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Snow, dogs and living in the moment


Dogs, among all the other things they teach us, show us how to live in the moment — to see the snow as something to be played in as opposed to something to be whined about.

Then again, they don’t have to shovel it.

Part of me, upon confronting two feet of snow, wants to go to sleep in that moment and wake up in a future moment when it has all melted, and then proceed to live in that moment.

Which brings us to this weekend’s momentous snow.

Like most dogs, Ace loves the snow. A good covering of it seems to take years off his age. Snow, for dogs, is a fountain of youth. It brings out their inner child, which, with them, is already pretty close to the surface anyway.

That said, even Ace was briefly flummoxed by 25 inches of it — the most he’s ever seen. When I opened the front door, there was a two-foot wall of snow. He stared at it for a few seconds, then busted through and down the steps.


Even for a big dog like him, the only way to move forward was with a series of bunny-style hops — and, unlike with me, each hop served to invigorate him more. “Let’s go! Let’s go!” his entire body said. With me trudging and him hopping, we worked our way to a plowed road and to the park, where other snow-invigorated canines frolicked with abandon.


Even among more elderly dogs at the park, the snow seemed to have made them young again, bringing more spring to their steps, more sparkle to their eyes. It made me reflect back to my New Year’s resolutions — to look at things, including burdensome ones like two feet of snow, and see the joyous opportunities they present.

Like dogs do.


(Photos by John Woestendiek)


Comment from bluhawkk
Time February 7, 2010 at 3:10 pm

As far as I’m concerned whining about snow and cold IS living in the moment.

My suggestion for amending the seasons:

Summer – 9 months
Spring – 2 months
Autumn – .99 months
Winter – 1 day but I would generously allow snow for that 1 day.

Comment from katherine
Time February 7, 2010 at 4:24 pm

my dog is so cute in the snow – but she does not like it! she barks and shivers in the snow and goes in and our quickly. she’s so low to the ground (beagle/basset) she just gets drenched on her under half because she sinks in

Comment from Blair Sorrel
Time February 7, 2010 at 4:54 pm

Greetings! Unfortunately, most dog walkers discover a danger, only sadly, when victimized. And so I wanted to inform you of StreetZaps Baltimore. And so you are aware, I confer with Con Edison’s Stray Voltage and Public Affairs Units and contribute to Wet Nose Guide and New York Dog Chat. Thank you.

WHY URBAN METAL ISN’T PRECIOUS- Blair Sorrel, Founder, http://www.StreetZaps.com

Of course, you want a worry-free walk year-round, so adopt this simple strategy:


Take just a few seconds to survey the immediate surroundings and make your trajectory toward a non-conductive surface, ie., plastic, wood, cardboard, rather than risking any metal or electrical fixture. The lowly, free-standing garbage bag, is you and your dog’s best friend, most of the time, unless it’s snowed and salted. Then you might contemplate indoor products. Consider the safer, hardware-free RopeNGo leash and harness to help shield against a possible zapping and for greater peace of mind.


Your pooch’s sex is irrelevant. True, the most gruesome scenario is that of a male dog electrocuted by its ys. Intuit your dog’s cues, if resistant to an area, choose an alternative route. Elude potentially live work areas or carry your canine, if necessary. Opt for indoor products such as The Pet Loo, Hammacher Schlemmer’s Indoor Restroom, or Wee-Wee Pads, if external conditions are ominous. Dog booties can leak and make your pooch even more vulnerable.


Any of these fixtures might be dangerous, so again, choose non-conductive where and when possible. (link to home page fixtures listed below and/or the visuals page):

View All StreetZaps’ Home Page & Safety Images

– Street & Traffic Lights can leak if damaged internally, even if the compartment is fully closed and the light is not illuminated

– While wooden blocks anchor Scaffolding or Sidewalk Sheds, be aware that sloppy wiring by a contractor and/or the use of lighting equipment which is NOT WATER-PROOFED or even suitable for outdoor usage, may still shock a passerby.

– ATM Vestibules

– Decorative Lighting

– Dog Booties may increase
the risk of a shock

– Electrical Boxes

– Fire Hydrants

– Fire Police Call Boxes

– Manhole Covers

– Muni Meters

– Phone Booths

– Service Boxes

– Street Light Boxes

– Traffic Boxes

– Work Areas

After all, why chance it when there’s a choice?


Tampered equipment can become pernicious so please map (Report Form) damaged fixtures and known hot spots to admonish other pedestrians and alert the utility and transportation department.

Comment from Anne’n’Spencer
Time February 7, 2010 at 7:39 pm

Spencer likes the snow, but this batch was way too deep for him to do any cavorting. We trampled down a bathroom for him, and he wore down a little Beagle-sized path to the rest of the back yard. But he doesn’t stay out long.

Comment from Edna Faye
Time February 7, 2010 at 7:52 pm

Loved seeing these pictures! Glad Jo is not out in that! We have had very little by comparison. Don’t let Ace drag you into the lake. Old Aunt

Comment from John Scepanski
Time February 9, 2010 at 4:05 pm

Cool! In both senses.

Pingback from Dog Behavior Training Tips » Monday: A veterinarian addresses canine devocalization
Time April 26, 2010 at 8:36 am

[…] John from ohmidog has a terrific report on what the historic snowfall was like — from a canine point of view.    Hint:  you want to see a dog have a great time?  Watch him romp around after a big […]