Hi! My name’s Jack, and I’m a miniature schnauzer living right here in beautiful Greenfield, Wisconsin, with my human, Sarah. What a week I’ve had! It’s been so strange, I just had to share my story with you. (Thanks to the great folks at Greenfield Veterinary Clinic for letting me contribute to their blog!)
This is my first winter here—Sarah and I moved here from sunny California last fall. Let me tell you all about our week battling the cold temperatures…what a story I have to share!
Monday’s slippery, snowy adventure
It all started on a frosty Monday. Sarah and I were out for our regular morning walk. With so many squirrels and other dogs and interesting smells to pay attention to, I usually don’t even notice the weather during our walks! But, just as I was headed toward a perfect shrub to pee on, I suddenly felt my paw slip out from under me, and BOOM. I hit the ground.
“Oh, Jack! You slipped on the ice! Are you OK, buddy?” she asked.
I could tell Sarah felt bad about my fall—she seemed to be watching me more closely than normal as we walked home. I was OK, though—no serious injuries—but I was nervous to keep walking on those icy sidewalks, so I stuck to the snowbanks on the sides of the sidewalk instead.
The snow was pretty deep. After a couple of blocks, my paws started to hurt. I stopped walking and looked up at Sarah, holding my paw in the air.
“What’s the matter?” Sarah asked me as she knelt down to examine my paw. “Oh my gosh! You have snow packed between your paw pads! Let’s get you home.”
Once home, Sarah used a warm towel to dry off my paws, legs, and even my belly. I felt much better, but I was nervous about what tomorrow’s walk would bring.
That very evening, one of my favorite things in the whole world happened: The doorbell rang! I barked and barked to let Sarah know that someone was at the door.
“It’s your booties!” Sarah exclaimed.
The next thing I knew, Sarah had strapped these weird things to my paws and we headed back outside to the slippery sidewalks. But this time, I didn’t slip! And snow didn’t get stuck between my paw pads! As strange as those booties felt, I sure was glad Sarah got them for me.
Tuesday’s stinging salt
The next day, Sarah said she wanted to be sure I didn’t slip on ice again—even in our backyard. So, she put some ice melt stuff on the back patio and the sidewalk between the house and the garage. It was a good idea.
But when I went outside to do my business and walked all over that ice melt, I noticed that my paws began to sting. I sat down and looked toward the kitchen window, where I could see Sarah watching me from inside. I continued to sit still, even when Sarah opened the door to let me in.
Knowing something was wrong, Sarah ran out to me and once again looked at my paws. After picking me up and bringing me inside, Sarah spent time looking at her phone. I assumed she was watching funny dog videos, but then she said aloud, “Oh! I should have gotten pet-safe ice melt! I’m so sorry, Jack!”
Whatever Sarah had read on her phone prompted her to clean the ice melt off the patio and buy a different bag of ice melt.
“This kind won’t hurt your paws,” she explained. And, she was right!
Wednesday’s whipping wind
Wednesday was windy and even colder than Monday and Tuesday! But Sarah knows how much I love my walks, so she put my booties on me, and out we went. A few minutes later, I couldn’t stop shivering.
Sarah noticed how cold I was, so we cut the walk short and headed home. But instead of going inside like we usually do, Sarah put me in the car. We were going for a car ride! YES! That’s my other favorite thing besides the doorbell ringing.
A few minutes later, we were walking into that big store with all the pet stuff and dogs with their humans walking around. I was so excited. I started pulling Sarah toward the special treat section, but she said, “No, Jack. Today we’re here to get you a winter coat.”
After Sarah picked a coat that I looked extra handsome in, we made a quick stop at the special treats section before heading home.
“Tomorrow, you’ll wear your coat and booties so you’ll be nice and warm during our walk,” Sarah said.
Thursday’s dry skin
Sarah was right. I was so much warmer walking in my coat and booties! It was a great morning walk. But after we got home, my paws started to feel dry and uncomfortable. I licked them a lot, but that only made them drier.
“What’s the matter, Jack?” Sarah asked me as she started to look things up on her phone again. “I’m going to order something that will help to moisturize your paws,” she explained.
Later that evening, the doorbell rang…again! So exciting.
Sarah opened the package left on the front porch and began to rub a nice balm on my paws. It felt great! She said she’s going to rub the balm on my paws before every walk so my paws don’t dry out. Sarah’s the nicest.
Friday’s forgetful mishap
On Friday, Sarah said she had a really busy day at work, so we weren’t going to have a morning walk. Instead, she let me out back to do my business. While I was outside, Sarah’s work phone rang.
At first, everything was fine. I was sniffing around my territory, making sure no squirrels came down from the big tree. I barked through the fence at the neighbor’s dog when she came outside. I even went #1 and #2! It was quite productive.
But then I started to feel cold. I could see Sarah through the window. She was still on the phone, sitting in front of her computer. I decided to sit patiently by the door and wait for her.
Thirty minutes later, I was still sitting there. Had Sarah forgotten about me? I let out a bark to remind her, but she must not have heard because she didn’t open the door.
Another 30 minutes later, I was shivering and miserable. I didn’t care if Sarah got mad, I barked and barked and barked until she finally heard me.
“Oh my gosh, Jack! I’m so sorry!” she said as she opened the door and let me inside. “I was on a call and completely forgot you were outside!”
I didn’t feel good. I was still shivering, and I felt tired and weak. Sarah looked at my gums and said they looked pale. So, she wrapped me up in a warm blanket, put me in the car, and called our friends at Greenfield Veterinary Clinic as we drove there.
The veterinarian checked me and said I was going to be OK. Sarah was so relieved, and she promised to never forget about me outside again.
The weekend’s R&R
See what I mean? What a week! Now that Sarah and I have learned how to stay safe during the cold Wisconsin winters, we’re going to spend the weekend inside, cozy on the couch together. It’s going to be great.
If you and your pet have any cold-weather mishaps, be sure to give Greenfield Veterinary Clinic a call!
*Jack the miniature schnauzer didn’t actually write this blog post. He’s a dog. But we’re sure if Jack could write, this is the story he would tell.