Taking a walk to view the ice conditions along the Lake Michigan shoreline at Hosah Park in Zion, I never expected Cassie to start walking into the ice cold water. She’s usually cautious, but since we come here often in the summer, I think she was surprised at the cold water. She quickly backed out once I yelled at her.
Cassie shaking off the cold lake water.
It’s always a good idea to keep your eye on your dog near water, especially when there is ice. My last springer, Kaylee was a real water dog, swimming in any open water, no matter what the temperature. Sometimes when I took her to the beach in the winter, she would jump in and get thoroughly soaked. On the walk back to the car icicles formed on her fur.
Ice along the Lake Michigan shoreline.
Often the ice conditions along the lakefront are unsafe, with ice flows near shore. Once I watched a deer swimming in the lake, desperately trying to grab onto an ice flow, until it lost its strength and drown. Not something I like to think about. So keep your dog on a leash near ice! I’ve even seen my dogs walk on half inch thin ice. They can’t tell when the ice is too thin.
How does your dog act around cold water?
Should dogs (or their owners) make New Year’s Resolutions? Although dogs note the passage of time differently than we do, mostly by seasons, and when we are home more on the weekends, do they note the year?
When Cassie was an award winning agility dog, I had goals to try to reach certain titles. But those days are long gone. At the age of eleven, and having Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia for the past three years plus arthritis, my goal for Cassie is to keep enjoying life for another year. Thanks to daily intake of anti- inflammatory drugs (Gabapentin), her arthritis has not severely restricted her daily walks. Instead of walking 6 ½ miles to work and back, we now walk about 2 miles, enough to keep her happy without overtaxing her.
Buffy, Chipper & Cassie
Chipper is 9 years old and at a good weight after having lost eight pounds the previous year when my mom owned him. He injured his ACL or meniscus back in September and still walks with a limp. He can easily walk 1 – 2 miles, so just maintenance and helping his leg improve more are my goals for him this year.
Buffy at almost six is the youngest of the group. Last year she developed salivary gland disease and had very costly surgery to remove two necrotic salivary glands. She has kept off the twelve pounds that she lost when Mom owned her, but could still lose another pound or two. Both Buffy and Chipper received their Canine Good Citizen titles last year, but I have failed to keep up their training. Buffy especially could use more training since she got into a fight with Cassie the other day and refused to stop fighting.
My goals for Buffy this year are:
- Do daily training exercises to remind her that she is not the alpha dog.
- Take her for more long walks, both for her health and mine.
I don’t know about you, but my daily tasks, especially regarding exercise, always involve the dogs. Have you thought about New Year’s resolutions for your dogs?