Here we are, facing another winter and many of us neglect that faithful Canine Family Member by not preparing them for the cold. When I was a boy, I remember going to see Little Girl in her dog house on cold winter mornings. The crisp smell of the air, sun shining down on the white frosted lawn and the sky being a bright clear blue as the sun was still rising. I remember feeling her shivering coat under my boyish hand and how I would hug her in that cold dog house. She would be curled up in a tight ball shivering, and she smelled like a dog needing a bath. That did not stop me from hugging her and just enjoying the feel of her breathing as I tried to warm her up.
My parents were good to Little Girl, and would see that she had a blanket, but sometimes that was not enough. Back then, life was a bit simpler because when it was cold, it was cold everywhere. Every room in the house was cold because we did not have central heat. We had heat from a fireplace and the smell of wood was always evident in our clothes. Eventually, Mom and Dad would give in and allow Little Girl to sleep in my bed to stay warm. So, we both would benefit from her sleeping under the covers. She kept the bed warm and I did not get cold feet. Anyone ever been camping and get out of bed on a cold morning and nearly freeze those toes off?
This winter may be a cold one for us all. Our Canine Family Members need shelter just like we do, and in saying that I have some small suggestions or ideas to assist everyone in staying warm. The first is simple, bring that "baby" in. A garage or someplace like the laundry room would suffice for those cold nights and days. A second idea would be to put hay in their dog houses and keep it changed weekly throughout the winter. Another idea would be a heating lamp in the dog house or on the porch. Be sure the wind is blocked if the porch is an option. Lastly, I ask that everyone pay attention to the needs of that Canine Family Member during the winter because they can get sick just like we can. One more thing, is keeping the house fur free really worth the life of a dog? If the answer is yes, then a worthy home should be found for that dog, a home where no one expects their dog to freeze outside in the name of a clean house. Houses can always be cleaned, but a dog's life is more precious.