Monday, December 19, 2016

Bitter Cold and old dogs

If you want to call it that. I know that when the air temperature outside is -15 at sunrise and it was only get to something like -2 for the high, it was going to take chores time twice as long.

Of course you have to dress very stylishly when it is frigid.
You would not believe how much these goggles save my eyes from feeling windburned.

Morris used to love going out in the snow and yesterday afternoon he jumped and twirled as I pulled on my 'gear' for running water to the stock tanks. I made him stay in the house.
Watering is simple right? 

Nope 150 feet of hose goes to the large heated stock tank. Each section must be taken apart in frigid weather and drained. The hoses are stretched out on the hillsides after they have been drained and ready for the next time.
Which means to prepare one has to drag the hoses into the proper positions and then connect them, melting the leftover ice on the connections with their hands.

After the upper tanks are done, those hoses too are taken apart and laid out after draining.

Late yesterday afternoon when I came in to swap to some dry gloves Morris jumped and whined. Well, it seemed nicer out, so I went back outside with him.

Morris bolted out the door and ran up and down the plowed driveway. I joined him and then hiked over towards the meadow. The strong hearted little dog joined me, leaping into each of my tracks.

Until, when I turned and saw that he had stopped. He was overcome by a fit of shaking and lifted his paw. He turned and started to walk back.

He was having trouble so I scooped him up and unzipped my flannel jacket and stuck him inside. I took my hands out of their gloves and put them on his feet.
He licked my face. Well yuck. He does have some nasty breath.

We sat in the snow for a bit.

And looked back at our trail.

Morris the adventure dog who used to brave all of the elements no matter what, was not as adventurous any more. I had to face that fact.
No longer was he the young jack russell who flew in the face of cold weather and deep snow.

Photo from 4 yrs ago

Maybe he knew more than me. I didn't want him to age. I don't want him to age. 
But I know he spends more and more time on his 'spot' on the couch taking nice long dog naps.

He can hike in good weather, but cold? Not much any more.

He probably has better sense than I do to stay in from the cold.

I know he won't tolerate booties or a coat. So I'm going to let him be the boss of the couch as much as he wants to be.

Mr. Morris, you deserve your spot on the couch. 

And I promise not to try and take you on any cold hikes, but if you insist on coming, I will most certainly make sure that I can carry you inside my coveralls.

I know even old dogs like adventures.


  1. My old Border Collie, Scout, is now fourteen, and he feels bad if he can't join the younger dogs, even if it is cold. Although he balked at first, he now does not mind the sled dog boots I got for him. Have you tried those? They are pretty cheap at $3.00 a boot, so you can put snow tires on all four paws for twelve dollars! I also got him a coat this year. It is called the Nor'Easter, and it is made by Zack and Zoey. It is waterproof on the outside, warm on the inside, and very, very light. It cost about seventeen dollars. This makes a HUGE difference for Scout's comfort, and it is all quite easy. The coat takes about two seconds to put on, and he does not mind it at all, and he is definitely a "manly man" of a border collie! The boots take about one minute to get on, and the first time I put them on him, he was annoyed, but I just walked out the door, and he followed and soon forgot about the boots. I hope this might help you and Morris! Merry Christmas to both of you!

  2. Thanks, I've tried a coat on him but we have burrs and briers that ripped up his last experimental coat we had. He accompanies me into the creek. I looked up the Nor'Easter and they of course are sold out of his size. Boot sizes? I measured him and he is extra small, again sold out. Yikes.
    I'll be doing more research of course.
    And I'll make sure that I have a good way to carry him when he is cold or tired.

  3. Do you think he would take a small? They say that is right for dogs like Morris. Scout takes a large, and he weighs 55 pounds. I found this link online that has some smalls that might be good for Morris.
    Hope this helps.
    I only use the boots on Scout when it is close to zero or below, but I use the jacket frequently because it is so easy to put on, and really helps in the cold wind too.

  4. Oh Morris! You are just being smart. It's no fun when your feet are frozen.
    I have fleece coats for Little Wonder and Phoebe, but when it is too cold they only go out for short periods of time. My chores have also been taking much longer...I know the feeling.

    Stay warm and Merry Christmas! What a treat to be enjoying your new digs!

  5. farm buddy, I'm going to have to measure Morris as he is not a very big guy. I think he weighs all of 15 lbs. So I'm going to start there. Thanks for the link!

  6. It's hard when our best friends get old on us, especially when the weather is so brutal too.