of animal cruelty because my dog was out in such deplorable conditions......for dog's sake she is a mix of two hardy Northern breeds.....she is built for snow!! This is the second time in 4 years I have had this hassle......she's not a 5 pound Chi shivering in the cold......she's a 60 pound Spitz mix that can go for hours if she chooses.

I understand that some people get upset when they see a dog tethered outside on a cold day for hours.....but really when you look at the whole pic, long lead, furry dog, owner home ( I would NEVER leave her outside if I wasn't home, not even to take a quick trip to the corner store......NO WAY)...and the dog is actually zooming like a freak in the cold and loving that really irrespondsible???

December 17th, 2008, 04:00 PM
DCH,I don't know who said you were irresponsible,but if Zoe loves the snow and the cold,let her enjoy it.
My neighbors Fate(husky)does not have a thick coat and is very slender,but she zooms around in their backyard like crazy,does not want to come inside,mind you we only had -2C today,but we got snow,finally:thumbs up
Now if you had her on a short lead tied to a dog-house all day,that is a different story,but you don't.
Not for a second would I think you would ever do anything that could harm your Zoe:grouphug:

December 17th, 2008, 04:02 PM
Well, at least you have neighbors who are looking out for Zoe :rolleyes:

We have friends in MN with a Norwegian Elkhound. Ilsa loves winter, too--the colder the better. They can't keep her inside, either, when she has the yen to go out and catch snowflakes on her tongue. :dog:

December 17th, 2008, 04:07 PM
Chico2.....that is how i am thinking, she loves the snow. If only they had any clue at to how dangerous the summer is for her, on the days that are 30 plus on the warm side, she just can't handle it. She doesn't do water, so I have to rig up a "PIT OF ICE" for her to lay on in the summer months, plus keep the fans going, had an AC but it bit the dust last year. In the winter I have my house temp set at 64 degrees because any warmer than that she paces and shows discomfort. I can grab a blanket or an extra sweater, she just can't drop her fur coat because it's too warm.

December 17th, 2008, 04:13 PM
A friend of mine, well, more like an aquaintance, adopted two malamute pups. We lived in Edmonton at the time. During the winter, even when they were pups, they would beg to go outside in the -40 weather. She would drag them in at night because it would break her heart to see them outside in the cold, but all they would do is sit at the back door and pant waiting for the door to open for them to run out.

These animals are made to survive the cold, so no, you are not a neglectful owner, just a caring one.

December 17th, 2008, 04:14 PM
My dogs do the same thing.. they love the winter. when we bring them in they cry to go back out..

Last winter the storm before x-mas, we were outside playing in the snow, with the winds blustering in my face.. Bree was the happiest..

If I saw any signs of her suffering I would bring her in right away..

Now can you teach Bree and Archer how to "catch" snowflakes, instead of scooping it off the ground into their mouths like a snowshovel??:D

December 17th, 2008, 04:27 PM
Oh the catching of the snowflakes in mid air that make my stomach cringe....:eek: All i think when she leaps into the air is HIPS HIPS HIPS, tendons, joints oh my....some of those jumps are three feet off the ground, but she has a bead on one certain flake and it needs to be caught. She is a snow monster that is on a mission.

If anything I believe that she should be looked at for suspected human cruelty......I am not built (even with the extra body padding:rolleyes:........and then long johns and mittens, and parka and snow boots, and 3 sweaters, touque, scarf, face wrap........) to be in -10 degree weather let alone -30

December 17th, 2008, 04:35 PM
for me that concerns me is the man made mountain we have in the back of our house..

she runs up to join the other kids or in my case adults (being me) then she wants to run down the moutain, thats when I cring.. Bree and now Archer is learning the word slow.. manly for them, but for me not to get run down by lol..

Archie is just learning that he can eat ice now..:laughing::laughing:

December 17th, 2008, 04:44 PM
oh if she only got the mountain zoomies.....I would be okay. She is super swift on her feet running, it's funny to watch how delicate but stupid she comes down the man made mountain......if that makes any sense without seeing it. The leaping in the air from a dead stop makes me cringe.......somedays I think "oh all that biking has got her hindend one solid chunk of muscle".....but things still pop just because. It would be like muscleman opening a jar of pickles and pulling his whole back out.....WTH??? :laughing:

Here's a pic from two years ago with Zoe and her ball on the hill.......the hill this year is already three times that big...that is her "nosey neighbour" hill.

December 17th, 2008, 05:10 PM
what is winter without hills right zoe
Hills the only way to enjoy the winter..:thumbs up:thumbs up

ours get up to the roof of the house, then it becomes interseting..this is the first winter Archer will experience hills.. one hill at a time, and first small ones then the "big" ones..:)

December 17th, 2008, 05:51 PM
This year with the way the snow is falling the roof is a possiblity. I can already see her perched outside my dining room window on the side of the house...she likes to peer inside and see if you are watching her. I have to bank the house with snow because of no basement, so far we have had a serious dumping of snow so she has the luxury of sitting very high up like a queen.