Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

Don't let the fact that it's sunny in this pic fool you. It's
absolutely frigid!
This winter has sort of been ridiculous. I've never known a colder winter in all my days. It also just so happens that this is the year we picked to adopt a dog who needs to go outside multiple times per day to use the bathroom. However, I'm glad we adopted a dog this year because if it had been last year or next year Barry wouldn't be around to adopt! So, essentially it's lucky...? Anyway, my whole point is that it's been really cold. No living creature can survive for long out in this weather. It's important to keep that in mind when going out in weather like this. You wouldn't go outside in little clothing and no shoes. I won't allow Barry to go out au natural either. He is a short haired dog and needs at least a layer over him. We have a number of sweaters, a red puffer coat and purple PAWZ booties for him. We choose whatever sweater is near and go with that usually. His puffer coat is uncomfortable for him and we only make him wear that on the very coldest of days. In my mind that's still not enough but he's mostly just fine. We do have to limit the amount of time we're outside, though. Not just for our sake but for Barry's. We MUST go outside to let him use the bathroom but then we head back in once that is done.

Here is his red puffer coat. It's too tight across the chest for him
but it's the warmest thing we have for him for the very
frigid days.
This goes without being said but many of our days have been spent indoors. We have to get creative on what to do with our time. There is only so much cleaning you can do, TV mostly just stinks (thank god for Netflix), and cooking & baking can be fun but being sedentary with loads of good cooking & baked goods = weight gain. Then again, it is the winter and you should put on a couple of extra pounds to help protect from the cold. Right? For Barry we have a number of things we do to keep him exercised and moving. Husband rough houses with him a little. We do a sort of agility course that we've set up. By agility course I mean two chairs, a broom stick and an ironing board. We have him sit then jump over the broom stick (which is held up by two chairs on either side), then crawl under the legs of the ironing board and back over the broom stick and jump up on the bed. We mix that up a bit and do different combinations.

Keeping his eyes on the prize. 
He has no problem clearing the broom stick.
 I wish I had better pictures for you. These two pictures just don't capture what's really happening. I'll post a video soon so you can see. It's really cute and we have a lot of fun. It takes quite a bit to wear him out. Eventually he starts panting and showing off that cute pit bull smile. He also loves the flirt pole. This wears him out pretty quickly and he needs a water break shortly after we're done. All in all, we do what we can to give him plenty of exercise. If you don't know about the flirt pole and you have the same issues as we do (frigid cold, your dog can't get enough exercise outdoors), you should look into it!! This is a great indoor exercise option for your active dogs! Check out the one we got here.

When it gets later we wind up sitting in front of the TV and relaxing. Barry promptly jumps onto the couch with us and lies lengthwise on his back so we can rub his belly. Many times he'll start dreaming when he's asleep. He must be running and chasing squirrels or playing with dogs in his dreams. His paws and back legs are moving and he just sort of looks like a spaz with his eyes closed. When he really gets into the dream he'll start dream barking. It's not like a regular bark. It's like a puffy closed mouth high pitched yelpy bark. It's actually quite hilarious and I've tried a few times to get this on video but have been unsuccessful so far. Every time I reach for my cell phone to capture these moments he either stops or wakes up from me moving so quickly to reach for my phone. I will get this on video and I will share it with you. It is one of the funniest things I've ever seen!

I have to say, I cannot wait until the weather starts to warm a bit. It will be so nice to be able to take Barry out without wearing my dexterity-killing gloves (so instead of picking out one treat for him I give him a whole handful because I can't feel the difference), getting on my huge oversized coat, and putting booties on Barry. It's all so time consuming and annoying. Also it's cold outside.

Watching TV with Dad is nice when it's too cold to stay out long.

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