Things I’m Learning: Dog Edition

I’ve never had a small dog before; our dogs have always been of the 40-60 pound variety. Guinness, however, tips the scales at about 19 pounds. This makes him one-half to one-third the size of the dog we are accustomed to owning. And a lot of that has been a positive experience for us, actually: he is small and sweet, and he can curl up in someone’s lap or tuck himself neatly next to someone on the floor. His food, food bowls, toys, leashes, crate, etc. take up almost no room in the house. If he needs a bath, I don’t even have to schedule him at the groomer and wait– I just give him a quick scrub in my big tub upstairs (and then the kids wrap him up like a baby and hold him contentedly in their arms, this dog is so spoiled). And this winter– where we’re having immense amounts of snow and cold– I am also learning that small dogs are not equipped for this weather, for one very simple reason:

They’re too short to crap in a snowdrift.

This simple truth has led to a series of other simple truths. Dave had to dig a path for Guinness in the back yard, which he did and which Guinness uses to get to the corner of the yard and pee on the fence. But he cannot/ will not do any other business in this little dog “run”– and if he tries to climb the drifts in the yard, then he sinks in, gets very cold, and starts limping and shaking uncontrollably despite the coat we have to put on him, dear Jesus. The only way to get this dog’s GI tract some relief is to take him for a walk and let him find a relatively low spot to hang his little butt over. Easier said than done.

I passionately hate people who don’t bother to shovel their sidewalks. (Major side rant: I mean, are you seriously shoveling your driveway only, you lazy bastards?! Never mind Guinness and me– you realize that kids are having to trudge through this unshoveled snow to get to school. And I know you are aware– because of all the little kid footprints in your sidewalk snowdrifts, jackasses. And by the way: if you live on the corner, but don’t clear the sidewalk all the way around– you’re assholes too. You bought the corner lot– now take fifteen minutes and make sure the kids in our neighborhood aren’t having to walk on the street. Jerks.) When the sidewalks haven’t been cleared, Guinness is often too short to get through the snow– which leads to Guinness and me, walking in the street. And walking in the street means Guinness’ little paws starting to burn from the salt, so we have to get him back onto some snow to clean them off– but not for too long, because his paws will get too cold and he’ll start limping and shaking. All so that he can find a suitable dumping ground.

Cameron wants me to add that, despite how I have portrayed Guinness here, he is actually a pretty tough little guy. And this is true: any dog who survives his first year of life in a hoarded house, fighting 50 feral cats for food, gets my respect. But this constant, daily search for a spot low enough for Guinness to crap? ….Getting old, my friends, It’s getting old.

Now shovel your freaking sidewalks.


    1 comment to Things I’m Learning: Dog Edition

    • Julie W

      LMAO. I used to bring my lab hiking with me. She is allergic to some critter in the trail dust, and so I had to buy her booties. Never had a problem again. Must be weird to dress a dog…and all of my men want a little dog!

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