Here in Takoma Park, a Maryland suburb of Washington, DC, we’re buried under about three feet of snow. My 10-year-old son is pretty ecstatic–a week without school, all the snow fort-building and video game-playing he can stand–while my wife Martha and I are hunkered down with our laptops and cell phones, struggling to keep up on work and desperately hoping that the electricity doesn’t go out again. Meanwhile, our three dogs are reacting in puzzlement. Their normal daily routine–sleeping for long stretches, punctuated by walks, mealtime and occasional frenzied bursts of barking whenever a raccoon tightrope-walks on the backyard fence or the UPS truck delivers a package next door–has been thrown all out of kilter by the snow-imposed standstill. Moreover, outside, the route for their daily walks, with has been transformed into a frozen, alien wasteland. As daunting as the three-foot-high snowdrifts look to us, imagine how disconcerting they must appear to our stubby-legged basset hound-pit bull Madge, who is considerably less than three feet off the ground.
BTW, here’s some useful advice on taking care of your dog in cold weather, from Dr. Jennifer Lander, animal health manager for the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
credit: Patrick J. Kiger