The universe is conspiring against me and my dog.
Yeah, I’m really busy and my dog Honey would have to be dealing with that anyway. But the extreme cold is making things even worse.
Can I really blame winter for my neglected dog?
House In The Cold
We’ve had an extremely cold winter. The coldest of my life.
Today the temperature is in single digits with a wind chill of well below zero (that’s in Fahrenheit; in Celsius the temperature is well below zero with a wind chill of even more below zero).
It’s so cold, it’s damaging my house.
Our back gate is frozen open, as is the door to the shed attached to our house. The basement floor is heaving in the extreme cold. I can’t do laundry until I unfreeze the drain to the washing machine.
And my exterior walls are cracking.
I’ve been slowly ticking off my house jobs list in preparation for selling. But rooms that were finished and in beautiful shape now need me to get out joint compound and a knife to repair tiny stress cracks because my house is moving in the cold.
Everything takes longer or has to be done more slowly (I can’t touch up paint unless I remember to bring it up from the basement to thaw first).
And the extra demands on my time from the cold is causing me to neglect my dog.
My Job In The Cold
I usually ride my bike all year round. It’s the fastest way to get around.
But the numbing cold has come with regular snow.
My skinny, high-pressure tires don’t do well with ice and slush (which never melts because of the extreme cold). So my ten minute bike commute to work has turned into a twenty-five minute slog over unshoveled sidewalks.
And if I’m leaving earlier for work, that gives me less time with Honey. In other words, another way to neglect my dog.
Me In The Cold
I have a Norwegian friend who says there’s no bad weather, just bad clothing.
I don’t know what those Norwegians are wearing. But I don’t have it in my wardrobe.
I try not to complain about the weather. I wear long underwear every day. And I tell myself the weather is brisk and bracing.
But I can’t tell you the last time I’ve taken Honey for a typical 90 minute walk. Even with layers, after twenty minutes, my legs are burning. And it takes me a long time to stop shivering after we return to the house.
Honey In The Cold
I’ve never considered wearing a fur coat. But Honey definitely has me tempted.
This. Dog. Does. Not. Feel. Cold.
She’ll bark to go outside just to roll around in the snow. She even starts to pant lying on top of the bed with the heat turned way down for the night.
Honey is really tolerant and patient. But she does not understand why she’s not getting her long walks.
And she certainly doesn’t understand why I’d rather spend time with ladders, tools, and buckets of paint than her.
Poor Honey, you’re so neglected.
Something Has Gotta Give
When I got up at 5 a.m., Honey let me know she was feeling neglected. She put her head on my lap and insisted on lovies instead of letting me get to work.
So I moved over to the couch and am writing on my laptop with her t my side instead of at my desk.
Maybe I can do the same with my office work later today.
I can’t have her near me while I’m painting the trim in the stairwell. But maybe we can play some nose work games in the living room when I’m done.
I don’t really know if Honey is feeling neglected or not. I might just be attributing feelings to her because I feel them.
Because I’m missing our long walks, playing fetch in the snow, and just cuddling on the couch with my poor, neglected dog.
Your Turn: How do you carve out special time with your dog when things get crazy?