While I love and adore my skinny little pit bull and my fluffy white dog, there is one thing they are not. And that is designed for winter in New England. Skye stores most of her body fat in her cheeks, and makes her feelings about the cold very clear by stopping every few feet on a walk and shivering while looking pointedly in my direction. Parker, on the other hand, attempts to live outside in the snow, and mopes when I make him come inside. The down side if that his fluff attracts little ice balls, but I didn't realize the extent of this problem until we went on our first snowshoeing adventure this week.
It started out normal enough. Despite her hatred for any coat or clothing, Skye decided to tolerate her ugly pink sweater because it kept her warm enough to run around like a maniac.
She spent most of her time trying to catch a small flock of birds that hide in the tall grass, but are clearly visible on the snow. Needless to say, no matter how visible the birds were, Skye's hunting style was even easier to spot. The birds won in the end.
But back to Parker. He also barely tolerates wearing a sweater, although his objections involve less thrashing around (like Skye) and more silent protesting by refusing to move. Once we got to the park, he gave up the protest for a good romp in the snow. After about 20 minutes, he came over and I noticed the customary dingleberries clumped on his hair.
After another 15 minutes, I saw him laying down, chewing on his paw. I'm not a snow shoe pro, so it took a minute to clomp over to him and check things out. Poor Parker had 4 big balls of ice stuck on the bottom off his little paws. When he tried to get up, he immediately fall back down and started chewing again. I tried removing them, but man, those things were not going anywhere. So Parker gave up his dignity, and we resorted to the only solution available to us.
It's got to be hard being so fluffy. When we got home I wrapped him in warm towels and the ice was finally removed. But I had a dilemma- winter is not even close to being over. I've tried booties with Parker, and at first he did that hilarious little walk that dogs do when they don't understand why their paws aren't touching the ground. But then he shut down, stared at the floor, and refused to move. For 10 minutes. Then I caved and took the boots off.
So how did I compromise playing in the snow with the evil dingleberries? I brought up the situation at work, and the groomer offered to bump up the fluffy man's appointment and keep it short around the paws. So now I have a dingleberry resistant, clean pup! I call it a win all around. Parker, on the other hand, absolutely hates all parts of the grooming process. Add that to the fact that he now actually needs a coat when he's outside, and I'd say this isn't the best week of his life. Poor fluffy.