Dylan's First Snow

by Barbara Murray

Dylan makes me smile several times every day and often laugh aloud. His first experience with snow this past week was hilarious. I laughed until the tears were streaming down my face.

A little background here -- I carried him outside last winter and set him down in spots where I had cleared the snow for him to potty, so that's probably why he doesn't remember snow. Once he completed his business, I picked him up and carried him back inside. He did not play out in cold weather last year because of his tiny size and his Chihuahua ancestry. Since then, he's grown up and has several daily habits that are now part of his routine.

Dylan in the snow with his footballEvery morning, most of the time before daylight, he goes out to his fenced-in yard to potty. When it's dark, he barks and barks, jumping and growling at the door handle until I can get the door open. I assume this is done to warn all the yard monsters he's on his way and to get out of his yard. He doesn't do this after daylight.

As soon as I swing the door open, he bolts and I mean !BOLTS! across the deck, down the six or seven steps and goes off to the races around the inside edge of his fence, making a complete and thorough check of his domain - barking big and bold the entire time. Once he's satisfied that all the monsters have gone away, he does his potty business and then comes back on the deck and makes a different bark to be let in.

Now back to his first snowy morning. It was bitterly cold, so I was going to stay close by to let him back in quickly. However, realizing that he didn't know it had snowed in the night, I wanted to watch up-close how he handled it so I stepped out on the deck behind him. Geez! What I would give for a video of this. I can't describe his body language in words too well.

He went barreling across the deck as always and by the time he reached the top step he realized there was snow everywhere. He tried to put on the brakes but was moving so fast, he slid down onto the top step. He immediately picked one paw up like a tiny kitten in the snow and hopped on three legs but this didn't satisfy him, so he lifted a different paw and back and forth he went from three paws to three paws rotating from one to the other as to which one he held up from the snow.

Then he began his "Hound dog" routine, as we call it, smelling the snow across the steps and from one end of the deck to the other, like he was wondering what this white stuff all over HIS deck was. After checking the deck, he went down the steps into the yard and continued on smelling and looking around like, "Who did this?"

This went on for about five minutes until I prompted him to go potty. It seemed a light bulb went off and he decided it was much too cold to care who did this at this point. He took care of his potty business and we went back inside.

The next time he went out later in the day, he knew it was daylight so he didn't go through the barking-the-monsters-away routine. But lo and behold, he seemed to have forgotten the snow or assumed it had disappeared because once again, he went through the "Hound dog" business of smelling all over his yard trying to figure out where this stuff came from.

Now a week later, he doesn't pay much attention to the snow other than he hurries faster than in warm weather. I do notice too that he uses a bit more caution when running down the steps.

I hope that image of Dylan meeting the snow stays with me for a while. He's too cute.

Read also: Winter Pet Care Tips

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