Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Snow Dogs

We're in the midst of the snowiest period in our area in 40 years...It started 10 days ago and hasn't melted yet. And it just keeps coming. Of course, this is new for the dogs. Oh, we've had snow in the yard occasionally, and we've been up in the mountains playing in snow, but most of the time it melts out of the yard within a day or two. And it NEVER gets this deep here at home.

Well, the first few days were fun time -- lots of frolicking and chasing and snuffling through the white powder. Then the layer of ice crusted over the foot of snow, creating an ice rink for Kirby and some alarming post-holing for Baxter and the humans. By the time the ice thinned and another few inches of snow fell, the dogs were back at the playing, getting themselves totally coated in ice balls before returning inside. The only problem was finding a good place to do the business...on this count both dogs seemed to be getting a little annoyed. For Kirby, finding the perfect spot was made all the more difficult by the fact that the snow was deeper than Kirby is tall. So my husband flattened out a few trails and little areas for them.

For the most part, though, it's play time. Baxter sinks into the deep snow, so walking through it is a bit of a chore...still, the cold, crisp air seems to bring forth a whole new set of smells and the quiet of the snowcover, combined with fewer cars on the roads, means the birds and other wildlife are easily heard. I think Bax could stand out there all day...but we don't care to, so it's usually a bit of a chore to convince him it's time to go inside.

Kirby sort of plows his way through the snow as if he were swimming, eating snow all the way. Both dogs really enjoy eating snow and at first I didn't realize just how much water they were getting. One evening Kirby was pestering us to go outside at a time when he doesn't usually have to go (he has this way of wanting to go outside right in the middle of a movie and then goes about a teaspoon...it's just a way to get attention). So when he started his whining and his trips back and forth to the door, we just figured it was the usual. We made him lay down and wait. About an hour later we took him outside and the little guy made it about six inches from the front door and peed on the step. We felt AWFUL. He wasn't kidding. It was a classic case of "crying wolf." But now we know that all that snow-eating has consequences, so we're taking them out a little more often.
This brings me to the subject of brain freeze. Have you ever seen a dog with brain freeze? It's quite hilarious. Baxter tends to get it when chomping on snowballs...suddenly he stops, his eyes have a momentary look of panic and he pulls back his lips to show his teeth. Really handsome, that.

Anyway, this post is really just an excuse to post some cute snow pictures of the dogs. Kirby is sporting a a nice coating of little ice balls each time he goes outside. Baxter's feet become totally encrusted with ice balls and, upon returning inside, Kirby goes about helping him pull them off (the towel doesn't begin to touch it). Unfortunately the recent snow pictures of Baxter didn't turn out so well, so I've included a couple of previous show shots just so he gets equal time.

Such cuteness, eh?

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