It snowed here last week. This week, temperatures fell into the single digits, and it’s been a bit breezy, so this morning, according to my local newspaper’s twitter, it was 6°F with a wind chill of -6°F. A bit chilly.
Oh, and remember when I blogged about the cold? About how I was missing it? (I also wrote about how Greta wasn’t a fan, but more on that in a minute.) I’m over getting bundled up to go outside, of having to remember the proper footwear so my feet stay warm and dry and/or I don’t slip and fall. I’m over trying to remember gloves to keep my hands warm but still having to take them off to be able use the doggie doo-doo bags. And I’m definitely over the icy roads. So, except for being able to bake stuff without turning my house into a sweatbox, I’m pretty much over this winter stuff. I’m ready for it to get warm out again.
Greta, on the other hand, is sticking to her original assessment regarding cold weather. She doesn’t like it one bit.
When it first snowed, she didn’t want to go outside because it felt too much like rain, and my little desert dog is not a fan of rain. Once it stopped snowing and a path was cleared, she had fun bouncing around. She was so spry and energetic! Then, just like that, she decided that she didn’t like it anymore.
The snow itself she still likes. Just not the cold part.
I have a nice warm sherpa-style doggie coat that I put on her before we go outside. When we get out there, she stands on the pavement with one front paw and the opposite back paw raised so they won’t touch the cold pavement. She looks at me pleading to let her back in the house. She runs to the door every chance she gets. She does everything she can think of to go back to the warmth of the house, except going potty. That she saves for inside.
Usually, whenever one of the household humans (aka Mister or I) puts on a coat, pants, shoes, or even just walks near the front door, Greta gets all excited because she thinks she’s going outside or for a ride in the car. Normally she loves outside, and car rides are the Best! Thing! Ever! But this morning, after freezing her little paws off, she heard me getting ready for work, came out of my office to see me putting my coat on, let out a big sigh and walked back into my office to go back to bed. She is so over this weather.
After consulting with my imaginary internet friends, Mister and I are going change up the way we do positive reinforcement. She currently gets treats for going potty outside, but lately, with all the winter gear we have to take off before getting to the treat jar in the kitchen, it would seem that Greta sees her treats as reward for coming in the house – sort of how a snow-covered child gets a cup of hot cocoa and some cookies after playing in the snow. The time lapse is too great for her to associate the treat with potty. So we’re taking the treats outside. Last night, she got a treat once we got out of leash range of the front door. Then it took her a couple minutes to go potty, and she headed straight for the door as soon as she was done. But I stood in the same spot and called her back for a treat, and she actually came back in the snow to get it. So hopefully we can re-train her brain to think of the cold outside potty as a good thing.
Until then, I know both Greta and I will be thinking of warmer, cozier things.