Look at that face. Frozen whiskers. Sad eyes. It breaks your heart, doesn't it?
We took the dogs snowshoeing yesterday for the first time. It's been unusually cold here in Vaud but we braved the temperatures and set up the Col de Mollendruz. Surprisingly, Loki doesn't fight his jacket anymore, though I have to admit, it seems even too flimsy for this weather. The poor thing was miserable the entire time.
We set out on 1.5-hour trail and only made it halfway around before turning back because his paws were so frozen he couldn't lift them. Both of them had frozen whiskers. We saw plenty of dogs, boxers, labs, and collies, out there so we knew we weren't pushing the limits too much with them in terms of the weather. So we found a quieter area and let him and Juno loose for zoomies in the deep powder to try to pick up his spirits. At first, it seemed like a good idea to him and he and Juno zoomied the deep stuff. But while Juno was in heaven running free in deep snow, it didn't take him long to plop his bum down, hold up his paw and refuse to play.
We took the hint and headed straight back to the car. The entire walk only took about 45 minutes for our first time out.
Even Juno had icicles on her whiskers.
But she wasn't complaining.
When we got home we ordered up a pair of booties from REI.
I can't tell if it was the snow, the cold or both that bothered him. Last year he loved the snow and bounded in the deep powder all the time. But it's fair to say it never got this cold. It is in the negative Celcius degrees here. If any readers out here have experience with non-snow dogs: do you have better times in warmer snow weather with them? Have you tried outfitting your dog with boots to make snow walks more enjoyable?
The boots are on their way. I'm totally looking forward to trying to put them on his feet. It took weeks for me to get him wearing his seatbelt. Oh, what joy that was. But his paws? They are his gold. Except for a quick shake, nobody touches them. Oh yeah, Internet, you're going to be hearing "arrgghhh arrggghhh" all the way from Vaud for at least a week or more. Some good times lie ahead--for Juno. Dawg knows she loves it when he's annoyed.
Here's a relaxing video of the drive up the Jura to the Col de Mollendruz. But don't let it fool you. I turned down the video volume for your listening pleasure. Nobody wants to hear The Cracker yappin'.
The song is from the artist we discovered when we visited Chateau d'Aigle.
All of the dogs we have had ( GSD's and Rotties) have required booties when the temps dipped below 10 deg. F. so I don't think Loki is trying to pull one over on you. Even our most plush coated shepherd needed booties in those temps. Good luck with the booties. Usually they walk funny in the house, but when they get outside in the snow they seem to forget they have them on (at least mine did).
For Bunny, I have a set of boots from Voyager's K9 Apparel, the same place you got Loki's fleece from. I also have a heavy duty coat of theirs that I can put over her fleece tummy warmer or use separately. She has no undercoat and no body fat, so she needs it. We got a set of Pawz boots for Morgan last year. She did okay with them. They're like rubber balloon material that slides over her feet. It's not great for warmth, and not terribly durable, but it does keep the ice from forming between her toes and gives her traction. She took to wearing them much better than I expected her to. Bunny does pretty well with her boots, too, but I don't think she'd keep them on if she decided to have a good run. I'd take them off and then put them back on, most likely.
I cracked up at Juno's expression behind poor Loki in that first picture! I really thought the video was going to be a repeat of the Cracker Song. I laughed so hard at that video when you posted it!
Mom says she felt sorry for Loki, he looks miserable just riding in the car! Love the second pic - his "poor me" face and Juno sitting there laughing behind his back. Woooo-hoooo! Also love the close-up of the beawootiful smiling Juno - girl, the color of your eyes is pawsome!
That's quite a pretty drive, too bad the cracker can't take the weather, it looks like Siberian Heaven!
Uh oh poor cracker, lots of cold snow clothing around you will be able to enjoy the snow again, have no fear. As for Juno the colder the better for us Sibes no need for more clothing for us we come with it all. Looking forward to getting monster squirt, oo sorry, I mean Kyra in the snow. Its going very cold here again in Southern Spain in next few days, so im guessing your getting another very cold spell too. Stay warm Loki.
Poor guy!! Jackal is a big wimp about the cold too, but we don't get enough snow for me to really help you out on that one lol. It doesn't get as cold here either. I hope the boots work out for you and please don't let Juno get hold of them lol.
Jack does the same head on my shoulder thing when we ride together too!!
My sheltie Connor had booties he wore outside when the temps dropped below single digits. He was a happy camper once he got over the OMG THERE ARE THINGS ON MY FEET I CANNOT MOVE factor (yes, it was about that traumatic.)
Phoenix just got a new winter coat. Not sure he's impressed but he's pretty low key about wardrobe changes.
We have lots of experience with extreme cold (down to -15 deg F) and our dogs going out in it.
The first thing that bothers them is their paws. Their paws start bothering them in single digits F, and it's worse in snow (but can happen without snow). We boot our dogs when it gets that cold. However, we haven't found ideal boots yet, despite many many tries.
R wears Ruffwear boots, and K wears Muttluk boots. K won't even walk or move in Ruffwear boots for some reason.
Both dogs act as if they're unable to walk when we put on the boots for the first few minutes. At the very beginning of our adventures with boots, we fed the dogs with their boots on, making them walk across the room to get to their food (be ready with the camera - it's hysterically funny how they walk at first). Now, we just ignore their crazy behavior when we first put the boots on, and they forget about the boots when they start running outside.
If they "hold up a paw" and we don't have boots with us, we find that rubbing the paw with our mittens can help. Also, check for snow balls between their toes and remove them. One of our dogs had long paw fur, and we used to clip it short in the winter to reduce snowball formation.
I hope that this helps!!! Oh, and on another subject, allergies and autoimmune issues are indeed related, not directly, but there are similar malfunctions at work. I hope that you're still feeling good. As things are starting to fall into a routine here since K's cancer diagnosis, I'd be glad to "talk" about the whole thing via email if you'd like!
Enjoy that snow. Your photos are fabulous. There's one of Juno that I adore. And, it's funny, your snowy mountains look a lot like ours!
OH NO> No funballs snowshoeing? Are you sure LOKI????? I love it. Here's what I use.
http://www.dogbooties.com They are made for sled dogs. They stay on well. They are reasonable priced. I get them every year.... the heavier fabric is stiff and so we go with the lighter fabric ones. Norwood is 53lbs and wears a medium.
For coats, I do have to recommend the cloud chaser soft shell by Ruff wear. Norwood's is too big but I got it off the bargain rack for $10 so I just pin the side up so he can pee okay. BUT he loves wearing it. http://www.ruffwear.com/Cloud-Chaser-Soft-Shell-Jacket Shawnee the shepard recently bought one and loves it too. No more belly icicles.
That's our tw crackah cents for cold snowballs fun. And you know I have crackah fun any temps.
Poor Loki looks like he's riding in the tumbrel, headed for the guillotine. Maybe he just knew he was doomed to freeze his assets off in the cold and snow. Maybe he needs a down coat, or a second sweater knitted out of Sibe floof. Hope the new winter gear works for him. We're looking forward to the video.
Jed & Abby
Fi's feet get colder much more quickly than Abby's do; we've got booties for both of them (ultrapaws.com), although we haven't had much of a call to use them this winter, as we've never had any brutally cold days... But he really works that 'pathetic' look! 😉