Patti Soldavini

Frosty Paws

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 01/23/2012 at 8:23 pm

"WHERE are my damn boots?"

Yes, there still are kind people in the world in which we live. On the last leg of our walk yesterday, following a weather pattern that dropped five inches of snow on the ground, Olive starts raising one of her hind legs. As high as the Radio City Rockettes. She’s still walking, but the right rear leg is drawn high up off the sidewalk. I bend down and start rubbing her paw with my gloved hand, brushing the snow from her foot and possibly salt crystals. I am as careful as I can be when walking her in the winter. Mindful of the anti-litigation salt crystals people toss across their sidewalks like chicken feed, I try to steer Olive away from obvious blue clumps and direct her to walk on the snowy lawn. I figure this way, her paws get a brief respite and are possibly somewhat cleansed by the snow. She puts her foot down, walks a few feet, lifts the same leg and then LAYS DOWN IN THE SNOW in obvious discomfort. “Shit,” I mutter. It must be the salt crystals burning her pads. Not thinking, I try to pick her up in my arms so all four feet are off the ground and within seconds I realize that I have to put her back down. What do I think I am, a weight lifter? She’s almost 70 pounds and there’s no way I can really hold her. I might as well try to lift a burlap bag filled with wet cement. As I’m trying to mentally calculate my options, a black SUV rolls to a stop across the street and the driver calls out: “Do you need any help? My dog does that sometimes too.” I reply: “Thanks. I think it must be the salt. We’re OK. We only have another block or two. I think we’ll make it.” “Boy, that was nice, huh Olive?” I pick up both Olive’s back feet and vigorously rub her frosty paws for about 10 seconds. She’s upright now on all dainty fours, but looking at me a little unsure of what to do next. “We don’t have much further to go Olive. Walk on the snow instead of the sidewalk and I promise I’ll rinse your paws off in nice warm water when we get home.” She seems to instinctively trust me or figures she has no other choice because English is not her first language. We continue on our walk, me on my two feet, her on all four of hers. When we get into the car and I turn the key in the ignition, I notice that the temperature is just 21 paw-chilling degrees. Yikes. I realize it was probably just the cold that was flash freezing Olive’s pads. This happened once or twice last year during her first winter. In case you’re wondering, I did ask the vet about possibly getting booties for Olive and he said not to baby her. (Who me?) She’s a dog, her feet have to get used to it. Now, if I could only find where I put the container of Musher’s Secret I bought for Olive this past Summer. I can only imagine that trying to apply it to her paws will be like trying to apply it to the heels of an acrobat.


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