Here is a picture of my dog.
Here’s another one.
If you notice a certain lack of activity in these images you’re right. The only time I see Lucy move anymore is when she hears food hitting her bowl. Somewhere in my dog’s DNA, there must be a distant link to a bear, because she seems to have gone into hibernation.
I can hardly blame her since we live in Utah, and our back yard – her playground – is currently piled high with snow. Quite frankly there’s not a lot for a dog to do outside these days, except shiver and whine to be let back in, so she’d just as soon lay on the couch.
Unfortunately for Lucy she is a dog. Cats have the litter box option, but dogs are not so lucky and must occasionally leave the house. This is accomplished by a combination of bribes, physical force, and promises to stand by the door until she is ready to come back in.
This last requirement, standing guard while the dog does her business, is rather tedious, but necessary. If I don’t watch her she’ll just pretend to go so she can hurry back in the house. I try to be patient and control my chattering teeth as she picks her way around the yard, all the while glancing anxiously in my direction to make sure I haven’t abandoned her.
Poor doggie, I can only imagine how I’d feel if every time I had to go to the bathroom it meant trekking barefoot and coatless through snow up to my belly. I would be even less enthusiastic about the prospect than Lucy is. In fact I might just come back in the house, pull a blanket over my head and hibernate.
Now in theory, hibernating is not a bad idea – for a dog. You stay warm, you don’t get into your usual amount of trouble, and the time would seem to pass quite pleasantly. There is one problem though. Hibernating bears don’t eat and ultimately end up skinny. Because they are bored, semi-hibernating dogs live to eat, and consequently end up fat. I’m afraid that by the end of the season I’ll have a roley poley butter ball dog.
What to do with dogs in the winter? It’s not like animals can go to the gym – although there’s an idea someone should work on – I’d sign up for a gym that had an exercise doggie daycare attached. I think there’s an outdoor mall downtown that lets you bring your pooch, but that’s quite a drive, and my husband takes her out for walks whenever the roads and sidewalks melt, but that still leaves a lot of down time.
I was discussing this matter with the author of http://weliveinaflat.wordpress.com/ they have a large dog in an apartment in Singapore, and she suggested day care where the dogs can romp with their friends, and more indoor play. What do you think? Any ideas?
Do you have a snoringly bored winter dog? What do you do? I’d love to hear from you, and so would Lazy Lucy.